Meridian gate, the entrance to the Emperor’s quarters in Beijing’s Forbidden City, 1900.
Blaine Chiasson presents, A Tethered Dragon: The Eight Nation Army Occupation of Beijing & Tianjin, 1900-1902.
In September 1900 American, British, French, Italian, Russian, German, Japanese and Austro-Hungarian troops, the multi-national ‘Eight Nation Army’ occupied northern China, having invaded Qing China in response to the Buddhist millennial Boxer Rebellion, which targeted foreign missionaries and diplomats. For two years Beijing, the northern capital, and Tianjin its port city, were occupied and administered by these combined officers and troops as the Qing court remained in exile in western China. His talk will examine the dynamics of this multi-national occupation concentrating on the debate and justification for looting, foreign fascination with the previously closed Forbidden City, inter-allied conflict, Chinese resistance, and the occupation’s long-term affects on the built urban landscape of the two cities.
Offered in partnership with the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies.
After his BA is in Russian language & history from Dalhousie University, Chiasson attended the University of Toronto intending to continue my MA in Russian. After taking Mandarin & Chinese history he became interested in the fate of the 500,000 + Russian émigré population in interwar China and switched to Modern Chinese history for his PhD. His monograph, Administering the Colonizer: Manchuria’s Russians under Chinese Rule 1919-1929 (2010) was published by UBC Press. Chiasson’s published articles all examine Russian imperialism in China and the Russian community in exile. Further research on the Russian army and Beijing’s Ethnic Chinese Russian Orthodox community during the 1901 Boxer rebellion has led to his present project, a study of the Eight Nation international occupation of Tianjin and Beijing from 1900 to 1903. He is currently an Associate Professor, Department of History, Wilfrid Laurier University.
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