April 18th #chinadiary

Taiyuan to Shijiazhuang (today)
"War, war, and rumors of war. Mostly rumors, to be sure, but exciting, nevertheless." So writes Carl on the train to shikiachuang (Shijiazhuang). This is the 'Warlord Era', a period in the history (1916-1928) when China was divided among military cliques in the mainland regions of Sichuan, Shanxi, Qinghai, Ningxia, Guangdong, Guangxi, Gansu, Yunnan and Xinjiang. Carl is travelling in the midst of various troop movements and does seem more excited than scared - also remarking of the wars that "the pity of it is that there is absolutely no principle involved ... it is simply a struggle for power." This point comes immediately after the extensive discussions about war's justification as part of the conference and other discussions.