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East Asia Before the West : Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute
Author: David C. Kang

ISBN: 9780231153188
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 1 January 2010
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.91
Description:


From the founding of the Ming dynasty in 1368 to the start of the Opium Wars in 1841, China has engaged in only two large-scale conflicts with its principal neighbors: Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. These four territorial and centralized states have otherwise fostered peaceful and long-lasting relationships with one another, and as each has grown more powerful, the atmosphere around them has stabilized.

Focusing on the role of the "tribute system" in maintaining stability in East Asia and in fostering diplomatic and commercial exchange, Kang contrasts this history against the example of Europe and East Asian states' skirmishes with nomadic peoples to the north and west. Although China has been the unquestioned hegemon in the region, with other political units considered second, the tributary order has entailed military, cultural, and economic dimensions that have afforded its participants immense latitude. Europe's "Westphalian" system, on the other hand, has pursued formal equality among states and has balanced power politics, leading to incessant interstate conflict. Scholars tend to view Europe'...

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