7 SEPTEMBER 1907, Page 2

The papers of Monday publish a message from Reuter at

Peking reporting the proposal of certain changes in social custom for removing the racial distinctions in the Chinese Empire. It is said that the Empress called together the most influential advisers of the Imperial family, and that the pro- posals are the result of a series of deliberations. The Empress and her Government have for some time feared that the Chinese were attempting to overthrow the ruling race of the Manchus, and such an overwhelming of a part by the rest of the nation would be peculiarly simple in China, where the Manchus are marked out by their personal appearance and habits. The Manchu women do not bind their feet, for example, and the Manchus refuse to submit to the vulgarity of bearing surnames. Recent thivices to remove the differences between the two races failed, and it is said that it is now proposed to disband the Mancha Banner troops and place their officers in the Regular Army, to make the daughters of upper-class Chinese eligible for marriage into the Imperial family—thus promising a future Chino-Manchu Emperor--,to forbid Chinese women to bind their feet, and to require Manchus to take surnames. We doubt whether even this interesting scheme, if it be authentic—and we must not forget the extreme difficulty of testing all reports about the Chinese Imperial family—would succeed where other devices have failed. The racial distinction in China goes very deep.