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Effects of the First Opium War on Foreign Relationship in Qing Dynasty China - Essay Example

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From the research it can be comprehended that the first opium war had detrimental consequences on China, making it a fair game for foreign countries, even though it laid a foundation for the future prosperity of the country…
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Effects of the First Opium War on Foreign Relationship in Qing Dynasty China
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"Effects of the First Opium War on Foreign Relationship in Qing Dynasty China"

Download file to see previous pages The paper tells that before the first opium war, China had thrived economically and was looking forward to an even better future. China was isolationist in nature and did not trade with foreign countries. This nature of China therefore could not to fulfill England’s desire of trade with them. However, England looked for trade goods that would appeal to the Chinese, and so started exporting opium to China. However, China got into a conflict with England over opium trade, as they wished England to stop opium exportation to China due to its negative influence opium had in China. The British did not comply and this led to the first opium war between China and Britain. The first opium war had negative effect on Anglo-Chinese relationship in regard to the treaties signed afterwards, which favored the British and not the Chinese, and led to seceding of China’s Hong Kong island to the United Kingdom, hence leaving the Qing Dynasty in disgrace. As Melancon notes, this first opium war was responsible for the changes in Anglo-Chinese relationship experienced after the war and even today. The British benefited more from this war, as opposed to the Chinese. England had thought that opium was the most appropriate tool for balancing the trade deficit between them and China. The authorities in China later objected to opium trade, but this did not stop England. The main event which aggravated the first opium war was when in 1839, Lin Zexu, the Canton governor, destroyed opium amounting to 20,283 chests after forcing the British merchants to forfeit it, at Canton port. Later, British sailors murdered a Chinese citizen, hence building up tension between these two countries. The Queen then commanded British troops to take over Hong Kong. The first confrontation between the Chinese and British troops happened while the Chinese tried to prevent the British form entering Hong Kong. The British troops conquered the Chinese, killing many of them, and took over Shanghai, Guangdong, Chinese forts, as well as parts of the Canton city. This forced the Qing Dynasty to surrender to the British and the end of this war was concluded by signing the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842 (Perdue 29). By signing the treaty of Nanjing, the Chinese lost many rights of their sovereign state. In this treaty, the British were accorded five Chinese port cities, including all the trading rights. This led to the end of the Imperial monopolization of all foreign trade. The opening of foreign ships and the ports of Amoy, Canton, Fuzhou, Shanghai, and Ningbo opened China to foreign trade, thus ending their isolationist principles. In this treaty, China was also forced to hand over the Island of Hong Kong to the British for on a 99 years lease, which ended in 1997. This treaty also made china pay the British for the losses incurred during the war. China paid 6 million for the opium they destroyed, 12 million to cater for the cost of the war, and 3 million to the British merchants to cover the debts they owed them. All this amounted to 21 million, payable to the British in silver. This weakened China’s economy, considering the losses they had already suffered during the war (Carroll 9). One of the conditions in the Nanjing Treaty was that the laws of their countries and not the laws of China would rule the foreigners in China. This was exploitative to China and denied use of its rule of law over all the inhabitants in the country. The Nanjing treaty therefore left the Chinese helpless and overruled by the British and other foreigners. This treaty robbed the Chinese of their independence and eventually led to the downfall of the Qing dynasty. China was now dominated by foreign states, and this destroyed the legitimate rule of a central government in China. For instance, even after the war, opium was still considered illegal by the Chinese authorities, however, the British continued with this trade in China, yet China could take no action to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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