China’s not-so-secret weapon against terrorism

China’s own version of the East India Company holds the key to understanding how Beijing plans to tame its restive Muslim province following a string of deadly terrorist attacks.

The East India Company ruled the subcontinent for a bit over a century under a royal charter. The great Indian Rebellion of 1858 effectively ended its rule in India when London decided to send its own viceroy to look after the crown jewel of the empire.

The company was a strange beast in that it combined a trading house with a powerful private army and administrative services. It controlled a vast swathe of land in India while monopolising trades in goods such as cotton, silk, salt, tea and opium.

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