President, Republic of China
The latest news from China is in a Los Angeles Times article entitled: “May Put China on the Market: Perhaps Yuan Shi Kai is a Real Estate Man.” It summarizes a letter from a retired U.S. Navy officer living in China indicating “that China is trying to sell part of her dominions.”
Readers will recall that China has been having difficulty paying its debts, to the point that Russia is now threatening to foreclose on China and seize part of Manchuria. China is now a beggar nation, forced to cede control of its finances to a six-power lending group to deal with its most immediate crisis.
“The latest information that I have,” says Capt. A. M. Barber, U.S.N. (ret.) “is that Yuan Shi Kai really wants to sell Tibet, Mongolia and Manchuria to England, Russian and Japan, for 300,000,000 taels [$420 million in real money], and the deal hangs fire only because Japan has no money.” “[T]he most influential men in China,” he reports, “think it ‘good business’ to get rid of everything outside the great wall.”
Perhaps this can serve as a warning of the difficult choices which may ultimately confront a great nation if it loses control of its finances.