The Chinese Government is playing the part we have always
expected of it in Asia,—that of a Power compelled by its interests to be friendly to Great Britain. It likes bits of territory, and can get none without our consent. It has agreed to a delimitation on the Burmese frontier according to which we surrender nothing but part of an unsubdued Shan State ; it has claimed and obtained from Russia the section of -the Pamir plateau we wished it to have ; and it has, according to the French newspapers, thrust itself forward just between Trance and Britain in the valley of the Mekong. The excel- lence of that arrangement is that China is the one Power 'in Asia which makes a good neutral, as her people in- stantly fill any ceded territory, and no State in its senses would, on the edge of a war, affront Pekin. Some -concession, too, must have been made to us in regard to Thibet, for the Lamas have agreed to the existence of a 'trading depot on the Darjeeling frontier, which they could not have done without Chinese acquiescence. The limits of the Emperor's authority in Thibet are vague and variable, but he is obeyed about foreign affairs, as otherwise the Dalai Lama and the principal secular officials are apt to fall ill, doubtless from repentance and anxiety. It would be very convenient if China spread all round Northern India, but her statesmen claim nothing which they have not at some time possessed.