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Download e-book for iPad: China and the International System, 1840-1949: Power, by David Scott

By David Scott

As China maintains its quick ascent in the overseas procedure, questions of the place it got here from have specific relevance. Combining heritage with diplomacy thought, David Scott considers China's first sizeable sleek interval of stumble upon with the West from 1840 via 1949, a interval characterised because the Century of Humiliation. in this time China fell from center state preeminence to a place within the foreign procedure that remained an enigmatic and demanding one: too powerful to be taken over as a colony, but no longer robust adequate to form its personal future. on the middle of Scott's examine is come upon, and, with it, questions of strength, presence, and perceptions. He examines the pictures, hopes, and fears that have been evoked in the course of China's century-long subservience to exterior powers, together with opposing perspectives of China as a danger or China because the "sick guy of Asia" and the West as evil or the West as savior. China and the chinese language are explored when it comes to their interplay with the foreign procedure, with a selected concentrate on the USA and Australia.

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Additional info for China and the International System, 1840-1949: Power, Presence, and Perceptions in a Century of Humiliation

Sample text

He rejoiced in how “the period has at length arrived when that wonderful nation is, by a slow but steady progress, to be brought under the influence of Christianity” (92). From a Chinese point of view this was but geocultural imperialism. Yet amid initial hopes came more long-term concerns. Bernard’s hope was that “our intercourse with that remarkable nation ought to be recorded in the pages of history as a blessing, and not, what it might readily become, without great caution and prudence, a curse” (93).

In his treatise, Wei used classic Chinese precepts, in effect IR balance of power maxims, that China “use barbarians to control barbarians” (CRW 1979: 34). Thus, “there is no better method of attacking England by sea than to use France and America” (32). On land, and closer to China’s own sphere, “the British barbarians’ fear of Russia lies not in her national capital but in India. This is one opportunity which might be used” (32). Alongside such external diplomatic ploys came the need for China to develop its own power by adopting Western technology, “to learn the superior skills of the barbarians in order to control them” 30 CHINA AND THE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM, 1840–1949 (34).

Other questionable hopes were also present in Bernard’s musings. He rejoiced in how “the period has at length arrived when that wonderful nation is, by a slow but steady progress, to be brought under the influence of Christianity” (92). From a Chinese point of view this was but geocultural imperialism. Yet amid initial hopes came more long-term concerns. Bernard’s hope was that “our intercourse with that remarkable nation ought to be recorded in the pages of history as a blessing, and not, what it might readily become, without great caution and prudence, a curse” (93).

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