Treaty of Wanghia
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The Treaty of Wang Hiya (also Treaty of Wangxia, Treaty of Peace, Amity, and Commerce, with tariff of duties, traditional Chinese: 望廈條約; simplified Chinese: 望厦条约; pinyin: Wàngxià tiáoyuē; Cantonese Yale: Mohng Hah), was a diplomatic agreement between Qing dynasty China and the United States, signed on 3 July 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 US Congress, it was ratified by President John Tyler on January 17, 1845. It is considered an unequal treaty by many sources.
Name of the Treaty
The treaty was named after a village in northern Macau where the temple is located, called Mong Ha or Wang Hiya (traditional Chinese: 望廈; simplified Chinese: 望厦; pinyin: Wàngxià; Cantonese Yale: Mohng Hah). It is now a part of the territory's Our Lady of Fatima Parish.
Contents of the Treaty
The United States was represented by Caleb Cushing, a Massachusetts lawyer dispatched by President John Tyler under pressure from American merchants concerned about the British dominance in Chinese trade. A physician and missionary, Peter Parker, served as Cushing's Chinese interpreter. The Qing Empire was represented by Qiying, the Viceroy of Liangguang, who held responsibility for the provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi. The Article 18: “It shall be lawful for the officers or citizens of the United States to employ scholars and peoples of any part of China…to teach any of the languages of the Empire, and to assist in literary labors…it shall in like manner be lawful for citizens of the United States to purchase all manner of books in China.” (Original Manuscript is now at the Library of Congress)
- extraterritoriality, which meant that US citizens could only be tried by US consular officers;
- fixed tariffs on trade in the treaty ports;
- the right to buy land in the five treaty ports and erect churches and hospitals there; and
- the right to learn Chinese by abolishing a law which hitherto forbade foreigners to do so.
- the U.S received most-favored-nation status, resulting in the US receiving the same beneficial treatment China gave to other powers such as Britain, and received the right to modify the treaty after 12 years.
- Kuo, Ping Chia. "Caleb Cushing and the Treaty of Wanghia, 1844." The Journal of Modern History 5, no. 1 (1933): 34-54. Available through JSTOR.
- Swisher, Earl, ed. China's Management of the American Barbarians; a Study of Sino-American Relations, 1841–1861, with Documents. New Haven, CT: Published for the Far Eastern Association by Far Eastern Publications, Yale University, 1953.