Chinese-American History & Relations


First Merchants Trade with China

1810 - 1830

Trade routes between China and the United States were established in the early nineteenth century, with traders from Philadelphia selling opium to the Chinese as early as 1810.

First Opium War

18 March 1839 - 29 August 1842

The Qing Dynasty of China hoped to end the opium trade, which European traders imported from the then British colony of India. The British were the victors, and the opium trade continued.

Treaty of Nanjing

29 August 1842

This was the treaty between China and the United Kingdom that ended the First Opium War. The treaty opened five additional Chinese ports to Western trade, required that European traders accused of crime be charged by their country, gave control of the island of Hong Kong to the British, etc.

Taiping Rebellion

December 1850 - August 1864

Second Opium War

1856 - 1860

Treaty of Tianjin

June 1858

Burlingame Treaty (First US-Chinese Treaty)

1868 - 1869

The treaty granted religious freedom to Americans in China, recognised China's right to take private land within the bounds of the country's territory for public use (eminent domain), etc. It was signed in Washington in 1868, but not ratified in China until the next year.

Chinese Exclusion Act

6 April 1882

First Sino-Japanese War

1 August 1894 - 17 April 1895

Open Door Note


U.S. Secretary of State John Hay sent notes to major world powers (Great Britain. France, Russia, Italy, Japan, and Germany) asking them to formally uphold uphold Chinese territorial and administrative integrity.

Boxer Rebellion

1899 - 1901

Fall of the Manchu Dynasty

12 February 1912

May Fourth Movement

4 May 1919 - 5 May 1919

Chinese protest of the Paris Peace Conference.

Kuomintang (Nationalist Party) Formed

10 October 1919

Japan invades China (after Manchuria occupation)