The below Map gives an overview of the extend of the World British Empire in the Year 1897 AD.
Although 1897 AD is not a year with special significance, the map clearly depicts Asia and China during a significant moment; not long after the Imperialist Powers of Russia and Britain had annexed large parts of Asia, which had previously been occupied and / or controlled by the Chinese Qing Dynasty (1644 AD - 1911 AD), and not long before the Final End of the Qing Dynasty and Feudal China in 1911 AD.
During the 19th century, Britain and Russia vied to fill the power vacuums that had been left by the declining Ottoman Empire, the Persian Empire and -in Eastern and Central Asia- the Qing Chinese Empire. This rivalry in Eurasia came to be known as the "Great Game". The Map can be taken to depict the British Empire at the end stage of this "Great Game", although in the next century the "game" would continue for some time, while China was fragmented by warlordism and inner political strife.
As far as Britain was concerned, the defeats inflicted by Russia on Persia and Turkey in the Russo-Persian War (1826 AD – 1828 AD) and Russo-Turkish War (1828 AD – 1829 AD) were visible proof of Russian ambitions as well as Military capabilities, thus raising fears in Britain of an overland invasion of India by Russia. In 1839 AD, Britain moved to pre-empt this by invading Afghanistan, but the First Anglo-Afghan War was a disaster for Britain. When Russia invaded the Turkish Balkans in 1853 AD, fears of Russian dominance in the Mediterranean and Middle East led Britain and France to invade the Crimean Peninsula in order to destroy Russian naval capabilities. The ensuing Crimean War (1854 AD – 56 AD), was one of the first wars of the industrial age, involving new techniques of modern warfare, and ended in a resounding defeat for Russia. The situation remained unresolved in Central Asia for two more decades, with Britain annexing Baluchistan (now a part of Afghanistan and Pakistan) in 1876 AD and Russia annexing Kirghizstan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan in turn. For a while it appeared that another war would be inevitable, but the two countries reached an agreement on their respective spheres of influence in the region in 1878 AD. Later, in 1907 AD all other outstanding issues between the rivaling parties were cleared in the signing of the Anglo-Russian Entente. The destruction of the Russian Navy at the Battle of Port Arthur during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05 also limited its threat to the British but did not eliminate it. In the next century, Russia would remain and threat, while Britain would be forced of the scene almost entirely.
The most significant details shown on the Map in regards to China are; 1) the occupation of Burma (currently: Myanmar) by British Forces radiating from the India Colony, putting the British Military on the Chinese Border of Yunnan Province; 2) the border of the India Colony with Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet (now Tibet AR and Qinghai Province) in the North, which for several historic reasons remains exactly undefined and disputed to this day. In 1904 AD Britain would invade Tibet in the mistaken belief that Russia was intending to occupy or at least control it. The British expedition to Tibet under the command of Colonel Francis Younghusband got entangled in a war, massacring Tibetans before reaching the Capital Lhasa ; 3) the existence of various treaty ports in China, which had been forced upon it by Britain, France and then other nation since the first (1839 AD - 1842 AD) and second (1856 AD - 1860 AD) opium wars.In fact, China had already been rendered toothless, and the Dragon was dying, the Chinese nation turned a semi-colony.
The China Report
Map of World : British Empire in 1897 AD.
Designates British controlled City & Territory in Asia (1897 AD)