THE MANCHURIAN REGION 682. A region like parts of North America. —How wide is the Manchurian region? (Fig. 469.) How long? What countries own ter ritory in it? (Fig. 471.) If we could move it over to eastern North America, in the same latitude, where would its bounds be? In climate, this part of Asia is much like the part of North America bounded by the Great Northern Forests, the Atlantic Ocead, latitude 40°, and the Great Plains. The Manchurian Region is not quite so wide as this American region, but Hokushu and southern Sakhalin have the climate of Nova Scotia, and the plains of Manchuria have the climate of the northern part of the Corn and Small Grain Belt, and of our Northern Wheat Region. The harbor of Vladivostok is frozen in winter, but Dairen is open.
„ The islands of the Manchurian region and the parts near the ocean' are for the most part forest-covered mountains. Central Manchuria is a great treeless plain, like the upper Mississippi Valley and the valley of the Red River of the North. North of the Amur are more mountains and forests, much like the forests of Ontario.
683. A new frontier.— The Japanese, accustomed for centuries to the warm Rice Region, do not like cold climates. Therefore they only began to settle Hokushu, which means "northland," in the last twenty years of the nine teenth century. This was about the time the Cana dians began to settle Man itoba, and Americans were rushing into North Dakota.
Hokushu is, therefore, a real frontier, and quite unlike the Rice Region. Settlers are clearing the forests to make homes, and sawmills and paper - mills are using the timber.
To aid the settlers, Japan has established, in Hokushu, one of the finest agricultural experiment stations in the world. The farms here are four times as large as they are in the southern islands. This development is a part of the New Japan.
684. A region of riches.—The mainland of the Manchurian region is also a frontier and a land of great resources. Its coasts are rich in fish; its mountains are rich in forests. The Japanese are cutting much lumber along the Yalu River in northern Chosen (Korea). The sec tion near the coast and near the Amur has vast forests and very few peo ple indeed.
Great riches of coal, iron, gold, and other minerals seem to be there, and coal mining is increasing rap idly, since Japan has had control of South Man churia. Most of the wide plain of Manchuria has a climate that is good for beans and millet. It has cold winters, hot summers, and moderate summer rain in the south, like Iowa; in the north the climate is like that of North Dakota and Saskatchewan. (Sec. 93.) Corn grows well
in the south, and spring wheat in the north grows as it does in Minnesota and the Cana dian wheat provinces. As yet but little of the land is used. How long is the plain from the Gulf of Pechili to the Amur River? Trade is easy on this plain. Steamboats travel for hundreds of miles up the Amur and up its branch, the Sungari, even to Kirin in the midst of the wide plain, which is crossed by two railroads. There are large, rich coal fields in this plain.
685. Who owns Manchuria?—Manchuria is a great, rich, almost empty land, for which three peoples, the Chinese, Japanese, and Russians, have striven. China has long claimed Manchuria as one of her dependen cies, but most of the time she ruled it about as we rule the Indians of Alaska. While China has become populous, Manchuria has remained almost empty, because it was be yond the Great Wall and exposed to nomads and bandits from Mongolia. Robber bands made Manchuria an 'unsafe place for a farmer and his goods. When Russia, push ing her armies through Asia, reached Man churia, she obtained permission to build railroads through Manchuria and to police them. As policemen, she sent in armies and settlers. Then in 1904-1905 came the Russian war with Japan, in which Japan won. As a result, Japan now owns and polices the rail roadsof South Manchuria, and manages affairs there as though she owned the country. Most of the people are Chinese, but both Chinese and Japanese are going there, railroads are being built, and industry is thriving.
686. Future.—Will the rich resources of this promising land, which is larger than England, France, and Germany combined, be used? That depends upon government. If the people can have peace and good government, the land may become the home of as many people as are in Japan. It is the only large region of good, unused land in eastern Asia. Russia does not need this territory because she has the great and almost unused wheat region of central Siberia. Both China and Japan need the land as a place to which their people can emigrate. China's government is not well organized and she is not strong enough now to secure this land. Japan would like to have it and she may take it. She can keep order and she can use the land. She has shown this by the way the Japanese people are now settling the cold Japanese island of Hokushu, a land of forests, wheat, barley, oats, and potatoes. Since Japan took Russia's place in South Manchuria, the export to Europe and America of soy beans grown by the Chinese farmers has increased enormously.