18 FEBRUARY 1888, Page 1

The frightful range which a European war would have is

well illustrated by a statement that reaches England from China. It is stated that the Chinese Government is closely watching events in Europe, that it is collecting an army on its Northern frontier, and that, if Russia were seriously engaged, a great effort would be made by Pekin to regain the province of Man- ehooria, the loss of which is most galling to a Tartar dynasty. This addition to Russian embarrassments is not very formidable, as the war would be over before the Chinese masses were fairly in motion, and the great Russian squadron in the North Pacific would have remarks to make at the Treaty Ports, whence the Chinese external revenue is gathered ; but the story shows the extent of injury such a war would in- flict. It would prostrate commerce in the Far East, would temporarily ruin Indo-China, and would be watched with breathless suspense all down the Valley of the Nile, whose fate for a century or so would probably hang on the result. We all unite to extol the skill of Russian diplomatists, but to have raised such a ring of enemies as now stand around the Empire is not very skilful.