This concluding chapter discusses the significance of the 1684 trade policy in Chinese maritime history. The economic and commercial prosperity resulting from the 1684 open-door policy greatly contributed to the emergence of the treaty ports, the best example of which is Shanghai. Becoming the headquarters of the Jiangsu customs, Shanghai's elaborate trade networks connected the Chinese heartland, Manchuria, the rest of East Asia, and Southeast Asia. As early as 1830s, Western travelers were so impressed by the thriving center that they judged it a suitable base for commercial expansion in China. And indeed, with the Nanjing Treaty, Shanghai became one of five treaty ports. Moreover, three of the other four treaty ports—Guangzhou, Xiamen, and Ningbo—had been chosen by the Qing court in 1684 to serve as headquarters of imperial customs. All three cities grew rich from trade with Japan, Southeast Asia, and the West.
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