China By Demetrius Charles Boulger































































 -  The enormous traffic carried on throughout
the Celestial Empire in the face of appalling difficulties, on men's
backs, or by - Page 680
China By Demetrius Charles Boulger - Page 680 of 704 - First - Home

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The Enormous Traffic Carried On Throughout The Celestial Empire In The Face Of Appalling Difficulties, On Men's Backs, Or By Caravans Of Mules Or Ponies, Or By The Rudest Of Carts And Wheelbarrows, Must Be, Some Day, Undertaken By Railways.

In the judgment of careful observers, too much stress should not be laid on the introduction of the locomotive for strategic purposes.

The capital aim of railway construction should be, they think, the development of the interprovincial trade of China, the interchange of the varied products of a country which boasts so many climates and soils. This would bring prosperity to the people, render administrative reforms possible, and open China for the Chinese quite as much as for the European merchant or manufacturer. From the viewpoint of Chinese interests, the most useful lines would be two that should connect Pekin, Tientsin and all the northern part of the country with central and southern China. Trunk lines could be constructed for this purpose without any difficulty. They would pass along the old trade tracks, and would encounter populous cities the whole way. Through eastern Shansi and Honan, for example, to Hangchow on the Yangtse; thence to the Si Kiang and Canton; such lines would be shafts driven through the heart of the Middle Kingdom, connecting the North and the South. For the entire distance, some 1,300 or 1,400 miles, the extent, fertility and variety of the soil are described as remarkable. From the North, abounding in cotton and varieties of grain and pulse, to the South, where many vegetable products of the Orient are met, the redundancy of the population is a striking feature.

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