Introduction: China, Cement and Corporations
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The Introduction presents the structure of this book and discusses the general relationship between China, cement and corporations. It explains the systemic and structural difficulties facing imperial China since the middle of the nineteenth century caused by the arrival of corporations from the West. It also points out that larger-than-life historical figures of modern China such as Yuan Shikai, Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek all had major roles and untold stories when viewed from this alternative historical perspective. Rather than telling the history of China from conventional political or social historical angles, the Introduction sets out the perspective taken by this book: the centrality of legal personality in China’s historical story, seen from the angle of cement-manufacturing corporations, in the making of the modern Chinese state.