Anglo-Chinese Encounters since 1800: War, Trade, Science and by Wang Gungwu

By Wang Gungwu

Wang Gungwu's learn of the connection among China and the chinese language with imperial Britain examines the chances, in addition to the bounds in their encounters. past the clichГ©s of opium, combating, and the diplomatic talents had to fend off competitors and enemies, Gungwu probes components of extra intimate encounters, now not least of that is the start of a broader English-speaking destiny among the 2 nations.

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The history of the English East India Company is a story of how the British sought to compete with its European rivals, notably the impetus following the defeat of the Spanish armada and the success of the Dutch against the Portuguese in India and the East Indies. Trade supported by the state arose in response to political conditions in Western Europe. The rise of the London merchant in English politics led to the use of armed trading vessels backed by the state. Although this may have seemed, at the beginning, little more than sanctioned piracy that enriched rulers and merchants alike, the armed merchant ships were ultimately regulated in order that they performed only defensive tasks.

No doubt the American way had a different mix of fighting, trading, converting and ruling. But much of the British experience, the institutional structures that were still viable, could be used as a basis for creating more informal but equally resilient connections. xml 34 CT003/Wang-Gungwu December 27, 2002 14:4 Anglo-Chinese Encounters Where China and the Chinese were concerned, there were significant differences in both history and geography to be taken into account. And this impacted immediately upon the military commitment that the Americans could, and were willing to, put into the Chinese cause.

To appreciate the extent to which the Chinese changed their attitudes towards foreign trade, and to see the British contribution to that change, we need to present a fuller picture here. I have noted how maritime China was constrained by the tributary system of a continental empire. xml 52 CT003/Wang-Gungwu January 8, 2003 13:58 Anglo-Chinese Encounters with the centre made up of the lands of the Son of Heaven. Next in order of proximity were Chinese feudal lords and princes, followed by minor chieftains on the Chinese borders.

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