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    Blanchard, Jean-Marc F. and Lin, Kun-Chin 2013. Contemplating Chinese Foreign Policy: Approaches to the Use of Historical Analysis. Pacific Focus, Vol. 28, Issue. 2, p. 145.

  • Print publication year: 1980
  • Online publication date: March 2008

8 - Government, merchants and industry to 1911

Many scholar-officials' main emphasis was on modern industry. They generally assumed that commercial enterprises could at best play a supporting role. Influential officials who became major sponsors of modern enterprise were especially partial to industry. From the early 1870s, Li Hung-chang argued that guns and gunboats alone did not make a nation strong; their operation required the support of industry in manufacturing, mining and modern communications; industry would create new wealth - a further source of national strength. Chang Chih-tung, too, realized the link between military power and economic development. Chinese promotion of modern enterprise in the late nineteenth century was inspired by the political necessity of quickly achieving respectable national strength. This fundamental goal united government officials of various persuasions in a common commitment to industrialization. A few modern enterprises were able to avoid either official sponsorship or comprador management. Hua-hsin was in fact a private enterprise in which official and merchant shareholders collaborated as individuals.
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