A report on Extraterritoriality

A hearing of the International Mixed Court at Shanghai, c. 1905

State of being exempted from the jurisdiction of local law, usually as the result of diplomatic negotiations.

- Extraterritoriality
A hearing of the International Mixed Court at Shanghai, c. 1905

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Signing of the treaty on board HMS Cornwallis

Treaty of Nanking

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The peace treaty which ended the First Opium War (1839–1842) between Great Britain and the Qing dynasty of China on 29 August 1842.

The peace treaty which ended the First Opium War (1839–1842) between Great Britain and the Qing dynasty of China on 29 August 1842.

Signing of the treaty on board HMS Cornwallis
Chinese and English Pages, Treaty of Nanking
HMS Cornwallis and the British squadron in Nanking, saluting the conclusion of the treaty

It was followed in 1843 by the Treaty of the Bogue, which granted extraterritoriality and most favored nation status.

Qing dynasty

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Manchu-led conquest dynasty and the last imperial dynasty of China.

Manchu-led conquest dynasty and the last imperial dynasty of China.

The Qing dynasty in 1890. Territory under its control shown in dark green; territory claimed but uncontrolled shown in light green.
The Qing dynasty in 1890. Territory under its control shown in dark green; territory claimed but uncontrolled shown in light green.
Italian 1682 map showing the "Kingdom of the Nüzhen" or the "Jin Tartars"
Manchu cavalry charging Ming infantry battle of Sarhu in 1619
Sura han ni chiha (Coins of Tiancong Khan) in Manchu alphabet
Dorgon (1612–1650)
Qing Empire in 1636
The Qing conquest of the Ming and expansion of the empire
The Kangxi Emperor (r. 1662–1722)
Emperor with Manchu army in Khalkha 1688
Putuo Zongcheng Temple, Chengde, Qianlong reign; built on the model of Potala Palace, Lhasa
Campaign against the Dzungars in the Qing conquest of Xinjiang 1755–1758
Lord Macartney saluting the Qianlong Emperor
Commerce on the water, Prosperous Suzhou by Xu Yang, 1759
British Steamship destroying Chinese war junks (E. Duncan) (1843)
View of the Canton River, showing the Thirteen Factories in the background, 1850–1855
Government forces defeating Taiping armies
Yixin, Prince Gong
Empress Dowager Cixi (Oil painting by Hubert Vos c. 1905))
Britain, Germany, Russia, France, and Japan dividing China
Foreign armies in the Forbidden City 1900
Yuan Shikai
Qing China in 1911
Zaifeng, Prince Chun
A pitched battle between the imperial and revolutionary armies in 1911
A postage stamp from Yantai (Chefoo) in the Qing dynasty
A Qing dynasty mandarin
The emperor of China from The Universal Traveller
2000–cash Da-Qing Baochao banknote from 1859
The Eighteen Provinces of China proper in 1875
Qing China in 1832
The Qing dynasty in ca. 1820, with provinces in yellow, military governorates and protectorates in light yellow, tributary states in orange
Brush container symbol of elegant gentry culture
Chen Clan Ancestral Hall (陈家祠) built in 1894
Patriarchal family
Placard (right to left) in Manchu, Chinese, Tibetan, Mongolian Yonghe Lamasery, Beijing
Silver coin: 1 yuan/dollar Xuantong 3rd year - 1911 Chopmark
Xián Fēng Tōng Bǎo (咸豐通寶) 1850–1861 Qing dynasty copper (brass) cash coin
Puankhequa (1714–1788). Chinese merchant and member of a Cohong family.
Pine, Plum and Cranes, 1759, by Shen Quan (1682–1760).
A Daoguang period Peking glass vase. Colored in "Imperial Yellow", due to its association with the Qing.
Jade book of the Qianlong period on display at the British Museum
Landscape by Wang Gai, 1694
The Eighteen Provinces of China proper in 1875

Following China's defeat in the Opium Wars, Western colonial powers forced the Qing government to sign "unequal treaties", granting them trading privileges, extraterritoriality and treaty ports under their control.

The East India Company steamship Nemesis (right background) destroying war junks during the Second Battle of Chuenpi, 7 January 1841

First Opium War

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Series of military engagements fought between Britain and the Qing dynasty between 1839 and 1842.

Series of military engagements fought between Britain and the Qing dynasty between 1839 and 1842.

The East India Company steamship Nemesis (right background) destroying war junks during the Second Battle of Chuenpi, 7 January 1841
View of Canton with merchant ship of the Dutch East India Company, c. 1665
View of the European factories in Canton
Chinese opium smokers
A depiction of opium ships at Lintin, China by the British artist William John Huggins in 1824
A British lithograph depicting a storehouse filled with opium at the factory of the British East India Company in Patna, India in c. 1850
Graph showing the increase in Chinese opium imports by year.
Commissioner Lin Zexu, dubbed "Lin of Clear Skies" for his moral integrity.
Lin Zexu's "memorial" written directly to Queen Victoria
Contemporary Chinese depiction of the destruction of opium under Commissioner Lin.
1841 painting of the Chinese fort at Kowloon.
Engagement between British and Chinese ships in the First Battle of Chuenpi, 1839.
Capture of Chusan, July 1840
The Battle of Chusan
The Second Battle of Chuenpi
British ships approaching Canton in May 1841
British map of the Pearl River.
Sketch of British soldiers occupying the high ground above Canton in 1841.
HMS Wellesley and the British squadron sailing from Hong Kong for the attack on Amoy in 1841.
British troops at the Battle of Amoy, 1841
the British forces invasion and Second Capture of Chusan
British troops capture Zhenjiang in the last major battle of the war, 21 July 1842
Painting of a battle between Qing matchlock-armed infantry and British line infantry at the Battle of Chinkiang. The retreat of the Qing infantry into the city and the ensuing close-quarters combat led to heavy casualties on both sides.
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Entrance of the Opium War Museum in Humen Town, Guangdong, China.
British gold medal, dually dated 1829 and March 1842, London mint. Extracted out of the Chinese silver indemnity payments of the Treaty of Nanking
A Royal Navy steamship destroying a Chinese junk with a Congreve rocket. Lightly armoured Chinese warships were decimated by heavy guns and explosive weaponry.
British line infantry advancing on a Chinese position.
Chinese soldiers armed with a gingal during the First Opium War.

In 1842, the Qing dynasty was forced to sign the Treaty of Nanking—the first of what the Chinese later called the unequal treaties—which granted an indemnity and extraterritoriality to British subjects in China, opened five treaty ports to British merchants, and ceded Hong Kong Island to the British Empire.

A French political cartoon in 1898, China – the cake of Kings and Emperors, showing Britain, Germany, Russia, France and Japan dividing China.

Unequal treaty

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Name given by the Chinese to a series of treaties signed during the 19th and early 20th centuries, between China and various European powers, such as the British Empire, France, the German Empire, and the Russian Empire, as well as Japan and the United States.

Name given by the Chinese to a series of treaties signed during the 19th and early 20th centuries, between China and various European powers, such as the British Empire, France, the German Empire, and the Russian Empire, as well as Japan and the United States.

A French political cartoon in 1898, China – the cake of Kings and Emperors, showing Britain, Germany, Russia, France and Japan dividing China.
The Eight-Nation Alliance inside the Chinese imperial palace, the Forbidden City, during a celebration ceremony after the signing of the Boxer Protocol, 1901.

The agreements, often reached after a military defeat, contained one-sided terms, requiring China to cede land, pay reparations, open treaty ports, or grant extraterritorial privileges to foreign citizens.

Palikao's bridge, on the evening of the battle of Palikao, by Émile Bayard

Second Opium War

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War, lasting from 1856 to 1860, which pitted the British Empire and the French Empire against the Qing dynasty of China.

War, lasting from 1856 to 1860, which pitted the British Empire and the French Empire against the Qing dynasty of China.

Palikao's bridge, on the evening of the battle of Palikao, by Émile Bayard
The Illustrated London News print of the clipper steamship Ly-ee-moon, built for the opium trade, c. 1859
The execution of the Paris Foreign Missions Society missionary Auguste Chapdelaine was the official cause of the French involvement in the Second Opium War.
The capture of Ye Mingchen after the fall of Canton
British troops taking a fort in 1860
Signing of the Treaty of Tientsin in 1858
Cousin-Montauban leading French forces during the 1860 campaign
Looting of the Old Summer Palace by Anglo-French forces in 1860
Ruins of the "Western style" complex in the Old Summer Palace, burnt down by Anglo-French forces
British taking Beijing
Second China War Medal, with Taku Forts 1860 bar.
French medal of the China Campaign ("Médaille de la Campagne de Chine"), 1861, in the Musée de la Légion d'Honneur. The Chinese characters inscribed on the ribbons read 'Beijing'.
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Médaille de la Campagne de Chine, as Awarded to a member of the 101st Infantry
Qing flag seized by Anglo-French forces. The flag reads "親兵第五隊右營": Bodyguard, fifth squadron, right battalion (unit types are approximate), Les Invalides.

In 1842, the Treaty of Nanking granted an indemnity and extraterritoriality to Britain, the opening of five treaty ports, and the cession of Hong Kong Island.

British Supreme Court for China Building, Shanghai

British Supreme Court for China

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British Supreme Court for China Building, Shanghai
Signing of the Treaty of Nanking
Signing of the Treaty of Tientsin
Hong Kong Supreme Court building, 1915
Robert Hart, Defendant in von Gumpach v Hart
Hiram Parkes Wilkinson, longest serving Crown Advocate

The British Supreme Court for China (originally the British Supreme Court for China and Japan) was a court established in the Shanghai International Settlement to try cases against British subjects in China, Japan and Korea under the principles of extraterritoriality.

Trying a divorce suit in the United States Consular Court at Constantinople, 1922

Consular court

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Trying a divorce suit in the United States Consular Court at Constantinople, 1922

Consular courts were law courts established by foreign powers in countries where they had extraterritorial rights.

United Nations

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Intergovernmental organization whose purposes are to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.

Intergovernmental organization whose purposes are to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.

Members of the United Nations
1943 sketch by Franklin Roosevelt of the UN original three branches: The Four Policemen, an executive branch, and an international assembly of forty UN member states
The UN in 1945: founding members in light blue, protectorates and territories of the founding members in dark blue
Dag Hammarskjöld was a particularly active secretary-general from 1953 until his death in 1961.
Kofi Annan, secretary-general from 1997 to 2006
Flags of member nations at the United Nations Headquarters, seen in 2007
Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet general secretary, addressing the UN General Assembly in December 1988
Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, demonstrates a vial with alleged Iraq chemical weapon probes to the UN Security Council on Iraq war hearings, 5 February 2003
Current secretary-general, António Guterres
The ICJ ruled that Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 did not violate international law.
Under Sukarno, Indonesia became the first and only country to leave the United Nations.
A Nepalese soldier on a peacekeeping deployment providing security at a rice distribution site in Haiti during 2010
The UN Buffer Zone in Cyprus was established in 1974 following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
Eleanor Roosevelt with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1949
Three former directors of the Global Smallpox Eradication Programme reading the news that smallpox has been globally eradicated in 1980
In Jordan, UNHCR remains responsible for the Syrian refugees and the Zaatari refugee camp.
The 2001 Nobel Peace Prize to the UN—diploma in the lobby of the UN Headquarters in New York City
Marking of the UN's 70th anniversary – Budapest, 2015

The UN is headquartered on international territory in New York City, and has other main offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna, and The Hague (home to the International Court of Justice).

Sino-American Treaty for the Relinquishment of Extraterritorial Rights in China

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Bilateral treaty signed by the United States and the Republic of China on January 11, 1943.

Bilateral treaty signed by the United States and the Republic of China on January 11, 1943.

After the United States declared war upon Japan on December 8, 1941, the governments of the United States and United Kingdom mutually decided that it would be advantageous to end extraterritoriality and the unilateral privileges in China that had been granted by the "unequal treaties."

British Court for Japan

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The British Court for Japan (formally Her Britannic Majesty's Court for Japan) was a court established in Yokohama in 1879 to try cases against British subjects in Japan, under the principles of extraterritoriality.