Bumali Project

Treaty of peace, friendship and commerce between France and China, signed at Tientsin 9th June 1885

Treaties between the empire of China and Foreign Powers together with regulations for the conduct of foreign trade, conventions, agreements, regulations etc. – ed. by W.F.Mayers. Shanghai. North-China Herald Limited. 1906. pp. 239-241

The President of the French Republic and His Majesty the Emperor of China, animated, the one and the other, by an equal desire to put an end to the difficulties they have given each other by their simultaneous interventions in the affairs of Annam, and wishing to reestablish and ameliorate the former relations of friendship and commerce which existed between France and China, have resolved to conclude a new treaty responding to the common interests of the two nations, based on the Preliminary Convention signed at Tientsin, 11 May 1884, and ratified by imperial Decree, 13 April 1885.

To that effect, the two High Contracting Parties have designated their plenipotentiaries, to wit: the President of the French Republic: M. JULES PATENOTRE, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of France in China, Officer of the Legion d’Honneur, Grand-Cross of the Polar Star of Sweden, etc; and His Majesty the Emperor of China: LI HUNG-CHANG, Imperial Commissioner, First Grand Secretary of State, Tutor of the Heir Presumptive, Superintendent of Trade of the Northern Ports, Governor-General of the Province of Chihli, holder of the First Degree of the Third Rank of Nobility, with the title Souyi; assisted by HSI CHEN, Imperial Commissioner, Member of the Council of Foreign Affairs, President of the Ministry of Justice, Administrator of the Treasure of the Ministry of Finances, Director of the Schools for the Education of the Hereditary Officers of the Left Wing of the Tartar Army of Peking, Commander-in-Chief of the Chinese Contingent of the Yellow Bordered Banner; and TENG CH’ENG-HSIU, Imperial Commissioner, Member of the Ceremonial Estate; who, after communicating to each other their plenipotentiary powers, which they have recognized as in good and due form, are agreed on the following Articles.

С ARTICLE ONE France engages herself to reestablish and maintain order in the provinces of Annam which border upon the Chinese Empire. To that effect, she will take the measures necessary to disperse or expel the bands of pillagers and vagabonds which compromise the public tranquility, thus preventing it from reforming itself. Nevertheless, French troops will not cross the frontier which separates Tonkin from China, a frontier which France promises to respect and guarantee against all aggression. On her side, China engages herself to disperse or expel the bands which take refuge in her provinces bordering on Tonkin, and to disperse those which seek to organize themselves on her territory in order to spread trouble among the populations placed under the protection of France, and in consideration of the guarantees which have been accorded to her for the security of her frontier, she categorically pledges not to send troops to Tonkin. The High Contracting Parties will fix by a special convention the conditions under which wrongdoers will be extradited between China and Annam. Chinese colonists or former soldiers who live peaceably in Annam, earning their living by agriculture, industry or commerce and whose conduct is above reproach, shall enjoy the same security for their persons and their goods as French proteges.

ARTICLE TWO China, having decided to do nothing which could compromise the work of pacification undertaken by France, engages herself to respect, in the present and in the future, the treaties, conventions and arrangements directly concluded or to be concluded between France and Annam. In those things which concern the relationships between China and Annam, it is intended that they will be of a nature such as not to affront the dignity of the Chinese Empire, and not to lead to any violation of the present treaty.

ARTICLE THREE After an interval of six months from the signature of the present treaty, commissioners designated by the High Contracting Parties will go to delineate the frontier between China and Tonkin. They will place, wherever there is need, boundary markers designed to clearly delineate the line of demarcation. In the case where they can not agree among themselves on the placement of the markers or on the rectifications of detail in the actual frontier of Tonkin which it may be necessary to make in the common interest of both parties, they will refer it to their respective governments.

ARTICLE FOUR When the frontier has been identified, the French, French proteges and foreign inhabitants of Tonkin who wish to cross it in order to go to China will only be allowed to do so after having previously furnished themselves with passports delivered by Chinese authorities at the frontier on the request of the French authorities. For Chinese subjects, an authorization by the imperial Frontier Authorities will suffice. Chinese subjects who wish to travel from China to Tonkin, by the land route, must be provided with regular passports by the French authorities on request by the Imperial Authorities.

ARTICLE FIVE Import and export trade will be permitted to French merchants or French proteges and to Chinese merchants on the land frontier between China and Tonkin. It must be carried out, however, at certain points which will be determined later and the choice as well as the number will be in agreement with the direction of flow as well as the importance of the traffic of the two countries. The regulations in force in the interior of the Chinese Empire will be taken into account in this respect. Two trading posts will be designated on the Chinese frontier, one above Lao Cai and the other above Lang Son. French merchants may establish themselves there under the same conditions and with the same advantages as in the treaty ports. The Government of His Majesty the Emperor of China will set up customs posts there, and the Government of the Republic will be able to maintain consuls there with the same privileges and prerogatives accorded to similar agents in the treaty ports. His Majesty the Emperor of China may appoint consuls in the principal towns of Tonkin, subject to the agreement of the French Government.

ARTICLE SIX A special regulation, annexed to the present treaty, will specify the conditions in which will be carried out the land commerce between Tonkin and the Chinese provinces of Yunnan, Kwangsi and Kwangtung. That regulation will be prepared by commissioners who will be named by the High Contracting Parties within three months of the signing of the present treaty. The merchandise which will be the object of this commerce will be subject to, on entering and leaving Tonkin and the provinces of Yunnan and Kwangsi, the same duties as those stipulated for foreign commerce. However, the reduced tariff will not be applied to merchandise transported across the land frontier between Tonkin and Kwangtung and will not have effect in the ports opened by the treaties. Trade in arms, machinery, provisions and munitions of war of all kinds will be subject to the laws and regulations laid down by each of the contracting states on its territory. The export and import of opium will be regulated by special arrangements which will be part of the above mentioned commercial regulations. The sea trade between China and Annam will be equally the object of a special regulation, provided that it contains no deviations from common practice.

ARTICLE SEVEN In view of the development of conditions advantageous for commercial relations and neighbourliness which the present treaty has for its object to reestablish between France and China, the Government of the Republic will construct roads in Tonkin and will encourage the construction of railways there. When, on her side, China decides to construct railway tracks, it is intended that she will address herself to French industry, and the Government of the Republic will provide her with every facility for the procurement in France of the personnel that she needs. It is also intended that this clause will not be considered as constituting an exclusive privilege in favour of France.

ARTICLE EIGHT The commercial stipulations of the present treaty and the regulations arising from them can be revised after an interval of ten years has elapsed, dating from the exchange of ratifications of the present treaty. But, in the case where, six months before the appointed time, neither one nor the other of the High Contracting Parties has manifested a desire to proceed with revision, the commercial stipulations will remain in force for a new period of ten years and so forth.

ARTICLE NINE After the present treaty has been signed, French forces will receive the order to retire from Keelung and to cease visitation, etc., on the high seas. Within one month after the signature of the present treaty, the Island of Formosa and the Pescadores will be entirely evacuated by French troops.

ARTICLE TEN The provisions of older treaties, accords and conventions between France and China, not modified by the present treaty, remain in full force. The present treaty will be ratified first by His Majesty the Emperor of China, and after that it will be ratified by the President of the French Republic, the exchange of ratifications to take place at Peking after the shortest possible delay. Done at Tientsin in four examples, 9 June 1885, corresponding to the 27th day of the fourth month of the eleventh year of Kuang-Hsu.

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