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369

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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RUSSIA IN THE EAST
369
bidden in the Ussuri and Amiir countries. Indeed,
they may not even be employed in the construction
of the Amiir line, a prohibition which in the opinion
of many appeared to involve insuperable difficulties. The
originator of this anti-Chinese policy is the present
Governor-General of the eastern provinces, Nikolai
Lvovich Gondatti, who enforces it with great rigour.
I have already described how Chinese, whose papers
are not in order, are summarily arrested and sent back
to China.
It will be understood that important arguments
may be urged in favour of this policy. But on the
other hand there are many Russians, and eminent
men among them, who look upon the question in an
entirely different light ; and I received the impression
that there was also a strong feeling in the opposite
direction among a large part of the Russian population
of these districts. One heard it said : " What is the
object of this ? Wc cannot get on without the Chinese.
Sufficient Russian labour cannot be provided, and if
the Chinese are driven out, the conditions of life will
become impossible and necessaries will be so dear that
wc shall not be able to live here." A man told me,
by way of example, that he had a Chinese cook, against
the law ; when people came he had to hide him ; but
if he were obliged to part with him, he would not be
able to get any other. And so it was with everything.
If it were the Japanese, one was told, then it would
be right enough ; they are not indispensable, and
there are more and more of them ; but against them
the authorities can do nothing.
A Russian author writes of this same " yellow "
question : " Look at the life of a townsman. A man in
Khabarovsk, for instance, lives in a house built by
Chinese labour of Manchurian timber ; the stove is

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