Chefoo Convention

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The Chefoo Convention (simplified Chinese: 烟台条约; traditional Chinese: 煙臺條約; pinyin: yāntái tiáoyuē, literally the Yantai Treaty) was an "unequal treaty" between the Qing and British Empires, which was signed by Sir Thomas Wade and Li Hongzhang in the Zhifu District of Yantai on 21 August 1876. The official reason for the treaty was to resolve the "Margary Affair," but the final treaty included a number of items that had no direct relation to the killing of Margary the year earlier.

Contents of the Treaty

The convention consisted of sixteen articles and was divided into three sections. The first section dealt with the resolution of the Margary Affair, calling for the punishment of the people implicated in the murder of Augustus Raymond Margary the year before and stipulating that an indemnity be paid to Margary's relatives. The second section dealt with official intercourse between the two empires and specified the extraterritorial privileges of British subjects in China. The final section dealt with trade, prohibiting the levying of the Lijin in the treaty ports, outlawing other forms of taxes on foreign goods and opening a number of new treaty ports.

One practical result of the treaty was that the official mission of apology to Britain, led by Guo Songtao, became a permanent diplomatic mission in Britain, opening the way for a permanent foreign representation of China.

Ratification and aftermath

The Chefoo Convention was ratified immediately by the Qing government, but was not ratified by Britain until July 1885.

See also


  • Wang, Shên-tsu. The Margary Affair and the Chefoo Agreement. London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1940.