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2 - Thin Connectivity

Traditional Chinese Centrality

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 August 2023

Brantly Womack
Affiliation:
University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Wang Gungwu
Affiliation:
National University of Singapore
Wu Yu-Shan
Affiliation:
Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
Qin Yaqing
Affiliation:
China Foreign Affairs University
Evelyn Goh
Affiliation:
Australian National University
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Summary

Prior to the Opium War China was central to Pacific Asia, but it was not in control of its neighborhood. The mobility of the various nomadic groups threatened China’s northern and western frontiers, and Vietnam’s successful resistance to Ming annexation set a southern boundary-stone. While China’s centrality was not hegemonic, its location, demographic preponderance, and artisanal production made China the center of regional attention. Conversely, because of China’s demographic and production centrality, China was more interested in defending what it had than in imperial adventures abroad. Its foreign policy was one of controlling exposure in relationships—thin connectivity. By the Ming Dynasty this evolved into the tribute system, whose core was a ritualized exchange of deference by the neighbor for acknowledgement of autonomy by China.

Type
Chapter
Information
Recentering Pacific Asia
Regional China and World Order
, pp. 45 - 70
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Thin Connectivity
  • Brantly Womack, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
  • Book: Recentering Pacific Asia
  • Online publication: 03 August 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009393867.003
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  • Thin Connectivity
  • Brantly Womack, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
  • Book: Recentering Pacific Asia
  • Online publication: 03 August 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009393867.003
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Thin Connectivity
  • Brantly Womack, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
  • Book: Recentering Pacific Asia
  • Online publication: 03 August 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009393867.003
Available formats
×