A Study of Chinese Boycotts, with Special Reference to Their Economic Effectiveness

By C. F. Remer; William B. Palmer | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
BOYCOTTS AGAINST JAPAN, GREAT BRITAIN, AND HONGKONG, 1925-26

THE EARLY EVENTS

The year 1925 marks a new stage in the development of the boycott. There were changes in leadership and in methods. There was a more vigorous emotional drive. The boycotts were closely associated with new developments in the revolutionary movement in China.

The early part of 1925 witnessed labor disputes in Shanghai and Tientsin. These were not associated with any anti- foreign feeling until, on May 15, a Chinese mill hand in a Japanese-owned mill in Shanghai was killed in a conflict between strikers and the Japanese employees of the mill. This incident led to an outburst of anti-Japanese feeling and to demonstrations which culminated in the Nanking Road Affair of May 30. This incident occurred when a group of students and laborers stormed the Louza Police Station where some of their fellow demonstrators were being held. Twelve Chinese were killed and a number wounded when the Shanghai Municipal Police, that is, the police of the foreign settlement, fired upon the mob.1 By June 3 the death toll had reached fourteen. Clashes between the police and demonstrators continued throughout the next few days. On May 31 the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce ordered a general closing of Chinese shops in Shanghai. By June 4, 74,000 workers are said to have been on strike.2 During the earlier part of the agitation, banners were carried through the streets bearing such inscriptions as "Down with Imperialism," and "Boycott the Foreigner."

A great deal was written at the time concerning the alleged connection between the communists and the anti- imperialistic nature of the agitation. Many were firmly convinced that Russian agitators played an important part in

-92-

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