Offshore Governance: The Qing Empire and Its Coastal Islands in the Long Eighteenth Century

Speaker: Ronald C. Po
Venue: Auditorium N107, NYU Shanghai New Bund Campus
Date & Time:
2023-12-4 | 17:30-19:00

Throughout the long eighteenth century, ChinaÔÇÖs numerous offshore islands played a notable role as a bridge between the mainland and the inner sea. Despite their relatively small size and seemingly peripheral positioning, these islands had more substantial interactions with the central regime than one might assume. It is essential to acknowledge that the Qing court deliberately addressed the opportunities and challenges posed by the unique geographical locations and marginality of these islands. Whether fortified or not, the many islands along the coast of China made substantial contributions to the maritime defence of the Qing Empire. Their geo-strategic advantages had influenced the naval strategies devised by emperors, high officials, military planners, and astute administrators at the time.

Ron Po┬áis a historian of late imperial China from the fourteenth to the early twentieth centuries. Since completing his doctorate at Universit├Ąt Heidelberg in 2013, he has taught in Germany, the United States, and Canada, and is currently an associate professor of the Department of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author of┬áThe Blue Frontier: Maritime Vision and Power in the Qing Empire, published by Cambridge University Press in 2018, and two books in Chinese, entitled┬áThe Placid Ocean: Qing China and the Asian Seas, and┬áTurning the Tide: Historical Actors and Social Memories in Late Qing China, both of them published by China Times Publishing Co. in Taiwan. In 2019, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Introduction by Joanna Waley-Cohen, Provost and Affiliated Professor of History, NYU Shanghai; Julius Silver Professor of History, NYU.

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