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MANCHURIA

Population.—The population is estimated as follows for each of the three divisions:—


Province of Shēng-king (Fēng T'ien) 4,000,000
”   Kirin 6,500,000
”   Hei-lung-kiang 2,000,000
  ——————
Total 12,500,000

Communications.—Four principal highways traverse Manchuria. The first runs from Peking to Kirin via Mukden, where it sends off a branch to Korea. At Kirin it bifurcates, one branch going to San-sing, the extreme north-eastern town of the province of Kirin, and the other to Possiet Bay on the coast via Ninguta. The second road runs from the treaty port of Niu-chwang through Mukden to Petuna in the north-western corner of the Kirin province, and thence to Tsitsihar, Mergen and the Amur. The third also starts from


EB1911 Manchuria.png


Niu-chwang, and strikes southward to Kin-chow at the extremity of the Liao-tung peninsula. The fourth connects Niu-chwang with the Gate of Korea.

The original Manchurian railway was constructed under an agreement made in 1896 between the Chinese government and the Russo-Chinese bank,Manchurian Railways. an institution founded in 1895 to develop Russian Interests in the East. The Chinese Eastern Railway Company was formed by the bank under this agreement, to construct and work the line, and surveys were made in 1897, the town of Harbin being founded as headquarters for the work. The line, which affords through communication from Europe by way of the Trans-Siberian system, enters Manchuria near a station of that name in the north-west corner of the country, passes Khailar, and runs south-east, near Tsitsihar, to Harbin. Thence the main line continues in the same general direction to the eastern frontier of Manchuria, and so to Vladivostok. In 1898 Russia obtained a lease of the Liao-tung peninsula, and a clause of this contract empowered her to connect Port Arthur and Dalny (now Tairen) with the main Manchurian railway by a branch southward from Harbin. In spite of interruption caused by the Boxer outbreak, through communication was established in 1901. Under the Russo-Japanese treaty of August 1905, after the war, supplemented by a convention between Japan and China concluded in December of the same year, Japan took over the line from Port Arthur as far as Kwang-chēng-tsze, now known as the Southern Manchurian railway (508 m.). Branches were promoted (a) from Mukden to Antung on the Yalu, to connect with the Korean system, and (b) from Kwang-Chēng-tsze to Kirin. The rest of the original Manchurian system (1088 miles) remains under Russian control. In the south-west of Manchuria a line of the imperial railways of Northern China. gives connexion from Peking, and branches at Kou-pang-tsze to Sin-min-ting and to Niu-chwang, and the link between Sin-min-ting and Mukden is also under Chinese control. The lines now under Russian control were laid down, and remain, on the 5 ft. gauge which is the Russian standard; but after the Russian control of the southern lines was lost the gauge was altered from that standard.

History.—Manchu, as has been said, is not the name of the country but of the people who inhabit it. The name was adopted by a ruler who rose to power in the beginning of the 13th century. Before that time the Manchus were more Of less a shifting population, and, being broken up into a number of tribes, they went mainly under the distinctive name of those clans which exercised lordship over them. Thus under the Chow dynasty (1122–225 B.C.) they were known as Seshwin and at subsequent periods as Yih-low, Wuh-keih, Moh-hoh, Pohai, Nüchih and according to the Chinese historians also as Khitan. Throughout their history they appear as a rude people, the tribute they brought to the Chinese court consisting of stone arrow-heads, hawks, gold, and latterly ginseng. Assuming that, as the Chinese say, Khitans were Manchus, the first appearance of the Manchus, as a people, in China dates from the beginning of the 10th century, when the Khitans, having first conquered the kingdom of Pohai, crossed the frontier into China and established the Liao or Iron dynasty in the northern portion of the empire. These invaders were in their turn overthrown two centuries later by another invasion from Manchuria. These new conquerors were Nüchihs, and therefore direct ancestors of the Manchus. On assuming the imperial yellow in China their chief adopted the title of Kin or “Golden” for his dynasty. “Iron” (Liao), he said, “rusts, but gold always keeps its purity and colour, therefore my dynasty shall be called Kin.” In a little more than a century, however, the Kins were driven out of China by the Mongols under Jenghiz Khan. But before the close of their rule a miraculous event occurred on the Chang-pai-Shan mountains which is popularly believed to have laid the seeds of the greatness. of the present rulers of the empire. Three heaven-born maidens, so runs the