The Belgium-Korea Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation of 1901
During the second half of the nineteenth century, Belgian diplomats in China and Japan suggested the establishment of official relations with Korea, depicted as a potential access to resources and an outlet for Belgium’s industry. This idea did not materialize until the formation of an Anglo-Belgian syndicate in charge of the exploitation of a gold mining concession in Korea. The Belgium-Korea Treaty of 1901 was fundamentally an unequal treaty. Similar to those concluded with other Western powers in the 1880s, it consolidated the regime of multilateral imperialism in Korea by legally paving the way for Belgium’s activities in the country.
Keywords: Late Chosǒn • Pak Che-sun • Eastern Pioneer Company • Kojong • Civilization • Commerce • Belgium • Ǔnsan gold mine • Léon Vincart • Diplomatic relations • Imperialism • Neutrality • Unequal treaties • Barbarians