Bert BeckerAug 29, 2022
France and Germany in the South China Sea, c. 1840-1930
Maritime Competition and Imperial Power
Palgrave Macmillan 2021
France and Germany in the South China Sea, c. 1840-1930 Maritime Competition and Imperial Power (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021) explores imperial power and the transnational encounters of shipowners and merchants in the South China Sea from 1840 to 1930. With British Hong Kong and French Indochina on its northern and western shores, the ‘Asian Mediterranean’ was for almost a century a crucible of power and an axis of economic struggle for coastal shipping companies from various nations. Merchant steamers shipped cargoes and passengers between ports of the region. Hong Kong, the global port city, and the colonial ports of Saigon and Haiphong developed into major hubs for the flow of goods and people, while Guangzhouwan survived as an almost forgotten outpost of Indochina. While previous research in this field has largely remained within the confines of colonial history, this book uses the examples of French and German companies operating in the South China Sea to demonstrate the extent to which transnational actors and business networks interacted with imperial power and the process of globalisation.
Bert Becker is Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Hong Kong. He is the author, amongst other publications, of biographies of Georg Michaelis and Michael Jebsen. His work has also appeared in a range of academic journals, including Cross-Currents and Modern Asian Studies.
Ghassan Moazzin is an Assistant Professor at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of History at the University of Hong Kong. He works on the economic and business history of 19th and 20th century China, with a particular focus on the history of foreign banking, international finance and electricity in modern China. His first book, Foreign Banks and Global Finance in Modern China: Banking on the Chinese Frontier, 1870–1919, is was recently published by Cambridge University Press.