Keying (official)

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Keying
Portrait of Keying.jpeg
Portrait of Keying, 1844
Viceroy of Liangjiang
In office
1842–1844
Preceded byNiu Jian
Succeeded byBichang
Viceroy of Liangguang
In office
1844–1848
Preceded byQitian
Succeeded byXu Guangjin
Personal details
Born21 March 1787
Beijing, China
Died29 June 1858(1858-06-29) (aged 71)
Beijing, China
ProfessionDiplomat, governor
Keying
Chinese耆英
Manchu name
RomanizationKiyeng

Keying (21 March 1787 – 29 June 1858), also known by his Chinese name Qiying and his Manchu name Kiyeng, was a Manchu statesman during the Qing dynasty of China. An imperial clansman of the house of Aisin Gioro, he began his career in the Imperial Clan Court. He conducted several peace treaties with Western powers, beginning with the Treaty of Nanking, which ended the First Opium War with Britain in 1842. [1] Keying was sent to negotiate again in 1858 to settle the Arrow War with Britain and France, but the settlement was repudiated by the Daoguang Emperor and he was forced to commit suicide.[2]

Early career[edit]

Keying was born on 21 March 1787.[3] A descendant of Nurhaci's ninth son Babutai (Duke Kexi of the First Rank), Keying was a member of the imperial house of Aisin Gioro, and belonged to the Manchu Plain Blue Banner in the Eight Banners. He held several prominent posts in the Qing government and was demoted several times because of corruption in office, but managed to regain his position as a leading official in the Qing court.

Opium Wars[edit]

Formal reception of Keying in Hong Kong, November 1845

In 1842, the Daoguang Emperor entrusted Keying to conclude a peace treaty with the Britain following the First Opium War, and he was chiefly responsible for negotiating and signing the Treaty of Nanking. The following year, he signed the Treaty of the Bogue to supplement the Treaty of Nanking. He also concluded the Treaty of Wanghia (1844) with the United States, the Treaty of Whampoa (1844) with France, and the Treaty of Canton (1847) with Sweden-Norway. This is the first group of what the Chinese later called the unequal treaties. In November 1845, Keying was well received in Hong Kong.[4]

In 1858, the Xianfeng Emperor ordered Keying to negotiate a peace treaty with Britain and France to conclude the Second Opium War. During the negotiations, the British interpreters Horatio Nelson Lay and Thomas Francis Wade sought to expose Keying's duplicity by producing documents the British had captured in Guangzhou, in which Keying expressed his contempt for the British. Humiliated, Keying promptly left the negotiations in Tianjin for Beijing and he was later arrested for having left his post in contravention of imperial order. He was sentenced to death by the Imperial Clan Court, but was allowed to commit suicide instead.

Namesakes[edit]

  • Keying, trading junk and the first Chinese ship to sail to Britain and America.
  • Keying and Marine House c. 1845, became part of the Hong Kong Hotel in 1866.[5] It was demolished in 1858 and now site of Central Building at Pedder Street and Queen's Road Central.[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Fang, Chao-ying (1943). "Ch'i-ying (Kiying)". In Hummel Sr., Arthur W. (ed.). Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period. 1. United States Government Printing Office.
  3. ^ Gao Zhonghua (2005). Sushun yu Xianfeng zhengju. Jinan: Qilu shushe. p. 165, n. 1.
  4. ^ Curiosities of Modern Travel: A Year-book of Adventure. London: David Bogue. 1847. p. 69.
  5. ^ "Our History". The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited. 2012-02-22.
  6. ^ https://gwulo.com/node/7088#18/22.28107/114.15737/Map_by_ESRI-Markers/100

References[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Niu Jian
Viceroy of Liangjiang
1842–1844
Succeeded by
Bichang
Preceded by
Qitian
Viceroy of Liangguang
1844–1848
Succeeded by
Xu Guangjin