Where Imperialism Could Not Reach examines the impact of the Japanese model of industrialization on China through a history of policy recommendations and economic ideas in practice. In the aftermath of the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895), Chinese regional policymakers learned a Japanese-style industrial policy that focused on the use of exhibitions and schools to disseminate information and stimulate rural innovation. In focusing on the treaty ports and the impact of European and American capitalism that has a larger and more quantifiable source base, many scholars have ignored the vital intra-Asian dimensions of China’s economic development, underpinned by shared position of China and Japan on the global semiperiphery and the pursuit of labor-intensive industrialization focusing on improvements to labor quality. The dissertation also aims to demonstrate the primary importance of information and incentives for innovation—rather than overcoming capital constraints—in Chinese strategies for economic growth.
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