Chinese Emperor’s “No” to Religious Propaganda! (Post No. 2400)


Compiled by London swaminathan
Date: 17 December 2015

Post No. 2400

Time uploaded in London :– 16-21
( Thanks for the Pictures )

Chien Lung’s letter to a King Geaorge III
“You, O King, live in a distant region, far beyond the borders of many oceans, but, desiring humbly to share the blessings of our civilisation, you have sent an embassy respectfully bearing your letter. To show your devotion you have also sent offerings of your country’s produce.

Our dynasty’s majestic virtue has reached every country under Heaven and kings of all nations have sent their tribute by land and sea. We possess all things, we are not interested in strange and costly objects and we have no use of your country s products. I have accepted your tribute offerings only because of the devotion which made you send them so far.

I have read your letter, it shows a respectful humility on your part. I have shown great favour to your ambassador. I have entertained him and given him many gifts. I am sending you, O King, valuable presents of which I enclose a list. Receive them reverently and notice my tender good will towards you.



As to your request to send an ambassador to live at my Heavenly Court, this request cannot possibly be granted. Any European living in Peking is forbidden to leave China or write to his own country, so that you would gain nothing by having an ambassador here. Besides there are many other nations in Europe beside your own. If all of them asked to come to our court, how could we possibly consent? Can our dynasty change all its ways and habits in order to do what you ask?

Your ambassador asks us to allow your ships to trade at other ports beside Canton. There are no hongs and no interpreters at any other port, so that your barbarian merchants could not carry on their business there. For the future, as well as the past, your request is refused. Trade may be carried on only at Canton.

The request that your merchants may store and trade their goods In Peking is also impracticable. My capital is the hub and centre around which all the quarters of the earth revolve. Its laws are very strict and no foreigner has ever been allowed to trade there. This request is also refused.

Your ambassador has asked permission to have your religion taught in China. Since the beginning of history, wise emperors and sages have given china a religion which has been followed by the millions of my subjects. We do not need any foreign teaching. The request is utterly unreasonable.

I have always shown the greatest kindness to tribute embassies from kingdoms which truly long for the blessings of civilisation. To you, O King, who live so far away, I have shown greater kindness than to any other nation. But your demands are contrary to the customs of our dynasty and would bring no good result. I have therefore answered them in detail, and it is your duty to understand my feelings and reverently obey to my instructions henceforth and for all time, so that you may enjoy the blessings of peace”.



Chien lung’s (1711-1799) letter to George III (1760-1801).


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