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Modern China’s Foreign Debt in Railway Construction and Loss of Railway Rights

  • 중앙사론
  • 2018, (48), pp.133-169
  • Publisher : Institute for Historical Studies at Chung-Ang University
  • Research Area : Humanities > History
  • Received : December 10, 2018
  • Accepted : December 21, 2018
  • Published : December 31, 2018

Kim Ji Hwan 1

1인천대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In China after the Opium War, it became a supreme task to accept the science and reason of the West and achieve its modernization fast. Industrialization meant mass production with machinery. There was a huge need to construct railways for the transportation of raw materials such as iron ore and coal and completed products. Railways were an indispensable means of achieving modernization in China. In the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the Sino-Japanese War, however, China granted the right of constructing railways to Japan and some Western countries. In addition, China actively introduced foreign debt due to the lack of its own capital when constructing railways for itself. Since the rights of building railways and providing foreign debt recognized the exclusive rights to the areas where railways would pass, several nations had a fierce competition over these rights in China. Railway loans generated positive effects of overall development in Chinese railways. They, on the other hand, caused a huge disturbance to the normal development of areas along the concerned railways by granting all kinds of rights and interests accompanied by railways to the countries that provided a railway loan. Furthermore, they were gross impediments to the normal development of Chinese railways and society, eventually reinforcing the semi-colonialism of China.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.