This is one of the two medals awarded to members of the French Tonkin Expedition Force, one for the army and the other for the navy. On the backside, all campaigns are listed, 7 for the army and 8, the navy. Formosa is among both. Including the non-combatants, 30,000 in the army and 35,000 in the navy received the medals.
China typically rewarded the leadership group generously with promotions and royal gifts. Soldiers also received citations (below right) and monetary prizes.
It is unclear what the pay for the French or the Chinese soldiers was. The Hakka militia in Danshui each received 8 Mexican Silver Dollars per month, presumably a handsome sum at that time. The French looted Keelung at the beginning and confiscated merchandise on ships during the later blockade of Taiwan. So much cargo was intercepted, the French naval officers and sailors both had a great time plundering.