China and Other Colonial Empires
China has always been one of the most discussed and investigated countries. Today, the outstanding development of this state gives rise to a new wave of discussions about its imperialistic past and how it impacts its todays growth. In the paper “China and Other Colonial Empires” by Peter C. Perdue, the given topic is also discussed. One of the central assumptions of the author is that the state has a long imperial history, and in the 18th century it was one of the dominant powers in Inner Asia.
To a greater degree, it was achieved due to the wise policy that presupposed the development of the administrative system encompassing the strength of local authorities, frontier settlements to spread the influence, and active exploitation of newly acquired areas to transform them into a constant source of raw materials. These elements evidence the colonial character of China; at the same time, the author is sure that this term is synonymic to the word imperial because of the similarity of approaches and power patterns. In such a way, there is proof of the authors assumptions regarding the nature of the state and it’s being an Empire with a potent administrative system used to rule on conquered territories of Inner Asia.
Qing Colonial Administration in Inner Asia
This statement is to some degree echoed by Nicola Di Cosmo in the article “Qing Colonial Administration in Inner Asia,” in which he discusses Chinese rule in Tibet, Central Asia, and Mongolia. The factor that preconditioned an outstanding power of the state in the region is the developed administrative system along with the wise policies aimed at the creation of an empire and its further rise. Di Cosmo emphasizes the fact that the local authorities were also engaged in the process to ensure their devotion and avoid revolts or other possible complications. At the same time, the author is also sure of the imperialistic character of China and its development in accordance with this pattern.
All regions under the Qing colonial rule were considered parts of the state that were exploited to gather resources and create the basis for the further development of the Empire. This article perfectly proves the importance of the developed administrative system and its utilization to achieve success while building a big empire that is aimed at consuming new lands and turning them into the colonial domains ruled by local authorities and provide raw materials to the center.
Can the power patterns and ways to manage new lands utilized by China be compared to those used by other empires such as the British or Ottoman ones?
Answering this question, we will be able to understand whether the mechanisms used by empires to spread their influence remain the same or they differ regarding the area and peculiarities of the culture of the local population.
Di Cosmo, Nicola. Qing Colonial Administration in Inner Asia. The International History Review, vol. 20, no. 2, 2010, pp. 287-309.
Perdue, Peter C. China and Other Colonial Empires. The Journal of American–East Asian Relations, vol. 16, no. 1, 2009, pp. 85-103.