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The Breakup of China and Our Interest in It

Conclusion from The Atlantic in 1899:

“Is it for the benefit of the United States to deal with China as a vast unit under her native flag, or as fragments under many flags? That is what we have to decide…It is to be hoped that our government is silently exercising the utmost vigilance in behalf of our commercial privileges on the continent of Asia. Failure to do so might not be politically disastrous to the present administration, but posterity will not forgive nor history condone faults of omission or indifference after such warning as have already been given. Surely, no American administration would seriously contemplate the establishment of a dependency or protectorate on the mainland of China, while our interests there may be safeguarded by international control and reciprocity; but it is difficult to see how these securities can be obtained without more definite engagements on the part of our State Department than our uninformed public opinion now demands. Nevertheless, the signs of a healthy and growing interest are numerous.”

The more things change…

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