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Chinese Labour

By Grace Pansze


Chinese map of the world with allied nations in red and the enemies in blue, 1918

Mount Tai
If Mount Tai is stable, so is the entire country"

The Twenty-One Demands

Group 1 + 2: Groups One and Two were designed to confirm Japans dominant position in Shandong.
Group 3: Group Three would acknowledge Japans special interests in an industrial complex in central China.
Group 4: Group Four forbade China from giving any further coastal or island concessions to foreign powers except for
Group 5: Group Five required China to install Japanese advisors who could take effective control of Chinese
government, economy, and military.

The Chinese Labour Corps (CLC)

Badge from the Chinese Labour Corps, 1917-1920. Photo: In Flanders Fields Museum, Ypres

Transportation to the Front

- Unloading and transporting

Roles of CLC Workers

supplies to the front

- Digging trenches
- Building railroads
- Building and repairing tanks
- Building roads
- Scouting
- Kitchen Crew
- Medics

Chinese Labourers Clean and Repair a Damaged Tank


Chinese entertain British troops in France. Dragons ready for the Dragon fight. Photo: National Library of
A dragon day celebrated by the Chinese workers in France. A display on stilts. Photo: National Library of

Hot Water-Kai Shui

Have you had Chinese passing through before?
It is obvious he does not come directly to the point.
Never. It is most interesting.
The eyes of the subaltern light up.
You know, messiou, they are doing wonderful work in
France, wonderful. But theyre a peculiar people. Par
exemple, they must have hot water to drink at least
twice a day - an ancient custom.
They havent had a drink since entraining yesterday
afternoon. Probably this our only stop to-day. What can
you do for us?
Hot water! repeats the station-master in a tone of
amazement. Just hot water with - no flavour?
Plain hot water, messiou. They will not live

South China Morning Post Archives

December 5th, 1918

The Treaty of Versailles

The treaty failed to include every
demand the Chinese made in return
for their efforts: Shandong would
return to their possession, foreign
concessions would withdraw from
China, and Japan's Twenty-One
Demands of 1915 would be cancelled.
Chinese Foreign Minister Lu Zhengxiang, Chinas representative at
the Versailles conference in 1919

Post War Roles

- Clean up debris
- Dig up landmines
- Refill trenches
- Move bodies to war
- Clearing Barbed Wire

Remembering the CLC

The {CLC Workers are the} forgotten of the forgotten -Maev Kennedy, First World War's Forgotten Chinese Labour Corps to Get Recognition at Last
Though dead he still liveth ()
43,000 First World War memorials were built in Britain, yet not one remembered the 96,000 volunteers of the Chinese Labour Corps.

Cheng Ling kneels along with her husband and daughter at her
grandfather's grave in France
We Never forget our ancestors.

Wu, Annie. "Chinese Taoism." ChinaHighlights. N.p., 9 July 2015. Web. 01 Feb. 2016.
"Full Story." Ensuring We Remember. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
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Shape Europe." South China Morning Post. SCMP Chronicles, 2012. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.
Kennedy, Maev. "First World War's Forgotten Chinese Labour Corps to Get Recognition at
Last." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 14 Aug. 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
Huang, Yanzhong. "China, Japan, and the 21 Demands." The Diplomat. The
Diplomat, 24 Jan. 2015. Web. 17 Jan. 2016.
The University of Hong Kong Libraries. "Waters, D., "The Chinese Labour Corps in the First World War: Labourers Buried in France", in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
Hong Kong Branch, Vol. 35, 1995, pp. 199203" (PDF). Sunzi1.lib.hku.hk. Retrieved 2014-04-10.
"The Afterlife." Personal Tao. Personal Tao, n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2016.