Forgotten Diplomacy

The Modern Remaking of Dutch-Chinese Relations, 1927–1950


In this meticulously researched volume, Vincent Chang resurrects a near forgotten yet pivotal chapter of Dutch-Chinese ties to narrate how World War II, China’s civil war, and Indonesia’s decolonization reshaped and ultimately redefined this age-old bilateral relationship.
Drawing on a wealth of hitherto-unexplored archives, this book explains how China’s rise on the global stage and the Netherlands’ simultaneous decline as a Pacific power informed events in Dutch-controlled Indonesia (and vice versa) and prompted a complete recalibration of Dutch-Chinese ties, culminating in the Netherlands’ recognition of the People’s Republic and laying the foundations for its current “One-China” policy.
Presenting insightful analyses of power dynamics and law, this book is a critical resource to historians and China specialists as well as scholars of international relations and international law.

E-Book : List price

EUR €149.00USD $179.00
Biographical Note
Vincent K.L. Chang, PhD (2016), a Dutch lawyer and historian, is Associate Professor of History at Southwest University (China) specializing in modern Chinese history and diplomacy. He also teaches at Leiden University and serves as a fellow of the LeidenAsiaCentre
Table of contents
List of Tables
List of Plates

 1 Dutch Diplomatic History
 2 Chinese Diplomatic History
 3 Merging Histories
 4 Traits of Modern Dutch-Chinese Relations
 5 Aims, Arguments, and Organization of the Book

Part 1: Readjustment

1 Diplomatic Relations During the Prewar Years: 1927–1936
 1 International Context
 2 Development of Bilateral Ties
 3 Dutch Official Representation in China
 4 Chinese Official Representation in the Netherlands
 5 Conclusion
2 Remission of the Dutch Share in China’s Boxer Indemnity
 1 A Watershed Moment
 2 The Central Hydraulic Research Institute at Nanjing
 3 Life, Loss, and Lasting Friendship
 4 Effects and Significance
Plates 1–24

Part 2: Realignment

3 Diplomatic Relations during the War Years: 1937–1945
 1 International Context
 2 Development of Bilateral Ties
 3 Dutch Official Representation in China
 4 Chinese Official Representation in the Netherlands
 5 Conclusion
4 Abrogation of Dutch Extraterritorial Rights in China
 1 The System of Extraterritoriality in China
 2 Extraterritoriality and Dutch-Chinese Treaty Relations
 3 The Dutch-Chinese Treaty of
 4 Effects and Significance
Plates 25–45

Part 3: Reset

5 Diplomatic Relations during the Postwar Years: 1946–1950
 1 International Context
 2 Development of Bilateral Ties
 3 Dutch Official Representation in China
 4 Chinese Official Representation in the Netherlands
 5 Conclusion
6 Recognition of the People’s Republic of China
 1 Early Encounters
 2 The Path to Recognition
 3 Rationales, Response, Result
 4 Effects and Significance
 1 Change and Continuity
 2 Policies and People
 3 Power Dynamics
 4 Past and Present
 5 The Future Past

Appendix 1: Chronology of Major Events

Appendix 2: Overview of Senior Envoys, 1927–1950

Appendix 3: Exchange of Notes Dated 4 April 1933

Appendix 4: Joint Announcement Dated 15 February 1943

Appendix 5: Dutch-Chinese Treaty of 29 May 1945

Appendix 6: Notes on Recognition, March/April 1950


All interested in modern Chinese history and diplomacy (Republican era); historical Dutch-Chinese relations; transnational World War II history; Indonesia’s decolonization and ethnic Chinese in Indonesia; and/or international law and diplomacy.
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