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Modernity in Asia

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Before 1800 Chinese authorities had a chance to regulate foreign trade of Chinese goods. After 1800 Chinese authorities were challenged by British officials, who suggested opium trading in China, which was of high demand in the country. For China this foreign policy of Britain resulted in tremendous losses of population: “Qing Chinese authorities became increasingly alarmed at the tremendous human cost of hundreds of thousands (and later millions) of Chinese opium addicts, at the corruption of Chinese officials and merchants involved in the opium trade.These hostile moods of China were seized by the power of Britain in 1839, when Britain initiated "Opium War." First of all, Britain wanted to gain compensation from China for losses the country experienced after China’s attempt to destruct opium. Moreover, Britain was mainly concerned about protection of future sales in India.There were two periods of “Opium War” (from 1839 to 1842 and from 1856 to 1860)4. British military concerns were mainly based on the idea that military weak countries should be guided by stronger countries with more military strength and authoritative potential.Moreover, it should be noted that Qing China had a nominal sovereignty and it had struggled for financial independence and economical improvement in the country. The following words underline the following attempts taken by Chinese officials: “Chinese officials and entrepreneurs initiated Chinese owned steam shipping, a modern coal mine, a steam railway, a telegraph company, and modern mechanized cotton mills. The Qing government also approved the setting up of a modern iron and steel mill and a Western-style bank”5.Opium trade reached indirect losses. The opium trade contributed much into the level of corruption growth among Chinese officials. Tariffs on opium imports were increased. For foreign banks it was advantageous to operate in China. The decrease of Chinese tariff from 5 to 3 percent during the period of 1860 and 1900 were collected in fixed silver tariffs7. Moreover, unequal treaties led to the challenge of Chinese-owned modern industrial development. A process of Western military invasion expanded and Qing Chinese had to move up to “defensive modernization”8.Internal struggles of warfare resulted in the increase of crime, economy crisis in Canton, trading city of China, and the economic development of Shanghai and Hong Kong. That was a
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preview essay on Modernity in Asia
  • Pages: 8 (2000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: History
  • Level: Undergraduate
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