China and the Global Economy since 1840 by L. Aiguo

By L. Aiguo

It is a learn of the long-run evolution of the connection among China and the realm economic system. concentrating on China's responses to the growth of the capitalist international economic system, the publication provides an unique interpretation of the country's socioeconomic tactics long ago century and a part. the writer argues that the overall thrust of China's quest for improvement or 'modernisation' has been to meet up with the Western filthy rich countries, and explains the altering paths and results.

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Moreover, having partially recovered tariff autonomy, the government began to use tariffs as a tool to provide limited protection for the domestic market. This affected most noticeably the agricultural market. Import taxes on wheat, flour and some other grains were imposed in late 1932. Meanwhile, agricultural exports were encouraged through government measures, such as the reduction or elimination of export and transfer (zhuan kou) taxes on sesame and soybeans. Accompanied by other social, economic and technological initiatives to promote agricultural production and, most importantly, because of good harvests, these measures helped cut agricultural imports.

The companies continued to be called hong (‘business firms’). The hong were the de facto ‘foreign market’ for the output of the domestic producers. Because the hong monopolized the commerce Foreign Trade 33 with overseas buyers, they were well situated among the various links in the chain to make the most profit. The Chinese compradors working in the hong were the agents who actually executed the orders of the taban (hong ‘general manager’) through dealings with the domestic trade chains. As had been common even previously, the various links in the chains were bound together by a sort of credit relationship, through which the compradors would make loans to the Chinese merchants, but receive cash when they sold to the hong.

They began to acquire some significance only after the 1920s. Foreign firms also handled most of China’s import trade. Chinese merchants became involved usually after the goods had already been delivered at the treaty ports. Their role was more important in small ports, where they acted as distributors of imported goods, particularly staples. Gradually, there was a sort of division of labour whereby the tasks of the Westerners and the Chinese merchants tended to diverge, rather than converge. For example, taking advantage of the development of steamshipping beginning in the 1860s, Chinese dealers in imported cotton textiles or opium began to bypass the Western offices in the smaller ports and make their purchases directly in Shanghai or Hong Kong.

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