Bickers, Robert A., “Death of a young Shanghaïlander: the Thorburn case and the defence of the British treaty ports in China in 1931”, (1996)
Title : “Death of a young Shanghaïlander: the Thorburn case and the defence of the British treaty ports in China in 1931”,
Author(s) : Bickers, Robert A.
Year : 1996
Type : Journal article
Subject : History
Keywords : foreigners;social;colonialism;diplomacy
Journal : Modern Asian studies,
Volume : 30
Number : 2
Start page : 271
End page : 300
Language:Name : English
Support : Print
Abstract : In May 1931 a British youth from Shanghai, John Hay Thorburn, disappeared and was subsequently presumed to have been killed by the Chinese military, having been accused of shooting two Chinese gendarmes on the strategically important Shanghai-Nanjing railway. The affair sparked off a diplomatic row which seriously threatened negotiations then underway between the British and Nationalist Chinese governments to put an end to the system of extraterritoriality put in place by the "unequal treaties" which followed the Opium Wars of the mid-19th century. The case acted as a powerful focus for the mobilization of British opinion against reform among the treaty port communities or "Shanghailanders."