6 JANUARY 1912, Page 9

The news from China is not so favourable to a

settlement between the rebels and the Imperialists as it seemed to be last week. We recorded then that the Manchu dynasty had taken the astonishing course of placing its future in the hands of a National Convention yet to be elected. The two sides have been unable to agree as to how the delegates to the Convention shall be chosen and where they shall meet. The rebels demand that the representatives of the fourteen pro- vinces who are now sitting at Nanking, and who have just elected Sun Yat-sen as their President, shall be regarded as chosen also for the purpose of the Convention. The Im- perialists point out that these representatives have not been elected by the Provincial Assemblies, but have merely been appointed by the rebel military governors. The Imperialists further contend that the election of Sun Yat-sen has prejudiced the whole business of the Convention. Yet, again, the IM- perialists resist the rebel proposal that the Convention should be held at Shanghai, where the rebel influence is predominant. None of these differences seems to us incapable of settlement. It is infinitely more important that China should be saved from civil war than that either the rebels or the Imperialists should save their faces. Tang Shao-yi, who represented the Imperialist Government lately at the peace negotiations at Shanghai, was compliant towards the demand for a Republics, gave way as to the choice of Shanghai for the Con- vention, and further consented to withdraw the Imperial troops from Hankau and Hengyang, has resigned his office. Yuan Shih-kai will now treat directly with the rebels, who atilt vigorously demand a Republic.