China'S War On Smuggling (eBook)
Law, Economic Life, And The Making Of The Modern State, 18421965
de Philip Thai
Sobre o livro
Smuggling along the Chinese coast has been a thorn in the side of many regimes. From opium concealed aboard foreign steamships in the Qing dynasty to consumer commodities like nylon stockings and wristwatches trafficked in the Peoples Republic, contests between state and smuggler have exerted a surprising but crucial influence on the political economy of modern China. Seeking to consolidate domestic authority and confront foreign challenges, the state introduced tighter regulations, higher taxes, and harsher enforcement. These interventions sparked widespread defiance, triggering further coercive measures: smuggling simultaneously threatened the states power while inviting repression that strengthened its authority.
Philip Thai chronicles the vicissitudes of smuggling in modern Chinaits practice, suppression, and significanceto demonstrate the intimate link between coastal smuggling and the amplification of state power.Chinas War on Smuggling shows that the fight against smuggling was not a simple law enforcement problem but rather an impetus to centralize and expand regime control. The smuggling epidemic gave Chinese states pretext to define legal and illegal behavior, and the resulting constraints on consumption and movement remade everyday life for individuals, merchants, and communities. Drawing from varied sources such as legal cases, customs records, and popular press reports and including diverse perspectives from political leaders to frontline enforcers, organized traffickers, and petty runners, Thai traces how different regimes sought to police maritime trade and the unintended consequences their campaigns unleashed.Chinas War on Smuggling shows how defiance helped the state redefine its power, offering new insights into modern Chinese social, legal, and economic history.