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The Chinese Scene


ΤΗ THE poster on the cover of this issue of The Outlook inevitably appears on every one of the "Patriotic Shrines" that have been erected throughout Chinese Nationalist territory. At 8:30 o'clock on every Monday morning, in schools, Government offices, and in many places of business, Nationalist China joins in a service of respect at these altars. The ceremony is simple, usually including a three-minute period of silence before the photograph of Dr. Sun Yat-sen and a repetition of his last will, which is printed below it.

The will, delivered to one of Dr. Sun's closest friends a short time before his death, is a central part of every Nationalist pronouncement. A translation of it is as follows:

"For forty years I have been engaged in the democratic reconstruction of China. It has been my cherished aim to elevate China to a state of


HOSE who forecast events in China share the certainty in common that their prophecies, soon or late, will be confounded. Of the countless predictions that have been put forth in the last few months with a show of reason, only one can be safely repeated. What will happen next the wisest "China Hands" or the most intimately informed Chinese will hardly dare to say. It can only be said with certainty that something is bound to happen; and, with somewhat less assurance, that the happening is likely to be unexpected. For these reasons the news from China, however distressing, is seldom dull. Events unroll-or unravel -rather after the fashion of a first-rate drama than as contemporary history. And just at present the plot is more than ordinarily obscure.


This ancestral home in the hills of Chekiang Province, Chiang Kaishek, late Generalissimo of the Nationalist armies, has found temporary release from war and its burden of intrigue. Somewhere near the northern border of Honan Province, his army well trained and his treasury depleted, General Feng Yu-hsiang, a professed Christian, continues to make pledges and to fail to fulfill them. Farther north-or so it is reported-Michael Borodin, master plotter on behalf of Soviet Russia, is journeying by motor caravan across the Gobi Desert toward the line of the TransSiberian Railway and Moscow. At

freedom and independence. The experience of these eventful years has deeply convinced me that in order to attain this great end we should and must enlist the support of the common people at home and gain the sympathetic co-operation of those nations which are treating with us on a basis of equality.



"The revolutionary movement has not yet succeeded. It is imperative that all my fellowworkers, basing their efforts upon my Reconstruction Plan, Outline of Reconstruction Policies,' and The Manifesto of the Kuomingtang at the First National Convention,' do continue to exert their ardent energies toward the achievement of our common cause. Lately we advocated the calling together of a People's Convention and the abolition of unjust treaties with foreign nations. Attend to them with vigilance, so that they may be realized in the shortest possible time."

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Hankow and Nanking rival followers of Dr. Sun Yat-sen continue, with dwindling authority, the competitive business of governing Nationalist territory.

In the North the situation, if less obscure, is no more encouraging. General Chang Tso-lin's Government is a dictatorship in the most mediæval sense of the word. His justice is harsh and his methods of administration so oppressive that Shantung and Chihli are in a turmoil of unrest that is none the less sericus because it has not, as yet, found open expression. General Sun Chuanfang, ally of Chang and former friend of Chiang Kai-shek, has apparently

slipped the leash of Peking and, lured by

the revenues of Shanghai, has re-entered

the Yangstze Valley and is hammering away at the gates of Nanking.

And this present situation, it should be noted, is a precise reversal in almost every particular of the situation that prevailed six weeks ago. It provides, if nothing else, a wholesome indication of the perils of prophecy.

That the Nationalist Party, if it is to be the agency for uniting China, stands in sad need of rehabilitation is fairly plain. General Chiang Kai-shek has retired, apparently, in order that that desirable end may be speeded. But "retirement," in the Chinese sense, usually means merely that one who has participated openly continues to participate clandestinely. The rather large number of observers who are convinced of the honesty of General Chiang and of his qualities of leadership will believe, doubtless, that he has not abandoned his program, but only altered his method. There is a good deal in the history of his relationship to the Nationalist movement to support that conviction.

Chiang, who is only forty years of age, came into Dr. Sun's confidence nearly ten years ago. In the course of the decade that followed he laid a large part of his very substantial personal fortune on the altar of the Canton Government. After Sun's disastrous setbacks in 1922, Chiang went into active retirement at Whampoo, a few miles below. Canton, assumed control of the military academy there, and began the instruction of the officers who have been the nucleus of the Nationalist army and the chief sources of its successes. Upon the death of Dr. Sun in 1924 his military mantle, such as it was, fell upon the youthful commander at Whampoo. And the present northern expedition, which got under way in the fall of 1926, was under his leadership.

Chiang, it should be noted, was all along opposed to the intimate connection of the agents of the Soviets with the

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The inscription on this Chinese poster reads: Swear to follow the will of Dr. Sun Yat-sen

realize that Russia was out in China, not for the good of China, but to use the Nationalist movement to advance the program of world revolution. He made his position plain to the Borodin-influenced Central Executive Committee of the Kuomingtang with the statement that "as long as there is one gun left I will fight to keep the Kuomingtang Chinese non-Communist and true to the principles of Dr. Sun Yat-sen."

Chiang's final break with Hankow was significant chiefly because it gave union to the anti-Communist forces in the

The Outlook for sians for their own purposes and would toss them out of the country when ready. Chiang made it plain that Red influence had gone too far to be so lightly dismissed. Borodin on the way to Moscow (if he is on the way to Moscow) is one illustration of the fact that Chiang's anti-Communism has forced even the radical Nationalists to face the issue as to whether their first allegiance is Chinese or Russian.


MET General Chiang just after his capture of Shanghai. He talked with the newspaper correspondents in his headquarters beyond the barbed-wire entanglements that inclosed the International Settlement. For two hours he discussed with us in a simple, matter-of-fact way the Kuomingtang program for a new China. He wore no insignia of office-only a very shiny Sam Brown belt over his gray tunic. His cavalry boots were obviously new. While we

drank the tea that he served us he sipped away, Chinese fashion, at a cup of hot water. He spoke no English, and was unassuming and undemonstrative, save

when he referred to the Red threat or

the even more popular question of "imperialism." Twenty-four hours after that relatively innocuous interview he

had broken with Hankow, declared war

on the Communists, and was on his way

to Nanking to establish a bona fide Nationalist régime.

The part of Chiang Kai-shek in the Nationalist successes of the past year has been too great to allow the belief that his retirement implies a cessation of his activities. In the last four months, moreover, he has fallen heir to a vast amount of the influence formerly wielded by Sun Yat-sen. What he will do next no one can safely say. But that he will do something-probably unexpected—is as certain as the complexity of the situ ation in which he is involved.

Pitted against General Chiang have been Michael Borodin and his satellites among the Hankow authorities. Not all the members of the Hankow Government, of course, have been Communistically inclined. The most extreme element among the Chinese there has been under the leadership of George Hsu Chien, Minister of Justice and a "Christian Communist." But Chien's strength was largely derived from his proximity to Borodin. Other officials in Hankow have been as opposed to Communist domination as they have been impotent to throw it off.

party. Up to that time many National FEW would accuse T. V. Soong, Fi

ists, in rather naïve fashion, professed
openly that they were using the Rus-

nance Minister and graduate of the Harvard School of Economics of Red

September 14, 1927



The first photograph of the Central Executive Committee of the Hankow Government-taken just after they had deposed General Chiang Kai-shek. In the front row, third from the left, is George Hsu Chien; on Chien's left is Tan Yen-kai, formerly Chairman of the Central Executive Committee; next is Sun Fo, son of Dr. Sun Yat-sen; next is Madame Sun; on her left is T. V. Soong, a Harvard graduate and Minister of Finance; next to Soong is Eugene Chen

interests. He has a business job on his hands, and has sought to carry it through in the face of the greatest difficulty. About the time of my arrival in Hankow Soong broke into the papers with a revolutionary announcement to the general public: "The Minister of Finance is pleased to see all those who call on business. He begs leave to say, however, that Government responsibility prevents his reception of social callers and, likewise, makes it impossible for him to take time to drink tea with those who call on business."

Whether or not Eugene Chen, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, will stand with the Communist or the moderate wing is not certain. His office is at the end of Han Chung Road in Hankow, under the shadow of the building which. when I was in Hankow, was occupied by Borodin. Chen himself is diminutive, dapper, and very English. He does not speak a word of Chinese, but works with his colleagues through an interpreter. He is anti-British and an adept at epithets. But he was trained in England. made his fortune practicing law in an



English colony, and had just recalled his
sons from study in an English school.

But Chen-this with the usual reser-
vations seems to have had his little
day. It is not likely that the Powers
will be inclined to take him seriously
again, regardless of those for whom he
may allege to speak. And the authori-
ties who will control to-morrow's Na-
tionalist régime appear to be inclined to
follow a more moderate leadership in the
administration of foreign affairs.

domination has certainly resulted, in considerable part, from his own personality. He comes towering into the room. His voice and his eyes are commanding. His long black hair sweeps back from his head in effective Lloyd-Georgian fashion. There is something about him that is pleasant and final. It was not difficult to imagine the authority of his counsel in the sessions of the various committees of the Hankow régime.

I can share the general skepticism concerning Borodin's retreat to Moscow.

BORODIN's office, significantly enough, Having met him, it is difficult to believe

was across the street from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and three flights. up. It was a bourgeois place. There were stenographers, over-stuffed furniture, a roll-top desk, conservative Havanas, and no photographs of Lenine.

Borodin, I found, was something of a surprise. There is nothing up-stage about his tactics. And there are no show-cases for the wares he brings to China. But he is a dominant person and, doubtless, has been more potent than any other single influence within the inner circles of the party. This

that he would prove so easy a subject for deportation. Already from the headquarters of Feng Yu-hsiang some fruits of Borodin's continued activity seem to have appeared. Feng, during the entire past year, has been the dark horse in the Nationalist movement. He has been known to have the best trained and disciplined army in China, its numerical strength being variously estimated at from 25,000 to 125,000 men. But, with this effective force at his command, he has won distinction by inaction.

I met General Feng's vice-commander


at the headquarters of Chiang Kai-shek in Kiukiang early last spring. Feng had sent his representative to assure Chiang of his backing. Feng, according to this lieutenant-general, "returned from Moscow less a Communist and more of a Christian than ever before." The General gave evidence of his own faith by preaching in the Methodist church in Kiukiang during his visit.


HIS alliance between Feng and Chiang was more formally consummated a few weeks ago when the two


LY is the last place, but one-end of the Iron Range and the railroad, a place of diggings and dumps; beginning, also, of the wilderness, home of the outfitters, peddling point for a few squaws who sell birch bark and beads.

Winton is the last place the last point, absolutely. A kennel of Eskimo dogs, proxy of the canoe for the winter months, tells what it is. Piles of bark and sawdust and an old band saw rusting away in the shallow water of the lake edge tell what it was the last line that the lumberman had to break in his campaign of desolation.

The Last Wilderness

Will It Be the Lost Wilderness?

Beyond is well, a chug-boat runs across Fall Lake, and an old truck across a corduroy portage, and another boat across Basswood Lake to several places, but this time it ran to Prairie Portage.

And there we were, the chug-boat chugging back down Basswood, alone with our packs on Prairie Portage. Four of us, not counting the boy-not counting him just for the moment; he had to be counted later, being, probably, the best man of the party. I had known none of them till the day before.

Ahead of us, any way that we might choose to go, lay an unbroken wilderness of water and rock and a little-very little-soil made of leaf mold; a wilderness nine days long with good going, twice as big, approximately, as the State of Massachusetts, in which no human being lives.

generals met in the north. But still Feng's army made no effective move. And now, apparently, Feng's defection speeded Chiang into retirement and leaves the "Christian General" in the commanding position among Nationalist military leaders. And in this defection it is not difficult to see the work of Borodin, who is known to have "visited" at Feng's headquarters en route in the general direction of Moscow.

Where? Why, along the boundary waters between Minnesota and Ontario, our Superior National Forest the south side, their Quetico Forest Reserve the north side, innumerable lakes, twice innumerable islands, thrice innumerable rocky rides the last big wilderness left

Regardless of what may next appear upon the Chinese screen, the Kuomingtang party has reverted, temporarily, at

THE territory of which Mr. Merritt

here gives some impressions is the last great area of unspoiled wilderness accessible to the bulk of the population in the heart of the United States. If there are other comparable wilderness areas, they are far West. It is, beyond question, the greatest canoeing country in North America, perhaps in the world. The comparative sparsity of its fauna is the more proof that it is wilderness absolute.

The International Boundary Commission, on reference of the Governments of the United States and Canada, is now investigating a proposal to permit the building of storage dams at seven or eight points in this maze of waters. The effect would be to raise the level of the lakes, to kill the timber alongshore, to flood many islands when the reservoirs are full, to leave desolate mud-banks when they are lowered, to upset the economy of fish life in the waters and of bird life on the shores. The benefit, such as there might be, would accrue to power and pulp plants, mainly owned by the E. W. Backus interests, farther down the basin, on Rainy Lake, Lake of the Woods, and the Winnipeg River.

The exact effect of the building of such dams cannot be even approximately known until the reports of the American and Canadian engineers are filed, which probably will not be until late next winter. Meanwhile, the people of the United States and Canada should acquire some understanding of what it would mean to this and future generations to have the wilderness marred.

The Outlook for

any rate, from a Nationalist movement to a struggle between these various personalities. If out of this struggle the Nationalists may rid themselves both of Reds and of ambitious military chieftains the result will compensate for the present disruption. To accomplish that desirable result new leaders may have to be found. But until it is accomplished neither the national unity nor the international autonomy of China is likely to be realized. That statement, moreover, is a declaration of obvious fact rather than a prophecy.

The Outlook will have more to say on the subject from time to time. Mr. Merritt's trip to this territory was purposely taken in order to acquire firsthand information about the region and the possible results of building the dams. -THE EDITORS.

-left because, for purposes of gain or even of livelihood, it is so worthless that nobody wanted it.


'HE wilderness, like war, calls for command and obedience.

The tallest of us assumed commandspoke. "I'm Alf. You're Dix. That one's Mack, and the old one is the Professor. The boy, of course, is Bill."

So, taking up our packs, we made Prairie Portage. Three times we made it, as many trips as that being necessary for our numerous packs and the canoes.

A private is entitled to think. At least, he will think. And I thought, on that portage, that we had too much duffel; that, in this particular if in no other, we were not good wilderness men. When thirty-seven portages were behind us, I thought the same. The welcome of the wilderness would have seemed less grudging if we had had less luggage. I make that statement at this time because at certain points in the narrative lack of appreciation will appear, and I should like the reason to appear too. I was frequently too tired to appreciate.

But, the portaging done, we were in Birch Lake. The wilderness had swallowed us. The clear water was under us. The pale green of birch and poplar scrub, with darker rich patches of conifer growth-that and the rocks-was around us. Silence, absolute, was above us. No bird called. Even when we were well inshore no cricket chirped. That, too, I mention thus early because throughout it was the rule. Sound was the exception, and will be mentioned as such.


UT the wilderness was not deaf or blind. Very soon there was proof enough that we were heard and seen.

Mack, in the stern of the canoe which

September 14, 1927

An arm of Emerald Lake-a picture of peace

I occupied, was the pilot. He had gone that route before-four times, I thinkunguided.

We paddled far, it seemed, and into many coves. Mack's paddle lagged and dragged. Turning his head over one shoulder, he called, "Alf, I've missed the portage."

So we searched for what Alf called drainage lines (Alf claimed to be recognized as an engineer, by everybody except engineers; as a geologist, by everybody except geologists). A portage, I found, ought always to be at the lowest spot on the horizon. The lowest spot appeared to be away to the south, and we paddled there, only to find that the lowest spot was clear away to the north, hidden from where we first were. We paddled back-until the Professor's bass boomed down the bay:

"Beaver house to the left!"

really been lost at all, that he just wanted us to see that particular beaver house. I do not know. Bill, who is the son of Mack, laughed. Later, I thought that we might have spared the sight of this particular beaver house, though, of course, we did not know it then.

The beaver, except possibly for the loon, is the dominant element in the population of that wilderness. The next day, at another house, we were to come in close contact with one. He came out and swam, time and again, around our canoe, close enough that we might have struck him with a paddle. Frequently we dragged the canoes over beaver dams, wading boot-top deep to do it; old dams with wide fringes of dead timber above them, new dams with the fringe of timber dying from inundation.

The beaver, it should be understood, first builds his house. Then, below it, he



that the entrances to his house will be below the water-line and he safe from his enemies.

He builds his house of small stuff, his dam of larger, but the largest he cuts, apparently, in pure wantonness. We went through beaver clearings where trees thicker than a man's body lay crossed and piled as if in the track of a cyclone. The Professor, anxious to make out a case for every wild thinghe reproved me once for killing a wasp that had stung him-said that this was really a service to the forest growth, since the trees cut were birch and poplar and their destruction made room for the conifers. But another time, looking at the dead timber above a dam, he admitted that the evidence for and against the beaver is pretty evenly balanced.



OWEVER that may be, the wilderness would be less worth while as a wilderness if the beavers were absent or their numbers less. I heard them one night-but that story needs a preface.

That day had been our only windy one, and we were on Lake Agnes, one of the biggest. Mack and the boy and I, through rough going, had made a landing and camp at dusk. But we had lost. the other canoe and, the wind coming up stronger after dark, I climbed a cliff and made a beacon fire. They saw it, I afterwards learned, the instant it flared up, and Alf tried to answer with a flashlight, but was nearly swamped and dared not again release his hold on the paddle.

Well, while I waited by my beacon fire there was borne down the wind a mighty boom and crash. And almost instantly another, and another, and still another. In civilization and the daylight, it would have been lumbermen felling trees. The beaver, across a little bay, were holding carnival in the night and in the storm, felling trees for fun. But for the strong wind, blowing from them to us, they would have been silent so near a human camp.

But the beavers have taken me off the line of my story, as they frequently took us off our route.

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