There has been much written about China's awakening, and the impres sion has gained ground that the vast continent is at last stirred to action, and that the people are becoming progressive and modem in • ideas. The London ''Times," in a comprehensive article, points out how erroneous this opinion i 3. It appears that the Republic Government is no less despotic tbat the monarchy which it replaced. President Yuan Bbih Kai is simply a dictator with an army at his back, and the bulk of the people are as apathetic and listless as they have been these hundreds of years. The story of the formation of tbe Republic is 'bat a small section of the Chiuese, becoming imbued with Western ideis, brought about the- fall of the raouar chial system, Yuan-Shih Kai was not in favour of doing away with the monarchy, but he was oveepowered by the Republican Party, and retained his position of head of the army. Since that dato China has been a. Republic in name only, and Yuan--Bhih Kai has not only imposed his personal rule in tha country, but has made an attack on the Republican Party. Parliament .ha-3 been pushed into the background, and has lost its representative character. Dr. Sun Vat Sen and other Republican leaders have been driven out of power and some even into exile, The action of Yuan-SbihKai is not afc all incongislent, as be opposed the idea of China becoming a Republic throughoit. Yuan Shib-Kai has noted al through on the assumption that strong and stable government in China de mands an efficient centralised control. In tho Republican Parliament be found himself opposed by the Kuomin tang party, which set i'self to hamper his Government in every possible way. Tbey oppo.-ed the conclusion of tbe Mongolian Treaty with Russia at tbe grave lisk of embroiling Chiua in war with her powerful neighbour, and obstructed a reorganisation loan with the Powern, although tbe country was on the verge of bankruptcy. The President concluded the loan over tbe bead of tho Parliament, and the Republicans retorted by organising a rebellion in tbe provinces last year, which failed ignominiously. The Kuomingtang could not prevent the formal election of Yuan-Shih Kai as President, but fchey passed an Act designed to paralyse the power of the Rxecu'iv'e. The President met tbe position by proclaiming the dissolutior of the Kuomingtang party, and ex< polling iis members from both Housei of Parliament. The fast that this drastic action docs not appear to havi aroused active opposition in any par of China is in itself highly significant as indicating" that the preceding con test was a mere play of surface force i in which the people as a whole took nt interest, and from which'the stronges and most powerful competitor natur ally emerged victorious. On the faci of it, Yuan-Shih-Kai seems to bavt met his opponents on their owr ground, and beaten them. Neithe; party bad a "popular mandate," anc neither was in a position to make ar effective appeal to the people. Yuan-Shih Kai's next step after the dissolution of tbe Parliament has beer to set up an Administrative Council t( supersede tbe National Assembly The members of ths body "must b< thirty five years of age, and have bac ten years of experience of official life These provisions seem to point to £ desire on Yuan Sbih Kai's part tc have a conservative body of men whe will follow a cautious policy. How ever, a line of progress is to bo fol lowed, and the President, arbitrary as i his rule may be, has tb6 progress o, 1 China at heart. Tbe "Times" con siders that China is in a better state now than it has been since the revolution, and that if Yuan Shib-Kai car stand definitely as head of the nation there is more liklibood of tbe country being permanently improved. The trouble is that the greater part of the Cbinrse are still sunk in a dul apathy,
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CHINA., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXII, Issue 4368, 3 February 1914
CHINA. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXII, Issue 4368, 3 February 1914
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