The Second Opium War, Second Anglo-Chinese War, Second Chinese War, War of Arrows or Anglo-French Expedition to China was a war in which the British Empire and the Second French Empire opposed the Qing Empire. Dynasty of China that lasted from 1856 to 1860. The roots of the Opium War (or the First Chinese War) lie in a trade dispute between the British and Chinese Qing dynasties. The British made matters worse by attacking the Chinese port cities of Guangzhou and Tianjin during the Second Opium War (1857-1858).
After defeating China in a series of naval battles, Britain was able to make numerous demands on the weaker Chinese Qing government in the Anglo-Chinese Treaty of Nanjing. The Qing government was distracted by the Taiping rebellion, and the British saw an opportunity to rekindle the conflict with China to expand trading power. Although new ports were opened to British merchants after the First Opium War, the Chinese were slow to implement the agreement and legal trade with China remained limited.
Under the Treaty of Nanjing, signed on August 29, 1842, China agreed to open the five necessary ports (Canton, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Ningpo, and Shanghai), pay an indemnity of $20 million in silver, abolish the Cohong monopoly that had hitherto controlled trade in Canton, and through it and adhered to a fixed schedule of customs duties. The Chinese later signed the Beijing Convention, which formalized their acceptance of the Treaty of Tientsin and handed over Hong Kong to the UK. On December 19, 1984, the heads of the two governments in Beijing formally signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Hong Kong Question. The preliminary agreement called for China to cede Hong Kong to the British Empire, pay compensation, and guarantee Britain full diplomatic relations.
In March 1983, Mrs. Thatcher wrote a letter to the Chinese premier, in which she assured that at some point she would propose to the British Parliament that China regain sovereignty over Hong Kong. Mrs. Thatcher, however, insisted on the validity of the three unequal treaties, suggesting that if China agreed to retain British administration in Hong Kong after 1997, the UK could consider China’s sovereignty request later.
In 1840, Britain instigated the Opium War, forcing the Qing government to sign the “Nanjing Treaty” in 1842, formally ceding Hong Kong Island to Britain. During the First Opium War, China ceded Hong Kong Island to Britain by signing the Pact of Wearing Skins, an agreement aimed at ending the first British-Chinese conflict. In 1841, China ceded the island to Britain, and the Treaty of Nanjing was signed in 1842, officially ending the First Opium War. In 1856, fourteen years after the signing of the Treaty of Nanjing, China and Britain (along with France) launched the Second Opium War.
France joined the British action against China prompted by the execution of the French missionary Father Auguste Chapdel (“The Father Chapdelin Incident”) by the local Chinese authorities in the province of Guangxi. In 1856, the second Opium War broke out and lasted until 1860, when the British and French conquered Beijing and imposed a new cycle of unequal treaties, indemnities, and the opening of 11 other treaty ports in China. China’s failure to honor the treaty eventually led to the need for a British expedition to Tibet in 1904, beginning a long chain of events in Tibet’s history. Negotiations of the Beijing Convention, which, in addition to ratifying the Tientsin Treaty, added benefits and ceded the Kowloon peninsula across the Hong Kong Strait to Great Britain.
Unlike the UK, the US agreed that anyone involved in the opium trade or smuggling contraband would be prosecuted under Chinese law, but beyond that, the treaty allowed other Americans in China to enjoy the benefits of extraterritoriality. The agreements reached by Western powers with China after the Opium Wars are known as “unequal treaties” because in practice they grant foreigners privileged status and extort concessions from the Chinese. The Opium Wars and these treaties symbolized a time when Western powers sought unlimited access to Chinese products and markets to trade in Europe and the United States. Through this war and the treaties that followed, Western imperialism and free trade achieved their first major victory in China.
The last reason attributed to the low importance of the Chinese import market since its opening in 1842 is the Chinese Revolution, but despite this revolution, exports to China relatively [increased] in 1851–1852, a general increase in trade and throughout the revolutionary era, the opium trade, instead of falling apart, quickly reached colossal proportions. During the period following the conclusion of the 1842 treaty, the United States received an average of 2,000,000 ps annually. Chinese goods for which 900,000 ps. was paid American goods. It can be said that the continuing and growing trade balance in favor of China has an analogy with the state of the trade balance between Russia and Great Britain; but in the latter case everything is explained by the protectionist policy of Russia, and the Chinese import duties are lower than those of any other country with which England trades. However, in the amount of 8,000,000 pounds sterling, which can be roughly calculated to form an aggregate balance in favor of China, in relation to England and the United States, it could gradually absorb an excess of British and American goods if the opium trade were suppressed. .
His Majesty the Emperor of China agreed to establish in all ports which, under Article 2 of this Treaty, are to be open to the circulation of British merchants, a fair and regular tariff for exports and imports, customs and other duties, be publicly notified and made known to the public, and The Emperor further agreed that when British goods have once paid at any of these ports Customs and Regulated Taxes, agreed to a Tariff to be subsequently fixed, such goods may be transported by Chinese Merchants in any province or city of the Chinese Empire upon payment of an additional amount of transit duties. British demands included opening all of China to British merchants, legalizing the opium trade, exempting foreign imports from domestic transit duties, suppressing piracy, regulating the coolie trade, allowing the British ambassador to reside in Beijing, and an English version of all treaties. prevail over the Chinese.