March 16, 2021
The following pages provide an annotated translation in French of “Chaoxian celue” (Strategy for Korea), an influential document in the history of modern East Asia. The author, Huang Zunxian (1848–1905), was the counselor of the first Chinese minister assigned to Japan in 1877, He Ruzhang (1838–1891). Their contacts with Japanese and Western diplomats brought both men to the conclusion that China should encourage Korea to conclude treaties with Western nations. In 1880, Huang Zunxian developed their views in a booklet “Chaoxian celue,” in which he urged Korea to “keep close to China, strengthen ties with Japan, and ally with the United States.” He presented it to Kim Hong-jip (1842–1896), head of a Korean diplomatic mission to Japan, who submitted it to King Gojong upon his return to Korea. Huang’s treatise made a strong impression on King Gojong and was instrumental in steering Korea toward an open-door policy.