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Collaborative Colonial PowerThe Making of the Hong Kong Chinese$
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Wing Sang Law

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9789622099296

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622099296.001.0001

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Social Fabric of a Collaborative Colonialism

Social Fabric of a Collaborative Colonialism

(p.9) 1 Social Fabric of a Collaborative Colonialism
Collaborative Colonial Power

Law Wing Sang

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter focuses on the emergent formation of collaborative colonialism in the early colonial era: from the First Opium War (1840–1842) to the 1911 Republican Revolution. It notes that long before the Opium Wars, many coastal Chinese were already in close contact with Europeans as a result of the latter's trading in commodities such as tea, porcelain, silk, and foodstuffs. With commercial activities manifest in the coastal Chinese regional networks, in Southeast Asian economies, and in the European dominated New World, a class of elite transnationals arose around Hong Kong and exercised considerable economic clout. It notes that the overall effect of nineteenth-century European colonial expansion in the region was the inclusion of Chinese merchants in the newly arisen global networks; yet the dependence of the Europeans on the Chinese also helped boost the ability of some Chinese merchants to dominate intra-Asian trade, including trade with China.

Keywords:   colonialism, First Opium War, Republican Revolution, Europeans, trading, Southeast Asian economies, New World, Hong Kong

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