Observations of the political and economic situation in China by the British Mercantile Community during the Civil War, 1945-1949
The defeat of the Chinese in the Opium War and the signing of an AngloChinese treaty at Nanjing in 1842 forced China to cede Hong Kong to the British and open five ports for international trade. The concession of these "Treaty Ports" to the British, and subsequent territories to Western powers and Japan, forced China to open its doors to the outside world. For more than a century the British settled in these territories when they arrived in China, regardless of whether they came for trade, missionary work, local government or service in the Chinese Maritime Customs. The result was a "dual economy" in China. Ports, cities and regions occupied by Western powers such as the British and other cities along the Chinese coastline formed "Core China" and developed at a faster rate than the rest of the country, or "Periphery China".