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China Station (Hardback)

The British Military in the Middle Kingdom 1839 - 1997

Military P&S History > By Century > 19th Century P&S History > By Century > 20th Century

By Mark Felton
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 16 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781781590690
Published: 2nd September 2013



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The Author, who lives in Shanghai, sets out to demonstrate that the British military has been at the forefront of many of the great changes that have swept China over the last two centuries.

He devotes chapters to the various wars, military adventures and rebellions that regularly punctuated Sino/British relationships since the 1st Opium War 1839-1842. This classic example of Imperial intervention saw the establishment of Hong Kong and Shanghai as key trading centres. The Second Opium War and the Taiping and Boxer Rebellions saw the advancement of British influence despite determined but unsuccessful efforts by the Chinese to loosen the grip of Western domination. The Royal Navys might ensured that, by gunboat diplomacy, trading rights and new posts were established and great fortunes made.

But in the 1940s the British grossly underestimated Japanese military might and intentions with disastrous results. After the Second World War the British returned to find that the Americans had supplanted them. The Communists victory in the Civil War sealed British and Western fates and, while Hong Kong remained under British control until 1997, the end of British rule was almost inevitable. But the handover was a masterly piece of pragmatic capitalism and the former Colony remains an economic powerhouse with strong British influence.

This is a useful examination of Britain's interests in this part of the world and if you only need one book on the subject, this is probably it.

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Amazon Customer

The author’s choice of topics and his exploration of them bring breadth and insight.

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Phil Curme

About Mark Felton

Mark Felton teaches at Fudan University, Shanghai. He has written an impressive number of successful works for Pen and Sword Books on the Second World War such as The Real Tenko, The Final Betrayal and The Last Nazis.

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