China’s Seaborne Trade with South and Southeast Asia (1200–1750)

1st Edition

Roderich Ptak

Published February 26, 1999
Reference - 352 Pages
ISBN 9780860787761 - CAT# Y283980
Series: Variorum Collected Studies


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This second selection of studies by Professor Ptak focuses on Chinese maritime trade in the medieval and early modern periods. The first section deals with contacts between China and individual places, in particular Timor, the Sulu Islands, southern India and the islands of the Indian Ocean. Chinese geographical and other accounts of these areas and the trade routes leading to them are examined and where possible, compared with Arabic and Western works from the colonial period. The second part looks at trade in specific commodities such as sandalwood, coral, horses, tortoise-shell, ebony, cloves and tea. Relevant Chinese terms, the uses of each commodity, and the production and distribution are analysed. Both qualitative and quantitative information is drawn from the sources and it is demonstrated that many trade items were much more significant in international business than has been thought. At the same time, these studies highlight the importance of Chinese consumption in driving world commodity flows.

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