Britain and China, and India, 1830s-1940s

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBritain and China, 1840-1970
Subtitle of host publicationEmpire, finance and war
EditorsRobert Bickers, Jonathan J. Howlett
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781315687735
ISBN (Print)9780415658768
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2015

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  • Projects

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    • 1 Participation in conference

    Asia and Intra-Asian Connections Annual Conference of the Center for Global Asia, NYU Shanghai

    Robert Bickers (Invited speaker)

    22 Aug 201624 Aug 2016

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


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    Professor Robert A Bickers

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    Cite this

    Bickers, R. (2015). Britain and China, and India, 1830s-1940s. In R. Bickers, & J. J. Howlett (Eds.), Britain and China, 1840-1970: Empire, finance and war (pp. 58-83). Routledge.