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After the defeat of the national banking project at the hands of Shing Taotai, I went right to work to secure a railroad concession from the government. The railroad I had in mind was one between the two ports of Tientsin and Chinkiang; one in the north, the other in the south near the mouth of the Yangtze River. The distance between these ports in a bee line is about five hundred miles; by a circuitous route going around the province of Shan Tung and crossing the Yellow River into the province of Hunan through Anwhui, the distance would be about seven hundred miles. The German government objected to having this railroad cross Shan Tung province, as they claimed they had the monopoly of building railroads throughout the province, and would not allow another party to build a railroad across Shan Tung. This was a preposterous and absurd pretension and could not be supported either by the international laws or the sovereign laws of China. At that time, China was too feeble and weak to take up the question and assert her own sovereign rights in the matter, nor had she the men in the Foreign Office to show up the absurdity of the pretension. So, to avoid any international complications, the