It Is A Subject To Which We Can No
Longer Remain Indifferent, Because Circumstances Are Bringing Every Day
More Clearly Into View The Important Part China Must Play In The Changes
That Have Become Imminent In Asia, And That Will Affect The Security Of
Our Position And Empire In That Continent.
A good understanding with China
should be the first article of our Eastern policy, for not only in Central
Asia, but also in Indo-China, where French ambition threatens to create a
fresh Egypt, her interests coincide with ours and furnish the sound basis
of a fruitful alliance.
This book, which I may be pardoned for saying is not an abridgment of my
original work, but entirely rewritten and rearranged with the view of
giving prominence to the modern history of the Chinese Empire, may appeal,
although they generally treat Asiatic subjects with regrettable
indifference, to that wider circle of English readers on whose opinion and
efforts the development of our political and commercial relations with the
greatest of Oriental States will mainly depend.
D. C. BOULGER, April 28, 1893.
THE EARLY AGES
The Chinese are unquestionably the oldest nation in the world, and their
history goes back to a period to which no prudent historian will attempt
to give a precise date. They speak the language and observe the same
social and political customs that they did several thousand years before
the Christian era, and they are the only living representatives to-day of
a people and government which were contemporary with the Egyptians, the
Assyrians, and the Jews.
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