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The China QuestionGreat Power Rivalry and British Isolation, 1894-1905$
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T. G. Otte

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199211098

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199211098.001.0001

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‘Letting things settle themselves’: The China Question, 1899–1900

‘Letting things settle themselves’: The China Question, 1899–1900

(p.177) 4 ‘Letting things settle themselves’: The China Question, 1899–1900
The China Question

T. G. Otte (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The stabilizing effect of the 1899 agreement was short-lived. In 1900, the international scramble for concessions and territory produced a violent backlash, the Boxer Uprising. The renewed turmoil in the Far East amplified the existing unease among ministers about the course of British policy. The Boxer crisis, thus, plunged British foreign policy into its most serious crisis yet. This chapter examines the attempts by Salisbury to deal with the two simultaneous crises of British power in 1900 — the Boer War and the Boxer crisis — whilst eschewing military entanglements in China. It discusses Salisbury's loss of control over foreign policy. He was forced to accept the appointment of the German Count Waldersee as commander-in-chief of an international expeditionary force to relieve the siege of Peking, and to negotiate the Anglo-German China agreement of October 1900. Ultimately, he was forced to leave the Foreign Office.

Keywords:   Anglo–German China agreement, Boer War, Boxer crisis, Chamberlain, Foreign Office, siege of Peking, Salisbury, Waldersee

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