Cambridge Archive Editions

East and Southeast Asia Collection

Cambridge Archive Editions (CAE) presents a wealth of historical reference materials from the 18th-20th centuries on the national heritage and political development of numerous countries. The East and Southeast Asia Collection covers the geographic areas of Japan, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan and, under the title Straits Settlements, Penang, Singapore, Malacca and Labuan. These titles deliver insight with historic political and economic reports and a sound basis for research of East and South-East Asia.

East and Southeast Asia Collection Titles

Note: Please inquire for pricing and availability.

China Political Reports 1911–1960
11 volumes, 6970 pages; ISBN 9781852079307

China Political Reports 1911–1960 is a collection of periodic reports which has been established as an integrated series by Robert L. Jarman, F. R. G. S. The documents are listed in detail at the front of each volume and source references given for the benefit of scholars. This period covers the history of the rise of Communism in China and its effects over more than half a century. Although the period covers World Wars I and II, the impact of these world events is almost matched for the Chinese by their internal struggles. After the declaration of the People’s Republic of China, Chinese diplomacy took a more international turn, but by then the international arena had become paralyzed by the effects of the cold war and the prevailing beliefs of the Great Powers were anti-Communist in nature, thereby continuing the isolation of China.


China Political Reports 1961–1970
3 volumes, 1800 pages; ISBN 9781840970203

This collection draws together the periodic political reports sent by British officials based in China back to the British Foreign Office in London. The collection begins with the 1911 annual report. To summarise this report would be to say it describes the fall of the Manchu Dynasty, but any attempt to do so reveals the nature of all these reports on China. The vastness of the land area of China, the many different peoples and the different political character of the many provinces mean a level of detail that defi es any attempt at simplification. Furthermore, China shares external boundaries with 14 countries to the north, west and south and has 14,000 kilometres of coastline to the east.

This collection of reports ends in 1960 with the effects of the ‘Great Leap’ forward of 1958 just beginning to be felt; the first suggestions of dissent within the leadership of the Communist Party; and the process of the elevation of Chairman Mao to cult status well under way.

In the 1961–1971 period is the recovery from the ‘Great Leap Forward’ and the main thrust of the ‘Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution’. These two events alone would sustain research for years to come but this period also includes China’s relationship with the other great Communist power and its near neighbour – Russia and disputes with India over Tibet.


Hong Kong: Annual Administration Reports 1841–1941
6 volumes, 3000 pages; ISBN 9781852079703

This collection of administration and related reports covers the first 100 years of British rule in Hong Kong. On 26 January 1841, Hong Kong was occupied by British forces; two days after this initial occupation, on 28th January 1841, a Royal Proclamation placed the civil administration in the hands of Captain Elliot, then Chief Superintendent of Trade of British Subjects in China.

It naturally took time for the whole apparatus of colonial government to be developed in Hong Kong and for the standard reporting back to London to be established. Foremost among the reports that had to be sent back to London was the annual Blue Book: the collection of all available statistics for the colony, with details of all income and expenditure (including official salaries and pensions), and with the Blue Book was sent the Governor’s report summarising the events of the year.

This series has been established in its complete form for the first time by Robert Jarman, who also provides an archival introduction.


Japan: Political and Economic Reports 1906–1970
14 volumes, 9500 pages; ISBN 9781852079000

Cambridge Archive Editions presents a revised edition of the 1994 title Japan and Dependencies: Political and Economic Reports 1906–1960. It provides an extensive series of British diplomatic reports containing a continuous account of developments in Japanese history from 1906–1960, now updated by the addition of previously withheld documents from the 1940s and 2 volumes of documents from 1960–1970. It is further changed by the separate publication of the dependencies titles. The resulting 9,500 pages is a considerable piece of research which provides descriptions and assessments of Japanese international relations, internal political and economic affairs and post-war civil and economic reconstruction for this relatively unknown country, viewed latterly as one of the great engines of economic change in the twentieth century.


Korea: Political and Economic Reports 1882–1970
14 volumes, 10000 pages; ISBN 9781840971101

This comprehensive collection of facsimile documents contains all available diplomatic reports regarding Korea that are housed in the British National Archives. The period covered by the collection begins with the Korean monarchy, and includes the time spent under Japanese rule, the split into north and south Korea and the Korean War.

From the documents it can be seen that the history and status of Korea was dependent upon the rivalries between, and the comparative strengths of, the three countries that lay adjacent to Korea – Russia, China and Japan. After the Second World War, the vacuum caused by the elimination of Japan meant that the Soviet Union, the USA and Communist China now vied for influence in Korea, and the post-1945 division of the peninsula into North and South Korea and the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 are symbols of that rivalry. The entrenchment of the division between the Communist North and the non-Communist South, and their respective supporters in the Soviet bloc and the capitalist West, is the central issue from the armistice in 1953 to the final report in this collection in 1970.


Shanghai: Political and Economic Reports 1842–1943
18 volumes, 14500 pages; ISBN 9781840972108

The remarkable and durable institution of the International Settlement allowed the British to report in detail on political and economic matters in Shanghai and China. This collection of primary documents establishes a comprehensive series of despatches, in the main from the British consul in Shanghai to the British ambassador to China usually based in Peking, but in the 1930s based in Shanghai itself.

There is regular information on the government of the Settlement, and reports on the opium trade; there are extended reports, in 1856, on the continuing Taiping Rebellion, and later, reports on the Sino-Japanese war over the control of Korea; from 1901–1 reports include: the Boxer Rebellion; commentary on the French settlement; anti-government conspirators in Shanghai; the Russo-Japanese war; the Shanghai tramway system; the bubonic plague in Shanghai; the Chinese revolution of 1911–12; British intelligence reports on German activities, 1914–18; and in the mid-1920s telegrams reflect the impact of the civil war in China, and report “the Shanghai incident”. The collection ends with the winding up of the Settlement under wartime Japanese occupation.


Straits Settlements: Annual Reports 1855–1941
12 volumes, 7850 pages, plus 6 maps in volume 11; ISBN 9781852079406

The Straits Settlements were formed in 1826 by the amalgamation of the three Settlements of Singapore (including Christmas Island and the Cocos-Keeling group), Penang (including Province Wellesley), and Malacca. Initially the seat of government was Penang but in 1836 Singapore became the capital.

On 1 April 1867 the Straits Settlements were transferred from the control of the Indian Government to that of the Secretary of State for the Colonies in London. In 1912 Labuan became the fourth Settlement.

This 12-volume set covers the years 1855 to 1941 and includes all the annual reviews ever produced of the colony as a whole. The reports are arranged in chronological order establishing, for the first time, an integral series gathered together from scattered Government files. There are also many instances of hitherto unknown or unreleased documents which were specially requested by the editor from the British Foreign Office to complete this series of reports.


Taiwan Political and Economic Reports 1861–1960
10 volumes, 7000 pages; ISBN 9781852079451

For the first time the complete series of British diplomatic reports from the island of Taiwan is published. These volumes provide an extensive and reliable research source for study of a 100- year period of Taiwanese history. The early reports cover the nineteenth century years of Formosa as a part of China, as well as the brief period of independence in 1895; followed by the long period up to World War II as a Japanese colony.

The post-war reports are of special value in documenting the struggle between the Kuomintang, led by Chiang-kai-shek, and the Communist forces of Mao-tse-tung. The Nationalists, defeated on the mainland, brought to Taiwan the flag which had been adopted as the national flag of China from 1928–1949.

These reports provide contemporary accounts of the military tensions of the early 1950s, the rivalry over the Chinese heritage and the unresolved status of Taiwan. The reports also give a balanced picture of the different political and ethnic constituents in Taiwanese history, with information on the Chinese, Japanese and aboriginal communities.


Vietnam Under French Rule 1919–1946: The Nationalist Challenge and the Japanese Threat
4 volumes, 3500 pages; ISBN 9781840973907

Born out of the maelstrom of the Second World War, the country today formally recognised as Vietnam soon became a virtual synonym for conflict, in much the same manner as Iraq and Afghanistan now are at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The regions of Tonkin, Annam, and Cochinchina, from which Vietnam was constituted, had been governed by the French as part of French Indochina since 1887 and were territories over which Britain had never held sway; yet at various stages throughout the turbulent twentieth century, events conspired in surprising ways to provide the British government with a significant role in shaping and determining their future for many years to come.

These 3500 pages of documents have been selected from across all major departments of the British government – the Foreign, Colonial, Dominions and War Offices, the Prime Minister’s Office, as well as the Cabinet Office, and occasionally from other departments where relevant or appropriate. They present a constant flow of detailed monthly reports and diplomatic despatches to the Foreign Office in London from officials on the spot who attempted to evaluate the political, social, economic and military situation as it appeared to them. These reports contain a surprisingly diverse range of information and are often supplemented by examples of political tracts, circulars or pamphlets, copies of speeches and extracts from the local press, many of which have been reproduced in this volume, and which provide valuable insights into aspects of the early development of nationalism and the communist movement in Indochina.

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