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Far Eastern Panorama

ISSUE:  Autumn 1938

General Chiang Kai-shek, unlike his wife, is an undiluted Easterner. The only English word he can use with certainty happens to be “impossible.” This is the very word the pompous absence of which in his French vocabulary was emphasized by Napoleon I. And Chiang Kai-shek does not pretend to any erudition in the classical Chinese style. Some people consider him a “modern” Chinese, as the word goes, and to prove it point out that he was a small and not too successful broker in Shanghai. Some think he does not differ much from the type of Chinese war lord. They remember the suppression of Communism by Chiang Kai-shek and the concomitant executions. Madame Chiang Kai-shek, in her book about the Sianfu incident, puts great stress on his Christian convictions. In that volume the two of them appear as a New England couple of 1670, separated by the evil influence of wordly enemies, but united in their abiding faith and accordingly rewarded with ultimate triumph.

Obviously it is extremely difficult to give a picture of Chiang Kai-shek. Chinese he is, no doubt—but what is a Chinese nowadays? China today is changing, and the change is no longer restricted to the upper layers of society or to some self-educated intellectuals who have exposed themselves to Western influence during the last forty or fifty years. Today the entire country is moving on, under the magnetism of Western influences. The present war has drawn the whole country into its vortex. It is a modern war and it means a gigantic Westernization of the Chinese. At the same time a counter-current is perceptible, tending strongly to a comprehensive nationalization, or neo-nation-alization, of the Chinese genius. At this juncture, this second trend is as centripetal as the other is centrifugal. This makes the Chinese soul a very complex one, inscrutable even to the owners, indefinite and indefinable to everybody. History has not yet accumulated enough evidence as to the ultimate portent of this evolution. Chiang Kai-shek appears to me as the symbol of the present fateful generation which belongs much more to the future than any previous generation in China. Up to now the Chinese have lived and died well embedded in their tradition. It was a powerful one: it gave to every individual so elaborate a frame that the frame seemed more important than the picture. The little, the very little, that we know of Chiang Kai-shek is related to his personality as it stands. We cannot help speaking of him in a general way that would be equally suited to describe any national leader in any other part of this world—a curious fact, since his fervent aim is to build up the national individuality of his country.

In psychology as in history, symptoms may be more revealing in some matters than rational deductions. For years I had tried to overcome what seemed to me the vagueness of Chiang Kai-shek’s silhouette and to draw his profile for myself with more precision. Traveling through China during the first months of the great conflict, I was told that the General always carried with him a translation of Titus Livius’s great record of the Punic Wars. This, I must confess, set my mind at rest. This was tangible, something to rely on. It seemed plausible to me that for Chiang Kai-shek, Livius could form an even better bridge to the West than radios and automobiles.

A little later I was told of conversations in Nanking some years ago between Chiang Kai-shek and a German general who has since died. There Chiang Kai-shek opened his heart and showed his bitter impatience with China’s humiliating situation, as he saw it, under foreign pressure. It was the Westerner who preached to the Easterner the invaluable importance of patience. The Westerner had a right to do so. Possibly, beginning at that moment, Chiang Kai-shek turned his attention to the history of the great struggle between the Roman peasants and the Carthaginian traders and artisans across the Mediterranean. Maybe, at that time, he grasped the meaning of what Germans love to call “thinking in terms of history.” Maybe, at that time, he discovered in himself the strength for combining far-reaching ideas, full of promise, with their counterpart, methodical, minute, and cold preparation.

However that may be, war came. The general and the statesman Chiang did not wish it to come. Nor was it planned that way by those at the very top in Japan. The Yellow War came like an act of God. Anonymous forces brought it about—forces that co-operated marvelously from both sides of the Yellow Sea. On the anniversary of the beginning of the conflict, July 7, 1938, both Prince Konoye and General Chiang asserted that they did not kindle the fire. Alas, they were both entitled to say so, as far as they spoke for themselves.

Naturally the parallels between the Punic Wars and the present conflict in the East are limited. No compelling necessity forced Hannibal’s enterprise, but the clash between China and Japan was inevitable. It had to come sometime, though not necessarily in July, 1937. But under all circumstances, the fatal period inside of which the explosion had to be expected was limited by a few years. The explosion was due after the defeat of the Communist army in China. Only at the end of 1934 could Chiang Kai-shek afford to transfer his General Headquarters to Nanking.

The origins of the present catastrophe date back to one single year. In 1867 the Meiji with one stroke of his pen decided the Westernization of Japan. China did not follow suit at that time. Even later she might have been able to catch up with the progress of Japan. In that case, a natural balance of power would probably have developed. But even her ignominious defeat at the hands of Japan in 1894 did not induce China to reconsider her indifferent attitude. The revolution of 1911 only rippled the surface of the life of the Chinese. In their state of mind they were still aloof from, even antagonistic to, the arguments which drove the Meiji to announce to the Japanese people that they had to make the enormous sacrifice of modernization. It certainly was no easy decision for proud mediajval Japan to sit on the school-bench through decades. But by this act of egotistical abnegation Japan secured her independence and established herself as a military and economic power by Western standards. After having beaten Imperial Russia, she became the only great power in the Far East. All this she did against odds very well known to everybody. With a population between sixty and seventy million and with scant natural resources, her influence in the Far East overreached China’s with four hundred million, and Russia’s with one hundred and seventy million inhabitants. She expanded. She had to rely on the raw materials and markets in her neighborhood. She had to expand. She could hold her own only if those regions were at her uncontested disposal.

Whoever would bar Japan from these outlets would annihilate her. If ever China developed her potential strength as Japan had done, Japan was doomed to lapse into a secondary position and to depend on China’s generosity, on which, apart from all other objections to such a course, she instinctively never would count. To Japan, in consequence, her position as a power in the Far East has always been a question of top or nothing. Japan’s predominance is not only based on her strength and concentrated energy: her rise has been possible only because through decades the Chinese made no similar effort. The Chinese, mentally very gifted and much more flexible than the Japanese, failed to act, being perhaps too proud to imitate the example of their peripheral cousins. But if ever China should feel her own strength, should feel the urge to make it active, if ever she should pull herself together and make with similar determination the choice Japan had made in 1867, it would automatically become a question of life or death for the islanders to stem the tide. This has happened since Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang came to power. The world is now beginning to realize what Japan has always understood: that her greatness and her prospects of enjoying the fruits of her labors have always been extremely precarious. They were always dependent upon the permanent lethargy of China.

Now China, in a few years, has made big strides ahead. Like Japan, she has at once concentrated upon forming a strong army. During the last year Tokio has learned—at great expense—that China has been able to create a strong army in the incredibly short time of a decade. This is a lesson to the whole world, not to Japan alone. Opinions differ as to the significance and permanence of other performances of the Kuomintang regime, but everybody knows today that China is capable of forming a first-class army—of colossal dimensions if only time is given to her. This process, if allowed to continue, would have been bound to alter fatally the relation of Japanese power to that of China. If Japan should have chosen the policy of increasing her actual armament solely in order to keep abreast of China’s preparations, she would have had to expect to be unavoidably beaten in the race. She had to take direct action.


The Japanese people, consciously or unconsciously, have always realized that the decisive moment was bound to come. Now they look over to the West with a bitterness they try not very successfully to conceal. “The West,” they say, “gives all its sympathy to the Chinese people; it never has understood our situation. It considers them the victims of what it calls our insatiable greed and predatory cruelty. The West ignores the ominous fact that the hour of fate has come for Japan; the West ignores how much Japan deserves her position and how little China is entitled to the esteem of the world, It is China who behaves imperialistically. Have we not offered help to China, co-operation and advice, again and again? But China aims at nothing other than to satisfy her wounded pride. She aims at crushing Japan and at seating herself in the same place which Japan has held honorably and peacefully for seventy years. It is not China that has to fight for her existence now—it is Japan. Japan has tried hard to bring about comity among Eastern nations and, by reason of the skill with which she has managed her own affairs, she is entitled to be the leader of such an evolution. Siam and the Philippines, perhaps even the Javanese and the Indians, begin to understand this. China alone refuses stubbornly to see the light.”

The Japanese concede today that they have greatly underrated China’s capacity of resistance. As often happens, they have been victimized by their own propaganda, picturing the Chinese as selfish individualists, as cowards incapable of patriotic inspiration. But this war is the war of the Chinese coolie, whether or not he knows what patriotism means. Certainly his hatred of the Japanese, his fear of being enslaved by them, is at present his equivalent of dulce et decorum est. As a consequence, the Japanese have been dragged into China much deeper than they anticipated a year or even nine months ago.

Their original aim was an independent North China in which their influence would be absolutely preponderant. Over the rest of China they hoped to spread a net of governments that would have none of those strains of “subversive” or “aggressive” nationalism and anti-Japanism about which Tokio has incessantly complained. Up to now, Japanese rule in China—and Chinese rule that depended upon co-operation with Japan—has wielded its power only as far as their soldiers can shoot. Where the Japanese gained influence before the open conflict, as for instance in and around Peking, things seem to be different. There they made their progress by slow and artful infiltration. But in the parts of China that have been conquered by arms, terrorism stands against bayonets. For that reason Shanghai has become a very uncomfortable town.

Nevertheless, there is nothing for Japan to do but to push on and see it through. Because China, with foreign help, has proved herself capable of forming a good army as a cadre for a much bigger one in a few years, the paramount problem for the Japanese is to find a reliable device to prevent this from repeating itself. How can it be prevented? The answer to this question today overtops all other considerations. Even if independent China should be reduced to two hundred or one hundred and fifty million inhabitants, it would still remain possible for her to form a new army. That is what must be expected, since the Chinese have revealed themselves as such formidable fighters. In spite of its lack of armaments and even of fully trained soldiers and officers, the Chinese army has proved itself capable of carrying on —even after it lost eighty per cent of the ranking officers of its crack regiments around Shanghai.

Under these circumstances, what result of the war can the Japanese hope for that will repay their sacrifices and give them reasonable hope that they were not made in vain? Wholesale occupation would be a drain that Japanese strength could not stand. Japan can proceed only by creating a system of key positions for the control of the immense territory. Bottling up China by putting all her seaports under Japanese control, first of all financially, seems to offer itself as an obvious line of endeavor. This would largely affect the economic and financial relations of China with the outer world, and, if circumstances demanded it, would enable Japan to sever them altogether. The transfer of the periodical deposits of the sea customs receipts in Shanghai from the Bank of Hong Kong and Shanghai to the Yokohama Specie Bank has been an initial act in this direction, and has been conceded by England. If these methods are systematically developed, any secret or open arming in the interior against the will of Japan would be rendered almost impossible. Reprisals could be applied at a moment’s notice, and in normal times J apan could exercise a continuous regulating influence on the economic and especially on the fiscal situation in inner China. But such a course would make it important to seclude China from Soviet Russia and her dependencies. And there is also China’s “forgotten flank,” her western approach to Indo-China, which has already played so big a part in the present conflict, and which will steadily increase in importance. But besides the task of creating barriers at China’s frontiers, a task enormous in itself, Japan would have to play the tedious and expensive game of keeping alive her influence on the governments in the interior to whom she would have given her confidence, and of stressing her interests in North China.

The line of action here mentioned may not be what Japan is actually going to undertake, but it is the line that Japan would probably have to follow in regard to China, if she succeeded in breaking the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang, which is the only thing that would mean victory to her. Prince Konoye declared on July 7th that Japan had not invaded China in order to conquer it. Nevertheless, the actual measures by which Japan would have to supplement the fulfillment of this promise would need to be very realistic indeed. Those supplementary characteristics of Sino-Japanese “amity” would unavoidably form an immense and permanent mortgage on any peace between China and Japan—except, of course, a peace in which Japan acknowledged outright defeat—by letting China alone. Because Japan has to be so realistic, China fights to the last, indifferent to all losses. China understands Japan’s position better than anybody else.


The white West used to indulge in lavish sentimentalities about the Far East. Tourists, professors, diplomats, and businessmen, getting acquainted with the antagonistic couple, Japan and China, are exclusively either pro-Chinese or pro-Japanese. Those who have never been there are normally the more pro-Chinese the greater their geographical distance from China. For those who have trod the soil of these remote regions, just as a matter of enlarging their horizon, the rule holds good that whoever lands first in Japan and sees China later, will fall in love with Japan and forever declare China “interesting, but terrible.” Whoever makes his trip to China first, proceeding to Japan afterwards, will describe China as an overwhelming and magnificent experience and Japan as “antipathetic.” Naturally there are earnest students of both countries who can afford not to rely in their judgment on a few impressions. At the present juncture they write articles and make speeches about both countries and their unfortunate relations. Their utterances almost invariably will be full of learning and very objective. But in the conclusions they draw, they will surprisingly discard the discretion they aimed at before and, almost without exception, will take sides very intemperately either with China or Japan, according to the country they know better. In the Western mind there seems to be no space available for a synthesis of the understanding and the esteem both countries deserve—deserve, it is true, under different aspects. The West is still feeling itself in the part of Maecenas. It has lent the East its advice and experience lavishly, though by no means unselfishly. It feels entitled to the luxury of a very subjective attitude, passing wholesale judgments, moralizing, and very often letting purely aesthetic predilections outweigh every other consideration. It evidently thinks it can afford this very arbitrary and superficial attitude. It expects the whole East to be awed by and full of gratitude for the white man.

The same East is deeply conscious of our lack of understanding and even of the will to understand the other hemisphere. The West has imposed on the East deep changes, has forced it into periods of seeming inferiority, has adulterated its spiritual life and its traditions. The East has never forgotten this. It has never loved the West. And whatever sympathy the West has shown to the East, in most cases the East has thought it naive, especially in its more profuse forms. The very men and women who have quite rightly considered themselves the most sincere and intimate friends of the East have ultimately experienced the most crushing though subtly applied rebuffs.

The line of demarcation between the West and the East will be hardened by the present war. In Japan’s eyes, the hostile, deprecatory attitude of most of the white states is the outcome of self-willed ignorance about the reasons which forced Japan to fight. On the other hand, China feels herself deserted by the great powers. She resents deeply the ostentatious failure of the conference in Brussels, the collapse, taken so lightly by the West, of reiterated, solemn promises. But it is Japan who has been made and is still made the object of ample moral denunciations. It would be a big mistake to believe that Japan, even in her heart of hearts, considers those attacks justified. She takes them as one proof more of the intrinsic hostility of the Westerners to Japan’s efforts to acquire the assets of the white race. At the beginning of her Westernization Japan had hoped for sincere friendship. Her first disillusionment, and a very calamitous one, dates back to the ‘eighties when England obstructed the cancellation of her privileges on Japanese territory. Today Japan is pervaded by a deep and general suspicion toward the West—a suspicion that affects “militarists” and “liberals” alike. The latter, the West is prone to ignore completely. But there still exists in the inner council of those in power the tenacious influence of a liberal bureaucracy, even among the army officers. Furthermore, the free professions, including big business, are liberal-minded. They at least have hoped and struggled in order to postpone the clash with China; they even have imagined the miracle of a peaceful settlement of the deep-reaching antagonism between Japan and China. If today they are more than ever in tune with the militarists, the dismal echoes of “world conscience” have contributed much to that effect. All Japan is convinced that she cannot count on the consent of the world to any settlement with China that she would trust as safe and satisfactory.


To most of the chancelleries of the world the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese “incident” came as a big surprise, though every probability had hinted at its imminence. It has, of course, become the fashion in our day to denounce “theorizing” in politics. Rut the French say: “Gouverner c’est prevoir.” Nobody can forecast the future, but it is another thing to keep a constant watch on the avenues through which events may evolve. This is essential in any attempt to influence the march of history. It is no less necessary in trying to grasp the portent of actual conditions and facts.

When Japan, simultaneously with the foundation of Manchukuo, expanded her armaments, and especially those on the sea, England was slow in realizing that her position in Asia was exposed to a profound change. She only accelerated and intensified the fortification of Singapore, which is now by far the biggest naval stronghold in the world. But in 1936 England abandoned her former tactics, and with great labor and expense she made Hong Kong a first-class fortress. Since 1937 she has been developing the island of Penang, off the Malay Peninsula, and Trincomalee in Ceylon into valuable points d’appui. And while no full-fledged English battleships have sailed east of Aden since England ceased to be Japan’s ally under American pressure in 1922, there is little doubt that she intends to station six battleships in the Far East as soon as her gigantic re-armament will have been completed — between 1940 and 1942. France made it known after her skirmish with Japan about Hainan and the Paracel Islands that she intends to create an important military port in Cam-Ranh Bay. And with much less ado, she has already increased her land defenses in Indo-China, as have the Dutch in their colonial Island-Empire. Even Siam and the Philippines have seen fit to build up huge armies. Unobtrusively the United States has increased its preparedness in the Pacific. Japan had been able to gain a considerable advantage as a military power by her initiative at the beginning of the ‘thirties, but after England gave the signal, the reaction of the Western powers in the East did not lack in force or swiftness. Today they could offer very considerable resistance; and they are continuing to catch up with Japan’s strength month by month.

This sudden reaction has come as a surprise to Tokio, but the same cannot be said about the hardening of Soviet Russia in East Siberia. As early as 1924, Stalin stated without mincing words that Soviet Russia considered China an excellent base for an indirect attack against imperialistic powers. In 1925, when he launched a tremendous propaganda attack against Great Britain all over China, he resolved only at the last moment not to involve Japan. And in 1926, at what is now called the Manchukuan border, there began that sequence of minor clashes between Russia and Japan which has not yet broken off and not yet reached its climax. The shots around Changkufeng Hill have, at this writing, been the most serious episode in an otherwise tedious story. In previous times Soviet Russia had no other reason for showing her nuisance-value than to impress Japan with her presence as China’s mighty neighbor. Acknowledging the threat, Japan has sent crack troops to the Soviet border simultaneously with her expeditions to China, and Soviet Russia has suffered painfully for some months from the suspicion that Japan would try to deal a decisive blow at Russia after she had achieved her aims in China. There were such tendencies in Japan among certain people who considered the Chinese enterprise only as a short prelude. These people believed that Soviet Russia had suffered severely from her purges, and therefore they favored attacking her as soon as possible.

When the Japanese threatened Hankow, Moscow evidently thought the moment appropriate to increase the difficulties with which Japan was wrestling. This attitude is typical of Moscow’s wish to drain the strength of Japan by continuously disturbing her, without going to war. It is probable that Soviet Russia does not wish to expand her territory in the Far East; otherwise she would not have sold the Chinese Eastern Railway. Her attention is concentrated on the West, and it has been much intensified by the Anti-Comintern Pact of 1936, a diplomatic phenomenon of ideological essence, but not considered as such by the Kremlin. Since Japan has advanced into China, the leading men in Soviet Russia have been haunted by the fear of a war on two fronts, separated by more than seven thousand miles. There is no reason why Germany should be inclined to make her policy automatically dependent on events in the Far East, linking herself up with them by an alliance. Soviet Russia’s position in the East is in fact determined by nothing else than her continuous and all-comprehensive urge to drag China toward her and, united with her, to put Japan entirely on the defensive. Nevertheless, she does not desire a complete victory for the Chiang Kai-shek regime. She looks further ahead. She bides her time, and wants both countries to exhaust themselves; thus she acts quite logically in supporting China only as far as it is necessary in order to prevent her collapse. She hopes, she prepares for a time when both adversaries will be prostrated and when both will offer excellent soil for Bolshevism. This would be for Russia the most favorable outcome of her policy.

Though both Russia and Japan consider each other incapacitated for attack, an atmosphere of immense suspicion nevertheless pervades their relations. Moscow, even before the foundation of Manchukuo, had decided to make her Far Eastern forces a self-contained entity, independent as far as possible of European Russia and even of western Siberia. Having increased her Far Eastern army by at least 150,000 men during the last twelve months, she now has perhaps more than 500,000 men along the Manchukuan border. She has gathered a strong air fleet to menace the wooden towns of Japan, and an unknown but probably considerable number of modern submarines in the port of Vladivostok.


If a new, fairly solid balance between China and Japan cannot be brought about, we must look for the extension of the fire already raging. Some predict that it will simply “burn out” in China, but to make this hope the basis of a policy of resignation would be a terrible mistake.

Japan must wish to improve her relations with the outer world, and this might call forth more initiative on the side of the Western powers. Her incompatibility with Soviet Russia, the re-armament of the Western powers in the Far East and in southeastern Asia, and most important of all, the staggering responsibility which she has shouldered in China—all these facts render it advisable for Japan to throw off ballast. England alone offers her the opportunity to do so. Russia is a stale proposition, Germany and Italy are already friends of Japan, and the United States is described in Tokio as a good boy.

Between 1927 and 1929, England’s original hostility toward the Kuomintang government changed into benevolent tolerance. In the eyes of Japan, England’s rather noncommittal attitude served only to save appearances; in fact, as Tokio believed, England backed up Nanking against Japanese ideas of co-operation with China. Since the beginning of the conflict with China, Japan has spoken more and more openly about “England’s unfriendly attitude.” She has just declined Moscow’s proposal to invite English participation on the Manchukuan border commission. She tenaciously hampers England’s hard-hit business and financial interests in China. England’s Chinese commerce has already undergone huge losses; and what is worse, her trade has proportionately suffered considerably more than Germany’s and America’s. There is an immediate danger of England’s losing her controlling position in Shanghai and Tientsin; Hong Kong may soon be cut off from Canton, and thus from South China. The whole structure of British financial and diplomatic predominance in China is jeopardized. England has every reason for wanting to bring things in China to a standstill, to secure some balance between Japan and China, to make some settlement for at least the time being.

On the other hand, Japan cannot wish an endless war that will bleed China white, and also weaken herself to a degree nobody can dare to gauge at present. A day may come when Japan will wish to enjoy a respite, and at such a juncture Japanese interests would run parallel to those of England. England, in that case, could bring pressure enough to bear on the Chinese. She has enough prestige among them to induce them under such circumstances to consider a peace acknowledging the preponderant interests of Japan in China. And there might be a day when China will realize as well as Japan that she cannot secure all her national aims in full at one stroke; then, when compromise will have become unavoidable for all concerned, she will be grateful for an agreement in which England, and probably not England alone, would serve as guarantor for Chinese interests and as buffer for Chinese pride.

Obviously it is in England’s best interest to concentrate Japan’s drive on China, so as to remove or alleviate the Japanese danger to herself. This danger reaches down to India, but Japanese activities elsewhere, in Siam and the Philippines, for instance, are in their ultimate implications no less serious to the British Empire. The unnatural death of the Anglo-Japanese alliance has never been forgotten in Tokio and it still rankles in many a patriotic Japanese heart.

But the classical school of English diplomacy, which just now is asserting itself in European politics, has never deprecated the merits of the alliance with Japan which was suffocated by the Nine-Power Treaty of 1922. The conceptions which dominated English policies in 1902, when the alliance was first drafted, have faded out, but they have not entirely ceased to exercise their influence in London. If conditions became favorable through the protraction of the present war, England could fall back upon her old policy of alliance with Japan, perhaps in combination with other powers. Nor is it fantastic to connect the harsh anti-English attitude of Japan with some hidden wish of hers to prepare the ground for negotiations. Because England is at present the only alterable factor in Japan’s international game, and since England, in addition, has more interests in China than any other power, and is therefore more apt to become a strong obstacle to Japanese expansion, Tokio will be forced to give more and more attention to England the deeper she is drawn into China.

One point in this connection cannot be omitted. By previous though abortive negotiations with England, Japan has indicated that she does not believe herself capable alone of meeting the demands which China will make for her development—not to mention the cost of reconstruction after China’s policy of the “scorched earth” has done its work. At the same time, the immense resiliency of China’s economy is a fact which has often been proved. A peace allowing everybody to help that country display its natural energy would quickly restore China. The momentum of such a quick recovery, with reasonable financial and technical support from outside, would at the same time heal the wounds which the war is inflicting on Japan.


In the preceding pages I have ventured to give an optimistic alternative to less fortunate prospects. The element of time always allows for optimism. Actually, the Far Eastern picture at the moment is very dark.

The Far East is on the move, and no wisdom can bring back the kind of peace that reigned there in the ‘twenties. Never will China fall back into the sullenness, indolence, apathy, into the national aimlessness she has displayed against outer influences up to a few years ago. The present war, dreadful and bloody as it is, will dispose of that attitude. If the settlement of the present clash lies between the two warring states alone, it certainly will not mean much more than an armistice. We can assume that a complete Chinese victory is not possible. On the other hand, Japan can hold a position in China only by a comprehensive system of coercion. This would be a constant and terrible drain on her, and so would the inevitable infringement by her on foreign rights that would result from such a policy.

Only a flexible equilibrium is imaginable between Japan and China. They cannot—nor can anybody—change the fundamentals of the fight. And both battling powers are fighting in order to have it out. On that point there is no difference between Chinese and Japanese at present, and it is well worthwhile to take note of it. For the time being the foreign powers concerned by direct interests look at all this with apathy, with bias, or with vague fear. Rut the mechanical progress of bloodshedding which the world beholds with terror does not mean that ingenuity and strength of purpose will be of no avail to find a settlement which will last through our generation. For the West at least, the primary needs are moral accomplishments, easy to remember, difficult to realize: an objective attitude, a comprehensive, not one-sided, understanding of the great and distant events in the Far East, and a respect for every nation’s right to live in security—which right, incidentally, proves again and again to be the deepest source of tragedy in history.


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