|Treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Commerce Between Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and the Emperor of China|
|Signed||29 August 1842|
|Location|| Nanking, Qing China |
(treaty now located in Taipei, Taiwan Province, Republic of China)
|Effective||26 June 1843|
|Condition||Exchange of ratifications|
|Languages||English and Chinese|
|Treaty of Nanking at Wikisource|
|Treaty of Nanking|
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|History of Hong Kong|
The Treaty of Nanking (Nanjing) was a peace treaty which ended the First Opium War (1839–1842) between the United Kingdom and China on 29 August 1842. It was the first of what the Chinese later called the unequal treaties .
In the wake of China's military defeat, with British warships poised to attack Nanking, British and Chinese officials negotiated on board HMS Cornwallis anchored at the city. On 29 August, British representative Sir Henry Pottinger and Qing representatives Qiying, Yilibu, and Niu Jian signed the treaty, which consisted of thirteen articles. The treaty was ratified by the Daoguang Emperor on 27 October and Queen Victoria on 28 December. Ratification was exchanged in Hong Kong on 26 June 1843. A copy of the treaty is kept by the British government while another copy is kept by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of China at the National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan.
Britain was importing and selling large quantities of opium to China because it was very profitable and helped balance Britain's trade deficit resulting from its importation of Chinese goods, such as tea. Britain forced peasants in its colony, India, to grow opium poppies so it could sell the opium in China, although the importation and sale of opium was illegal under Chinese law. When a Chinese government official seized British opium cargo in 1841, Britain declared what became known as the first Opium War. Britain won the war and was in a position to impose on the vanquished Chinese a one-sided treaty with onerous treaty obligations.
The first working draft for articles of a treaty was prepared at the Foreign Office in London in February 1840. The Foreign Office was aware that preparing a treaty containing Chinese and English characters would need special consideration. Given the distance separating the countries, it was realised that some flexibility and a departure from established procedure in preparing treaties might be required.
The fundamental purpose of the treaty was to change the framework of foreign trade imposed by the Canton System, which had been in force since 1760. Under Article V, the treaty abolished the former monopoly of the Cohong and their Thirteen Factories in Canton. Four additional "treaty ports" opened for foreign trade alongside Canton (Shameen Island from 1859 until 1943): Amoy (Xiamen until 1930), Foochowfoo (Fuzhou), Ningpo (Ningbo) and Shanghai (until 1943),where foreign merchants were to be allowed to trade with anyone they wished. Britain also gained the right to send consuls to the treaty ports, which were given the right to communicate directly with local Chinese officials (Article II). The treaty stipulated that trade in the treaty ports should be subject to fixed tariffs, which were to be agreed upon between the British and the Qing governments (Article X).
The Qing government was obliged to pay the British government six million silver dollars for the opium that had been confiscated by Lin Zexu in 1839 (Article IV), 3 million dollars in compensation for debts that the Hong merchants in Canton owed British merchants (Article V), and a further 12 million dollars in war reparations for the cost of the war (Article VI). The total sum of 21 million dollars was to be paid in instalments over three years and the Qing government would be charged an annual interest rate of 5 percent for the money that was not paid in a timely manner (Article VII).
The Qing government undertook to release all British prisoners of war (Article VIII), and to give a general amnesty to all Chinese subjects who had cooperated with the British during the war (Article IX).
The British on their part, undertook to withdraw all of their troops from Nanking, the Grand Canal and the military post at Zhenhai, as well as not to interfere with China trade generally, after the emperor had given his assent to the treaty and the first instalment of money had been received (Article XII). British troops would remain in Gulangyu and Zhaobaoshan until the Qing government had paid reparations in full (Article XII).
In 1841, a rough outline for a treaty was sent for the guidance of Plenipotentiary Charles Elliot. It had a blank after the words "the cession of the islands of". Pottinger sent this old draft treaty on shore, with the letter s struck out of islands and the words Hong Kong placed after it.Robert Montgomery Martin, treasurer of Hong Kong, wrote in an official report:
The terms of peace having been read, Elepoo the senior commissioner paused, expecting something more, and at length said "is that all?" Mr. Morrison enquired of Lieutenant-colonel Malcolm [Pottinger's secretary] if there was anything else, and being answered in the negative, Elepoo immediately and with great tact closed the negotiation by saying, "all shall be granted—it is settled—it is finished."
The Qing government agreed to make Hong Kong Island a crown colony, ceding it to the British Queen, Queen Victoria, "in perpetuity" ( 常 遠 , Cháng yuǎn, in the Chinese version of the treaty), to provide British traders with a harbour where they could "careen and refit their ships and keep stores for that purpose" (Article III). Pottinger was later appointed the first governor of Hong Kong.
In 1860, the colony was extended with the addition of the Kowloon peninsulaand in 1898, the Second Convention of Peking further expanded the colony with the 99-year lease of the New Territories. In 1984, the governments of the United Kingdom and the People's Republic of China (PRC) concluded the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong, under which the sovereignty of the leased territories, together with Hong Kong Island and Kowloon (south of Boundary Street) ceded under the Convention of Peking (1860), was transferred to the PRC on 1 July 1997.
The treaty was sealed by interpreter John Robert Morrison for the British and Wang Tajin for the Chinese. Harry Parkes, who was a student of Chinese under Morrison, gave his account of the ceremony:
There were four copies of the Treaty signed and sealed. They were bound in worked yellow silk, one Treaty in English and the same in Chinese stitched and bound together formed a copy. This being finished they all came out of the after-cabin and sat down to tiffin, and the different officers seated themselves all round the table, making plenty of guests. Almost directly after the Treaty was signed, a yellow flag for China at the main and a Union Jack for England at the mizen were hoisted, and at the same time a royal salute of twenty-one guns was fired.
The Daoguang Emperor gave his assent for the treaty on 8 September.After his assent arrived in Nanking on 15 September, Pottinger's secretary George Alexander Malcolm was dispatched on board the steamer Auckland the next morning to the Court of St James's with a copy for ratification by Queen Victoria. The emperor ratified the treaty on 27 October and Queen Victoria added her written assent on 28 December. Ratification was exchanged in Hong Kong on 26 June 1843.
Pottinger wrote in a letter to the Earl of Aberdeen the following year that at a feast with Qiying celebrating the ratification, Qiying insisted they ceremonially exchange miniature portraits of each member of each other's families. Upon receiving a miniature portrait of Pottinger's wife, Pottinger wrote that Qiying "placed [the miniature] on his head—which I am told is the highest token of respect and friendship—filled a glass of wine, held the picture in front of his face, muttered some words in a low voice, drank the wine, again placed the picture on his head and then sat down" to complete the ceremony of long-term amity between the two families and the two peoples.This extravagant display has been analysed as showing an "erotically charged ... reciprocity [in] this symbolic gesture of swapping images of wives.
Because of the brevity of the Treaty of Nanking and its terms being phrased only as general stipulations, the British and Chinese representatives agreed that a supplementary treaty should be concluded to establish more detailed regulations for relations. On 3 October 1843, the parties concluded the supplementary Treaty of the Bogue at the Bocca Tigris outside Canton.
Nevertheless, the treaties of 1842–43 left several unsettled issues. In particular they did not resolve the status of the opium traffic in favour of the British Empire. Although the Treaty of Wanghia with the Americans in 1844 explicitly banned Americans from selling opium, the trade continued as both the British and American merchants were only subject to the legal control of their permissive consuls. The opium traffic was later legalised in the Treaties of Tianjin, which China concluded after the Second Opium War resulted in another defeat for the Qing dynasty.
The Nanking Treaty ended the old Canton System and created a new disadvantageous framework for China's foreign relations and overseas trade, which would last for almost a hundred years and marked the start of China's century of humiliation at the hands of foreign powers. From the Chinese perspective, the most injurious terms were the fixed trade tariff, extraterritoriality, the most favoured nation provisions and the forced importation of British opium which continued to have devastating social and economic consequences for the Chinese people. These exploitative terms were imposed by the British from a position of power after her military victories and were conceded by the ruling Qing dynasty in order to avert continued military defeats. The tariff fixed at 5% was higher than before while the concept of extraterritoriality seemed to put the burden on foreigners to police themselves. In addition, the most favoured nation treatment appeared to set the foreigners one against the others. Although China regained tariff autonomy in the 1920s, extraterritoriality was not formally abolished until the 1943 Sino-British Treaty for the Relinquishment of Extra-Territorial Rights in China.
The First Opium War, also known as the Opium War or the Anglo-Chinese War, was a series of military engagements fought between Britain and the Qing dynasty of China. The immediate issue was Chinese official seizure of opium stocks at Canton to stop the banned opium trade, and threatening the death penalty for future offenders. The British government insisted on the principles of free trade, equal diplomatic recognition among nations, and backed the merchants' demands. The British navy defeated the Chinese using technologically superior ships and weapons, and the British then imposed a treaty that granted territory to Britain and opened trade with China.
Treaty ports were the port cities in China and Japan that were opened to foreign trade mainly by the unequal treaties forced upon them by Western powers, as well as cities in Korea opened up similarly by the Japanese Empire.
The Second Opium War, also known as the Second Anglo-Chinese War, the Second China War, the Arrow War, or the Anglo-French expedition to China, was a war pitting the British Empire and the French Empire against the Qing dynasty of China that lasted from 1856 to 1860.
The Opium Wars were two wars waged between the Qing dynasty and Western powers in the mid-19th century. The First Opium War, fought in 1839–1842 between the Qing and Great Britain, was triggered by the dynasty's campaign against the British merchants who sold opium to Chinese merchants. The Second Opium War was fought between the Qing and Britain and France, 1856–1860. In each war, the European force's modern military technology led to easy victory over the Qing forces, with the consequence that the government was compelled to grant favorable tariffs, trade concessions, and territory to the Europeans.
In international law, extraterritoriality is the state of being exempted from the jurisdiction of local law, usually as the result of diplomatic negotiations.
Sir Harry Smith Parkes was a British diplomat who served as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary and Consul General of the United Kingdom to the Empire of Japan from 1865 to 1883 and the Chinese Qing Empire from 1883 to 1885, and Minister to Korea in 1884. Parkes Street in Kowloon, Hong Kong is named after him.
Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Pottinger, 1st Baronet was an Anglo-Irish soldier and colonial administrator who became the first Governor of Hong Kong.
Keying, also known by his Chinese name Qiying and his Manchu name Kiyeng, was a Manchu statesman during the Qing dynasty of China. An imperial clansman of the house of Aisin Gioro, he began his career in the Imperial Clan Court. He conducted several peace treaties with Western powers, beginning with the Treaty of Nanking, which ended the First Opium War with Britain in 1842. Keying was sent to negotiate again in 1858 to settle the Arrow War with Britain and France, but the settlement was repudiated by the Daoguang Emperor and he was forced to commit suicide.
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The Thirteen Factories, also known as the Canton Factories, was a neighbourhood along the Pearl River in southwestern Guangzhou (Canton) in the Qing Empire from c. 1684 to 1856 around modern day Xiguan, in Guangzhou's Liwan District. These warehouses and stores were the principal and sole legal site of most Western trade with China from 1757 to 1842. The factories were destroyed by fire in 1822 by accident, in 1841 amid the First Opium War, and in 1856 at the onset of the Second Opium War. The factories' importance diminished after the opening of the treaty ports and the end of the Canton System under the terms of the 1842 Anglo-Chinese Treaty of Nanking. After the Second Opium War, the factories were not rebuilt at their former site south of Guangzhou's old walled city but moved, first to Henan Island across the Pearl River and then to Shamian Island south of Guangzhou's western suburbs. Their former site is now part of Guangzhou Cultural Park.
The Convention between the United Kingdom and China, Respecting an Extension of Hong Kong Territory, commonly known as the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory or the Second Convention of Peking, was a lease signed between Qing China and the United Kingdom on 9 June 1898. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China now keeps the original copy of the Convention in the National Palace Museum in Taiwan.
The Treaty of Wanghia was a diplomatic agreement between Qing dynasty of China and United States, signed on July 3, 1844 in the Kun Iam Temple. Its official title name is the Treaty of peace, amity, and commerce, between the United States of America and the Chinese Empire. Following passage by the U.S. Congress, it was ratified by President John Tyler on January 17, 1845. It formally remained in effect until the 1943 Sino-American Treaty for the Relinquishment of Extraterritorial Rights in China.
The Treaty of the Bogue was a treaty between China and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, concluded in October 1843 to supplement the previous Treaty of Nanking. The treaty's key provisions granted extraterritoriality and most favored nation status to Britain.
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British Hong Kong was a colony and dependent territory of the British Empire from 1841 to 1997, apart from a brief period under Japanese occupation from 1941 to 1945. The colonial period began with the occupation of Hong Kong Island in 1841 during the First Opium War. The island was ceded by the Qing dynasty in the aftermath of the war in 1842 and established as a Crown colony in 1843. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War and was further extended when the UK obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898.
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