After the Sino-Japanese War of 1895, Western powers began to more aggressively impose themselves on the semi-colonial Qing Empire. This inter-imperial competition certainly did not prevent cooperation and continuous exchange of imperial practices, and these powers found each other in imposing a joint discourse of modernity. To pay lip service to a certain "standard of civilization", the leaders of such semi-colonial states appointed Western diplomatic advisers.
During the heydays of the transatlantic alliance between Belgium and the United States, the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs built a new chancery – the office section of an embassy – in Washington, D.C. In historical research on diplomatic architecture, authors have mainly focused on the building policy of (former) great powers such as the United States, Great Britain, France and Russia. These studies examine to what extent these states have used such diplomatic building projects as an instrument of national representation on foreign soil.
In 1936, the Australian War Memorial acquired two stone lions that once guarded the Menin Gate entrance to the Belgian town of Ypres. The Memorial’s director, John Treloar, felt the Memorial had scored a “great scoop” because of their “historical value”. However, when the lions arrived in Canberra, it was apparent the damage they sustained during the war meant they would need to undergo some form of restoration. Unfortunately, little progress was made in this endeavour for several decades and the lions did not end up going on permanent display until 1991.
This article addresses the relations between Belgium and Zaire during the time of Mobutu Sese Seko’s rule of Congo/Zaire between 1965 and 1997. Several authors have focussed on the importance of the Cold War, or the existence of Zaire’s dependency relationship with Belgium. This study, however, argues that the Cold War was not the singular decisive factor. Through his foreign policy, Mobutu approached his African neighbours, Eastern European countries, China and North Korea, in order to actively shape his own policy whereby he sometimes acted against the interests of his Western allies.
This article investigates the attitude of Belgian diplomats in the debate about the creation of a stronger army in the decades before the First World War. Closely reading the writings of three members of the diplomatic corps and comparing their discourse with the words of their colleagues, it argues that the current historiographical narrative on the diplomats’ stance towards militarization is in need of revision.