from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A sea- or riverport of one country opened by treaty to the trade and commerce of another. The term is applied more particularly to certain ports of those countries of the far East —for example, China, Korea, and Japan —which at the time of making the treaties were more or less opposed to commercial or any intercourse with other nations. The first treaty-ports of China were opened in accordance with the Anglo-Chinese treaty of Nanking (1842); the first in Japan by Townsend Harris, acting for the United States, in 1858; and the first in Korea by treaty with Japan in 1876.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • We can, though, go back much further in our search for precursors to the Expo's Opening Ceremony -- all the way, in fact, to the treaty-port century (1843-1943), during which Shanghai was divided into foreign-run and Chinese-run districts.

    Jeffrey Wasserstrom: Shanghai Illuminations, 1890-2010

  • When it recently opened a lounge called Club Shanghai, the five-star Regent Hotel in Kowloon gave further proof that treaty-port chic may become the flood-tide fashion in Hong Kong.

    The Coming Of Mao Zedong Chic

  • Western visitors to Taiwan in the treaty-port era observed that Aborigine women were central to cultural brokerage in the marginal periphery.

    Archive 2008-10-01

  • Some feature collections of photographs that lovingly detail the fashions and lifestyles of the treaty-port era (1843-1943), during which the city was divided into foreign-run and Chinese-run districts.

    A Tide Of Civic Pride

  • Before the 1990s the stories of particular urban centers were folded neatly into larger national narratives -- and local Shanghai histories insisted that the only significance of the treaty-port era was the humiliation manifest in the city's "semicolonial" status.

    A Tide Of Civic Pride

  • Most of this treaty-port stuff works well with American undergrads, since it is in English, it is obsessed with analyzing the Chinese, and it usually has a condescending tone that is easy for students to pick up on and use as the first step in an analysis.

    China is dirty

  • Between the treaty-port of Ichang, which is a thousand miles from the sea, and the treaty-port of Chungking, which is four hundred miles higher up, lie the celebrated Yangtse Gorges.

    Life and sport in China Second Edition

  • When such mobs of raw ponies reach a treaty-port they are known as

    Life and sport in China Second Edition

  • The latter country, however, had every appearance of a melon ripe for cutting; and under guise of security for loans, indemnity for injuries, railroad and treaty-port concessions, and special spheres of influence, each European nation endeavored to mark out its prospective share.

    A History of Sea Power

  • When the First August Emperor had conquered China, he made several tours to the Shan Tung promontory, to the site of the former Yueh capital (modern Kiao Chou), to the treaty-port of Chefoo (where he left an inscription), to the Shan-hai Kwan Pass, and to the neighbourhood of Ningpo.

    Ancient China Simplified


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