13 JANUARY 1906, Page 2

The anti-foreign movement in China is beginning to take the

form of a serious tampering with the commercial rights and interests of European Powers. A case in point is the Shanghai River Conservancy, which, under an arrangement made with China in September last year, was to be managed by the Shanghai Taotai, the Commissioner of Customs, and an engineer approved by the Powers, financial affairs being in the hands of the Consular body. The Nanking Viceroy has arbitrarily cancelled the arrangement, and appointed a Con- servancy bureau with native officials and a foreign secretary, while he himself retains the supreme controL Another case is the railway from Shanghai to Hang-chau, which a British syndicate bad received a concession to construct. This con- cession has been summarily withdrawn, and it is announced that the local Chinese authorities have been granted an Imperial Edict to do the work themselves. In themselves, no doubt, such breaches of faith are not important, and the matter will probably be set right after representations from the interested Powers; but they show the nervousness of the Chinese Government in the face of the anti-foreign crusade, and its desire to conciliate the popular leaders by at least a show of acquiescence in their policy. As we argued last week, it is in the interest of Europe that China should become a strong Power, but it is in nobody's interest that she should break her lawful engagements.