Only a stone's throw away from the Imperial Palace, the Legation Quarter of Peking stood for more than half a century as 'a city apart'. Surrounded by thick walls, with entry to Chinese forbidden, the Quarter housed several hundred foreigners who lived in a miniature Europe in the heart of the Chinese capital. The Quarter boasted well-built embassies and fancy clubs which mimicked the latest European styles, maintained its own local government and postal service, and was serviced by a surprisingly large collection of banks and commercial establishments. A painful symbol of China's humiliation at the hands of western 'barbarians', the Legation Quarter was repossessed by the Chinese Government after 1949 and all foreigners were evicted. Little remains of the old Quarter today.
Foreigners within the Gates reconstructs the story of the Peking Legation Quarter — the 'little Europe' placed arrogantly in the heart of the Imperial capital — tracing the Quarter's origins in the 18th century treaties of Tianjin and Peking, through the perilous Siege during the Boxer Rebellion of summer 1900, the rebuilding of the Quarter following the Boxer Settlement, the Japanese occupation of the 1930's, and finally the disappearance of the Quarter following the communist 'liberation'. The book's collection of rare photographs, numerous maps and lively prose provide a dramatic picture of one of the most fascinating encounters between China and the outside world — inside the capital of the Middle Kingdom itself.
- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Published: Revised edition, November 2006
- ISBN: 9781932476316
- Size: 9.5 x 0.9 x 11.3 inches
- Weight: 3.2 pounds