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date: 23 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

China’s end of empire, as elsewhere, was a protracted process, the ramifications of which are still being felt, and its imperial situation was especially complex. From the middle of the nineteenth-century onwards, more than a dozen foreign powers acquired an imperial foothold in China but none secured (and rarely sought) anything more than small pockets of territorial jurisdiction until the Sino-Japanese War of 1937–1945. This chapter considers the fates of three different Chinese empires: the Manchu Qing dynasty, the Western powers, and the Japanese. It will attempt to explain how the Qing vanquished, held, then lost a vast territory marked by pronounced cultural diversity, and explores how its end was closely bound up with the rise and fall of overseas powers in China.

Keywords: Decolonization, intervention, war, China, Communism, Sino-Japanese War, dependency, extra-territoriality, transnationalism

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