French Concessions in China
Concessions françaises en Chine
Timeline: Twilight of a New Era

OTL equivalent: French concessions of Shanghai, Guangzhouwan, Hankou, Tianjin and Shamian Island
Flag Coat of Arms
Flag of the Minister of Overseas Territories (flown along the French flag) National emblem of the French Republic and French Union since 1935
Location of
Location French concessions and settlements

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité (French)
("Liberty, Equality, Fraternity")

Anthem "La Marseillaise"
Capital Shanghai (North China) and Fort Bayard (South China)
Largest city Shanghai
Other cities Fort Bayard
French (official)
  others Chinese and Vietnamese
Secular state
  others Roman Catholic, Protestants, Judaism, Confucianism, Taoism, Chinese Buddhism, Non-Religious and Atheism
Ethnic Groups
  others Vietnamese and European
Government Overseas territories, concessions and Shanghai Commune
President of French Republic
Minister of Overseas Territories
Area 1,300 aprox. km²
Established (1849) 1936
Annexation to China
  date 1942
Currency French Indochinese piastre (1885-1925), Franc d'outre-mer (FOM, 1925)
Organizations French Union and Representative Committee of Foreign Concessions (Observer status)

French Concessions in China (French: Concessions françaises en Chine, CF Chine in short) was part of the French Union territories in China. It consisted of the French concessions of Shanghai, Kwang-Chou-Wan, Hankou, Tientsin and Shamian Island.

French Concessions in China were dependencies in charge of the Ministry of Overseas Territories (ministère d'Outre-mer et Territoires, MOMT). The MOMT was in charge of all the administration of the concession, with the exception of Shanghai, and later Tientsin, that had the status of commune and were locally governed by an elected Municipal Administrative Council under supervision of an Administrator Superior.

Administratively, between 1936 and 1945, the concessions were divide in North and South China, each headed by a Governor General.

For electoral purposes the French Concessions were collectively considered a single electoral district for the elections of the National Assembly. Only French citizens voted for the presidential, legislative elections and municipal council elections. Non French that resided in the concessions over four years could vote for the delegates of the Advisory Public Boards (Territorial Advisory Council in Kwang-Chou-Wan).

The Gendarmerie de d'outre-mer in each concession was responsible for public order. An auxiliary force, Garde Indigene, was created for Kwang-Chou-Wan. The Garde Indigene consisted of recruits from the French Indochina.

A Brief History

The French Concession of Shanghai, and the rest of the city where occupied by Japanese Army during the War. With the Japanese Revolution and armistice of 1946, the Allied Council in agreement with China re-established the (New) Shanghai International Settlement this time being the union of the French, British and American concessions.

Of the concessions, Kwang-Chou-Wan was the most important. It had several industries including shipping and coal mining. Besides being an important port of call for the French Navy and commercial lines. In 1939 an Special Economic Zone (zone économique spéciale, ZES) was established in order to promote economical and commercial development.

During the South Campaigns for National Unity (1927-1929) Second Sino-Japanese War an Great Pacific War (1937-1946) Kwang-Chou-Wan received a large number of refuges and displaced persons. The International Refugee Organization established regional center and administered the displaced persons and refugee camps. The refugees settled and were employed by industries of the ZES. Boosting local production and economy.

The Concessions

North Concessions of China is integrated by

Name Capital Area (km²) Population Status Notes
Shanghai French Concession Shanghai 62,81 500,000 Commune (Concession 1849) Seat of Governor-General for North China. Became part of the Shanghai International Settlement in 1946
Tientsin French Concession Tientsin Commune (Concession 1896-1946) Returned to China under the Franco-Chinese Agreement of 1946
Hankou French Concession Hankou 0,33 Concession (1896-1946) Returned to China under the Franco-Chinese Agreement of 1946

South Territories and Concessions of China by

Name Capital Area (km²) Population Status Notes
Territory of Kwang-Chou-Wan (Territoire de Kouang-Tchéou-Wan) Fort Bayard 1.300,00 Concession (1898) Seat of Governor-General for South China. 99 year lease to France (1898)
Shamian Island French Concession Shamian 0,12 Concession (1860-1942) De facto returned to China due to Japanese occupation of 1942

Location French concessions and settlements

See also

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