On 26 and 27 June 1858 (the eighth year of Emperor Xianfeng’s ﹝咸豐﹞reign), the Qing government signed separate Treaties of Tientsin (《天津條約》, Treaties of Tianjin) with Britain and France, which brought the war to a halt. The major points of the treaties were:
(1) Establishment of permanent foreign diplomatic missions in Beijing (北京), the Qing China’s capital: treaty signatories could dispatch their envoys to each other’s capital;
(2) The right to travel: foreigners could freely travel all parts of China for pleasure, business or missionary activities;
(3) Inland waterways navigation: all foreign vessels including naval vessels would have the right to navigate inland waterways freely including the Yangtze River (長江) and access all trading ports;
(4) Opening of additional ports for foreign trade: in addition to the original five designated ports, ten more ports were opened for trade. They were Niuzhuang (牛莊, later opened nearby Yingkou﹝營口﹞), Dengzhou (登州, in Yantai﹝煙台﹞), Taiwan (now Tainan ﹝台南﹞), Tamsui (淡水, now Hsinchu ﹝新竹﹞), Chaozhou (潮州, in Shantou﹝汕頭﹞), Qiongzhou (瓊州), Zhenjiang (鎮江), Nanjing (南京), Jiujiang (九江), and Hankou (漢口);
(5) Consular jurisdiction: the treaties clearly stipulated that foreigners who may commit any crime in China would be tried and punished by their own countries’ consulates instead of the Qing authorities;
(6) Adjustment to customs duties: a customs duty of five per cent would be levied on imports and exports other than silk, tea, and opium; and a zikou tax (子口稅, transit dues) of just two and a half per cent would be charged for importing foreign goods or exporting local goods;
(7) Tariff negotiation: China must continue to negotiate tariff issues with foreign powers;
(8) Payment of indemnities of four million and two million taels (兩) of silver to Britain and France respectively.
To China, these terms were detrimental in many aspects - commerce, jurisdiction, finance - to name a few. It was agreed that China, Britain, and France would meet in Beijing the following year to ratify the treaties.
In 1858, the Qing government signed separate Treaties of Tientsin with both Britain and France. Pictured is Haiguang Temple (海光寺) in Tianjin, where the treaties were signed.
Britain was the dominant party in the military operation against China. The picture features the signing ceremony of the Sino-British Treaty of Tientsin. Lord Elgin, the British representative, is sitting in the centre.
The original Sino-British Treaty of Tientsin (partial view).
According to the Treaties of Tientsin, various ports would be opened for trade. Shantou in Chaozhou, Guangdong Province (廣東), was one of them. Pictured is a bird’s eye view of the foreign residential quarter in Shantou in the 19th century (photographed sometime between 1869 and 1871).
Qiongzhou, located on remote Hainan Island, was one of the newly opened ports for foreign trade (photographed in 1870).
Unlike the 1842 Treaty of Nanking (《南京條約》, Treaty of Nanjing), ports opened under the Treaties of Tientsin were not confined to coastal ports. Hankou (漢口), one of the newly opened ports, was a major inland commercial town. Pictured is the Hankou British consulate in the 1880s and the Xiang River (襄河) Wharf in Hankou in the late Qing dynasty.
The intersection of the Grand Canal (大運河) in Yangzhou (揚州) and the Yangtze River in the 19th century. The Treaties of Tientsin granted foreign vessels including naval vessels the right to navigate the Yangtze River and other inland waterways. The free foreign access to inland waterways and inland ports allowed foreigners to penetrate inland regions.
The Qing customs office at Huangpu (黃埔) of Guangzhou (廣州). The terms regarding tariffs in the Treaties of Tientsin struck China’s tariff autonomy.
According to the Treaties of Tientsin, China and foreign powers must renegotiate tariff issues in Shanghai. They reached an agreement in November 1858, including the tariff rate of opium. Since then, opium trade was legalised. The picture shows Chinese coolies unloading opium from ships during the Anglo-French Expedition to China.
The Chinese translation of the decree from Queen Victoria approving the Sino-British Treaty of Tientsin. After signing the Treaties of Tientsin, China, Britain, and France made an agreement to ratify the treaty in Beijing a year later in 1859. However, this event provoked the second phase of the war.
Source of most photos used in this feature piece: Visual China Group (pictures 1, 2), Fotoe (pictures 4-9), misc. photo sources.