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Sun, Mary Man-Yue (1968) British policy and the Chinese revolutionary movement, 1895-1912. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis traces British reactions to the development of the Chinese revolutionary movement from its beginnings in the British colony of Hong Kong, to the involvement of returned students in the Yangtze ports, the outbreak of the Revolution in October 1911, and finally studies Britain's role in the negotiations between the government and the revolutionaries leading to the peaceful establishment of the Chinese Republic. British policy in China was influenced variously by the China merchants, the missionaries and most important of all, by members of the Diplomatic and Consular Services in China, who were the only reliable sources of information emanating from a country geographically and culturally remote from Great Britain. In practical terms there was really no definite policy towards the Chinese revolutionary movement: Britain was caught in the dilemma between desire for conditions of peace and stability to enable her to carry on her main business in China, namely trade and commerce, and the hopes among many in the late Victorian period to see the Chinese undertake radical reforms in all aspects of their government and administration. This resulted in Britain's official stand of absolute neutrality and nonintervention when the Revolution finally erupted, while unofficially the British Legation in Peking was given free rein to influence the course of events in China by mediation and indirect pressure, to expediate the return to normalcy after the chaos of the Revolution. Policy-making in China was thus in the hands of those experts on the scene upon whose personal attitudes and idiosyncracies regarding reform and revolution in China statesmen in Britain depended.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 14:58

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