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Indian Ocean Crossings: Indian Labor Migration And Settlement In Southeast Asia, 1870 To 1940

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Chapter Summary

The British navy ruled the waves by the end of the eighteenth century. In the Indian Ocean and beyond to the China Seas, it provided support for British and other European merchant houses to connect all the lands that they could reach with the production centers at home. In Asia, the two key link-points between the Indian and Pacific Oceans were Singapore and Hong Kong. With the Indian coasts under their control, the British reached for the rich markets of the China coasts. British victory in the Opium War of 1840–1842 settled the issue for the next hundred years. Both Singapore and Hong Kong played a pivotal role as anchors for British power in the South and East China Seas. The monsoonal conditions had earlier prevented intense political relationships from developing between countries that faced both those seas.

Keywords:China Seas; Hong Kong; Indian Ocean; Pacific Oceans; Singapore

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