Concession (territory)

Concession (Territory)

Concession (territory)

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In international law, a concession is a territory within a country that is administered by an entity other than the state which holds sovereignty over it. This is usually a colonizing power, or at least mandated by one, as in the case of colonial chartered companies.

Usually, it is conceded, that is, allowed or even surrendered by a weaker state to a stronger power. For example, the politically weak and militarily helpless Qing China in the 19th century was forced to sign several so-called Unequal Treaties (so-called because if they had been standard contracts, contract law would have invalidated them due to duress, undue influence, and lack of consideration) by which it gave, among other rights, territorial concessions to numerous colonial powers, European as well as Japan, creating a whole host of territorial concessions in China in addition to even more numerous treaty ports where China retained territorial control.

However, just as with permanent sales of territory, there are cases when concession has been entered upon voluntarily by a power which could have resisted the demand, believing the arrangement to their mutual interest, or as part of a more complexly balanced deal.

In the many cases where the terms of the contract (be it in the form of a treaty between states) provides for similar terms as an ordinary property lease, notably a term limited in time and usually an indemnity sum, the territory can be called more precisely a lease territory or leased territory. Many...
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