Definition of treaty port in US English:

treaty port


  • A port bound by treaty to be open to foreign trade, especially in 19th- and early-20th-century China and Japan.

    • ‘Chongqing was opened as a treaty port in 1890, but few foreigners made it to this isolated outpost.’
    • ‘They provided only a few of the services offered by modern banks, developed quickly in Shanghai where there was a great deal of maritime trade, especially after the city was ‘opened’ as a treaty port in 1843.’
    • ‘As for the tea, it was grown in China, was carried on a bamboo pole upon the shoulders of a man to some river village, and sold to a Chinese merchant, who shipped it by boat to a treaty port.’
    • ‘They resulted partly from the semi-colonial structure of the treaty port and partly from an extra-legal usurpation by the foreign authorities of the concessions.’
    • ‘It was the first Chinese port opened to foreign trade, the Portuguese visiting it in 1516, and was a treaty port from 1842 until its occupation by Japan in 1938.’