How are the roads "symbolic to the net Great Britain had thrown over China"?His2 India Under British Rule A Passage to India

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It sounds like to me that the quote or statement comes from a textbook or some type of in class resource.  I would propose that analyzing what has been said in your class or what is said in the course text would be the first step in answering this question.  I think that that quote is trying to make the point that much of what England did to supposedly improve the quality of life in nations outside of its own helped to increase its control or influence over them.  For example, Britain helped to make internal improvements in infrastructure and in basic ways of life in these nations not because of a selfless desire to make these nations better.  Rather, it did so to make these nations dependent on it or to be able to make inroads of control within these countries.  The "net" that was cast help to increase the power of a European country into a non- European one.  In the end, this became the ultimate justification behind imperialism and colonialism in that the wealthier and more powerful nations' "nets" were propped up by the idea that quality of life and basic consciousness were both experiencing improvements at the hands of the "Western" power.