Unequal Agreement

Many of the treaties that China considers uneven were repealed during the Second Japan-China War, which began in 1937 and was merged with the broader context of World War II. The United States Congress ended American extraterritoriality in December 1943. Important examples survived World War II: the Hong Kong Treaties remained in force until Hong Kong`s surrender in 1997 and, in 1969, to improve Sino-Soviet relations after military skirmishes along its border, the People`s Republic of China confirmed the Treaty of Aigun of 1858 in 1858. , for example, which treaties are unequal, which of them could be invalidated under international law, and what are the main effects of this category in contemporary international law. In 1895, Japan won the First Japanese and Japanese War. This victory convinced the Western powers that they could no longer impose their unequal contracts with the emerging Asian power. When Japan conquered Korea in 1910, the uneven agreements between the Joseon government and the various Western powers were cancelled. Most of China`s unequal contracts lasted until the second war between Japan and China, which began in 1937; Western powers lifted most of the agreements until the end of World War II. Britain, however, retained Hong Kong until 1997. The British transfer of the island to mainland China marked the definitive end of the unequal contractual system in East Asia. The unequal treaty is the name given by the Chinese to a series of treaties signed between the Qing Dynasty and various Western powers, Russia and the Empire of Japan in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The agreements, often concluded after a military defeat, included unilateral conditions that required China to cede land, pay reparations, open ports or grant extraterritorial privileges to foreign citizens. [1] In many cases, China has effectively been forced to pay large amounts of financial reparations, to open ports for trade, to cede or lease territories (such as outer Manchuria and the north-west of China (including Zhetysu) to the Russian Empire, Hong Kong and Weihaiwei in the United Kingdom, Guangzhouwan in France , Kwantung Bachtgebiet and Taiwan to the Empire of Japan, the Jiaozhou Bay concession to the German Reich and the Jiaozhou Bay concession, Shamian, Hankou, Shanghai, etc.) and make various other concessions of sovereignty to foreign “spheres of influence” after military threats. The earliest treaty, later called “unequal,” was the Chuenpi Convention of 1841 during the First Opium War. The first contract between China and the United Kingdom, described as “unequal,” was Nanjing in 1842. After China`s defeat, contracts with Britain opened five ports for foreign trade and allowed foreign missionaries, at least in theory, to stay in China. In addition, attempts have been granted to foreign residents in port cities by their own consular authorities rather than by the Chinese legal system, a concept called extraterritoriality. [6] Under the treaties, the United Kingdom and the United States established the British Supreme Court for China and Japan and the United States Court for China in Shanghai. Detailed discussions on the history and evolution of the concept of “unequal contracts” can be found in Nozari in 1971 and van Hulle in 2016.

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