The impact of foreign trade and investment on the industrialization of China 1860 to 1945

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Pawliw, Peter A.
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This thesis investigates and provides support for the conclusion that foreign trade and investment were leading factors in the industrialization of China during the period, 1860 to 1945. The three main types of foreign economic influences were: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Technology Transfer, and Market Access. The year 1860 was selected arbitrarily as a start date. Its only significance was that by this time trade data had become available for many treaty ports in China. However, the period, 1860 to 1890, was mainly a time of rapid foreign trade expansion, but modern industrialization efforts were meagre. The main period of foreign trade and investment expansion in China that promoted the growth of modern industries occurred primarily during the years, 1890 and 1945. In order to examine the interaction of foreign trade and investment with the development of modern industry, three regions were selected for study: Shanghai, Manchuria, and Shansi. Industrial take-off occurred in Shanghai in the 1890's, in Manchuria during the period, 1900 to 1910, and in Shansi during the 1930's. Shansi was a late industrializer due to its remoteness from foreign influences. The international influences mentioned above were all important, but the magnitude of each type of foreign influence often differed between regions.