Regional imperialism is described as the state practices of extending or gaining economic and political power over other states. Economic imperialism is when a particular state or country possesses more financial control over the other states or countries. In the past and present, China has been at the spearhead of acquiring imperialism over East Asia countries. In the previous 4000 years, China has been the central feature of imperialism in East Asia. In this article, we will critically outline China’s imperialism in the past and present, as well as the effects it has had on the country how imperialism has been of advantage or disadvantage in the history and present of China1, together with the steps that are being taken by the state to modernize and improve financial and political powers.
Regional Imperialism in the Past
In the 1700s, China experienced a flourished growth of its imperial system led by the Qing dynasty. China was marked as the center of the economy, and both Americans and Europeans came to seek their goods. However, in the late 1700s, China’s imperialism started suppressing. China was at that moment experiencing a lot of internal strains due to the rapidly increasing population. Issues of food supply and taxes became a significant reason that weakened the central government.
In the 1800s, China experienced significant internal strains together with the Western country’s pressure. Trade imbalance resulted as the western countries experienced an outflow of silver bullion from China and traded that with their opium. The opium war in 1839 resulted when China attempted to ban the sale of opium in its ports. China’s military could not match the Europeans and Americans; therefore, China lost the war, which led to the port treaty’s imposition2. The treaty opened other countries to trade, imposed foreign control of Chinese tariffs, and allowed Christian missionaries in China. In the late 1800s, China was entirely overtaken by the foreign powers in its land. China started to find ways to strengthen its political and military to challenge the Western countries. China began to find ways of adopting western technology without altering Chinese values and learning. However, this idea of making China strong without changing its originality was unsuccessful.
In the 19th century, China found its traditional relationship with Japan reversed after its defeat in the Sino-Japanese war. The Japanese established competition with the Western states after witnessing how they mistreated China. The loss of Russia by the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese war impressed China, leading to an addition of its reforms. The internal strains and pressure from foreign states made the Chinese provinces rebellious against Qing imperialism, leading to a revolution3. The military leaders in China, termed as the warlords, led to the Qing and started controlling various regions in the Chinese government.
The terms of the Versailles treaty in 1919 enraged China after they recognized the Japanese claims to the former German rights. This action pushed the Chinese to reform and adapt science and technology from the West. Some nationalists, however, rejected the reforms because they did offer the required strength to challenge the Western states. Some Chinese viewed the adoption of Chinese culture as crucial as it would help them escape imperialism and economic development. Both the Nationalist and Communist parties had to work together in the reunite of China politically. That cultivated a change in China’s international status and its image, which boosted its quest for re-establishing its place in the world.
China was both helped and endangered by the past imperialism. The adverse effects of imperialism in china included pollution, abuse of workers, and overpopulation. The gaining of modern types of machinery from Britain led to rapid industrialization in China. The development of many factories and industries led to air pollution in China, which happens to date. The emission of harmful gases by the initiatives led to risk in the lives of people. People started developing complications with breathing and skin-related infections4. People are forced to wear masks in the country as the air is so polluted. The harmful gases also led to the destruction of the ozone layer, changing the people’s climate. Thus, people are forced to adhere to harsh conditions of livelihood due to industrialization, even though it significantly boosted the economy.
The development of many industries created the employment opportunity. Many people were employed as industries needed a lot of workers to manage their manufacturing and production. The workers were, however, subject to a lot of tasks with less pay. The factory’s employers abused the workers and treated them like slaves. The workers were forced to under harsh conditions, which led to the reduction of lifespan5. With high unemployment cases, most people worked in such situations to feed their highly populated families. The workers in the past didn’t have societal groups where they could highlight the challenges they were going through and persevere with the harsh conditions. The abusive working was significantly contributed by the high poverty level and the imperialistic leadership, which was not concerned about the people’s welfare. This satisfaction led to overpopulation.
Regional Imperialism in the Present
For centuries to date, China has been trying to overcome Western countries and states. The present imperialism shows a significant development of the Chinese republic both economically and socially. In barely two decades in the 21st century, China has bestowed its superpower capacity by drastically improving economic and political developments6. The continued expansion in China will result in domestic stability. China’s growth will lead to the weakening of democratic countries of Africa and Asia as it will lead to a restructuring of global resource demand.
China’s economic transformation achievements within a short period will be termed as a historic economic event. The allowance of foreign investments and joining international monetary fund and the world back have been the critical spearhead to the success of china’s economic and political development. China’s poverty level fell from 88.3% to 1.3% in 2013, which significantly soared the collective national income. To date, Chinese foreign policy has helped in restoring china to its extraordinary powers by improving the economic development rather than the belligerent powers. The foreign policy has spearheaded the identification of shared interests.
The other operation of the Chinese imperial system will be economically and financially oriented powers. This operation will likely mimic the United States, however, with some minor adjustments. China’s idea of striving all roads to Beijing is a more significant economic power sense. The foreign policy with Pakistan is a highly ambitious move as it will establish routes to connect Asia and Europe and China with Africa. This idea will bring many financial and trade benefits to all involved but most likely to China. China’s friendly foreign policies to interested parties have helped them win many nations and build social relations.
Finally, new transnational institutions will underpin the Chinese imperial systems. China doesn’t seek to undermine existing global rules or consent of the institutions with the shared interests. The new development bank launching was a significant milestone as it will offer an alternative to nations under the international monetary fund’s burden7. China also led the campaigning of the Trans- pacific-partnership which the United States will spearhead. The development of new transnational institutions by China and the altering of those in existence have built the global imperialism system. This Chinese imperialism will support the continued improvements of the Chinese tools of power, both soft and hard.
In the few recent years, China has improved the ability to influence other people’s behavior through attraction. Most of China’s growth, both economically and politically, has been influenced by other countries’ urge to emulate its development. China has mastered the art of using soft power over time by controlling other states’ cultural and political values. China radio has expanded internationally, and it aims at developing the world through soft power both financially and economically. China has also granted thousands of international students the opportunity to study in its university together with militia and government officials who advance their training there. This has allowed China to use the soft power to influence the other states and enable the incorporation of persons from foreign countries into its system. China has also developed over 500 institutions that operate in over 120 countries worldwide. These institutions help the Chinese republic to use soft power in attracting people to believe its behaviors. These institutions have played a key role in exporting Chinese cultural and historical values to other parts of the world.
In the hard power analogy, the Chinese republic is focused on creating a maritime army with operates universally. The blue waters army will be a valuable tool for the closure of the existing gap with other military powers. The navy modernization has been a subject of matter to the Chinese government since the 1990s, and by the 21st century, the army had grown to a fleet of ships8. China has also financed the increment of the submarines together with combat ships. By the current year, China has enough naval persons and equipment capable of challenging the existing superpower. On the other hand, the Chinese government has continued to improve its army by increasing the persons and equipment made locally. Military training has been advanced and making the military theory a part of their training. The pay rise for the militia persons has also been considered to improve their morale.
Conclusively, in the past years, China has centered its imperialism on economic and political growth. The Chinese government has worked hard to modernize its financial and military sectors. As stated above, a lot of funding has been directed to the military groups. Extensive training, salary increment, and investments in the purchase of sufficient weapons are some of China’s ways to revolutionize its military systems. Throughout history, China has been aggressive in its imperialism; in as much as it was paved back in the 18th century, it managed to bounce back and secure a position in the global superpower. Having good leaders has been one of the main reasons that helped China to develop financially and economically. Currently, China is in a position to challenge the United States, both economically and economically. The use of soft power rather than hard power has given China the advantage of winning any nation and its open foreign policies.
Castro, Douglas. 2018. In Society of International Economic Law (SIEL), Sixth Biennial Global Conference.
Dreyer, June Teufel. 2016. Middle kingdom and empire of the rising sun: Sino-Japanese relations, past and present.
Ejaz, Huzaifa, and Christopher Candland. 2020. “Does China’s Economic Expansion in South Asia Constitute Imperialism?”
Jung, Samuel, and Theocharis Grigoriadis. 2016. Legacies of Imperialism in China & Taiwan
- 1(Dreyer &June 2016)
- 2 (Jung, Samuel & Theocharis 2016).
- 3 (Dreyer & June 2016)
- 4 (Jung, Samuel & Theocharis 2016).
- 5 (Dreyer &June 2016)
- 6 (Dreyer &June 2016)
- 7 (Douglas 2018)
- 8 (Ejaz, Huzaifa & Christopher 2020)