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Very early on in the history of the Treaty Ports, thoughts turned to recreation. A race course was quickly established together with the club and church. Team sports followed, often played within the race course itself. All sports were played and varied according to the nations that lived in the ports. Whether it was cricket, association football, rugby football, hockey, baseball, golf, bowling, tennis, jai alai, greyhound racing or other sports participation created a connection with 'home' and gave an opportunity for networking with like minded individuals.
The Treaty Ports were established in China at the end of the first Opium War in 1842 by the Treaty of Nanking. Still known in China as the unequal treaties, force of arms was used by the colonial powers of the nineteenth century to secure a trading foothold in China
The first four ports were Shanghai, Amoy [Xiamen], Foochow [Fuzhou] and Ningpo [Ningbo]. In the same treaty, Hong Kong was ceded to Great Britain in perpetuity and was therefore a colony of Britain rather than a Treaty Port.
At the end of the second Opium War in 1858, a second treaty, the Treaty of Tienstin led to the creation of more Treaty Ports including Tientsin [Tianjin] and Hankow [Wuhan]. The Tientsin Treaty also permitted for the first time the establishment of legation in Peking [Beijing].