My dissertation investigates Qing China’s engagement with European naval technology and the transnational arms trade in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. After the two Opium Wars in the 1840s and 1850s, the Qing Empire sought to refashion itself as a competitive naval power by establishing western-style dockyards and arsenals in provincial centers, sending literati-diplomats abroad to procure European ironclad warships, and apprenticing Chinese students to naval schools, arsenals and shipyards in Britain and Germany. These efforts culminated in the building of the Beiyang Navy, which consisted of steel battleships purchased from Britain and Germany, as well as an armored cruiser built in Fuzhou, China. Focusing on the transnational processes underlying the construction of the Beiyang warships, my project looks at how the Qing participated in a highly globalized system of arms production and arms trading through the intertwining networks of diplomacy, commerce and transnational apprenticeship. It also rethinks how the transnational dimensions of arms industry informed the emergence of a shared industrial culture that integrated the practices of experiment, quantification and standardization into the processes of material production and exchange. Ultimately, my research aims to delineate a globalizing military-industrial order that was driven by the competitive logic of an arms race and yet constituted a highly collaborative technological arena in which national boundaries were strikingly porous.