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Wright, Leigh Richard (1963) British Policy in the South China Sea Area With Special Reference to Sarawak, Brunei and North Borneo 1860-1888. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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By 1888 Britain had secured control over the territories on the northwest coast of Borneo and commanded the eastern part of the South China Sea. This may be viewed as the culmination of a fifty year policy of involvement in the area. During the 1840's and 1850's that policy was hesitant and faltering. But after 1860 it became a definite movement toward domination of the route between Singapore and Hong Kong. Two basic factors of British Far Eastern policy were involved. One was the need to maintain and protect the trade route to China. The other factor was the evolution of an imperial policy - the change-over from primarily a commercially based to a politically based policy. The change took place during the quarter of a century following 1860. British activity was motivated more and more by the idea that another power might acquire a territorial footing in northwest Borneo and threaten the trade routes. During the 1860's Britain granted naval protection to Sarawak. It was then but a step to proclaiming a sphere of influence over the whole coast. These moves were as much a reaction to the French presence in Cochin China as they were a reflection of the new imperialist feeling arising in Britain. The suspicion of German intentions in the area moved Britain to strengthen her position. She sponsored the state of North Borneo under rule by a chartered company. By a protocol with Germany and Spain she defined her sphere in Borneo. Finally Britain granted protectorates over Sarawak, Brunei and North Borneo. The purpose of this thesis is to study Britain's position in Borneo from 1860 to 1888 and to show how it reflected the development of policy in London.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:32

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