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The British Government's Strategy on Kwangtung Pirates in 1924-1925: A Case of the Canton-Britain Military Cooperation and Campaign
Kwangtung pirates;Canton-Britain cooperation;British Navy;Hong Kong
|Issue Date: ||2016-11-11T06:20:05Z
|Abstract: ||摘要:1920年代廣東海盜問題，已成為英國政府眼中日益棘手的課題。受到民國以來廣東政治局勢動盪不安的影響，廣東南部沿海及珠江流域各村落的海盜活動也隨之活躍。回比鄰廣東的香港，自然首當其衝；加以廣東海盜的劫掠範圍不僅限在廣東沿海與內陸水路，而是廣及整個東亞水域，使得香港往來廣東、北至上海、南至新加坡的輪船航線均淪為廣東海盜可能下手劫掠的目標。職是之故，英國政府無不竭盡心力，試圖謀求廣東海盜問題的有效解決方法。而尋求廣州當局的協助，亦即透過粵、英雙方軍事合作模式，直接進剿海盜巢穴，以謀澈底解決廣東海盜問題，則是英國政府的首要策略運用。1924－1925年間，由於粵、英關係的和緩，英國海軍與粵軍部隊開始一系列的軍事進剿行動，以剷除廣東各地的海盜集團。然而，粵英軍事合作剿盜的成效，卻備受質疑。根據英國海軍事後的檢討報告，粵英合作剿盜雖然有其一定的效果，但是不確定因素仍多，必須隨時面對廣州當局內部質疑聲浪、軍事派系傾軋與包庇，尤其是廣東政局波動及中、英關係演變等負面作用的掣肘與拖累。在英國駐華公使館的評估中，也坦承粵方合作將領明顯對英國懷有戒心，不願讓英國海軍在軍事行動中介入過深，因此「英國軍艦絕大部分的時候只是擔任護航的工作」。 尤有要者，粵英軍事合作還可能帶來英國外交部十分擔心的政治風險，因為英國海軍的諸多行動， 其實已有介入中國內政之嫌，除可能引起中國內部不滿的勢力， 產生反英風潮外，也可能造成其他列強的猜忌。
Abstract:Kwangtung pirates were a very serious issue for the British government in the 1920s. Due to the impacts of political disturbances and social disorders in the republican China, piratical activities near the southern parts of Kwangtung increased. Hong Kong, Britain's settlement near Kwangtung, suffered greatly from piracy. Besides, Kwangtung pirates' activities were not confined only on the coastal areas of Kwangtung but also extended to areas ranging from Shanghai to Singapore. In others words, almost the entire steamer shipping line in the East China Seas became a prey to Kwangtung pirates. That was exactly the reason why the British government resorted every available means in an attempt to wipe out these pirates. By means of cooperation with the Canton government and forming a Canton-Britain military expedition to destroy pirates' lairs in Kwangtung was the first priority for the British government.As the relationships between Canton and Britain eased, the British Navy and the Cantonese troops launched a series of military expeditions to wipe out notorious gangs of pirates in Kwangtung. However, the validity of the Canton-Britain military cooperation was questionable. According to the Britain Navy's evaluation reports, this cooperation did reduce the piracy problems in Kwangtung, but other uncertainties must be taken into consideration, such as the strong antagonism from the Canton government, clique struggle, political confrontation, etc. The British Legation at Peking also admitted that some Cantonese generals felt vigilant about the cooperation and did not want the British naval force to intervene the expeditions too much. Thus, the British gunboats were often refrained from working actively, except for some escorted missions. Furthermore, this military cooperation might bring the British government a political risk, as the cooperation of the British naval action could be blamed for interfering with the Chinese internal affairs that might trigger the anti-Britain campaign in China but also cause other powers' criticism.
|Relation: ||37, pp.1-48|
|Appears in Collections:||[海洋文化研究所] 期刊論文|
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