This is coolbert:
Her Imperial Majesty, Empress Dowager Cixi, said: [of the Pekingese dog]
"Let it comport itself with dignity; let it learn to bite the foreign devils instantly."
China during the nineteenth century was the victim of unfair and unequal treaties. Pacts with foreign powers foisted upon the "Celestials" primarily by European imperial powers. Foreign powers disliked by the Chinese. To the Chinese, abasement and humiliation for themselves, "Celestials" and occupants of the "Middle Kingdom" [half-way between heaven and earth], at the hands of "white-faced foreign devils" must have been the ultimate in degradation.
Especially pronounced was the result of the Second Opium War.
The Imperial City [Forbidden City], and the Summer Palace of the Chinese Emperor were occupied and LOOTED by a combined French and British force.
"Elgin landed with British and French forces in August 1860 and marched on Peking. On the fifth of October the troops arrived at the Summer Palace, a vast complex of buildings and park lands just outside Peking which served as a retreat for the emperor. The sight of all these riches was too much for the British and French troops and frantic looting took place."
Looting in part as retaliation due to mistreatment of British diplomats and soldiers captured by the Chinese.
"On the eighteenth of October 1860, Elgin received news that British and French soldiers who'd been captured a few weeks earlier had been tortured and the majority of them killed. He decided to retaliate and ordered that the Summer Palace be torched. For two days the fire raged, the smoke clearly visible from Peking."
"a British diplomatic envoy, Harry Parkes, was arrested during negotiations on September 18. He and his small entourage were imprisoned and tortured (some were murdered by the Chinese in a fashion that infuriated British leadership upon discovery in October)."
[what was done to those captured is not mentioned. Perhaps they were made eunuchs. Or perhaps they suffered death "of a thousand cuts". Whatever it was, the British were so angry they behaved in retaliation in the manner of the barbarian.]
Among the "loot" taken from the Summer Palace were FIVE PEKINGESE DOGS. A breed unknown to "westerners" at the time. The Pekingese held a very special and exalted status among the Chinese of the Imperial Court. Exceedingly so!
"During the Second Opium War, in 1860, the Forbidden City was invaded by Allied troops. The Emperor Xianfeng had fled with all of his court. However an elderly aunt of the emperor remained. When the ‘foreign devils’ entered, she committed suicide. She was found with her five Pekingese mourning her passing."
"It was also customary for the emperor to select four Pekes who were to become his bodyguards. The emperor would be preceded by these four Pekes on such occasions of state, whereby two of them would announce his approach at correct intervals with sharp, piercing barks, while the other two would daintily hold the hem of his royal robe in their mouths. At night, they would carry small lanterns strapped to their necks. It would be considered a crime to steal or injure a Peke, and this would result in the punishment of death."
These five Pekingese, "prisoners of war" were taken to England where they became favorites of the English royal court and the middle class in general. LAP DOGS AS PERSONAL HOUSEHOLD PETS OWE THEIR EXISTENCE TO THE PEKINGESE TAKEN FROM CHINA TO ENGLAND!!
Dig this amazing stuff! It seems that almost all Pekingese in the world are descended from that original five dogs and a meagre number of others that escaped extermination - - the Chinese feeling these dogs were too important to fall into the hands of "western foreign devils"?
"It was in 1911, after the death of the Empress Dowager that Chinese officials began an extensive extermination of the Pekingese, in order to prevent them from ending up in unworthy hands. There were very few Chinese Pekingese that escaped the massacre."
Yip, yip, hooray!!