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Foreign Economic Policy

(1,859 words)

Author(s): Klenner, Wolfgang
China was probably only capable of developing its own foreign economic policy after the foundation of the People's Republic. Before that, i.e. since the beginning of the 19th century, China's foreign economic relations had been determined primarily by foreign merchants and governments (Opium Wars). If one accepts the conventional definition of foreign economic policy common in market economies - which is generally understood to signify purposeful measures that influence the conditions under whic…

Foreign Trade

(2,839 words)

Author(s): Klenner, Wolfgang
1. Developments through 1949 Until the beginning of the 19th century, China's foreign trade was in the hands of Chinese merchants and officials and their trading partners from Asia, increasingly also from Europe. Data on the volume and structure of foreign trade from that era is sparse. It was certainly not free trade in the narrower sense of the term. Foreign trade was viewed much more as a form of the tribute trade (tributary system) and lay under government control. All the same, people appear to…


(2,180 words)

Author(s): Klenner, Wolfgang
It was a variety of very different social groups which have played a decisive role in China's industrialization since the 19th century. In the beginning, industrialization was driven largely by merchants and those social groups which had a history of engaging in textile, mining, ammunition, and porcelain production, partly with the bureaucracy's support. Chinese manufacturers operated under economic conditions shaped by a political leadership oriented towards traditional values. The founding of …