The Grand Canal in Republican China

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Since the late imperial era, Yellow River floods have endangered the environmental equilibrium of North China, including parts of the Grand Canal. The Republican government’s response to water disasters reflected the influence of global networks and institutions of expertise. By turning to an American company for infrastructure work on the Grand Canal, Chinese government officials placed their faith in global science and finance to renew a domestic symbol of state power. The project failed; nonetheless the efforts to restore the waterways and provide relief reveal the entangled humanitarian, corporate, and educational interests of modern China’s state building and environmental management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-772
Number of pages42
JournalJournal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2019


  • American-Chinese relations
  • environment
  • Grand Canal
  • humanitarianism and philanthropy
  • infrastructure and science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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