The Face of Diplomacy in Nineteenth-Century China

Yeewan Koon

in Narratives of Free Trade

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9789888083534
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9789882209275 | DOI:
The Face of Diplomacy in Nineteenth-Century China

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Qiying (1787–1858), the imperial commissioner responsible for negotiating the Treaty of Nanking and other treaties with foreign powers, made a habit of presenting portraits to his British, American, and other foreign counterparts, and wrote extensively on the purpose and etiquette of this practice. This chapter examines the portrait as an objection reflecting the social conventions of patronage and the blend of Chinese and Western pictorial conventions that lend it form and legibility in the Sino-Western diplomatic relations of the first half of the nineteenth century. It also compares British and American attitudes towards these gifts.

Keywords: diplomacy; Qiying; United States; Great Britain; portraits; gifts; trade

Chapter.  7249 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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