Relations between Great Britain and China

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In the 1700s, an increased productivity was the result of a series of innovations and reforms that required less human energy and for factories and mechanisms to develop. Furthermore, the industrial revolution began in Great Britain due to the emergence of the textile industry, cloth assembled by hand in the homes of these workers for domestic items in which operated on several hours of difficult labor and skill. However, the growing demands of Great Britain caused issues in production as the domestic production system could not keep up with the growing population in Europe, particularly Britain. In result, this shifted the textile production through several innovations and reforms of change for a new factory system, largely influencing sophisticated technological and economic advancements in England initially, but later in regions associated with Europe.

For a few centuries within China, beginning in the Ming dynasty and followed throughout the Qing dynasty through the mid-19th century, isolation had taken repercussions due to severe foreign initiatives and interventions in which resulted in forced networks of control and weakness in the population. These relations upset the Chinese as their technology was not as superior when in comparison; however, they did withhold substantial self-sufficiency in their production gains as well as maintenance of an imperial system, furthermore. These relations between China, during the Qing dynasty, and Great Britain withheld several issues and began to experience emotions such as dishonesty while trading.

The changes in the relationship between Great Britain and China were mostly constructive, in some respects positive, as Great Britain sought more opportunities for trade through the Macartney mission as well as the protection of equal privileges distributed among the countries with trade relations in China in support of their territorial integrity. However, the introduction and exchange of opium in China was negative and resulted in untrustworthiness among the Chinese authorities as well as corruption.

Through the pressures from powers; such as with, France, Germany, Britain, and the United States in the cases of intervening the Chinese, Russian, and Japanese residencies beginning in the mid-19th century, restrictions posed limited trade which additionally initiated further experiences in China. For instance, internal strains-imposed taxes which accompanied the food supply, and this led the Chinese government to deteriorate.

As trade relations began to deteriorate within China, due to weakness in the respects of balanced trade and sufficiency of production, restrictions were placed heavy toward foreign nations in essence of regaining self-sufficiency and superiority over relations. The British embassy to China in 1793, known as the Macartney mission, was led through George Macartney as the first envoy form Great Britain to China. The objective of the embassy was for Emperor Qianlong of China to be convinced to ease restrictions on trade opportunities between Great Britain and China through the allowance of Great Britain to withhold a permanent embassy in Beijing.

However, the mission was a failure in regards of attempts in gaining trustworthiness through Chinese authorities, resulting in a disclosure of these ideals. Due to the lack of interaction between these regions through trade, the relations were also relatively weak and Great Britain held grievances against the Chinese government for limiting their prosperous economy and trade production gained through importation as well as exportation. With all said, Great Britain wanted to maintain a healthy trading balance between themselves and China as it was beneficial to their growing economy and importations of production.

The protection of equal privileges distributed among the countries with trade relations in China in support of territorial and administrative integrity were constructive over the continuous hardships, which was viewed highly beneficial as well as positive. The relations between China and Great Britain became more peaceful due to their intentions of having equal opportunities to trade within China with the exceptions of their granted protection and interests for enacting this policy. The Secretary of State, John Hay, established the open trade policy in effort of keeping China from dividing up, preventing several disputes between the powers functioning in China, and for the protection of Chinese markets in the needs of creating a cooperative collection system.

As it may not have been entirely beneficial in the means of authority over the region, the major powers of Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and Russia agreed to the policy in principal; thus, this allowed for their economy to continue prospering as it had originally due to the imported luxuries and goods. Nonetheless, in 1980, special economic zones were established to modernize China’s industry and economy as it was necessary for foreign direct investments located near Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. Through the treaties enacted for China as well as the other major powers to follow, there were never complete intentions for adopting the treaty or international law as it was alluded but not enforced upon.

As trade opportunities were allowed, although minimally in China, due to foreign initiatives and interventions; profitable trade began to prosper among the Europeans and Chinese. This occurred considering new productions were exchanged; such as, with opium, a highly addictive drug which resulted in further internal strains and corruption. Western countries, particularly Great Britain, exported opium grown vastly in India and then sold to China. Furthermore, these profits were used for the benefit of the British as they were able to purchase luxury goods; such as, silk, porcelain, and tea; which were in great demand of the West.

Throughout several wars, China suppressed the opium trade which highly upset the British because they were exporting large amounts into China. Perpetual actions of these seizures allowed for tensions to rise and for wars to cause a great extent of issues, issuing for more, active trade within China rather than the restricted ports that outlined little advantages. Due to the oppression opposed by the Chinese government of banning the use or allowance of this substance in the nation, it also excluded all trade from Great Britain, resulting in disappointment by the Europeans. The Chinese viewed this as harmful and negative to their society as its intentions were poor and resulted in major social and political weakness among these populations.

Thus, the British seized Hong Kong and used this as a port for distributing opium to the people in need wherein they eventually conquered Nanjing which halted the fighting and permitted the provision of a peace treaty to be signed for British to annex Hong Kong as another trading port within China. Through this, Great Britain wanted the ability to trade more openly in China, with the expectations of maintaining its processes and ideals, as it furthered their gain in the economy as well as production. Finally, the British were viewed as untrustworthy while depicting their abilities to hide information from the Chinese governments in essence of extreme detonation across their system.

In conclusion, the relations between Great Britain and China were mostly constructive as Great Britain initially sought for more power within China through opportunities for trade in which opposed their virtues considering that the British were making illegal profits by selling opium grown from India into China. Furthermore, both had experienced poor relations in the means of political, social, and economic issues as the monopoly within China, prior to the open trade policy, grew extremely out of control.

Through movements such as the Macartney mission as well as the aimed protections of equal privileges distributed among the countries through trade affairs, the relations grew rather irrelevant, but more peaceful. As these relations were changed over time, for both the good and the bad, issues were generally fixed and furthermore encouraged for more reforms and institutions to be formed.

Cite this paper

Relations between Great Britain and China. (2021, Aug 26). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/relations-between-great-britain-and-china/

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