Historical Geography Research ›› 2020, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (4): 29-46.

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Studies on the Changes of the Yunnan-Burma Border in the Late Qing Dynasty

Dong Jiayu, Yang Weibing   

  1. Center for Historical Geography Studies, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
  • Received:2020-03-28 Online:2020-12-20 Published:2021-01-19


Negotiations over the demarcation of the Yunnan-Burma border in the late Qing Dynasty was an important stage of China-Burma border changes in modern times. With the help of diplomatic archives, treaties and maps, this paper makes a detailed restoration of the process of delimitation of the Yunnan-Burma border in the Sino-British negotiations. The signing of Convention Giving Effect to Article Ⅲ of the Convention Relative to Burma and Thibet between China and Great Britain and Agreement Modifying the Burma-China Frontier and Trade Convention between China and Great Britain during the reign of Guangxu basically delineated the middle section of Yunnan-Burma border. The contradiction in the geographical cognition of the “watershed” between China and Britain had an important impact on the negotiation of the undefined boundary in the north of Jiangao Mountain. As a result, China had actually lost the territorial sovereignty of Xiaojiang River Basin north of the Jiangao Mountain and west of Balada-Gaolianggong Mountains. In the southern section of the undefined boundary, China and Britain have many disagreements over the basis of the boundary survey, and it was difficult to reach a consensus. The results of the Sino-British negotiations over the Yunnan-Burma border in the late Qing Dynasty basically shaped the course of the Sino-Myanmar border, and had an important impact on the border negotiations and final delineation between China and Myanmar in the Republic of China period and the 1960s.

Key words: late Qing Dynasty, China, Britain, Myanmar, Border

CLC Number: 

  • K928