The Imperial Maritime Customs Service was established in the 1850s largely under British auspices because of the chaotic conditions resulting from the Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864) and the sudden increase of tea trade at the Chinese ports. The Service, as a department of the Chinese government, was primarily responsible for the collection of duties at treaty ports. The personnel employed at the Service included both Chinese and foreigners. In 1895, for example, there were about 700 foreign inspectors, with more than half of them British, and 3,500 Chinese. Diplomats, intellectuals, people with military backgrounds, sailors and representatives from various migrant groups worked at the Service. Under Robert Hart, the inspector-general from 1863 to 1907, the Chinese Maritime Customs Service was created to enforce treaty tariffs; but it quickly took on several other maritime administrative responsibilities. By examining this diverse personnel and the role of the Shanghai port in particular, Professor Hamashita's presentation will reevaluate the history of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service and its contributions to the trans-regional connections.
Takeshi Hamashita is Professor of Chinese economic history. Currently he is Professor of Asia Pacific Studies, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China. He has taught at Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo University, Kyoto University, and Ryukoku University. His has widely published in the fields of contemporary Chinese economy, overseas Chinese history, East Asian regional history, and Ryukyu-Okinawa history studies.
His publications in English include, The Tribute Trade System and Modern Asia, China, East Asia and the Global Economy (edited with Mark Selden and Linda Grove), and The Resurgence of East Asia (edited with Giovanni Arrighi and Mark Selden). He is a recipient of the Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prize.
Takahiro Yamamoto, Global Perspectives on Society Teaching Fellow at NYU Shanghai, will introduce Professor Takeshi Hamashita.
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