China, the Portuguese, and the Nanyang: Oceans and Routes, Regions and Trade (c.1000-1600)

1st Edition

Roderich Ptak

Routledge
Published May 25, 2004
Reference - 320 Pages
ISBN 9780860789239 - CAT# Y233243
Series: Variorum Collected Studies

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Summary

Under the Song, Yuan and Ming dynasties, China's maritime trade went through several stages of rapid expansion. This concerns both activities initiated by the central government and private seafaring: Chinese ships would sail to ports in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean, and foreign merchants would come to China, often declaring themselves as tribute envoys. In the early 16th century, the Portuguese made contact with the Middle Kingdom, leading to the foundation of Macao in the 1550s. The present volume, the third collection by Roderich Ptak, explores important structural features related to China's maritime ventures and Luso-Chinese relations. It also discusses the perception of maritime space in late medieval Chinese texts and the importance of trade routes, especially the so-called eastern route from Fujian via Luzon to the Sulu 'zone'. The third section presents different 'key' regions as seen through Chinese eyes: Hainan, the coral island in the South China Sea, Barus on Sumatra, and finally Wang Dayuan's chapters on the Kerala coast.

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