5 JULY 1884, Page 9


FRANCE is at war with China. As we feared would be the case, the War Party in Pekin has won, apparently through the adhesion of General Tso, the officer who defeated, or rather slaughtered out, the Mahommedan Panthays and the people of Kashgar. Deprived of Tso's support, Li Hung Chang, the head of the Peace Party, remains only a powerful official, who may be dismissed or even executed, and Prince Chun be- comes the true master. The Foreign Office of Pekin has, there- fore, informed the French Ambassador that the General at Langson acted under orders, and that the French had no right to go there until a definitive treaty of boundaries had been signed. As the evacuation of Langson early in June was agreed to as one of the bases preliminary to the final treaty, this is treacherous evasion, and M. Ferry has no resource except to compel reparation. The feeling in Paris is extreme ; and it is probable that M. Patenotre will demand the withdrawal of the troops and a heavy fine, and on a refusal will seize Hainan as a material guarantee, and occupy Canton in order to levy the fine. It will be necessary, however, greatly to strengthen the French garrison in Tonquin, and, indeed, to reconquer the country, as the local insurgents, confident of the support of an Empire which they think the greatest in the world, will all break out again. M. Jules Ferry will have bard work to defend his position, and will be in no plight for exacting unreasonable terms in Egypt.