The China Association: Fostering Trade, Networks and Sociability, 1889 to circa 1955

Jones, Robert (2018) The China Association: Fostering Trade, Networks and Sociability, 1889 to circa 1955. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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In 1889, a group of British returned migrants from China gathered for a formal dinner in London, resolving that the gathering would become a recurring function, and also that steps should be taken to establish an association representing their interests. This thesis examines the history of the body subsequently founded, the China Association, investigating its records alongside contemporary newspapers, periodicals and directories, as well as the papers of a number of individual members. In doing so, the thesis traces the establishment, objectives and activities of the CA over a period of 65 years. To understand how the CA operated, the thesis first focuses on the Association’s membership, examining the 111 founding members alongside later officers and key individuals. The study then investigates the three principle aims of the Association, which were to provide: (1) a political voice for British interests in China through the creation of links with the British government; (2) a platform of sociability for returnees through a variety of events; and finally (3) charity to deserving causes as well as providing philanthropic backing to collections including those for education. While disparate on the surface, these aims were drawn together by the underlying desire of the Association — and central aim of its leaders — to improve the state of British trade and businesses in China.

This study offers the first comprehensive examination of a return migrant association, identifying it as a structure that served to facilitate the strengthening of trade, networks and sociability, whilst also serving as a political lobbying group.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Voluntary Association, Return Migration, Expatriates, Corporate Philanthropy, Political Pressure Group
Subjects: L700 Human and Social Geography
V300 History by topic
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2019 15:30
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 22:32

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