Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


China, a vast empire in Eastern Asia, consisting of China Proper, Manchuria, Mongolia, and Eastern Turkistan, with the dependency of Tibet.

Geoqraphy. China Proper is situated between lat. 42° and 20° N.. and long. 122° and 98° E., and covers an area of about 1,348,870 square miles. It is thus about eighteen times as large as Great Britain. It measures 1,474 miles from north to south and 1,355 miles from east to west. For administrative purposes it is divided into eighteen provinces, eight of which are on the north of the Yangtsze Kiang, and eight on the south; the remaining two, Ganhwuy and Kiangsu, being crossed by its stream. This great river, which rises in the same highlands which give birth to the Brahmapootra, Mekong, and Salwen, thus divides China into two nearly equal parts; and it further forms the boundary between the mountainous and hilly southern portion of the empire and the great plains and uplands of the north. Southward from its bank the country presents a succession of hills and mountain ranges which are broken only by the narrow valleys along which run the roads, or native bridle paths which serve the purposes of land communication throughout the southern provinces. So narrow are these paths that, with the exception of a portion of Yunnan, nothing on wheels can traverse them; the only means of land conveyance being horseback and sedan chairs. On the north, on the contrary, we find a huge delta plain stretching from the Yangtsze to the neighbourhood of Peking, a distance of 700 miles from north to south, and from 150 to 400 miles from east to west. To the westward of this plain, and separated from it by the Peiling Mountains, lie the uplands of Szech'uen, while to the north of that range there stretches away, as far as the Great Wall, a comparatively open country extending over the provinces of Kansuh, Shensi, and Shansi.

The most noteworthy feature of China north of the Yangtsze is the vast deposit of loess which covers an area of 250,000 square miles, comprising parts of the provinces of Chihli, Shansi, Shensi, Kansuh, and Honan. This strange deposit, about the origin of which geologists are much divided, covers the ground to the depth, in some places, of 1,000 feet, and gives a uniform yellow tinge to the whole landscape. In substance it is a light, friable soil, and when watered by seasonable rain it is eminently fertile. Its porous structure, however, renders it extremely liable to drought when the rain fails. At such seasons the area it covers, which, from its general productiveness, has earned for itself the title of the Garden of China, becomes a dusty, barren tract. The seed, exposed to the sun by the action of the wind on the light surface soil, perishes in the ground, and the farmers are helpless spectators of the ruin of their crops. One remarkable characteristic of the loess is that it cleaves vertically, and as its porous nature prevents it affording a resting-place to streams and rivers, all waters intersecting it have to cut their way through to the firm bed beneath. The result is that the surface of the country is waterless, while the streams and rivers, which in many cases are as much as 1,000 feet below the level of the land, are bordered by perpandicular cliffs.

The one exception to this rule of the streams is the Yellow river, which takes its name from the yellow colour which the loess, brought down in its current, gives to its waters. Being a sluggish stream this river is not swift enough to rid itself of the deposit of loess which it gathers in its course, and the result is that a constant process of silting-up has been going on for many centuries. To counteract this evil the Chinese, instead of dredging the bed, have done exactly as the Italians have done in similar circumstances with the river Po. They have embanked its borders, and as the silting-up has continued, have laid layer upon layer on the embankments until at the present time the bed of the river is for a considerable part of its course above the level of the surrounding country. The danger of this condition of things is obvious, and is frequently emphasised by the recurrence of disastrous floods which lay waste the whole of the neighbouring country. An attendant evil resulting from this state of things is that this huge river is for navigable purposes practically valueless. Only light native craft can navigate its waters. The Great Canal also, the work of Kublai Khan, which connects Hangchon Fee in the province of Chekiang with Tientsin in the neighbourhood of Peking, is through portions of its course, partly from the same cause and partly from neglect, in the same useless condition. Neither of these waterways can compare for an instant in importance with the Yangtsze Kiang, which runs a course across China of 2.900 miles, and is navigable by steamers as far up as Ichang, a distance of 963 miles from the mouth. Above this point the stream is disturbed by a succession of rapids formed by the debris of the cliffs which line its course through the mountainous region which separates western China from the Eastern provinces. At certain seasons of the year it is possible that steamers might be able to ascend this broken water, and by the Chefoo convention the right of running steamers as far up as Chungking in Szech'uen was conceded by the Chinese. By a later agreement, however, Sir John Walsham, the British minister at Peking, resigned this privilege. The southern portion of the empire is abundantly watered, the largest river being the Sikiang, or West river, which, rising in Yunnan, runs through the provinces of Kwangsi and Kwangtung, and empties itself into the China Sea in the neighbourhood of Macao. This river is navigable for vessels not drawing more than 15 feet as far up as Shaoking, a distance from its mouth of 130 miles.

Climate. In such a huge empire as China it is impossible to generalise as to the climate. This will be sufficiently plain when we state that while during the winter -months the northern provinces are fast icebound, the ice even extending some distance into the Gulf of Pechili, the thermometer at Canton has never been known by Europeans to fall below 29°, the average temperature in January and February, the coldest months, being from 50° to 60°. It is noticeable, however, that the temperature of the whole empire is lower than that of any country in the same latitude, and judging from the physique of the people and the teeming population, it may be assumed that the climatic conditions are generally favourable. This, also, is in face of the very insanitary conditions in which the people live, and which give rise at times to most destructive epidemics. Of these, cholera is the most common, and at times this terrible scourge more than decimates the populations on the scenes of its ravages. Smallpox is endemic in China, and is as universal among children as measles is among ourselves. In a large proportion of cases the disease proves fatal, but since almost every child suffers from it, it is practically unknown among adults. Fevers, of course, are common; and in the south-western province of Yunnan a strange disease, resembling in some respects the Plague, occasionally desolates whole districts. From the accounts furnished by the Roman Catholic missionaries it seems that the first warning of the approach of the epidemic is a mortality among the rats, which forsake their holes and fall dead on the surface of the ground. Larger animals are next seized, and finally the disease attacks human beings. The symptoms are high fever and the appearance of swellings in the armpits and at the back of the neck. As a rule, death occurs in a few hours after seizure.

The Flora of China is as wide in its range as the climate is various. At Hongkong, an island which is peculiarly rich in botanical specimens, the flora presents the features of that of tropical Asia, while in the central and northern provinces we recognise the characteristics of the flora of the Himalayan region. Among the most notable trees of China are the bamboo, which grows in all but the most northern provinces of the empire; numerous conifers, palms, the willow (the graceful growth of which causes it to be used as a favourite simile by poets for all that is elegant and pliant in form), the oak, chestnut, walnut, and the eleococca cordata, which flourishes in Western China, and which is particularly admired for the beauty of its growth and the hardness of its timber. It is from this wood that the pillars are made which are used to support the roofs of the palace buildings, as well as of all the principal yamens and temples throughout the empire. Of the flowers, the camellia japonica is most highly prized by the Chinese. The ranunculaceae stand next in rank, and include eight species of flowering magnolias, the tree peony, or "King of Flowers," as the Chinese call it, various species of clematis, and the lotus. Among the flowers must also be included the poppy, which, while it is admired for its beauty, has a bad reputation as the producer of opium; and the various kinds of azaleas, wild roses, and honeysuckles, which clothe with much beauty the hills in Central China. Of the grains of China, rice is the most important, and is grown in most of the southern and central provinces of the empire, while in the north, wheat, oats, millet, and maize form the staple crops.

Of wild animals, tigers, wolves, foxes, monkeys, wild cats, and various kinds of deer, including the musk deer, are the most conspicuous, while the horse, water buffalo, oxen, and dog are domesticated for the service of man.

Among the products of China tea still holds the first rank, although as will be seen presently, so far as the English market is concerned, the amount exported is falling off, and the value represented by it has considerably decreased. Roughly speaking, Chinese tea is to be divided into two kinds, black and green. The best black teas are grown in the provinces of Fuhkien, Hupeh, and Hunan, and the best green teas in the provinces of Chekiang and Ganhwuy to the south of the Yangtsze Kiang and west of Ningpo. Besides the better kinds, rough sorts of both black and green teas are grown in the provinces of Kwangtung and Szech'uen. Silk is produced wherever the mulberry tree is grown, or, in other words, in every province of China. The finest kinds are produced in Chekiang, and are known in commerce as tsatli, taysaam, and yuenhwa; next in quality stand those which come from Kwangtung, Szech'uen, and Kiangsu, while coarser kinds come from Shantung and the other provinces. The sugar cane is largely cultivated in Kwangtung, Fuhkien, and the island of Formosa, and cotton is grown in most of the central provinces - notably Kiangnan, Honan, Hunan, and Hupeh. Camphor is an important article of export from the island of Formosa, where the growth has until lately been a monopoly. Since this has ceased, the farmers on the mainland are beginning to plant the trees, and no doubt camphor will shortly become one of the principal products of Fuhkien. In Kwangsi the cassia tree is commonly grown, and considerable supplies of rhubarb are produced in Shensi and Szech'uen. Of the manufactured products, porcelain is the most valuable, and the principal seat of the industry is at Kingtihchen in Kiangsi, but this is not by any means the only place where porcelain is made. It is manufactured in thirteen out of the eighteen provinces. In Honan there are as many as thirteen places where it is produced; in both Chekiang and Kiangsi there are eight; and there are five each in Chihli, Kiangnan, and Shansi. Naturally the principal places are in the neighbourhoods where the chief materials used in the manufactures are found, viz. pih-tun-sze, which is a mixture of felspar and quartz, and kaolin, which is a hydrated silicate of alumina. Lacquer ware and cloisonne wares or enamels are also among the chief artificial products of the empire.

There is probably no country in the world which is so thoroughly cultivated as China. With the most untiring industry every piece of land which is capable of producing anything is carefully tilled, and is compelled to yield its quota towards supplying the wants of the people. With like industry trade is perseveringly fostered, and the results are visible in the garden-like appearance of the country and the crowded and bustling aspect of the cities. On all sides evidences of agricultural industry and commercial enterprise are observable, and it needs but the application of mechanical science to make China one of the richest and most prosperous empires under the sun. The wealth and magnificence, which so astonished Marco Polo when he visited the chief centres of trade, had grown up during many centuries, and have, since the days of the Venetian traveller, made steady and considerable advances. By the establishment of trade with Europe an immense impulse was given to the commerce of China, and at the present time the foreign trade of the country has exceeded the wildest dreams of the most sanguine pioneers of trade at Amoy and Canton. The Portuguese were the first Europeans who gained a footing in China. But their stay in the country was of short duration. And though both the Spanish and Dutch attempted to make settlements on the coast, it was not until the East India Company succeeded in the seventeenth century in opening a trade with Amoy that Europeans were again permitted to exchange commodities with the Chinese. Later on a factory was established at Canton, which until the treaty of 1842 was practically the only seat of English trade in China. By the treaty executed in that year the four additional ports of Amoy, Fuhchow, Ningpo, and Shanghai were opened to trade. By the treaty of Tientsin which was concluded after the war in 1858, Newchwang, Tientsin, Chefoo, and Swatow, with Chinkiang, Kiukiang, and Hankow in the Yangtsze Kiang, were added to the number of treaty ports. Yet again, Ichang, Wuhu, Pakhoi, Wenchow, and Chungking have, by later conventions, been thrown open to trade, so that at the present time we have seventeen commercial settlements on the mainland, besides Tamsui and Takou on the island of Formosa. The increase in the value of foreign trade effected by the multiplication of the treaty ports is very remarkable, and only shows what an enormous addition to the trade of the world might be brought about were the country thrown open to foreign commerce. In 1864 the total value of foreign trade, including both exports and imports, was 94,864,943 taels (a tael is worth about 5s. 4d.). In 1871 this sum had increased to 136,956,238 taels. In 1881 it amounted to 163,363,851 taels, and in 1890 to 214,237,961 taels. Of the trade represented by these figures the lion's share fell to Great Britain. In the years named the values of the direct trade with Great Britain amounted to 47,978,314 taels, 68,960,954 taels, 46,468,881 taels, and 37,703,273 taels. It will thus be observed that the direct trade with Great Britain has fallen off, but, on the other hand, the trade between China and Hongkong has largely increased. Not to go farther back than 1881, the value of the trade with Hongkong in that year was 48,851,313 taels as against 104,987,865 taels in 1890. This large increase is to be accounted for by the fact that Hongkong has become a depot, to which goods from the treaty ports are shipped, and from which they are distributed to their final destination. Unfortunately the Hongkong returns do not distinguish the trades with the different nationalities, and it is therefore impossible to say what share of the increase of the trade with Hongkong is to be credited to Great Britain, but there can be no doubt that the falling off in our direct trade is more than compensated for by the increase of our share in the Hongkong traffic. On the other hand, the trade between China and India shows a marked falling off, the value of the direct trade with that country being, in 1881, 27,312,293 taels, and in 1890 only 11,355,978 taels. This cannot be considered a satisfactory state of things. While the total volume of trade with China has enormously increased, our share in it has done little more than hold its own. On the other hand, the values of the trade with the other countries of Europe, including Russia, were 16,492,449 taels in 1881, and 23,028,074 taels in 1890, showing a growth of more than 25 per cent. No doubt the competition of the Indian and Ceylon teas has affected both the amount of tea exported to Great Britain and the price that it fetches. On the whole, however, the amount of tea exported from China has not very materially diminished, a fact which is to be accounted for by the increase in the use of China tea both in America and Russia. The export of silk in 1889 was the largest of any one year since the opening of the treaty ports. But here, again, a diminution appears in the amount imported into Great Britain, and an increase in that taken by other countries. No doubt, with an access of energy, our merchants would be able to keep pace with their continental competitors. But this they are not doing at present.

History. If we were to accept the views of the Chinese as to their own history, we should be obliged to believe that their progenitors were created on the soil of China. But we need not put the strain on our credulity. Recent research has shown abundantly that the Chinese came from the region on the south of the Caspian Sea, about the 22nd century before Christ. Within historic and even recent times we have had instances of the migration of whole tribes from one part of Asia to another, and there would be nothing more unusual in the migration of the Chinese from Susiana to China forty centuries ago than there was in the removal of the 600,000 Kalmucks, who, at the end of the last century, marched from Russia to the confines of China. It appears certain that the immigrants, on approaching China, struck the upper bend of the Yellow river, and, following its course southward, reached the loess country, of which mention has already been made, and which, after their wanderings through the deserts of Central Asia, appeared to their eyes as a land flowing with milk and honey. But like the Jews of old, they found the country already occupied, and, like the followers of Moses, they were obliged to drive out the inhabitants before them. This they did as much by measures of peace as by weapons of war. Those tribes who accepted their rule were allowed to possess their souls in comfort and to enjoy the privileges to be derived from the higher civilisation which belonged to the intruders. Tribes which were not so amenable were driven out, and wandered gradually southward as the Chinese advanced into the empire. Remnants of these fugitives are still found on the southern and south-western frontiers of China. At the time when Chinese history emerges from fable we find the people settled in the fertile districts of the modern provinces of Shansi and Honan. At this period, and for many centuries afterwards, the empire consisted of a collection of separate states, each of which was ruled over by a king, and over all of which dominated a ruler who was elected from among the kings. During the early state of the settlement in China their system of government appears to have answered well, but by degrees the inevitable jealousies which grew up between the kings led to constant wars and rumours of wars. Such was the state of things in the 6th century B.C., when Confucius attempted to lead the people back to the pristine simplicity of their government and administration. But his admonitions proved fruitless to check the anarchy of the time, and for the next three hundred years the country was given up to constant internecine struggles. At the end of that time (246 B.C.) a sovereign arose who has left his mark on China through all succeeding ages. Chi Hwangti, seeing the necessity of centralising the supreme control, and having the power to do it, abolished the feudal system, which had up to that time existed, and established an empire. To counteract the influence of the writers of antiquity who supported the system he had abolished, he decreed that all books with the exception or those on medicine, agriculture, and divination, should be burned. Fortunately, though he was powerful enough to issue this command, he was not able to have it carried out in its entirety, and, in spite of his ukase, copies of all the works regarded as classics were preserved by the people from this auto-da-fe. In opposition to this infamous act of destruction, he executed a constructive work, which is one of the seven wonders of the world, and which will for ever make his name notorious. In order to oppose the inroads into the empire of the Hiungnu Tartars he determined to build the Great Wall along his northern frontier, which still stands as a memento bt the first Emperor of China. On the death of Chi Hwangti attempts were made to restore the feudal system, but a successor to the late Emperor arose in Kaoti, who (206 B.C.) founded the dynasty which is known as the earlier Han. With the establishment of peace efforts were made to nullify the effect of Chi Hwangti's destruction of the books. Scribes were employed to multiply copies of the existing texts, and a great revival of learning succeeded the artificial darkness imposed on the people by the former ruler. From that time onwards the course of the empire has followed the lines then laid down, and though dynasty has succeeded dynasty, though revolutions have disturbed the country, and though successful invasions have placed the heels of conquerors on the necks of the people, the nation has remained true to its traditions, and has accepted the political changes which have overtaken it only on condition that the new sovereign should rule in conformity with the teachings and doctrines of those whom they have been taught to regard as sages. The principal recognised dynasties which have ruled the land since Chi Hwangti areas follows: - The earlier Han dynasty (B.C. 206-25 A.D.); the late Han (25-220); the Wai (220-280); the Western Tsin (265-317); the Eastern Tsin (317-420); the Sung (420-479); the Ts'i (479-502); the Liang (502-557); the Ch'in (557-589); the Sui (589-618); the T'ang (618-907); the later Liang (907-923); the late T'ang (923-936); the late Tsin (936-947); the later Han (947-951); the later Chow (951-960); the Sung (960-1127); the Southern Sung (1127-1280); the Yuen (1280-1368); the Ming (1368-1644); the Ts'ing (1644, still ruling. During the political confusion which preceded the fall of the Ming dynasty the Manchus were invited to restore order. This they readily undertook to do, but when they had accomplished their mission they refused to retire across the frontier. In accordance with this decision they put their own sovereign on the throne, who ruled as Shunti, the first Emperor of the Ts'ing dynasty. Three of the first emperors of this line, Shunti, K'anghi, and K'ienlung, were all men of great ability, and succeeded in firmly establishing their rule over the people. During this century several wars and rebellions have threatened the overthrow of the Manchus, but at the present time, in spite of secret societies and the universal corruption which exists in official circles, there appears to be every prospect of their being able to keep the throne. In 1895 China engaged in a war with Japan, which resulted in her complete defeat, the cession of the Liao-Tung peninsula, payment of an indemnity, and the declaration of independence of Korea.

The Chinese describe themselves as being followers of three religions or sects: viz. Confucianism, or the religion of scholars, Buddhism, and Taoism. Of these three, Confucianism unquestionably holds the first place. Properly speaking it is not a religion, but a system of morality. As preached by Confucius it simply dealt with the relations existing between man and man, and made no mention whatever of a deity. Virtue was to be followed for virtue's sake as well as for the temporal advantages which that pursuit is certain to entail No future rewards were offered to tempt men to act righteously nor was the fear of future punishment held out to keep men in the paths of well-doing. The nature implanted by heaven in the breast of every man was, he taught, perfectly good, and he held that by keeping this uncontaminated from evil and by following its dictates men might be enabled to reach perfection, and to become "the equal of heaven." A careful observance of the rules of propriety and of general conduct was, he considered, the right way of leading men to this much-to-be-desired consumenation. Such were the leading doctrines of Confucius as taught by the sage. As time advanced they became overlaid with the subtleties of the schools, and by the superstitious beliefs which have corrupted the religion of Buddha and the philosophy of Laotsze, the founder of Taoism. It is uncertain when Buddhism was first introduced into China; but it appears probable that the first tidings of it reached that country from India during the reign of Mingti (A.D. 58-76). It was during that reign, we are told, that the first Indian missionary arrived at Loyang, which was then the capital of the empire. This pioneer was speedily followed by others, who brought to the knowledge of the Chinese the Mahayana system, which was the outcome of the change which the religion had undergone in India. Under this system Nirvana had, as a reward for virtue, been supplemented by "the pure land in the west," which was to be the blissful abode of all those who worshipped Buddha and worked righteousness. This more material conception of the faith recommended itself to the practically-minded Chinese, who have again supplemented it by the invention of a Pantheon of deities. Like Buddhism, Taoism in the shape of Buddhism had its origin in India. Like Brahma, the Tao, which Laotsze preached, was the mother of all things. All things originated from it, conformed to it, and to it at last returned. The object of this system was to enable men by self-emptiness and giving free scope to the uncontaminated nature implanted in them, to attain to absorption in Tao. Such subtleties were unsuited to the Chinese, who speedily reduced them to a system of magic, and sought in elixirs and charms to secure to themselves a prolonged existence among the pleasures of sense, which they professed to believe represented the summum bonum offered to their view by Laotsze. Like Buddhism, also, Taoism in its later development degenerated into a system of idolatry. Thus these two foreign faiths supply the supernatural element which is wanting in pure Confucianism, and form with it a complex system which is practically the religion of the people at large, few of whom can be said to follow distinctively any one of the three creeds.

The government of China may be called a patriarchal despotism. The Emperor is the father of the people, who are bound to offer him implicit obedience so long as his rule is just and beneficent. A departure on his part from the paths of justice justifies the people in rebelling against him. In the administration of the empire the Emperor is assisted by a privy council, the Tsung li Yamen, or Foreign Office, and six Boards, namely, the Boards of War, of Punishment, of Works, of Office, of Rites, and of Revenue. To these Boards is entrusted the control of the provinces into which the empire is divided. Fifteen of the eighteen provinces are grouped into eight viceroyalties, while the remaining three are administered by governors. Each viceroy or governor is practically his own law-maker within the limits of the statutes of the empire, and he is practically independent, so long as he conforms to these. He raises his own army and navy, levies his own taxes, and, with some exceptions, is the final court of appeal in judicial matters. Each of the fifteen provinces above mentioned is ruled by a governor in subordination to the viceroy, and is subdivided into districts which are administered by Taotais or Intendants of Circuits, Prefects, Sub-Prefects, District Magistrates, and a vast number of petty officials.

The civilised inhabitants of China, as distinguished from the surrounding Miao-tse wild tribes, are now supposed to be comparatively recent intruders in the Hoang-ho and Yang-tsze basins, where the primitive Bak tribes arrived from the west or north-west, probably not more than 5,000 years ago. Before the immigration they appear to have been long in contact with the civilised Accado-Semitic populations of Mesopotamia, Hence they reached China already a somewhat cultured people with a knowledge of letters, astronomy, and various arts. The Baks, like the Accads themselves, were doubtless of Mongolic stock, and in their new homes they intermingled with the aborigines, who were chiefly Shans, also of Mongolic stock. Hence the essentially Mongolic and somewhat homogeneous character of the present Chinese populations, whose nationality can always be detected at the first glance; hence, also, the stagnant nature of their civilisation, for the Mongol, as compared with the European, is distinctly unprogressive. In the early period of their history they developed the arts and sciences which they had brought with them to a limited extent; but since then they have mostly remained at a standstill, and even now find the greatest difficulty in assimilating Western ideas. Their astronomy is still almost in the astrological state; their religion is a system of cold moral precepts, combined with ancestry and spirit (demon) worship; their medical art is a hopeless mixture of superstitious practices, nostrums, and a little common sense. Physically the Chinese are below the middle height, averaging about 5 feet 4 or 5 inches, with somewhat coarse thick-set frames, prominent cheek bones, oblique eyes, small nose, broad flat features, yellowish complexion, long lank black hair, sparse or no beard, inanimate expression, with great staying power and capacity for enduring fatigue and hardships on poor fare; they are naturally frugal, thrifty, and parsimonious, though given to reckless gambling, excessively courteous among themselves, but rude and aggressive towards strangers, with a deeply-rooted feeling of contempt and even hatred of foreigners and all their ways. A characteristic trait is their excessive gregariousness, shown in the tendency to crowd together in large villages and cities, so that small hamlets and scattered farmsteads are scarcely anywhere seen in China. In San Francisco 10,000 Chinese are packed together in a space where 1,000 whites would be asphyxiated. This again leads to other evils, and especially to a low state of morals, which is perhaps the chief objection to the free admittance of Chinese immigrants in European colonies. Emigration has hitherto been directed mainly to the Eastern Archipelago, Indo-China, and the Malay Peninsula, where the Chinese labourers compete successfully with the indolent native populations. The national name is Chung-kue-jin, "people of the middle kingdom," where Jin (people, men) appears to belong to the same root as Chin, China, already occurring in Sanscrit writings, and known to the ancients in the form of Sinae through the old Persian Sin. Exaggerated statements have long been current regarding the population of China, which has been estimated as high as 500 or even 600 millions. No real census has ever been taken, but estimates have been made, based on official data, showing 414 millions for 1842, 420 millions for 1852, and 386 millions for 1890. Kreitner, who studied the question on the spot, regarded these figures as much too high, and reduced theen to about 150,000,000. Other unofficial calculations give 350 and 280 millions, and an impression now prevails that the population of China is about the same as that of British India in its widest sense, say 270,000,000. For the uncivilised non-Chinese populations see Miai-Tse.