S-Space Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (규장각한국학연구원) Korean Culture (한국문화) Korean Culture (한국문화) vol.51 (2010)
영조대 對淸使行의 운영과 對淸關係에 대한 인식
Envoy Dispatch To Qing and Perception of the Relation with Qing in King Yeongjo Period
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 규장각한국학연구원
- 한국문화, Vol.51, pp. 29-63
- King Yeongjo; Yongzheng Emperor; Qianlong Emperor; envoy delegation; illegal crossing of the border with Qing; installation; adjusting the distortion of history; Kim Sang-Myeong
- The reign of Joseon's King Yeongjo (l724~1776) corresponds to that of
Yongzheng Emperor (l722~1735) and Qianlong Emperor (1735~1795) of Chinese
Qing Dynasty. In that period, Joseon and Qing were stable in politics and had kept
good relations with each other. Such good relations resulted from Qing Emperors'
preferential treatment on Joseon - the Emperors had led the relations with Joseon.
Amicable relations of that period can be evidenced by the frequency of envoy
dispatches. Average auuual Joseon-to-Qing envoy dispatch had decliued from 2.42
times to 1.67 times while average Qiug-to-Joseon envoy dispatch from 1.29 times to
0.43 times. Envoy dispatch gave a great burden to the national finance of both
couutries, in particular, being far heavier on Joseon. The declined frequency
indicates that Qing Emperors had confidence in Joseon and there were not much
issues to be solved politically.
Aside the political stability of bilateral relations, Joseon had a economic difficulty
in maintaining the envoy delegation. Joseon had earned lots of Japan's silver
through the transit trade between Qing and Japan. However, siuce 1720s Joseon's
silver stock had dropped sharply due to the rapid decline of japan's silver
production, the rise of Chinese raw silk price and others. So, Joseon government
restricted the unauthorized trading and private trade of civil trader in order to
prevent the outflow of silver. The measure was obviously expected to strengthen the
exclusive power of envoy trade which had been exercised by the hands-on staff of
delegation, that is, interpreter. But, in the condition that silver outflow should be
prevented, any measure could not help reducing the size of envoy trade.
The most sensitive issues, which King Yeongjo had given much attention to in
relation with Qing, were the installation of Hyojang crown prince(孝章世子) who
was only seven years old and the description of King Injo Restoration in Ming
History (明史) - At that time, Qing was preparing to publish the official history of
Ming Dynasty and Joseon tried that King Injo Restoration would not be described as
Injo's usurpation of Cwanghaegun's throne in rMing Historyj. For King Yeongjo
who was week in the legitimacy of accession, such issues should be solved to
show his dignity as King. Though the department of protocol of Qing raised an
objection, the installation of Hyojang crown prince was approved by Qing Emperor
finally in 1725. King Injo Restoration issue was successfully settled in 1739 by
officially receiving, from Qing government, the printed copy of the part related to
Joseon in Ming History.
In King Yeongjo period, there were important cooperators for Joseon's envoy
dispatch. The typical cooperator was Kim Sangr Myeong (1668 ?~ 1742). He is the
grandson of Kim Yeovgyu who defected to Qing around 1627. His family gained the
favor of Kangxi Emperor and especially Kim Sang-Myeong assumed high-ranking
position by contributing to Yongzheng Emperor's ascending. He played important
roles in solving diplomatic issues Joseon requested to Qing in the background. In
particular, He played a crucial part in changing the contents of rMing HistoryJ.
Zheng Shitai (鄭世泰), a Beijing-based business magnate, actually monopolized the
trade of Joseon delegation in Beijing. Besides trading, Joseon delegation had
procured urgent financing and other conveniences.
King Yeongjo and other leaders of Joseon had dual attitudes for Qing. They
thought intentionally and unfairly that both Yongzheng Emperor and Qianlong
Emperor were inclined to luxury life and had brutal and miser mind. They also
focused on the negative aspect of Qing that overall Qing society admired luxury
life. Such was based on the idea that Qing was a barbarian dynasty. However, on
the other hand, they acknowledged that Qing imposed lighter taxes than Ming and
was generous to Joseon and Joseon's delegation.