Current Institutional Affiliation
Doctoral Candidate, History, Columbia University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2018
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, Columbia University
Intelligence Collection, Trans-Regional Trade, and International Relations between China and Inner Asia, 1697-1921

Starting in 1644, the Qing dynasty acquired an empire that, having absorbed the whole of China, took in territory in Inner Asia (Tibet, Mongolia, and Xinjiang) equivalent in size to Europe. Controlling and administering such a vast multi-regional, multi-national, and multi-lingual realm called into being novel arrangements, which are my subject. I propose to investigate the influence of intelligence collection and trans-regional trade between China and Inner Asia on the formation of international relations in eastern Eurasia from the late seventeenth to the early twentieth century. Through comparing the continuity and the development of Sino-Inner Asian trading networks before and after the late nineteenth century, my research will seek to understand how Qing China (1644-1911) became involved in global market and the system of international law. I divide the research into three parts, corresponding to three related topics: The intelligence system, trans-regional trade, and international relations between modern China and Inner Asia. By focusing on mobile communities, such as merchants, spies, and pilgrims etc., who traveled widely between China and Inner Asia, part 1 explains how the imperial and capitalist powers jointly established intelligence networks, trans-regional trade, and cosmopolitan discourse between China and Inner Asia during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Part 2 investigates the transplantation of international law and the transformation of trans-regional trade between the Qing and Inner Asia by focusing the constructions of the Ili and Yadong Customs Houses in Xinjiang and Tibet in the late nineteenth century. Part 3 probes the continuity of the Qing's imperial logic of translingual cosmopolitanism behind the evolution of its frontier policy and skill at governing. Finally, the research aims to testify the correlations between intelligence system, trans-regional trade, and international relations, and hypothesizes that the Qing's sponsorship of intelligence networks facilitated the dev