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- China - 70/83 -


After a brief interval, which we may attribute to the greatness of the distance, to the vigilance of the Chinese garrison, or to the apathy of the population, the movement spread to the three towns immediately west of Turfan, Karashar, Kucha, and Aksu, where it came into contact with, and was stopped by, another insurrectionary movement under Mohammedan, but totally distinct, auspices. West of Aksu the Tungan rebellion never extended south of the Tian Shan range. The defection of the Tungani, who had formed a large proportion, if not the majority, of the Chinese garrisons, paralyzed the strength of the Celestials in Central Asia. Both in the districts dependent on Ili, and in those ruled from Kashgar and Yarkand, the Chinese were beset by many great and permanent difficulties. They were with united strength a minority, and now that they were divided among themselves almost a hopeless minority. The peoples they governed were fanatical, false, and fickle. The ruler of Khokand and the refugees living on his bounty were always on the alert to take the most advantage of the least slip or act of weakness on the part of the governing classes. Their machinations had been hitherto baffled, but never before had so favorable an opportunity presented itself for attaining their wishes as when it became known that the whole Mohammedan population was up in arms against the emperor, and that communications were severed between Kashgar and Pekin. The attempts made at earlier periods on the part of the members of the old ruling family in Kashgar to regain their own by expelling the Chinese have been described. In 1857 Wali Khan, one of the sons of Jehangir, had succeeded in gaining temporary possession of the city of Kashgar, and seemed for a moment to be likely to capture Yarkand also. He fell by his vices. The people soon detested the presence of the man to whom they had accorded a too hasty welcome. After a rule of four months he fled the country, vanquished in the field by the Chinese garrison, and followed by the execrations of the population he had come to deliver. The invasion of Wali Khan further imbittered the relations between the Chinese and their subjects; and a succession of governors bore heavily on the Mohammedans. Popular dissatisfaction and the apprehension in the minds of the governing officials that their lives might be forfeited at any moment to a popular outbreak added to the dangers of the situation in Kashgar itself, when the news arrived of the Tungan revolt, and of the many other complications which hampered the action of the Pekin ruler. We cannot narrate here the details of the rebellion in Kashgar. Its influence on the history of China would not sanction such close exactitude. But in the year 1863 the Chinese officials had become so alarmed at their isolated position that they resolved to adopt the desperate expedient of massacring all the Mohammedans or Tungani in their own garrisons. The amban and his officers were divided in council and dilatory in execution. The Tungani heard of the plot while the governor was summoning the nerve to carry it out. They resolved to anticipate him. The Mohammedans at Yarkand, the largest and most important garrison in the country, rose in August, 1863, and massacred all the Buddhist Chinese. Seven thousand men are computed to have fallen. A small band fled to the citadel, which they held for a short time; but at length, overwhelmed by numbers, they preferred death to dishonor, and destroyed themselves by exploding the fort with the magazine. The defection of the Tungani thus lost Kashgaria for the Chinese, as the other garrisons and towns promptly followed the example of Yarkand; but they could not keep it for themselves. The spectacle of this internal dissension proved irresistible for the adventurers of Khokand, and Buzurg, the last surviving son of Jehangir, resolved to make another bid for power and for the recovery of the position for which his father and kinsmen had striven in vain. The wish might possibly have been no more attained than theirs, had he not secured the support of the most capable soldier in Khokand, Mahomed Yakoob, the defender of Ak Musjid against the Russians. It was not until the early part of the year 1865 that this Khoja pretender, with his small body of Khokandian officers and a considerable number of Kirghiz allies, appeared upon the scene. Then, however, their success was rapid. The Tungan revolt in Altyshahr resolved itself into a movement for the restoration of the Khoja dynasty. In a short time Buzurg was established as ruler, while his energetic lieutenant was employed in the task of crushing the few remaining Chinese garrisons, and also in cowing his Tungan allies, who already regarded their new ruler with a doubtful eye. By the month of September in the same year that witnessed the passage of the invading force through the Terek defile, the triumph of the Khoja's arms was assured. A few weeks later Mahomed Yakoob deposed his master, and caused himself to be proclaimed ruler in his stead. The voice of the people ratified the success of the man; and in 1866 Mahomed Yakoob, or Yakoob Beg, received at the hands of the Ameer of Bokhara the proud title of Athalik Ghazi, by which he was long known. The Mohammedan rising spread still further within the limits of Chinese authority in Central Asia.

While the events which have been briefly sketched were happening in the region south of the great Tian Shan range, others of not less importance had taken place in Ili or Kuldja, which, under Chinese rule, had enjoyed uninterrupted peace for a century. It was this fact which marked the essential difference between the Tungan rebellion and all the disturbances that had preceded it. The revolution in the metropolitan province was complicated by the presence of different races, just as it had been in Kashgaria by the pretensions of the Khoja family. A large portion of the population consisted of those Tarantchis who were the descendants of the Kashgarians deported on more than one occasion by the Chinese from their own homes to the banks of the Ili; and they had inherited a legacy of ill- will against their rulers which only required the opportunity to display itself. The Tungan--or Dungan, as the Russians spell it--element was also very strong, and colonies of the Sobo and Solon tribes, who had been emancipated from their subjection to the Mongols by the Emperor Kanghi for their bravery, further added to the variety of the nationalities dwelling in this province. It had been said with some truth that the Chinese ruled in this quarter of their dominions on the old principle of commanding by the division of the subjected; and it had been predicted that they would fall whenever any two of the dependent populations combined against them. There is little difficulty in showing that the misfortunes of the Chinese were due to their own faults. They neglected the plainest military precautions, and the mandarins thought only of enriching themselves. But the principal cause of the destruction of their power was the cessation of the supplies which they used to receive from Pekin. The government of these dependencies was only possible by an annual gift from the imperial treasury. When the funds placed at the disposal of the Ili authorities were diverted to other uses, it was no longer possible to maintain the old efficiency of the service. Discontent was provided with a stronger argument at the same time that the executive found itself embarrassed in grappling with it.

The news of the Mohammedan outbreak in China warned the Tungani in Ili that their opportunity had come. But although there were disturbances as early as January, 1863, these were suppressed, and the vigilance of the authorities sufficed to keep things quiet for another year. Their subsequent incapacity, or hesitation to strike a prompt blow, enabled the Mohammedans to husband their resources and to complete their plans. A temporary alliance was concluded between the Tungani and the Tarantchis, and they hastened to attack the Chinese troops and officials. The year 1865 was marked by the progress of a sanguinary struggle, during which the Chinese lost their principal towns, and some of their garrisons were ruthlessly slaughtered after surrender. The usual scenes of civil war followed. When the Chinese were completely vanquished and their garrisons exterminated, the victors quarreled among themselves. The Tungani and the Tarantchis met in mortal encounter, and the former were vanquished and their chief slain. When they renewed the contest, some months later, they were, after another sanguinary struggle, again overthrown. The Tarantchis then ruled the state by themselves, but the example they set of native rule was, to say the least, not encouraging. One chief after another was deposed and murdered. The same year witnessed no fewer than five leaders in the supreme place of power; and when Abul Oghlan assumed the title of Sultan the cup of their iniquities was already full. In the year 1871 an end was at last put to these enormities by the occupation of the province by a Russian force, and the installation of a Russian governor. Although it is probable that they were only induced to take this step by the fear that if they did not do so Yakoob Beg would, the fact remains that the Russian government did a good thing in the cause of order by interfering for the restoration of tranquillity in the valley of the Ili.

The Mohammedan outbreaks in southwestern and northwestern China resulted, therefore, in the gradual suppression of the Panthay rebellion, which was completed in the twelfth year of Tungche's reign, while the Tungan rising, so far as the Central Asian territories were concerned, remained unquelled for a longer period. The latter led to the establishment of an independent Tungan confederacy beyond Kansuh, and also of the kingdom of Kashgaria ruled by Yakoob Beg. The revolt in Ili, after several alternations of fortune, resulted in the brief independence of the Tarantchis, who were in turn displaced by the Russians under a pledge of restoring the province to the Chinese whenever they should return. Judged by the extent of territory involved, the Mohammedan rebellion might be said to be not less important than the Taeping; but the comparison on that ground alone would be really delusive, as the numerical inferiority of the Mohammedans rendered it always a question only of time for the central power to be restored.

The young Emperor Tungche, therefore, grew up amid continual difficulties, although the successes of his principal lieutenants afforded good reason to believe that, so far as they arose from rebels, it was only a question of time before they would be finally removed. The foreign intercourse still gave cause for much anxiety, although there was no apprehension of war. It would have been unreasonable to suppose that the relations between the foreign merchants and residents and the Chinese could become, after the suspicion and dangers of generations, absolutely cordial. The commercial and missionary bodies, into which the foreign community was naturally divided, had objects of trade or religion to advance, which rendered them apt to take an unfavorable view of the progress made by the Chinese government in the paths of civilization, and to be ever skeptical even of its good faith. The main object with the foreign diplomatic representatives became not more to obtain justice for their countrymen than to restrain their eagerness, and to confine their pretensions to the rights conceded by the treaties. A clear distinction had to be drawn between undue coercion of the Chinese government on the one hand, and the effectual compulsion of the people to evince respect toward foreigners and to comply with the obligations of the treaty on the other. Instances repeatedly occurred in reference to the latter matter, when it would have been foolish to have shown weakness, especially as there was not the least room to suppose that the government possessed at that time the power and the capacity to secure reparation for, or to prevent the repetition of, attacks on foreigners. Under this category came the riot at Yangchow in the year 1868, when some missionaries had their houses burned down, and were otherwise maltreated. A similar outrage was perpetrated in Formosa; but the fullest redress was always tendered as soon as the executive realized that the European representatives attached importance to the occurrence. The recurrence of these local dangers and disputes served to bring more clearly than ever before the minds of the Chinese ministers the advisability of taking some step on their own part toward an understanding with European governments and peoples. The proposal to depute a Chinese embassador to the West could hardly be said to be new, seeing that it had been projected after the Treaty of Nankin, and that the minister Keying had manifested some desire to be the first mandarin to serve in that novel capacity. But when the Tsungli Yamen took up the question it was decided that in this as in other matters it would be expedient to avail themselves in the first place of foreign mediation. The favorable opportunity of doing so presented itself when Mr. Burlinghame retired from his post as minister of the United States at Pekin. In the winter of 1867-68 Mr. Burlinghame accepted an appointment as accredited representative of the Chinese government to eleven of the principal countries of the world, and two Chinese mandarins and a certain number of Chinese students were appointed to accompany him on his tour. The Chinese themselves did not attach as much importance as they might have done to his efforts, and Mr. Burlinghame's mission will be remembered more as an educational process for foreigners than as signifying any decided change in Chinese policy. His death at St. Petersburg, in March, 1870, put a sudden and unexpected close to his tour, but it cannot be said that he could have done more


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