Waiting on the step when the doors opened to the five ports, along with the merchants, were the foreign missionaries. They too had long been kept at bay, but now that treaties with Britain, America, and France had been signed, missionaries (like the merchants) were guaranteed right of entry to the Middle Kingdom in these nominated places: they too could build in the five ports and live there the year round, if they were so commanded by their societies at home. The feelings of the Western merchants for these men of God were mixed. Many of the hard-bitten mariners and traders didn't care for the idea of missionaries, but there was no denying that some of them, especially the medical ones, had proved very useful during the trying days of segregation. Their champions might further point out that missionaries were successful in penetrating China long before the door was slammed in barbarian faces. To be sure, those were Catholics, and the new flood of religious teachers was predominantly Protestant, but the principle was the same. Moreover, these people had lots of backing among the public at home, for the Western world was undergoing a great wave of evangelical fervor. Willy-nilly, trade and Christianity must move into China together.
Foreign missions were already well entrenched in India and Africa, and their patron societies had for years gazed yearningly toward China, as a natural field for the development of their aims. There may have been some jealousy in this desire, some wish to emulate the earlier Catholics, but there was a tradition of Protestant activity in the Far East, however small: the Dutch had occupied Formosa for a time in the seventeenth century, and introduced to the island a number of pastors and teachers of Christianity. But these men had met with little or no success among the Formosan