1860, Beijing - France

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CONVENTION OF BEIJING, 1860

            His Majesty the Emperor of the French and His Majesty the Emperor of China, desiring to put to an end the dispute which arose between the two Empires, and to rebuild and assure forever the peaceful relations and friendship which existed between them, and which was interrupted by these regrettable events, have named as their respective Plenipotentiaries, namely:

            His Majesty the Emperor of the French, Sir Jean Baptiste Louis, Baron Gros, Senator of the Empire, Ambassador and High Commissioner of France in China, Grand Officer of the imperial order of the Legion of Honor, Knight of the Grand Cross of several orders, etc., etc., etc.;

            And His Majesty the Emperor of China, Prince Gong, member of the imperial family and High Commissioner;

            Who, after having exchanged their credentials, found to be in good and due form, have agreed on the following articles:—

Article I

            His Majesty the Emperor of China viewed with pain the conduct of the Chinese military authorities at the mouth of the Tianjin river in June of last year, at the time when the Ministers Plenipotentiary of France and England had presented themselves to visit  Beijing in order to carry out the exchange of ratifications of the Treaties of Tianjin.

Article II

            When the Ambassador, High Commissioner of His Majesty the Emperor of the French, is in Beijing to carry out the exchange of ratifications of the Treaty of Tianjin, he shall be treated during his stay in the capital with the honors due his rank, and the Chinese authorities shall give him all possible facilities for fulfilling the mission with which he as been charged, without obstacle.

Article III

            The Treaty signed at Tianjin on the twenty-seventh of June, eighteen fifty-eight will be faithfully put into effect in all of its clauses immediately after the exchange of ratifications mentioned in the preceding article, except, of course, for modifications which may be furnished by the present Convention.

Article IV

            Article IV of the secret Treaty of Tianjin, by which His Majesty the Emperor of China undertakes to have an indemnity of two million taels paid to the Government of France, is abolished and replaced  by the present article, which raises the amount of this indemnity to eight million taels.

            It is agreed that the sums already paid by the Canton Customs on account of the sum of two million taels stipulated by the Treaty of Tianjin shall be considered as an advance and on the account of the eight million taels which are the subject of this article.

            The provisions of Article IV of the secret Treaty of Tianjin concerning the method of payment laid down for the two million taels are abolished.  The amount remaining to be paid by the Chinese Government on the eight million taels stipulated by the present Convention, shall be paid by assigning one fifth of the gross revenues of the customs in the ports open to foreign trade, quarter by quarter, with the first term to commence on the first of October this year and finish on the thirty-first of December following.  This sum, especially reserved for paying the indemnity due to France, will be calculated in Mexican dollars or sycee  silver, at the rate prevailing on the day of payment, and put in the hands of the French Minister or his delegates.

            In the meantime, a sum of five hundred thousand taels will be paid on account in advance, once only, at Tianjin, on November thirtieth next, or earlier if the Chinese Government judges it suitable.

            A mixed Commission, named by the French Minister and Chinese authorities, shall determine the rules to be followed for completing the payments of the whole indemnity, in verifying the amount, in giving a receipt, and in general meeting all the formalities which are demanded in such matters.

Article V

            The sum of eight million taels is allocated to the French Government to indemnify it for the expenses which arming itself against China compelled it to undertake, and also to make amends to those French citizens and those protected by France who were harmed by the burning of factories in Canton, as well as indemnifying Catholic missionaries who suffered in their persons or property.  The French Government will distribute this sum among the parties involved whose rights have been legally established and in accordance with those same rights, and it is agreed between the contracting parties that a million taels will go to indemnifying French subjects or those protected by France for losses suffered or ill-treatment received, and that the remaining seven million taels will go to covering the expenses occasioned by the war.

Article VI

            In conformity with the imperial edict of March twentieth eighteen forty-six by the august Emperor Dao Guang, the religious and charitable establishments which were confiscated from Christians during the persecutions of which they were victims shall be returned to their owners through the French Minister in China, to whom the Imperial Government will deliver them up, together with the dependent cemeteries and other constructions.

Article VII

            The city and the port of Tianjin in the province of Beizhili [Pechili] shall be open to foreign trade with the same conditions as in the other cities and ports of the Empire where this trade is permitted, and from the date of signature of the present Convention, which will be obligatory for both nations, without the necessity of an exchange of ratifications and which will have the same force and value as if it were inserted word for word in the Treaty of Tianjin.

            The French troops which are now occupying the city, after the payment of the five hundred thousand taels spoken of in Article IV of this Convention, will evacuate and take up positions at Dagu and the coast north of Shandong [Yantai], from which they will later retire under the same conditions that apply to their withdrawal from other points they occupy on the periphery of the Empire.  The commanders-in-chief of the French forces will nevertheless have the right to winter with their troops and all their arms at Tianjin, as they deem fit, and not pull them out until the time when the indemnities due from the Chinese Government have been paid in full; or they may pull them out before that time.

Article VIII

            It is also agreed that when the present Convention has been signed and the ratifications of the Treaty of Tianjin exchanged, French forces which occupy Zhoushan will evacuate this island and those presently before Beijing will retire to Tianjin, Dagu, the coast north of Shantou or to the city of Canton, and that in all these places or in only those which the Government of France wishes, as it sees fit, will leave troops until the total amount of eight million taels has been paid.

Article IX

            It is agreed by the high contracting parties that, when the ratifications of the Treaty of Tianjin have been exchanged, an imperial edict shall order the higher authorities of all the provinces to permit any Chinese who wishes to go to lands beyond the seas to live and seek his fortune, if he so chooses, to board, with his family, French ships found in the ports of the Empire open to foreign trade.

            It is also agreed that in the interests of such emigrants, to ensure their complete freedom of action and safeguard their interests, the competent Chinese authorities will act in concert with the Minister of France in China to work out rules which will ensure that these arrangements, always voluntary, are guaranteed as to morality and safety qui doivent y présider.

Article X, the last

            It is well understood by both parties that the tonnage rates which, by error, were set at five mace per ton on vessels of one hundred and fifty tons burden and over in the French Treaty of Tianjin, and which in the Treaties signed with England and the United States in eighteen fifty-eight are set at only four mace, will be set at this same sum of four mace, without having to invoke Article XXVII of the Treaty of Tianjin, which gives to France the formal right to claim most-favored-nation treatment.

            The present Convention of peace was made at Beijing in four copies, on the twenty-fifth of October, one thousand eight hundred and sixty, and signed by the respective Plenipotentiaries, to which they have affixed the seals of their arms.

 

[L.S.]      (Signed)      BON GROS.

Signature of Prince Gong                                  Chinese Seal