1851, Kuldja - Russia
TREATY OF KULDJA, 1851
The Plenipotentiary of His Majesty the Emperor of All the Russias, and the Plenipotentiaries of His Majesty Bogdo Khan of Ta-Tsing—namely, the Governor-General of Ili and other provinces, and his assistant—have conferred together and have signed a Treaty in the City of Ili, Kuldja. This Treaty serves the subjects of both Empires and established business activities in two cities, Kuldja and Tarbagatay, Chuguchak.
Here are the Treaty’s articles:
This Treat of Commerce, which has been concluded in the interests of both powers, testifying to their desire to maintain peace and to further the welfare of their subjects, is intended to link together the two powers with links of friendship yet stronger than those in the past.
The merchants of the two empires may trade with each other, and negotiate their own prices freely. To look out for the interests of the Russian subjects involved, Russia will name a consul. To look out for the interests of the Chinese traders, their will be a functionary of the Overseeing Administration of Ili. If there is a clash between the subjects of one empire and the subjects of the other, each of these agents will settle things for his nationals, justly.
This commerce springs from the friendship of the two powers. Therefore there will be no duties imposed by either side.
When Russian traders go to Ili or Tarbagatay, they will be accompanied by a functionary called a karavan-bascha. When a caravan going to Ili arrives at the Chinese checkpoint of Boro-Khoujeer, and when one going to Tarbagatay arrives at the first Chinese checkpoint, this functionary will present the document of his government to the Chinese officer in charge. This officer will take note of the number of men, beasts, and loads of merchandise in the caravan, and then let it pass, and have it accompanied from there on, from checkpoint to checkpoint, by an officer and soldiers. During the progress of the caravan, both soldiers and merchants will refrain from all insults to each other.
To aid this escorting by officer and soldiers, Russian merchants will always, from this Treaty on, follow the route of the military, both going, and coming home.
If Russian caravans travel outside the line of the military, and there are attacks by brigands of the Outer Aoûls, or Kirghiz people, there may be an investigation, but the Chinese government will not get involved in it. Once the caravan has arrived on Chinese territory, and also during waits in the warehouses where merchandise is stored, Russian traders must guard and defend their goods themselves; and they must keep an even closer eye on their grazing livestock. But if something is nevertheless lost, the Chinese functionary should be immediately told, and together with the Russian consul, he will track down the missing object. If the trail leads to a village of Chinese subjects and the thief is found, he must be judged quickly and severely. If stolen articles are found, they will be restored to their owners.
If quarrels occur, or disagreements, or other small incidents between subjects of the two empires, the Russian consul and the Chinese functionary mentioned above, will bring their good offices to bear on settling them. But if there nevertheless occurs a criminal case, an important case, it will be settled according to the rules now in use on the Kiakhta frontier.
Russian merchants will make their visits from March 25 to December 10. (This is according to our system. On the Chinese calendar, it’s from Tien-ming day to Tong-chi day.) Nor further caravans will arrive after that date. If, in this time period, all is not sold, and it is a period of 8 1/2 months, traders can stay in China to finish off their sales. When they leave, the consul looks after their departure. Also, Russian traders will not, of course, be given an escort of officer and men if they don’t have at least twenty camels in their caravan; neither going nor coming back will they be escorted. And if the consul or a trader needs to send an express message, he will be able to do so.
But in order that this service of officers and men not become too onerous, two expeditions a month will be allowed, extraordinarily, to travel outside the military lines.
Russian and Chinese traders may see each other freely to trade; but the Russians who are staying in a warehouse area under the Russian consul may not wander into the city and its streets unless they have a permit from the consul. Without this permit, they do not leave the warehouse area. If someone goes out without a permit, he will be brought before the consul to answer for his breach.
If a criminal from one empire runs to the other, he will not be tolerated. On both sides, local authorities will take measures and collect information to track him down. There will be mutual extradition of such border-crossers.
As Russian traders coming to China will surely have horses, and animals for slaughter, they will be assigned water and grassy areas on the banks of the Ili River, near Ili, and also near Tarbagatay. In these pastures the Russian traders will have their people watch the animals and see to it that plowed fields and cemeteries are not trampled. Those who do not will be brought to the consul for punishment.
In this trade, no merchant of the empires will deliver anything on credit. If someone does, in spite of this Article, Russian and Chinese officials will not, however, intervene, and will not receive complaints.
Since the Russians arriving to trade in China must have warehouse areas, the Chinese government will assign them space in Ili and Tarbagatay near the bazaars. Russian subjects will build here, at their own expense, houses and warehouses.
The Chinese government will not interfere in any way when the Russian subjects hold there religious ceremonies there. If a Russian dies in China, in Ili or Tarbagatay, the Chinese government will assign an empty field as a cemetery.
If Russian traders bring sheep to Ili or Tarbagatay to trade, the local authorities will collect two sheep out of each ten for the government. They will pay for them with a da-ba, or legal-sized unit of cloth, for each sheep. All other stock and goods will be traded at prices the traders negotiate, and the Chinese government will play no role.
Official correspondence between the two empires will be carried on as follows. From the Russian government it will be sent by the administration of Western Siberia, and bear that administration’s seal. From the Chinese government it will be sent and sealed by the administration of Ili.
This Treaty will bear the signatures and seals of the respective plenipotentiaries. There will be four copies in the Russian language laid out on the Russian side, signed by the Russian plenipotentiary. There will be four copies in the Manchu language laid out on the Chinese side, signed by the Chinese plenipotentiary and his aide. Both plenipotentiaries will keep one copy in each language, Russian and Manchu, to put the treaty into effect and to be a constant reference. A Russian and Manchu copy will go to the Senate of Russia, and a Russian and Manchu copy will go to the Chinese Foreign Relations Court, to be sealed and kept after ratification of the Treaty.
All the above articles of the Treaty concluded by the respective plenipotentiaries of Russia and China are signed and sealed.
July 25, 1851, twenty-sixth year of the reign of His Majesty the Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias.