Open Ports in Manchuria and Open-Door Policy in the Early 20th Century
114 , 2017-04-01 , 関西大学東西学術研究所
The early 20th century was a time wrought with changes for Late Qing diplomatic policy development. The United States announcement of the Open Door Policy in 1899 and 1900 ‒ part of attempts to gain access to the China market under the auspices of access to trade equality ‒ and the announcement of the Anglo ‒ Japanese alliance, an agreement concluded in 1902 which applied considerable pressure on Russia, which at the time occupied Manchuria, were but two examples of a new era characterized by increasing complexity in the structure of international relations involving the major powers of both East and West. At the same time, an attempt at substantial political reform was carried out in China, whereby the Office of General Affairs (Zongli Yamen) was replaced by the new Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Waiwubu) in 1901. The diplomacy function abolished by the Boxer Rebellion not only re-emerged, but became a central point of complexity in this period of the Late Qing. Diplomacy during this period has been described as "conciliatory" and "lacking independence." This paper details the initial history of the self-opened ports in Manchuria, specifically examining the negotiation of the Sino-Japanese Commercial Treaty and the Sino-American Commercial Treaty. It then analyzes the final decision to open the ports in Manchuria within the context of relations between Russia, Japan, and the United States. The paper seeks to identify diplomatic possibilities and looks at the limitations thereto during the Late Qing period, suggesting a complexity beyond the simplistic categorizations or school of thought noted above.