The Qing Dynasty has been in power since 1644. China is still reeling from the impacts of the Opium Wars. British control is near absolute, especially after the developments of Gravicite technology. Britain was able to cow the Chinese using demonstrations of their new technology without having to invest too much manpower into the occupation.
Over the years, British rule has become nearly absolute due to their technological developments. The Guangxu Emperor, the current emperor of China, is a leader in name alone. Through technology and opium, Britain has an iron grip on the Chinese people.