From 1899 to 1943, British consuls played an important role on the Burma-China frontier. They exercised consular jurisdiction and helped the Burmese colonial officials to apply territorial laws over borders in the frontier. They also helped to resolve disputes between British Burmese and Chinese claimed subjects in annual court case hearings. These hearings, known as the ‘Frontier Meetings’ ( huishen/huian ), awarded compensation to victims of criminal offences. The defendants and complainants in the Meetings were mostly ethnic frontier inhabitants. They
Sir Dennis Fitzpatrick, an Irishmen passed the Indian Civil Services (ICS) entrance examination in 1858 and was posted to Punjab as an assistant magistrate at Delhi. Fitzpatrick's view of what should be frontier policy, as intimated, was at odds with that of the Indian government and that of the army throughout his term of office. A suggestion that frontier political officers should be put under the direct control of the Indian government was adamantly opposed by Fitzpatrick. When the dynamic and innovative Lord Curzon became viceroy one of his first major policy changes was to establish the North-West Frontier Province. North-West Frontier Province, which came under the direct control of the Indian government through a commissioner based at Peshawar. Waziris and Mahsuds were hostile to outside interference long before the British displaced the Sikhs as rulers of the north-west.
This book complements extant histories of diplomacy by discussing change in the form of tipping-points, understood as the culmination of long-term trends. The first part of the book discusses social evolution on the general level of institutions. The diplomatic institution has undergone four tipping-points: between culturally similar small-scale polities, between culturally different large-scale polities, permanent bilateral diplomacy, and permanent multilateral diplomacy. The consular institution has seen three: the emergence of the consul as the judge of a trading colony, the judge as a representative of the state, and the imbrication of the consular institution in unitary foreign services. The second part challenges extant literature’s treatment of diplomacy as a textual affair and an elite concern. It lays down the groundwork for the study of visual diplomacy by establishing diplomacy’s visual genres, discussing how diplomats spread images to wider audiences and drawing up a taxonomy of three visual strategies used for this purpose: a hegemonic and Western strategy, a national strategy, and a strategy that is spiteful of Western hegemony. Two case studies discuss the evolving place of the visual in one diplomatic practice, namely accreditation, and the importance of the social imagination. One possible evolutionary effect of the latter seems to be as a lair of hibernation for the otherwise threatened idea that diplomacy is not about dialogue but about the confrontation between good and evil. The book concludes by seeing the future of diplomacy in a continued struggle between state-to-state-based diplomacy and diplomacy as networked global governance.
Assessing the extent and nature of consular activity in Ireland in the
period 1790 to 1913 begins by critically considering their correspondence with the State Department and then examining their impact on the
people they served. An examination of consular reports must include the
study of the consul’s personality, personal proclivities and his predetermined notions, including a certain American worldview.1 These factors
are present in the Irish context. William Knox was dogged by ill health,
deeply felt the isolation of his post, but was consumed
of Kashgar (Xinjiang) and Tengyue (western Yunnan). Here, at the periphery of the Chinese and British Empires, consuls exercised law over British communities. Extraterritoriality was a central part of British imperialism in China, but law played out differently on the frontiers compared to the treaty ports on the east coast. This book has provided a new narrative of the British presence in two western regions, demonstrating how the exercise of law was an essential part of British imperialism across frontiers. Through exploring the legal presence and practice of
. The first legal dispute related to the right to seize illegal goods crossing the frontier and the punishment of smugglers. In particular, there were two legal questions. First, were frontier treaties the authoritative legal documents over seizure and punishment rights or were territorial laws inviolable? Second, how did the principle of extraterritoriality fit into these transfrontier legal arrangements of seizure rights on the frontier?
In this chapter, I show how British consuls stationed at Tengyue, situated in western Yunnan on the edge of the Burma
[A]t some parts of the frontier a man walking along paddy-bunds might cross from China to Burma and from Burma to China a dozen times without being aware … that there had been any frontier to cross. 1
During the first decade of the twentieth century, the movement of illicit goods forced British consuls to reformulate their understanding of how to apply laws related to seizure rights. Although the Tengyue consul Archibald Rose understood the frontier treaties as the authoritative framework for legal relations and enforced them within his district, the
legal ‘meeting point’ between local and imperial actors and institutions. 1 However, consuls-general were also dependent on their subordinates – aqsaqals – who were more experienced in local custom. In a region that encompassed a vast area of arid land and oasis towns distanced far apart from each other, the use of aqsaqals reflected how British administration adapted to the frontier environment and how it modelled justice to best serve the needs of its population. As David Brophy has noted, imperial authority – agents of the Russian, Chinese and British Empires
At the start of 1917, Britain appeared to have secured a range of legal rights for its British community in Xinjiang. British subjects received tax exemption benefits and the right, as a defendant, to have their criminal or civil case heard by a British representative. However, the legitimacy of these rights was taken away after the Russian Revolution later that year, when the Soviets announced their intention to rescind extraterritorial privileges for Russian subjects in China. British consuls-general had always maintained that the Sino-Russian agreements