A Short History of China and Southeast Asia: Tribute, Trade by Martin Stuart-Fox

By Martin Stuart-Fox

This informative yet concise background of China and Southeast Asia is ideal for tourists, scholars, academics, and businesspeople. moveable and attractively designed, it comprises colour illustrations, maps, and a short historical past of the area. Explored are relatives among China and Southeast Asia throughout millennia; styles of international relations, advertisement networks, and migration; and the way those have assorted over the years. With a spotlight on glossy heritage, it is a interesting account of imperial ambition, inner cave in and revival, cultural and advertisement endeavors, and struggle and revolution. very important perception into the advanced background of the fastest-growing sector on the planet is offered.

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These migrants brought with them Chinese culture and the Chinese system of writing. Though extensive borrowing occurred, northern Chinese (Mandarin) never succeeded in replacing the Yue languages, which continue to this day in the form of Chinese ‘dialects’ (including Wu, Min, and Cantonese). The Yue languages of coastal China became monosyllabic and tonal, like Mandarin Chinese. In this form they could easily be written using Chinese characters. The capacity of the non-alphabetic Chinese writing system to provide the crucial adhesive that held China together as a unitary, centrally administered kingdom can hardly be overestimated.

This preoccupation, and the Song policy of avoiding unnecessary armed conflict, enabled the Vietnamese to consolidate their independence. They did so by following a dual strategy in their relations with China, combining military strength with status recognition of Chinese superiority. It was a pattern consistently applied over the 46 shorthistory China pages 23/9/02 8:03 AM Page 47 Early relations centuries that not only kept China at bay for most of the time, but also allowed the Vietnamese to engage their traditional enemies, the Cham, and to pursue their long ‘march to the south’ (nam tien) that over the next seven centuries would leave them in control of all coastal Vietnam, to the Mekong delta and beyond.

8 By describing Bo Linh as King of Jiaozhi Prefecture, the Song court was on the one hand accepting his status as on a par with other rulers of independent kingdoms, while on the other hand reminding him that his territory remained, in some sense, part of the empire. In other words, it left open the possibility (or threat) of returning Jiao-zhi to imperial administration. The titles conferred on Bo Linh’s son defined the role a Vietnamese ruler was expected to perform within the Chinese world order.

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