THE -CHAOS -IN -CHINA'
Unwin. 21s.) • '
Tirri very involved situation in Republican China is elucidated, 4 any rate, as regards its broad outlines, by these two topical books. Mr. Putnam Weele's is the smaller and less ambitious, therefore the one to which the average reader will first turn to guide him through the confusing mimes and places and strange events which are making history in the Far East. With the recollection of Indiscreet Letters from Peking the reviewer was prepared to find that Why China Sees Red left an unpleasant taste in the mouth. But time, which mellows all things, has . sweetened the former acerbity of Mr. Putnam Weale's style without diminishing his pOWer for vivid narrative. . First he draws for us a picture of industrial Shanghai, where "the factory whistles summoned every day ever larger armies which grew from year to year until they had become the same- dreadful problem as in the industrial West," and then takes us to that Saturday afternoon Of May 30th, 1925, when Inspector Everson fired into the crowd of Chinese on the Nan- king Road (the main commercial thoroughfare of Shanghai) in order to safeguard the Louza Police Station. "Where this double volley . . . is to lead, no man can yet imagine ; but in the vast conflict which has been going-on for three genera- tions it marks a distinct stage." In brief, when Mr. Putnam Weale was writing last autumn (but the situation changes from week to week) it was a conflict for the possession of China waged between two tuchuns or War Lords, Marshal = Chang 1Tsti4itt- and - Genets' Fag iviffi 'a 'third tuchun (Wu Pei-fu), and the Russians, Japanese, Americans and European Powers as interested spectators. The Chang Tso-lin or Manchurian group has an arsenal, on which 110,000,000 have already been expended, and in which imen of all nationSlitid (a retiredinfifor Of the British-Air FOree is said to be the Marshal's close adviser) are employed in - directing many thousands of Chinese mechanics and gun- smiths. Chang Tso-lin also has a second arsenal at Shantung, and his Air Force is superior to any other in China. He commands a quarter of a million men, based on Mukden. His opponent, Feng Yu-hsiang, the Christian General, commanded a hundred thousand men based on the mountains north of Peking, and although he is said to have retired from the contest, his- army is still active. Across the Gobi desert quantities of machine guns and ammunition of German and Russian manufacture have arrived at his' camps, and poison
gas is being inainifeetrited in hulk. - • - -
"After the age of forty nearly every Chinese seems to suffer a moral collapse and suddenly become old," says the author. !` Forty .years of age in China is roughly equivalent to fifty- eight in Western countries. The few that do not wilt at that turning point are the exceptions. Chang Tso-lin at fifty-tWO' is as vigorous- and -quick as a front line 'seOut. He has been known to *gamble away two days and two nights without any rest beeanie tunes were dull : a phenomenal proof of siiiier!= abundant nervous energy. Feng Yu-lisiang " (who We learn from other sources combines the doctrines of Marx with those of Luther ; it is said he converts his men a platoon at a time and punishes swearing in the ranks with' the cat-o'-nine- tails) "is just oyer:forty_and as burly as -a carrier-coolie. . . .
Expert foreign opinion
' believes that the firsteommander who i and7a,keries of air-conductors. Tony Jobling's weakness, for will accept a Foreign Commission of Staff Officers will be the f; I: fashion and -Whiskers " no doubt testified to the ". wonderful . ffist to secure:a real hegemony of China: .: ChatigT Tie-liii's' SuCcess. of -Vox' s Noted Formula, which guarantees whiskers. brigade of 4,000 Red Russians, the real: . ' r-head Of his army' .. ' 4te.; to giro* heavily in...si:t i weeks on the smoothest fac:e,".
is now matched by Fen Yu-hsiang's. Red.Rtissiari iristrnefOra '' . .
and.Canton's Red Cadet Corps. 'In this there is iirtskihat. the " l'rt*t :--: • - ' - : ' - - white man is -recognized as the -man of. foieethe -Oigiinizei:- : -`,-,TihttI. , Pitt. 4:?iiNnZe.,.ry . waved Jurox, does away with the and that from him China can never shakedierselifiee? -..-..-^ '.- : sliaClike:-a-Lastliaf a lady ° .iuili aa c•Yii ascend a; ; Here, then,. is the stage set by Mr: Puinanci Weale: ''. With the 4 -..46.16; throw herself; into an armchair pass to her stall at the thesis that he sets himself to prove..:wd:haie no . quarrel opera, or-oceupya.finyth seat in-i carriage, without inconvenience China needs Western civilization, indeed; 'cannot get on with . rat 2.'17;41-entr-Pportt:get-,rat tronzrpekscuotiethiretizobseers, out it And it would be a misfortune if apathy in England were • to destroy We modesty of English women - toepti to the _neglect of our merchants at Sharigliai-aird }fang Mi. ilajrivitid-ii - :Wise - in tempering this -- picture of Merric Kong, for China is one of the mOstLinfOO:rtent markets of - Englaiid With a "thariter" of horrors" wherein the stench Lancashire. We have not space to touch the i.intkigule of Of ' the .Thames and its resultant cholera, the thie%;es' den, Icarakhan, the sinister. envoy from Moscow, - wh-a:gaiie- Chiriig the gin palaces, the agonies of chimney sweepers, and children Tso-lin a gold sword studded Ivitfi diamonds, Without, however, in factories, the oppression of seamstresses, and the neglect • ve_innn .1Ahis_firien4ship,;_por_of t_ks'iati-is of General Wu Pei-fu,. - of-lunatics' makes important --but -unpleasant readingt --;
who occupies an obscure and shifting position on the upper reaches of the Yang-tse, nor of the Politics of Canton, where a pseudo-communism is temporarily triumphant. These mat- ters and many more—including a chapter of great insight on - the Chinese Press—are dealt with by Mr. Putnam Weale. It is a pleasure to have such a capable, 'well illustrated and - clearly written narrative of events iü the Far. East at this time. Mr. Harry Franck is a well-known American traveller who . gives us a most entertaining account of his' walks through . China (and it is.only..humbly. and afoot that &man may learn of the real life_of the East) With no fewer than 170 unusually
• good illustrations: • This is- a book to buy and, keep. It con- tains a mass of solid- informaticid,- interspersed with lighter comment on executions in Canton, "losing face," fan-tan - games and similar subjects.