The Royal Navy and the Taking of Weihaiwei, 1898 -1905
This paper discusses the role of the Royal Navy in the acquisition of Weihaiwei in China as a northern naval base for the China Squadron. The decision was made for political motives rather than naval requirements. Britain’s international prestige had to be maintained when Russia and Germany were grasping bases in Port Arthur and Tsingtao. The decision was contested in both the British Cabinet and the Admiralty with the former generally for and the latter generally against. This paper reviews the arguments involved. The lease expired in 1930.