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Chapter Six The Native Place and the Nation Anti-Imperialist and Republican Revolutionary Mobilization
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Popular Anti-Imperialist Mobilization in the Last Years of the Qing

Early Chinese nationalism incorporated and built on native-place sentiments in a series of popular anti-imperialist movements which rocked Shanghai in the first years of the twentieth century. In these movements, which protested foreign insults of various dimensions (from injuries to Chinese citizens to appropriations of Chinese territory), political activists relied on native-place loyalties to stir up patriotic nationalist activity. Activists (both within and outside native-place associations) were also increasingly able to orchestrate citywide political movements which brought together merchants, students and workers of different sojourner groups.

Death on the Bund . In 1904, while the last Ningbo Cemetery Riot was still relatively fresh in popular memory, a new foreign outrage aroused and focused popular demands for Chinese rights. On December 15 two drunken Russian sailors on shore leave hired rickshaws to return to their boats. When they refused to pay, one of the rickshaw pullers persistently demanded his fare. Angered, the sailor named Ageef grabbed an adze from the hand of a nearby carpenter who happened to be repairing the jetty. As Ageef swung the adze toward the rickshaw puller, the heavy curved blade fastened on a pedestrian, threw him to the ground and crushed his skull. The Russians walked on toward their ship but were arrested by police, who turned them over to the Russian Consul. Zhou Shengyou, the man who lay dying, happened to be from Ningbo.[3]

The next day, some thirty thousand Ningbo artisans (Zhou had been a carpenter), rickshaw men and fishermen gathered to protest but were appeased at the last minute by prompt action by the Siming Gongsuo. Huiguan directors immediately made it known that they would aggressively demand that Ageef be turned over for trial before a Chinese official. In response to a rumor that the Russian authorities would offer an


indemnity to the Zhou family, the directors contacted the family members, asked them to refuse any offers and promised to match any Russian indemnity.

As negotiations proceeded, the huiguan leaders kept the Ningbo community abreast of their efforts by means of printed handbills distributed in both the foreign settlements and in the Chinese areas of Shanghai. Such a circular, distributed on December 19 and translated later in the North China Herald , indicates their tactics:

With reference to the case of... Chou Seng-yu... we the undersigned now learn that the Russian Consul wishes to send the murderer and his companion back to their own vessel to be tried according to Russian naval law. This manner of conducting such a case is indeed entirely contrary to what has been the custom in the Foreign Settlements. How can we, the fellow-provincials of the murdered Chou Seng-yu, of Ningbo, then stand by and look on without making a word of protest at such a miscarriage of justice, whereby the legal prerogatives of China are taken away? It has therefore been decided to engage a foreign lawyer to draw up letters in our name addressed to the Senior Consul and also to the Municipal Council of the International Settlement .... We are also sending by telegraph a petition to His Excellency the Imperial High Commissioner of the Nanyang and Viceroy of the Liangkiang provinces, and a letter to the Shanghai Taotai setting forth the powers and prerogatives of a Neutral State in a case where interned prisoners are guilty of breaking the laws, and praying for the diligent and firm transaction of everything pertaining to the case under consideration.[4]

The circular reveals the political and legal sophistication of the huiguan leaders at this time. The case appears not simply as a Ningbo tragedy but as an offense to China's legal rights. Action in defense of the native-place group acquired new legitimacy as action in defense of the nation, with the leaders of the native-place community prompting Chinese officials in regard to national prerogatives.

On December 28 the huiguan leaders petitioned the Qing court, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Governor General Zhou Fu protesting the action of the Russian Consul in disposing of the prisoner without consulting the Shanghai Daotai. The petitioners, all of whom identified themselves with their purchased official ranks, pressed the urgency of


their case by stressing the threat of disorder in their communities and their efforts to keep peace:

Haft a month has elapsed since the murder, and seeing nothing being done the Ningbo population of the rougher and lower orders have attempted to hold several indignation mass meetings, but they have so far been kept down with difficulty by the petitioners sending this telegram. There are, however, many murmurs circulating about amongst the petitioners' fellow-provincials, who charge the petitioners with timidity and incapability, so that there are just fears that as a first step there will be a general strike, or closing up of shops ... thereby causing a serious stoppage of trade and setting at large crowds of disaffected men, in which case the petitioners will be perfectly at a loss what to do in the matter. Finally, had this been instead a case where a Chinese had killed a foreigner serious international complications would certainly have arisen.[5]

The petitioners insisted that the sailors be turned over for judgment by a mixed (Chinese and Russian) tribunal. In the meantime, the foreign community praised Siming Gongsuo leaders for keeping order, taking seriously the threat of a strike, remembering 1898 and imagining "an amount of inconvenience to our business and in our homes which it is appalling to contemplate."[6]

By early January the incident had become a cause célèbre in the new radical press. In a series of articles, beginning on January 5 with "A Warning to Chinese People in Killing of Chinese by Russian Sailor," the newspaper Tocsin (Jingzhong ribao ) used the case to praise and amplify the anger of the Ningbo people, to identify their struggle as a nationalist struggle, and to lament China's weakness in a world ruled by force rather than justice. An article entitled "Ningbo People Can Take the Lead" urged Ningbo people to follow the precedent of their successful resistance against the French in I874 and 1898, stressing that their struggles symbolized the struggles of the Chinese people: "If Ningbo people witnessing the killing [of their fellow-provincial] can't avenge their shame, [then] all Chinese people cannot avoid the tragic fate of being butchered by foreigners."[7] The author counseled Ningbo people to unite, to demonstrate popular indignation and to strike, disrupting for-


eign business and forcing the Russians to turn Ageef over to the Chinese authorities.

On January 14, Russian military commanders found Ageef guilty of negligently killing a man, for which the minimal punishment was eight years' hard labor. But the tribunal, finding the crime "quite accidental" (in that Ageef hit someone other than the man he intended to hit!), reduced the sentence to four years.[8] On the day of the sentencing an organization of Ningbo workers distributed handbills calling for a demonstration at the Siming Gongsuo on the next day (January 15). Reacting to the workers' initiative, the huiguan directors called an immediate meeting on January 14, hoping to appease popular sentiment with a demonstration of leadership and resolve.[9]

At this point Ningbo leaders moved beyond their native-place community to mobilize the entire Chinese commercial elite in Shanghai, calling together leaders from all trades and native-place groups in the city. Meeting at the North Shanghai Commercial Association (Hu bei shangye, gongsuo ), they discussed ways to pressure the Russian authorities (both directly and working through Chinese authorities). First, commercial leaders from each province would send telegrams requesting support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Commercial Bureau and various national officials. Second, merchants would pressure the Daotai to meet with foreign authorities in Shanghai to make clear the extent of popular dissatisfaction with the judgement. Finally, the directors of each bang resolved to boycott Russian goods and Russian notes. By evening the huiguan leaders distributed handbills to Ningbo workers and merchants advising them of these measures and warning against reckless actions.

The huiguan leaders' actions did not prevent an angry gathering at the Siming Gongsuo the next day, but they did diffuse popular anger. Huiguan representatives persuaded the crowd of several thousand to disperse, stressing the actions which had been undertaken on their behalf. Under pressure from all sides, the Russian Consul extended Ageef's sentence to eight years.[10]

What is striking here, aside from the skillful manipulation of popular indignation by the sojourning commercial elite, is the symbolic importance of the huiguan for the larger Ningbo community. Rather than directly petitioning Chinese authorities or protesting before Chinese or


Western authorities, the Ningbo protestors called for a meeting at the Siming Gongsuo. Because the gates were closed they met in front of the huiguan , making their statement to their tongxiang leaders.

Although the non-elite Ningbo demonstrators fashioned their political statement in keeping with the boundaries and hierarchy of native-place community, the huiguan elite stepped beyond the Ningbo community. In a new departure (which was probably facilitated by the institutional innovation of a Shanghai Chamber of Commerce which formally brought together many huiguan leaders in one association), Ningbo merchant leaders were able to organize swiftly leaders of other native-place groups and trades in Shanghai and to coordinate action on the basis of Chinese nationalism.[11] A Shenbao editorial identified the Ningbo cause as the national cause: "Among the sojourning Ningbo people everyone is enraged ... and among the people of all provinces sojourning in Shanghai there is not one who is not enraged. Now it is not just sojourners in Shanghai who are enraged but all Chinese, of all trades, provinces and also Chinese merchants overseas are all righteously angry.... This is not just a Ningbo people's tragedy, but a tragedy for all Chinese."[12]

Although the incident involved an assertion of national identity and national sovereignty, the mechanism of organization according to sub-ethnic, or native-place, identity in a nationalist struggle was not discarded but applauded. This would also be the case in a larger-scale and more famous nationalist movement which followed, the Anti-American Boycott of 1905. In this and later movements we see the formation of new political associations, often comprised of numerous distinctly organized but cooperating native-place groups. Although the new political associations (as in the case of the 1905 boycott) were responsible for producing much of the overarching political rhetoric and strategy of specific movements, their effectiveness in penetrating and mobilizing Shanghai society depended heavily on the prior organization of Shanghai residents through native-place associations.

The Anti-American Boycott of 1905 . Whereas the 1898 Cemetery Riot has been viewed as China's first anti-imperialist strike and boycott, the boycott of 1905 has been viewed as the first modern anti-


imperialist boycott because it was not restricted to one native-place group but was nearly national in scope.[13] This understanding of the boycott has somewhat masked the role of native-place ties in the movement.

The immediate cause of the boycott was negotiation between the United States and China in late 1904. and early 1905 concerning the renewal of a treaty excluding Chinese labor from the United States. Lurid Chinese press accounts detailed mistreatment of Chinese workers abroad and aroused protest against U.S. immigration policies.[14]

The boycott movement began formally in Shanghai with a meeting on May 10 of prominent Shanghai merchants at the Chamber of Commerce. After speeches by activists Zeng Shaoqing and Ge Pengyun, the assembly agreed on a two-month deadline, after which no American goods were to be purchased or sold.[15] Although the Chamber declared the boycott, participation was actually determined through native-place organization and varied according to native-place group.

The Chamber was dominated by Ningbo merchants. Ningbo enthusiasm for the boycott, though not inconsiderable, did not match that of the Fujian and Guangdong bang , which had stronger ties to overseas Chinese communities. Dissatisfied with the Chamber meeting, Guangdong and Fujian sojourners met separately at their huiguan over the next two days. Both assemblies supported more radical boycott measures than those decided on at the May 10 meeting.[16]


The boycott began on July 20, the deadline set by the merchants. On July 19 the Shanghai Educational Association (Hu xuehui ), together with representatives of Shanghai student, merchant and worker circles (xue-shang-gong jie ) and representatives from other ports met to initiate the boycott. More than fourteen hundred people attended. Prominent among the participants were the directors of the Guangdong, Fujian, Hankou and Shandong bang , as well as representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, the Commercial Education Association, and leaders of the foreign-goods, silk, kerosene, native-banks, ginseng, hemp, sugar and seafood trades.[17]

On July 20, two hours before the Chamber met to announce the boycott, more than one thousand people met at the South Shanghai Educational and Commercial Association (Hu nan xue-shang hui ). The meeting was convened by Zhou Liansheng, a Ningbo activist who advocated more radical measures than the older Chamber leadership. A representative of "Ningbo people of resolve" notified the assembly of an all-Zhejiang meeting at the Siming Gongsuo the next day.[18]

On July 21, several hundred Ningbo fellow-provincials, organized by Zhou Liansheng, rallied to protest U.S. immigration policy. Stating that Ningbo people comprised the majority of wealthy Shanghai merchants, many of whom engaged in trade with the United States, Zhou stressed the special responsibility of Ningbo people to lead the boycott, citing the precedent of the Zhou Shengyou case.[19]

As in May, the Guangdong and Fujian merchant communities met separately after the Chamber meeting. On July 25 the Guangdong and Foreign Goods Trade (Guangbang Guangyanghuo ye ) met at the Guang-Zhao Gongsuo to set up a mechanism to end trade in U.S. goods. On the same day Fujian trade groups met at the Dianchuntang to coordi-


nate boycott enforcement tactics.[20] Boycott pledge meetings followed at the Fujian Tingzhou Huiguan, the Zhejiang Haichang Gongsuo, the Jiangning Gongsuo, the Guang-Zhao Hospital, the Chaozhou Huiguan and the Sichuan Merchants' Gongsuo. The functions of native-place networks in the boycott are revealed in an account of a meeting of several thousand Ningbo merchants. Ningbo boycott leaders announced that they had investigated the goods Ningbo imported from the United States, had contacted leading merchants in Ningbo and had secured pledges of boycott solidarity.[21]

Through their many public meetings, circulars and published manifestos, native-place organizations mobilized, educated and regulated their communities. Although activist boycott organizers initiated the call for a boycott, sojourner institutions played organizational roles, sponsoring meetings and policing their own members, ensuring boycott participation in Shanghai and helping additionally to coordinate inland enforcement. In boycott mobilization native-place groups constituted fundamental organizational units, familiar communities for Shanghai residents, communities which made possible a high degree of mobilization, policing and compliance. In this respect native-place associations had an advantage over the Chamber of Commerce, which, as Xu Dingxin notes, could announce a boycott but lacked the institutional means to enforce compliance or discipline members.[22]

Because the boycott was organized in this fashion, different trades entered at different moments. The more resolute native-place communities persisted throughout the fall, meeting periodically to rally enthusiasm and resolve.[23]

The boycott instilled a high level of popular political awareness and participation in Shanghai residents and abetted growing alienation be-


tween a politically activist merchant community and the enfeebled and ineffective Qing government. Those groups which persisted after an August 31 edict banning boycott action did so in defiance of the Manchu


The Mixed Court Riot of December 1905 . Sojourner networks played key roles in the increasingly militant nationalist protests which followed. The Mixed Court Riot, the most violent protest in the International Settlement since its establishment, occurred several months after the peak of boycott activity and involved many of the same activists. The riot developed out of disputes between Chinese and Western authorities over legal jurisdiction in the International Settlement. The case which sparked the riot joined a huiguan defense of fellow-provincials with the issues of national sovereignty and legal authority over Chinese citizens.[24]

The site of jurisdictional dispute was the Mixed Court. The foreign Assessor was not meant to interfere in purely Chinese cases; nonetheless, western authorities intervened increasingly in the first years of the twentieth century, sending police to supervise the court's operation. During 1905 Chinese Magistrate Guan Jiongzhi repeatedly but ineffectually protested infringements on Chinese sovereignty and interference with the principle of Chinese adjudication of Chinese cases.[25]

Smoldering resentments over western encroachment on Chinese judicial authority led to violence when a case arose which involved the interests of a prominent Shanghai native-place association. Protests began when a Guangdong widow, Li (née Huang), who was returning to her native place from Sichuan accompanied by fifteen servant-girls and her husband's coffin, was arrested by Settlement police on suspicion of


kidnapping and transporting girls for sale. Tensions arose between Magistrate Guan and British Assessor Twyman over custody of Madame Li during the investigation of the case. The Magistrate ordered his runners to place her in the Mixed Court jail, whereas the Assessor (who had no jurisdiction) ordered the municipal police to escort her to a newly built western jail.[26] A fight broke out between the British police and Chinese yamen runners, from which the police emerged victorious. Several runners were injured, and the assisting Chinese official, Jin Shaocheng, was hit in the melee. To prevent the police from removing Madame Li, the runners locked the courtyard. Magistrate Guan withdrew, declaring that · the police would have to kill him before he opened the gates. The police forced the lock and removed Madame Li.[27]

In response to this melodramatic enactment of western brutality and the pathetic weakness of Chinese officials, over the next two days (December 9 and 10) protest was organized through two institutional networks, the Guang-Zhao Gongsuo and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Although the voices of Chinese officials were not unheard, it was obvious to observers that merchants led officials in the matter.[28] The Guang-Zhao Gongsuo held a general meeting for Guangdong provincials and contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Commercial Bureau, requesting help. Their telegrams vindicated Madame Li and accused the Settlement authorities of both mistreating a member of the Chinese official class and interfering with the Chinese administration of justice:

On [December 8] British police falsely accused a Madame Li née Wang of kidnapping and forcibly imprisoned her in the western jail, beating court runners and insulting the magistrate. The so-called Li née Wang is really Li néc Huang, the wife of the Sichuan official Li Tingyu. Tingyu fell sick [and died] and so his father, Li Zhisheng, who is engaged in business in Chongqing and served as director of our [Sichuan] Guangdong bang , asked his colleagues and fellow-provincials, together with his relatives, to arrange to


send the widow, children and coffin back to Guangdong, accompanied by several household servants and slaves. All of them have "body receipts" [receipts for the sale of their person]. There were over one hundred pieces of luggage, all with transportation passes from the Sichuan Daotai. The British police ... forced [the widow Li] into the western prison and dared to beat the court runners and insult the Magistrate. This is unreasonable.... Now she is still locked in the jail.... Popular feelings are extremely aroused and likely to erupt.... We pray you to assist us ... to calm people's hearts and assert China's sovereignty. [Signed:] the sojourning gentry-merchants of all Guangdong.[29]

Xu Run, Guang-Zhao Gongsuo director and one of the few non-Zhejiang directors of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, also led a protest meeting at the Chamber, where he was joined by boycott leader Zeng Shaoqing and Siming Gongsuo director Yu Xiaqing. This gathering of more than one thousand Shanghai notables sent telegrams to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce and the Governor General at Nanjing, listing the offenses of the British Assessor and police. They requested intervention by the Beijing authorities and asserted the need for Chinese representation on the Municipal Council of the International Settlement.[30]

On December 10), after filing a protest with the Municipal Council and the British Consul in response to pressure from the Shanghai Magistrate and Shanghai merchants, Daotai Yuan called a meeting of "sojourning gentry" to discuss "the insult to Chinese officials by the Western police." Four to five hundred people attended and sent a joint official-merchant telegram to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requesting intervention. In the meantime the Daotai asked merchant leaders to prevent disorder among their popular constituencies. On the same day the Patriotic Oratorical Society (gongzhong yanshuohui ) organized a gathering of four to five thousand at the Xu Gardens (possibly the property of the Guangdong merchant Xu Run). This meeting featured speeches by boycott activists, notably Ge Pengyun.[31]

Over the next few days the organizational networks widened as student and student-merchant groups as well as native-place associations


orchestrated protests. Among the former, most of which had been mobilized during the boycott movement, were the Commercial Strive for Progress Society (shangye qiujinhui ), the Patriotic Oratorical Society, the Commercial Studies Continuation Society (shangxue buxihui ), the Civilized Treaty Resistance Society (wenming juyueshe ) and the Commercial Education Society (shangxuehui ). There were also meetings of the Siming Gongsuo, Guang-Zhao Gongsuo and Chong-Hai Fellow-Provincials' Association.[32]

These meetings shared rhetoric which extended traditional notions of "face" to the national body in the context of an international community. This involved "righteous indignation" at foreigners' "destruction of China's national prestige" in beating Chinese runners and "insulting Chinese officials." Participants assembled to discuss ways to restore China's "face." Merchant meetings appealed to Chinese officials, but they also suggested that if Chinese officials failed to protect Chinese rights, "we merchants will form a great assembly and decide on a means [of action]."[33]

Responding to the spate of telegrams emanating from Shanghai merchants, the Foreign Ministry, Commercial Bureau and the Governor General called for a meeting between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the foreign ambassadors in Beijing to protest the trespass on China's legal jurisdiction. Locally, the Daotai met with General Consul Kleimenow, setting out the merchants' conditions for resolving tensions: 1) release of Madame Li and her entourage; 2) dismissal of Assessor Twyman and punishment of the police; 3) exclusive use of the Mixed Court prison for female offenders. The Consul rejected the measures.[34]

Although the Settlement authorities ignored the demands, popular agitation continued, increasingly demanding Chinese representation on the Municipal Council. Several thousand Ningbo fellow-provincials rallied on December 12 at the Siming Gongsuo "to preserve national integrity" (baocun guoti ), vowing to use the power of their association to mobilize their tongxiang .

Finally succumbing to pressure from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign


Affairs, the Diplomatic Body of Beijing ordered the Consular Body in Shanghai to release the widow. The British Consul relinquished Madame Li (whose food needs in jail had been looked after by several Shanghai Guangdong restaurants) on December 15, delivering her directly to the Guang-Zhao Gongsuo.[35]

Despite Madame Li's release, agitation increased. The radical Patriotic Oratorical Society called for a strike and refusal to pay Settlement taxes. Although the collective public response of huiguan leaders was more moderate, huiguan were nonetheless the sites of large public meetings featuring radical speakers. Former boycott leaders called for a strike, for example, before an assembly at the Guang-Zhao Gongsuo on December 15. After leaving this meeting, Ge Pengyun and Yan Chengye, of the Patriotic Oratorical Society, spoke before a crowd of more than four thousand at the Chaozhou Huiguan. On December 17 the Siming Gongsuo lent its hall and grounds to the Commercial Strive for Progress Society for a large rally, at which Ge and Yan announced a strike the next day of all Chinese enterprises in the International Settlement. Radical leaders also distributed circulars announcing the strike, insisting on foreign recognition of Chinese demands in the Mixed Court case and calling for the appointment of a Chinese Municipal Councilor. As the Jiangsu Governor observed, these tactics kept the Daotai caught between the tasks of arranging Chinese-foreign negotiations and urging Shanghai merchants to control rioting.[36]

The speakers at these meetings deployed native-place sentiment to their advantage and connected the concerns of sojourner communities to the larger issue of Chinese rights and the need for Chinese representation on the Municipal Council, in recognition of the considerable Chi-


nese property and taxes in the Settlement. While making the rounds of various huiguan meetings, Ge Pengyun stressed that the Mixed Court affair "affects all Chinese—whether natives of Canton, Ningbo or Swatow—everywhere in China."[37] His statement and lecture circuit during this period in which, as the Shenbao commented, "there was no day without meetings and no meeting without indignation," reflect the obvious organization of the Shanghai community into these prominent native-place groups and the expedience of political organization through them. Although political organization was citywide, the rationale for activism was common Chinese identity, and this did not necessitate rejection of native-place organization or identity in favor of common Shanghai identity. In meetings, telegrams and official statements, merchants were consistently described as "sojourning gentry-merchants in Shanghai" rather than as Shanghai merchants.[38]

On the morning of December 18 the walls of the Settlement were plastered with inflammatory placards.[39] Crowds in different parts of the Settlement simultaneously attacked the first markets and rice-gruel shops to open, exhorting owners to keep their shutters down and harassing foreigners who attempted to get to work. Shortly afterward, crowds of several thousand set fire to police stations and the town hall. Settlement authorities sent out the police, the Volunteers, sailors and marines to restore order This was accomplished by evening, at the cost of at least fifteen Chinese lives. The strike ended the next day.[40]

Immediately after the rioting, leaders of major huiguan emerged with the Daotai, urged merchants to open shop, deplored the rioting, and offered their help to the municipal authorities. Although the North China Herald expressed bemusement at the spectacle of the "heads of


the Ningbo guild express[ing] their regret for what has occurred,[41]huiguan leaders leapt into action in the negotiations which followed with Settlement authorities and the Daotai. Through their manipulation of events, these individuals and the associations they represented increased their influence and recognition in the order-keeping process. Yu Xiaqing, no doubt aided in this endeavor by his experience in the 1898 Ningbo cemetery affair, was the primary negotiator on the Chinese side.[42]

In the course of negotiations the municipal authorities discussed with the huiguan leaders the possibility of organizing a consultative committee "representative of the best native opinion," which would meet regularly with Council members and keep the Council informed of Chinese public opinion. After the experience of the riot, for the first time the Municipal Council concurred as to the necessity of this step toward Chinese representation.[43]

In early 1906 the Municipal Council approved a Chinese consultative committee of seven members (selected by representatives of forty "guilds") which reflected the power of the three most influential native-place groups in the city. Five of the merchant leaders representing the Shanghai Chinese community in this plan were from Zhejiang (three of these Siming Gongsuo directors) and one each hailed from Guangdong and Jiangsu. Although huiguan /gongsuo leadership was not an explicit element in the selection process, the choice of huiguan and gongsuo di-


rectors to represent the Chinese community was in accordance with Chinese public opinion as formulated in the Shenbao , which suggested that huiguan governance provided a foundation for Chinese representative government: "All city residents should have the right to select representatives and keep order. Within the Settlement, although Chinese residents do not have this system, usually each bang has a meeting place and each has merchant directors as leaders. Thus they already have the qualifies of representatives."[44] Although this committee was not ultimately approved by the Ratepayer's Association, the idea of huiguan representation of Chinese interests vis-ô-vis foreign authorities was re-confirmed a decade later. In March 1915, after the French Convention of April 8, 1914 approved the introduction of two Chinese representatives in a consultative role into the French Municipal Council, the Senior Consul forwarded a draft agreement to the Municipal Council for the extension of the International Settlement which provided for a Chinese Advisory Board, "to consist of two nominees of the Ningbo Guild, two nominees of the Canton Guild, and one nominee of the Special Envoy for Foreign Affairs."[45]

By both pushing for Chinese representation and placing themselves in the position of intermediaries between the Chinese community and foreign authorities, huiguan leaders advanced the cause of Chinese rights while they also increased the power and influence of sojourner institutions. In this manner, native-place and national interests could be mutually complementary. The glory of Yu Xiaqing, who emerged from the negotiations as the most influential Chinese merchant in the settlement (and was awarded an inscribed gold watch from the Municipal


Council in recognition of his services in settling the affair)[46] and became somewhat of a public hero for asserting Chinese rights, magnified the "face" of the Ningbo community. Insofar as foreign authorities accepted the leaders of native-place associations as representatives of the Chinese community, they reinforced a growing tactical linkage between native-place and national identity.

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Chapter Six The Native Place and the Nation Anti-Imperialist and Republican Revolutionary Mobilization
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