Is Yangjiang part of Australasian China?12 March 1890, Zhapho House, Hailing, Australasian China
Hugh Glass III looked out from the houses verandah, from which he could see clearly the waves cresting on four mile beach. Hailing Island was embraced by the sea, with clean water, sand and sea, seafood readily available from the local fisherman. It received year-round sunshine, with the annual average temperature of 23 degrees, sunny days for 310 days, very mild winters, summers without heat, four spring-like seasons, beaches that one could swim at year round.
The opium wars had started because the British were experiencing a problem with their trade with China, namely they bought more than they sold. Chinese goods such as silk, porcelain, especially tea, were very popular in the UK. However, Chinese merchants did not buy British goods in return. As a result, Britain had to pay silver for the goods that it was importing, risking a shortage. Australasia desired those same good, especially tea, with, up until 1880, had mainly been imported from Ceylon at high price.
His mother had provided 50% of the start up capital for Glass, Gotch and Greaves. It had allowed the company to purchase suitable shipping to transport Chinese goods back to Australasia. Right from the start, shipment of opium was prohibited by the company charter. However, partnerships with men such as Stanley Kidman, "The Cattle Barron", whose vast land and cattle holdings would, by the time of his death in 1935, eventually expanding to encompass 110,000 square miles, 176,000 head of cattle, 25,000 buffaloes and 245,000 head of sheep. However, it was mainly beef that was exported to China. That and munitions. Imperial China had been casting around for some time for a military ally of some reliability and it had been Australasia that they had settled on. It had resulted in the sale of four cruisers for the Beiyang Fleet and a quantity of small arms and artillery.
It was on that basis that increasing trade was being done through the port of Yangjiang, all located within the Australasian enclave on the mainland. Consequently, the population of Hailing had gone from 7,000 scattered fishermen to 55,000, most of those working for South China Lines, the companies shipping subsidiary or Glass, Gotch and Greaves large warehouse complexes. Trade had become so popular that American interests had expressed a desire to begin importing via Hailing. It remained to be seen if this was a good thing.