Colonialism in China was a piecemeal agglomeration that achieved its greatest extent in the first half of the twentieth century, the last edifices falling at the close of the century. The diversity of these colonial arrangements across China’s landscape defies systematic characterization.

This book investigates the complexities and subtleties of colonialism in China during the first half of the twentieth century. In particular, the contributors examine the interaction between localities and forces of globalization that shaped the particular colonial experiences characterizing much of China’s experience at this time. In the process it is clear that an emphasis on interaction, synergy and hybridity can add much to an understanding of colonialism in Twentieth Century China based on the simple binaries of colonizer and colonized, of aggressor and victim, and of a one-way transfer of knowledge and social understanding. To provide some kind of order to the analysis, the chapters in this volume deal in separate sections with colonial institutions of hybridity, colonialism in specific settings, the social biopolitics of colonialism, colonial governance, and Chinese networks in colonial environments.

Bringing together an international team of experts, Twentieth Century Colonialism and China is an essential resource for students and scholars of modern Chinese history and colonialism and imperialism.

chapter |22 pages


Colonialism and China

part 1|55 pages

Colonial governance and questions of identity

chapter 1|12 pages

‘Good work for China in every possible direction'

The Foreign Inspectorate of the Chinese Maritime Customs, 1854–1950

chapter 2|20 pages

Negotiating the Nation

German colonialism and Chinese nationalism in Qingdao, 1897–1914

chapter 3|21 pages

Things unheard of East or West

Colonialism, nationalism, and cultural contamination in early Chinese exchanges

part 2|86 pages

Colonial spaces and everyday social interactions

chapter 4|11 pages

The Peak

Residential segregation in colonial Hong Kong

chapter 5|16 pages

An Italian ‘neighbourhood' in Tianjin

Little Italy or colonial space? 1

chapter 6|26 pages

The colonial space of death

Shanghai cemeteries, 1844–1949

chapter 7|17 pages

French Medicine in Nineteenth-and Twentieth-Century China

Rejection or compliance in far south treaty-ports, concessions and leased territories

chapter 8|14 pages

Writing Home and China

Elisabeth Frey in Tianjin, 1913–14

part 3|59 pages

Late colonialism and local consequences

chapter 9|13 pages

Modernism and its Discontent In Shanghai

The dubious agency of the semi-colonized in 1929

chapter 10|17 pages

Equality and the ‘Unequal Treaties'

Chinese émigrés and British colonial routes to modernity

chapter 12|12 pages

The Hapless Imperialist?

Portuguese Rule in 1960S Macau