Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Details

Lim, J. (2013). Observations of the political and economic situation in China by the British Mercantile Community during the Civil War, 1945-1949. In A. Brady & D. Brown (Eds.), Foreigners and Foreign Institutions in Republican China (pp. 109-127). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.


The defeat of the Chinese in the Opium War and the signing of an AngloChinesetreaty at Nanjing in 1842 forced China to cede Hong Kong to the Britishand open five ports for international trade. The concession of these "TreatyPorts" 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 theBritish settled in these territories when they arrived in China, regardless ofwhether they came for trade, missionary work, local government or service inthe Chinese Maritime Customs. The result was a "dual economy" in China.Ports, cities and regions occupied by Western powers such as the British andother cities along the Chinese coastline formed "Core China" and developed at afaster rate than the rest of the country, or "Periphery China".