It is impossible for anyone who is interested in the history of Hong Kong to not pay due attention to the Treaty of Nanking as well as the circumstance under which it came into being. I have done a bit of reading on the subject and will most certainly continue to read some more. The whole purpose of creating this site is to keep all the bits and pieces I've read in one place. If what I've collected in this scrapbook becomes useful to others researching the subject, it would be a nice bonus.

Nothing in what I do here offers any of my analytical insight into the background and events leading to the British invasion of the sovereign state of Dai Ch'ing (Da Qing) 大清國 and the subsequent conclusion of a peace treaty. I strive, also, to refrain from being judgmental [It wasn't easy for me as I am both judgmental and opinionated.] on people whose behaviors, doings or omissions, and whose believes or policies have caused changes to the history of China and indeed Hong Kong. Far too many people have done that and besides, I don't think there is a market for my two cents.

The Treaty, as far as I know, did not have a formal title at the time of execution. The British called it the "Treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Commerce Between Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and the Emperor of China, Nanking, 1842". Ch'ing statesmen called it 萬年和約 (wannian heyue) - literally, a peace treaty of ten thousand years. [Ironically, peace between the signatory states would be broken in a mere 14 years.] Journalists in Hong Kong and Singapore at the time simply referred it to as the commercial treaty. It is, of course, best known as Treaty of Nanking - to commemorate the venue at which it was signed - although I've no idea from when it was so called. In China it is also known as the Treaty of Jiangnin 江寧條約 since Nanking is formerly known as Jiangnin. So, here it is, the single most important document in the history of Hong Kong.

Rudi Butt
Hong Kong, December 29, 2014

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British Expedition Force (Naval), Nanking






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