CHINA: Flag, Pearl & Peace

Nearly every little Chinese army is normally for sale. But a serviceable, three-ship navy hawking itself up & down the China coast is something novel. Last week slant-eyed millions chuckled as unexpected sales resistance was encountered by mutinous officers and crews dauntlessly resolved to sell two of the best and most historic cruisers under the Chinese flag and to throw in a training ship for good measure.

The cruiser Hai Chi ("Flag of the Sea") earned in 1911 the distinction of being the first Chinese war boat ever to visit the West when she...

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