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By their occupation of Tiensin, the Manchurian troops under the rebellious Chang have won a decided advantage in the first phase of their struggle with the Peking government. This development was foreshadowed last week when the national troops acceded to the ultimatum of the foreign powers and lifted their defensive blockade on the river Chang was thus enabled to resume his advance and his adversaries were forced to withdraw before his superior forces.
Since the fall of Tiensin was largely due to this ultimatum, the interference of the powers with the internal affairs of China is significant. For although the desultory civil was which has broken out with the Spring weather seems to be merely the rivalry of ambitious generals for control of the government, the hegemony of the Far East hinges on its result. It is no secret that the present government is being subsidized by Moscow in order to cloak communistic propaganda directed at the foreign powers who have a foothold there. In an effort to counteract the Soviet influence, Japan stirred up the Manchurian revolt.
Russia is still anxious to secure ascendancy in Manchuria so that she may develop her ports in the northern Pacific, and this action has undoubtedly re-awakened her former animosity. Prospects of a Russo-China alliance with a war of revenge against Japan have once more become threatening. And the European powers, by indirectly aiding Chang in the Tiensin crisis, have shown that they are ready to enter a defensive alliance with Japan in order to preserve their Chinese commercial interests.
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