Central Asian Questions


Demetrius Charles Boulger (1853–1928) was a British orientalist who wrote prolifically on topics mainly related to the British Empire. With Sir Lepel Henry Griffin (1840–1908), a British administrator in India, he co-founded the Asiatic Quarterly Review, which he edited for a time. An unapologetic imperialist with strongly anti-Russian views, Boulger criticized the British government for its lack of assertiveness, as he saw it, in defending British interests in Afghanistan and Central Asia. Central Asian Questions: Essays on Afghanistan, China, and Central Asia is a collection of 24 of his previously published pieces dealing with Russian policy in Central Asia, Anglo-Russian rivalry, British policy toward Afghanistan and, in by far the largest part of the book, China. In the introduction, Boulger writes prophetically about the future of China: “The power of China is not yet equal to the vastness of her pretensions, but it will some day enable her to make them good in face of every rival. When England and Russia have reached the limit of their resources and authority in Asia, China will still be developing the power to hold her own and to exercise on the future history of the world that influence which cannot yet be measured with any degree of accuracy. China is now the least powerful factor in the Central Asian problem; but unless her rulers are extremely apathetic, she is the Power that will acquire material strength in the greatest degree.” The book has three maps, one showing “the acquisitions of the Russian Empire towards India,” another “the valleys of the Murghab and Hari Rud,” and a third the Chinese Empire.

Last updated: September 30, 2016