Military mobilization in China, 1840–1949
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Military mobilization in China, 1840–1949 book
The Qianlong Emperor, who ruled China from 1736 to 1799, claimed to have been victorious in ten battles. Some of these, such as the invasions of Burma in the 1760s and of Vietnam in 1788-9,were in reality defeats,but it is nonetheless true that the Qianlong Emperor presided over a prosperous empire of great military vitality.The most important of his victories was the seizure of the ‘New Territories’ of Xinjiang or Chinese Turkestan in 1756-9, which resulted in the destruction of the Zunghars, a secure western border and a doubling of China’s size. Signiﬁcant too was the defeat in 1790 of the Gurkhas who had invaded Tibet from Nepal. In the eighteenth century, the Qing was an expansionist empire able to sustain large-scale campaigns over enormous distances in inhospitable territory. Napoleon’s inability to supply his troops in Russia provides a good foil for understanding China’s logistical capacity at the time.