Chapter | Manchurian Railways and the Opening of China: An International History | 2009

Chinese Railroads, Local Society, and Foreign Presence: The Tianjin-Pukou Line in pre-1949 Shandong

by Elisabeth Koll

Abstract

This chapter explores issues of how Chinese railroads improved social mobility and standards of living along major trunk lines, and how foreign investment shaped the integration of the Chinese railroad network from the early 1900s to 1949. As this case study of the Tianjin-Pukou line argues, the political context of semi-colonialism and imperialism in the first half of the 20th century framed the emergence and growth of railroad companies in China. This is not to say that individual railroad lines were not able to become substantial business institutions, but different political regimes-colonial authorities, warlords, political factions in the Republican government, and the Japanese-prevented the growth of Chinese railroads into an expansive, strong national railway network during the first half of the 20th century.

Keywords: Foreign Direct Investment; Business History; Industry Growth; Welfare or Wellbeing; Rail Transportation; Rail Industry; China;

Citation:

Koll, Elisabeth. "Chinese Railroads, Local Society, and Foreign Presence: The Tianjin-Pukou Line in pre-1949 Shandong." In Manchurian Railways and the Opening of China: An International History, edited by Bruce A. Elleman and Stephen Kotkin, 123–148. New York: M.E. Sharpe, 2009.