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April 1896

China and the Western World
by Lafcadio Hearn

The industrial competition of China would be incomparably more dangerous to Western civilization than that of any other nation … They are adepts at combination, excellent financiers, shrewd and daring speculators. Though not yet rivals of Europeans in … application of modern science to manufacture, they have given proof of ability to master that science …

Here, however, there come up some doubts … Will not the Chinaman of the year 2000 resemble in all things the familiar Chinaman of to-day? …

But modern China is not to be judged by her ancient literature, but by her present life. Men who know China also know that Chinese conservatism does not extend to those activities which belong to trade, to industry, to commerce or speculation. It is a conservatism in beliefs, ethics, and customs, and has nothing to do with business.

Vol. 77, No. 462, pp. 450–464

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