Chinese nationalism and Italian fascism: a decade of political and economic cooperation (1928 – 1937)

At the end of the First World War, relations between the Kingdom of Italy and Republic of China remained confined in the context of economic interests of modest values. In Italy, only a few intellectuals and religious missionaries could in fact be considered experts in Chinese culture and language. Italy obtained, after the signing of the Boxers Protocol (7 September 1901), the concession of Tientsin, but only a small number of Italian residents lived permanently in the city, at that time occupied by the Western Powers. For a long time, it was a community standing in anonymity, with minimal involvement in the local business relations, in comparison with other international collectivities that with great opportunism and commitment had laid the foundations for a long-standing social and economic presence, contributing decisively to the beginnings of China’s industrialization.