The Qing Opening to the Ocean
Chinese Maritime Policies, 1684-1757
Publication Year: 2013
Gang Zhao argues that rather than constrain private maritime trade, globalization drove it forward, linking the Song and Yuan dynasties to a dynamic world system. As bold Chinese merchants began to dominate East Asian trade, officials and emperors came to see private trade as the solution to the daunting economic and social challenges of the day. The ascent of maritime business convinced the Kangzi emperor to open the coast to international trade, putting an end to the tribute trade system. Zhao’s study details China’s unique contribution to early globalization, the pattern of which differs significantly from the European experience. It offers impressive insights into the rise of the Asian trade network, the emergence of Shanghai as Asia’s commercial hub, and the spread of a regional Chinese diaspora.
To understand the place of China in the early modern world, how modernity came to China, and early globalization and the rise of the Asian trade network, The Qing Opening to the Ocean is essential reading.
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
Download PDF (603.8 KB)
Download PDF (331.6 KB)
Download PDF (345.2 KB)
This book is the result of a long intellectual journey begun in 2000. I have accumulated vast debts to many friends and colleagues while receiving finan-cial aid from a number of institutions. Thanks to their support, this book is The first person to whom I would like to express my deep gratitude is William Rowe of Johns Hopkins University, my doctoral adviser and friend. ...
Download PDF (508.0 KB)
In 1684, forty years after a Manchu army had seized power in Beijing, an extraordinary rumor shot along the Chinese coast, then across the ocean to Nagasaki, Batavia ( Jakarta), and Manila: the three-hundred-year-old embargo on Chinese private maritime trade was being lifted. Soon the rumor caught the attention of English merchants serving the East India Company.1 Then it was confirmed: the Kangxi emperor had promulgated That year, 1684, a series of decisions were made that proved momentous ...
Chapter 1 Chinese Private Maritime Trade and Global Integration
Download PDF (923.4 KB)
Strengthening the economic links between China and the outside world through private maritime trade would enrich the countryâ so hoped the framers of the new policy announced in 1684. The ini-tiative represented a different approach to early globalization: whereas in Europe states sponsored overseas expansion, Chinaâs leaders decided that the state would simply step out of the way of ambitious entrepreneurs. Both trends took place simultaneously and in the same regionâmaritime Asia. ...
Chapter 2 Reconsidering Overseas Trade: The Chinese Intellectual Response to the Emerging Global Economy
Download PDF (554.5 KB)
Chinese scholars and officials were long aware of the impact of over-seas trade. From Zhen Dexiu (1178â1235) in the Southern Song to Xu Fuyuan (1535â1604), Xu Guangqi (1562â1633), and Li Guangdi (1642â1718) in the Ming and Qing, many of those who wrote on the topic were court officials who had to face the challenges caused by maritime trade and experts whose opinions were sought by the emperor and his trusted aidesâeven during a period when that trade was off-limits to private mer-...
Chapter 3 The Northeast Asian Trade Network, the Manchu Procommerce Tradition, and the 1684 Open-Door Trade Policy
Download PDF (579.8 KB)
In May 1685, the Kangxi emperor invited his court officials to debate the merits of allowing bannermen to trade overseas. A number of these officials were themselves bannermen, and with Mingju as their leader and spokesman they responded with the suggestion that Manchus be allowed to engage in maritime trade.1 This demonstrates that the banner elite shared Kangxiâs open policy toward maritime trade. Furthermore, when we consider the history of the relationship between the banner elite and overseas trade, ...
Chapter 4 Enriching the State by Cherishing Private Trade: The Kangxi Emperor and the 1684 Open Trade Policy
Download PDF (566.9 KB)
As historians have shifted from a traditional focus on âgreat menâ to the minor figures of the past, global historians have accorded merchants a place of honor. Yet we still find it practical to present the lives and deeds of merchants (and others whose experiences have tended to be overlooked) in relation to the policies and decisions made by the great. Consider the rise, decline, and demise of armed mercantile convoys active in Chinaâs waters from about 1520 to the 1680s. Once their profession ...
Chapter 5 Separating Trade from Tribute: Kangxi Ends the Tribute Trade System
Download PDF (558.1 KB)
When the Kangxi emperor decided to open the gates of the Qing empire to the foreign world, he supplemented the three- hundred-year-old tribute trade system with an early modern customs office. All those who wished to trade with China, whether by con-veying tribute to the capital or by any other means, were issued government permits. In this chapter I place Kangxiâs separation of trade from tribute into the context of the vicissitudes that the tribute trade system faced from the ...
Chapter 6 The Establishment of the Qing Maritime Customs System and the Growth of Private Trade
Download PDF (920.4 KB)
At the same time that Kangxi initiated the historic reforms to the tribute trade system, he directed the drafting of new regulations ensuring that private maritime trade would expand under the care-ful supervision of the central government. Over the course of the century beginning in 1684, Chinese maritime customs gave more space to private trade. This drove an accelerated integration of the commercially vibrant southeastern coast into the emerging global economy, enabling Chinese pri-...
Chapter 7 Economic Interests, Security Concerns, and the Tribute System: Kangxi’s Response to Tokugawa Japan’s Licensing System
Download PDF (557.2 KB)
On June 4, 1701, a Manchu who could have been mistaken for a merchant sailed from Shanghai, one of many Chinese ports that had been open for trade with the outside world since 1684.1 Sev-eral days later, he suddenly appeared in Nagasaki, where not a soul could have guessed his identity or his mission. In 1978, nearly three hundred years later, his secret finally came to light: he was a low-ranking Manchu official named Morsen who had been dispatched by the Kangxi emperor to unearth ...
Chapter 8 The Kangxi Emperor Bans Trade with Southeast Asia
Download PDF (523.8 KB)
In October 1716, the Kangxi emperor decided to bring an immedi-ate halt to all Chinese navigation to Southeast Asia, targeting mainly Chinese private traders operating there. He ordered imperial fleets to seize all ships found carrying forbidden cargo; merchants guilty of violating the ban could be exiled to remote Manchuria. In announcing his decision, During one of my tours, I visited Suzhou, and the shipbuilders there told me that every year thousands of ships were built in the coastal area for the ...
Chapter 9 Western Merchants, Local Interests, and Christian Penetration: A New Interpretation of the Canton System
Download PDF (563.4 KB)
In 1755 a British ship docked at Dinghai, a port city near Ningbo in Zhejiang province, and its captain formally requested permission to trade with local merchants. Later, when the Qianlong emperor reviewed the reports from his officials posted in the area, he noticed nothing out of the ordinary. Told that the foreign merchants had chosen Dinghai because they disliked Guangzhou (which they called Canton), he called for reopen-ing a customs office to serve Zhejiang. The emperor said, âThe British ...
Download PDF (477.3 KB)
In concluding, I would like to present some answers to the questions posed in the introduction, namely, the significance of the 1684 trade policy in Chinese maritime history, the characteristics of the Chinese maritime enterprise, and the evolution of the East Asian trade network. In addition, I offer a rough outline of other important questions related to this research, ...
Download PDF (977.0 KB)
Download PDF (636.0 KB)
Download PDF (955.7 KB)
Download PDF (400.2 KB)
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Perspectives on the Global Past