Under the secret agreement of September 24, 1918, China is required to build four railroads in Manchuria and Mongolia and to employ Japanese capital in their construction. This new Japanese demand, together with those referred to in the foregoing paragraph, represents the fixed Japanese policy towards China that by indirect means seeks to destroy every vestige of Chinese sovereignty in the provinces named, and under the cloak of a pretended “friendly co-operation” in economic and financial matters, in reality provides the Japanese with the right to exploit China to the utmost limit of her capacity to endure. By these means South Manchuria, Eastern Inner Mongolia and Shantung had completely fallen under the yoke of Japan. And thus matters stood when, in the course of the year 1918, it became apparent that the Russian State was in process of disorganization and could no longer hope to oppose itself with vigour, as formerly, to the expansion politics of its Japanese neighbour in the Far East. And accordingly, at this juncture, the Nipponese stepped over into North Manchuria and into Outer Mongolia, hitherto the particular spheres of influence that belonged to Russia. Under the pretext that the Bolshevist peril was a menace to Japanese interests in Korea and adjoining regions, Japan sent troops of occupation to the aforementioned former Russian spheres of influence, and in a very short time extended her economic and financial interests over them. Nor was this the crowning limit to her imperialistic designs. There remained for consummation the spread of Japanese influence in the great region of the Amur River, the seizure of Vladivostok and the entire Maritime Province of Russia, and the penetration of all Russian Siberia east of Lake Baikal. All of these fell into the capacious maw of Japan prior to the coming of summer in 1920. And to this end nothing could have served Japan’s purposes better than the complete fiasco in which ended the expedition of the five Great Powers in Siberia, a project that had been
cleverly promoted by Japan, knowing that it was doomed to failure from the very outset, but realizing that no better lesson could be given the Powers than this one that they must leave it to Japan alone to put a check on Bolshevist influences in the Far East. The five Powers came, saw and were conquered. When the last American soldier had been put aboard ship bound for home, the Japanese, who alone remained behind, were given the order to advance, and almost in a twinkling, what the five Great Powers had been unable to accomplish in combination, Japan accomplished single-handed, and to-day her influence is paramount in North Manchuria, in Outer Mongolia, in the Amur region, in the Maritime province, and in all Siberia east of Lake Baikal.