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(Per Press Association.)


There arrived in Wellington by the Manuka to-day a visitor from China who was able to give a first-hand story of the evolution of things in that troubled land. He is Mr William E. Souter, who has represented the National Bible Society of Scotland, at Chungking, West China, for the last ,five years, and who has come out to the Dominion on a holiday. It will siirprise many people to learn, as Mr Souter states, that many of China's inland towns are quite as xip-to-date as the towns in New Zealand or Australia. Indeed, he goes farther, and says that some of the cities in the interior of China are even more advanced than towns upon which New Zealanders sometimes look with pride. Mr Souter says there is now a good postal service throughout the whole of. Oiling, and last year 421 millions o£ letters and parcels were dealt with. One missionary residing at Siningfu, on the western border of v Kansu, now has his daily mail, whereas when he first went into the province there were only four deliveries a year. The telegraph service has now more than 87,000 miles of line, and just before Mr Souter left Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, had been linked up with Pekin, and so with the rest of the world. At present China has 6000 miles of railways in constant use, with more than 2000 miles under construction. Telephone systems in the cities are common, and a large number of towns are now electrically lit. In all the coastal cities as "far up as Tientsin there are tramway systems of modern construction.'

But perhaps the most remarkable thing which Mr Souter has to tell of New China is what may' be termed the Europeanising of the' jOhinaman. All the students at the universities dress in English fashion, and the old style of wide-brimmed, tapering-crowned Chinese hat is rarely seen anywhere. Mr Souter says things about the modernising of China which will touch the quick of Australasians' pride. Four or five years ago, before Hammond and Hawker and Scotland were here, China was having her own aeroplane nights at C'hengtu, the capital of "Western China. A Chinese constructed a machine himself and made flights in it. That was four years ago, and there waa a decided interest in aviation in the country, which was growing as western developments in flying took place.

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Bibliographic details

MODERN CHINA., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8816, 12 March 1914

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MODERN CHINA. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8816, 12 March 1914

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