China’s Loss of Its Dependencies

Christopher A. Ford

in The Mind of Empire

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780813192635
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135519 | DOI:
China’s Loss of Its Dependencies

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China's traditional tributary states, which through its ceremonial subservience had long reinforced the country's self-image as the center of the moral and political universe, began to slowly slip away toward the end of the nineteenth century as foreign powers started to move in. For as long as it could, China had taken great pains to preserve these territories' nominal dependence on imperial benevolence. But by 1895, the Qing dynasty was in an accelerated decline and many of its vassal states, including Annam, Tibet, and Korea, had started to leave its sphere of influence, ceasing to perform the traditional ceremonies acknowledging China's supremacy.

Keywords: Sinic universalism; Chinese supremacy; Qing dynasty; vassal states; ceremonial subservience; foreign relations; independence; autonomy

Chapter.  3078 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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