Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

No. 317.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith an article from a recent issue of the Japan Mail of Yokohama on the growth and present prosperity of the port of Antung on the Yalu and of its probable importance as a commercial and shipping center.

The Japanese consulate was opened there on the 1st instant, but I am informed that the Japanese consul has not yet been recognized by the Chinese authorities. It would seem that the laying out at this place of a Japanese settlement, provided for by Article IX of the additional agreement between China and Japan of December 22, 1905, will prove a very difficult and useless operation, as the Japanese have already taken possession of practically the whole place and of all desirable locations adjacent to it, and probably will not surrender them. I do not think that any other peoples than the Japanese and Koreans will establish themselves for purposes of trade at Antung, so their monopolizing of all available or desirable land will not probably raise any objections on the part of other treaty powers.

I have, tc.,

W. W. Rockhill.



The Kokumin Shimbun has a long letter from its correspondent in Antung. He draws a very rosy picture of the progress made by that place, and it certainly is very remarkable progress according to his figures. Antung, he says, is divided into the old town and the new. The former had only 500 or 600 Chinese inhabitants before the war and consisted mainly of squalid buildings. But it has now 30,000 inhabitants and many fine buildings adorn it. The new town—in which lies the Japanese quarter—has an area of 3,000,000 tsubo. Its population already numbers 5,000 Japanese, and constant increments are taking place. Many solid edifices in Japanese and foreign style are being erected or have been put up already. The reasons for the rapid development are numerous. In the first place there is the fact that Antung constituted a kind of military base throughout the war and thus great sums of money were spent there, Then, there is the fact that it was brought into regular railway communication [Page 192] with Mukden from the 1st of April, the military line having been opened to the general public on that date. This military line is now to be converted into a permanent track and of the 30,000,000 yen required for the work a considerable part must be spent in the Antung region, the place also becoming an emporium for stores. Further, Antung will probably become a port of shipment of the Fushun coal mine as it is much nearer to Fushun than Talien is, and, again it may be said to be in the most accessible situation as regards the best metal mines in Manchuria. A bridge is about to be thrown over the Yalu and this will mean that the produce of northern Korea will come to Antung for shipment, as will also be the case with timber felled along the course of the river by the united Chinese and Japanese Company. Antung used to be exposed to the ravages of floods, but this disadvantage has been obviated by the construction of a big embankment. The correspondent speaks finally of admirable sanitary arrangements and of the provision of good educational facilities.