Convention of Peking
|Convention of Peking|
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The Convention or First Convention of Peking, sometimes now known as the Convention of Beijing, is an agreement comprising three distinct treaties concluded between the Qing Empire (China) and the United Kingdom, France, and Russia in 1860. In China they are regarded as among the unequal treaties.
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. 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 Anglo-French prisoners by Qing officials. Because doing so would jeopardize the treaty signing, the plan shifted to burning the Old Summer Palace and Summer Palace instead. The treaties with France and Britain were signed in the Ministry of Rites building immediately south of the Forbidden City on 24 October 1860.
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".
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 Sino-Russian border conflicts. In China, the treaty is labelled an unequal treaty.
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 Nanjing (1842), and Kowloon Peninsula (south of Boundary Street), was transferred to the PRC on 1 July 1997.
However, the parts of Outer Manchuria ceded to Russia were never returned and remain as a part of Russia today.
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- Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "The Church in China". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
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