This work draws on a wide range of Chinese and Japanese sources to analyse the uncertain loyalties and complex internal pressures that drove Sino-Japanese interaction in prewar north China. It examines the shifting understandings of the North China problem in its practical, political and moral aspects, and challenges existing assumptions concerning Chinese relations with Japan and their impact on domestic politics.
'A welcome addition to the slowly growing literature on the effects of Japanese encroachment on Chinese politics in the 1930s… Marjorie Dryburgh has written an innovative and thoughtful study of a topic which has received far less attention than it deserves. Her book is recommended reading for all those interested in the turbulent relationship between China and Japan in the early twentieth century, as well as the tensions within domestic Chinese politics during that period.' - Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society