The term 'national economy' lacks clarity in modern Chinese history. China's modernization is often treated as a feature of the central government's economic policy, but regional and local economic activity and the involvement of foreign powers were integral to the process. Takeshi Hamashita approaches this issue by examining the country's coastal open ports and the economic networks associated with them, explaining the working of regional and local market zones by following the flows of merchandize and of the funds collected by customs' authorities. His interpretation revolves around internal tariff collections, maritime customs, foreign banks, and Chinese banks, four elements central to the formation and functioning of China's modern economy. This book provides insights into the financial crisis China faced between 1896 and 1910, when both foreign and domestic financiers confronted a crisis brought on by loans and indemnities owed to foreign countries following the Sino-Japanese War of 1895, the Boxer Uprising of 1900 and the republican revolution of 1912. The analysis helps explain the interregional relationship between Hong Kong and Singapore through the overseas Chinese remittance network and local Chinese banking networks centered on Shanghai, Renchuan and Kobe, and the role played by China's Maritime Customs in these arrangements.