Keying (official)

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Portrait of Keying.jpeg
Portrait of Keying, 1844
Grand Secretary of the Wenyuan Library
In office
Assistant Grand Secretary
In office
Viceroy of Liangjiang
In office
Preceded byNiu Jian (acting)
Succeeded byBichang (acting)
Viceroy of Liangguang
In office
Preceded byQi Gong
Succeeded byXu Guangjin
Minister of Personnel
In office
30 August 1836 – 7 November 1836
Serving with Tang Jinzhao
Preceded byMujangga
Succeeded byYijing
Minister of Revenue
In office
25 December 1834 – 30 August 1836
Serving with Wang Ding
Preceded byMujangga
Succeeded byYihao
Minister of Works
In office
17 August 1834 – 25 December 1834
Serving with Wang Shouhe (until 1834), Shi Zhiyan (1834), Wang Yinzhi (1834)
Preceded byBoqitu
Succeeded byJingzheng
Minister of Rites
In office
15 October 1829 – 17 August 1834
Serving with Tang Jinzhao (until 1830), Wang Yinzhi (1830–1832), Wang Shouhe (since 1832)
Preceded byFuqitu
Succeeded byShengyin
Personal details
Born21 March 1787
Beijing, China
Died29 June 1858(1858-06-29) (aged 71)
Beijing, China
ProfessionDiplomat, governor
Manchu name

Keying (愛新覺羅 耆英, 21 March 1787 – 29 June 1858), also known by his romanized Mandarin Chinese name Qiying or Ch'i-ying (Wade–Giles) and his Manchu name Kiyeng, was a Manchu statesman during the Qing dynasty of China. An imperial clansman of the house of Aisin Gioro, he began his career in the Imperial Clan Court. He conducted several peace treaties with Western powers, beginning with the Treaty of Nanking, which ended the First Opium War with Britain in 1842. [1] Keying was sent to negotiate again in 1858 to settle the Arrow War with Britain and France, but the settlement was repudiated by the Xianfeng Emperor and he was forced to commit suicide.[2]

Early career[edit]

Keying was born on 21 March 1787.[3] A descendant of Nurhaci's ninth son Babutai (Duke Kexi of the First Rank), Keying was a member of the imperial house of Aisin Gioro, and belonged to the Manchu Plain Blue Banner in the Eight Banners. He held several prominent posts in the Qing government and was demoted several times because of corruption in office, but managed to regain his position as a leading official in the Qing court.

Opium Wars[edit]

Formal reception of Keying in Hong Kong, November 1845

In 1842, the Daoguang Emperor entrusted Keying to conclude a peace treaty with the Britain following the First Opium War, and he was chiefly responsible for negotiating and signing the Treaty of Nanking. The following year, he signed the Treaty of the Bogue to supplement the Treaty of Nanking. He also concluded the Treaty of Wanghia (1844) with the United States, the Treaty of Whampoa (1844) with France, and the Treaty of Canton (1847) with Sweden-Norway. This is the first group of what the Chinese later called the unequal treaties. In November 1845, Keying was well received in Hong Kong.[4]

In 1858, the Xianfeng Emperor ordered Keying to negotiate a peace treaty with Britain and France to conclude the Second Opium War. During the negotiations, the British interpreters Horatio Nelson Lay and Thomas Francis Wade sought to expose Keying's duplicity by producing documents the British had captured in Guangzhou, in which Keying expressed his contempt for the British.[5] Humiliated, Keying promptly left the negotiations in Tianjin for Beijing and he was later arrested for having left his post in contravention of imperial order. He was sentenced to death by the Imperial Clan Court, but was allowed to commit suicide instead.[6]


  • Keying, trading junk and the first Chinese ship to sail to Britain and America.
  • Keying and Marine House c. 1845, became part of the Hong Kong Hotel in 1866.[7] It was demolished in 1858 and now site of Central Building at Pedder Street and Queen's Road Central.[8]


  1. ^ Koon, Yeewan (2012). "The Face of Diplomacy in 19th-Century China: Qiying's Portrait Gifts". In Johnson, Kendall (ed.). Narratives of Free Trade The Commercial Cultures of Early US-China Relations. Hong Kong University Press. pp. 131–148.
  2. ^ Fang, Chao-ying (1943). "Ch'i-ying" . In Hummel, Arthur W. Sr. (ed.). Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period. Vol. 1. United States Government Printing Office.
  3. ^ Gao Zhonghua (2005). Sushun yu Xianfeng zhengju. Jinan: Qilu shushe. p. 165, n. 1.
  4. ^ Curiosities of Modern Travel: A Year-book of Adventure. London: David Bogue. 1847. p. 69.
  5. ^ Hsu, Immanuel (1960). China's Entrance into the Family of Nations: The Diplomatic Phase, 1858–1880. Harvard East Asian Studies. pp. 40–41.
  6. ^ Hsu, Immanuel (1960). China's Entrance into the Family of Nations: The Diplomatic Phase, 1858–1880. Harvard East Asian Studies. p. 43.
  7. ^ "Our History". The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited. 2012-02-22.
  8. ^ "Rustomjee & Co. / Keying House / The Parsee's residence [1845-1868] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong".


Government offices
Preceded by Viceroy of Liangjiang
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Qi Gong
Viceroy of Liangguang
Succeeded by