Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/813

This page needs to be proofread.



the other of Chinese birth. By the ancient custom of the Empire, all the members of this board are privileged to present any remonstrance to the sovereign. One censor must be present at the meetings of each of the Government boards.

The Tsungli Yamen, or Foreign Office, was created by a decree of January 19, 1861, autl comprises among its members all those of the Council of State and six other officials of the highest rank. It controls not merely the matters with foreign nations, but also those institutions in which foreigners form part of the working staff, such as the Maritime Customs, Peking University (Tung Wen Kwan), &c.

Local Government. Each of the 18 provinces is ruled by a Governor or Governor-General, who is responsible to the Emperor for the entire administration, political, judicial, military, and fiscal. He is assisted by a council and various other officials, such as the Treasurer, the sub- Commissioner, and the Literary Chancellor. Each province is sub-divided into de})artments ruled by prefects, and each department into districts, each with a district ruler. Two or more departments are sometimes united into a tau, the ruler of which is called a tautai Each town and village has also its governing body, and among the various rulers there is regular gradation of rank, each being responsible to his immediate superior. Political office in the general administration of the Empire is less sought after than the position of viceroy or governor in the provinces, where the opportunities of acquiring wealth, not from official salaries but from gifts, &c. , are abundant.

Area and Population. Hitherto the population of China, it is believed, has been much over-estimated ; a recent estimate of the population of China Proper will be found below. The following table gives a statement of the area and population of the whole of the Chinese Empire according to the latest estimates : —



China Proper ......

Dependencies : —

Manchuria .....

Mongolia ......



East Turkestan


Eng. .sq. miles 1,336,841

362,310 1,288,000 651,500 147,950 431,800









According to official data referring to 1842 the population of the 18 provinces of China Proper and Formosa was 413,000,000 ; other estimates gave 350,000,000. In the following table the figures with an * are from Chinese official data for 1882; those with a t have the population of 1879; Fukien is estimated on the basis of the census of 1844.