Scramble for China in the 20th Century

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,936
SoCal
#11
Indeed, but it happened in the middle of a world war. It's not like the West was going to make any big moves towards China at that time. And after the war, they really had more pressing concerns than embarking on an ambitious expedition half a world away.

BTW, speaking of the potential Scramble for China and the whole century of humiliation, I think we should re-examine the effects of the First Opium War. Namely, whether or not this war was so devastating to China.
The First Opium War wasn't that devastating to China?

Also, what about without WWI? Could the Great Powers have then finally decided to partition China among them?
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,068
Republika Srpska
#12
Not really, no. Thing is, the final Treaty of Nanking might seem devastating, but when you take a closer look it really is not true. For example, extraterritoriality, so controversial today, was hardly unprecented back then. China pretty much gave all that it gave the West in 1842 to Khanate of Kokand in 1835 (extraterritoriality, reparations, most favoured nation status). It did not mean that the emperor relinquished his sovereignty over that area, it was simply considered as a measure to just placate some of the demands of the other party. In fact, Qing representative at the signing of the Nanking Treaty Keying said that extraterritoriality was a "small matter". After all, China had a history of foreign traders having enclaves within China. Granting the MFN status was seen as a expression of imperial benevolence. The war was not seen as a great calamity by the Qing. In fact, Daoguang Emperor's edicts concerning the war were catalogued in an archive of suppression and arrest as if it was only a revolt against the emperor and not an invasion by a foreign force. The reparations might seem large, 21 million taels, but the cost of suppressing the White Lotus revolt was around 200 million taels.
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,936
SoCal
#13
Very interesting!

Also:

1. What about my second question above?

2. How'd Kokand actually manage to force China to pay them reparations when Kokand was much weaker than China (I'm presuming, at least)?
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,068
Republika Srpska
#14
1. What about my second question above?
It is difficult to say. It would probably make the idea of a Scramble for China closer to reality but whether or not the West would go for it is anyone's guess. We must also keep in mind that such a scramble would probably inflame tensions between the colonial powers over who gets what and such tensions could easily escalate into a major conflict (same way a dispute in the Balkans turned into a world war in 1914). Perhaps the colonial powers would be reluctant to try to colonize China due to the risk of war, but then again it is possible that some powers, especially Germany, would go for it in order to make their empires bigger and closer in size to those of Britain and France.

2. How'd Kokand actually manage to force China to pay them reparations when Kokand was much weaker than China (I'm presuming, at least)?
They beat them in battle.
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,936
SoCal
#15
It is difficult to say. It would probably make the idea of a Scramble for China closer to reality but whether or not the West would go for it is anyone's guess. We must also keep in mind that such a scramble would probably inflame tensions between the colonial powers over who gets what and such tensions could easily escalate into a major conflict (same way a dispute in the Balkans turned into a world war in 1914). Perhaps the colonial powers would be reluctant to try to colonize China due to the risk of war, but then again it is possible that some powers, especially Germany, would go for it in order to make their empires bigger and closer in size to those of Britain and France.
Would A-H actually be willing to support Germany in a war over China, though?

They beat them in battle.
Which battle? Also, could the Qing not send reinforcements?
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,068
Republika Srpska
#16
As I said, giving those privileges was not really a massive deal for the Qing. The Qing tried to subjugate Kokand and failed, so giving them those privileges was the best possible solution at the time.
 
Likes: Futurist
Apr 2017
1,387
U.S.A.
#19
What about in the 1910s without WWI?
Adventurous greed had abated a bit by then.
That would also be after the Russo-Japanese war, and Japan would come into dispute with Europe.
Late 19th century would be better, Europe can focus on their unfiltered greed without interference. France taking the south, Britain Tibet, part of the south and center, Germany Shandong region, Russia Manchuria, Xinjiang, inner Mongolia; and Japan Korea and Taiwan. Maybe some bits to others as well.
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,936
SoCal
#20
Adventurous greed had abated a bit by then.
That would also be after the Russo-Japanese war, and Japan would come into dispute with Europe.
Late 19th century would be better, Europe can focus on their unfiltered greed without interference. France taking the south, Britain Tibet, part of the south and center, Germany Shandong region, Russia Manchuria, Xinjiang, inner Mongolia; and Japan Korea and Taiwan. Maybe some bits to others as well.
What about 1898 without a Spanish-American War?