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From Frontier Policy to Foreign PolicyThe Question of India and the Transformation of Geopolitics in Qing China$
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Matthew Mosca

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804782241

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804782241.001.0001

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The Emergence of a Foreign Policy

The Emergence of a Foreign Policy

Wei Yuan and the Reinterpretation of lndia in Qing Strategic Thought, 1842–1860

(p.271) Eight The Emergence of a Foreign Policy
From Frontier Policy to Foreign Policy
Stanford University Press

This chapter discusses the reinterpretation of British India by Wei Yuan. Wei has developed a foreign policy that broke decisively with the geographic and geopolitical assumptions of a frontier policy. He also advanced radical proposals about how the Qing state could crush the British empire by targeting India. His Haiguo tuzhi sets a landmark in the history of Qing geographic research into the outside world. Moreover, he believed that it was both feasible and necessary to “use foreigners to fight foreigners.” He presented Qing policy toward Burma as a model for that toward British India. It is noted that most of his critics retained Qianlong's skepticism about the military utility of foreign states. Wei then evoked the broader logic of imperial expansion and revealed how the British empire was a single geopolitical problem simultaneously striking on multiple Qing frontiers.

Keywords:   foreign policy, Wei Yuan, British India, frontier policy, Qing state, British empire, Haiguo tuzhi, Burma, Qianlong, imperial expansion

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