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Liberal utilitarian and humanitarian arguments provided for the innovations in colonial government that administered the conduct of labor, movement, and trade in the post–Opium War Chinese treaty ports, and criminal justice in the new Crown Colony of Hong Kong. This chapter discusses John Stuart Mill’s writings on free trade and representative government together with India Office and Foreign Office records regarding post–Opium War coastal China and Hong Kong. The new form of imperial governance expressed by nineteenth-century “free trade” in India and China consisted in the power to adapt and improvise combinations of colonial conquest with new forms of migrant...

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