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Zheng Chenglin, Shi Huijia: The Participation of Chambers of Commerce in the Unification of Weights and Measures under the Nanjing Nationalist Government

Time:October 5, 2017    clicks:

The unification of weights and measures is of great significance for popular life, the expansion of markets, the unity of the regime, and nation-building. Therefore, once the Nationalist government was established in Nanjing,it immediately launched a change in the system of weights and measures.Business groups,particularly chambers of commerce,were actively involved in the reform.They gave full voice to the expectations and aspirations that the business sector had about the new system,widely publicized the importance of restructuring,participated in the implementation of the new system, mediated disputes arising from its use,persuaded foreign-related firms and Chinese enterprises in concessions to switch to the system,and promoted the restructuring of the system in the customs and concessions. However, in the event of a conflict between the new system and old traditions,or foreign measures which businessmen were accustomed to, chambers of commerce often represented the business community in negotiations with the government on suspending the restructuring or revising the new system in line with past practice.A few local businessmen and members of chambers of commerce even used violence.This was an issue facing the business community,academia and government in the course of the unification of weights and measures.

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