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Chouban yiwu shimo 籌辦夷務始末

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Chouban yiwu shimo 籌辦夷務始末 "Foreign affairs in their entirety" (literally: "The management of barbarian affairs in its entirety") is a collection of documents on foreign affairs of the last decades of the Qing period 清 (1644-1911).
Before the imperial court of the Qing dynasty set up a Foreign Office (zongli yamen 總理衙門) the ambassadors or rather representants of foreign countries were dealt with as tributary missionaries of "barbarians" (yi 夷) via the Court of Colonial Affairs (lifanyuan 理藩袁). In a large collection of archival material countless details of foreign affairs from the Daoguang reign 道光 (1821-1850) on are revealed, describing how the Qing court dealt with the problems of foreign intrusion from the prohibition of selling opium in the late 18th century on until 1874. The first part, covering the years from 1836 until 1850, in 80 juan "scrolls", was compiled by Wenqing 文慶. The second part, from 1851 until 1861 (Xianfeng reign 咸豐), in 80 juan, was compiled under the direction of Jia Zhen 賈禎. The third part, covering the years from 1861 until 1874 (Tongzhi reign 同治), in 100 juan, was compiled by 寶鋆 Baoyun.
The collection Chouban yiwu shimo contains imperial edicts (shangyu 上諭), court directions (tingji 廷寄), court discussions (zhaohui 照會) and palace memorials (zouzhe 奏摺), all in all more than 3,600 documents. It is therefore a highly important primary source for the history of the two Opium Wars, the role of foreign countries during the Taiping Rebellion, and for the question of dealing with Christian missionaries as well as the problem of territorial concessions to the foreign colonial powers.
The "Foreign Affairs" were first published in 1930 by the National Palace Museum 故宮博物院. In 1964 the Zhonghua shuju press 中華書局 published a version with an index.


Source: Duan Chantong 段昌同 (1992), "Chouban yiwu shimo 籌辦夷務始末", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 108.

July 3, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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