The Treaties of Tientsin uses several words that have somewhat ambiguous meanings. For example, the words “settlement” and “concession” can often be confused. The term “settlement” refers to a parcel of land leased to a foreign power and is composed of both foreign and national peoples; locally elected foreigners govern them. The term “concession” refers to a long-term lease of land to a foreign power where the foreign nation has complete control of the land; it is governed by consular representation.
Following the pattern set by the great powers of Europe, the United States took on a protectionist stance, built up its navy, and tried to create a mercantile empire. The United States was one of the leading signing “treaty powers” in China, forcing open a total of 23 foreign concessions from the Chinese government. While it is often noted that the United States did not control any settlements in China, they shared British land grants and were actually invited to take land in Shanghai but refused because the land was thought to be disadvantageous.
Johnstone, William C. (October 1937). "International Relations: The Status of Foreign Concessions and Settlements in the Treaty Ports of China". The American Political Science Review31 (5): 942–8. JSTOR1947920. OCLC5545237072.
Bloch, Kurt (May 1939). "The Basic Conflict over Foreign Concessions in China". Far Eastern Survey8 (10): 111–116. JSTOR3023092. OCLC5548991122.
"Treaties of Tianjin, 1858 and 1860". 600 Years of Urban Planning in and around Tianjin. Wason Collection on East Asia and Division of Rare & Manuscript Collections Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University. 2004. Archived from the original on 2010-06-21.