18. Thomas P. Lyons, Economics

China Maritime Customs and China’s Trade Statistics, 1859-1948 (Willow Creek, 2003). Lyons traces the evolution of China’s Maritime Customs service; explains how the service compiled trade statistics; and shows the reader how to obtain, organize, and interpret customs statistics. For almost a century, foreigners ran China’s customs service. British and American executives built the Maritime Customs into China’s first modern civil service, earning the respect and trust of successive Chinese governments. China Maritime Customs yielded a massive trove of statistical returns, business studies, and annual reports. These documents, published in English and now available to the general public, provide a comprehensive record of China’s shipping and trade, and show the workings of China’s economy and government during the late imperial and republican periods.

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