Courage to Talk for the Next Era

~Treaty of Nanking~

Posted in ~Treaty of Nanking~ by Courage to Talk for the Next Generation on January 17, 2010

“I love East Asia”

~Seeking the true History~

This is updating from New York City.

Hello, everyone. This is ILEA.

The Chinese response under the pressure from the great western power. ~Part 1~

Under the confusion of opium, 1939, Lin Zexu burned up 1180 tons of opium confiscated from foreign and chinese opium dealer. Against his order, the British parliament decided and sent fighting ships into Tianjin near Beijing. The chinese government in confusion, Daoguang Emperor ordered Quishan to replace Li zexu as an Imperial Inspector Minister to negotiate the British. 1842, the British treated the Chinese government and let them sign the treaty of Nanking. The treaty ceded the island of Hong kong and opened five ports, Canton, Xiamen, Foochou, Ningpo and Shanghai to the British. It means the Britons were allowed to trade with anyone they wished at these five ports and Hong Kong. Additionally, the British got right of consular jurisdiction,Most favored nation(MFN) treatment, tariff autonomy from the treaty. This treatment was the first unequal treaty.

Opium Smokers

Li Zexu

Li Zexu and the opium

The opium war

Treaty of Nanking

How did First Opium War and Treaty of Nanking affect the other two East Asian Countries?

Japan received this shocking news as a crisis of Japan. Lack a sense of crisis, Chinese government continued their living in the lap of luxury, while Li Zexu noticed the crisis of China and he translated many foreign historical books or geographic books into Chinese and tried to gather world information with enthusiasm. After the death of Li Zexu, his friend, Wei Yuan wrote Illustrated Treatise on the Maritime Kingdoms (海國圖志, Haiguo Tuzhì) which consisted of Western materialbased on Li Zexu research.

海國圖志, Haiguo Tuzh

This book was translated into 21 kinds of Japanese books soon. In Japan, the key personalities such as Shozan Sakuma, Shoin Yoshida and Takamori Saigo were big fan of this book. Studying of Li’s book, Japan could know the details of the Opium war and international affairs including international law. Besides his book, Japan could know the information of the world situation correctly from Dejima Dutch Trading Post located at Nagasaki Japan. With those information, Japan could prepare the imminent danger. Ironically, a book which was written in order to protect China helped Japan becoming the one of the powerful country and finally lead Japanese invasion toward China.


Shozan Sakuma

Shoin Yoshida


 According 河政植 Ha Jeong-Sik, the professor of the Soongsil University located at Seoul, he says different from Japan, Korea was under the tribute relationship with China and recognized China as their master country so Korean government placed much disproportionate weight on the Chinese side information so they couldn’t know the information correctly. For example, the Korean government had a misunderstand that China didn’t lose any their territory from the first Opium war. At the time, few people controlled all politics and didn’t make any effort to avoid foreign treat actively at all. The professor says one of the reason of their neglecting is that they thought Korea was poor so the western wouldn’t came to Korea because there were nothing they wanted and let their guard down. At the last he says, utilizing information is not depending on the information itself but depending on the perspectives and feeling of the person who use it.

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