China: Qing Dynasty and Conventional Chinese Way Essay example

Submitted By stusto18
Words: 1126
Pages: 5

Revered missionary Abbe Regis-Evariste of the nineteenth-century once made an astute observation of the paradox of China's upheaval, noting the accustomed pattern that “nations find some well-defined point of departure” and make moves forward, “step by step [to] the progress of civilization”. Villages turn into populations, into cities, taking baby-steps towards a productive society. However, he made it clear that “it is not thus with the Chinese” (Kissinger 6). But instead, the people of China have always seemed to have been in a cycle of continuity, referring back to the dynasty's ways before them. The endurance of this fundamental approach to governance has stood the test of time, only to be interrupted periodically. Throughout the Three Kingdoms Period, branching form A.D. 220-80, he nation saw a tilting effect in both population and land mass. As battles were fought to extend land from the forests of Siberia to the jungles and farms to the south, tens of millions of lives were lost. They continued their slash for territory until they reached the ocean. By as early as 960, “China led the world in nautical technology”(Kissinger 8). However, they did not attempt to conquer or explore colonies overseas, even Japan. Even later on, in 1850, a British translator wrote of the Chinese, noting their exclusion of foreign people, and overall satisfaction of the conventional Chinese way. In the 1800s, the Manchu Dynasty had a legitimate reason to act so pretentiously, as they were exceeding European states at the time in territorial occupation and population, as well as being significantly richer. According to Kissinger, China was “the most productive economy and most populous trading area” (11). This was inevitably a result of the land being covered with humongous systems of canals that led to populations arising around the rivers they led to. Kissinger also notes that eighteen of the past twenty centuries, China has had a greater share of the worlds GDP than that of any Western society. Once the eighteenth century eventually came to its end, China was a top of its thrown of imperial status. Its expansion had managed to delve even further north and west establishing a prominent influence in areas such as Tibet, Mongolia, and the area currently known as Xinjiang. The influence even reached as far as Russia, which whom The Qing Dynasty allowed to build a mission in Beijing. Trade with Europeans was initiated as well, though the Chinese view them as “red-haired barbarians”, even though their own wealth began to increase (Kissinger 35). As tensions between China and the Western world grew, the Chinese GDP was still sevenfold that of the British. The “barbarians” still continued their attempts at resolving issues with China. Through all their attempts of negotiations, the emperor refused to oblige. The attempts of a remedy were led by Lord George Macartney, whose sincere approaches towards delegating trade with the Emperor were dismissed in every situation it was attempted. The main cause of neglected verbal discourse lies in the fundamental differences in cultural thought. Quite simply, the Chinese would not consider any nation outside of their own worthy companions for trade, and never saw an opportunity for economic growth. The British were doing everything they humanly could to try to coerce a bargain with the Emperor, even to lengths of humiliating diplomacy. The emperor's condescending tonality within his refuse was made to let King George that England was of “the lonely remoteness of your island, cut off from the world by intervening wastes of sea.” He would follow his declaration, by boasting China's capital as “the hub and center about which the quarters of the globe revolve.” Britain was growing impatient, and regarding the aftermath of the Macartney situation, they were growing hostile. Kissinger quotes French historian, Alain Peyrefitte stating: “If China remained closed, then the