Mingchien Joshua Bau.

The foreign relations of China: a history and a survey online

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He pointed out that in accordance with the treaty pro-
vision regarding extra-territoriality, Frenchmen should be
punished only by French authorities. 13

As no satisfaction could be obtained, France was ready
to declare war. Availing herself of the cooperation with
Great Britain in the Crimean War (1854-1856) which had
just drawn to its close at that time, she proposed to
Great Britain that the two Allies should continue their
cooperation and make war in common on China, to which
the British readily assented. The primary motive of the
French was to protect Catholic missionaries in China;
that of Great Britain, to obtain treaty revision.

Shortly after another incident occurred, which gave
the Britisli an added impetus to enter upon the second
war. On October 8, 1856, the lorcha Arrow was

boarded by Chinese soldiers, and twelve of the Chinese
crew were taken away. The Arrow was one of those

boats owned by the Chinese but flying a British flag


under registration at Hongkong, engaged generally in the

:: not infrequently in smuggling. The
British at once protested. They claimed that the Ar-
row, flying a British flag, was British territory and that

ould be made thereon only with the consent of
British. The Chinese on the other hand, contended
that the lorcha was a Chinese hoat and that they were only
seeking a notorious rohber among the Chinese crew. It
was later discovered that the lorcha's license under British
protection had, according to the law of Hongkong, ex-
pired eleven days before the incident, which meant, of
course, that the lorcha was no more under the British
protection. 14 To this the British made the rebuttal that
it was impossible for the lorcha to reach Hongkong in
time for the renewal of the annual license when engaged
in coasting trade.

The war would have commenced earlier, had not the
Indian Mutiny intervened on May 13, 1857, which neces-
sitated the temporary diversion of the British land forces.
Naval warfare, however, began in the summer of 1857.
Thus arose the second war between China and Great
Britain, and this time France was an added factor in
the contest. 15

The Allies won the war. As a consequence, Great
Britain concluded the treaty of Tientsin, June 26. 1858,
France, on June 27, Russia, on June 13, and the United
States, on June 18. These four treaties were, in general,
approximately the same, and, because of the most favored
nation clause, the privileges conceded to one were ex-
tended to all the others. We shall, therefore, take the
British Treat}- as the model which has determined diplo-
matic relations of China with the Western world ever
since. The treaty of Nanking of August 2'\ 1842, was
confirmed (Article l). 1 " The trade regulations of July,
L843, writ- abrogated and likewise the supplementary
treaty of October, 1843 (Article 1). "His Majesty the
Emperor of China hereby agrees, that the Ambassador,


Minister, or other diplomatic agents so appointed by her
Majesty the Queen of Great Britain may reside with
his family and establishment, permanently at the Capital,
or may visit it occasionally at the option of the British
Government" (Article 3). Rights of diplomatic immuni-
ties as established in international usages were accorded
to the British (Article 4) and the Chinese representative
reciprocally. Religious tolerance was provided. "Brit-
ish merchant ships shall have authority to trade upon
the great river (Yangtze)." Chinkiang was to be opened
at once to foreign trade; Hankow and Kiukiang were
later selected as the other trade ports (Article 10) ; Nevv-
chang, Chefoo, Taiwan, Swatow and Kiungchow were
to be opened to foreign trade (Article 11). "All ques-
tions in regard to rights, whether of property or per-
son, arising between British subjects, shall be subject to
the jurisdiction of the British authorities" (Article 15).
Tariff revision might be demanded at the end of ten years
(Article 27). Transit duties were fixed at the rate of two
and one-half per cent ad valorem — half of the tariff rate.
Most favored nation treatment of the most comprehensive
kind was accorded : "The British Government and the sub-
jects are hereby confirmed in all privileges, immunities,
and advantages conferred on them by previous treaties;
and it is hereby expressly stipulated that the British Gov-
ernment and its subjects will be allowed free and equal
participation in all privileges, immunities, and advantages
that may have been or may be hereafter granted by his
Majesty the Emperor of China to the government or
subjects of any other nation" (Article 54). A supple-
mentary agreement was signed at Shanghai on November
8, 1858, regulating trade and fixing the tariff at five per-
cent, ad valorem with a free list.

The ratification of the British, French and Russian
Treaties was t he effected at Peking within one year
from tlu- date of signature. ' 'nly thf American Treaty
did not so provide. The French and the British accord-


ingiy went up North to secure ratification, but upon
arrival at Taku, the Allies found that the forts were re-
constructed and the river was blockaded by heavy chains.
In an attempt to force their way through, they were dis-
astrously repulsed by the fire of the Taku forts. Reen-
forced, they came up again and this time silenced the
forts, and pushed up the river until they reached Chang-
chiawan, whereupon the Peking Court sued for peace.

The provisions that were most obnoxious to the Im-
perial Court were the residence in Peking of the diplo-
matic representatives, the opening of the Yangtze to for-
eign trade and the right of purchase of goods in the in-
terior. These distasteful provisions led to the renewal
of resistance on the part of the Imperial Court.

Compromise might have been reached and peace con-
cluded, had not another unfortunate event occurred which
impelled the Allied forces to march to Peking. On
September 18, 1860, a British reconnoitering party and
also a French party were ambushed at Changkiawan by
the Imperial forces and carried to Peking, where they
were subjected to torture and imprisonment. This
led to the onward march of the Allies to Peking. As
an act of revenge, the British set fire to the beautiful
Summer Palace, Yuan Ming Yuan. Thereupon, the Im-
perial Court fled to Jehol, leaving Prince Kung to ar-
range the terms of peace.

The subsequent treaties of peace signed at Peking on
October 24, with the British, and on October 25, 1860,
with the French, concluded the war. An apology was
to be offered for the obstruction given by the Taku
forts. 17 The Treaty of Tientsin was confirmed and rati-
fied. The right of diplomatic representatives to reside
at Peking was confirmed. An indemnity of eight mil-
lion taels was to be paid to the British and the French
Government respectively. Tientsin was to be opened
as a treaty port. Kowloon was to be ceded to Great
Britain as a buffer to Hongkong. The Americans, un-


willing to be unfriendly to China, had exchanged their
treaty of Tientsin on August 16, 1859, at Peitang.

During the advance of the allied forces on Peking
and their subsequent occupation thereof, the Russian rep-
resentative, General Ignatieff, played a most skillful diplo-
matic game. On the one hand, he threatened that a Rus-
sian fleet would be ordered to Peitang. On the other,
he offered cannon and supplies to the Imperial Court
and persuaded the Allies to withdraw. Posing as the
savior of China, he pressed for the cession of the Trans-
Usuri territory. 18 As a reward for his service, he caused
the Imperial Court to conclude the treaty at Peking on
November 14, 1860. It was to be a supplement to the
previous treaty of Aighourn of May 16, 1858, and the
treaty of Tientsin of June 13, 1858. It was mainly to fix
unsettled boundary lines and to regulate commercial and
diplomatic relations. The Eastern frontier was defined ;
the territory North of the Amur was to belong to Rus-
sia, and that to the South to China. 19 By this agreement
China lost her maritime province east of the Usuri. The
Western frontier was also delimited. 20

Thus, it can be said that the opening of China was a
slow process. Up to 1842, foreign trade was largely
confined to Canton with Macao as the base, except the
Russian trade at the Northern frontier. The first war
between China and Great Britain resulted in the opening
of South China through the portals of the five treaty
ports as provided in the Treaty of Nanking, 1842. The
Treaty of Tientsin of 1858 effected the opening of the
Yangtze. It was not, however, until I860, that by tin-
Treaty of Peking in 1860, North China was opened

through the door of Tientsin, and the diplomatic relation

with the Imperial Court was definitely established. Thus,

while the process of opening is still going on in China, -
as the interior of China IS, as yet, not open to foreign
trade and residence, — it may nevertheless he said that


the period of 1689-1860 marked the intial stage of the
opening uf China.


1. Morse, the International Relations of the Chinese Empire,
Vol. I, p. 54.

2. Ibid., p. 216.

His order reads in part as follows : "I now proceed to issue
my commands. When this order reaches the foreign merchants,
let them with all haste pay obedience thereto, and let them
deliver up to the government every particle of the opium on
board their store-ships. Let the Hong merchants make a list of
the opium delivered by each firm, in order that all surrendered
may be accounted for, so that it may be burnt and destroyed,
and that thus the evil may be entirely extirpated. There must
not be the smallest atom concealed or withheld. At the same
time let these foreigners give a bond, written jointly in the
foreign and Chinese language, making a declaration to this
effect; 'That their vessels, which shall hereafter resort hither,
will never again dare to bring opium with them: and that,
should any be brought, as soon as discovery shall be made of it,
the opium shall be forfeited to government, and the parties shall
suffer extreme penalties of law : and that such punishment will
be willingly submitted to.'"

3. Morse, Vol. I, ibid., p. 229.

4. Hertslet's China Treaties, Vol. I, pp. 7-13.

5. The treaty was abrogated by Article 1 of the Treaty of
Tientsin, June 26, 1858, and embodied in the subsequent Treaty.

6. The Convention of April 4, 1846, Hertslet's China Treaties,
Vol. 1, pp. 15-16.

7. Agreement of April 6, 1847, Hertslet, 17-18.

8. Morse, op. cit, Vol. I, p. 396.

9. Ibid., p. 398. Lord Palmerston to Mr. Bonham, No. 68,
August 18, 1849.

10. Meanwhile the Russians in the North were making ad-
vances in frontier trade. On July 25th, 1851 (Hertslet, Vol. I,
pp. 449-454, No. 79), the Treaty of Kouldja was signed between
Russia and China regulating the trade between Hi and Tarbagatai.
The appointment of consuls was provided to supervise the fron-
tier trade. The disputes were to be decided by these agents.
The frontier commerce was to be freed from all duties. Ex-
tradition of criminals was provided. Pasturages were to be al-
loted for beasts of burden of Russian merchants and to be kept
by them, and plots of ground to be allotted to Russian merchants
to build their houses and factories. Two sheep out of every ten
imported at Hi or Tarbagatai were to be given over to the
Chinese government for an equivalent in cloth.


11. Hertslet, op. cit, p. 268, Article 35, Treaty of Whampoa,
October 24, 1844; also Morse, Vol. I, op. cit., p. 414.

12. Article 8, supplementary treaty, October 8, 1843, State
Papers, Vol. 31, p. 133.

13. Hertslet, Article 28, Treaty of 1844, p. 267.

14. Papers relating to proceedings of H. M. naval forces at
Canton, October to December, 1856, presented to both Houses of
Parliament, 1857, pp. 1-10. Cf. Morse, Vol. I, op. cit., p. 422.

15. While the war was proceeding unfavorably against China,
Russia took advantage of the situation. She caused China to
sign the Treaty of Aighoun of May 16, 1858. (Hertslet, op. cit.,
454-5, Xo. 80.) The boundaries was defined along the course of
the Amur River. "La rive gauche du flueve Amour, a partir
de la riviere Argoun jusqu' a l'enbouchure de I'Amour, appar-
tiendra a l'Empire de Russie, et Sa rive droite, en aval jusqu'
a la riviere Oussouri, appratitnera a l'Empire Ta-Tsing; lis
territoires et endroits situes entre la riviere Oussouri et la mer,
comme jusqu' a pre sent, seront possedis en common par l'Empire
Ta-Tsing et l'Empire de Russie, en attendant que la frontiere
entre les deux Etats y soit reglee." (Art. 1, Hertslet, op. cit.,
p. 454.) The navigation of the Amour, Sungari, and Ussuri
was to be opened onlv to the Russian and Chinese vessels.

16. Hertslet, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 19-35, No. 6.

17. Ibid., Vol. I, pp. 48-52, 287-291.

18. Morse, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 613.

19. Hertslet, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 462-471, Article 1.

20. The civil disputes were to be settled amicably by the
parties themselves, by means of arbitrators chosen by themselves
and with the help and cooperation of the consuls and local
authorities (Article 8). Criminal cases are to be adjudged ac-
cording to the laws of their own country.



The second period of the diplomatic history of China
dates from the close of the war with Great Britain and
France (1857-1860) to the end of the war with Japan
(1894-1895), covering a span of thirty-five years. It
continues the first period in that it carries on the process
of the opening up of China, which, as we have seen,
was the chief feature of the first peroid. It, however,
has its own distinctive feature which differentiates it
from the first period.

This distinctive feature is the gradual loss of China's
dependencies. As if Western aggression worked from
outside, the opening of China was followed by the loss
of her dependencies ; the integrity of her own soil was
not threatened until the period ensuing. During this
period China lost no less than nine dependencies, — the
Liuchiu Islands to Japan in 1881, the Western parts of
Hi to Russia in 1881, Tongkin and Annam to France in
1885, Northern Burma to Great Britain in 1886, and
Sikkim to the same in 1890, and Korea, Formosa, and
the Pescadores, to Japan in 1895.

As I have said, this period continues the first period
in that it carries on the process of the opening up of
China. During the period other Western nations came
into treaty relations with China. To the list of the
Treaty powers, which hitherto was limited only to
Great Britain, the United States, France, Russia, Nor-
way and Sweden, were added the newcomers which
signed their treaties of friendship, commerce and navi-



Germany, September 2, 1861. l *

Denmark, July 13, 1863. 2

Netherlands, October 6, 1863. 3

Spain, October 10, 1864. 4 t

Belgium, November 2, 1865. 6

Italy, October 26, 1855. 7

Austria-Hungary, September 2, 1869. 8

Japan, 1872. 9

Peru, June 26, 1874. 10

Brazil, October 3, 1881. "

Portugal, December 1, 1887. 12 1

These treaties of friendship, commerce and navigation
were, in general, virtually the same as the Treaty of
January 26, 1858, signed at Tientsin between China and
Great Britain, which had served as the model for sub-
sequent commercial treaties.

Diplomatic relations between China and the Treaty
powers were, and remained, for the first half of this
period most unsatisfactory. The Tsungli Yamen, sup-
posed to be the Foreign Office, was not organized
as were the other departments of the government, but
composed of the leading ministers or Grand Secretaries
of the Imperial Court. It was really not a department,
but the Cabinet itself. What is worse, it did not attend
to the most important diplomatic affairs. It often re-
ferred them to Li Hung-chang, the viceroy of Chili, who
dominated the foreign relations of China throughout
the period. It was he that negotiated most of the
treaties and conventions of this period, while the
Tsungli Yamen was merely the office of record.

Diplomatic intercourse was again hampered by the

* With a supplementary commercial convention of March 31,
1880, and an exchange of notes on the same date regarding
tonnage dues.

t With a subsequent convention of Nov. 17, 1877 a regulating
nigration to < )uba.

| With a supplementary convention of the same date respecting
the opium trade of Macao 11 and a separate agreement of the
•ame date respecting the collection of duties on opium. 14


persistent refusal of the Imperial Court to grant an
audience with the Emperor, whose minority was offered
as the excuse. Thus, the foreign ministers remained at
Peking with their credentials undelivered. And it was
not until June 29, 1873, when the Emperor had reached
his majority, that an Imperial audience was granted for
the first time.

Diplomatic intercourse was further rendered inade-
quate by the absence of any Chinese ministers resident
abroad. While the foreign ministers were pounding on
the doors of the Tsungli Yamen for proper and satis-
factory relations and for an Imperial audience, the Chi-
nese Government remained ignorant of the necessity of
despatching ministers abroad. Thus, China was de-
prived of adequate means of diplomatic intercourse with
other states, except through the foreign embassies that
had made their residence in Peking. And the situation
was not corrected until late in 1877 when the first Chi-
nese envoy, Kuo Sung-tao was sent to London. A
year later resident ministers were established in most
of the capitals of Europe and America.

In addition, the popular feeling of the Chinese toward
foreigners was yet hostile. They felt that their glorious
isolation was annulled, and their superiority challenged
by the Western nations. They resented the enforced
Occidental intercourse, and therefore their feeling was
anything but friendly toward foreigners. In fact, the
hostile feeling increased as Western aggression increased.
The culmination occurred in the Boxer Uprising of
1900, when the Chinese of North China made a fa-
natical endeavor to drive the "foreign devils" into the sea.

During this period one notable manifestation of this
hostile feeling occurred, namely, the Tientsin Mas-
sacre of 1870. The French Catholic missionaries estab-
lished an orphanage in Tientsin and adopted the prac-
tice of paying any one who delivered to the asylum


children found or rescued from lack of parental care.
As a consequence, some evil-minded Chinese kidnaped
well-to-do children and brought them to the orphanage
in return for monetary rewards. Thus rumors became
current that the French missionaries were sending out
agents to kidnap Chinese children.

These rumors so infuriated the Chinese of Tientsin
that on June 21, 1870, they assembled before the French
Cathedral and demanded redress. The French Consul
rushed out from his consulate with two pistols in his
hands and fired at the magistrate who was trying his
best to control the mob, hitting one of the magistrate's
servants. This made the mob furious. The French
Consul was surrounded and killed. They then set fire
to the Cathedral and the mission and killed the Sisters
of Mercy within the asylum. 15

The French immediately demanded redress, but be-
cause of pre-occupation with the Franco-Prussian War
of 1870, they did not resort to force as they had done
in 1858-1860. The settlement was finally arranged, by
which the Chinese Government was to pay an indemnity
of 250,000 taels, to banish the prefect and magistrate
to Amur for life, to put to death some twenty culprits
and to send a mission of apology to Paris. 16

Another instance during this period of hostile mani-
festation toward the foreigner was the murder of Mar-
gary in 1875. Margary was a British consul detailed
to assist the British mission of investigation that was to
travel from British India to Yunnan through Bhamo.
While on his way to meet the mission, and on the bor-
der between Yunnan and Burma, he and his Chinese
associates were set upon by the untwined tribes of the
borderland under the jurisdiction of China. The affair
was finally amicably settled by tin- Chef OO convention, 17
September 13, 1876, signed by 1 .i Hung-chang for the
part of China and Mr. Thomas F. Wade for the part
of Great Britain. The convi ntion was divided into three


sections. The first section dealt with the Yunnan case.
The right of a second mission from India to Yunnan
was granted (Article 4). An indemnity of 200,000 taels
was to be paid on demand (Article 5). An Imperial
letter of regret was to be despatched (Article 6). The
second section treated of official intercourse and con-
sular jurisdiction. The British Supreme Court for
China and the Chinese Mixed Court at Shanghai were
recognized. Judicial proceedings in criminal and mixed
cases were defined. The third section dealt with trade.
Foreign concessions were exempted from likin. Ichang,
Wuhu, Wenchow and Pakhoi were to be opened to
trade. Six ports of call were to be opened on the
Yangtze River, Tatung, Nganking, Hukou , Wusueh,
Luchikou and Shashih. 18 *

The one redeeming feature, however, of this period
of unsatisfactory relation was the Anson Burlingame
mission to the Powers. He was the American Minister
in Peking, 1862-1867. When he was about to retire
from office in November, 1867, he was asked to head
the Chinese Mission. Urged by Sir Robert Hart, who
was the sponsor of the Mission, 20 he accepted the ap-
pointment and went abroad on behalf of China. On
arrival in the United States he toured throughout the
country with his magnetic oratory, depicting China as
about to reform and take on the new garb of Western
civilization. At Washington, on July 28, 1858, he signed
the Treaty of Washington,'- 1 as forming additional arti-
cles to the Treaty of Commerce between the United
States and China, June 18, 1858. Free emigration into
either country was declared to be "the inherent and in-
alienable right of man." 22 The most favored nation
treatment with respect to travel, residence and education,
except the privilege of naturalization, was reciprocally ac-
corded. 23 From the United States he proceeded to Eu-

* In a separate article, the right of the British Mission to
Tibet was granted. 19


rope. There he was not so warmly received, nor did
he succeed in concluding any further treaties with Eu-
ropean powers, but he did succeed, in a reasonable
measure, in enlisting the sympathy of the west for
China, and, to no small extent, in softening the European
impetuosity for an aggressive policy in China. His un-
timely death at St. Petersburg, however, brought his
mission to an abrupt end.

The first dependency that was to disappear at this
period from among the satellites of the Chinese Empire
was the Liuchiu Islands. It was done in such a subtle
way that it illustrates almost all the later cases of the
loss of China's dependencies. The Liuchiu Islands first
sent tribute to China in 1372 and to Japan in 1451. The
Princes of the Islands had received investiture of office
from the Emperor of China since the reign of Yunglo
(1403-1425). In 1609, however, the Islands were con-
quered by Prince Katsuma of Japan, and from that date
on the Princes received their investiture of office from
both China and Japan. Thus, the Islands remained
under the joint suzerainty of China and Japan. In 1871
an incident occurred which brought the question to the
front. Some Liuchiu sailors were shipwrecked on the
coast of Formosa and were cruelly murdered by the wild
tribes thereof. The Japanese immediately made repre-
sentation to the Peking Imperial Court demanding re-
dress for the wrong. Li Hung-chang was inclined to
have China accept tin- responsibility of the case, but the
Tsungli Yamen decided that China had no jurisdiction
over the Eastern half of Formosa— the section inhabited
by wild triln^, and therefore, declined to assume the

Thereupon Japan took advantage of the decision, ami
fitted out an expedition in 1S74 to Formosa and began

to punish the wild tribes, these being considered as out-
side of tlie Chinese jurisdiction. This bold affront the


Peking Court resented and demanded that Japan should
withdraw her forces from Formosa, — a territory belong-

Online LibraryMingchien Joshua BauThe foreign relations of China: a history and a survey → online text (page 2 of 39)