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Additional resources for A Cape of Asia: Essays on European History (AUP - Leiden University Press)
In contrast to the cases of India and Africa, the concept of nationhood was already available in China. Chinese settlers carried the concept along with them to the colonies in which they lived. They used this concept to reconstruct their communal relations in an alien environment under foreign rule. Accordingly, indigenous Chinese concepts and political developments in China were dominant factors which influenced the emergence of leadership among Chinese people in these colonial settings. As will be seen in Chapter 3, when groups in colonial Hong Kong felt left out of the political process in the colony, they shifted their competition for power to the national arena of China.
In 1878, the Hong Kong Governor appointed the first Chinese Justice of the Peace in Hong Kong. His name was Wu Tingfang (1842–1922, also known as Ng Choy). Fame awaited this Mr Wu – he turned out to be an influential figure in the national politics of China. Wu was educated in Hong Kong’s missionary schools, and was the first Chinese, in 1877, to qualify as a barrister in Britain. He was from humble origins, being the son of a Chinese merchant worked for the Christian missions in Guangdong, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The troops were known to the Cantonese as ‘guest armies’ (haakgwan). On three occasions between 1916 and 1925, Sun Yat-sen managed to secure the support of these military leaders and established a ‘constitutional government’ in Canton under 10 Chinese Business Groups and Political Change his nominal command. On each occasion, the government had few financial resources and almost no control over the military. 33 The North-South Divide From 1912 to 1927, the political fragmentation of China, and the recurring North-South cleavage between Peking and Canton, gave rise to a market for political investment.
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