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The Mind of EmpireChina's History and Modern Foreign Relations$
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Christopher A. Ford

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813192635

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813192635.001.0001

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China’s Loss of Its Dependencies

China’s Loss of Its Dependencies

(p.157) 10 China’s Loss of Its Dependencies
The Mind of Empire

Christopher A. Ford

University Press of Kentucky

China's traditional tributary states, which through its ceremonial subservience had long reinforced the country's self-image as the center of the moral and political universe, began to slowly slip away toward the end of the nineteenth century as foreign powers started to move in. For as long as it could, China had taken great pains to preserve these territories' nominal dependence on imperial benevolence. But by 1895, the Qing dynasty was in an accelerated decline and many of its vassal states, including Annam, Tibet, and Korea, had started to leave its sphere of influence, ceasing to perform the traditional ceremonies acknowledging China's supremacy.

Keywords:   Sinic universalism, Chinese supremacy, Qing dynasty, vassal states, ceremonial subservience, foreign relations, independence, autonomy

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