Magnets for Militants on the Move

A review in The New Republic of Cambridge historian Tim Harper’s Underground Asia: Global Revolutionaries and the Assault on Empire. The book looks fascinating. A couple of bits caught my eye.

This one:

The locales that interest him are cosmopolitan ports that were at least partly incorporated into Western empires—cities such as Canton, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Saigon, which were magnets for militants on the move. In these places, exiles from “lost countries”—a term Harper borrows from an activist of the time to refer to colonized lands—could evade arrest by the police by lying low in hard-to-patrol dockland districts.

… and this:

In subdivided cities like Shanghai, which had a British-dominated International Settlement beside a separate French Concession, they had another option: Base themselves in alleyway apartments in the jurisdiction of an empire other than the one they opposed, and take advantage of imperial rivalries that limited cooperation between the law enforcement arms of different powers.

Sounds familiar.