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Traditional Chinese: 廣州灣
Hanyu Pinyin: Guǎngzhōuwān
Wade-Giles: Kwang3 chou1 wan1
Jyutping: Gwong2 jau1 waan1
Kwang-Chou-Wan Leased Territory
Traditional Chinese: 廣州灣租借地
Pinyin: Guǎngzhōuwān Zūjièdì
Wade-Giles: Kwang3 chou1 wan1 tsu1 chieh4 ti4
Jyutping: Gwong2 jau1 waan1 jou1 je1 dei6

Kwang-Chou-Wan (also Kwangchowan) was a small enclave on the south coast of China ceded by China to France as a leased territory.[1] Its population did not grow very rapidly, only rising from 189,000 in 1911[2] to 209,000 in 1935.[3] Industries included shipping and coal mining. The colony was invaded and taken over by Japan in February 1943, ceded back to France in 1945, and finally returned to China in 1946,[4] at which point its original name of Zhanjiang was restored.[citation needed]


[edit] Geography

Situated in Guangdong Province in a bay on the east side of the Leizhou Peninsula, north of Hainan, Kwang-Chou-Wan consisted of a 780 km² (300 mi²) area surrounding the estuary of the Ma-Tse River.[citation needed] The territory ceded to France included the islands lying in the bay, which enclose an area 29 km long by 10 km wide and a minimum water depth of 10 metres, which were recognised at the time as an admirable natural defence. The bay forms the estuary of the Ma-Ts`e river, navigable as far as 19 km (12 mi.) inland even by large warships. The limits of the concession inland were fixed in November 1899; on the left bank of the Ma-Ts`e France gained from Kow Chow Fu a strip of territory 18 km by 10 km, and on the right bank a strip 24 km by 18 km from Lei Chow Fu.[5] The town of Lei Chow, renamed by the French as Fort Bayard, acted as the territory's de-facto capital.[citation needed] The total land area of the colony was 842 km².[6]

[edit] History

[edit] Annexation and early development

Kwang-Chou-Wan was annexed by France on 27 May 1898 as Territoire de Kouang-Tchéou-Wan, to counter the growing commercial power of British Hong Kong and Portuguese Macau. Their colony was described as "commercially unimportant but strategically located"; most of France's energies went into their administration of French Indochina, and their main concern in China was the protection of Catholic missionaries, rather than the promotion of trade.[7] Following the annexation, a 99 year lease to France was formally conceded by imperial China in 1900; Kwang-Chou-Wan was effectively placed under the authority of the French Resident superior in Tonkin (itself under the Governor general of French Indochina, also in Hanoi); the French Resident was represented locally by Administrators.[8] In addition to the territory acquired, France was given the right to connect the bay by railway with the city and harbour situated on the west side of the peninsula; however, when they attempted to take possession of the land to build the railway, forces of the provincial government offered armed resistance. As a result, France demanded and obtained exclusive mining rights in the three adjoining prefectures. The population in 1911 was recorded as 189,000.[9] The return of the colony to China was promised at the Washington Naval Conference of 1921-1922, but this plan was in fact never realised.[10]

By 1931, the population of Kwang-Chou-Wan had reached 206,000, giving the colony a population density of 245 persons per km²; virtually all were Chinese, and only 266 French people and four other Europeans were recorded as living there.[11] Industries included shipping and coal mining.[12] The port was also popular with smugglers; prior to the 1928 cancellation of the American ban on export of commercial airplanes, Kuang-Chou-Wan was also used as a stop for Cantonese smugglers transporting military aircraft purchased in Manila to China,[13] and US records mention at least one drug smuggler who picked up opium and Chinese emigrants to be smuggled into the United States from there.[14]

[edit] World War II

After the fall of Paris to Nazi Germany in 1940, the Republic of China recognised the London-exiled Free French government as Kwang-Chou-Wan's sovereign rulers and established diplomatic relations with them; from June 1940 until February 1943, the colony remained under the administration of Free France.[15] During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, Kwang-Chou-Wan was often used as a stop on an escape route for civilians fleeing Hong Kong and trying to make their way to Free China; Patrick Yu, a prominent trial lawyer, recalled in his memoirs how a Japanese civilian in Hong Kong helped him to escape in this way.[16] However, the escape route would not remain open for long; in collaboration with German-controlled Vichy France, which relinquished the concession to the Japanese-sponsored Chinese National Government (another claimant to the succession of the former Chinese empire), the Imperial Japanese Army would invade and occupy the area in February 1943.[17]

Just prior to the Japanese surrender which ended World War II, the National Revolutionary Army, having recaptured Liuzhou, Guilin, and Taizhou, as well as Lashio and Mandalay in Burma, was planning to launch a large-scale assault on Kwang-Chou-Wan; however, due to the end of the war, the assault never materialised.[18] The French lease over Kwang-Chou-Wan would soon be terminated regardless, under an agreement concluded on February 28, 1946. In exchange for a withdrawal of Chinese forces from northern Vietnam, the French not only returned Kwang-Chou-Wan to the Nationalist government, but also gave up extraterritorial rights in Shanghai, Hankou, and Guangzhou, sold the Yunnan Rail Line to China, and agreed to provide special treatment for ethnic Chinese in Vietnam and Chinese goods exported to Vietnam.[19] After the handover, the Zhanjiang City Government was formally established to administer the city.[citation needed]

[edit] French cultural and economic influence

A French school, École Franco-Chinoise de Kouang-Tchéou-Wan, as well as a branch of Banque de l'Indochine, were set up in Fort Bayard.[20] In addition, a Catholic church constructed during the colonial period is still preserved today.[21]

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Gale 1970: 201
  2. ^ EB 1911: Kwangchow Bay
  3. ^ Priestly 1967: 441
  4. ^ Olson 1991: 349-350
  5. ^ EB 1911: Kwangchow Bay
  6. ^ Priestly 1967: 441
  7. ^ Gale 1970: 201
  8. ^ Olson 1991: 349
  9. ^ EB 1911: Kwangchow Bay
  10. ^ Escarra 1929: 9
  11. ^ Priestly 1967: 441
  12. ^ Olson 1991: 349
  13. ^ Xu 2001: 21
  14. ^ Anslinger 1953: 141
  15. ^ Olson 1991: 349-350
  16. ^ Yu 2000: 38
  17. ^ Olson 1991: 349-350
  18. ^ Handel 1990: 242
  19. ^ Luong 1992: 141-142, 242
  20. ^ Le Papier Colonial
  21. ^ Li 2001

[edit] Sources

  • Anslinger, H.J.; Tompkins, William F. (1953). The Traffic in Narcotics. Funk and Wagnalls. 
  • Escarra, Jean (1929). Le régime des concessions étrangères en Chine. Académie de droit international. 
  • Gale, Esson M. (1970). "International Relations: The Twentieth Century". China: 200-221, Ayer Publishing. 
  • Handel, Michael (1990). Intelligence and Military Operations. United Kingdom: Routledge. 
  • Li, Chuanyi; Ou, Jie (2001). "湛江维多尔天主教堂考察 (Research on the Victor Catholic Church of Zhanjiang)". Study and preservation of Chinese modern architecture series 1. 
  • Luong, Hy Van (1992). Revolution in the Village: tradition and transformation in North Vietnam, 1925-1988. Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press. 
  • Olson, James S., Ed. (1991). Historical Dictionary of European Imperialism. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. 
  • Priestly, Herbert Ingram (1967). France Overseas: Study of Modern Imperialism. United Kingdom: Routledge. 
  • Xu, Guangqiu (2001). War Wings: The United States and Chinese Military Aviation, 1929-1949. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0313320047. 
  • Yu, Patrick Shuk-Siu (2000). A Seventh Child and the Law. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. 
  • lettres > par pays > Chine > Kouang-Tcheou-Wan. Le Papier Colonial: la France d'outre-mer et ses anciennes colonies. Retrieved on 2007-01-01. Includes images of letters sent to and from the territory.
  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

[edit] External links