- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
367

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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RUSSIA IN THE EAST
367
Russian population, or the number of yellow men had
become about a quarter of that of the Russians. If
we consider that the Russian figures include women,
children and old men, the position is even less favour
able. The immigrant Chinese and Koreans are for the
most part labourers in the prime of life, and among the
120,000 we can only include 10,000 women, old men
and children. This gives an able-bodied army of 110,000,
while that of the Russians cannot be put at much more
than 130,000 on the figures quoted. This means that
there is almost one yellow labourer to every able-bodied
Russian.
In Transbaikalia, which lies nearer to the Siberian
railway and to Russia, the proportion of yellow men
to Russians was perhaps even more unfavourable.
But at the beginning of 1909 the influx of Chinese
and Koreans in search of work increased still more,
and reached a height formerly unknown. As far as the
railway statistics afford information, there must have
been at least three times as many yellow immigrants
to the Ussuri and Amiir country and to Transbaikalia
as in the previous year. Indeed, at the station of
Manchuria, on the frontier of Manchuria and Trans
baikalia, there were five times as many Chinese in
search of work as there had been the year before. No
wonder the situation was considered serious in Russia,
and that, as a Russian has expressed it, there was
reason to recall the words of Li Hung Chang in 1900,
when the Russians occupied Manchuria : " Russia will
come to regret håving approached so near to China
and håving interferred in Chinese internal affairs,
when she sees the Siberian territories becoming Chinese."
Whence comes this great influx of the yellow race ?
In the first place it is due to the simple reason that
there is a perceptible lack of labour in the East ; the

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