• Interpreting the Maritime and Overland Trade Regulations of 1882 between Chosŏn and the Qing: How logics of appropriateness shaped Sino–Korean relations

      Park, Jung Mee; Wang, Chun-Ping; Univ Arizona (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2019-09-05)
      Prior research on Qing China's relationship towards Choson Korea in the late 19th century suggested that China's influence over Korea was a continuation of the tribute system. However, the Qing's awareness of Westphalian laws altered Sino-Korean relations. In 1882, Qing China signed the Maritime and Overland Trade Regulations with Choson Korea. Unlike the previous treaties that China signed with western states, the Qing negotiated terms economically beneficial to China in the agreement. The Qing officials determined much of the terms found in the Regulations. The Qing officials had leverage over Choson officials partly because China had amassed cultural capital through centuries of tributary exchanges. The logics of appropriateness (LoA) or 'bounded rationality' of the tribute system shaped the Qing's and Choson's responses, even in treaty negotiations. We argued that the Regulations reflected the Qing's attempts to 'modernize' tributary relations with Westphalian LoA in light of the Qing's own domestic crisis. Domestic insurrections such as the Taiping Rebellion led members of the self-strengthening (Ziqiang) movement to focus on foreign affairs and adopt Westphalian international laws. The Qing's goals to self-strengthen via an unequal agreement with Choson, however, failed when westerners criticized China's perceived suzerain authority over Korea. The criticisms highlighted the cleavages between the tributary and Westphalian systems as individuals attempted to justify their roles within these institutions.