Under the Confucian government of men, the Sino-barbarian dyarchy of the Ch'ing dynasty could be preserved only by a careful balancing of Chinese and Manchu personnel. Once the half-and-half division of posts had been set up at the capital after the Manchu conquest, the maintenance of this rough proportion became a guaranty both of Chinese participation in the central government and of Manchu control over it. The problem of Manchu control cut into the usual problems of personnel management in a clique-ridden bureaucracy. The imperial government was a political labyrinth of personal, provincial, regional, racial, ideological and functional groupings and relationships—confusing to the novice and baffling to the foreigner. Manchu domination of this bureaucracy was an exacting and delicate task: it was essential both to use the best Chinese talent and to keep it diluted with a proper proportion of Manchus. If the official hierarchy at the capital contained too many Manchu incompetents, the régime might become dangerously inefficient. If the hierarchy in the provinces became all Chinese, Manchu rule might soon collapse.

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