Scramble for China

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Fenwick, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. Fenwick Uncrowned ruler of Hippies Donor

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    WI the Great powers decided against simply leasing Chinese land, or even going for the open door policy and just out right claimed provinces? Who could get what?
     
  2. Jason Well-Known Member

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    When do you this the scramble starting? mid 19th century or perhaps a bit later?
     
  3. Fenwick Uncrowned ruler of Hippies Donor

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    Well I was think 1842 after the Opium War. This is when the Open Door Policy was set up. If the nations simply agreed that "for the Chinese" it was best if a more powerful nation set up shop, then I suspect they would all race and try to get their. America may fume for awhile though.
     
  4. Jason Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if rather than outright conquest, Europeans might go for 'spheres of influence', encouraging provinces to break away for the Ming dynasty and become 'independent'.
     
  5. David S Poepoe Banned

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    The Open Door Policy is not from the 1840s but the early 20th century (if not the late 19th) and it was exposed by Theodore Roosevelt's Secretary of State (if I remember correctly). If 1842 then very few empires would be involved in carving up China, I would consider it more likely following the Boxer Rebellion.
     
  6. Michael B Doomfarer

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    Assuming that one of them starts the ball rolling. European military superiority was not as great in this era was in it would be later, or for that matter over Africans of the same era.
     
  7. Ivan Druzhkov Aspiring Apparatchik

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    Yeah, IIRC from Flashman correctly, there were a couple of military expeditions within China during the period, and the Imperial forces were able to hand a few defeats to the European powers, especially during the Second Opium War.
     
  8. Tyr air in space

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    Without major problems kicking off within China that destroy central authority it would indeed be a very difficult task to conquer much land there.
    Contrary to popular belief China was a modernising nation with a fairly 'modern' army (insofar as they had guns). Not really comparable to Africa.
    Even if China was right next door it would be difficult, as it is though at the other end of the world the logisics would be a right pain.
     
  9. Homer Comicbookman

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    True.

    There is no colonial Empire that is comparable to China. British India had comparable population, but greater coastlines making conquest easier. Yet the British needed centuries to establish their rule over the whole of India and they had the advantage that India was heavily partitioned in smaller states fighting each other. thus Making china a colony would be much harder.

    If wour POD is about 1840, there would only be France and Britain to take a part in China. That's quite a challenge for both, even if they ally to get China.

    I think the best way would be to destroy the chinese empire and start a new era of "fighting kingdoms", then europeans could conquer one kingdom or province after the other.
     
  10. WhatIsAUserName Professional Catatonic

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    The Taiping rebellion would be a fairly good POD. There's a new nation which could easily be rendered to the status of puppet, and the civil war has just left the Qing Imperial government weaker than before.
     
  11. Smaug Devil's Advocate

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    China today is still in a similar circumstance. They make cheap shit, it gets marked up 500 percent, and they pay through the nose for any alledged investment in thier infrastructure. Colonialism still shows its ugly head even today.

    China's problem now, after its birth control programs, is that it doesn't have the young bodies to support the industry it has fought so hard to create.

    JMO
     
  12. Keenir Banned

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    maybe find a way to get the Emperor of China to acknowledge the authority of an outside power over him. (even if all diplomatic (et al) things gave the illusion that said Outside Power was just running the wider world for the Emperor)

    it worked in India, right?

    tis a thought.
     
  13. Smaug Devil's Advocate

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    Nice.."The Emperor has decided to sub out the control of the rest of the planet, due to his desire to ensure that his children get his full attention, and the complete benefit of his wisdom" :D
     
  14. Keenir Banned

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    :D Well, the only part that really matters is the Middle Kingdom itself, right?
     
  15. Smaug Devil's Advocate

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    I'm no expert, but there's bit of truth to that......As long as the wisdom comes from the right place:D Can't have any foreign devils setting policy.
     
  16. Melvin Loh Member

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    Yeah, I'd be inclined to say that any overt Western colonialism in China would best eventuate from 1900 and the Boxer Rebellion. Say, could the Russians or British have possibly tried to make inroads into Tibet (besides Younghusband's expedition in 1904) and Xinjiang in order to undercut Chinese imperial influence, as well as to take coastal Chinese territory ? WI also Western missionaires established significant enclaves for Chinese converts, along the lines of the Praying Towns in NE for Christianised Algonquians, the French Black Robe missions in Canada, Spain's ENCOMIENDAs in Mexico, or the Jesuit reductions in the Amazon, which were then used as pretexts for Western powers to provide armed garrisons and local admin ?
     
  17. Michael B Doomfarer

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    I don't think that the Western powers would send troops to protect missionaries and their converts. I think what is needed is economic incentives, factories, railways, mines, etc.

    A more aggressive China may also tip the balance against iteslf. If Western power thought that they needed troops to succour their interests against low level Boxer rebellions, they may put in more troops. Once in they then use them to create large safe enclaves.
     
  18. Homer Comicbookman

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    True.

    But yet an even better incentive would be a competing power starting to engage in China. As soon as France gets a part, Britain would want a part, and then other powers could step in, too.

    Maybe a miore aggressive Russia taking Mandshuria and Korea not as vassals/influential spheres but as provinces incorporated into the empire. Then Britain would want to get some land to counter Russian expansion, and France would come as well.
     
  19. NFR Kanadskiy Namestnik

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    You are so, so far off the mark it is not even remotely funny.

    Chinese manufacturing has ridiculously low profit margins... that's why they are so cheap and they have to produce in volumes to be profitable. Just do the math, kid. If they are marked up five times, how ridiculously powerful China's industrial machine must be? The thing you are paying for would cost a sixth as much. As for foreign investment... China amassed over a trillion in foreign reserves, and raise billions in dubious public offerings of their banks... if there's anybody being cheated, it ain't the Chinese.

    As for young bodies to support its industry... China has huge unemployement (9% officially), and was only able to create 11 out of 25 million jobs they need to provide employment of people entering the workforce last year. You'd realise this if you actually use that bit of gray mush between your ears... the One Child Policy was a product of the 80s. Its full effects (assuming that the birth rate won't change after the government relaxes this policy, which it is doing, and with rising prosperity in the peasantry) will not be felt for at least two decades.

    Please, do try not to talk about things you haven't the foggiest idea about. It's just embarassing.
     
  20. Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy Banned

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    There are plenty of examples in the 19th century in Africa, East Asia (including China) and the Pacific of them doing just that. It was a combination of using missionaries to spread your influence and responding to internal pressures when something bad happened to them.

    I think a good start would be Britain annexing more than just Hong Kong as a result of the Opium Wars. Grab another island to watch over the northern Chinese coast and maybe another for the center.