Britain's Imperial Retreat from China, 1900-1931
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Britain's Imperial Retreat from China, 1900-1931

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Britain's relationship with China in the nineteenth and early twentieth century is often viewed in terms of gunboat diplomacy, unequal treaties, and the unrelenting pursuit of Britain's own commercial interests. This book, however, based on extensive original research, demonstrates that in Britain after the First World War a combination of liberal, Labour party, pacifist, missionary and some business opinion began to argue for imperial retreat from China, and that this movement gathered sufficient momentum for a sympathetic attitude to Chinese demands becoming official Foreign Office policy in 1926. The book considers the various strands of this movement, relates developments in Britain to the changing situation in China, especially the rise of nationalism and the Guomindang, and argues that, contrary to what many people think, the reassertion of China's national rights was begun successfully in this period rather than after the Communist takeover in 1949.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 159 x 235 x 20.32mm | 499g
  • ROUTLEDGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 113890984X
  • 9781138909847
  • 1,204,442

Table of contents

Introduction


1. Past British Thought about China to 1900


`So Well Conceited of Themselves': Early Jesuit and British Accounts


`Fifty years of Europe' vs. `A Cycle of Cathay': Imperialism and China


Christianity, Compassion and Modernity: Missionary Views


The Moral Burden: Victorian Travel Writings


British Policy, 1895-1900


2. 1900-1910


The Boxer Uprising, 1900


The Boxer Uprising and Chinese `Awakening'


Sir Robert Hart and Chinese `Awakening'


Official policy, 1901-1904


Chinese Nationalism, 1905


G.E. Morrison's Opinions and Influence


Official Policy, 1905-1910


3. 1911-1918


Assessments of the 1911 Revolution


British policy towards China, 1911-1918


4. 1919 to early 1925


The First World War and Empire


The Paris Peace Conference


The Creation of a New Order in East Asia


Chinese Issues, 1922-1924


The Bolshevik Threat and the Yellow Peril


The Boxer Indemnity and Chinese Educational Exchange


5. 1925


Unrest in China: 30 May and its Aftermath


The View from Whitehall


Government Advisors and Lobbyists


Public Responses


The Government Response


Conclusion


6. 1926


The Hong Kong Boycott and the Business Lobby


The Tariff Conference in Beijing


Finding Consensus


Changing Perceptions of the GMD


Challenging Conciliation


The Move Towards a Pro-GMD Policy


The New China Policy: Creating the December Memorandum


7. 1927


The Hankou Incident, the Shanghai Defence Force and the Public Response


The Chen-O'Malley Agreement


The Nanjing `Outrages'


Conclusion
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About Phoebe Chow

Phoebe Chow is in the International History Department at the London School of Economics, UK.
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