The next question is where the mint should be located. Reformers like Dr. Vissering have advocated Peking, and others have advocated the retention of the Peiyang Mint as the central mint for the country. Once the idea of a central mint is accepted, the considerations that should determine the place where the mint should be located are: the ease of Government supervision, nearness to the place where there is usually the largest stock of silver, propinquity to the centre of the greatest demand for coins and the establishment in a place where the metal for coinage is obtained at the cheapest cost. It would, of course, be stupid to urge an establishment of central mint at Chengtu or Kaifeng, because the very cost of transporting the metal to the mint and retransporting the coins to the different trade centres would be so great as to nullify all the good effects of the introduction of a uniform coinage. Peking is being favoured at present. The one great advantage is that it is the capital and the greatest attention would be paid to supervision; but in all other respects there is no advantage. If there is any place best suited for the establishment of a central mint it is Shanghai. All the silver that comes from foreign countries arrives first in Shanghai and is then distributed to other parts of China - with few exceptions, of course. The greater part of the metal of this country is left with the foreign banks in Shanghai at all the periods of the year. Merchants from Szechuan, Newchwang, Fukhien and Shensi, all come to Shanghai to buy their goods. As trade is regulated from Shanghai and as most of the money comes to Shanghai at some period or other in the course of trade, it is a correct syllogism to conclude that Shanghai is the best place from which currency could be regulated. The advantages of Shanghai briefly, are (1) the cost of metal for coinage, silver nickel or copper, would be the cheapest; (2) the regulation of currency from this port would be the easiest; (3) the Chinese Government could have advantageous help in the shape of the co-operation of the foreign banks, who, after all, have the greatest voice in the regulation of the trade of this country; (4) all foreign obligations of this country are being met in this port; and, therefore, to have the mint in Shanghai would be to the advantage of China; and (5) there would be far more check on the misuse of the mint by the state in Shanghai, than in Peking.
Even when the mint is established and proper coins are minted, we are not much nearer our goal. It is only when the Government is able to supply the unit coin for whatever amount of silver is presented at the mint with as little cost for coinage, and as little delay, as possible, confidence in the new currency would be generated and the regulation of currency would be achieved. The several steps that would have to be traversed in bringing about this result are certainly arduous; but with the successful inauguration of the initial steps, i.e., the adoption of a standard, the adoption of a unit of coinage, the establishment of a mint, and the establishment of the mechanism of the district banks, by means of which the new currency would be circulated and the old currency withdrawn, the foundations of reform would nave been laid.