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The British Presence in Macau, 1635-1793$
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Rogerio Miguel Puga

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9789888139798

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888139798.001.0001

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The importance of Macau for the British China trade

The importance of Macau for the British China trade

(p.116) (p.117) 11 The importance of Macau for the British China trade
The British Presence in Macau, 1635-1793

Rogério Miguel Puga

Hong Kong University Press

Macau was the only gateway to China and long-term residence in China for the British. The Chinese delegated the power over foreigners to the Portuguese, but the Mandarinate could ban the provision of victuals through the Barrier Gate when their orders were defied, as shown in 1773 when Macau refused to hand over a man accused of murdering a Chinese. Besides being a gateway, Macau was a base for traders and smugglers and a place where the British could flee to when threatened by the Chinese. It was also a strategic spot during the war between Britain and France. However, to escape from the pressures from the Portuguese authorities and the Mandarinate, the British continued to petition for a territory of their own where they could operate under their own laws.

Keywords:   Portuguese authority, Mandarinate, East India Company, Macau, Opium Smuggling, China, British Overseas

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