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China%E2%80%93United Kingdom Relations
Diplomatic relations between the People's Republic of China and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Interstate relations between China and the United Kingdom
English ships sailed to Macau in the 1620s, which was leased by China to Portugal. The Unicorn, an English merchant ship, sank near Macau and the Portuguese dredged up sakers (cannon) from the ships and sold those to China around 1620, where they were reproduced as Hongyipao.
27 June 1637: Four heavily armed ships under Captain John Weddell, arrived at Macao in an attempt to open trade between England and China. They were not backed by the East India Company, but rather by a private group led by Sir William Courteen, including King Charles I's personal interest of £10,000. They were opposed by the Portuguese authorities in Macao (as their agreements with China required) and quickly infuriated the Ming authorities. Later, in the summer, they easily captured one of the Bogue forts, and spend several weeks engaged in low-level fighting and smuggling. After being forced to seek Portuguese help in the release of three hostages, they left the Pearl River on 27 December. It is unclear whether they returned home.
Great Britain and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)
Skilled diplomat, Li Hongzhang acted as a negotiator between the West and the late Qing Dynasty. Queen Victoria made him a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.
1886 - After Britain took over Burma, they maintained the sending of tribute to China, putting themselves in a lower status than in their previous relations. It was agreed in the Burmah convention in 1886, that China would recognise Britain's occupation of Upper Burmah while Britain continued the Burmese payment of tribute every ten years to Beijing.
1888 - War in Sikkim between the British and Tibetans. By the Treaty of Calcutta (1890), China recognises British suzerainty over northern Sikkim.
1898 - The British obtain a lease on Weihai Harbour, Shandong, to run for as long as the Russians lease Port Arthur. (The reference to the Russians was replaced with one to the Japanese after 1905). An incident occurred where Mail-steamers arrived in Shanghai and dropped off "four young English girls" in December 1898.
30 May 1925 - Shanghai Municipal Police officers under British leadership kill nine people while trying to defend a police station from Chinese protesters, provoking the anti-British campaign known as the May 30 Movement.
19 February 1927 - Following riots on the streets of Hankow (Wuhan) the Chen-O'Malley Agreement is entered into providing for the hand over of the British Concession area to the Chinese authorities.
1937-41 - British public and official opinion favours China in its war against Japan, but Britain focuses on defending Singapore and the Empire and can give little help. It does provide training in India for Chinese infantry divisions, and air bases in India used by the Americans to fly supplies and warplanes to China.
1941-45 - Chinese and British fight side by side against Japan in World War II. The British train Chinese troops in India and use them in the Burma campaign.
The United Kingdom and the anti-Communist Nationalist Chinese government were allies during World War II. Britain sought stability in China after the war to protect its more than £300 million in investments, much more than from the United States. It agreed in the Moscow Agreement of 1945 to not interfere in Chinese affairs but sympathised with the Nationalists, who until 1947 were winning the Chinese Civil War against the Communist Party of China.
By August 1948, however, the Communists' victories caused the British government to begin preparing for a Communist takeover of the country. It kept open consulates in Communist-controlled areas and rejected the Nationalists' requests that British citizens assist in the defence of Shanghai. By December, the government concluded that although British property in China would likely be nationalised, British traders would benefit in the long run from a stable, industrialising Communist China. Retaining Hong Kong was especially important; although the Communists promised to not interfere with its rule, Britain reinforced the Hong Kong Garrison during 1949. When the victorious Communist government declared on 1 October 1949 that it would exchange diplomats with any country that ended relations with the Nationalists, Britain—after discussions with other Commonwealth members and European countries—formally recognised the People's Republic of China in January 1950.
6 January 1950 - The United Kingdom recognises the PRC as the government of China and posts a chargé d'affairesad interim in Beijing (Peking). The British expect a rapid exchange of Ambassadors. However, the PRC demands concessions on the Chinese seat at the UN and the foreign assets of the Republic of China.
17 June 1954 - Following talks at the Geneva Conference, the PRC agrees to station a chargé d'affaires in London. The same talks resulted in an agreement to re-open a British office in Shanghai, and the grant of exit visas to several British businessmen confined to the mainland since 1951.
June 1967 - Red Guards break into the British Legation in Beijing and assault three diplomats and a secretary. The PRC authorities refuse to condemn the action. British officials in Shanghai were attacked in a separate incident, as the PRC authorities attempted to close the office there.
23 August 1967 - A Red Guard mob sacks the British Legation in Beijing, slightly injuring the chargé d'affaires and other staff, in response to British arrests of Communist agents in Hong Kong. A Reuters correspondent, Anthony Grey, was also imprisoned by the PRC authorities.
29 August 1967 - Armed Chinese diplomats attack British police guarding the Chinese Legation in London.
13 March 1972 - PRC accords full recognition to the UK government, permitting the exchange of ambassadors. The UK acknowledges the PRC's position on Taiwan without accepting it.
July 2016 - China and the UK start a £1.3 million collaboration project on sustainable agricultural technology research, marking the latest addition to farming cooperation between the two countries.
March 2017 - To mark the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, China Plus, together with Renmin University, invites experts and researchers from China and the UK to discuss the future of bilateral relations.
February 2018 - British Prime Minister Theresa May visits China on a three-day trade mission and meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping, continuing the so-called "Golden Era" of Sino-British relations.
July 2019 - the UN ambassadors from 22 nations, including UK, signed a joint letter to the UNHRC condemning China's mistreatment of the Uyghurs as well as its mistreatment of other minority groups, urging the Chinese government to close the Xinjiang re-education camps.
July 2019 - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his government will be very "pro-China". Johnson voiced support for President Xi Jinping's infrastructure investment effort Belt and Road Initiative and promised to keep Britain "the most open economy in Europe" for Chinese investments.
Both countries are major cultural powerhouses. Although the UK is more established in this regard than China, the latter is an emerging cultural superpower. Much of the lack of cultural links between the two nations is due to differences in language and local restrictions. A strong exception exists for Hong Kong due to the region's former links with the UK as a crown colony.
The weekly-published Europe edition of China Daily is available in a few newsagents in the UK, and on occasions a condensed version called China Watch is published in the Daily Telegraph. The monthly NewsChina, the North American English-language edition of China Newsweek () is available in a few branches of WHSmith. Due to local censorship, British newspapers and magazines are not widely available in Mainland China, however the Economist and Financial Times are available in Hong Kong.
Like the press, China has a limited scope in the broadcasting arena. In radio, the international broadcaster China Radio International broadcasts in English over shortwave which isn't widely taken up and also on the internet. The BBC World Service is available in China by shortwave as well, although it is often jammed(See Radio jamming in China). In Hong Kong, the BBC World Service is relayed for eight hours overnight on RTHK Radio 4 which on a domestic FM broadcast.
^J.H.Clapham (1927). "Review of The Chronicles of the East India Company Trading to China, 1635-1834 by Hosea Ballou Morse". The English Historical Review. Oxford University Press. 42 (166): 289-292. doi:10.1093/ehr/XLII.CLXVI.289. JSTOR551695. Clapham summarizes Morse as saying that Wendell returned home with a few goods.