jueves, diciembre 14, 2017
 

THE TREATY OF NANKING (1842)

Nanking, August 29, 1842

Peace Treaty between the Queen of Great Britain and the Emperor of China.

This treaty between Britain and China ended the first opium war, fought between 1839 and 1842. The occasion for the war was the destruction in May 1839 by the Chinese emperor’s ‘drug tsar’, Lin Zexu, of thousands of casks of Indian opium, without compensation, that were destined to be sold by the private British traders operating in Canton harbor to Chinese dealers in defiance of a ban placed on the illegal substance by the Chinese government. Despite the ban, the British government supported the traders on the specious grounds that suppression of the drug was China’s responsibility only and that it should not proceed by an assault on the property (i.e., opium) of British subjects.

The fighting, via sporadic land and naval battles, ended in complete victory for Britain which was thus in a position to impose the following onerous terms on China in relation to the opening of additional ports of trade and the elimination of barriers to the convenient conduct of a centuries old lawful trade. Note that no mention is made of opium which continued to be an illegal substance. Moreover, the drug trade could now continue without interruption as far as the traders were concerned for the treaty also ceded to Britain the offshore island of Hong Kong where the opium traders could thenceforth conduct their illegal operations.

HER MAJESTY the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and His Majesty the Emperor of China, being desirous of putting an end to the misunderstandings and consequent hostilities which have arisen between the two countries, have resolved to conclude a Treaty for that purpose . . . . . . .Who, after having communicated to each other their respective Full Powers, and found them to be in good and due form, have agreed upon and concluded the following [selected] Articles:

I.

The Government of China having compelled the British merchants trading at Canton to deal exclusively with certain Chinese merchants, called Hong merchants (or Co-Hong), who had been licensed by the Chinese Government for that purpose, the Emperor of China agrees to abolish that practice in future at all ports where British merchants may reside, and to permit them to carry on their mercantile transactions with whatever persons they please; and His Imperial Majesty further agrees to pay to the British Government the sum of 3,000,000 of dollars, on account of debts due to British subjects by some of the said Hong merchants (or Co-Hong), who have become insolvent, and who owe very large sums of money to subjects of Her Britannic Majesty.

There shall henceforward be peace and friendship between Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and His Majesty the Emperor of China, and between their respective subjects, who shall enjoy full security and protection for their persons and property within the dominions of the other.

II.

His Majesty the Emperor of China agrees, that British subjects, with their families and establishments, shall be allowed to reside, for the purposes of carrying on their mercantile pursuits, without molestation or restraint, at the cities and towns of Canton, Amoy, Foochowfoo, Ningpo, and Shanghai; and Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain, &c., will appoint Superintendents, or Consular officers, to reside at each of the above-named cities or towns, to be the medium of communication between the Chinese authorities and the said merchants, and to see that the just duties and other dues of the Chinese Government, as hereafter provided for, are duly discharged by Her Britannic Majesty’s subjects.

III.

It being obviously necessary and desirable that British subjects should have some port whereat they may [maintain] and refit their ships when required, and keep stores for that purpose, His Majesty the Emperor of China cedes to Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain, &c., the Island of Hong-Kong, to be possessed in perpetuity by Her Britannic Majesty, her heirs and successors, and to be governed by such laws and regulations as Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain, &c., shall see fit to direct.

IV.

The Emperor of China agrees to pay the sum of 6,000,000 of dollars, as the value of the opium which was delivered up at Canton in the month of March, 1839, as a ransom for the lives of Her Britannic Majesty’s Superintendent and subjects, who had been imprisoned and threatened with death by the Chinese High OfficersAnd it is further stipulated, that interest, at the rate of 5 per cent. per annum, shall be paid by the Government of China on any portion of the above sums that are not punctually discharged at the periods fixed.

V.

The Government of China having compelled the British merchants trading at Canton to deal exclusively with certain Chinese merchants, called Hong merchants (or Co-Hong) . . . the Emperor of China agrees to abolish that practice in future at all ports where British merchants may reside, and to permit them to carry on their mercantile transactions with whatever persons they please; and His Imperial Majesty further agrees to pay to the British Government the sum of 3,000,000 of dollars , on account of debts due to British subjects by some of the said Hong merchants, who have become insolvent, and who owe very large sums of money to subjects of Her Britannic Majesty.

VI. The Government of Her Britannic Majesty having been obliged to send out an expedition to demand and obtain redress for the violent and unjust proceedings of the Chinese High Authorities towards Her Britannic Majesty’s officer and subjects, the Emperor of China agrees to pay the sum of 12,000,000 of dollars, on account of the expenses incurred; and Her Britannic Majesty’s Plenipotentiary voluntarily agrees, on behalf of Her Majesty, to deduct from the said amount of I2,000,000 of dollars, any sums which may have been received by Her Majesty’s combined forces, as ransom for cities and towns in China, subsequent to the 1st day of August, 1841

VII.

It is agreed, that the total amount of 21,000,000 of dollars, described in the 3 preceding Articles, shall be paid as follows:6,000,000 immediately.6,000,000 in 1843; that is, 3,000,000 on or before the 30th of the month of June, and 3,000,000 on or before the 3Ist of December.5,000,000 in 1844; that is, 2,500,000 on or before the 3oth of June, and 2,500,000 on or before the 3Ist of December.4,000,000 in 1845; that is, 2,000,000 on or before the 3oth of June, and 2,000,000 on or before the 3Ist of December.And it is further stipulated, that interest, at the rate of 5 per cent per annum, shall be paid by the Government of China on any portion of the above sums that are not punctually discharged at the periods fixed.

VIII

The Emperor of China agrees to release, unconditionally, all subjects of Her Britannic Majesty (whether natives of Europe or India), who may be in confinement at this moment in any part of the Chinese empire.

IX.

The Emperor of China agrees to publish and promulgate, under his Imperial sign manual and seal, a full and entire amnesty and act of indemnity to all subjects of China, on account of their having resided under, or having had dealings and intercourse with, or having entered the service of Her Britannic Majesty, or of Her Majesty’s officers; and His Imperial Majesty further engages to release all Chinese subjects who may be at this moment in confinement for similar reasons.

X. His Majesty the Emperor of China agrees to establish at all the ports which are, by the 2nd Article of this Treaty, to be thrown open for the resort of British merchants, a fair and regular tariff of export and import customs and other dues, which tariff shall be publicly notified and promulgated for general information; and the Emperor further engages, that when British merchandise shall have once paid at any of the said ports the regulated customs and dues, agreeable to the tariff to be hereafter fixed, such merchandise may be conveyed by Chinese merchants to any province or city in the interior of the Empire of China, on paying a further amount as transit duties, which shall not exceed [see Declaration respecting Transit Duties below] on the tariff value of such goods.

XI.

It is agreed that Her Britannic Majesty’s Chief High Officer in China shall correspond with the Chinese High Officers, both at the capital and in the provinces, . . . . . on a footing of perfect equality . . .

XII.

On the assent of the Emperor of China to this Treaty being received, and the discharge of the first instalment of money, Her Britannic Majesty’s forces will retire from Nanking and the Grand Canal, and will no longer molest or stop the trade of China. The military post at Chinhai will also be withdrawn, but the Islands of Koolangsoo, and that of Chusan, will continue to be held by Her Majesty’s forces until the money payments, and the arrangements for opening the ports to British merchants, be completed.

XIII.

The ratification of this Treaty by Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain, &c., and His Majesty the Emperor of China, shall be exchanged as soon as the great distance which separates England from China will admit; but in the meantime, counterpart copies of it, signed and sealed by the.Plenipotentiaries on behalf of their respective Sovereigns, shall be mutually delivered, and all its provisions and arrangements shall take effect.Done at Nanking, and signed and sealed by the Plenipotentiaries on board Her Britannic Majesty’s ship Cornwallis, this 29th day of August, 1842 . . . .

(L.S.) HENRY POTTINGER.[SIGNATURES OF THE THREE CHINESE PLENIPOTENTIARIES]

DECLARATION respecting Transit Duties.Whereas by the Xth Article of the Treaty between Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and His Majesty the Emperor of China, concluded and signed on board Her Britannic Majesty’s ship Cornwallis, at Nanking, on the 29th day of August, 1842 . . . . it is stipulated and agreed, that His Majesty the Emperor of China shall establish at all the ports which, by the 2nd Article of the said Treaty, are to be thrown open for the resort of British merchants, a fair and regular tariff of export and import customs and other dues, which tariff shall be publicly notified and promulgated for general information; and further, that when British merchandise shall have once paid, at any of the said ports, the regulated customs and dues, agreeable to the tariff to be hereafter fixed, such merchandise may be conveyed by Chinese merchants to any province or city in the interior of the Empire of China, on paying a further amount of duty as transit duty;And whereas the rate of transit duty to be so levied was not fixed by the said Treaty; Now, therefore, the undersigned Plenipotentiaries of Her Britannic Majesty, and of His Majesty the Emperor of China, do hereby, on proceeding to the exchange of the Ratifications of the said Treaty, agree and declare, that the further amount of duty to be so levied on British merchandise, as transit duty, shall not exceed the present rates, which are upon a moderate scale; and the Ratifications of the said Treaty are exchanged subject to the express declaration and stipulation herein contained.In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the present declaration, and have affixed thereto their respective seals.

Done at Hong-Kong, the 26th day of June, 1843 . . . . .

(L.S.) HENRY POTTINGER.[SEAL AND SIGNATURE OF THE CHINESE PLENIPOTENTIARY]

NOTE:In the following year, on Oct. 8, a supplementary treaty was concluded which included extraterritorial provisions regarding crimes and offences committed both by British subjects and Chinese at the five ports. Art. XI stated that ‘lawless natives of China’ found in Hong Kong or aboard British vessels would be handed over to Chinese officials for trial. Likewise, China was to hand over to British officials any British subjects who fled to Chinese territory

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