China By Demetrius Charles Boulger































































 -  In December, 1890, also died
Tseng Kwo Tsiuen, uncle of the marquis, and a man who had taken a
prominent - Page 650
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In December, 1890, Also Died Tseng Kwo Tsiuen, Uncle Of The Marquis, And A Man Who Had Taken A Prominent And Honorable Part In The Suppression Of The Taeping Rebellion.

In 1885 an important and delicate negotiation between England and China was brought to a successful issue by the joint efforts of Lord Salisbury and the Marquis Tseng.

The levy of the lekin or barrier tax on opium had led to many exactions in the interior which were injurious to the foreign trade and also to the Chinese government, which obtained only the customs duty raised in the port. After the subject had been thoroughly discussed in all its bearings a convention was signed in London, on July 19, 1885, by which the lekin was fixed at eighty taels a chest, in addition to the customs due of thirty taels, and also that the whole of this sum should be paid in the treaty port before the opium was taken out of bond. This arrangement was greatly to the advantage of the Chinese government, which came into possession of a large revenue that had previously been frittered away in the provinces, and much of which had gone into the pockets of the mandarins. This subject affords the most appropriate place for calling attention to the conspicuous services rendered, as Director-general of Chinese Customs during more than thirty years, by Sir Robert Hart, who, on the premature death of Sir Harry Parkes, was appointed British Minister at Pekin, which post, for weighty reasons, he almost immediately resigned.

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