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China: From Isolationism to Internationalism

The Portuguese and Dutch
did it but the British refused
Opium Smokers
“Your honorable nation takes away the products of our
central land, and not only do you thereby obtain food and
support for yourselves, but moreover, by reselling these
products to other countries, you reap a threefold profit.
Now if you would only not sell opium, this threefold profit
would be secured to you: how can you possibly consent
to forgo it for a drug that is hurtful to men, and an
unbridled craving after gain that seems to know no

P.S. We annex an abstract of the new law…’Any foreigner

or foreigners bringing opium to the Central Land, with the
design to sell the same, the principals shall most
assuredly be decapitated.’”
--Letter to Queen Victoria from Lin Tse-hsü, 1836
First Opium War (1840-1842)
Treaty of Nanking, 1842
3. All British citizens would be subjected to British, not Chinese,
law if they committed any crime on Chinese soil.
4. The British would no longer have to pay tribute to trade with
China, and they gained five open ports for British trade.
5. No more restrictions were placed on British trade. As a
consequence, opium trade more than doubled in the three
decades following the Treaty of Nanking.
Second Opium War (1856-1860)
Russians take Northern Manchuria 1858-1860
Franco-Chinese war (1884-1885), French
gain control over Indochina
China and Japan go to war over Korea (1894-95).
China loses, again. Forced to give some land and
pay reparations to Japan as well as allow Japanese
factories in China.
I Ho Ch'uan (Righteous, Harmonious Fists) aka
“The Boxers”
Put down by Eight Nation Alliance: Japan,
Britain, the U.S., Germany, France, Russia,
Austria and Italy

fighting the
A shocked mandarin in Manchu
robe in the back, with Queen
Victoria (UK), Wilhelm II
(Germany), Nicholas II
(Russia), Marianne (France),
and a samurai (Japan) stabbing
into a plate with Chine ("China"
in French) written on it
The People’s Principles
1. Nationalism (anti-Manchu, anti-western
2 Democracy
3. People’s livelihood (social reforms)

Sun Yat-sen, Leader of the

Kuomintang Party and first
president of the Republic of
China, 1911

Chiang Kai-chek, leader of

Kuomintang = Nationalist Party the Kuomintang after Sun
Yat-sen died, 1925

Chiang Kai-chek, A young Mao Tse-tung,

Kuomintang (nationalists)
The Long March,
1934, 6,000 miles
Japanese Imperialism
1905, Korea and
part of Manchuria

1931, All of

Invasion of
China and

A young Mao Tse-tung,

Chiang Kai-chek,
Kuomintang (nationalists)
War with Japan, 1937

Japan’s defeat in 1945


Mao proclaims the People’s
Republic of China, October,
A Revolution Is Not A Dinner Party

- Mao Zedong
Deng Xiaoping, leader of Hu Jintao
Chinese Communist Party Current President of China
(late 70’s to early 90’s);
allowed some liberalization