The decline of British power in Asia, from a high point in 1905, when Britain’s ally Japan vanquished the Russian Empire, apparently reducing the perceived threat that Russia posed to its influence in India and China, to the end of the twentieth century, when British power had dwindled to virtually nothing, is one of the most important themes in understanding the modern history of East and Southeast Asia. This book considers a range of issues that illustrate the significance and influence of the British Empire in Asia and the nature of Britain’s imperial decline. Subjects covered include the challenges posed by Germany and Japan during the First World War, British efforts at international co-operation in the interwar period, the British relationship with Korea and Japan in the wake of the Second World War, and the complicated path of decolonisation in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Chapter 3 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at https://www.taylorfrancis.com under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license. 

chapter |7 pages


Peter Lowe and the history of the British presence in East Asia and South-East Asia
ByAntony Best

chapter 1|13 pages

Early retirement

Britain’s retreat from Asia, 1905–23
ByIan Nish

chapter 2|14 pages

Imperial Germany’s strategy in East and South-East Asia

The campaign against British India
ByT.G. Fraser

chapter 3|22 pages

Japan’s Twenty-One Demands and Anglo–Japanese relations

BySochi Naraoka
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chapter 6|13 pages

Defending the ‘Singapore strategy’

Hankey’s Dominions tour, 1934
ByAnn Trotter

chapter 8|18 pages

In search of regional authority in South-East Asia

The improbable partnership of Lord Killearn and Malcolm MacDonald, 1946–8
ByA.J. Stockwell

chapter 10|19 pages

A withdrawal from Empire

Hong Kong–UK relations during the European Economic Community enlargement negotiations, 1960–3 1
ByDavid Clayton

chapter 11|19 pages

From Vietnam to Hong Kong

Britain, China and the everyday Cold War, 1965–7
ByChi-kwan Mark

chapter 12|14 pages

Towards ‘a new Okinawa’ in the Indian Ocean

Diego Garcia and Anglo–American relations in the 1960s
ByYoichi Kibata