Chasing the Dragon in Shanghai

Canada's Early Relations with China, 1858-1952

John D. Meehan

  • Published: 2011. Paperback 2012
  • Subject Listing: History
  • Bibliographic information: 228 pp., 1 map, 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

Canada shared a rich, multi-faceted history with China long before it recognized the People's Republic of China in 1970. John Meehan brings to light the activities of early Canadian missionaries, business people, government officials, and adventurers in Shanghai - the gateway to China and an important cultural contact zone. These sojourners' experiences - which unfolded against a backdrop of war and revolution and Canada's own evolution from colony to nation - reflected Canada's deepening relationship with China and the troubling asymmetries that underpinned it. Although Canadians, like other foreigners, had left Shanghai by the early 1950s, their lives and activities foreshadowed more recent Canadian initiatives in China.
John D. Meehan is an assistant professor of historyat Campion College at the University of Regina.

"This very important work helps fill the gap in the literature about the priority of China in Canada's international relations during the period covered. It counters a Eurocentric point of view by examing the lives of Canadians in Shanghai, offering a colourful and skilful evocation of history extending beyond government to such matters as trade, finance, and missionary activity amidst the vicissitudes of civil war, invasion, and revolution."
-John Hilliker, former head of the Historical Section, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Prologue: The Gateway to China

1 Imperial Overtures

2 Establishing a Presence

3 The Tide of Nationalism

4 A False Security

5 Forged in Fire

6 Preparing for the End

Conclusion: From Asymmetry to Opportunity

Appendix: List of Canadians Interned in Shanghai (1943-45)


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