A series of treaties between China and the various Western powers in the 19th century. The Qing dynasty was generally unable to withstand foreign pressure on trade and territorial concessions, and in agreements such as the Treaty of Nanjing (1842), it was forced to accept Western claims. Korea`s first unequal agreement was not with the West, but with Japan. In 1875 occurred the incident on Ganghwa Island, which led Japan to send Captain Inoue Yoshika and the warship Un`yé, which demonstrated military power over Korea. This forced Korea to open its doors to Japan by signing the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1876.  In his thesis on unequal contracts, Nozari emphasizes some of its fundamental characteristics: (1) as a result of direct printing, (2) applied by a powerful state, (3) to dictate contractual clauses, (4) to a weaker contracting party. These characteristics are, in his view, a direct consequence of the inequality that existed at the time of the creation of the contract. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, stronger powers imposed humiliating unilateral treaties on the weakest nations in East Asia. The treaties have established difficult conditions for target nations, sometimes confiscated the territory, allowing the citizens of the nation`s strongest special rights within the weaker nation and violating the sovereignty of purposes. These documents are called “unequal treaties” and have played a key role in the creation of nationalism in Japan, China and Korea.
Aust notes that “unequal treaties” mainly concern 19th century agreements and insists that accepting inequality as a reason for termination of a contract would cause stability. It notes that the cornerstone of international law is legal equality between states, even if they are unequal politically, militarily or economically. He wondered if there was a specific criterion for inequality. The Harris Treaty of 1858 between the United States and Japan expanded U.S. rights on Japanese territory, and was even more unequal than the Kanagawa Convention. This second contract opened five additional ports for U.S. merchant ships, allowed U.S. citizens to live and purchase goods at one of the contract ports, granted extraterritorial rights to the Americans in Japan, establishing very favourable import and export duties for the United States.