MY LIFE IN CHINA AND AMERICA
his system of graft that the banking enterprise was defeated. It was reported that he came up to Peking with Tls. 300,000 as presents to two or three princes and other high and influential dignitaries, and got away with the Tls. 10,000,000 of appropriation by setting up a bank to manipulate his own projects.
The defeat of the National Banking project owed its origin to the thoroughly corrupt condition of the administrative system of China. From the Dowager Empress down to the lowest and most petty underling in the Empire, the whole political fabric was honey-combed with what Americans characterize as graft — a species of political barnacles, if I may be allowed to call it that, which, when once allowed to fasten their hold upon the bottom of the ship of State were sure to work havoc and ruination; in other words, with money one could get anything done in China. Everything was for barter; the highest bid got the prize. The two wars — the one with Japan in 1894-5 and the other, the Japan and Russian War in 1904-5 — have in some measure purified the Eastern atmosphere, and the Chinese have finally awakened to their senses and have come to some sane consciousness of their actual condition.