- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
374

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - XVI. Russia in the east. The yellow question

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THROUGH SIBERIA
374
It was pointed out that the line which had been built
at such expense through Southern Manchuria is now
in the hands of the enemy, and will become a weapon
against Russia ; the same thing might befall the line
that is being constructed through the Amiir district,
it was thought. It was stated that if China goes on as
she has begun, she will in a few years possess an army
trained on European lines of 4,000,000 men; and even
with a smaller army of this kind, if China were to
operate in conjunction with Japan, what would Russia
be able to put into the field against them ? It was
thought, no doubt, that the hope of being able to hold
the eastern provinces against such a Power was a small
one ; and if they were lost, all the labour and sacrifices
that have been sunk in their development would fall
into the hands of the enemy, in the same way as with
the southern Manchurian railway. Even if this be an
exaggeratedly pessimistic view of the future, the dangers
here pointed out are nevertheless of such a kind that
no one can be blind to them. If Russia finds herself
opposed by a Japan and a modern China at the same
time, the situation may be very serious, even if she has
no difficulties in another quarter. But if we may
imagine the possibility of a great part of the Russian
forces being tied in Europe, it will be a good deal worse ;
and perhaps it is not altogether unlikely that, if the
Eastern Powers are deliberately preparing for a serious
trial of strength with the Europeans, they will take
advantage of an opportunity of this kind.

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