Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Treaty Ports
(1,692 words)

1. Origin and Concept

During the approximately eight centuries preceding the First Opium War of 1840-42 (Opium Wars), European trade with China was only allowed in two forms: as Russian caravan trade in Beijing, and as maritime trade in Guangzhou (with Macau as an additional base). The countryside remained closed to Western merchants. However, in the Sino-British Treat…

Cite this page
Osterhammel, Jürgen, “Treaty Ports”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 23 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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