Climate.—In a country of such vast area, extending from 18° to 40° N. lat., the climate must vary greatly, and ac cordingly we meet the most violent ex tremes. The heat of summer is greater than that at Cairo, and the cold of winter more severe than that of Sweden.
Productions.—Most famous among the minerals of China is jade, or yu-stone, obtained chiefly in Yun-nan. Coal, lime, and porcelain clays are abundant. Pre cious stones are said to be met with in some districts. In Yun-nan gold is washed from the sands of the rivers, and in the same province silver mines are worked; here, too, is obtained the cele brated pe-tung, or white copper. All the commoner metals are likewise found in China. Near the city of Ning-po are extensive stone-quarries. The tea-plant (Thea viridis and Thea bohea) is the most important vegetable production of China. The tallow-tree (Stillingia sebif era), the Drijandra cordata, or vanish tree, the camphor-tree (Laxtrus Cam phora), the China pine (Pious Sinensis), the China banyan (Ficus ?iitida), the funeral cypress, and the mulberry are among the most important trees of China. The cocoanut and other palms flourish on the S. coast. Of the bamboo there are 63 principal varieties; and it is said that the bamboos of China are more valuable than her mines and, next to rice and silk, yield the greatest rev enue. The various uses to which they are applied is truly astonishing. The fruits of both the tropical and temperate zones, apples, grapes, pomegranates, mangoes, pineapples, three species of orange, the lichi, etc., are found in the country; and camellias, azaleas, and gar denias are natives of the "Flowery Land." Finances and Commerce.—The total imports of China in 1918 amounted to 145,658,383, and the exports £127,554, 295. Japan ranks first in foreign trade, having over 50 per cent.; the British Empire has over 23 per cent., and the United States about 4.5 per cent. The chief articles of import are cotton goods, metals, rice, cigarettes, coal, and fish. The chief articles of export are silk, raw and manufactured; raw cotton; bean cake; bean oil; hides; tea; and tin. In addition to her overseas trade, China has an extensive coast and river trade, in which under special regulations, vessels under foreign flags are allowed to par ticipate. In 1918 1,601 vessels were reg
istered, of which 354 were foreign and 1,247 Chinese.
The present foreign debt of China is largely a matter of conjecture, as many secret loans have been negotiated by more or less responsible administrations. The Tuan-Chi-Jiu administration has been the greatest offender in this respect, as it borrowed recklessly from Japanese sources in order to repress the southern rebellion. As far as is known, the for eign debt secured by government revenue outstanding on Dec. 1, 1916, amounted to about $60,000,000. The revenue for 1916 was $472,838,584, and the expend itures were the same.
Manufactnres.—The manufactures of the Chinese are silk, cotton, linen, and pottery, for which latter they are espe cially celebrated. The finest porcelain is made in the province of Kiang-si. The Chinese invented printing in the begin ning of the 10th century, and in 932 A. D. a printed imperial edition of the sacred books was published. The skill of the Chinese in handicraft is astonishing. Of the grand modern discoveries in the physical sciences the Chinese are pro foundly ignorant, and the study of na ture is altogether neglected.
Railways.—In 1919 more than 6,000 miles of railway had been completed and opened to traffic in China. These fig ures include the province of Manchuria. 2,273 miles were under construction in 1917-1918. Much greater mileage :iad been planned, but the construction was held tip during the World War and has been hindered since then by the civil war that has spread over half the area of the Republic. The railroads now in operation have already had a marked effect upon mining and industrial de velopment, and with the enormous popu lation and resources of the country are assured of becoming profitable enter prises. What is needed is foreign cap ital, and this was arranged for at Paris on May 12, 1919, in a conference by American, French, British, and Japanese bankers. These banking groups have combined for the making of loans to China, the payment of the interest and capital of which shall be a first lien upon the resources of the nation.