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Britain’s relationship with China in the nineteenth and early twentieth century is often viewed in terms of gunboat diplomacy, unequal treaties, and the unrelenting pursuit of Britain’s own commercial interests. This book, however, based on extensive original research, demonstrates that in Britain after the First World War a combination of liberal, Labour party, pacifist, missionary and some business opinion began to argue for imperial retreat from China, and that this movement gathered sufficient momentum for a sympathetic attitude to Chinese demands becoming official Foreign Office policy in 1926. The book considers the various strands of this movement, relates developments in Britain to the changing situation in China, especially the rise of nationalism and the Guomindang, and argues that, contrary to what many people think, the reassertion of China’s national rights was begun successfully in this period rather than after the Communist takeover in 1949.