Treaty of Wanghia
Treaty of peace, amity, and commerce, between the United States of America and the Qing Dynastiy
TypeBilateral / Unequal
Signed3 July 1844 (1844-07-03)
LocationKun Iam Temple in Portuguese Macau
LanguagesEnglish and Chinese
Full text
Treaty of Wanghia at Wikisource
Treaty of Wanghia
Traditional Chinese望廈條約
Simplified Chinese望厦条约
Façade of the Kun Iam Temple, where the treaty was signed.

The Treaty of Wanghia (also known as the Treaty of Wangxia; Treaty of peace, amity, and commerce, between the United States of America and the Chinese Empire;[1] Chinese: [中美]望廈條約 / [中美]望厦条约) was the first of the unequal treaties imposed by the United States on China. As per the terms of the diplomatic agreement, the United States received the same privileges with China that Great Britain had achieved under the Nanjing Treaty in 1842. The United States received additional privileges as well, including the right to cabotage on preferential terms and the expansion of extraterritoriality. Imperial China's Qing dynasty signed the treaty with the United States on July 3, 1844, in the Kun Iam Temple. The treaty was subsequently passed by the U.S. Congress and ratified by President John Tyler on January 17, 1845.[2] The Treaty of Wanghia was formally in effect until the signing of the 1943 Sino-American Treaty for the Relinquishment of Extraterritorial Rights in China.

Name of the Treaty

The treaty was named after a village in northern Macau where the temple is located, called Mong Ha or Wang Hia (traditional Chinese: 望廈; simplified Chinese: 望厦; pinyin: Wàngxià; Cantonese Yale: Mohng Hah).[3] It is now a part of the territory's Our Lady of Fátima Parish.

Treaty contents

The United States was represented by Caleb Cushing, a Massachusetts lawyer dispatched by President John Tyler under pressure from American merchants concerned about British dominance in trade with China.[3] Physician and missionary Peter Parker served as Cushing's Chinese interpreter. The Qing Empire was represented by Keying, the Viceroy of Liangguang, who held responsibility for the provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi.[4][5])

The treaty was modeled after the treaties of Nanking and the Bogue between the United Kingdom and China, but differed in being more detailed.[3] Among other things, it contained provisions for:

The United States also granted the Chinese Empire powers to confiscate American ships if operating outside treaty ports, and withdrew consular protection in cases where American citizens were trading in opium under articles 3 and 33, respectively.[3] Furthermore, the U.S. agreed to hand over any offenders to China. (Americans entered the opium trade with less expensive but inferior Turkish opium and by 1810 had around 10% of the trade in Canton.[7])

See also


  1. ^ Treaty of peace, amity, and commerce, between the United States of America ..., Library of Congress
  2. ^ [1] Library of Congress, Treaty of peace, amity, and commerce, between the United States of America ...
  3. ^ a b c d e Cassel, Pär (2012). Grounds of Judgment. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-19-979205-4.
  4. ^ Koon, Yeewan (2012). "The Face of Diplomacy in 19th-Century China: Qiying's Portrait Gifts". In Johnson, Kendall (ed.). Narratives of Free Trade: The Commercial Cultures of Early US-China Relations. Hong Kong University Press. pp. 131–148.
  5. ^ Tyler Dennett, Americans in Eastern Asia: A critical study of the policy of the United States with reference to China, Japan and Korea in the 19th century (Macmillan, 1922) pp 145-171. online.
  6. ^ Article 18 of the treaty states, "It shall be lawful for the officers or citizens of the United States to employ scholars and peoples of any part of China…to teach any of the languages of the Empire, and to assist in literary labors ... it shall in like manner be lawful for citizens of the United States to purchase all manner of books in China."
  7. ^ Tyler Dennett, Americans in Eastern Asia pp 115-124.