British China was in origin an off-shoot of British India, most notoriously it was the prime market for India opium, and through the tea trade a key factor in British Indian revenues. This essay explores the history of this triangular relationship, and the ways in which the British story in China between the 1830s and 1947 was shaped by its Indian roots and connections. Opium was supplanted after the 1910s by imperial security considerations as the key factor in the relationship. Throughout the period the agency of individual migrants from the subcontinent remained important in how the relationship functioned. By examining Sino-British relations through this prism, the chapter demonstrates the complexity and multifaceted nature of what was always much more than a ‘bilateral’ relationship.
|Title of host publication||Britain and China, 1840-1970|
|Subtitle of host publication||Empire, finance and war|
|Editors||Robert Bickers, Jonathan J. Howlett|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||25|
|Publication status||Published - 31 Jul 2015|