National Geographic : 1905 Dec
CHINA AND THE with domiciliary visits and unreasonable interruptions while pursuing quietly and peaceably their lawful vocations in this country. True, every nation has the supreme right to make its own laws, but it is liable to be held accountable in some future day for any wrong done thereby to the subjects of foreign governments. Any new settlement of the exclusion question, therefore, in order to satisfy the Chinese government and to be in accord with the dignity and sense of justice of this great American republic, must have regard to the unsatisfactory manner in which the laws and regula tions relating to Chinese immigration, made in pursuance of treaty stipula tions, have been administered, and should correct the abuses that have gradually sprung up, which render the present state of affairs intolerable. What China asks is only fair play and due consideration, and she can well rely on the justice of the American people and on the wisdom of their law-makers, headed by their illustrious President, who is the champion of peace, of hu manity, of just dealing, to bring this important question to a successful set tlement and remove the only serious obstacle to the freer development of our commercial relations. A lamentable event has recently taken place in the murder of several American missionaries in one of the remote locali ties of China, to which I think it proper to refer. Repeated imperial edicts have recognized that foreign missionaries are lawfully in China; their beneficent work in instruction, hospitals, and charity has been recognized by my government, and the authorities have been enjoined to afford them all possible protection. The cause of the recent mob violence has not yet been definitely ascertained, but the Foreign Office at Peking has hastened to inform the American minister that UNITFD STATES 557 prompt punishment will be inflicted upon the murderers and full indemnity made for the injuries and losses sustained by the missionaries. Unfortunately the Chinese govern ment, though influenced by a sincere de sire to repress lawlessness, is not always able to anticipate and prevent mob vio lence ; but China is not the only country which is sometimes put to shame by the acts of excited and bad people. It does not excuse the bloody deeds of which the missionaries are the sufferers to say that more Chinese subjects have been cruelly murdered by mobs in the United States during the last twenty-five years than all the Americans who have been murdered in China by similar riots, but it may in some degree palliate the shocking crimes in China. I cannot, however, refrain from saying that in every instance where Americans have suffered from mobs the authorities have made reparation for the losses, and rarely has the punishment of death failed to be inflicted upon some of the guilty offenders. On the other hand, I am sorry to say that I have not been able to recall a single instance where the penalty of death has been visited on any member of the mobs in the United States guilty of the death of Chinese; and in only two instances of mob violence out of many has indemnity been paid by the authorities for the losses sustained by the Chinese. I am free to say that the United States government has on many occasions ex erted its power and authority to secure punishment of the criminals through the courts, but public opinion in the locali ties has been so strongly against the Chi nese that all the murderers have escaped punishment. Let us hope that a better day is coming for our respective peoples, and that the civilization and humanity of both nations will prevail over barba rism and savagery.