Convention of Peking

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Convention of Peking
Convention of Peking.jpg
Traditional Chinese 北京條約

The Convention of Peking (or First Convention of Peking) is an agreement comprising three distinct treaties concluded between the Qing Empire (China) and the United Kingdom, France, and Russia. In China they are regarded as among the unequal treaties.

Background[edit]

On 18 October 1860, at the culmination of the Second Opium War, the British and French troops entered the Forbidden City in Beijing. Following the decisive defeat of the Chinese, Prince Gong was compelled to sign two treaties on behalf of the Qing government with Lord Elgin and Baron Gros, who represented Britain and France respectively.[1] Although Russia had not been a belligerent, Prince Gong also signed a treaty with Nikolay Ignatyev.

The original plan was to burn down the Forbidden City as punishment for the mistreatment of European prisoners by Qing officials. Because doing so would jeopardize the treaty signing, the plan shifted to burning the Emperor's garden estates of Qīngyī Yuán and Yuánmíng Yuán instead.[1] The treaties with France and Britain were signed in the Ministry of Rites building immediately south of the Forbidden City on 24 October 1860.[2]

Terms[edit]

Prince Gong, photographed by Felice Beato, 2 November 1860, just days after he signed the treaty on the 24 Oct. 1860.[1]

In the Convention, the Emperor of China ratified the Treaty of Tientsin (1858).

The area known as Kowloon was originally leased in March 1860. The Convention of Peking ended the lease, and ceded the land formally to the British on 24 October 1860.[3]

Article 6 of the Convention between China and the United Kingdom stipulated that China was to cede the part of Kowloon Peninsula south of present day Boundary Street, Kowloon, and Hong Kong (including Stonecutters Island) in perpetuity to Britain.

Article 6 of the Convention between China and France stipulated that "the religious and charitable establishments which were confiscated from Christians during the persecutions of which they were victims shall be returned to their owners through the French Minister in China".[4]

Main article: Amur Annexation

The treaty also ceded parts of Outer Manchuria to the Russian Empire. It granted Russia the right to the Ussuri krai, a part of the modern day Primorye, the territory that corresponded with the ancient Manchu province of East Tartary. See Treaty of Aigun (1858), Treaty of Nerchinsk (1689) and Russian-Manchu border conflicts. In China, the treaty is labelled an unequal treaty.

Aftermath[edit]

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 in 1984, under which the sovereignty of the leased territories, together with Hong Kong Island, ceded under the Treaty of Nanking (1842), and Kowloon Peninsula (south of Boundary Street), was transferred to the PRC on 1 July 1997 without consulting the people of Hong Kong.

The parts of Outer Manchuria ceded to Russia were never returned and remain part of Russia today.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Harris, David. Van Slyke, Lyman P. [2000] (2000). Of Battle and Beauty: Felice Beato's Photographs of China. University of California Press. ISBN 0-89951-100-7
  2. ^ Naquin, Susan. [2000] (2000). Peking: Temples and City Life, 1400-1900. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-21991-0
  3. ^ Endacott, G. B.; Carroll, John M. (2005) [1962]. A biographical sketch-book of early Hong Kong. Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 978-962-209-742-1. 
  4. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg "The Church in China". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 

External links[edit]