What factors allowed China and Japan to resist or contain Europeans or European influence for so long, especially at a time when European trade and joint-stock companies were dominating the surrounding areas?

1) What factors allowed China and Japan to resist or contain Europeans or European influence for so long, especially at a time when European trade and joint-stock companies were dominating the surrounding areas?  What did they want (if anything) from Europeans?  What did Europeans want from them? 

2) Peter the Great of Russia (a so-called Enlightened Despot) is known as the leader who “westernized” Russia?  How did he achieve this?  What was it about Western Europe that attracted him (i.e. what was he specifically interested in)? 

3) What is mercantilism?  How is it similar to modern capitalism?  What are joint-stock companies?  In what ways are they precursors to modern corporations?  

4) Thinking about Emma Jinhua Teng’s chapter “An Island of Women: Gender in Qing Travel Writing about Taiwan”, how was Qing colonial discourse similar to European colonial discourse (esp. with regards to “otherizing” and gender)?  How did it differ?  

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