Great Britain and China 1908–1909
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At the beginning of the 20th century Great Britain had to guard its interests in China against the competition of other Great Powers. The British diplomacy therefore payed close attention to the internal situation in China. It focused mainly on the enforcement of its economic (especially trade) interests and maintaining its concessions in China. In order to accomplish these tasks, the British diplomats followed closely the internal situation in China – especially its efforts to reform its government, military or law. They also payed close attention to the relation of China towards other Great Powers and their influence in the Middle Kingdom. Great Britain also had to solve several important problems in its own relations with China. The most important of these was the question of the opium trade and the effort of the Chinese government to supperss its consumption. China was able to accomplish this important task only with the help of Great Britain.
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