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Potential Section A Mt With Answers Notes

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Potential Section A Questions: Michaelmas Term with Answers

1. How do you interpret 'guanxi'?

Central concept in Chinese society and Confucian social theory (Butterfield, 1983) Western interpretation  'connections' or 'relationships'  Wrong!
Describes special relationship which reflect social duty Distinguished from social relationships (concept of order) Bourdieu (1986) - Social capital  More fitting Unifying feature in China Distinguished from business concerns, but still encouraged during Mao period to strength work-unit systems Interpret at social network and the perceived duties in non-convention relationships in orderly society

2. What were the features of agricultural developments in Imperial China?


Village and family-based, peasantry - Richardson (1999)


Low-scale, highly labour intensive


1) Absence of fundamental changes in tech, organization and belief systems


2) Rate of return low


3) High population density  Livestock farming not economical, uncommon o Pressure to change  commercialization developing  Markets


4) Open-frontier economy developed in Manchuria from mid 19 th o Settlement of empty land, opening of Port Darien in 1907 o Well-developed compared to China proper

3. What explains Japanese competitiveness in modern silk-reeling industry over that of China from the mid-1850s?

Silk-reeling most important export commodity for traditional China and Japan As 19th century progressed, Japanese competitiveness increased over China (Kiyokawa, 1987) o Japanese exports by 1930s, 3 times greater than China Firth's hypothesis (1929): Acceptance of new foreign technology follows acceptance of associated institutions and beliefs o Main factor in explaining Japanese success 1) Readily adopted Western style factory management 2) Meiji enlightenment policies overcame prejudice and xenophobia 3) Better infrastructure (mention Ewo Filature (Brown, 1979) and failings) 4) Direct govt. support for modernization  Bi-voltine silkworm

4. What explains the success of the Ningpo merchants in China up to 1911, and what accounted for their demise?

Network of family merchant businesses 1) Highly adaptable (Shiba, 1977) 2) Self-regulation via strong governance structure  guilds (Lin, 2005) 3) Strong financing 4) Dominance of modern style banks led to demise 5) Only 30% of native banks survived 1911 revolution (Jones, 1974)

5. What are the Shanxi Bankers and what is their governance structure?

Based around Pingyao in Shanxi  First to provide whole range of banking services (Morck and Yang, 2010) Result of Shanxi merchants  Tea route Financed by Shanxi merchants  Monopoly over lake Xiechi salt works Specialised in Piaohao Connections with important officials 1) Dual classes of equity 2) Managerial incentives  Jade parachutes 3) Dividends paid to family 4) Unlimited liability 5) Hiring from lineage + background checks + guarantors

6. What is Chinese Tong, and what was controversial about them to the British courts?

Literally translated as ancestral hall Unit of shareholdings and store of wealth in Chinese lineage trusts Legal entity in traditional Chinese commercial organization Controversial point for British law (Chung, 2010)

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