rule would be lighter to the Chinese than their own with the addition of

Rule would be lighter to the chinese than their own

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rule, would be lighter to the Chinese than their own with the addition of irregular “squeezing.”’83 The obvious preference of Chinese traders for Hong Kong and the continuing hostility of the Canton authorities were, both Elliot and the Friend of China argued, additional reasons why the colony should be retained as an encouragement and ‘an act of justice and protection to the native population,’ who had staked their interests with the British.84 Larger and more influential than the mere concessions and protections that the Hong Kong government could offer to Chinese merchants were the liberal British institutions, which would both foster the growth of Hong Kong and serve as a beacon of civilization to the Chinese people. Unlike the confined factories at Canton, the highly compromised Portuguese ‘pseudo- colony’ at Macao, or the new treaty ports, Hong Kong was to be a settlement entirely under British sovereignty and insulated from interference by Chinese officials. Although he had praised Hong Kong as a ‘little England’ during his visit to the new British settlement in 1843, Qiying had really been seeking a ‘Macao solution’ to the question of who ultimately was in charge: a very qualified British control over the island combined with Chinese jurisdiction over its Chinese residents. Full British sovereignty, however, and the building of a ‘little England’ in the East were to be dominant themes in British conceptions of the colony. ‘Now that Hongkong has become a colony of Great Britain,’ commented the Chinese Repository , ‘it ought to imitate and emulate the Queen of Isles, and exhibit a picture of all that is truly good and worthy of commendation.’ The new administra- tion of Hong Kong, it added, bore the responsibility not just for the good government of the colony but also for the example it would set to the region: ‘as Christian rulers, charged with the government of this new settlement, they hold a very weighty trust; and their administration will have a powerful bearing, not only on this colony, but on all the states and kingdoms of the East.’85 The exemplary good government implied by these expectations involved three principles: the maintenance on the island of the benefits for which British rule had become well known; the extension of full protection and full rights to the entire population of the island, European and Chinese; and the rigid enforcement of British sovereignty against the encroachments of mainland officials. The benefits included the rule of law, the freedom of the press to monitor and criticize government measures, a certain amount of public (meaning mercantile) participation in the formulation of policy, avoidance of the ‘mischief’ of ‘governing too much’, and freedom of religion.86 The promotion of protections and rights included an insistence by both the Friend and the Repository that the Chinese on the island must 39
Founding a Colony be given the full protection of English law, including trial by jury. The

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