NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
16th February, 1912 : At noon yesterday the Chinese cruisers in Shanghai fired a 21-gun salute and hoisted the Revolutionary flag, formally recognising the new Government. Last month the Emperor resigned and China officially became a republic. But the situation is still very confused. Yuan Shi-kai, who is currently the dictator of the north, seems certain to became the first President. But how much real control he will have over the south is just a matter of intense speculation.
The position of the Emperor is also anomalous. He retains his title, as do the nobles, and will live in Peking and get £400,000 annually. The eunuch system, however, will be abolished.
[ That may, in due course, come as an unpleasant surprise to the 2,270 members of the National Communist Party Congress. By the way, the revolutionaries could not agree on the flag – the middle one is supposed to represent five races in China. Don’t show it to Shorten or Turnbull. ]