One of the most striking phenomena in early twentieth-century China is her rapid adaptability to modern nationalism. Viewed from the events of the period 1902 to 1911, this newly emerged spirit was expressed in many ways, and China's response to foreign investment in her mining industry was certainly one index of them. Indeed, this response had fully developed into a national movement in which China's major purpose was first to confront the established interests of foreign powers in China, and second, to implement what later proved to be an unsuccessful program of industrialization under her own control, with heavy emphasis on mining and railway development. However, the development of the spirit, in this phase, did not constitute an overall defiance of the treaty system which consisted of unequal terms and served as the foundation of Sino-foreign relations. China's objective was basically a negative one and had only limited positive perspective.

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