1. Trade on the Silk Road was a significant factor in the development of the great civilizations of China, India, Ancient Egypt, Persia, Arabia, and Ancient Rome, and in several respects helped lay the foundations for the modern world. (Began Around 206 BCE). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silk_Road
2. In the 1890s Britain and China were allies and Britain was principally concerned that Aksai Chin not fall into Russian hands. In 1899, when China showed an interest in Aksai Chin, Britain proposed a revised boundary, initially suggested by George Macartney, which put most of Aksai Chin in Chinese territory.........The Chinese did not respond to the Note, and the British took that as Chinese acquiescence. (around the 1890s) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aksai_Chin
3. The British invaded Tibet in 1904 and forced the signing of a separate treaty, directly with the Tibetan government in Lhasa. In 1906, an Anglo-Chinese Convention was signed at Peking between Great Britain and China. It incorporated the 1904 Lhasa Convention (with modification), which was attached as Annex. A treaty between Britain and Russia (1907) followed. (around 1906) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibetan_sovereignty_debate
4. China became increasingly exposed to Western influence, and Shandong, a coastal province, was especially affected. Qingdao was leased to Germany in 1897 and Weihai to Britain in 1898
. The rest of Shandong was generally considered to be part of the German sphere of influence. In addition, the Qing Dynasty opened Manchuria to Han Chinese immigration during the 19th century; Shandong was the main source of the ensuing tide of migrants.
Shandong was one of the first places in which the Boxer Rebellion started and became one of the centers of the uprising. In 1899, the Qing-Dynasty general Yuan Shikai was appointed as governor of the province to suppress the uprising. He held the post for 3 years.
As a consequence of the First World War, Germany lost Qingdao and its sphere of influence in Shandong. The Treaty of Versailles transferred the German concessions in Shandong to Japan instead of restoring Chinese sovereignty over the area
. Popular dissatisfaction with this outcome of the Treaty of Versailles (Shandong Problem) led to the May Fourth Movement. Finally, Shandong reverted to Chinese control in 1922 after mediation by the United States during the Washington Naval Conference. Weihai followed in 1930.
The return of control over Shandong fell into the Warlord era of the Republic of China. Shandong was handed over to the Zhili clique of warlords, but after the Second Zhili-Fengtian War of 1924, the Manchuria-based Fengtian clique took over. In April 1925, the Fengtian clique installed the warlord Zhang Zongchang, nicknamed the "Dogmeat General", as military governor of Shandong Province
. (contemporary) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shandong