A Short History of China and Southeast Asia: Tribute, Trade and Influence (A Short History of Asia series)

A Short History of China and Southeast Asia: Tribute, Trade and Influence (A Short History of Asia series)

Martin Stuart-Fox

Language: English

Pages: 292

ISBN: 1864489545

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This informative but concise history of China and Southeast Asia is perfect for travelers, students, teachers, and businesspeople. Portable and attractively designed, it includes color illustrations, maps, and a brief history of the region. Explored are relations between China and Southeast Asia across two millennia; patterns of diplomacy, commercial networks, and migration; and how these have varied over time. With a focus on modern history, this is a fascinating account of imperial ambition, internal collapse and revival, cultural and commercial endeavors, and war and revolution. Important insight into the complicated history of the fastest-growing region in the world is offered.
















Southeast Asian kingdoms, who had travelled for days from city to city just to reach the Chinese capital. And one can imagine what stories they would have told on their return of the population and wealth of the Middle Kingdom. Little wonder, therefore, that the countries of Southeast Asia within easy reach of China quickly resumed their tributary relationship with the new dynasty. Yet the response was uneven. Vietnam and Siam sent embassies every three years, but none arrived from Laos (Luang

with the Middle Kingdom fitted into the existing tributary pattern for Nanyang countries. This was never understood by European envoys, who saw only the bureaucratic restrictions that stood in the way of profitable trade. Thus while the relations between China and Southeast Asia that had developed in the course of a millennium came to constitute a set of bilateral relations regimes compatible with the worldviews of both parties, no such regimes evolved between European powers and China. The

relationship between the Nanyang Chinese and Qing officialdom. For as long as overseas Chinese were considered as truant subjects, and so little better than criminals, any 122 M9.53515.18.shorthistory China 1/10/02 10:38 AM Page 2 Enter the Europeans Image rights unavailable Chinese coastal trading junk. who returned to China were at the mercy of local officials. Even merchants who had stayed away longer than their permits allowed were forced to bribe officials on their return. The new

reason, however, why China was prepared to provide assistance to the Vietminh that harked back to historical precedent, one that both Chinese and Vietnamese were well aware of 165 shorthistory China pages 23/9/02 8:03 AM Page 166 A Short History of China and Southeast Asia and viewed very differently: to re-establish the traditional status relationship that had previously existed between the two countries. Successive Vietnamese dynasties had over the centuries borrowed much of Chinese

solidarity. As so often before in Chinese history, it was fear over the security threat along China’s vulnerable northern frontier that led to a rethinking of the direction of Chinese foreign policy, rather than the failure of its Southeast Asian strategy. After the border clashes of 1969, Beijing decided it had no alternative but to ‘play the American card’ as protection against a hostile Soviet Union. A secret visit to Beijing by Henry Kissinger, then President Richard Nixon’s national security

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