The second Labour Government, unlike both their predecessors and their successors, were fortunate in that throughout their period of office the perennial Chinese problem was in a relatively quiescent phase. In 1928, after several years of bitter civil war, China had again come under the nominal control of one administration, that of Chiang Kai-shek, and despite intermittent outbursts of unrest and disorder, she was to remain in a tolerably peaceful condition until September 1931, when the Japanese attack on Manchuria began. Henderson was therefore never under serious pressure to take military action in the Far East either to defend British lives and property from the effects of civil strife or to preserve the integrity of China from external aggression. On the other hand, the existence of a more tranquil situation was not an unmixed blessing for the British, since they no longer had any convincing excuse for refusing to negotiate the surrender of various extraterritorial privileges mostly accumulated and maintained as a result of the Chinese Government’s inability to provide adequate protection for British traders.1
KeywordsUnilateral Action Civil Strife British Citizen Legislative Yuan Chinese Minister
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