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Text on page 162
SIAM AND CHINA
visionary Government at Nanking to send on their part the -Representatives of the princes of the South to Hankow.
YUAN-SHI-KAI TO THE VICE-PRESIDENT LI-YUAN-HUNG
Yuan-Shi-Kai replied as follows :
Pekin, 15th February.
I highly appreciate the eminent views which you have explained to me.
The new regime established; we, who have the fortune to be citizens of a Republic, must naturally submit ourselves to the will of the people.
But at the present moment the whole of my attention is centred on the diplomatic situation of the country. The old regime is abolished, but the new Government is not yet reorganized. The position of China in its rapport with the other Powers becomes every day more critical.
Your opinion is for the Assembly to meet at Hankow.
Do you think that the more urgent questions which await a solution will gain nothing by such a delay ?
Sun-Yat-Sen, Hoang-Sin, and the Members of the Republican League have telegraphed, inviting me to go to Nanking. But a rising would immediately take place should I leave the capital, and I should thus withdraw myself from the line of conduct, which, as a citizen working for the welfare of the people, I had prearranged.
I have deeply reflected on this and it is better that the President