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(en) THE CHINESE ANARCHIST MOVEMENT BY R. SCALAPINO AND G.T. YU 1961 - III. (3/4)

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Fri, 29 Oct 2004 09:35:28 +0200 (CEST)


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> Anarchist-Communist Themes
By 1913, a number of intellectual groups were cultivating Anarchist
theories and values, especially in south China. But the most active
movement, and the great bulk of publications during this period, came
from Shih Fu and his Hui-ming Hsueh-she. As its organ, the
Hui-ming-lu, "The Voice of the Cock Crowing in the Dark," began
publication on August 20, 1913.[106] It used the Esperanto name, La
Voco de La Popolo, and after the first few issues, changed its Chinese
title to Min Sheng, "The Voice of the People." In this journal and also in
separate pamphlets, were reprinted various original articles and
translations from Hsin Shih-chi. In this manner, Anarchist thought was
widely disseminated. The names of Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, and
Malatesta - and some of their theories - were now introduced into the
main stream of Chinese "progressivism." In mid-1914, a Society of
Anarchist-Communist Comrades was established in Canton.[107]
Anarchist associations were also formed in Nanking, Shanghai, and
several other centers. Communication was established with the
international anarchist movement; indeed, in August, 1914, Shih Fu
wrote a report to the International Anarchist Congress on the past history
and current condition of the Chinese Anarchist Movement.[108]
Exchanges were established with such foreign Anarchist Movements as
those in Japan and the United States.[109] To facilitate this international
exchange and to support universalism in all respects, the Esperanto
movement was strongly pushed, and Shih Fu actually became an officer
in the International Esperanto Association.


While the Anarchists may have benefitted occasionally from the
near-chaotic conditions in China, this was scarcely an era of political
freedom. Shih Fu and his comrades were kept almost constantly on the
move. When the southern armies were defeated and Lung Chi-kuang
entered Canton, the Hui-ming Hseh-she was closed. Shih Fu, whose
arrest had been ordered by Yuan Shih-k'ai, moved his operation to
Macao. Here the third and fourth issues of his journal were published, but
heavy pressures were put upon Portuguese officials, and once more Shih
Fu was forced to move. Shanghai, and especially the International
Settlement, provided the greatest safety for subversive movements during
this era. Min Sheng continued to be published there until its final demise,
with issue number twenty-nine, on November 28, 1916.[110]

The Hui-ming-lu opened with a declaration that it would be the voice of
the people, speaking as their organ.[111] Having set forth this ambitious
goal, Shih Fu proceeded to assert that the evil nature of social
organization was responsible for public misery, and that only by carrying
out a basic world revolution and destroying all present social authority,
would the people attain the true happiness of freedom. "Our principles are
communism, anti-militarism, Syndicalism, anti-religion, anti-family,
vegetarianism, an international language, and universal harmony. We
also support all the new scientific discoveries which advance man's
livelihood." [112] The Anarchist-Communist creed could not have been
put more succinctly. In the first major article, Shih Fu attempted a simple
explanation of Anarchism, drawing upon Hsin Shih-chi and such
Western sources as Kropotkin.[113] By the abolition of government and
the institution of communism, classes will be equalized and the struggle
for money will cease. Then life will be free, and the society of contention
will become one of mutual love. If we could eliminate the struggle over
property and over lust by wiping out the institutions of private property
and marriage, argued Shih Fu, 80-90% of all killings could be eliminated.
Evil and immorality were due to society not to man. Only through
Anarchist-Communism, asserted Shih Fu, could the fruits of science be
properly utilized for the benefit of all. If education could be available to
everyone without patriotic and militaristic indoctrination, then every man
could have a knowledge of science and it would no longer be a monopoly
of the few, to be used for capitalistic material gain.[114]

Another significant article seeking to define Anarchist-Communism was
written by Shih Fu in April, 1914.[115] Since both the terms "Anarchism"
and "communism" were new to the Chinese language, many
misunderstandings had resulted, he stated. Anarchism advocated the
complete freedom of people, unrestrained by any controls, with all leaders
and organs of power eliminated. "The great teacher of Anarchism,
Kropotkin had put it simply: 'Anarchism means no authority.' " And, said
Shih Fu, the most dangerous authority in modern society was capitalism,
hence Anarchists must also be Socialists. "Socialism advocates that the
means of production and its products must belong to society. " Two
major Socialist factions existed, according to Shih Fu, communism and
collectivism. Communism advocated the common ownership of
production and products? with each working according to his ability and
taking according to his needs. Collectivism advocated the public or state
ownership of production, but private ownership of the basic essentials of
livelihood [like the word "communism", the word "collectivism" also has
a different literal meaning in Chinese than when it is commonly used in
English: In Chinese, the word for a "collective enterprise" (Ji-ti Qi-ye)
literally means an assembly of people in a bureaucracy (a "tree of people")
- very different from our understanding of Michael Bakunin's
Collectivism or a workers collective - more like Bolshevism or Fabian
Socialism - Shih Fu substantiates this translation by identifying Karl
Marx as the father of "collectivism."]. Shih Fu took his position with
communism.[116]

The Anarcho-Communist society spelled out more fully by Shih Fu in
one of his last major articles.[117] All means of production would be
socially owned, but producers (presumably everyone) would have the
right to use them freely. This would be a classless society where all would
work. There would be no government, no armies, no police, and no jails;
no laws or regulations, only freely organized groups to adjust jobs and
production, to supply the people with their needs. There would be no
institution of marriage. Mothers and children would be taken care of in
public hospitals. All children from six years to the age of twenty or
twenty-five would receive free education. Upon graduation they would
work until the age of forty-five or fifty, and then be taken care of through
public old-age homes. Religion of all types would be abolished, and in its
place, "the natural morality of mutual aid" would be allowed to develop
fully. Each person would work between three and four hours daily.
Education would be given in Esperanto; "native languages" would be
slowly eliminated. How was this Utopia to be achieved? First, all media of
public communication were to be used to spread these ideas to the people
-- newspapers, books, speeches, and schools. During the period of
propaganda, several additional methods were to be employed: resistance
to taxes and military conscription, and also strikes. Assassination was
also to be employed. When the time was ripe, a popular revolution to
overthrow the government and capitalism should be produced. And a
popular revolution had to mean a world revolution This world revolution
would start in Europe, in such areas as France, Germany, England,
Spain, Italy, and Russia where the ideas of Anarchism were already
widely advanced. Then it would spread to South and North America, and
finally to Asia. China had to hasten and catch up, lest she become a drag
on world progress.

Shih Fu first tackled the problem of backsliders. He was shocked by the
fact that Chang Chi had allowed himself to be elected to parliament, and
even accepted the office of parliamentary president under the Republic in
1913. Chang had violated the Chin-te Hui agreement, wrote Shih Fu, in
querying Wu Chih-hui about this matter.[118] Wu defended Chang Chi
in his reply by asserting that since Chang had already been a member of
parliament when the Chin-te Hui was organized, he had become only a
Special A Division member of the society and therefore had not broken
any rule. [119] Shih Fu was not satisfied with this answer, insisting that a
true Anarchist could not legitimately accept any public office.[120]

Shih Fu's main battle, however, was against Sun Yat-sen and Chiang
K'ang-hu, especially the latter.121 He admitted that most people believed
that these were the two leading Socialists of China, and he proclaimed
himself touched that they had the courage to speak out. But he denied
that either was a bona fide Socialist. Sun was principally a political
revolutionist, and the study of socialism was not his speciality.122 "But
his heart is drunk with the teachings of Henry George and he wants to
put the single tax into practice in China."123

Georgism, said Shih Fu, was social reform, not socialism. He
acknowledged that Sun claimed to advocate "collective" Socialism, and
that at a meeting of the Chinese Socialist Party, Sun had paid great
homage to Das Capital by Marx, the father of "collectivism." But Shih Fu
insisted that Sun's attempts to fuse George and Marx, his assertion that
their theories were mutually compatible, were erroneous. Sun had
confused social reformism with Socialism.

Chiang K'ang-hu, according to Shih Fu, was also a social reformer rather
than a Socialist. To be sure, Chiang had written some laudatory passages
about communism. But Chiang's program called merely for legal reforms'
arms limitations, the land tax, and equal education; it did not involve
public ownership of the means of production. Shih Fu argued that in
reality, Chiang was closer to Saint Simon. He regarded him as hopelessly
confused, and sprang to the attack more than once.[124] Nor was Lo
Wu's "Pure Socialist Party'' acceptable. While its constitution might
advocate Anarchist-Communism, the very fact that it acted as a
conventional party barred it from orthodoxy. "We have no work except
that of overthrowing the present authority," asserted Shih Fu:

"We are not like other political parties which have plans and policies
Following the overthrow of governments and the attainment of
Anarchism, there will be no Anarchist party." [125]

Later, Wu Chih-hui was to write:

"Since the death of Shih Fu, the Anarchist Party of China has been
scattered and indifferent it seems as if Shih Fu's death from tuberculosis
has caused the Chinese Anarchist Party to suffer also from this
disease."[126]


The death of Shih Fu removed a dynamic figure from the Chinese
Anarchist Movement and certainly damaged it severely However,
organizational efforts not only went forward between 1916 and 1920, but
in some respects, anarchist thought had its greatest influence upon young
Chinese intellectuals during this period. Anarchist societies continued or
were formed in Peking, Nanking, Shensi, and Shanghai.[127] During this
period, anarchist thought and writings penetrated deeply into student
circles at Peking University and elsewhere. Student journals such as
Chin-hua (Evolution), Hsin ch'ao (New Currents ), and Kuo-min (The
Citizen), carried the admixture of Anarchist, Socialist, and democratic
ideas that were now flowing into China.[128] A lack of funds and
governmental restrictions made it difficult to keep the student and
intellectual journals alive It was possible, however, to have study groups,
reading circles, and individual correspondence. And Peking [Beijing] was
now unquestionably the center of such activities. Through these
channels. Anarchism was a strong force, perhaps the dominant one,
among the radical avant garde as World War I ended. Indeed, when the
Bolsheviks made their first overtures to the Chinese intellectuals, it was
inevitable that they would have intimate contact with the Anarchists in
China, just as they did in Japan.[129]

THE WORK-STUDY MOVEMENT

A New Project

In this same period. the Paris Anarchist Group were engaged in another
work-study project to send Chinese students to France. While this project
in some senses was related only peripherally to the Chinese Anarchist
Movement, still no study of that movement would be complete without
giving attention to the new French program.

As we noted earlier, some of the young Paris Anarchist Group, notably
Chang Ching-chiang and Li Shth-tseng, had used family funds to launch
a few enterprises in the period after 1905. Thus they enabled the
employment of comrades from home who could simultaneously acquire
an education As has also been indicated, men like Chang and Li came
home from Europe as Francophiles in addition to being Anarchists. They
continued to harbor the hope that as many Chinese students as possible
would have the opportunities for a French education. It is interesting to
note some of their arguments as to why France was an ideal area for
Chinese overseas education.[130] First, French education, they asserted,
had long been separated from the superstitions of monarchy and religion.
In France, the monarchy had vanished and the French Revolution stood
as a monument to human liberty. Moreover, the required study of religion
had been abolished in 1886, with a further separation of church and state
being initiated in 1907.[131] Also, French education was relatively cheap
and the French people were generous to foreigners. In terms of "deep
knowledge," moreover, while each Western country had its speciality, the
French were most famous for the wide range of their scholarship and its
originality. The pre-eminence of French science was illustrated by the
nearly universal use of French measurements and the large roster of
famous French scientists. But French achievements were equally noted in
the humanities; where else could one find men like Montesquieu and
Rousseau?[132]

"Frugal Study" in France

To forward their causes Wu Chih-hui, Wang Ching-wei, Li Shih-tseng,
Chang Ching-chiang, Chtu Min-i, Chang Chi, and Chi Chu-shan
founded the Liu-Fachien-hsueh Hui. "The Society for Frugal Study in
France." in 1912. The second phase of the overseas work-study
movement had begun. The purpose of the Frugal Study Society was to
promote simple living and low costs for the students, thus enabling them
to find the means to go to France and remain there for the time necessary
to complete their studies. There was no compulsion upon the student to
work, incidentally, if he had the necessary funds. The Society also
undertook to provide some advance language training and indoctrination
for life and study abroad.[133]

A preparatory school was established in Peking [Beijing], with Chi
Chushan in charge and one Frenchman was hired as an instructor.
Fortunately, Tstai Yuan-p'ei was currently serving as Minister of
Education with the Peking [Beijing] government, and he provided the
school with quarters. To join the Society or participate in the school, one
had to be over fourteen years of age unless he was in the company of
parents. In good Anarchist fashion, the Society had no officers. Instead, a
few "workers" were selected by the members to carry our specific
functions. Nor were there any dues other than the necessary educational
costs and needed expenses which were supposedly met through the
"mutual aid" of all comrades In some respects, this was another scheme
for anarchism in action.

Students were to travel to France via the Siberian railway. The trip took
about eighteen days, and cost approximately two hundred dollars. Food
and lodging were to be arranged either through the school or in some
other organized quarters. The full costs were set at five or six hundred
dollars yearly, although this sum included travel and clothing. Students
were expected to commit themselves to at least three years of foreign
schooling and the type of education they were to undertake was
determined by the number of years they agreed to spend abroad. The
emphasis, however, was to be upon science and technical subjects, not
upon politics, law, or military studies. Students were not to visit
prostitutes, smoke, drink, or gamble. The regulations concluded with the
hope that through this program, scholars would be created who were
frugal in their living habits, pure in their character, and possessed of skills
to match their intelligence.[134]

It is not difficult to see the Anarchist themes shining through. The Peking
[Beijing] Preparatory School opened in the spring of 1912. It had some
interesting rules. The curriculum consisted of French (taught by the
Frenchmen), Chinese, and mathematics. Various comrades (notably the
Paris veterans) were invited to speak before the school. The term was
fixed at six months, with an examination at the conclusion. Those who
passed were to be sent to France under the auspices of the Society.
Expenses would be assumed by the comrades. The tuition for the Peking
[Beijing] school was determined by the number of students each term; if
there were twenty students, each would pay eight dollars per month, but
if there were forty, the tuition would be reduced to six dollars per month.
As might have been expected, French proved a difficult language for the
students to master, and a number became discouraged. However, almost
one hundred individuals were sent to France before political changes in
1913 forced Ts'ai out as Minister of Education and caused the school to
be closed.[135] A Frugal Study Society had also been established for
England, and some twenty students sent there. This project was initiated
by Chang Ching-chiang, and managed by Wu Chih-hui in London during
part of this period.

The failure of the nationalist revolution and the rise of Yuan Shih-k'ai
seriously interfered with the Frugal Study Movement. Moreover, with the
outbreak of the European war, Chinese students could not be sent to
France. Hence, organized activities in China were largely abandoned
although Li and some others continued to propagate the cause. As the
war dragged on, however, France began to face an acute manpower
shortage. Consequently, the French government negotiated with the
Chinese government for Chinese workers. Tens of thousands of laborers
were sent. Under these circumstances, Li and his friends saw another
opportunity whereby they could recruit students willing to work in order
to study abroad. The hope was that for each year's work, a Chinese
student would be able to afford two years' study.

The "Diligent Work-Frugal Study" Movement

Thus in June 1915, the old Paris Anarchist Group and their supporters
organized a new society, Ch'in-kung chien-hseh Hui, "The Association
for Diligent Work and Frugal Study."[l36] In the earlier Society, as was
noted, there had been no special pre mium upon the students working if
funds could be acquired by other means. This new program was
specifically geared to a work-study movement. However, other categories
of students continued to go to France: those with private means and a few
with government scholarships.[137] In 1916, Li was able to conclude an
agreement with French authorities for his own recruitment program.
Once again, preparatory schools were opened in Peking [Beijing] and
elsewhere. The Diligent Work-Frugal Study Association also established
branches in various Chinese cities. In addition, certain Frenchmen
cooperated with the old Paris group to found the Sino-French Educational
Association. Ts'ai was made head, and Li served as secretary. In France,
this Association was to make arrangements for the students, and help
them with their problems. In China, it was to help in recruitment and
general cultural relations. Headquarters were established in Peking
[Beijing], with branches in Canton, Shanghai, and other areas.

By 1917, the work-study movement had spread to a number of Chinese
provinces, and had widespread intellectual support, Moreover,
prospective students, thrilled by the possibility of overseas study, were
willing to do almost anything to get this opportunity. Ho Ch'ang-kung has
written an account of particular interest concerning his own experience in
the work-study movement of this period.[138] In the winter of 1917, he
was attending a technical school in Changsha, Hunan province, one term
away from graduation and worried about the future. Suddenly, his
elementary school teacher and friend, Lo Hsi-wen, returned from Canton,
having made contact there with the work-study branch office and Huang
Ch'iang, who was operating it. Immediately, Lo wrote Tstai and Li in
Peking. They responded by urging Lo to found a preparatory school in
Hunan, but the provincial government at Changsha refused to help.

Discouraged, Lo and a friend, Tai Hsun, decided to go directly to Peking
[Bejing]in February 1918. During the spring, they had conversations with
Li on how funds could be obtained to aid the students from Hunan who
wanted to go overseas. Ultimately the overseas Workers Department of
the government agreed to loan some money. Thus, in the summer of
1918, a message went out to the students back home to come to Peking
[Beijing]. Several groups arrived as quickly as they could make
arrangements; and the group of twelve that arrived on July 19 included a
young man named Mao Tse-tung [Ze-dong].

Shortly thereafter, Ts'ai, Li, and other representatives of the Sino-French
Educational Association met with representatives of the Hunan students
to discuss schooling and funds. Li told the students that the overseas
Workers Department had been willing to extend funds to the Association
because of the large number of Chinese laborers in France and their need
for educational guidance; otherwise, foreigners would get a bad
impression of Chinese. Since the government could not afford to send
teachers abroad, the most simple method was to loan some transportation
funds to students, who would be expected to continue their studies and
teach the Chinese laborers in France. When the first class of thirty
students (northerners) had repaid the loan (Li hoped it would be within
five months after their arrival in France), then the next class could follow.
In this manner, two classes a year would be able to go to France.

The number of Hunanese students who sought entry into preparatory
school was actually so large according to Ho that three classes had to be
established, one at Peking, the others at Pao-ting and Ch'ang-hsin-tien.
Mao was in the Peking class; Liu Shao-chti was one of the sixty
Hunanese at Pao-ting along with Li Wei-han. Of course not all of the
students went abroad; neither Mao nor Liu made the trip. Ho reports that
he spent one year at Ch'ang-hsin-tien, and that their schedule was to
work in the mornings, attend school in the afternoons, and study in the
evenings.

When Ho finally arrived in France in early 1920, he found some three
hundred "diligent work-frugal study" students already in France. He
recalls that there were several types of work-study arrangements. Some
students worked part-time and studied part-time; others would work for a
short period, three or six months, and then study until their savings were
exhausted; some brought a small amount of money with them, studied
until it was gone, and then sought a job. Ho's arrival coincided with the
flood-tide of students. At one point, they were arriving at the rate of one
hundred per month.

The Decline of the Work-Study Movement

By the latter half of 1920, however, economic conditions in France had
become troubled. There were problems of postwar dislocation and serious
inflation. Unemployment was mounting. At first, the Sino-French
Educational Association tried to take care of the unemployed Chinese
students. But Ly the beginning of 1921, there were over 1000 students in
France, the majority of whom had insufficient funds and little or no work.
The Association did not have the money to provide for this number.[139]
Many of the students suffered real hardships, going without proper food
or clothing, and living under miserable conditions. Some even lived in
tents in the garden of the Association's Paris headquarters. Bitter
conflicts ensued. Li Shth-tseng had returned to China in December 1919;
Chang Chi also went back in June 1920. Ts'ai Yuan-p'ei came to France
just in time to inherit the most difficult problems. As head of the
Association, he finally announced on January 16, 1921, that they would
no longer assume financial responsibility for the "diligent work and frugal
study" students. Then the students sought help from the Chinese
Legation in Paris. The Chinese government offered only to pay
transportation costs home for those unable to raise these funds. The
provincial governments at home also refused to help.

On February 28, 1921, several hundred Chinese students came to their
Legation demanding that the government give them four hundred francs
a month for a period up to four years. The French government at this
point undertook to give some support to the student cause. In May, a
special French-Chinese joint committee was founded to aid the
worker-students. Funds were secured from various sources with both the
Chinese and the French governments making contributions, as well as
private donors. For a time, some eight hundred students received aid, in
the amount of five francs daily. New complexities and disputes arose.
Shortly, French and Chinese authorities combined to put pressures upon
many students to return home, and to safeguard themselves in the future,
the authorities also insisted upon a 5,000 Yuan guarantee from each
prospective student. The "diligent work-frugal study" idea was ending
rather badly. In September 1921, the joint committee was abolished and
financial aid was stopped on October 15.

Meanwhile, another incident had occurred in connection with "Lyons
University, " the so-called Chinese overseas university in France. This
project, initiated by Wu Chih-hui, had the support of Ch'en Chiung-ming
and others. The idea was to establish a special institution for Chinese
students in France, and Wu was to serve as president. A dispute arose
over who should be allowed to attend. Wu insisted that this project was
separate from the "diligent work-frugal study" movement, partly because
the money for Lyons University was being put up by certain provinces,
and so only students from those areas, selected by him, were eligible. Wu
arrived with his students at the end of September, 1921. At about the
same time, over one hundred of the work-study students left Paris for
Lyons, determined to obtain quarters on the campus. They included Ts'ai
Ho-shen, Li Li-san, Li Wei-han, and Ch'en I. When they arrived in
Lyons, they forced their way into the "University " houses. Lyons police
removed them, and put them temporarily in some military barracks.
Negotiations with Wu began, but while these were going on, the French
police suddenly rounded up the detained students, shipped them to
Marseilles, and put them forcibly aboard a ship sailing for China. One
hundred and four students, including Ts'ai Ho-shen, Li Li-san, and
Ch'en I were returned in this fashion.

These experiences, quite as much as contact with Western ideas, may
have induced radicalism among the Chinese overseas students of this
period. It is interesting to read the memoirs of yet another student, Sheng
Ch'eng.[140] Sheng departed from Shanghai for Europe on October 22,
1919. When he reached Paris, he quickly observed that Li Shih-tseng was
in complete charge of the work-study movement. But he received little aid
from the Sino-French Educational Association. In this period, a student
got a tent in their garden and a small "maintenance fee. " Everyone
naturally wanted to get out of a tent, reported Sheng, and thus any
announcement that a few workers were needed somewhere was always
greeted with joy. But a worker-student had to pass a very rigorous test
before being accepted for employment. Sheng recalled that all the
students had great respect for Li, but most were dissatisfied with the
Association, largely because it seemed to have few contacts and could not
find them employment.


Although Sheng received some funds from home, these were insufficient
and so he went to work in a lumber factory. But he spent his evenings
reading Marx, Kropotkin, and other revolutionaries who gave him
"theoretical guidance" to match his practical experience. "I was slowly
turning into a Socialist with a bent toward Anarchism, " he wrote.[141]
Soon Sheng lost his job, and joined the ranks of the unemployed. In June
1920, Wu Chih-hui came to Paris, and Sheng reported that the students
looked to him for salvation. But no salvation was forthcoming. Wu
insisted that a distinction had to be made between the work-study
movement and the Sino-French Educational Association on the one
hand, and the Lyons University project on the other. The former, Wu
asserted, was the responsibility of Li and his associates; the latter was his
program. It was at this point that the students set up their own
organization and among other things, requested the Sino-French
Education Association in China to stop sending more students to France.
But little came of these actions. Wu returned to China and more students
continued to come.

Sheng gave a graphic account of the mounting tension in 1921 among the
Chinese students in France. When the Association washed its hands of
the students, he reported, the French government provided some
assistance. But the February demonstration before the Chinese Legation
resulted in violence, and Chinese students battled with French police.
There was also fighting in June. The students were becoming more
militant and more radical. Both French and Chinese authorities were
becoming more hostile. And according to Sheng, "Lyons University" was
nothing but a few houses which cost seventy thousand yuan. A nine year
lease had been signed, but the houses were never used for more than
living quarters:

"In the fall of 1922, the Peking government finally sent one
hundred-thousand Yuan to the Paris Sino-French Educational
Association to aid the students. Now the Association, which had
previously been little more than an address to which one had one's mail
sent, suddenly became active. Under its secretary, Li Kuang-han, a
committee was established to distribute the money. Unfortunately, Li
pocketed some of the money and disappeared. But on the whole, the
conditions of the students improved." [142]

In the February, 1923 issue of Hsin Chiao-y, (The New Education), there
appeared an interesting letter from the headquarters of the Chinese
Students Association in Paris.[143] According to its authors, the basic
problem remained French industrial decline, and the difficulty under
these circumstances of competing with French workers, especially when
attempting to go to school. Over one hundred Chinese students had died
during the past three years as a result of conditions, asserted the writers.
Since the government sent one hundred thousand yuan last year (out of
two hundred thousand yuan appropriated), there had been some relief.
About nine hundred students had been helped, each receiving
approximately one thousand francs; but this represented only one-half of
the amount needed.

The letter asserted that a census taken in the fall of 1922 indicated that
there were some 920 worker-students currently in France. All had
graduated previously from Chinese high schools. Since arriving in France,
they had been able to obtain two to three years schooling after engaging
in work. This amount of time, the writers maintained, was insufficient.
Five years of education should be a minimum. Chinese government
students were receiving eight hundred francs a month, it was stated. If the
worker-students could receive one-third of that amount, and hope for
some additional provincial government support, they would be satisfied.
The letter ended with a proposal that the Boxer Indemnity Fund which
France had lately agreed could be used for Sino-French educational
purposes, be allocated to this cause.
/4


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