Sino-British relations in railway construction: State, imperialism and local elites, 1905–1911

This chapter reviews on the interactions between British imperialism and Chinese politics, by tracing the relationship between the Qing state, local power-holders and British involvement in the Huguang Railway Loan. Since 1903 the Qing Government had adopted the policy of having local elites set up private railway companies for the purpose of building railways with Chinese capital. The chapter deals with the Qing state bureaucracy on railway construction led to the decision to agree to the Huguang Railway Loan and to nationalise railways. It then, focuses at the Sino-foreign negotiations on the Huguang Railway Loan, how different discussions and perspectives among Britons led to the loan agreement. The chapter discusses the relationship between the Qing state and local elites in the provinces in the construction of railways and how the tensions in this relationship escalated into the Revolution. The Qing state managed its rule of local society in collaboration with local power-holders, who can be called the 'local elites'.