Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ch'i-ying
CH'I-ying (Kiying) 耆英 ( 介春), d. 1858, June 29, official and diplomat, member of the Manchu Plain Blue Banner, was an imperial clansman. He was probably descended from Murhaci, a brother of the founder of the Ch'ing Dynasty (see under Nurhaci). His grandfather, Ping-wên 炳文 (1730–1812), a censor during the middle of the Ch'ien-lung period, was exiled to Ili for offending the emperor in a memorial. Ch'i-ying's father, Lu-k'ang 祿康 (d. January, 1816), was first secretary in the Imperial Clan Court and later served as Grand Secretary (1804-11) and as commandant of the Peking Gendarmerie (1802-06, 1809-11). He was degraded in 1811 when he was accused of failing to prohibit gambling among the servants of high officials and those in his own home. In 1813, while serving as lieutenant-general of the Plain Yellow Banner, several soldiers under his charge joined the rebels who attacked the palaces in Peking (see under Min-ning). He was then sent to Mukden as an exile among the imperial clansmen (see under Yung-yen) and died there.
Ch'i-ying, like his father, began his career in the Imperial Clan Court where he served successively as a supernumerary secretary (1806–08), as registrar (1808–13), as assistant administrator (1813), and as administrator (1813–19). In the meantime he served for a year (1815–16) as superintendent of customs at Shanhaikuan. In 1819 he was promoted to be a reader, and in 1820 a sub-chancellor of the Grand Secretariat. After Emperor Hsüan-tsung ascended the throne (1820), he gave Ch'i-ying the concurrent post of superintendent of the Summer Palace (Yüan-ming Yüan). From 1823 to 1836 Ch'i-ying held the following posts: junior vice-president of the Court of Colonial Affairs (1823), of the Board of War (1823–24), of the Board of Works (1825–26), and of the Board of Revenue (1826–29); senior vice-president of the Board of War (1824–25); president of the Board of Ceremonies (1829–34), of the Board of Works (1834), of the Board of Revenue (1834–36), and of the Board of Civil Appointments (1836). In the meantime he held many concurrent posts, such as minister of the Imperial Household, commandant of the Peking Gendarmerie (1827–37) and lieutenant-general of various banners. In 1836 he was sent to investigate certain corrupt officials in Kiangsi and to conduct a trial in Canton.
Soon after leaving Peking, however, he was accused of illegally releasing a eunuch charged with gambling. For this he was punished in November 1836 by being deprived of his high offices and degraded to the rank of vice-president of a Board. Early in 1837 he again became junior vice-president of the Board of War and in April of the same year military lieutenant-governor of Jehol. From June 1838 to March 1842 he served as military governor of Shêng-ching, which entailed residence at Mukden. During these years he was engaged in suppressing the smuggling of opium and in preparing the coastal defenses of the Liaotung Peninsula against a possible raid by the British fleet, then at war with China (see under Lin Tsê-hsü, Ch'i-shan, and I-shan). After the British expedition under Sir Henry Pottinger (樸鼎查, 1789–1856) captured Chenhai, Chekiang (October 10, 1841), coastal defenses in the northern provinces were rigorously looked after, Ch'i-ying being in charge of fortifying those of the northeast.
In March 1842 Ch'i-ying was appointed Tartar General of Canton. with orders to hasten to his new post. But on the way he was detained at Hangchow to act as Tartar General of that city, as the British troops, having already taken several cities, were then advancing from Ningpo and Chenhai. Given concurrently the title of Imperial Commissioner to deal with the British, he arrived at Hangchow on May 11. Seven days later the British took the coastal town of Cha-p'u, thus threatening Hangchow. Ch'i-ying went to Kashing to strengthen the defenses, and in the meantime sent I-li-pu [q. v.], another Imperial Clansman, to the British headquarters at Cha-p'u to negotiate an exchange of prisoners. On May 25 Ch'i-ying was ordered to leave Hang-chow for Canton, but on June 5 he received instructions to remain in Chekiang to take charge of any peace negotiation with the British. But as the conflict extended into Kiangsu—Shanghai falling on June 19—he proceeded to Sungkiang and then to Soochow. At this time the emperor still hoped to continue hostilities, and so denied a plea by Niu Chien 牛鑑 ( 鏡唐, 雪樵, chin-shih of 1814, d. 1858), governor-general at Nanking after 1841, to accept the terms of the British and put an end to the war. On or about July 15, 1842 Ch'i-ying reported to the emperor that the military resistance had crumbled and that a hasty decision must be made concerning the future course. But before this report reached Peking the emperor had already seen the necessity for peace, and on July 16 sent secret orders to Ch'i-ying to accept the British terms—orders which were repeated ten days later. In the meantime the British fleet advanced up the Yangtze River, taking Chinkiang on July 20 and threatening Nanking. On August 11 Ch'i-ying arrived at Nanking with full authority to conclude a treaty, and negotiations began on the following day. As a result the Treaty of Nan-king was signed on August 29; Pottinger representing Britain, Chi-ying, I-li-pu, and Niu Chien representing China. The treaty contained thirteen articles, granting to England: cession of the island of Hong Kong; payment of an indemnity of twenty-one million dollars; opening of five ports—Canton, Amoy, Foochow, Ningpo and Shanghai—to foreign trade; and diplomatic equality between Chinese and British high officials. Of the indemnity, six million dollars were designated as compensation to British merchants whose opium was seized and destroyed by Lin Tsê-hsü [q. v.]. Thus the war, which began in part owing to China's desire to prohibit the importation of opium, was concluded with a treaty that tacitly recognized the trade in that drug. Ch'i-ying requested Pottinger to put a stop to the growing of the opium poppy in British dominions, but the latter declined to heed the request on the ground that if England ceased to sell opium other nations would take over the trade. Pottinger pointed out that if the Chinese people stopped using the drug, and if their officials proved incorruptible, the trade would cease of itself. After being paid in full the first installment of the indemnity the British fleet, in accordance with the terms of the treaty, left the Yangtze River for Canton where further negotiations were to be held. I-li-pu was sent to Canton as Tartar General and Imperial Commissioner to negotiate with the British envoy. In October 1842 Ch'i-ying replaced Niu Chien as governor-general of Kiangsu, Kiangsi, and Anhwei. On March 5, 1843 I-li-pu died and Ch'i-ying was sent to Canton to continue the negotiations. On June 26 Ch'i-ying and Pot-tinger exchanged at Hong Kong the ratifications of the Treaty of Nanking and signed the Declaration of Transit Duties. On October 8 they signed the supplementary Treaty of the Bogue (Hu-mên-chai 虎門寨) which contained details governing the execution of the Treaty of Nan-king. This supplementary treaty, which was superseded in 1858 by the Treaty of Tientsin (see under Kuei-liang), is important because it granted consular jurisdiction and other extra-territorial rights to the British, and contained the "most-favored-nation clause" upon which was based the claim that any privileges granted by China to one country might be demanded by the other treaty powers.
After concluding the treaties with Pottinger, Ch'i-ying returned to Nanking. In February 1844 the United States' commissioner, Caleb Cushing (顧盛, 1800–1879), arrived at Macao and informed the acting governor-general, Ch'êng Yü-ts'ai 程矞采 ( 晴峯, chin-shih of 1811, d. 1858), that the American mission intended to go to Peking. To prevent Cushing from doing so Ch'i-ying was quickly sent from Nanking to Canton and was made (April 1844) governor-general of Kwangtung and Kwangsi with full powers to conduct foreign affairs at the five ports. The negotiation between Ch'i-ying and Cushing began on June 17, 1844 and on July 3 they signed the Treaty of Wanghia (望厦, a village north of Macao). The treaty granted to the United States all the privileges enjoyed by the British, including clear stipulations concerning the extra-territorial rights of foreigners. Subsequently Ch'i-ying signed two other treaties: with France on October 24, 1844 and with Sweden and Norway on November 20, 1847. Among those who assisted him in the negotiations were Huang Ên-t'ung 黃恩彤 (original ming 丕範 T. 綺江 H. 石琴, 南雪, chin-shih of 1826, d. ca. 1882 age 83), and P'an Shih-ch'êng (see under P'an Chên-ch'êng).
Ch'i-ying, as signer of these treaties, had no conception of their far-reaching effects on China. The most crucial stipulation—consular jurisdiction—was probably regarded by Chinese officials as the most expedient way to escape the difficulty of administering justice to foreigners. Even Emperor Hsüan-tsung, when commenting on the terms of the Treaty of Nanking, seems to have been concerned merely about the payment of the indemnity, and instructed Ch'i-ying himself to find ways of doing it. Ch'i-ying accomplished this task in a few years by forcing the former Hong Merchants to assume part of the burden, the rest being borne by the provincial treasuries. Thus the emperor was content, and entrusted Ch'i-ying with full power to conduct foreign affairs for the empire. In 1845 Ch'i-ying was made Associate Grand Secretary, though residing at Canton; and early in 1846, at the triennial inspection of high officials, he was commended for his excellent services. Possibly the emperor reasoned that Ch'i-ying's conciliatory policy towards the British was advantageous to the Manchus who could thus preserve their strength for ruling the country (see under Mu-chang-a). Ch'i-ying's policy of consideration and deference to foreigners was a new departure in Chinese officialdom, and gained for him widespread commendation in the West. In 1847 a Chinese junk, named Kê Ying, visited Providence, Rhode Island, and other United States ports.
However, further troubles with foreigners were already brewing. Sentiment in Canton ran high against British insistence on the right to enter the walled city of Canton. Prior to this time the Cantonese had looked down upon foreigners and could not bear to make this concession to the British. Moreover, during the years 1843–48 disturbances had occurred when foreigners wandered from the factories on the Pearl River. In retaliation the British governor of Hong Kong, Sir John Francis Davis (達庇時, 1795–1890) led a small flotilla toward Canton (April 3, 1847) and Ch'i-ying was forced to promise that the British might enter the city two years later, that is, in 1849. However, Ch'i-ying failed to make a full report to Peking on this matter, and the promise was not kept by his successor, Hsü Kuang-chin [q. v.]. Ch'i-ying was annoyed with the Cantonese for causing the trouble and reported that the mobs were incited by rogues and gangsters. He denounced those officials of Peking who vainly imagined these mobs as competent to resist foreigners. Early in 1848 he executed four culprits who led a band which killed six British subjects. By these acts he antagonized not only the Cantonese but many officials in Peking who accused him of being an oppressor of the people and an ally of Westerners. These voices probably influenced Emperor Hsüan-tsung in recalling Ch'i-ying to Peking in February 1848 and retaining him there. A new policy of relaxing control of the anti-foreign elements at Canton then began, and this resulted in the Second British War (see under Yeh Ming-ch'ên).
In Peking Ch'i-ying was accorded various honors. At first he served as an Associate Grand Secretary, holding concurrently the lucrative post of superintendent of Customs and Octroi of Peking. Late in 1848 he was made a Grand Secretary. But before long Emperor Hsüan-tsung died and Ch'i-ying and his party fell into disfavor with the new emperor, Wên-tsung. In May 1850 he submitted a memorial advising the young emperor to discard men of little ability, even though they were known as "models of high conduct" (chün-tzŭ 君子), and to appoint men of talent, even though others called them "inferior men", (hsiao-jên 小人). His intention was as laudable as his wording was unfortunate, for if the emperor had followed his advice the officials who were dismissed would have designated themselves chün-tzŭ and those who were appointed to office would have been branded as hsiao-jên. Ch'i-ying was severely reprimanded for this memorial and thereafter he remained at home on the plea of illness. On November 30, 1850 he was denounced by the emperor for having oppressed the people to please foreigners and for having overstated to the throne the power of British resistance. In the same edict Mu-chang-a [q. v.] was condemned for making false reports to Emperor Hsüan-tsung and for suppressing Lin Tse-hsü and other patriots. Although it was not mentioned in the edict, the fact that the British had addressed letters to Ch'i-ying and Mu-chang-a (see under I-chu) was one of the causes of their downfall. Mu-chang-a was discharged and Ch'i-ying was degraded to a fifth rank official and an expectant assistant department director in one of the Six Boards.
In 1852 Ch'i-ying was appointed an assistant department director of the Board of Works. A year later he was sent to serve on the staff of Mien-yü (see under Yung-yen), commander-in-chief of the forces guarding Peking against the Taiping invaders. Early in 1853 Ch'i-ying, Mu-chang-a, Cho Ping-t'ien 卓秉恬 ( 靜遠, 晴波, 海帆, 1782–1855, posthumous name 文端, Grand Secretary 1841–55), and fifteen other affluent men in Peking were ordered by the emperor to make contributions to the depleted national treasury for use in fighting the rebels. According to Ch'ung-shih [q. v.], who was one of the fifteen contributors, the three old ministers together were forced by the commissioners, Mien-yü, I-hsin, and Sêng-ko-lin-ch'in [qq. v.], to pay forty thousand taels. For this contribution, Ch'i-ying was decorated, early in 1854, with the symbols of a fourth rank official. However, in 1855 his son, Ch'ing-hsi 慶錫, a brigade-general, was banished for borrowing money from his subordinates and for establishing near Peking, without permission, an office for distributing horses to the various regiments. Ch'i-ying was condemned to dismissal and imprisonment for sending letters through this office when aware that his act was illegal. He was imprisoned in the Imperial Clan Court but was probably released in a short time.
When in 1858 the British and French allies forced their way to Tientsin, they threatened to advance on Peking if high officials with full powers "like those bestowed on Ch'i-ying [in 1842]" were not sent immediately to open negotiations with them (see under Kuei-liang). On May 28, 1858 Kuei-liang and Hua-sha-na (see under Kuei-liang) were dispatched to Tientsin as Imperial Commissioners, but their authority was questioned by the allies. On June 1 they were instructed by the emperor to consent to anything not too disastrous to China, and a day later Ch'i-ying was sent to Tientsin to help them in the negotiations with the allies and with the envoys of the United States and Russia. Ch'i-ying was given the rank of vice-president of a Board with authority to conduct foreign affairs. He was selected mainly because he had negotiated the earlier treaties and was known to Westerners. Old and half blind, he accepted the appointment, probably in the hope of retrieving his standing. On June 3 the emperor ordered him to use the seal of the governor-general of Chihli in summoning troops or issuing orders and hoped that when Kuei-liang and Hua-sha-na encountered difficulties in the negotiations, Ch'i-ying would come to their aid by granting more concessions. Special seals were made for the three commissioners. While the first two commissioners were conferring with the envoys of the four countries, Ch'i-ying arrived in Tientsin (June 6) but was denied a meeting with the British and French envoys, although he was respectfully received by the Americans and Russians. The British commissioners, suspecting that Ch'i-ying might put obstacles in the path of the negotiations, preferred to deal with the less experienced Kuei-liang and Hua-sha-na. On June 11 Thomas Francis Wade (see under Tso Tsung-t'ang) and H. N. Lay (李泰國), interpreters for the British mission, called on the three commissioners to demand their written consent to the British terms of peace. At this meeting Wade and Lay produced a memorial which thirteen years previously Ch'i-ying had written about Westerners and how to deal with them. This memorial was found, with other documents, in the yamen of Yeh Ming-ch'ên [q. v.] when Canton fell in 1857. The interpreters seized upon certain remarks in that memorial as hostile to Westerners and as ground for their fear that Ch'i-ying's participation would wreck the negotiations. By bullying and threatening, Wade and Lay finally obtained from the commissioners a written document virtually consenting to all the British demands. This was the last official act of Ch'i-ying, and so frightened was he by the attitude of the interpreters that he hastily left Tientsin the following day (June 12). Kuei-liang and Hua-sha-na, who probably suspected that Ch'i-ying was sent to spy upon them, reported that his presence might jeopardize the peace conference. On seeing the report Emperor Wên-tsung ordered Ch'i-ying to remain at Tientsin, but he did not comply.
At Tungchow he was arrested for disobedience and was escorted to Peking for trial. Those princes who had recommended his participation in the negotiations were reprimanded and given light punishments. Many princes and high officials conducted the trial which sentenced Ch'i-ying to imprisonment awaiting execution. Some officials, especially Su-shun [q. v.], desired his immediate execution. On June 28 the report of the signing of the treaty with Britain (June 26) reached Peking, and on the following day the emperor issued a long edict condemning Ch'i-ying for disobedience, for trying to shift his responsibility to others, and for leaving his post without sufficient reason and without permission. The emperor, to be "just and gracious", ordered Ch'i-ying to commit suicide. It is said that he took poison. Thus ended the life of an Imperial Clansman who had served for fifty-two years under three emperors.
Ch'i-ying can scarcely be blamed for his blunder in concluding treaties which have since been such a burden on China. His chief failing was his limited knowledge of the outside world; but in his time there were few, if any, who knew any more of that world than he. As to his attainments in Chinese literature very little is known. With the help of his secretaries he edited and printed in 1827 the collected works of the T'ang statesman, Lu Chih (see under Lu Hsin-yüan), which are entitled 陸宣公全集 Lu Hsüan-kung ch'üan-chi, 24 chüan. The first 22 chüan are based on the edition printed in 1723 by Nien Kêng-yao [q. v.], with a preface by Emperor Shih-tsung. Ch'i-ying added to Nien's edition the last 2 chüan containing supplements to Lu's works and biographical information. Nien Kêng-yao was a famous general who, like Ch'i-ying, ended his career by being ordered to commit suicide.
[1/376/4b; 2/40/35a; 3/37/39a; Ch'ou-pan i-wu shih-mo (see under I-hsin), Hsien-feng period; Williams, S. Wells, The Middle Kingdom (Rev. ed. 1883), Vol. II, 653–54, (with Ch'i-ying's portrait and his signature in Chinese and in Manchu); Williams, Frederick W., S. Wells Williams (1889), pp. 126, 268, 277; Oliphant, Laurence, Narrative of the Earl of Elgin's Mission to China and Japan (1859), Vol. I, pp. 351–76; Tsiang T'ing-fu 蔣廷黻, 近代中國外交史資料輯要 Chin-tai Chung-kuo wai-chiao shih tzŭ-liao chi-yao 上/112-162; Kuo, P. C., A Critical Study of the First Anglo-Chinese War (1935); Davis, John Francis, China during the War and since the Peace (1852), 2. vols.; Rhode Island Historical Society Collections vol. XXVII, no. 1 (Jan. 1934); Hsia Hsieh 夏燮 ( 蹇叟), 中西紀事 Chung-hsi chi-shih, chüan 8–14; Scarth, John, Twelve Years in China (1860); Chao-lien [q. v.], Hsiao-t'ing tsa-lu, chüan 8; 寧陽縣志 Ning-yang hsien-chih (Shan-tung), 1904, 12/63a; I-Kêng, Chi-tu pei-t'an, p. 14a (see under Yin-lu).]