Yuan. However, in their attempt to to emulate the Chinese, they were even more conservative
and inflexible than the Ming. Their approach to foreign policy, which was to make everyone
world attempted to make contact on a government-to-government basis, and, at least initially,
failed. The Chinese (more specifically, the ultra-conservative Manchus) had no room in their
world-view for the idea of independent, equal nations (this viewpoint, to a certain degree, still
rejected the idea of a community of nations; it’s that they couldn’t conceive of it. It would be like
so pervasive that Chinese reformers who advocated more flexibility in China’s dealings with the
West were often accused of being Westerners with Chinese faces.
Other problems that plagued the late (1840 onwards) Qing included rampant corruption, a steady
Rebellion, very nearly succeeded. Compounding the problems was squabbling between various
order); in hindsight, it is clear that the entire system was slowly collapsing. .
hand, they did their best to undermine what they considered to be restrictive trading and
governmental regulations; the best (or worst, depending on your point of view) example of that
foreign navies to sail up Chinese rivers and waterways, and extra-territoriality, which meant that
British law. Most of these ‘rights’ came into being under a series of treaties that came to be
known, and rightly so, as the Unequal Treaties.
On the other hand, they did do their best to prop up the ailing Qing, the most notable example
being the crushing of the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 by foreign troops (primarily U.S. Marines).
What the Western powers were interested in was the carving up of China for their own purposes,
and that, paradoxically, required keeping China together.
But things happened to prevent that. First, in 1911, the Qing dynasty collapsed and China
plunged headlong into chaos.