The British Expedition, Chinese Collaboration, and the Opium War Myth

As my second Opium War book project, it explores the assistance of Chinese people from all walks of life (such as compradors working on board, informants, police, and local community heads) to the British Expedition for fighting against the enemy and ruling the occupied regions. It challenges the dichotomization of the Chinese people who experienced the Opium War as traitors and patriots, one of the most fundamental national discourses in modern China. Debunking this “Opium War myth” will help us trace the historical origins of a modern China that has been more cooperative with the West than we usually think, and suggests an alternative to writing the so-called “Century of Humiliation” in China, from the Opium War to the birth of the People’s Republic in 1949.

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