Mr. Denby to Mr. Blaine.
Peking, March 12, 1889. (Received April 23.)
Sir: I have the honor to report that the provisional judge of Kuaug-tung, Wang Chi-chun, has submitted to the throne an important memorial, of which I send the following abstract:
- China should possess an abundance of steam-ships. The favoring of the China Merchants Navigation Company by the Government is criticised, and the advantages of steam-vessels during time of war is strongly set out.
- China should purchase machinery to further her industrial purposes. She must provide herself with iron forging machines, to be used for the manufacture of arms with native iron. Needful capital should be provided for manufacturing cotton cloth on a large scale. The importations now exceed fifty millions of taels in value. China should take measures to manufacture these cottons and she can easily take the business out of the hands of foreigners.
- The military competitive examinations should be modified. The dynasty owes its existence to the use of foot and mounted archery, and for this reason these two branches are held in the highest esteem. But the conditions of warfare have changed. In place of the bow and arrow we have the iron-clad and cannon to deal with. The rifle should take the place of the bow at examinations, and successful competitors should teach its use to their towns-people and neighbors.
- Canals should be dug in dangerous places to divert the water in the Yellow River. Economy in buying materials should be observed. The soldiers in Shan-tung should be made to do the work.
These suggestions are eminently practicable and indicate progress.
I have, etc.,