'China and Imperialism: During the Nineteenth Century' is an abridged edition of Tan Chung's collection of articles, 'Triton and Dragon', published in 1986.
It is, indeed, a critique of Tradition-Modernity model which is most popularly known as challenge-response formula that has dominated the writings on Nineteenth-Century China for long. This paradigm has formed the basis of all John K. Fairbank's concepts, such as, 'Canton System', 'Treaty Port System', 'Tribute System' and most important of all, 'Sino-centrism' and 'Dynastic Cycle Theory' that he has used to understand the role of imperialism in Chinese internal developments during 19th century. In the present study all these concepts have been critically analysed on grounds of their illogical and irrational nature as well as the misinterpretation of Chinese terminology by Fairbank.
As against the Fairbankian schema, an attempt has been made, in the present volume, to critically synthesise the parallel historiographies in English and Chinese languages by comparing and contrasting different shades of opinions and schools of thought.
This abridged and edited version of Tan Chungs's 'Trition and Dragon', it is hoped, will serve the purpose of a text book for all those teachers and students interested in the study of imperialism and Colonialism and national movements in 19th Century China.