The teeming millions of China were exploited by the imperialist powers like England, France, Germany, America, Japan etc. The Chinese could not save themselves from colonial exploitation owing to the following reasons :
- The imperialist powers divided China into their spheres of influence and destroyed the unity of China.
- The Manchu Dynasty could not face the powerful Europeans due to its own inherent weaknesses.
- China was defeated in the Opium Wars of 1841 and 1854. The defeat in these Wars marked the beginning of China’s gradual transformation into a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society.
- Addiction to opium made Chinese lazy and cowardly.
- In another War with Japan, China was defeated in 1895. China had to part with a large part of her territory to Japan.
- The Chinese revolted against the Government which was forcibly crushed with the help of foreign powers.
- Chinese suffered some natural calamities.