Treaty of Wanghia

Treaty of Wanghia

Façade of the Kun Iam Temple, where the treaty was signed.

The Treaty of Wanghia (also Treaty of Wangxia, Treaty of Peace, Amity, and Commerce, with tariff of duties, traditional Chinese: 望廈條約; simplified Chinese: 望厦条约; pinyin: Wàngxià tiáoyuē; Cantonese Yale: Mohng Hah) was a diplomatic agreement between Qing-dynasty China and the United States, signed on July 3, 1844 in the Kun Iam Temple. Its official title name is the Treaty of peace, amity, and commerce, between the United States of America and the Chinese Empire.[1] Following passage by the U.S. Congress, it was ratified by President John Tyler on January 17, 1845.[2] It is considered an unequal treaty by many sources.


  • Name of the Treaty 1
  • Contents of the Treaty 2
  • See also 3
  • Footnotes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Name of the Treaty

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

Contents of the Treaty

The United States was represented by Caleb Cushing, a Massachusetts lawyer dispatched by President John Tyler under pressure from American merchants concerned about the British dominance in Chinese trade. A physician and missionary, Peter Parker, served as Cushing's Chinese interpreter. The Qing Empire was represented by Qiying, the Viceroy of Liangguang, who held responsibility for the provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi.

The treaty was modeled after the Treaties of Nanking and the Bogue between the UK and China, but differed in being more detailed. Among other things, it contained:

  • Extraterritoriality, which meant that U.S. citizens could only be tried by U.S. consular officers
  • Fixed tariffs on trade in the treaty ports
  • The right to buy land in the five treaty ports and erect churches and hospitals there
  • The right to learn Chinese by abolishing a law which hitherto forbade foreigners to do so[3]
  • The U.S. received most favoured nation status, resulting in the U.S. receiving the same beneficial treatment China gave to other powers such as Britain, and received the right to modify the treaty after 12 years

As a gesture of goodwill towards the Qing Empire, the opium trade was declared illegal, and the U.S. agreed to hand over any offenders to China.

See also


  1. ^ Treaty of peace, amity, and commerce, between the United States of America ..., Library of Congress
  2. ^ [2] Library of Congress, Treaty of peace, amity, and commerce, between the United States of America ...
  3. ^ Article 18 says: "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 shall in like manner be lawful for citizens of the United States to purchase all manner of books in China."


  • Kuo, Ping Chia. "Caleb Cushing and the Treaty of Wanghia, 1844". The Journal of Modern History 5, no. 1 (1933): 34-54. Available through JSTOR.
  • Swisher, Earl, ed. China's Management of the American Barbarians; a Study of Sino-American Relations, 1841–1861, with Documents. New Haven, CT: Published for the Far Eastern Association by Far Eastern Publications, Yale University, 1953.

External links

  • On the negotiations of the treaty, 1844