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sumed as we looked on, with-
The understanding of the situa-
To cheap labour and an industry with which nothing in Europe can compare, the Chinese and Japanese add a marvellous manual dexterity and a training of the eye which can only become general among the masses of the artisan class as a result of the practice of fine handicrafts by successive generations; and when all these qualities and capacities are turned to account in manufactures and commerce, organised on the modern system, the economic Yellow Peril will surely become a serious danger to the older established industries of Europe and America. dealing death and destruction
The Yellow Peril imagined by German political wire-pullers is not, we apprehend, of such a nature, nor based on such considerations, as those we have suggested in the foregoing paragraphs. As far as we can follow the German idea, we are asked to believe that an arrogant and unscrupulous people, ruling the oceans and disposing of gigantic land forces and armaments, will overrun the civilised world,
in their bloody progress. That such a picture may really present itself to the minds of those who preached no quarter to the force despatched to KiaouTchou is perhaps just possible, though we cannot easily persuade ourselves that it is probable. In any case, it would not appear difficult to dispose of the dream by a short process of calm reasoning.
As regards an invasion of Central and Western Europe by the yellow peoples, the experience of the Russo-Japanese war would appear to establish that it is the wildest chimera. In present circumstances, the advance of the yellow races by land is impossible, until they shall have either entirely subjugated Siberia and obtained full and unhampered command of the railways and all other communications, or else have established communications suitable for the requirements of modern warfare across the deserts on the western Chinese frontier, driven the Russians out of Central Asia, and thoroughly subdued the Mohammedan population of the Central Asiatic Khanates. The difficulties encountered by Russia in despatching and maintaining armies on the eastern frontier of Siberia, although their line of communications traversed their own territory, are nothing in comparison with what would be the difficulties of a yellow army with a line of communications through a hostile country, and faced on the Urals by the full power of Russia, under conditions the most favourable possible for the Russians. And
before Central Europe can be reached European Russia must be conquered. The feasibility of such operations has only to be examined, for the idea to be at once and definitely rejected.
An advance through Central Asia is, if possible, even more impracticable. On that line of advance railways would have to be constructed, and unless the subjugation of both Persia and the Caucasus is included in the programme, an enormous detour would have to be made through the desert wastes which surround the Caspian to the east and north. Even if all these difficulties could by any miracle be surmounted, it would still be necessary to conquer and occupy the entire area of Southern Russia before a further advance could be undertaken against South or Central Europe. The whole proposition of the advance of the yellow races across the Asiatic continent is manifestly too absurd to merit serious consideration. All we can say is that, whilst admitting that the statesmen of Western Europe have not always shown great capacity in their dealings with Germany, it is somewhat mortifying to note that German politicians should have so low an opinion of their intelligence as to think it possible to impress them with the yellow myth invented to influence them.
There still remains the extravagant idea that the Japanese having obtained full command of the seas, an invasion of Europe might be
attempted by water. It is difficult to believe that even German politicians really hope to induce us to accept the possibility of such an undertaking; but if they do, we need only recall the lesson of the cost and difficulty of maintaining an army of some 200,000 men brought from over the seas to South Africa; and to remember that during the South African campaign our sea communication was absolutely undisturbed, and that we disposed of such a mass of shipping as, whatever may be their progress, will certainly require the efforts of some generations for Japan or China to acquire. The idea of invasion by sea may therefore be dismissed as summarily as that of invasion by land. We may, however, admit that should the yellow races ever dispose of a fleet, the strength of which could in any way compare with that of the British navy, the advantage they would enjoy from relative proximity of their base to such a possible point of attack as Hongkong would render our position in that possession extremely precarious. Whilst admitting so much, we may take comfort from the consideration that very many years must elapse before any such fleet can be built up in the Pacific as could endanger our supremacy even in Hongkong; and, in any case, we may assume with considerable confidence that the renewal and strengthening of the Anglo-Japanese alliance has removed for a long time
to come any possibility of a clashing of British and Japanese interests in the Far East.
The consideration of possibilities in the waters of the Pacific leads up to what was probably the real point in the minds of our German friends. Shantung is very much nearer to Japan than is Hongkong, and the Japanese fleet at the close of the present war is not likely to be immeasurably inferior to the German fleet: in these circumstances we do not see how, unless the status quo be guaranteed by the new Anglo-Japanese treaty, Germany's retention of Shantung can be otherwise than dependent on the goodwill of Japan. Hinc illæ lacrima. The phantom of the Yellow Peril was invoked to induce somebody to kindly undertake to save the German chestnuts from the fire. If Germany should be able to find a satisfactory solution of this problem, it will be due solely to the security provided for the maintenance of the general status quo in the Far East by the conditions of the new Anglo-Japanese alliance.
The nature of the AngloSaxon Peril recently advertised by the Berlin dealers in "perils" has not been clearly explained by the advertisers, but it must be either of an economic or of a political character, and we are probably fairly correct in assuming that it is supposed by these philanthropists to be specially dangerous to Germany. If we could believe in the probability of the establishment of a Customs Union embracing the
British Empire and the United States, we could understand that the situation which would thus be created might, in spite of the remarkable business aptitude and plodding industry of the German people, be one of considerable danger to German economic interests; but the hopes of our most sanguine tariff reformers are likely for many a long day to be limited to the establishment of a tariff agreement between the component parts parts of our own Empire. It is impossible to forecast the future of our relations with our American cousins, but the idea of their entering a Customs Union on terms satisfying the requirements of our inter-Imperial trade does not seem for the present to be within the range of practical politics. Failing such a very improbable arrangement, we are strongly of opinion that Germany is very well able to hold her own in any form of international trade competition. If, then, we are to treat the suggested Peril as a serious question, we must look for some political danger. Our idea is that no alliance or international arrangement of any kind could be so certainly conducive to the preservation of universal peace as a firm agreement between the AngloSaxon peoples on either side of the Atlantic to act together as an international police, bound to put an immediate stop to all wanton aggression, and to force
the acceptance of arbitration in all international difficulties. However ardently to be desired is the advent of such a peaceenforcing understanding, we cannot anticipate its realisation in the early future; and should it be realised hereafter, we are at a loss to see how it could prejudice the interests of any non aggressive community. The idea of an Anglo-Saxon Peril is, then, manifestly absurd, and we are inclined to believe that its authors must speedily recognise the fact, even if they have not already done so, and, consequently, that we are not likely to hear much more about it.
The "Perils," Tatar, Yellow, and Anglo-Saxon, have been examined in turn, and the conclusion is that none of them, except the first, has any importance, or is likely to affect the political interests of peaceloving communities who do not seek to further their material interests or gratify their ambition at the expense of their neighbours. With regard to the Tatar Peril, we can only repeat our opinion that, if circumstances do not curb the aggressively ambitious policy of Russia, it may some day become a serious danger; and in such an event, and more especially in view of the checks imposed on Russia in the East by the Anglo-Japanese alliance, its first effects would necessarily be felt by Germany. ΚΥΡΙΟΣ.
VOL. CLXXVIII.-NO. MLXXX.
A STUDY OF THE
X. THE BATTLE OF MUKDEN. (WITH MAP.)
WE left the Russian army quietly settling itself back into its dug-outs, and awaiting such further developments as the season and the Japanese might have in store for it. But although the rank and file moved back into the warm welcome of their underground intrenchments, yet there are certain evidences which show that, in spite of all the various reports to the contrary, Kuropatkin was preparing, if not again to undertake the initiative himself, at least to receive a Japanese attack. We find mentioned, both in Lord Brooke's interesting work and also in various telegrams to the 'Novoe Vremya,' that the Russian generalissimo late in February ordered his hospitals to be prepared to receive 70,000 casualties over and above those already incurred at Hei-kou - tai. Japanese sympathisers, who in this country throughout the war have always been anxious to put the very best complexion on everything that emanated from Tokio and the Japanese General Staff, have told us that Kuropatkin and his staff were totally blind and uninformed as to the various preparations which the Jap
able to possess themselves of as complete information with regard to their enemy as the Japanese were able to obtain, we have always been ready to allow; but even after this allowance we think, with regard to the premises to the great battle of Mukden, that Japanese sympathisers have been a little inclined to overestimate the excellence of the Japanese General Staff to the belittlement of their beaten enemy. For instance, we are confidently informed by some expert military writers that Kuropatkin had no knowledge of the whereabouts of General Nogi's army. Another military writer has told us at great length that this Port Arthur force was successfully screened by a division of cavalry from all intercourse with the outer world while it was preparing to push forward to Hsin-min-ting. We ourselves are inclined to think that the Japanese plans as they developed were mystifying enough, and that their dispositions, as they brought them to bear upon their enemy at Mukden, were scientific and conclusive enough without crediting them with supernatural energies or powers. That Kuropatkin knew where Nogi's army was by the middle of February is definitely proven