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About the text:

From: On Colonies, Industrial Monopoly and Working Class Movement, Futura, 1972, 57 p., p. 24-25.


Written on 22th May, 1857

… One thing is certain, that the death-hour of old China is rapidly drawing nigh. Civil war has already divided the South from the North of the Empire, and the Rebel King seems to be as secure from the Imperialists (if not from the intrigues of his own followers) at Nanking, as the Heavenly Emperor from the rebels at Peking. Canton carries on, so far, a sort of independent war with the English, and all foreigners in general; and while British and French fleets and troops flock to Honkong, slowly but steadily the Siberian-line Cossacks advance their stanitzas [2] from the Daurian mountains to the banks of the Amur, and the Russian marines close in by fortifications the splendid harbours of Manchuria. The very fanaticism of the southern Chinese in their struggle against foreigners seems to mark a consciousness of the supreme danger in which old China is placed; and before many years pass away, we shall have to witness the death-struggle of the oldest empire in the world, and the opening day of a new era for all Asia.


[2] Village

MEOC p. 125.

The complete text can be found online at Marxist Internet Archive, MIA.