China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

3 - British Consular Jurisdiction in Xinjiang: Deportation and Transnational Legal Connections, 1902-1937

Friday, July 6
10:20 AM - 11:50 AM
Location: Jacaranda I, First Floor

British legal imperialism in China during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is often associated with the east coast. However, far from the bustling treaty ports, extraterritoriality was also exercised in the interior and far western parts of the Chinese empire. Most British subjects were British Indian merchants and Afghani traders. This paper first explores how these subjects – and British concerns about these subjects - shaped British extraterritoriality at the fringes of the Chinese empire. Secondly, building upon recent trends with legal and colonial history, the paper explores the legal connections between the British representatives exercising law in Xinjiang and the Indian legal system. Focusing on practices of deportation, the paper argues that law exercised by British officers in Xinjiang should be thought of as an amalgamation between extraterritorial and colonial jurisdiction. Finally, the paper examines how extraterritoriality in the frontiers was often highly dependant upon Chinese legal authority. It was frontier regions –such as Xinjiang – where the demise of consular jurisdiction became most apparent in practical ways in the 1920s and 1930s, before the official date of 1943.

Emily Whewell

Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Germany

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3 - British Consular Jurisdiction in Xinjiang: Deportation and Transnational Legal Connections, 1902-1937



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