7 JULY 1894, Page 9


XPERTS appear to believe that there will be war between China and Japan for the possession of Corea, the great pemnsulaof eighty-four thousand square miles which stretches out towards Japan from North-East China. This State is ruled by a King, who is, in theory, independent ; but he is a feudatory of Pekin, and both China and Japan have a treaty right of landing troops on his territory. Recently, the Japanese, confident in their new army and war fleet, and weary of ill-treatment by the Coreans, have resolved to obtain a direct Protectorate of the State, have landed eleven thousand troops, have seized the capital, and are for the moment masters in Corea. The Chinese are highly indignant, and have despatched about seventeen thousand troops to watch events. It is believed that the two armies will come into collision, and then the two Empires must fight. It is as- sumed that Russia, which wants a Corean port, and Great Britain, which is opposed to her having it, will intervene, and may, therefore, clash in a dangerous way ; but we have elsewhere given reasons for discrediting this view. England desires peace, and Russia is not ready. We should expect rather a languid war between China and Japan, ending in a retreat of the latter, and a restoration under Anglo- Russian mediation of the status quo. A war, and a big one, will come some day ; but at present the men who control effective armies and fleets are most anxious that it should be postponed.