1 SEPTEMBER 1900, Page 1


THE most important piece of news in regard to the Chinese crisis is that telegraphed from America to Friday's papers. It is to the effect that America is about to propose to the Powers that they should withdraw from Pekin, and permit the Empress and the Imperial party to return to the capital and there open negotiations,—these negotiations to be conducted, it is said in some of the telegrams, by Li Hung Chang. Many of the correspondents allege that Russia has instigated this step as she wants the Powers out of Pekin, and also because Li is under her influence. It is of coarse possible that Russia may have suggested the proposal to America—what harm if she has?—but it is to be noted that it is just the kind of proposal to be expected from the United States, and also that it is in accordance with the traditions of journalistic Russophobia to attribute all new and unexpected departures in diplomacy to a Russian plot. The Washington correspondent of the Morning Post, we may also note, sends on Friday a very curious item of news. An official of the State Department, 'whose name cannot be given," has, he declares, "authorised the statement to the Press this after- noon that 'the territorial ambition of the German Emperor is one of the principal reasons for the inconclusive peace negotiations among the Powers?" This statement, he adds, "was made unreservedly, and may be taken as official." Clearly there are many cross-currents in the China seas. But that being so, there is all the more need for our Government, as we have urged elsewhere, to adopt a clear and definite policy.