19th Century France-China Relations

longlivetyIn 1844, China and France agreed on its first modern treaty, The Treaty of Whampoa.

According to the treaty, France was allowed to trade as merchants at five Chinese harbors and there was a fixed tariff on Sino-French trade. Consuls were opened up in China. In addition, China legalized the practice of Christianity at the request of the French.

In 1860, the French army ransacked the Chinese Emperor’s Summer Palace, the spoils of which can be seen today in French museum. In 1884-1885 was the Sino-French War or the Franco-Chinese War fought between the French Third Republic and the Qing Empire. The fight was for control over the Red River from Hanoi to the resource-filled Yunnan province in China. There were wins and losses on both sides with the war ending in the Treaty of Hue.

French Indochina was formed in October 1887 from Annam, Tonkin, Cochin China (who together form modern Vietnam) and the Kingdom of Cambodia. Laos was added after the Franco-Siamese War of 1893.

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