‘China’s foreign relations are largely Anglo-Chinese’, remarked a senior Chinese diplomat in 1936.1 Indeed until the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937 Britain was the predominant Western power in China. Anglo-Chinese relations began with the expansion of British commercial interests in Asia. The opening up of China to international mercantile interests following the Opium War by Britain was generally regarded as the beginning of Western domination in China and a starting point in modern Sino-Western relations. As historian Peter Lowe pointed out: ‘Britain took the lead in compelling China to open up her leading ports to trade and in erecting the system of extra-territoriality as it functioned until eventually swept by Japanese imperialism’.2


Foreign Policy Policy Formulation Foreign Affair Chinese Communist Party Diplomatic Relation 
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Copyright information

© James Tuck-Hong Tang 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Tuck-Hong Tang
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Hong KongChina

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