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The Lion and Dragon: Britain's first embassy to China

Narrative 8: Life of Macartney

The protocol of the occasion was used by the Chinese to repress any hopes held by the British that the meeting would move beyond this formal level and become the basis for discussion of a commercial treaty and resident diplomatic presence. In his diary, Lord Macartney revealed how impossible he found it to break down Chinese formality.

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John Barrow. Life of Macartney. Vol.II. 1807. G1972

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