China on the Sea: How the Maritime World Shaped Modern China 9004194789, 9789004194786

This volume challenges the Walled Kingdom perspective. China reached out to the seas far more actively than historians h

1,269 77 6MB

English Pages 372 Year 2011

Report DMCA / Copyright

DOWNLOAD FILE

Polecaj historie

China on the Sea: How the Maritime World Shaped Modern China
 9004194789, 9789004194786

Table of contents :
Contents
Preface
Diagrams, Tables and Illustrations
Introduction
Chapter One Facing the Seas
Chapter Two “The Inconsistency of the Seas”
Chapter Three Feeding China
Chapter Four Cette Merveilleuse Machine
Chapter Five Les Palais Européens
Chapter Six “Wind of the West” [西洋风]
Chapter Seven Pattern and Variation: Indigenisation
Chapter Eight “Race for Oriental Opulence”
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index

Citation preview

China on the Sea

China Studies Editors

Glen Dudbridge Frank Pieke

VOLUME 21

The titles published in this series are listed at www.brill.com/chs

China on the Sea How the Maritime World Shaped Modern China By

Zheng Yangwen 鄭揚文

Leiden  •  boston 2014

Cover caption: The several known complete sets of “Copper engravings of the European palaces in Yuan Ming Yuan” [圆明园西洋楼铜板画] each include 20 images. However, the set belonging to the John Rylands Library, University of Manchester, was recently found to include a unique additional colour image. Jottings at the top and bottom read: “Planche 2e qui a été commencée à être mise en couleurs” and “Planche 2e esquissée pour la couleur”. Reproduced by courtesy of the University Librarian and Director, the John Rylands University Library, University of Manchester. This book is printed on acid-free paper. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Zheng, Yangwen.   China on the sea / by Zheng Yangwen.    p. cm. — (China studies ; v. 21)  Includes bibliographical references and index.  ISBN 978-90-04-19477-9 (hbk. : alk. paper) 1. China—Commerce—Foreign countries. 2. China—Foreign economic relations—History. 3. China—History—Qing dynasty, 1644–1912. 4. China—Merchant marine—History. I. Title.   HF3834.Z476 2011   387.50951’0903—dc23 2011034522

ISSN 1570-1344 ISBN 978 90 04 28160 8 (paperback) ISBN 978 90 04 19478 6 (e-book) This paperback was originally published in hardback under ISBN 978-90-04-19477-9. Copyright 2012 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. Koninklijke Brill NV incorporates the imprints Brill, Brill Nijhoff, Global Oriental and Hotei Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Koninklijke Brill NV provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910, Danvers, MA 01923, USA. Fees are subject to change. This book is printed on acid-free paper.

CONTENTS Preface ................................................................................................. Diagrams, Tables and Illustrations .................................................

vii ix

Introduction ........................................................................................

1

Chapter One

Facing the Seas .......................................................

15

Chapter Two

“The Inconsistency of the Seas” ..........................

59

Chapter Three Feeding China ......................................................

95

Chapter Four Cette Merveilleuse Machine .................................

135

Chapter Five Les Palais Européens ............................................

169

Chapter Six

“Wind of the West” [西洋风] ................................

207

Chapter Seven Pattern and Variation: Indigenisation .............

245

Chapter Eight “Race for Oriental Opulence” ............................

283

Conclusion ..........................................................................................

321

Bibliography ........................................................................................ Index ....................................................................................................

327 353

PREFACE I stumbled upon a gold mine in September 2004 when I joined the Asia Research Institute (ARI) at the National University of Singapore, where I had the privilege to spend more than two years working with Anthony Reid, Wang Gungwu, Bryan S. Turner, Gavin Jones, Brenda Yeoh and Chua Beng Huat. ARI exposed me not only to Southeast Asian scholars but also the region itself, which has broadened my understanding of China. I benefited enormously from conferences and seminars held in ARI, and from conversations with a long list of Southeast Asian scholars who visited the Institute. They include James C. Scott, Leonard Blusse, Carl Trocki, James Warren, Victor Lieberman, Charles J-H Macdonald, George B. Souza, Eric Tagliacozzo, Chee Heng Leng, Noelle Rodriguez, Mika Toyota, Vatthana Pholsena, Kwee Hui Kian, Maung Aung Myoe, and many more. While old colleagues from Singapore, in particular John Miksic, Geoff Wade and Bruce Lockhart, have continued to help me since I left ARI, new colleagues in Manchester, in particular Joseph Bergin and Tim Parkin, have enlightened me about Bourbon France and Roman Europe. I wish to thank the British Academy for the Small Grant that allowed me to visit the Number One History Archive in Beijing and the Palace Museum in Taipei. I am very grateful to Professor Chen Chunsheng, who hosted me at the Institute of Historical Anthropology of Sun Zhongshan University in the summer of 2009, and to Director Huang Kewu and Dr. Jennifer Chang Ning, who hosted me at the Institute of Modern History of Academia Sinica in the spring of 2010. Special thanks go to Professors Zhuang Jifa, Lai Huimin, Drs Julie-Marie Strange, Paulo Drinot, Pedro R. Pinto, Till Geiger and Charles Alymer who helped me to find sources, and to Vicky Morrisroe and Jonathan Jucker who quickly copyedited the manuscript. I want to thank Katie Chin, Qin Higley and Karen Cullen at Brill who put up with me and with my endless questions in the past year. I also want to thank Peter Gatrell, Paul Fouracre, Nick Higham, Frank Mort, Natalie Zacek, Bidisha Ray, Laurence Brown, Glyn Redworth, Bertrand Taithe, Penny Summerfield and Hannah Barker for their encouragement and support over the past few years. Finally, my heartfelt thanks go to the staff, especially Elizabeth

viii

preface

Gow, John Hodgson and Jacky Hardcastle, at the special collection of the John Rylands Library (Deansgate) at the University of Manchester. With their help, I struck gold in the summer of 2010 when I discovered the Chinese Collection, especially the extremely rare Copper Engravings of the European Palaces in Yuan Ming Yuan [圆明园西 洋楼铜板画] or, which had been hidden for more than a century and a half. Manchester has continued to surprise and grow me. Zheng Yangwen 鄭揚文 9 June 2011

DIAGRAMS, TABLES AND ILLUSTRATIONS Diagrams 3.1 Estimated Rice Price Levels in China, 1723–1735 ............. 3.2 Rice Price Fluctuation, 1644–1793 ........................................

102 108

Tables 2.1 Chinese ships calling on Batavia 1720s to 1740s ................ 5.1 Salt merchant financial contribution to the Qing court ........ 6.1 Sino-British trade to the first decade of the 19th century ..................................................................................

90 200 227

Illustrations 1.1 1.2 2.1 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 6.1 6.2 7.1 8.1 8.2

Fa Xian Travel Map ................................................................. Changsha Ceramics ................................................................. Canton Customs Inspection ................................................... Lady Seated at the Virginals ................................................... Clocks: Qing Court Collection .............................................. Clock: Foreigner Writing Chinese Character ...................... Watches: Qing Court Collection ........................................... Chinese Orchestra .................................................................... The Three Celestial Islands ..................................................... Yongzheng Portrait .................................................................. Dressing Table with Clock and Singsong ............................ Yuan Ming Yuan [圆明园] Layout ....................................... Panorama View of the European Palaces ............................ Harmonious, Exotic, Interesting [谐奇趣] .......................... Hall of Peaceful Seas [海晏堂] .............................................. Big Water Magic [大水法] ..................................................... Kangxi’s Fur-Lined Imperial Robe ........................................ Puppeteer: European Scene .................................................... Kaiping Watchtowers [开平碉楼] ......................................... Tang Cargo ................................................................................ Painting Porcelain ....................................................................

28 34 66 137 153 158 163 171 175 176 178 181 183 184 193 195 234 239 272 287 288

INTRODUCTION In June 2005 the Asian Civilisation Museum in Singapore exhibited some four hundred ceramics which had been recovered from the oldest shipwreck found in Southeast Asia. The ceramics bore no resemblance to the familiar blue and white Ming and Qing porcelain, nor did they look like the rarer white Song and Yuan ware. Made in a kiln in Changsha in the Tang dynasty (618–906), these were the long-vanished Changsha ceramics [长沙窑]. Named the “Tang cargo” by excavators and archaeologists, these fascinating ceramics were shipped from the city of Yangzhou, on the banks of the Grand Canal in northeast interior China. In other words, these wares had arrived in Yangzhou for export after having been transported over long distances from south central China via the Xiang and Yangzi Rivers. What is more, the Changsha ceramics—some intact after nearly 1400 years buried under the sea— were contained in large jars which had been made in Vietnam. They were painted with Arabic characters and clearly destined for Arabia. The vessel itself bears the hallmarks of Arabic shipping technology, while the wood used to build the ship was from India.1 The “Tang cargo” raises a number of complex questions about the nature of trade in this period. Why were they exported from Yangzhou rather than from Guangzhou, which is much closer to Changsha and has excellent access to the sea? How did a small and obscure kiln in an inland south-central province come to produce wares for the most powerful empire on earth in the eighth century? What kind of multinational commercial and financial networks were in place to facilitate such cross-regional long distance trade? Was Arabic the lingua franca of the transaction? The story of the “Tang cargo” lends force to the new perspective developed in this book, which seeks to cast light on China’s relationship with the maritime world. Generations of Chinese scholars have made China synonymous with the Great Wall and presented her civilization as fundamentally land-bound. This volume demonstrates

1 Simon Worrall, “China Made: A 1,200-year-old Shipwreck Opens a Window on the Ancient Global Trade (Photographs by Tony Law)”, National Geographic 215, 6 (June 2009): 112–22.

2

introduction

that China was not a “Walled Kingdom”, certainly not during or ever since the Tang era.2 China reached out to the maritime world far more actively than historians have allowed, while the seas shaped China in ways which have been obscured by the assumption that her worldview was narrowly continental. My aim is to integrate knowledge of the maritime history of China, a subject which has hitherto languished on the periphery of scholarly analysis, into the mainstream of current historical narrative. More specifically, this volume examines the maritime world to enhance our understanding of Chinese history in the Qing era. Placing the seas at the centre of the narrative and using the oceans to elucidate the complexity of Chinese history, it highlights the importance of the maritime world to the political outlook, economic policy, court life and consumer culture of the Qing. In doing so, it exposes fundamental problems which have characterised much of the previous scholarship on Chinese history, as exemplified by John K. Fairbank’s final book. According to Fairbank: The contrast between Maritime China and Continental China was almost as great as that between China and Inner Asia. Few classically educated chroniclers, concentrated as they were upon imperial government, ever went to sea. Chinese seafarers did not write memoirs. Because the sea, unlike the steppe, did not harbour rivals for power, it had been given little importance in Chinese history. Yet Chinese life from the start had had a maritime wing more or less equal and opposite to the Inner Asia wing.3

While Fairbank notes that the seas have “been given little importance in Chinese history”, the explanations he advances for this neglect are unsatisfactory. First, the suggestion that imperial governments were uninterested in the seas and that Chinese seafarers did not leave memoirs of their ocean-going experiences is simply unfounded. Imperial dynasties from the time of the Qin and the Three Kingdoms to the time of the Song and Ming dynasties commissioned sea voyages that were recorded and are still considered epic today. 2 Witold Rodzinski, The Walled Kingdom: A History of China from 2000BC to the Present (London: Fontana, 1985). For more on the importance of the Tang as a turning point, see Hugh R. Clark, Community, Trade, and Networks: Southern Fujian Province from the Third to the Thirteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 19–37. 3 John K. Fairbank and Merle Goldman, China: A New History (Cambridge and London: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2001), p. 191.

introduction

3

Amongst the rich store of seafaring memoirs which have been bequeathed to us are the early writings of Kang Tai and Zhu Ying, two envoys sent to Southeast Asia by Sun Quan, the King of Wu, during the Three Kingdoms period (220–280). Some time later, Fa Xian (334–420), a monk who sought the wisdom of Buddha, detailed his journey to and from India by land and sea respectively. During the Song and Yuan dynasties (960–1367), diplomats such as Zhou Daguan travelled to, and were even stationed in, Southeast Asian countries such as Cambodia, and wrote extensively about the regions they encountered. Similarly, key participants in the celebrated Zheng He voyages (1405–1433), Ma Huan, Fei Xin and Gong Zhen, left remarkable accounts of their experiences in foreign lands. Far from being obscure, these works have become the most valuable—and sometimes the only—sources for the study of Southeast Asia in this period. Fairbank is also wrong to assume that China was unconcerned with the seas because the oceans “did not harbour rivals for power”. As will be explained in Chapters One, Two and Three, both the Ming and Qing were conscious of the dangers posed by enemies that could cross the oceans, and both dynasties consequently placed bans on seafaring. Fairbank’s misconceived belief that the seas harboured no rivals to China’s power can also be found in the works of Matteo Ricci. Referring to the “enormous extent and renown” of the Chinese empire, Ricci observed that: it is quite well protected on all sides, by defences supplied by both nature and science. To the south and the east it is washed by the sea, and the coast is dotted with so many small islands that it would be difficult for a hostile fleet to approach the mainland.4

Contrary to such assertions, it must be pointed out that China’s coastline has proved repeatedly vulnerable throughout history. The Ming dynasty is a good example, as Japanese pirates and the Portuguese found China’s coast an easy target, while the Spainish even contemplated a quick invasion from the seas.5 In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century the naval weakness of China was mocked by observers such as George Anson and Peter Auber, who remarked

4

Matteo Ricci, China in the Sixteenth Century: the Journals of Matthew Ricci 1583– 1610 (New York: Random House, 1953), pp. 9–10. 5 G. F. Hudson, Europe and China: a Survey of Their Relations from the Earliest Times to 1800 (Boston: Beacon Press, 1961), p. 249.

4

introduction

that the Chinese had “lost the war-like character which their primitive ancestors might have possessed” and were lacking in “the art of navigating ships at a distance from land”.6 Similarly, Commander John Elliot Bingham, who sailed up the river from the port of Tianjin towards the capital Beijing during the Opium War, reported that: The coast had a wretched appearance from the boats, being nearly a dead flat interspersed with small sand-hills, but not having a symptom of vegetation to relieve the eye. On each side of the entrance of the river there was an old and dilapidated fort, fast falling to decay. On the top of the western one were several tents pitched; one of which was blue and yellow, with a red triangular flag flying over it.7

Analyses of China’s engagement with the seas are noticeably absent in the otherwise wide-ranging accounts of China’s history, and the failure to incorporate maritime China within the historiography has led to neglect, as noted by another eminent Chinese historian, John E. Wills Jr.: “[f]or European and North American studies of China, maritime China, at least before the great crisis of the late 1800s, has been a marginal topic”.8 This neglect cannot be justified or explained by a lack of source material; rather, it exposes a dominant mode of thought that has permeated the study of China ever since the first account of the country was published by Juan González de Mendoza in 1585.9 From the Jesuits and Joseph Needham to Donald F. Lach and John Hobson, generations of scholars have emphasised the great influence which the science, philosophy and products of China have exerted on the rest of the world. The problem with this perspective is that it has given rise to a Sino-centrism that has encouraged a tendency to ignore the fact that the outside world shaped China as well. The extent of this outside influence can hardly be overestimated: the imports which arrived in China via the sea from the time of Yongjia Disturbance [永嘉之乱] in 311 onwards have been both diverse and

6 Peter Auber, China: An Outline of its Government, Laws, and Policy (London: Parbury & Allen, 1834), p. 62. 7 John Bingham, Narrative of the Expedition to China, from the Commencement of the War to its Termination in 1842 (2 vols. London: Henry Colburn, 1842), vol. 1, p. 217. 8 John E. Wills, Jr., “The South China Sea Is Not a Mediterranean: Implications for the History of Chinese Foreign Relations”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan shi Lunwen Ji Di Shi Ji, ed. Tang Xiyong (Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan haiyangshi yanjiu zhongxin, 2008), pp. 1–24. 9 Juan González de Mendoza, The History of the Great and Mighty Kingdom of China (2 vols. London: Hakluyt Society, 1853–54).

introduction

5

powerfully influential. They range from the religious creeds of Buddhism, Islam and Christianity to addictive substances such as tobacco and opium; from staples such as maize and foreign yams to clocks and bicycles; from the cultural products of oil painting to the ideology of communism. These foreign religions, smokes, foodstuff, scientific inventions, art genres and systems of political thought were imported to China via the seas in four distinct waves: the “Age of Commerce” or the Ming wave, the “Chinese Century” or the Qing wave, the Opium War wave and the Cold War wave (which is not discussed in this volume).10 Foreigners, and their goods, science, art and ideas have significantly changed the course of Chinese history, and have been of inestimable importance since the Ming period. The choice of the year 311 as the starting point for a study of China’s relationship with the seas might appear unusual, but 311 is a significant year for a number of reasons. The Silk Road which emerged and thrived during the Han dynasty (BC 206–AD 220) fell into a number of different hands when the Han broke into the Three Kingdoms (220–280). The bloody fight for China which continued into the following Western Jin dynasty culminated in the Yongjia Disturbance in 311, when tens of thousands of Chinese fled from north to south.11 The Disturbance initiated the process which Harold Wiens refers to as “China’s March towards the Tropics”, and what C. F. FitzGerald labelled the “southern expansion of the Chinese people”.12 Although the Tang dynasty revived the Silk Road when it took power in 618, the Battle of the River Talas in 751 saw the route disintegrate again, as Tang troops lost their struggle against the powerful Arab Abbasid Caliphate. This highway of commercial and cultural exchange was to remain fragmented until the Mongols temporarily consolidated the route in the course of their short-lived eight decade rule in China. Mark E. Lewis’s new book, China Between Empires: the Northern and Southern Dynasties, lends force to my choice of the year 311.

10 Anthony Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, 1450–1680 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988–1993) and Charting the Shape of Early Modern Southeast Asia (Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 1999), pp. 241–43. 11 Ge Jianxiong, et al., Zhongguo Yimin Shi (6 vols. Fuzhou: Fujian renmin chubanshe, 1997), vol. 2, pp. 307–421 and Wang Di, Songdai Jingji Shigao (Changchun: Changchun chubanshe, 2001), p. 172. 12 Harold J. Wiens, China’s March toward the Tropics (Hamden [CT]: Shoe String Press, 1954); C. F. FitzGerald, The Southern Expansion of the Chinese People: “Southern Fields and Southern Ocean” (London: Barrie & Jenkins, 1972).

6

introduction

Lewis points out that the Northern and Southern Dynasties period has been “slighted” and relegated to a “secondary status” in Chinese history.13 He believes that “the single most important development in the four centuries between the Han and the Tang dynasties was the geographic redefinition of China” and that “the neglected four centuries between the Han and the Tang left a profound, permanent impression on Chinese history.”14 Most importantly, I would argue this impression forced China to rely on overseas routes for trade, which gave rise to the “Silk Road on the Sea” and reinforced China’s ties with the maritime world. The Yongjia Disturbance marks a significant turning point from the perspective of China’s maritime history. Following the Disturbance, the bulk of China’s foreign trade with West Asia, first in silk and later in porcelain, came by necessity to rely on a new maritime route. The gradual and obscure process by which Chinese trade switched from land to sea routes is unclear in its early stages in the fourth century, but it becomes increasingly marked by the seventh century. From the time of the Tang, foreign traders, tribute missions and the creed of Islam began to arrive in China via the ocean as the Silk Road on the Sea rose to prominence. The “Tang cargo” is a defining example of China’s engagement with the maritime world which began in the fourth century, intensified in the Song-Yuan period, and attained the highest levels of significance during the Ming-Qing dynasties. Twice as long as the Great Wall, China’s 18,000km coastline was longer than its land frontiers until the Qing (1644–1911) when the latter grew to roughly 20,000km. The coast zigzags from the LiaodongShandong peninsulas, through the East China Sea and Taiwan Strait, to the South China Sea and the vicinity of the Gulf of Vietnam. The Great Wall did not safeguard China, as it neither deterred nor prevented invasions; it only made what was inside the Wall seemed more attractive. Likewise, the seas that separated China from neighbours near and far only made what lay beyond its shores more desirable. Frederick Mote has discussed the way in which China can be, and was—at least during the early Ming—considered a maritime power:

13 Mark E. Lewis, China Between Empires: the Northern and Southern Dynasties (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009), Introduction. 14 Ibid.

introduction

7

An enduring misconception of Chinese history must be scuttled: China has a very long and successful history as a maritime power. Many Chinese do not understand that, nor do many in the West. To be sure, China’s was not much like the more familiar histories of other maritime peoples, in that the Chinese state and its official policy relegated the seafaring activities of China’s coastal population to a third-rate place in the nation’s life. China did not think of those activities as offering a seaborne extension of state power, unless Zheng He’s great voyages in the early fifteenth century provides a brief exception. Nor did any Chinese government compete with neighbouring nations and commit its energies to naval warfare over issues of dominance at sea. China recognized seaborne international trade as a source of revenues, but it rarely attempted to rationalise or maximize tariff income, and was quite willing to forgo that source of state revenue entirely when attendant issues intervened. All of those negative observations bear on the role of the state in maritime warfare and commerce.15

China clearly had the capacity to become a great maritime power throughout her history, but did not do so in the way Europeans did. As Matteo Ricci explains, “[b]eyond the mountain range which hems in the kingdom to the west, there exist only impoverished countries to which the Chinese pay little or no attention, as they neither fear nor consider them worth while annexing.”16 China’s failure to develop as a maritime power appears to me merely contingent; had the Koreans, the Filipinos or the Indonesians challenged her as did the nomads from the north and the west, China may well have fought back and dominated the seas, rather than the landmass of Asia. In asserting that the maritime history of China has been accorded “little importance” and has been unduly neglected, I do not mean to suggest that scholars of China have not studied the subject at all. A number of scholars have produced excellent work in this area, but their detailed and industrious research into China’s engagement with the seas has not been integrated into mainstream narratives on Chinese history. Feng Chengjun (1887–1946), Fang Hao (1910–1980), Cao Yonghe, Wang Gungwu, and Takeshi Hamashita are amongst those who devoted their careers to the study of maritime China.17 They have produced outstanding works that shed light on the pattern and

15 F. W. Mote, Imperial China 900–1800 (Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press, 2003), pp. 717–19. 16 Ricci, China in the Sixteenth Century, pp. 9–10. 17 Feng Chengjun, Zhongguo Nanyang Jiaotong Shi (Shanghai: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1937); Fang Hao, Zhong Xi Jiaotong Shi (2 vols. Taibei: Wenhua daxue

8

introduction

significance of Sino-foreign trade and relations. The Zheng He voyages have been an abiding source of fascination for many, while the infamous opium trade has inspired scholars including H. B. Morse, Michael Greenberg, E. H. Pritchard and many more. John K. Fairbank himself undertook research into Maritime Customs and Inspector General Robert Hart towards the end of his life and career. This work has been developed further by Hans van de Ven and Robert Bickers in the Chinese Maritime Customs project. Of those who work on China, John E. Wills, C. F. FitzGerald, Philip Kuhn, Dian Murray and Sherman Cochran are amongst those who have shown great interest in the dynamics between China and Southeast Asia. Even the eminent Guo Tingyi, who is not known for his scholarship on maritime China, highlighted the impact of the various sea voyages on Chinese history, whereas Li Donghua has continued to help us better understand China’s maritime heritage.18 In the post-Mao era, maritime China has generated new interest. In 1983 Academia Sinica launched a maritime history project and has since published the proceedings of ten conferences on the subject. On the mainland, Yang Guozhen has led the effort to publish at least eight volumes on the history of maritime China. This research has gone a long way towards illuminating various aspects of China’s maritime legacy. It has elucidated China’s changing attitudes towards the seas, her increasing understanding of the Indian Ocean, and the impact of maritime disasters.19 The lack of collective recognition of, and a coherent approach to, China’s maritime history continues to be reflected in erroneous statements that distort understandings of the past as thousands of students around the world undertake the study of China today:

chubanshe, 1983) & Cao Yonghe, Zhongguo Haiyang Shi Lunji (Taibei: Lianjing chubanshe, 2000). 18 Guo Tingyi, “Cong Lishi Shang Kan Zhongguo de Hanghai Shiye”, in Hanghai Jie Jinian Ji (Taibei: Hanghai tongxunshe, 1955), pp. 14–33; Li Donghua, Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Guanjian Shi Di Ge’an Yanjiu (Taibei: Da’an chubanshe, 1990), pp. 1–37. See also Huang Gongmian & Yang Jinsen, Zhongguo Lishi Haiyang Jingji Dili (Beijing: Haiyang chubanshe, 1985), pp. 11–25 & 184–89. 19 Huang Shunli, Haiyang Misi: Zhongguo Haiyang Guan de Chuantong yu Bianqian (Nanchang: Jiangxi gaoxiao chubanshe, 1999), pp. 58–105; Geng Yingzeng, Zhongguo Ren yu Yindu Yang (Zhengzhou: Daxiang chubanshe, 1997), pp. 8–23; Yu Yunquan, Haiyang Tian Zai: Zhongguo Lishi Shiqi de Haiyang Zaihai yu Yanhai Shehui Jingji (Nanchang: Jiangxi gaoxiao chubanshe, 2005).

introduction

9

Trade relations between China and the West had increased considerably from the middle of the eighteenth century, and it is indisputable that the initiative in this development rested solely with the latter. In view of the economic self-sufficiency of its immense empire, the Ch’ing government had no particular interest in favouring a further growth in foreign trade, which it regarded as of marginal importance. ... Since 1757 the Ch’ing authorities restricted trade exclusively to Canton, placing it in the hands of a small guild of merchants, the Cohong, which, in effect, became a government-supervised monopoly. The bulk of the China trade rested in British hands, with the East India Company playing the principal role, until its demise in 1834. . .20

This volume attempts to redress these misconceptions about Chinese history. It will demonstrate that Sino-foreign trade was not dominated or primarily stimulated by Europeans. Trade certainly was not controlled by the English East India Company, which languished in the shadow of the Portuguese and Dutch for nearly two centuries. The European powers fought against each other and the Asians in order to control Asian and Chinese markets, a struggle for profit which continued over the centuries and which economic historians recognise as the “historical constant”.21 This volume will also reveal that the Qing were not resistant to contact with Europeans, nor were they merely passive respondents to mounting external pressures to trade. The Qing was eager to establish trading networks as, far from being selfsufficient, foreign trade was vital to their survival. It will be argued that the Qing’s trade was not restricted exclusively to Canton either before or after 1757, and while foreign trade had been a government monopoly since the Han, this did not necessarily hamper private trade. In fact, the reverse was true: government monopoly emerged because of the challenge and competition from private trade. This volume draws on materials held within several newly-released archives, bundled manuscripts or freshly-printed documents made available by Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan [第一历史档案馆], or The Number One History Archive in Beijing. They include: Neiwu Fu Guangchu Si Liu Ku Yuezhe Dang [内务府广储司六库月折档], or The Monthly Register of the Six Banks in the Imperial Household Department, and

20

Rodzinski, The Walled Kingdom, pp. 177–78. C. G. F. Simkin, The Traditional Trade of Asia (London, New York and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1968), pp. 251–60. 21

10

introduction

Qing Gong Neiwu Fu Zaoban Chu Dang’an Zonghui [清宫内务府造 办处档案总汇], or The Complete Archive of the Royal Manufactory in the Imperial Household Department.22 These archives contain detailed information on the foreign products that were imported by the Qing court and those made in the Royal Manufactories under the supervision of Jesuit missionaries. As such, the records cast light on the nature and scale of the Qing’s foreign trade, but more importantly on the court’s fascination with, and increasing addiction to, foreign goods.23 This volume proudly presents the Chinese Collection and other China-related materials, such as the Melville Papers, found hidden at the John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester. The Chinese collection contains books dating back to the 1550s and drawings and images of eighteenth-century China, including the extremely rare Copper Engravings of the European Palaces in Yuan Ming Yuan. No historians of China have ever written on these materials. This book also makes better and more intensive use of old archival materials, such as the Kangxi Chao Manwen Zhupi Zouzhe Quan Yi [康熙朝满文朱批奏 摺全译] or The Complete Translation of Kangxi Commented Memorials in Manchu.24 This volume might be familiar to historians, but the entries which are of the greatest importance to the present study, those relating to maritime affairs, have been completely overlooked. I have read many Jesuit memoirs, and every single memoir (more than forty in total) collected in the series Qingdai Shiliao Biji [清代史料笔记], the majority of those collected in Mingdai Shiliao Bjii [明代史料笔记] and more relevantly those in the series Zhong Wai Jiaotong Shiji Congcan [中外交通史籍从刊]. This volume also draws on the perspectives and research of scholars who work on Southeast Asia. That the task of researching and writing about maritime China has been taken up by generations of Southeast Asian—rather than Chinese—historians is demonstrative of the impact

22 Neiwu Fu Guangchu Si Liuku Yuezhe Dang are manuscripts bundled by month and deposited at the Number One History Archive located within the Palace Museum in Beijing. See also Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Qinggong Zhaoban Chu Dang’an Zonghui (55 vols. Beijing: Renmin chubanseh, 2005). 23 What would really help is Tribute Archive [贡档], which recorded the tributes that the various foreign countries sent to China, and Exhibition Archive [陈设档], which recorded where these foreign items were displayed. Unfortunately, both are still closed to researchers. 24 Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Kangxi Chao Manwen Zhupi Zouzhe Quan Yi (Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe, 1996).

introduction

11

and consequences that China’s maritime activities had for the region. Southeast Asian historians have produced outstanding works of scholarship on aspects of maritime China, from economic life to Diaspora patterns, about which many Chinese historians are not aware. Their research has shown that Southeast Asia acted as a “Promised Land”, and sometimes a refuge, for many coastal Chinese, whose entrepreneurship shaped the modern economies of the region.25 This volume contains eight chapters. Chapter One, “Facing the Seas”, charts the shifting attitudes of the various regimes towards the seas and examines the mechanisms they put in place in order to control maritime affairs, from the age of the Qin-Han to that of the Ming. It attempts to reveal how successive dynasties faced the challenges posed by the seas and exposes both the continuities and variations in the nature of Chinese encounters with the maritime world. In adopting a longue durée approach, this chapter highlights the special significance of the seas to China under the Qing dynasty, which will be the focus of the following seven chapters. Valerie Hanson has asserted that China faced “West” from 200 to 1000 and “North” from 1000 to 1600; this chapter will argue that China faced the oceans to the East and South too, and that at certain points in her history China was focused almost exclusively on the seas.26 The maritime world was central to the search for the three celestial islands that began with the First Emperor, and it gave birth to at least one deity—Mazu, a goddess still worshipped in overseas communities from the Straits of Malacca to Cape Town and the Caribbean islands. It was the seas that made the Tang “golden”, the Song “China’s greatest age”, and spread the gospel of Ming China.27 Chapter Two, “Inconsistency of the Seas”, focuses in detail on the ways in which the Qing dynasty confronted the challenges posed by the seas. It demonstrates that while the Manchus’ basic instinct was to control the maritime world and affairs as all previous regimes had done before them, they nevertheless showed a degree of flexibility in their approach. A preoccupation with national security initially necessitated bans on maritime trade, as the seas were understood to 25 Yumio Sakurai, “Eighteenth-Century Chinese Pioneers on the Water Frontier of Indochina”, in Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong Region, 1750–1880, eds. Nola Cooke and Li Tana (Singapore & Lanham [MD] & Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004), pp. 35–52. 26 Valerie Hansen. The Open Empire: a History of China to 1600 (New York: Norton, 2000). 27 Fairbank and Goldman, China: A New History, p. 88.

12

introduction

harbour potential enemies in the form of anti-Qing resistance led by Zheng Chenggong and during the so-called “Rites Controversy”. Nevertheless, the same concern for stability forced the later relaxation of such restrictions as China’s population exploded and rice riots threatened the regime. The Manchus were quick to adapt to contemporary exigencies. Chapter Three, “Feeding China”, examines the methods adopted by the Qing regime to procure foreign rice in order to feed the increasing population of China. Although economic historians have explored the methods used by the Qing to amass grain and facilitate its flow in the empire, they have not written about the import of foreign rice and the regime’s promotion of miscellaneous grains [杂粮], such as maize. This chapter complements their research by adding a new dimension, specifically how the Qing solicited rice from Siam. It is argued that without rice from Southeast Asia, and in the absence of New World foodstuffs like maize, which also came via Southeast Asia, neither China nor Southeast Asia would be what they are today. The seas dictated Qing political outlook and economic policy and also— more importantly—defined Qing high culture, as will be demonstrated in Chapters Four and Five. Chapter Four, “Cette Merveilleuse Machine”, focuses on the introduction and naturalisation of European-made clocks in China. For the Jesuits, mechanical inventions such as clocks manufactured in Europe were of singular importance in opening up Ming China to Christendom, while their successors during the Qing helped to indigenise such curios. The nature of the Kangxi emperor’s fondness for clocks differed markedly from that of Wanli and Shunzhi. For Kangxi, the clock was not a mere plaything but a tool with which he would discipline himself and instil order among his officials. The power of this implementation was soon recognised not only by ministers but also by eunuchs and merchants. The social life of clocks in China is significant because they led to the standardisation of time and laid a solid foundation for the coming modernisation of China. More importantly, they stimulated a fascination with European mechanics that would intensify during the reigns of the Yongzheng and Qianlong emperors. Chapter Five, “Les Palais Européens”, examines the construction and decoration of the European palaces in the Garden of Perfect Brightness. Designed and built by the Jesuits, they were adorned with furniture and artefacts imported directly from Europe. The Qianlong emperor’s fondness for expensive and exotic things from Europe helped to blow

introduction

13

the Xi Yang Feng [西洋风]—the Wind of West Ocean when translated literally, Wind of Europe once Europeans appeared in Asia, and Wind of the West after the Opium Wars—that is, the Chinese preference for goods made outside China, particularly in Europe, or the West.28 This is significant, as China’s elite prized foreign products and gloried in their use, a fashion would emerge and engulf the entire country in the nineteenth century. What came from the seas not only defined high culture, but also consumer culture, and foretold the fate of the Qing dynasty, the focus of Chapters Six and Seven. Chapter Six, “Wind of the West”, details the consumer fascination with yang huo [洋货] or foreign stuff/goods, an obsession to which I first drew attention in The Social Life of Opium in China. The nature of China’s foreign trade, which had catered to the court and elite since the Qin-Han, changed during the late Ming, when imports began to increasingly consist of large quantities of mundane consumer items. China’s population increase in this period created a greater demand not only for more foodstuffs but also for more textiles, utensils and furniture. This demand first emerged during the late Ming and fully materialised during the mid-Qing, when the population exploded and urbanisation accelerated. For the first time in history, China’s foreign trade began to respond to the demands of the consumer market. This is the most important turning point in the economic history of China, but one which has been ignored by historians thus far, another testimony to the lack of interest in maritime China and its significance in the creation of Chinese culture and civilisation. Chapter Seven, “Pattern and Variation”, examines the indigenisation of four categories of foreign goods in Qing China. It focuses on the imported textiles which the Chinese wore, the imported food and drinks which they consumed, the imported styles of architecture which shaped the houses the Chinese increasingly came to inhabit, and the imported modes of transport by which they travelled. China had become dependent on what maritime trade could provide to feed, clothe, house and move its ever-increasing and urbanising population. Research into the pattern and variation in the indigenisation of key foreign imports has enabled me to delve deeply into the complexity of the Qing economy, culture and society, and the consequences wrought

28 Liu Shanling, Xi Yang Feng: Xi Yang Faming Zai Zhongguo (Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1999).

14

introduction

by increased contact and exchange with the maritime world. While European influence on China had begun to surface during the late Ming and became increasingly evident in the mid-Qing, Chinese influence on Europe also began to accelerate in the eighteenth century. Chapter Eight, “Race for Oriental Opulence”, traces Europe’s fascination with China from the Roman era to the eighteenth century, when it flourished into the so-called Chinoiserie, a phenomenon comparable to the Wind of the West which was concurrently blowing through China. They are “strange parallels”, a term coined by another historian of Southeast Asia, Victor Lieberman, in his effort to better analyse and synthesise the trajectories of Asian and European histories.29 For nearly two thousand years, the exoticism and allure of China had stimulated the imagination of Europeans. In the nineteenth century, however, as Europeans increasingly encountered the realities of China, disillusionment set in and admiration quickly transformed into criticism and even outright hostility. The Qing dynasty was brought to its knees in 1842 and again in 1860 by a maritime power which it had kept at bay for more than two centuries; it was ultimately overthrown in 1911 by forces that came from the maritime world. Never before in the history of the Middle Kingdom has a dynasty been overthrown by enemies from the sea. It was in researching and writing The Social Life of Opium in China that I first became aware of the vital importance of maritime China. The history of China’s engagement with the ocean is long and complex, and the study of her maritime heritage represents a lifetime project. This volume marks my small attempt to continue the pioneering work of Anthony Reid, who showed the way during his leadership of the Asia Research Institute (ARI), the “Southeast Asia-China Interaction” cluster in particular, at the National University of Singapore. I have placed maritime China at the centre of my historical research and writing because I have no doubt that this will help us better comprehend the land, as well as the seas, that we call China.

29 Victor B. Lieberman, Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c. 800– 1830 (Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003).

CHAPTER ONE

FACING THE SEAS Xu Fu [徐福] from the country of Qi wrote to the First Emperor to say that there were ‘Three Celestial Islands’ [三仙岛] in the sea and they are Penglai [蓬莱], Fangzhang [方丈] and Yingzhou [瀛州] where the immortals live. The First Emperor dispatched Xu and several thousand men and women, some children, with provisions and weapons to the sea (BC 219) to look for the celestial islands and the immortals.1 The First Emperor arrived at Langya (BC 210). This was a few years after Xu had gone to the sea where he did not find the celestial islands. Xu was afraid because the trip was costly. He told the First Emperor that he was held up by a big shark in the sea and asked the Emperor to find someone to kill it. The Emperor ordered a slayer who shot the shark several times.2 Then the First Emperor dispatched three thousand men and women with five hundred kinds of professionals and sent Xu on his way again. Xu Fu came upon a place called ‘Big Plain Wide Field’. He stayed, declared himself King and did not return.3

“Xu Fu enters the East (China) Sea” is a tale which has fascinated scholars for over two thousand years.4 The story is also familiar to ordinary Chinese and to their neighbours in East Asia, especially the Japanese, many of whom believe that the land Xu discovered and settled was the island of Kyūshū in southern Japan, although it could have been Korea, Okinawa, Taiwan or—as recent scholarship has suggested—the Philippines.5 A statue of Xu Fu stands in the city

1 Sima Qian, Shi Ji: Shi Huang Ben Ji (130 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1979), vol. 6, p. 247. See also Han Yaoqi, Shi Ji Pingzhu Ben (Changsha: Yuelu shushe, 2004), pp. 134, 146; and Wang Suichang, Qin Shi (Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 2000), pp. 273–75. 2 Sima Qian, Shi Ji: Shi Huang Ben Ji, vol. 6, p. 263. 3 Sima Qian, Shi Ji: Huai Nan Wang Zhuan, vol. 118, p. 3086. 4 Wang Suichang, Qin Shi, pp. 273–75; Yang Bing, Xu Fu Dong Du zhi Mi (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe, 1989), pp. 11–12 & 23–38; Sheng Xu Fu Yanjiuhui, et al., Xu Fu Yanjiu (Qingdao: Haiyang daxue chubanshe, 1989), pp. 300–12; Liu Fengming, Shandong Bandao yu Dongfang Haishang Sichou zhi Lu (Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 2007), pp. 42–77; and Zhu Yafei, ed. Xu Fu Zhi (Jinan: Shandong renmin chubanshe, 2009). 5 Liao Dake, Fujian Haiwai Jiaotong Shi (Fuzhou: Renmin chubanshe, 2006), pp. 7–8.

16

chapter one

of Ichikikushikino in Japan today.6 The place where Xu is believed to have set sail was Penglai, a city on the northern tip of the Shandong peninsula. It faces the Liaodong and Korean peninsulas, and sits between the Bohai [渤海] and Yellow Sea. The Penglai Pavilion and Penglai Celestial Site, built during the Song dynasty, have attracted pilgrims ever since, as the region became a centre of trade and cultural exchange with Northeast Asia. The First Emperor became obsessed with immortality after he conquered six other larger kingdoms to found the Qin dynasty, or the Middle Kingdom, in BC 221. He sought the secret of longevity, and he believed—or was led to believe—that it could be found over the sea; thus he commissioned the two epic voyages. It is unclear as to how the First Emperor came to learn about immortality, although it is possible that his knowledge was gleaned from Buddhism, which had recently been introduced to the Qin. Xu Fu, sent by the emperor to discover the secret of immortality, knew that he would be dead should he return to China without the recipe for longevity; what he did not know was that the First Emperor died shortly after he set sail for the second time. Xu Fu’s voyages are significant because they set the precedent for further voyages in the two millennia to come, and mark the beginning of the imperial search for the three celestial islands which would continue into the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). Xu’s voyages highlight three recurring themes in the history of China’s engagement with the sea. First of all, the Qin court and elite, if not the ordinary people, believed that the immortals resided in the seas and that the oceans held hidden secrets and treasures. This was not a belief limited to the Qin court; later dynasties commissioned voyages that sought many such things, from the East China Sea to the Indian Ocean. Secondly, the unpredictability, danger and challenge posed by the seas meant that long-distance seafaring was not an individual undertaking; Xu Fu was accompanied by a large fleet with sufficient provision of food, medicine and munitions to sustain him and his crew on the journey. In other words, only the court could afford sea voyages, whose purpose was naturally to serve the needs of the Son of Heaven. Long-distance seafaring was to remain the preserve of the court from the time of the Qin to the Ming. Thirdly, the land Xu discovered was not a land of barbarians, but a kind of Promised Land

6

Liu Fengming, Shandong Bandao yu Dongfang Haishang Sichou zhi Lu.

facing the seas

17

which seemed to offer more than his home country. It was a haven to the five hundred professionals who landed there and a refuge for Xu, given that death surely awaited him should he return. In the two thousand years after Xu, many would leave China in search of their own promised land. These three themes are repeated again and again over the following two millennia. This chapter explores the attitude of the various dynasties and regimes towards the maritime world and the mechanisms they put in place for its control. It adopts a longue durée approach, beginning with the Han dynasty and then tracing its successors’ encounters with the seas until the Ming. A brief examination of China’s rapport with the maritime world is crucial in order to establish how successive dynasties and regimes perceived, engaged and learned to deal with challenges from the seas, and formulated their policies to regulate trade and travel. The effectiveness of these policies will require further research, involving the study of the various maritime regions, which often came up with their own strategies to circumvent the central authority in order to protect their own interests. This chapter highlights the tradition of court-commissioned voyages; it examines the installation of new posts and regulations, and it considers the kind of goods that were exchanged between key partners. This approach will allow the pattern as well as the variation to emerge; and it will highlight the case of the Qing, the focus of the subsequent seven chapters. Deng Duanben believes that the history of China’s maritime trade can be divided into three periods: the pre-Sui-Tang period (pre-589), when Chinese merchants first took to the seas, the Tang-Song-Yuan period (589–1367), when seafaring and trade developed fully, and the Ming-Qing period (1368–1911), when it stagnated.7 I have adopted this timeframe, not in imitation of Deng, but because the global dynamics of these three periods have particular significance. The Han-Jin dynastic era (206 BC–AD 420) coincided with the rise of the Western Roman Empire (27 BC–AD 476), the Tang-Song-Yuan epoch (618–1367) with the ascent of Islamic Caliphate, and the Ming-Qing era (1368–1911) with the expansion of Europe.

7

Deng Duanben, “Shibosi Sheli Qian zhi Haiwai Maoyi Guanli”, in Guangzhou Waimao Lianqian Nian, ed. Chen Bojian (3 vols. Guangzhou: Wenhua chubanshe, 1989), vol. 1, pp. 56–70. See also Clark, Community, Trade, and Networks, pp. 19–37.

18

chapter one

More importantly, these three eras were distinguished by trade in three major Chinese commodities: silk, porcelain and tea. They were also distinguished by the introduction of three religions to China through the trade routes: Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. They are what Victor Lieberman called “strange parallels”.8 Trade with a country called “Thina” never stopped; it only changed hands, from Indians and Persians to Muslims and Europeans.9 These nations traded with each other because they needed and appreciated the goods that only the other could produce. This trade shaped not only the destinies of the Chinese people but also the course of regional, and indeed global, history. Xu Fu to Fa Xian [法显]: BC 221–AD 588 During the Spring-Autumn period (BC 770–BC 476) there were more than one hundred small kingdoms and fiefdoms spread across the area of modern-day north and central China. Many of these fiefdoms protected their borders with Guan [关], Passes or Checkpoints, which in most cases were fortified or at least guarded. The Guan acted not only as border posts but also as marketplaces, where court officials and ordinary people would convene to buy, sell and barter.10 The Guan could delay or prevent the invasion of enemy forces; they could also guard against the outflow of manpower and resources. This kind of necessary geopolitics was underpinned by a theory of control that, in practice, succeeded in restricting the free flow of people and goods. In particular, it effectively barred the export of strategic commodities that were important to small countries with limited resources. By the Warring States period (BC 475–BC 221), only seven larger kingdoms remained. The continuous conflict between these states, and

8

Lieberman, Strange Parallels. Pausanias, Guide to Greece Volume 2 Southern Greece (Harmondsworth: Penguin books, 1971), pp. 365–66 and footnote 234. See also The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (London: Hakluyt Society, 1980), p. 120 number 64 and 66 on Thina; Cosmas Indicopleustes, The Christian Topography of Cosmas Indicopleustes, an Egyptian Monk (London: Hakluyt Society, 1987), pp. 48–49; and George F. Hourani, Arab Seafaring in the Indian Ocean in Ancient and Early Medieval Times (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), p. 41. 10 Cai Weizhou, Zhongguo Haiguan Jianshi (Beijing: Zhongguo zhanwang chubanshe, 1989), pp. 15–20; Lian Xinhao, Zhongguo Haiguan yu Duiwai Maoyi (Changsha: Yuelu shushe, 2004), pp. 4–6. Both scholars noticed the massive increase of guan during the Warring States period. 9

facing the seas

19

the consequent necessity of holding on to every horse, every body and every grain for survival, led to the check-point system becoming more sophisticated. This process continued until BC 221, when the previously small Kingdom of Qin, under the leadership of the First Emperor, eliminated all the warring states to found a unified realm, the Middle Kingdom. To maintain central control, the Qin standardised language, systems of measures, currency and roads, and built the longest defensive barrier in the world, the Great Wall. The tradition of building guan continued, as successive regimes built many more passes at strategic points along the Wall, most notably Jade Gate Pass [玉门关], built by the Han regime at the western end, and Mountain Sea Pass [山海关], built by the Ming regime at the eastern end. In defending themselves from perceived threats, the Qin began and left an authoritarian tradition which, like the Great Wall itself, still stands today. While the Qin regime buttressed the interior rather than the coastline, believing that the sea itself was a natural barrier, their totalitarian political ideology and mechanisms for control would be adopted and strengthened by later dynasties when they faced challenges from the ocean. Not only would maritime control resemble the continental border administrations fashioned in an earlier age, but maritime trade would also bear the hallmarks of an exchange system that dealt primarily with the Qin’s neighbours to the north and west. The system might not have survived beyond the short-lived Qin dynasty (BC 221–206) had the Han dynasty not begun to enhance it. The Han’s overland trading partners were mostly nomads from the north and west who desired silk, domestic luxuries, iron tools and weapons from Han China. The Han regime established what was called Guan shi [关市], or Checkpoint fair, in border areas where the Chinese and their neighbours could meet and trade with each other. These were also called Hu shi [胡市], the word Hu referring to non-Chinese people from the north and west. In addition, there were many He shi [合市] or Combined fair, and Jiao shi [交市] or Joint fair, and later Hu shi [互市] or Exchange fair.11 Held monthly or even weekly, depending on politics and weather, these fairs allowed the Chinese and their neighbours to buy or sell as regimes and seasons changed. Mark E. Lewis points this

11 Yao Meilin, Zhongguo Haiguan Shihua (Beijing: Zhongguo haiguan chubanshe, 2005), p. 28; Huang Jinyan, Qin Han Shangping Jingji Yanjiu (Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 2005), pp. 192–99.

20

chapter one

out in his new work: “During the early Chinese empires, merchants from the oasis towns of Central Asia obtained silk through purchase in frontier markets”.12 The original mechanisms or guan employed to restrict overland trade became Hai Guan [海关], meaning Sea Pass/Checkpoint, when applied to maritime control. Trade with the nomads to the north and west allowed the Han army to obtain the best horses and the Han court to acquire the best gemstones and exotic fruit such as grapes. Han Shu [汉书] or The Book of Han reveals in some detail the goods that the Han procured via the sea; it mentions a region called Yue, which stretched from modern Guangdong and Guangxi provinces to central Vietnam. The region, the book explains, is “close to the sea and it has buffalos, elephants, and tortoiseshell, pearl, silver, copper, fruits, cloth; many of those who went there to trade became rich and Fanyu is one of its big cities”.13 The name Fanyu [番禺] is itself extremely suggestive, as it can be translated as “foreign place”; today it is a township in the municipality of Guangzhou. This short excerpt informs us first that this region was a marketplace for commodities from afar, and second that trade in Guangzhou was so profitable that many of those who engaged in it became rich. Maritime trade was highly profitable and, as The Book of Han makes clear, the Han court was adept at exploiting its potential: From the barriers of Rinan (central Vietnam), Xuwen (Guangdong), Hepu (Guangxi), you can sail and reach the country of Duyuan in five months, the country of Luyimo after another four months, the country of Kangli after twenty or so days, and the country of Fugandulu after more than ten days of walking. From here, you can sail for another two months to reach the country of Huangzhi (Kanchipuram, southeast India). The customs in this country bear resemblance to those in Zhuya (Hainan Island). This is a big country with many people and many exotic things. They have paid tribute since Wudi’s time (BC 141–87). There are translators, they belong to the imperial household, and together with those who were recruited they went to the seas to trade pearls, glass wares, precious stones and exotic things with gold and silks. . . . The big pearls can be as wide as two inches in circumference. At the time of Pingdi when Wang Mang (AD 9–23) was running the court, he asked the King of Huangzhi for live rhino as tribute. From here, you

12 13

Lewis, China Between Empires, p. 157. Ban Gu, Han Shu (100 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1962), vol. 28 (xia), p. 1670.

facing the seas

21

can sail for eight months to reach the country of Pizong (Pulau Pisang), the place of Rinan, Xianglinjie after another two months. To the south of Huangzhi lies the country of Yichengbu (Sri Lanka) from where the Han’s translator envoy returned.14

This is possibly the earliest official account of the Han’s maritime trade, and Yu Ying-shih believes that this passage “[is] maybe the earliest reference in Chinese literature to Malaysia”.15 Although scholars of maritime China cannot identify with certainty the location of all the places mentioned in this extract, they seem to agree that Yichengbu is today’s Sri Lanka, and that Pizong is Pulau Pisang off the coast of Singapore. There is also consensus amongst the small number of scholars who have studied this topic that Huangzhi is Kanchipuram, southeast India. The passage quoted above is important, as it reveals that the Han court not only had the authority to demand tribute and the ability to organise foreign trade by recruiting merchants and translators, but that it also stipulated what goods could be traded and where—if not when—the convoys should return. Many scholars have used this excerpt to argue simply that government control over maritime trade began during the Han dynasty.16 But the Han did not merely initiate government control; they established the exact pattern of regulation according to which succeeding dynasties would conduct and manage foreign trade over the next two thousand years. The only variation was that the lingua franca of the translators changed over the years from Tamil, Persian and Arabic to Malay, Portuguese and English. To understand the importance of the Han’s control mechanisms, it is necessary to consider the type and value of goods which merchants were sent to procure. In this respect the two passages quoted above cast light on another significant theme. Both extracts show that the Han desired exotic pearls, raw materials for making luxuries such as tortoiseshells, and precious metals like gold and silver. Throughout the Han era and into Ming-Qing times these goods were destined for

14 Ban Gu, Han Shu, vol. 28 (xia), p. 1671. See also Paul Wheatley, The Golden Khersonese: Studies in the Historical Geography of the Malay Penninsula before AD 1500 (Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press. 1961), pp. 8–9 & 11. 15 Yu Ying-shih, “Han Foreign Relations”, in The Cambridge History of China Volume 1 The Ch’in and Han Empires 221 BC–AD 220, eds. Denis Twitchett and Michael Loewe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), pp. 377–462. 16 Deng Duanben, “Shibosi Sheli Qian zhi Haiwai Maoyi Guanli”, in Guangzhou Waimao Lianqian Nian, vol. 1, p. 56.

22

chapter one

imperial courts and rich households. Han Law prohibited the export of arms, ammunition, iron tools, copper money, horses and silk cocoons. Han merchants were likewise forbidden to trade in these goods and jewellery, including pearls.17 The horse in particular was an important commodity, a vital strategic weapon that Han China did not possess, and for this reason trade in horses would remain a government monopoly for two millennia to come. Silk was also on the list of prohibited items, suggesting that the Han court might have monopolised the export of silk. In BC 138 the Han court sent General Zhang Qian and several hundred soldiers and followers to the Western Territory [西域], today’s Central Asia; this mission was followed in BC 119 by a second undertaking, which sought to make peace with the Xiongnu, the powerful people who dominated Central Asia.18 The eminent historian Fang Hao challenges official histories by suggesting that Zhang Qian’s missions to Central Asia were not diplomatic but commercial, as the Han sought a market for the excess silk they produced.19 Fang Hao has even suggested that silk—in other words the pursuit of luxury consumption—was a contributing factor to the downfall of the Roman Empire.20 While Fang’s claims should, of course, be subjected to vigorous research, the Han period did experience a silk boom and witnessed the emergence of the Silk Road, which raises the question of where the demand was coming from. Just as the Han court and army badly needed the excellent breed of horses that only their hostile neighbours to the north and west could offer, their neighbours near and far needed the silk that only Han China could produce. As Mortimer Wheeler argues, silk was one of the five luxury commodities that constituted Rome’s foreign trade.21 The traffic of silk was, as G. F. Hudson points out, “the most far-reaching large-scale commerce of antiquity”, similar in magnitude to the later

17

Huang Jinyan, Qin Han Shangping Jingji Yanjiu, pp. 92–97. Deng Duanben, “Shibosi Sheli Qian zhi Haiwai Maoyi Guanli”, in Guangzhou Waimao Lianqian Nian, vol. 1, pp. 83–84. 19 Fang Hao, Zhong Xi Jiatong Shi, vol. 1, p. 119. See also Yu Ying-shih, “Han Foreign Relations”, in The Cambridge History of China Volume 1 The Ch’in and Han Empires 221 BC–AD 220, pp. 460–62; and Huang Jinyan, Qin Han Shangping Jingji Yanjiu, pp. 209–13. 20 Fang Hao, Zhong Xi Jiatong Shi, vol. 1, p. 171. 21 Mortimer Wheeler, Rome Beyond the Imperial Frontiers (London: Bell, 1954), pp. 176–81. See also Simkin, The Traditional Trade of Asia, p. 38. 18

facing the seas

23

trade in porcelain and tea.22 However, it would be difficult to measure the exact value of this trade, and Oliver Impey rightly cautions: “in the absence of statistics we have no means of comparing the total value of import and export between China and Rome.”23 How did the Han regime regulate private trade and travel given that “those who went there to trade became rich?”24 Yao Meilin believes that the Han authority used fu [符] or badge and chuan [传] or pass to maintain some kind of control.25 Fashioned out of silk cloth or bamboo, these were permits issued by checkpoint authorities when people left or entered Han territory. Cut or broken in two, one half was kept by the travellers and the other by the pass authorities, and travellers would only be permitted to re-enter or leave Han territory when the respective halves matched. Fu or chuan operated in a manner similar to today’s passports and visas, and as mechanisms for control they were inherited and enhanced by later dynasties and regimes. To travel without fu or chuan was an act called lan [阑], meaning to either leave or enter the country without permission; lan also applied to those who traded in prohibited goods. Punishment for such transgressions varied, but certainly included death. Han China disappeared in the third century (AD 220), and with its demise the Silk Road disintegrated; it would never again regain the importance it had under the Han. If the decline of the Silk Road had any significant impact on China, it would be that it drove the Chinese and their trading partners to the seas in search of an alternative highway of exchange. The subsequent Three Kingdoms dynastic era (220–280) saw the Qin-invented and Han-strengthened Middle Kingdom split into three parts. The Kingdom of Wu, one of these, was confined to southern and coastal China. Encircled and protected by the Yangzi River, the East China Sea and the South China Sea, the Kingdom was surrounded by a water world. Sun Quan, the King of Wu, continued the search for the “Three Celestial Islands”, and in the spring of 230 he dispatched:

22

Hudson, Europe and China, p. 68. Oliver Impey, Chinoiserie: the Impact of Oriental Styles on Western Art and Decoration (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1977), p. 98. 24 Ban Gu, Han Shu, vol. 28 (xia), p. 1670. 25 Yao Meilin, Zhongguo Haiguan Shihua, pp. 24–25; and Huang Jinyan, Qin Han Shangping Jingji Yanjiu, pp. 92–97. 23

24

chapter one General Wei Wen, Zhuge Zhi and ten thousand soldiers to the seas to look for Yizhou and Yingzhou. The latter is where the elders still remember that the First Emperor had sent geomancer Xu Fu and several thousand men and women, some of them children, to look for the Penglai celestial mountains and medicines of immortality, and from where they never returned. It is said that they multiplied there to the tens of thousands today. They sometimes come to trade and buy silk/cloth in Huiji (Zhejiang); there are also Huiji people who were sometimes blown there in big storms. But it is so far away and really hard to reach. The generals brought back several thousand men/women from Yizhou.26

The two generals and their fleet spent a year at sea but failed to find the celestial islands. They returned home with “several thousand” men and women from Yizhou, generally believed to be today’s Taiwan. The Yizhou people were presumably aboriginals, as Chinese migration to the island had not yet begun. Unlike Xu Fu, Wei Wen and Zhuge Zhi were beheaded for not finding the celestial islands. They should have stayed where they landed, as their predecessor had done. The voyage despatched in search of the celestial islands and the abduction of the native people of Yizhou marked only the beginning of the King of Wu’s expansionist activities. He subsequently turned his attention to Hainan Island and Southeast Asia, sending Generals Kang Tai and Zhu Ying to Funan (today’s Cambodia and the Mekong delta) and the Hindu kingdom of Champa (today’s central and southern Vietnam), in the year 245.27 There are a number of explanations as to why Sun Quan might have been interested in these small and obscure tropical realms. R. C. Majumdar carefully studied the expansion of Indian civilisation to Indochina and concluded that Chinese aggression towards these nations was reactionary rather than pre-emptive. Majumdar believed that “[t]he dismemberment of the Chinese empire into three parts (220–265) emboldened them (the Champa) to cross the frontier and carry their raids far into the Chinese territory”.28 If Champa had violated the border and made incursions into areas in modern-day 26 Chen Shou, San Guo Zhi: Wu Shu (65 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1959), vol. 47, p. 1136. 27 Ibid., vol. 60, p. 1385; and Fang Hao, Zhong Xi Jiatong Shi, vol. 1, pp. 188–89. 28 Ramesh Majumdar, Champa: History and Culture of an Indian Colonial Kingdom in the Far East 2nd–16th Century AD (New Delhi: Gyan publishing house, 1985), p. 22. See also Li Donghua, Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Guanjian Shi Di Ge’an Yanjiu, pp. 39–71.

facing the seas

25

northern Vietnam, which the Wu considered its own territory, then the Kingdom of Wu’s military activity in the region would certainly have been warranted. Alternatively, it has been suggested that Funan had requested assistance from the King of Wu in checking the ambitions of Champa, who was pushing not just northwards but also southwards.29 Irrespective of motivation, we do know that Chinese regimes became politically entangled with Southeast Asia from this time onward, if not earlier. Indeed, C. F. FitzGerald believes that the Kingdom of Wu had clear imperialist ambitions towards Champa and that, had subsequent Chinese regimes remained fully committed to the politics of Southeast Asia and not been distracted by events in the north, they would have conquered the region.30 This kind of persistent meddling in the country that ultimately became Vietnam is manifest in the four phases of “Chinese domination” in the history of that country.31 Throughout the centuries, various Chinese regimes cultivated close ties with the various smaller kingdoms in Southeast Asia; this constituted part of a “divide and rule” strategy that continued into the Cold War era. The Wu regime adopted an open attitude towards the seas because of their potential to generate not only power and prestige but also profit. According to San Guo Zhi [三国志] or History of the Three Kingdoms, the Wu traded with countries such as Japan, Korea, and many small principalities in and around the Malay Peninsula.32 The Kingdom of Wu benefited from seafaring as trade flourished, and Guangzhou developed into a bustling metropolis of commerce, an important point which Mark E. Lewis has recently highlighted.33 Historians have credited Sun Quan with laying the foundations for this maritime prosperity, which would become even more pronounced

29

Majumdar, Champa, pp. 11–48. FitzGerald, The Southern Expansion of the Chinese People, pp. 1–18. 31 207 BC to 39 AD marked the First Chinese Domination, 43 to 544 the Second, 602 to 905 the Third, and 1407 to 1427 the Fourth. See Zheng Yongchang, “Ming Yongle Nianjian (1407–1424) Zhongguo Tongzhi xia de Annan”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Wu Ji, eds. Zhang Bincun and Liu Shiji (Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan zhongshan renwen shehui kexue yanjiusuo, 1993), pp. 61–110. 32 Chen Shou, San Guo Zhi: Wu Shu, vol. 47, p. 1136. See also Liao Dake, Fujian Haiwai Jiaotong Shi, pp. 7–8. 33 Lewis, China Between Empires, Introduction. 30

26

chapter one

in the subsequent Jin dynastic era (265–420).34 The seas took on a new significance under the Jin, following the outbreak of war and chaos in north China in the year 311, a conflict which historians have dubbed the Yongjia Disturbance.35 As a consequence of this conflict the Qin-Han-created Middle Kingdom fragmented still further, as the Jin court escaped to southern China followed by tens of thousands of people—more than 900,000 according to Wang Di—who were permanently displaced.36 The Yongjia Disturbance marked the beginning of what FitzGerald refers to as the “southern expansion of the Chinese people”, a pattern of movement which continued into the twentieth century as war and famine in the north drove millions to the south.37 Continued migration permanently re-oriented China’s foreign trade to the seas and helped populate southern China, a region which subsequently became and continues to be the driving force behind the country’s economic growth. Yet the significance of the Yongjia Disturbance in Chinese history, especially in maritime history, has been completely neglected by scholars. Mark E. Lewis has recently highlighted this problem and emphasises that the single most important change was the north-south geographic division, which in his opinion left a “profound, permanent impression on Chinese history”.38 A most significant “impression” was that the seas began to play a pivotal role in shaping the economic and socio-cultural development of China after 311. Buddhism, for example, had first been introduced to China via the Silk Road in the Qin-Han era, if not earlier, but it was not until the Jin dynasty that it began to grow in China.39 Fa Xian (c. 337–c. 422) was the first Chinese monk to travel to India to seek the teachings and wisdom of Buddha. He went to Central and South Asia

34 Ma Zhijie, San Guo Shi (Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1993), pp. 307–10; Zheng Xin, Wei Jin Nan Bei Chao Shi (Jinnan: Shandong daxue chubanshe, 1997), pp. 427–34; and Zhang Chengzong, et al., Liu Chao Shi (Nanjing: Jiangsu guji chubanshe, 1991), pp. 192–93. 35 Fang Hao, Zhong Xi Jiatong Shi, vol. 1, p. 186. See also Lian Xinhao, Zhongguo Haiguan yu Duiwai Maoyi, p. 8. 36 Wang Di, Songdai Jingji Shigao, p. 172. 37 FitzGerald, The Southern Expansion of the Chinese People. 38 Lewis, China Between Empires, Introduction. 39 Erik E. Zurrcher, The Buddhist Conquest of China: the Spread and Adaptation of Buddhism in Early Medieval China (Leiden: Brill, 1959); Zhang Chengzong, et al., Liu Chao Shi, pp. 322–29; and Hong Xiuping, Zhongguo Fojiao Wenhua Licheng (Nanjing: Jiangsu jiaoyu chubanshe, 1995).

facing the seas

27

by land, but returned to China by sea after fifteen years of study. The memoir of Fa Xian is one of the first non-official accounts of China’s interaction with South and Southeast Asia.40 Herbert A. Giles thought the work so important to the study of China and Buddhism that he translated it into English in the early 1920s.41 Fa Xian described in great detail the countries he travelled to and the people he met in regions such as Khotan, Gandhara, Gaya and Ceylon, where he stayed for two years. After he had obtained a copy of the Buddhist Disciplines, the long Agamas and a collection of extracts from the Canon, “all of which China was without”, Fa Xian “took passage on board a large merchantvessel, on which there were over two hundred souls”.42 They reached Java after ninety days, after which he “again shipped on board another large merchant-vessel which also carried over two hundred persons. They took with them provisions for fifty days and set sail”.43 Fa Xian described the final leg of the journey as follows: A north-east course was set in order to reach Canton; over a month had elapsed when one night in the second watch (9–11pm) they encountered a violent gale with tempestuous rain, at which the travelling merchants and traders who were going to their homes were much frightened. Meanwhile, the sky was constantly darkened and the captain lost his reckoning. So they went on for seventy days until the provisions and water were nearly exhausted, and they had to use seawater for cooking, dividing the fresh water so that each man got about two pints. When all was nearly consumed, the merchants consulted together and said, ‘The ordinary time for the voyage to Canton is exactly fifty days. We have now exceeded that limit by many days; must we not have gone out of our course?’ Thereupon they proceeded in a north-westerly direction, seeking for land; and after twelve days and nights arrived south of the Lao mountain (on the Shantung promontory) at the boundary of the Prefecture of Ch’ang-kuang (the modern Kiao-chou), where they obtained fresh water and vegetables.44

Herbert A. Giles charted Fa Xian’s journey on a map (Illustration 1.1):

40

Majumdar, Champa, Introduction. Fa Xian, The Travels of Fa-hsien (300–414 AD) (London: Trübner & Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh, 1877). 42 Ibid., p. 76. 43 Ibid., p. 78. 44 Ibid., pp. 78–79. 41

Illustration 1.1

Fa Xian Travel Map

28 chapter one

facing the seas

29

This excerpt and the map offer a number of important insights into the nature of seafaring in the period c. 300–414.45 First, it tells us that ships with the capacity to carry two hundred or so merchants, and presumably their merchandise, braved the perils of the seas and voyaged between Ceylon, Java, and Canton. Secondly, it is possible to surmise from this passage that such voyages were undertaken frequently, as the passengers knew the exact duration of a return voyage from Java to Canton, 50 days. Finally, the long distance covered suggests familiarity with tools of navigation, as the journey would have been impossible without the use of a primitive compass. Fa Xian was the first of many Chinese monks who would journey to South Asia in the following four centuries. The Jin dynastic era was the turning point in the indigenisation of Buddhism, as Chinese monks and scholars embraced and re-articulated a foreign religion which would flourish in the subsequent Northern and Southern dynastic era (420–588) and reach its zenith during the Tang dynasty (618–960). From the Qin-Han to the Tang, Buddhism came, spread and peaked in China, a process which would later be repeated, albeit on a smaller scale, with the introduction and indigenization of Islam. Christianity, on the other hand, failed to follow this pattern of assimilation and provoked an abiding controversy in China. This deviation in itself raises interesting and important questions for historians. The Northern and Southern dynasties (420–588) saw sixteen small kingdoms vying with each other. As in the time of the earlier Wu dynasty, the southern regimes, the Song, Qi, Liang and Chen courts, encouraged maritime trade, fanning out from Guangzhou to the Philippines, the Straits of Malacca, Sri Lanka, India and West Asia, not excluding Japan and Korea.46 Competition and survival forced these smaller kingdoms to adopt policies that promoted seafaring and generated badly-needed revenue.47 Foreign trade consequently grew, as evidenced by the massive increase in the import of fragrances.48 The acceleration of demand for fragrances may have been linked to the growth of Buddhism, in which joss sticks are integral to worship 45

Ibid., p. 93. Fang Hao, Zhong Xi Jiatong Shi, vol. 1, pp. 186–98; Zhang Chengzong, et al., Liu Chao Shi, pp. 219–22; Gu Jianqing, Guangdong Haishang Sichou zhi Lu Yanjiu (Guangzhou: Guangdong renmin chubanshe, 2008), pp. 4–6. 47 Zhang Chengzong, et al., Liu Chao Shi, pp. 187–233; Jian Xiuwei, et al., Liu Chao Shi Gao (Shanghai: Huadong shifan daxue chubanshe, 1994), pp. 153–326. 48 Fang Hao, Zhong Xi Jiatong Shi, vol. 1, p. 145. 46

30

chapter one

practices. The rapidity with which trade grew is also reflected in the increase in the number of foreigners who arrived in this divided era. Fang Hao believes that during this period Luoyang alone was home to at least 50,000 aliens, many of them merchants.49 The reason why Central Asians were attracted to China, even though silk was no longer a Chinese monopoly, emerged with clarity in the following Sui-Tang dynasties. The pattern of consistency and variation in early imperial China’s engagement with the seas is complex. The Qin-Han dynasties developed a guiding philosophy and put in place mechanisms that emphasised control. These regimes experimented with a primitive legal code that covered everything from regulations on travel to restrictions on the goods that could be traded. While the tendency towards restriction and control persisted, even though its effectiveness was debatable, the divided era—“China Between Empires” as Mark Lewis labels it— which followed was marked by the development of an approach to maritime trade that proved more flexible. The people of Wu and the Southern dynasties survived on the water world that surrounded them. These two contradictory traditions of authoritarianism and liberalism would continue to subsist in tension as attitudes towards the maritime world oscillated throughout the coming centuries. Beginning with the Qin-Han dynastic era, the regimes that ruled China and the Chinese people reached out to the maritime world seeking exotica, political power, trade and Buddhist wisdom. When the country was unified and resources abundant, the bureaucracy governing trade was centralised, cumbersome and corrupt; it strengthened central rule and inadvertently encouraged “illegal” activities. When the country was divided and resources limited, the system was responsive, innovative and beneficial to peoples and regimes alike. Beginning with the Yongjia Disturbance in 311, the bulk of China’s trade with the outside world moved from overland to overseas. The extent to which the seas shaped China from the Western Jin onwards is therefore a large and complex question that demands intensive research; nevertheless, some light might be cast on this issue by focusing on the Tang-Song dynasties, which used—even depended on—the seas to trade and communicate with the outside world.

49

Ibid., vol. 1, p. 199.

facing the seas

31

“The Open Empire”: 589–1367 The “Open Empire” was a term coined by Valerie Hanson to describe China before 1600.50 According to Hansen, China was “facing West” from 200 to 1000 and “facing North” from 1000 to 1600, an interpretation that reinforces the assumption that China’s interaction with the land world dictated her history and destiny. The problem with this kind of analysis is that China faced the seas to the East and South as well as the land to the North and West. China’s seas were certainly open for the seven hundred years that spanned the Sui-Tang and Song-Yuan periods, and it is possible to argue that the seas had a much greater influence on Chinese history during this period than did the continental world. While it is true that the Sui-Tang dynasties strengthened China’s ties with Central Asia, their maritime legacy challenges the long-held convention that China was solely a land-bound civilisation. The peoples, goods, ideas and cultures that came from over the seas would irreversibly transform China’s economy, culture and society. Like the short-lived Qin dynasty, which expired after 15 years and laid the foundation for the glorious Han, the Sui dynasty came to an end after 37 years, paving the way for the golden age of the Tang. The Sui dynasty unified China in 589, following more than 360 years of division, an impressive achievement which the Sui court was eager to communicate to the rest of the world. As recorded by Sui Shu [隋书] or History of the Sui: On his accession to the throne, Yang-ti called for men capable of opening up communications with far distant lands. In the third year of the Ta-yeh period (AD 607) Chang-Chun, the Custodian of Military Property and Wang Chun-cheng, a Controller of Natural Resources, were among those who requested to be sent on an embassy to Ch’ih-t’u [赤 土国]. The Emperor was extremely gratified and granted to each one hundred rolls of silk, together with a suit of clothes appropriate for the season, while he sent 5,000 different sorts of gifts to the king of the Red Mud Country. In the tenth moon (November or early December) of that year Chang-chun took ship from the Nan-hai commandery (Canton).51

50

Hansen, The Open Empire. Wei Zhen, Sui Shu (85 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1973), vol. 82, pp. 1833– 37 and Wheatley, The Golden Khersonese, p. 29. Historians have disagreed about the location of the Red Mud Country. Some believe it is the north side of the Malay Peninsula, some today’s Singapore and others either Sumatra or Java. See Wheatley, The Golden Khersonese, pp. 26–36; Feng Chengjun, Zhongguo Nanyang Jiaotong Shi, 51

32

chapter one

Viewed against the background of the voyages commissioned by the First Emperor and the King of Wu, the expeditions described in the above passage appear to be the natural exploits of a new regime which sought recognition as well as exotica in the form of tribute from old and new vassal states, some of whom increasingly looked to China for support as they wrestled with their neighbours. Although historians have continued to argue about the exact location of the Red Mud Country [赤土国], they agree that it refers to a place somewhere on the Malay Peninsula. Between 611 and 614 the Sui regime campaigned three times to conquer Korea, and the Penglai area became headquarters for maritime conquest and expansion.52 Where the Sui failed, the subsequent Tang succeeded, as “General Su Ting-fang sailed across the Yellow Sea from Shantung peninsula with a force said to have numbered 100,000” in 660, after which Penglai continued to flourish as the centre of trade and cultural exchange with Northeast Asia, as for example Buddhism spread to Japan.53 Guangzhou grew to be an international metropolis during several hundred years of division. Trade, overland and overseas, was a hallmark of the Tang regime, which welcomed foreigners to come and do business in China. Emperor Xuanzong (r. 712–756) introduced a sophisticated institution called Maritime Trade Bureau [市舶司], and the rank of Maritime Trade Ambassador [市舶使], in 714.54 The innovatory nature of maritime bureau lies in the creation of the post of “Ambassador” which, given that only the emperor could appoint ambassadors to represent his interests, indicates direct court control over the evidently lucrative foreign trade. Remaining outside the domain of local authorities in Guangzhou, the “Ambassador” system would lead to bureaucratic tension and corruption, and ultimately to a rebellion in the interior which sent the Tang into decline. Like the

pp. 38–41; Fang Hao, Zhong Xi Jiatong Shi, vol. 1, pp. 188–89; and Yao Meilin, Zhongguo Haiguan Shihua, p. 35. 52 Wei Zhen, Sui Shu, vol. 81, pp. 1813–17. See also Zhu Long & Dong Shaohua, “Dengzhou Gang yu Dongfang Haishang Sichou zhi Lu”, in Dengzhou Gang yu ZhongHan Jiaoliu Guoji Xueshu Taolun Hui Lunwen Ji, eds. Kong Lingren & Li Dezheng (Jinan: Shangdong daxue chubanshe, 2005), pp. 207–223; and Liu Fengming, Shandong Bandao yu Dongfang Haishang Sichou zhi Lu, pp. 116–95. 53 Denis Twitchett and Howard Wechsler, “Kao-tsung (reign 649–83) and the Empress Wu: the Inheritor and Usurper”, in The Cambridge History of China Volume 3 Sui and T’ang China 589–906 Part 1, ed. Denis Twitchett (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), pp. 242–89. 54 Liu Xun, Jiu Tang Shu (200 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1975), vol. 8, p. 174.

facing the seas

33

Han, the Tang prohibited the export of silk, precious metals and arms, and depended on Central Asia for horses, gemstones, exotic raw materials and a multitude of fragrances. Guangzhou, seat of the “Maritime Trade Ambassador”, was the largest and most important port, followed by Jiaozhou (modern-day Hanoi in Vietnam) and Yangzhou, in addition to Chuzhou (Jiangsu), Mingzhou (Ningpo), Quanzhou (Fujian), and Chaozhou (Shantou in Guangdong). When Tang troops lost the Battle of Talas River to the Arab Abbasid Caliphate in 751 in what is now Kyrgyzstan, the Silk Road fragmented, as control fell into different hands.55 The Tang period is significant, as it coincided with the rise of Islam when the Silk Road on the Sea rose to eminence in long distance trade. Art historians and archaeologists have long been fascinated by the trade between the Tang and West Asia, and have used discoveries of porcelain as a chronological indicator of Sino-Arabic exchange.56 Oliver Impey, for example, observed that: By the year 800, huge quantities of Tang pottery, mostly bowls with painted decoration in brown or green, and green or black glazed jars were being imported into the Persian Gulf for distribution throughout the Near East, attesting to the large volume of the sea-borne traffic, and in the tenth century some Sung dynasty white porcelain appeared.57

The discovery of the “Tang cargo” should aid our effort to further probe the spread of Islam and Sino-Arab trade.58 The four hundred or so pieces of ceramics recovered from the oldest shipwreck yet found in Southeast Asia puzzled many. The beige coloured bowls decorated with dark red and green Arabic motifs did not correspond to the common conception of what Chinese porcelain looked like, and the fact that they were stored in jars made in Vietnam confused those who were unaware that Chinese domination had extended to central

55 Denis Twitchett, “Introduction” and “Hsuan-tsung (reign 712–56)”, in The Cambridge History of China Volume 3 Sui and T’ang China 589–906 Part 1, pp. 36 & 443–44. 56 Ma Wenkuan & Meng Fanren, Zhongguo Guci zai Feizhou de Faxian (Beijing: Zijingcheng chubanshe, 1987); and Ye Wencheng, Zhongguo Gu Waixiao Ci Yanjiu Lunwen Ji (Beijing: Zijingcheng chubanshe, 1988), pp. 15–20. 57 Impey, Chinoiserie, p. 21. See also Hourani, Arab Seafaring in the Indian Ocean, pp. 61–79 & 144–46 notes on page 71. 58 Worrall, “China Made”, National Geographic 215, 6 (June 2009): 112–22. See also Zhou Shirong, Changsha Yao Ci: Jianding yu Xinshang (Nanchang: Jiangxi meishu chubanshe, 2000).

34

chapter one

Vietnam during the Tang. Changsha ceramics lived a short life, as they began to emerge during the early Tang (618–684) and flourished only into the mid-late Tang (756–907). After being lost under the sea for nearly 1,400 years, the Changsha ceramics (Illustration 1.2 photo courtesy of Baron Nicolai von Uexkull-Guldenband) still look extremely marketable today.

Illustration 1.2

Changsha Ceramics

The “Tang boat”, another name given to the old shipwreck, represents at least one consistent theme in the history of long distance trade between Tang China and the Islamic Caliphate via Southeast Asia.59 59 Guan Fuquan, Songdai Guangzhou de Haiwai Maoyi (Guangzhou: Guangdong renmin chubanshe, 1994), pp. 40–42.

facing the seas

35

That a small and obscure kiln in the interior was producing goods for a powerful empire oceans away in a pre-industrial era testifies to the existence of some form of multi-national and cross-regional commercial and financial network. In this network, Yangzhou—called by Edward Schafer the “jewel of China in the eighth century”—was the go-between, with possibly both Arabic and Chinese being employed as the lingua franca of the transaction.60 While no historian has mentioned the presence of Arab traders in Changsha, the region clearly produced for a world beyond Tang China. This raises questions about the complexity of medieval trade, which was already global in nature, as George Hourani concluded: “by the middle of the ninth century it is certain that there was regular sailing to China (by Arabs).”61 We cannot fully understand the magnitude of the Tang’s foreign trade without considering the Arab-Islamic presence in Tang China at the time, which is attested to by extant Arab memoirs.62 Fang Hao claimed that Mohammed sent four disciples to China: one to Guangzhou, one to Yangzhou, and two to Quanzhou in Fujian, whereas Li Xinhua has studied Islam’s routes of entry into the country.63 The situation in Guangzhou is described by one of the Maritime Trade Ambassadors: First the locals and foreigners live together, then they marry each other. Sometimes the officials tried to stop them. Somehow they seem to attract each other. When Jun (Lu Jun, the ambassador) came to the job, he established rules that Chinese and foreigners should live separately, and they shouldn’t marry. Foreigners shouldn’t buy land and build houses.64

It seems that Lu Jun was unsuccessful in his role, as many believe that the foreign population of Guangzhou grew to more than ten thousand by the late Tang.65 While Tang Law did not prohibit marriage between

60 Edward Schafer, The Golden Peaches of Samarkand: a Study of T’ang Exotics (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1963), pp. 17–19. See also Li Tingxian, Tangdai Yangzhou Shi Kao (Nanjing: Jiangsu guji chubanshe, 1992), pp. 373–85; and Antonia Finnane, Speaking of Yangzhou: a Chinese City 1550–1850 (Cambridge & London: Harvard University Asia Centre, 2004). 61 Hourani, Arab Seafaring in the Indian Ocean, p. 66. 62 Sulaymān al-Tājir, Anciennes Relations des Indes et de la Chine (A Paris: Chez Jean-Baptiste Coignard, 1718). 63 Fang Hao, Zhong Xi Jiatong Shi, vol. 1, pp. 433–34. See also Li Xinhua, Zhongguo Yisilan Jiao Shi (Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe, 1998), pp. 36–45. 64 Liu Xun, Jiu Tang Shu, vol. 177, pp. 4591–92. 65 Chao Zhongchen, Mingdai Haijin yu Haiwai Maoyi (Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 2005), p. 7.

36

chapter one

Chinese and foreigners, it was very clear about how crimes involving foreigners should be handled: Foreigners, that is those from neighbouring or foreign countries, should choose their own leaders. They all have their customs and they should be handled differently. If they commit crimes against each other, they should be tried and sentenced using their own laws.66

The Law stated that same-race crime would be punished by its own law, and cross-race crime by Chinese law, since they were on Chinese soil. The Tang regime welcomed foreign traders to come and work in China and found ways to deal with the problems that came with migration, an attitude that was also followed by the Song-Yuan dynasties. Muslim merchants brought their religion with them and Islam infiltrated Chinese society in a way that paralleled the introduction of Buddhism. They left a tangible presence in China, manifested in the mosques that were built wherever traders converged and in the tombstones that still stand today as testimony to the fact that many lived, and also died, in the country.67 The interaction and dynamics between Tang China and the Islamic Empire is an important and largely unexplored topic, which will undoubtedly also shed light on development in early modern Europe.68 The history of each of these three regions is closely integrated through trade: Chinese inventions such as clocks, for example, arrived in Europe via Arab traders; after their re-invention in Europe, clocks would return to China masquerading as European products during the late Ming, as I shall discuss in Chapter Four.69 The Tang regime, in establishing institutions of regulation with onsite court supervision, and in laying down the first rules of procedure and management, established the foundations on which maritime trade would continue to be based for centuries to come.70 It derived

66

Changsun Wuyi, Tang Lu Su Yi Yi Zhu (30 vols. Changchun: Jinlin remin chubanshe, 1989), vol. 6, p. 268, item 48. 67 He Mianshan, Ba Min Wenhua (Shenyang: Liaoning jiaoyu chubanshe, 1998), pp. 109–18. See also Donald D. Leslie, et al., Islam in Traditional China: a Bibliographical Guide (Sankt Augustin: Momumenta Serica Institute, 2006); Zhou Chuanbin and Ma Xuefeng, Development and Decline of Beijing’s Hui Muslim Community (Chiang Mai: Asian Muslim Action Network & Silkworm Books, 2009). 68 Ralph Kauz, ed. Aspects of the Maritime Silk Road: from the Persian Gulf to the East China Sea (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2010). 69 Joseph Needham, Science and Civilisation in China Volume One Introductory Orientations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1961), pp. 203–204 & 240–243. 70 Qiao Wei, Tang Lu Yanjiu (Jinan: Shandong remin chubanshe, 1985), p. 1.

facing the seas

37

more than profit from the growing trade. When Persians and Arabs discovered porcelain, the Chinese were still in need of a range of goods that could not be produced domestically.71 Edward H. Schafer has written expertly on the consumption of exotics, from Central Asia or the land of Hu [胡], during the Tang.72 As a matter of fact, it was fashionable to wear Hu clothes, eat Hu food, sleep on Hu beds, listen to Hu music and have relationships with Hu ji, or Central Asian women. Hu Feng [胡风] or the Wind of Hu, blew in the Tang dynasty.73 No wonder Mark E. Lewis called the Tang “the most open, cosmopolitan period of Chinese history.”74 While the Tang adopted an open attitude towards the seas and welcomed foreigners to come and trade—and even settle—in China, it did not encourage the Chinese to go and settle overseas. Neither the pull nor the push factor was strong enough to keep Chinese away from their homeland, unless a death sentence awaited them upon their return. This would change from the Song onwards. Foreign trade generated profit for the Tang; it would generate even more riches for the Song Dynasty (Northern 960–Southern 1127– 1279) that followed. The Song gradually lost northern China to its stronger neighbours—the Liao, the Jin and ultimately the Mongols. Like the southward flight after the Yongjia Disturbance, the Song tidal wave of southward migration further opened up southern China and strengthened China’s bond with the maritime world. John E. Herman has written expertly on the Chinese colonisation of Guizhou province since the Song.75 Like the Kingdoms of Wu and the Southern Dynasties, the Southern Song’s territory was confined to southern and coastal China below the Yangzi River. Having lost northern China and the agricultural revenue associated with it, and surrounded by water on three sides, the survival of the Song now naturally depended on what they could make from the rivers and oceans. Like the Wu, the 71 Fang Yaguang, Tangdai Duiwai Kaifang Chutan (Hefei: Huangshan shushe, 1998), pp. 33–34. 72 Schafer, The Golden Peaches of Samarkand. See also Andrew Dalby, Empire of Pleasures: Luxury and Indulgence in the Roman World (London & New York: Routledge, 2000), pp. 190–91. 73 Lu Yifei, Hu Zu Fengsu yu Sui Tang Fengyun: Wei Jin Beifang Shaoshu Minzu Shehui Fengsu ji Qi dui Sui Tang de Yingxiang (Beijing: Wenxian chubanshe, 1994). 74 Mark E. Lewis, China’s Cosmopolitan Empire: the Tang Dynasty (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009), p. 154. 75 John E. Herman, Amid the Clouds and Mist: China’s Colonisation of Guizhou 1200–1700 (Cambridge & London: Harvard University Asia Center, 2007).

38

chapter one

Song reached out to the maritime world and began to cultivate good relationships with dominant maritime powers in Southeast Asia, such as the kingdom of Shrivijaya in present-day Indonesia.76 Such was Song China’s demand for trade that both official and private sources, including Zhu Fan Zhi [诸番志] or History of the Various Foreign Countries, claim that the Song established trade relations with more than 50 countries.77 Following the example of the Tang, the Northern Song dynasty installed its own Maritime Trade Bureau in Guangzhou in 971. This was followed by Bureaus in Hangzhou, Mingzhou (Ningpo), Quanzhou (Fujian), Xiuzhou (Shanghai), and Mizhou (Shandong). Mizhou was later lost to the Jin dynasty, so two more, Wenzhou and Jiangying, were added during the Southern Song when the capital was moved to Hangzhou.78 Billy So has expertly written about this important institution, its functions and significance.79 Frederick Mote has mentioned maritime trade and the process by which “sea routes supplemented the canal system in the tenth century.”80 In 987, Emperor Taizong: dispatched eight courtiers with gold plated letters to countries in the South Sea region to invite them to send such tributes as fragrances, medicinal herbs, ivory, pearls and dipterocarpaceae, etc. Every one was given three empty decrees so that they could bestow them accordingly.81

Like the earlier Han, Wu and Sui dynasties, the Song court not only commissioned voyages that sought both recognition and exotica, but also solicited foreign trade and even rewarded foreign traders when they came to China.82 To facilitate and manage increasing foreign

76 Feng Hao, Zhongguo Nanyang Jiaotong Shi, pp. 63–77; and FitzGerald, The Southern Expansion of the Chinese People, p. 16. 77 Zhao Rushi, Zhu Fan Zhi (2 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2000). See also Guan Fuquan, Songdai Guangzhou de Haiwai Maoyi, p. 58; and Huang Chunyan, Songdai Haiwai Maoyi (Beijing: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe, 2003), pp. 30–35. 78 Elizabeth Endicott-West, “The Yuan Government and Society”, in The Cambridge History of China Volume 6 Alien Regimes and Border States 907–1368, eds. Herbert Franke & Denis Twitchett (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 587–615. 79 Billy K. L. So, Prosperity, Region and Institutions in Maritime China: the South Fukien Pattern 946–1368 (Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2000), pp. 42–49 & 51–86. 80 Mote, Imperial China, pp. 17–18. 81 Xu Song, Song Hui Yao Ji Gao (200 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1957), vol. 86, Guanzhi 44, p. 2 or 3364. 82 Wang Di, Songdai Jingji Shigao, pp. 162–64.

facing the seas

39

trade, the Song published Guangzhou Maritime Trade Regulation [广州市舶条例], which clearly established the rules pertaining to foreign trade and outlined the procedures for customs control and punishment. Published in 1080, this was the first piece of legislation directed exclusively towards maritime trade.83 Where the Tang emphasised court and institutional control, the Song regulations targeted the management of private trade and traders. That such regulation was deemed necessary testifies to the expansion of private trade and the strength of the competition, which was perceived to threaten the court’s monopoly. The Song regime significantly enhanced the management of maritime affairs as foreign trade became an administrative priority and a major source of revenue for both the court and the economy. The sophistication of the Song system is evidenced by the multitude of official posts that were created in the maritime bureaus and in the ways in which goods were categorised and taxed. The Song devised a number of means to tax traded goods.84 One such scheme was chou jie [抽解], or sample and let go, which entitled authorities to appropriate a sample from the cargo by way of a contribution. This usually represented around ten percent of the cargo, but it would vary according to the nature of the goods being traded and could be extremely valuable. Another scheme for taxation was bo mai [博买], or cheap buy, which entitled the Bureau to purchase any traded goods it wanted at prices below the market value. The existence of such comprehensive methods of taxation demonstrates that the Song court was deeply involved in appropriating profit, and in fact succeeded in monopolising all imports. The Song regime reaped gigantic profits from the taxation of private trade. So lucrative was taxation on foreign trade that Chao Zhongchen has suggested that revenue from this source might have represented as much as twenty percent of the Southern Song national income.85 No wonder Emperor Gaozong (r. 1127–1162) once remarked: “Maritime trade is the most profitable; its profits can reach hundreds of millions

83 Toyohachi Fujita, Songdai zhi Shibo Si yu Shibo Tiaoli (Shanghai: Shangwu chubanshe, 1936), pp. 85–130. 84 Yao Meilin, Zhongguo Haiguan Shihua, pp. 50–52; Guan Fuquan, Songdai Guangzhou de Haiwai Maoyi, p. 131. 85 Chao Zhongchen, Mingdai Haijin yu Haiwai Maoyi, p. 12; Guan Fuquan, Songdai Guangzhou de Haiwai Maoyi, p. 62; and Wang Di, Songdai Jingji Shigao, p. 162.

40

chapter one

if it is managed properly. This is much better than taxing the ordinary people. This is why I have paid special attention to this”.86 Frederick Mote believed that: “The Song state’s interest in the revenues it collected from long-range domestic trade and even more from the international trade was a major stimulus to the growth of that kind of trade in this period”.87 Concerned with regulating trade and travel, the Song issued licenses called guan juan [官卷] or official tickets, or gong ping [公凭] and gong ju [公据], which can be translated as official proof or receipts, which were not much different from the Han system of fu or chuan to control entry and departure. Morris Rossabi summarised the impact of state intervention: As the seaborne commerce flourished, the Sung’s concern for shipping and, as a result, for naval power grew. The court developed the navy to counter piracy along the coast, and its great ships with their rockets, flamethrowers, and fragmentation bombs became an important branch of the Sung armed force, posing an obstacle to Mongolian conquest.88

While the Song was fundamentally conservative, as can be seen in everything from its political philosophy to its social institutions and cultural practices—even naming practices—it adopted a liberal attitude towards the maritime world in order to survive.89 Such was the significance of Song maritime trade that Hao Yen-p’ing has suggested that it ushered in the first of three commercial revolutions that transformed China.90 He argues that the seas gave birth to Chinese capitalism and modernity. Several other developments testify to the private trade that began to flourish during the Song. The period saw the invention of the south-point needle, also called south-point fish/turtle, known to us as

86 Xu Song, Song Hui Yao Ji Gao, vol. 86, Guanzhi 44, p. 20 or 3373; Wang Di, Songdai Jingji Shigao, p. 163; and Yao Meilin, Zhongguo Haiguan Shihua, p. 49. 87 Mote, Imperial China, p. 392; and Morris Rossabi, Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), pp. 78–79. 88 Morris Rossabi, “The Reign of Khubilai Khan”, in The Cambridge History of China Volume 6 Alien Regimes and Border States 907–1368, pp. 414–89. 89 Zheng Yangwen, “From Live Righteously to Small Orchid and Construct China: a Systematic Inquiry into Chinese Naming Practice”, in Personal Names in Asia: History, Culture and Identity, eds. Zheng Yangwen and Charles J-H Macdonald (Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2009), pp. 52–76. 90 Hao Yen-p’ing, “Zhongguo Sanda Shangye Gemin yu Haiyang” in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Liu Ji, ed. Zhang Yanxian (Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan haiyangshi yanjiu zhongxin, 2005), pp. 9–44 & The Commercial Revolution in Nineteenth-Century China (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986).

facing the seas

41

the compass.91 Using a whole array of primary sources, from philosophy to physics, Joseph Needham had meticulously studied the various aspects of the history of the compass in China.92 Eminent Song scholar Dieter Kuhn believes that the inventiveness and transformation of the Song surpassed the European Renaissance in many ways.93 It was during the Song period that the mythical figure of Mazu [马祖] first appeared. This female goddess was said to have miraculously protected her father and brother on their fishing trips, and has been worshipped ever since as a deity with the power to shield seafarers from the perils of the seas. Many scholars believe that it was the increase of private seafaring during the Song that led to the emergence of this goddess.94 A thriving trade thus gave birth to a deity and a seafaring tradition that lives on today in the Mazu temples which can be found in coastal China and Taiwan and in the Diaspora communities of Southeast Asia and the Americas. One of the largest Mazu temples was built in Penglai during the Song. This legendary place grew tremendously, since Song China and Korea depended on the sea for exchange as a result of the Jin regime blocking the land route. The importance of this maritime link can be seen from the spread of Chinese culture and Buddhism to Korea in this period.95

91 Shen Kua, Meng Xi Bi Tan (Jinan: Qilu shushe, 2007); Zhou Weili, ed. Dili Huizong: Guanshi Dili Zhimeng Bian (Guangzhou: Guangzhou chubanshe, 1995). See also Guan Fuquan, Songdai Guangzhou de Haiwai Maoyi, pp. 104–09; and Huang Chunyan, Songdai Haiwai Maoyi, pp. 68–70. 92 Joseph Needham, Science and Civilisation in China Volume Two History of Scientific Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1962), pp. 361 & 552; Volume Three Mathematics and the Sciences of the Heavens and the Earth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1959), pp. 279 & 398; Volume Four Physics and Physical Technology Part I and Part III (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1962–71), pp. 249–312 & 562–63. 93 Dieter Kuhn, The Age of Confucian Rule: the Song Transformation of China (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009). 94 Joseph Bosco and Puay-peng Ho, Temples of the Empress of Heaven (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999) and Zhang Xun, Mazu: Xinyang de Zhuixun (Taibei: Boyang wenhua shiye youxian gongsi, 2008). 95 Jin Weixian, “Song Li Guanxi yu Songdai Wenhua zai Gaoli de Chuanbo ji Yingxiang”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Shi Lunwen Ji Di Liu Ji, ed. Zhang Yanxian (Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan zhongshan renwen shehui kexue yanjiusuo, 1997), pp. 71–123; Jiang Feifei, et al., Zhong Han Guanxi Shi: Gudai Bian (Beijing: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe, 1998), pp. 346–53; Wang Wei, et al., Zhong Chao Guanxi Shi (Beijing: Shijie zhishi chubanshe, 2002), pp. 23–27; Li Meihua, Shi Zhi Shisan Shiji Song Li Ri Wenhua Jiaoliu Yanjiu (Beijing: Hualing chubanshe, 2005), pp. 16–32; and Liu Fengming, Shandong Bandao yu Dongfang Haishang Sichou zhi Lu, pp. 196–247.

42

chapter one

An increasing number of scholarly works on the geography, society and indigenous products of southern China and Southeast Asia appeared during the Song. Among them were the aforementioned Zhu Fan Zhi [诸番志] or History of the Various Foreign Countries, Ling Wai Dai Da [岭外代答] or Impressions From South of the Five Ridges, and Yi Yu Zhi [异域志] or History of Foreign Places. As Southern China became the engine of economic progress and a region of high culture and literary excellence, classically-trained men of letters turned their attention to the large region which had been overlooked by their predecessors. These books were devoted to the study of the Song’s trading partners in Southeast, South and West Asia, their geography, customs and natural products. All of these writings indicate that fragrances were of primary importance amongst the range of Song imports, a fact which has been overlooked by scholars who have written surprisingly little on the subject.96 The increasing demand for fragrances during the Northern and Southern dynasties (420–588), particularly during the Song era, was directly related to religious trends.97 Worship of any kind involved the burning of joss sticks made of fragrances. Religious worship had intensified during the Tang, when Buddhism reached its zenith, and increased still further in the Song due to the spread of Islam and the revival of Confucianism.98 This revival of Confucius and ancestor worship is particular to the Song period, as it was linked to the migration of northern families to southern China. Anxieties caused by dislocation and the desire to keep traditions alive and families together found expression in the burning of joss sticks in ancestral halls. A careful reading of Song official histories and private memoirs reveals, however, that the Song court was the most important consumer of fragrances. Candles were the only source of artificial light, and the practice of the Song court was to pour fragrance into the several hundreds of candles they burned on a daily basis, and the thousands more that were

96 Lin Jinshui and Xie Bizhen, Fujian Duiwai Wenhua Jiaoliu Shi (Fuzhou: Jiaoyu chubanshe, 1997), pp. 38–39; Huang Chunyan, Songdai Haiwai Maoyi, pp. 54–55, 176 & 203–205. 97 Angela Schottenhammer, “Transfer of Xiangyao from Iran and Arabia to China: a Reinvestigation of Entries in the Youyang Zazu (863)”, in Aspects of the Maritime Silk Road: from the Persian Gulf to the East China Sea, ed. Ralph Kauz (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2010), pp. 117–52. 98 Kuhn, The Age of Confucian Rule.

facing the seas

43

consumed at festival times.99 The Song palace was steeped in brilliance and aroma, as were the offices of its scholar-officials: I am fond of fragrances, especially in the office. Before I sit down to work at my desk every morning, I must start the two fragrance burners and put my official attire on top of it in a way that aroma ascends through the long sleeves, this way when I sit down and spread my arms, the sleeves rent out thick perfume and the whole room is steeped in aroma.100

Perhaps therein lays the reason why the Song was no match for the advancing Jin and Mongol soldiers; the Song’s scholar-officials preferred research and writing in their fragrant offices to defending their country on the battlefield. The popularity of fragrances may have signalled the birth of a modern and polite society, where personal and public hygiene reflected one’s social status. Fragrance pouches, like perfumes later, were a must-have for respectable women, who carried them about wherever they went. It was fashionable for elite families to mark the departure of their guests by enlisting servants to wave fragrance-balls, the aroma of which lingered on long after the coach had left.101 Fragrance was also used in cooking and medicine, to purify air and to make cosmetics. A large demand came from the making of mosquito-repellent incense [蚊香], which helped the Chinese endure the long hot sub-tropical summers of southern and coastal China. The emergence of a sophisticated fragrance culture is best reflected in the array of books dedicated to it, which included Xiang Pu [香谱], Xiang Cheng [香乘] and Xiang Qian [香箋], all published during the Song.102 Detailing the properties and usages of fragrances, these books reflected the new culture of consumption which would flourish into the Ming.103 The Yuan dynasty (1271–1368) which swept away the Song saw the displacement of a polite culture by a warrior ethos. The Mongols did

99 100

Huang Chunyan, Songdai Haiwai Maoyi, pp. 203–05. Ouyang Xiu, Gui Tian Lu (2 vols. Taibei: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1983), vol. 2,

p. 28. 101

Huang Chunyan, Songdai Haiwai Maoyi, p. 204. Hong Chu, Xiang Pu (2 vols. Shanghai: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1937); Zhou Jiazhou, Xiang Chen (28 vols. Taibei: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1979); Tu Long, Xiang Qian (Shanghai: Shenzhou guoguangshe, 1928); and Lin Tian-wei, Songdai Xiangyou Maoyi Shigao (Hong Kong: Zhongguo xueshe, 1960). 103 Many of China’s classics on flowers were also written during the Song. See Wang Shengzhe, Songdai Shenghuo Shehui Yanjiu (Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 2007), pp. 331–51. 102

44

chapter one

not initially value the learning of the Chinese men of letters, but they were certainly very interested in the revenue which could be generated from trade. Consequently, while they dismantled the examination system, they reinstated the old Silk Road and were careful to retain the maritime institutions of the Tang and the regulatory systems of the Song. They reinstated old trading towns and established new ones along the Silk Road. They kept the three Song Maritime Trade Bureaus in Guangzhou, Quanzhou and Qinyuan (Ningbo) and added four others along the east coast: Shanghai, Xupu, Hangzhou and Wenzhou. “The number of Maritime Trade Bureaus rose to seven by 1293, as Khubilai’s financial advisers at the court sought to fill the government treasury through percentage levies on cargoes and trade taxes.”104 Like preceding regimes, the Yuan court commissioned voyages and even stationed diplomats in powerful Southeast Asian countries. They campaigned to conquer Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Java, which has recently attracted serious attention.105 In February 1296, Zhou Daguan (1266–1346) set sail from Wenzhou and arrived in Angkor Wat in August. He returned to China in 1297 and produced a most valuable study, Zhenla Fengtu Ji [真腊风土记] or The Customs of Cambodia, about the country and court of Angkor Wat.106 In 1301, Yang Shu (1283–1331) left the port of Guangzhou at the head of a government delegation which travelled as far as Hormuz and the Persian Gulf on his second voyage in 1304.107 In 1330, a twenty-year-old young man named Wang Dayuan (b. 1311) set sail from Quanzhou on the first of several voyages which took him to Southeast, South and West Asia and even East Africa. Wang’s work, Dao Yi Zhilue [岛夷志略] or A Brief History of Island Foreigners, records almost 250 products that he discovered in these foreign countries and has become a most valuable

104 Elizabeth Endicott-West, “The Yuan Government and Society”, in The Cambridge History of China Volume 6 Alien Regimes and Border States 907–1368, pp. 587–615. 105 Rossabi, Khubilai Khan, pp. 95–103; Louise Levathes, When China Ruled the Seas: the Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne 1405–1433 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994), p. 54; James P. Delgado, Khubilai Khan’s Lost Fleet: In Search of a Legendary Armada (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2008) 106 Zhou Daguan, Zhenla Fengtu Ji (Shanghai: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1930); Tabish Khair, et al., Other Routes: 1500 Years of African and Asian Travel Writings (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005), pp. 112–18; and Paul Pelliot, Mémoires sur les Coutumes du Cambodge de Tchéou Ta-Kouan (Paris: Librairie Maisonneuve d’Amérique et d’Orient, 1997). 107 Chen Gaohua, Yuan Shi Yanjiu Xinlun (Shanghai: Shehui kexueyuan chubanshe, 2005), pp. 238–75.

facing the seas

45

source in the study of these regions.108 The Song-Yuan era was China’s Age of Exploration. Witnessing the birth of long-distance seafaring and voyages undertaken by individuals, it foreshadowed the maritime activity of the later Ming era. “Let everyone come and trade with us and with whoever they like in China.”109 That the Mongols adopted a laissez-faire attitude towards foreign trade might be a reflection of their nomadic origin. It was more likely borne out of necessity, as trade provided steady income to fund their endless campaigns.110 The extent to which maritime trade contributed to Mongol expansion is debatable, but there can be no doubt that the Mongols took foreign trade seriously and grew increasingly protectionist as family-based private trade networks emerged to challenge the court monopoly. Indeed, the Mongols became so defensive that the regime issued four sea bans, which “forbade merchants to go out to the seas”.111 Taken together these bans were in place for barely ten years, and we wonder how effective they were. Nevertheless, they established a precedent which the Ming and Qing would follow. It would become commonplace for a regime to claim that the private trade which threatened their own sources of profit must be curtailed in the interest of national security and social order. Private trade conglomerates continued, however, to challenge the Yuan, and the contest between the political regime and private merchants would intensify in the Ming, when it became impossible for the court to control the private trade which grew to be the norm. The Mongols published China’s first maritime law, called Maritime Trade Law [市舶则法], in 1292.112 This legal code consisted of 22 regulations, some of which are listed below: Regulation Four: On the subject of diplomats, big or small ranking officials and military personnel who are sent abroad for work, have their fares and expenses paid by the government, but many of them still use the opportunity to do business on their own. If they have done so, upon their return, their

108 Wang Dayuan, Dao Yi Zhilue (Taibei: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1983); and Chen Gaohua, Yuan Shi Yanjiu Lungao (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1991), pp. 107–08. 109 Chen Gaohua, Yuan Shi Yanjiu Lungao, p. 99. 110 Rossabi, “The Reign of Khubilai Khan”, in The Cambridge History of China Volume 6 Alien Regimes and Border States 907–1368, pp. 414–89. 111 Chen Gaohua, Yuan Shi Yanjiu Lungao, pp. 99–100. 112 Yu Changsen, Yuandai Haiwai Maoyi (Xi’an: Xibei daxue chubanshe, 1994), pp. 50–83.

46

chapter one goods must be handed to the Maritime Trade Bureau for taxation or confiscation. Regulation Five: On the subject of Buddhist monks and priests, Daoists, Christians and Muslims who often take lay people with them in order to undertake business when they travel abroad and who often escape taxation. From now on, when they travel abroad, they can’t escape taxation without the Emperor’s permission. Otherwise, all their goods will be taxed accordingly. Regulation Ten: Concerning the arms, ammunitions and gongs used by seafaring merchants for self-defence during their voyages, these must be counted and stored with the port authority, which will hand these items back to them should they put to sea again. Regulation Thirteen: Gold, silver, copper money, iron products, people, male or female cannot be privately traded to foreigners / foreign places.113

The Law established rules of taxation, restrictions on goods traded, and guidelines of conduct for diplomatic and religious travel. Regulations Four and Five are revealing: everyone, even men of religion, was engaged in making money; this is demonstrative of the scale and profitability of maritime trade under Mongol rule. During the Song-Yuan dynastic era, Quanzhou overtook Guangzhou to become the largest port of foreign trade, and as Angela Schottenhammer has remarked, the city became the “Emporium of the World”.114 Quanzhou thrived at the expense of Guangzhou for at least two reasons. First, the economy and reputation of Guangzhou had been severely damaged by the peasant rebel forces led by Huang Chao in 878. Expressing their hostility towards the Tang regime, the peasant army launched an assault on those things which the regime prized most as they marched into Guangzhou, they burnt the valuable silk cocoons and massacred the foreign traders, mostly Muslims, who brought so much revenue to the Tang regime. Secondly, Guangzhou

113

Ibid., pp. 61, 62, 70 & 73. Angela Schottenhammer, ed. The Emporium of the World: Maritime Quanzhou, 1000–1400 (Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2001); Song Jian, “Quanzhou Gang Shi Zhongguo de ‘Alabo Zoulang’ ”, in Quanzhou Wenhua yu Haishang Sichou zhi Lu, eds. Li Yiping et al. (Beijing: Shehui kexue chubanshe, 2007), pp. 170–89; and Zhuang Jinghui, Quanzhou Gang Kaogu yu Haiwai Jiaotong Shi Yanjiu (Changsha: Yuelu shushe, 2006), pp. 82–114. 114

facing the seas

47

declined because the prosperity of the port fostered widespread corruption, which eventually made it unfeasible for foreign traders to continue to operate there; they inevitably looked for a new and more suitable place. Corruption and massacres drove foreign traders away from Guangzhou to neighbouring Quanzhou, which was home to a mixed population that controlled the foreign trade and was second only to their Mongol masters in the social hierarchy. One of the most visible was the Pu conglomerate. Maritime merchants of Arab-Muslim descent, the Pu family rose to eminence through the fragrance trade, and Pu Shougeng [蒲寿庚] (1205–1290) became a key official in charge of maritime trade in the Fujian bureaucracy. He surrendered to the Mongols and served in the Yuan hierarchy, which further enhanced his position and wealth, making the Pu family one of the most powerful during the Yuan dynasty.115 Shi Zongle (1318–1391) vividly describes the mixed landscape and culture of Quanzhou: Rare is the place of Quanzhou in the south Fragrance wafts around the city and temples Arabs, Persians and Mestizo merchants Tall ships usually bring sea treasures.116

Muslim traders continued to come and stay in China, despite violence and corruption, because silk and porcelain remained the most numerous and most profitable items for export, followed by domestic necessities such as iron woks, textiles and stationery.117 It was during the Yuan period that the Islamic Encyclopaedia of Medicine [回回药方] was translated into Chinese; it would have a profound impact on the practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).118 While historians continue to question whether or not the Venetian merchant Marco Polo really went to and lived in Song-Yuan China, the legend alone lent force to the allure of the land itself.119 While Persian and Arab

115 Pu Faren, ed. Pu Shougeng Xingyi yu Xianshi Jiguan (Tainan: Shijie Pu Shi zongqing zonghui, 1988); and Geoff Wade, “The Li and Pu ‘Surnames’ in East Asia-Middle East Maritime Silk Road Interactions during the 10th–12th Centuries”, in Aspects of the Maritime Silk Road: from the Persian Gulf to the East China Sea, pp. 181–95. 116 Shi Zongle, Quan Shi Waiji (10 vols. Taibei: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1983), vol. 4, p. 15B; Yao Meilin, Zhongguo Haiguan Shihua, p. 71; and Billy K. L. So, Prosperity, Region and Institutions in Maritime China, pp. 33–42. 117 Chen Gaohua, Yuan Shi Yanjiu Lungao, pp. 106–07. 118 Song Jian, Huihui Yaofang Kaoshi (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2000). 119 Stephen G. Haw, Marco Polo’s China: a Venetian in the Realm of Khubilai Khan (London & New York: Routledge, 2006).

48

chapter one

traders had led the way, they would soon be replaced by Europeans, whose race for Asian, and especially Chinese, luxuries began soon after the Mongol tide subsided in the fourteenth century. The Tang turned to the sea for contact and exchange when the Silk Road fragmented. The Song institutionalised foreign trade management with a regulatory system, and the Mongols built still further on this infrastructure. How effective were the Song Regulation and Yuan Law? This would involve much more research, as regional authorities often responded to central directives with their own strategies; this continued during the following Ming-Qing dynastic era—and in fact continues to the present day. The Tang-Song-Yuan regimes solicited foreigners to come and facilitated private trade because this enriched and empowered them. Kent Deng was right to call the Song a “moneyhungry state” that created and drove a vigorous market.120 The Song survived and even thrived, despite being isolated from northern China, because of the profits it garnered from its open attitude towards the seas and maritime trade. The Song-Yuan era, as Li Donghua and Chen Xinxiong have remarked, saw the pinnacle of China’s maritime trade and shipbuilding, which enabled their engagement with the seas.121 The maritime world thus became indispensable, with obvious, farreaching, consequences. The Ming Paradox: 1368 to 1643 If, as Valerie Hansen asserts, China faced the West from 200 to 1000 and the North from 1000 to 1600, she also faced the seas and almost only the seas from then onward. The founding of the Ming dynasty in 1368 marked a return to Chinese rule; it also marked a changing attitude towards the seas. The founding monarch, the Hongwu emperor (1368–1398), was suspicious of the sea and hostile towards

120 Kent Deng, “The State and Market in China’s Maritime Sector”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Jiu Ji, ed. Liu Xufeng (Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan haiyangshi yanjiu zhongxin, 2005), pp. 479–555. 121 Li Donghua, “Song Yuan Shidai Quanzhou Haiwai Jiaotong Shengkuang”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Yi Ji (Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan sanminzhuyi yanjiusuo, 1984), pp. 1–40; and Chen Xinxiong, “Song Yuan de Yuanyang Maoyi Chuan: Zhongguo Haiwai Fazhan Dingsheng Shiqi de Jiaotong Gongju”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Er Ji (Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan sanminzhuyi yanjiusuo, 1986), pp. 1–38.

facing the seas

49

seafaring. This attitude was immediately evident in Hongwu’s first wave of edicts: Order to the Deputy Prime Minister Prince Wu and Marquis Jing Hai (Pacify Seas): Because the followers of Fang Guozhen in Wenzhou, Taizhou and Qingyuan three districts and the people in the Lanxiu Mountain have been made boat people and there are 111,730 of them, put them under your army. Still do not allow coastal people go to the seas on their own.122

Hongwu enforced the ban with zeal and reissued a decree every decade.123 Sometimes the ban was so strict that people were not even allowed to fish inshore waters. His lines would be evoked by other monarchs later in history, and even historians. That the emperor included this demand in Ancestral Instructions [祖训] made it extremely difficult for his sons and grandsons to adopt a different approach to the sea, as this would have been considered un-filial, a most serious transgression for any Chinese. Hongwu did re-open the famous Maritime Trade Bureau for business, but only for tribute trade, which as usual was dictated by and served the Ming court.124 This was characteristically different from the Tang-Song-Yuan regimes, which fashioned policies to encourage and manage private trade. Timothy Brook recently summed up the importance of tribute trade: “The Hongwu emperor cared deeply about receiving tribute embassies. Every visit confirmed his right to rule, to potentates beyond his borders as well as to his subjects watching the foreign embassies enter the capital.”125 There are a number of reasons why the new emperor, a peasant boy who once nearly died of starvation, was so antagonistic towards the sea and seafaring. Hongwu’s political and economic ideology was a decidedly conservative one, which gave precedence to agriculture over commerce and underpinned his hostility towards the maritime 122

Li Jinglung, Ming Taizu Shilu (257 vols. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan lishi yuyan yanjiusuo, 1966), vol. 70, p. 3 or 1300; this was issued in 1372. See also Yu Yunquan, Haiyang Tian Zai, pp. 60–65. 123 Li Jinglung, Ming Taizu Shilu, vol. 139, p. 7 or 2197 and vol. 205, p. 4 or 3067. The first was issued in 1382 and the second in 1391. 124 Li Jinming, Mingdai Haiwai Maoyi Shi (Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe, 1990), pp. 11–67; Li Qingxin, Mingdai Haiwai Maoyi Zhidu (Beijing: Kexue wenxian chubanshe, 2007), pp. 66–102; and Cao Yonghe, “Shi Lun Ming Taizhu de Haiyang Jiaotong Zhengce”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Yi Ji, pp. 41–70. 125 Timothy Brook, The Troubled Empire: China in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010), p. 220.

50

chapter one

world. Hongwu’s armies, wherever they marched and were stationed, undertook garrison and commercial farming which helped to feed the soldiers and the increasing population, reducing the need for revenue garnered from maritime trade. As the Ming gained control over northern China and expanded into the southwest, the land available for cultivation expanded considerably. The Ming’s self-sufficiency was complimented by the introduction of new foodstuffs from the New World, namely maize and the foreign yam, as will be discussed in detail in Chapter Three. Secondly, the forces which competed with Hongwu for the imperial throne, led by Zhang Shichen and Fang Guozhen as mentioned in his first decree, maintained a presence on the open sea. Zhuang Jinghui has carefully studied the dangers posed by these enemies on the sea during Hongwu’s reign and has identified 23 severe raids in this period.126 This marks a turning point in Chinese history, as the threats to preceding dynasties had almost always come over land. The Ming did notice it, and Hongwu did his best to manage the situation, but they did not develop a long-term strategy and could find no solution. For Hongwu, seafaring activities undertaken by individuals were dangerous and provided an opportunity for ordinary Chinese to associate freely with rebel forces and invite potential enemies ashore. Understandably, fear of returning enemies who might challenge him for the throne was a most pressing issue for Hongwu. However, all this would soon change. The Yongle emperor (1402–1424), Hongwu’s son, adopted a dramatically different attitude toward the maritime world, beginning the father-son tug of war that lasted into the Qing. To many he seemed curious, and the voyages he commissioned audacious. But he was not much different from the First Emperor, the King of Wu, or the Sui, Song and Yuan monarchs who had commissioned similar voyages that were considered epic in their own times. Admiral Zheng He called on many ports of Southeast, South and West Asia, as well as East Africa, in seven epic voyages.127 He visited Mecca and reached Malindi near

126 Zhuang Jinghui, Quanzhou Gang Kaogu yu Haiwai Jiaotong Shi Yanjiu, pp. 310–354. 127 Levathes, When China Ruled the Seas; Leo Suryadinata, ed. Admiral Zheng He and Southeast Asia (Singapore: International Zheng He Society & Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2005); Edward L. Dreyer, Zheng He: China and the Oceans in the Early Ming Dynasty, 1405–1433 (New York: Pearson Longman, 2007).

facing the seas

51

present-day Mombasa (Kenya) in 1418, eighty years before Vasco de Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope. These voyages punished, silenced or intimidated anti-Ming remnants wherever they were hiding or plotting, from the East China Sea to the Indian Ocean. They more importantly projected China as a benevolent power and facilitated tribute trade. Although the voyages did not establish colonies as the expeditions of Europeans would a hundred years later, they did have significant consequences. In the short term, the voyages were costly and depleted the treasury; they were unrealistic in their ambitions and they contributed to ferocious political infighting between eunuchs and scholarofficials. From a longer-term perspective, however, these voyages were instrumental in shaping Asia’s early modern economy, inaugurating “Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, 1450 to 1680” and “China’s silver century, 1550–1650”.128 They encouraged private trade and facilitated Chinese migration to Southeast Asia. Upon Yongle’s death in 1424 his son, the short-lived Hongxi emperor (1424–1425), resumed a strict ban on private seafaring that would remain in place for the next eighty years. During this time tribute trade flourished and peaked as foreign tribute missions arrived frequently, but the father-son tug of war would continue, and with it the ban-and-lift cycle of Ming maritime policy.129 It was under the Zhengde emperor (1505–1521) that the ban began to be relaxed. Zhengde knew that private trade had been flourishing because of the ban, and that the court could profit from it by taxation, so he did not need—nor did he dare—to lift the ban imposed by the Hongxi emperor. For the first time during the Ming, non-tribute ships were permitted to anchor in Guangzhou, signalling the legalisation of the private trade that had flourished in spite of the eighty-year ban as Zhangzhou on the Fujian coast became a heaven for private trade.130 128 Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce; Richard Von Glahn, Fountain of Fortune: Money and Monetary Policy in China, Fourteenth to Seventeenth Centuries (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), p. 113. 129 Angela Schottenhammer, ed. The East Asian Maritime World 1400–1800: its Fabrics of Power and Dynamics of Exchanges (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2007) and Takeshi Hamashita, China, East Asia and the Global Economy: Regional and Historical Perspectives (London & New York: Routledge, 2008). 130 Chen Zaicheng, Zhangzhou Jian Shi (Zhangzhou: Zhangzhou jianzhou yiqian sanbai nian jinian huodong chouweihui, 1986). See also Li Jinming, “Mingchao Zhongye Zhangzhou Yuegang de Xingqi yu Fujian de Haiwai Yimin”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Shi Ji, pp. 65–100.

52

chapter one

Historians generally agree that Zhengde’s reign saw the displacement of tribute by private trade. The tribute missions came not, as official histories claim, because they admired Chinese civilisation, but because this was the only means by which to legally procure what China had to offer. For the Ming court, too, this was the best way to procure what they needed. Some missions came often and became a financial and logistic burden on the Ming administration. Meanwhile, the ban did not stop individuals from seafaring; private trade actually thrived because of the ban, as can be seen from the outflow of coastal Chinese to Southeast Asia and the growth of their settlements there.131 Zhengde’s reign is also significant because it saw the arrival of the Portuguese. The early decades of the sixteenth century marked the Portuguese endeavour to find a footing in China; Zhang Zengxin has traced their footsteps and activities along the Chinese coast in this period.132 After several attempts by Jorge Álvares, Rafael Perestrello, Tomé Pires and Fernão Pires de Andrade, the mission of King Manuel I of Portugal to the court of the Zhengde emperor finally succeeded in securing for the Portuguese the right to send tribute missions to Beijing. This understanding was, however, damaged irreparably by the actions of Simão Pires de Andrade, brother of Fernão Pires, who allegedly assaulted a Guangzhou official in 1519.133 What was worse, he sailed north and landed in Xiamen and then Ningbo without official permission. In 1545, his men ransacked the town and took women and children captive, in response to feeling himself cheated in a deal. Chinese local authorities retaliated, destroying the Portuguese settlement and attacking their ships.

131 Roderich Ptak and Dietmar Rothermund, eds. Emporia, Commodities, and Entrepreneurs in Asian Maritime Trade, C. 1400–1750 (Stuttgart: Steiner Verlag, 1991); Roderich Ptak, China and the Asian Sea: Trade, Travel and Visions of the Other (Aldershot & Brookfield [VT]: Ashgate, 1998); and Philip A. Kuhn, Chinese Among Others: Emigration in Modern Times (Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2008), pp. 7–52 & 55–104. 132 Zhang Zengxin, “Shiliu Shiji Qianqi Putaoya Ren zai Zhongguo Yanhai de Maoyi Judian”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Er Ji, pp. 75–104. 133 John E. Wills, Jr., “Relations with Maritime Europe, 1514–1662”, in The Cambridge History of China Volume 8 The Ming Dynasty 1368–1644 Part 2, eds. Denis Twitchett, John King Fairbank and Albert Feuerwerker (Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 333–75. See also Roderich Ptak, China, the Portuguese, and the Nanyang: Oceans and Routes, Regions and Traders (c.1000–1600) (Aldershot & Burlington [VT]: Ashgate, 2003). See also Hudson, Europe and China, pp. 236–38; and Chao Zhongchen, Mingdai Haijin yu Haiwai Maoyi, pp. 142–46.

facing the seas

53

The Portuguese episode damaged the reputation of European traders and provoked a return to the policy of banning seafaring under Zhengde’s successor, the Jiajing emperor (1521–1567). This encounter strengthened the Ming’s resolve to keep all foreigners away from its shores, including not only the Europeans but also the short pirates [倭寇], referring to the Japanese.134 Profit had given rise to fierce competition and intrigue as pirates devastated the Ming coast; as Zhang Bincun has pointed out, however, most were actually Chinese, with relatively few Japanese amongst them.135 The battle against piracy saw the rise of Qi Jiguang (1528–1588), a native of the legendary Penglai area and the Ming’s most effective naval commander, who succeeded in restoring calm to the seas from Bohai to the Taiwan Strait, if only temporarily.136 Where foreign trade and merchants had helped the Tang-SongYuan regimes to make money, they proved problematic and threatening for the Ming. Timothy Brook’s new book, Troubled Empire: China in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties, lends force to this argument.137 Trouble was brewing at sea and devastating the Ming coast. There was also trouble in the weather; as Brook points out, the Yuan-Ming era coincided with what environmental historians called the “Little Ice Age”. The Longqing emperor (1567–1572) succeeded Jiajing in 1567. As expected, he relaxed the maritime ban immediately. This was the Ming’s last maritime policy change, as the dynasty saw its twilight during the reign of Longqing’s successor, the Wanli emperor (1573–1620).138

134 Gu Yingtai, Ming Wokou Shimo (Shijiazhuang: Hebei jiaoyu chubanshe, 1996); James Geiss, “The Chia-ching reign, 1522–1566”, in The Cambridge History of China Volume 7 The Ming Dynasty 1368–1644 Part 1, eds. Frederick W. Mote and Denis Twitchett (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 440–510; Zheng Liangsheng, Mingdai Wokou (Beijing: Wenshizhe chubanshe, 2008); Ivy Lim, Lineage Society on the Southeastern Coast of China: the Impact of Japanese Piracy in the 16th Century (Amherst [NY]: Cambria Press, 2010); and Kenneth M. Swope, A Dragon’s Head and a Serpent’s Tail: Ming China and the First Great East Asian War, 1592–1598 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2009). 135 Zhang Bincun, “Shiliu Shiji Zoushan Qundao de Zousi Maoyi”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Yi Ji, pp. 71–96. 136 Tong Laishi, Qi Jiguang Zhuan (Beijing: Junshi chubanshe, 1991); Yan Chongnian, Qi Jiguang Yanjiu Lunji (Beijing: Zhishi chubanshe, 1990); and Fan Zhongyi, Qi Jiguang Pingzhuan (Nanjing: Nanjing daxue chubanshe, 2004). 137 Brook, The Troubled Empire, pp. 213–37 and Introduction. 138 Wang Gungwu, “Ming Foreign Relations: Southeast Asia” and John E. Wills, “Relations with Maritime Europeans, 1514–1662” & William Atwell, “Ming China

54

chapter one

The history of the Ming is, as scholars have often remarked, perplexing and complicated.139 Kent Deng aptly characterized the Ming paradox when he described the dynasty as a “power-hungry state which bullied the private sector”.140 On one hand, the Ming regime is synonymous with the epic voyages of Zheng He; on the other, it is renowned for its conservative anti-trade stance. The conservative policy of the Ming actually contributed to the rise of private trade, as family-led multinational networks emerged and thrived. One of the most powerful was the Zheng Chenggong conglomerate, which reached from Nagasaki to the Straits of Malacca by the end of the Ming. The more private trade was banned, the bigger and stronger it grew. The Zheng army and fleet put up a brave resistance that helped the dying Ming dynasty last four more decades.141 It is ironic that the court which so despised maritime trade came to rely on the maritime world in the end: who knows what would have happened if the Ming had adopted a more Song-like attitude towards the seas? Historians revisited the Zheng He voyages as the People’s Republic of China celebrated its 600–year anniversary. As the debate regarding their purpose continues, Chen Kuo-tung has advanced a new view that Zheng He’s voyages had three distinct aims: sappan wood, pepper, and giraffes.142 Foreign to China, the giraffe resembles the Chinese mythical holy animal Qilin [麒麟], and was valued highly. Pepper was a necessity in cuisine and the Chinese were dependent on a steady supply of the seasoning. As for sappan wood, Chen argued that this product was destined for the Ming court, where it was used to pay the salaries of high-ranking officials, who would sell it to make a profit. Why then did the Chinese need so much sappan wood during the Ming, and apparently neither before nor after? Sappan wood exposes

and the Emerging World Economy, c.1470–1650”, in The Cambridge History of China Volume 8 The Ming Dynasty 1368–1644 Part 2, pp. 301–332 & 333–375 & 376–416. 139 Li Jinming, Mingdai Haiwai Maoyi Shi; Chao Zhongchen, Mingdai Haijin yu Haiwai Maoyi. 140 Kent Deng, “The State and Market in China’s Maritime Sector”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Jiu Ji, pp. 479–555. 141 Lynn A. Struve, The Southern Ming 1644–1662 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1984); Eduard B. Vermeer, Development and Decline of Fukien Province in the 17th and 18th Centuries (Leiden: Brill, 1990). 142 Chen Kuo-tung, Dong Ya Haiyu Yi Qian Nian (Taibei: Yuanliu chuban gongsi, 2005), pp. 104–07.

facing the seas

55

what I call the “Red Revolution”.143 When boiled, sappan wood yielded a reddish tint which was popular as a dye. This is significant because the Ming passion for red passed down to the Communists. Red is the official colour of the Communist Party, the flag it flies, and the army it created. The Chinese appetite for red deserves independent study, which will undoubtedly reveal some of the dynamics of psychological and socio-cultural change wrought by foreign trade. The Ming era is significant because it marked the beginning of largescale overseas migration, which had begun—on a smaller scale—much earlier and can be traced back to the Tang-Song or even, as some historians point out, to the time of Xu Fu.144 Official histories since the Song have listed the places frequented by coastal Chinese, which include Lusong (Philippines), Brunei, Palembang, Malacca and Cambodia. Song Shi [宋史] or History of the Song mentions merchants who stayed in overseas countries for long periods, as long as twenty years, and returned to China with foreign wives and children.145 It seems that Palembang had become a safe-haven for the Chinese by the early Ming. Ma Huan, translator to Zheng He, detailed the kind of Chinese who found themselves in Palembang in his memoir: Many people in this country are from Guangdong, Zhangzhou and Quanzhou who fled here; they are rich. So is the land. . . . During the time of Hongwu, Cantonese Chen Zuyi and his entire family fled here. He became the head of the locality, he is loaded and big-headed; he harasses and plunders boats that come and go.146

The Chinese presence in Southeast Asia has continued to fascinate travellers and scholars interested in the region.147 It is surprising that mass migration took place under the Ming and not under

143 I hope to elaborate this in a new book titled “A History of the Colour Red in China”. 144 Zhu Guohong, Zhongguo de Haiwai Yimin (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe, 1994), pp. 30–38; Chang Pin-tsun, “The First Chinese Diaspora in Southeast Asia in the Fifteenth Century”, in Emporia, Commodities and Enterprenuers in Asian Maritime Trade, C. 1400–1750, eds. Roderich Ptak & Dietmar Rothermund (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1991), pp. 13–28. 145 Zhuang Jinghui, Quanzhou Gang Kaogu yu Haiwai Jiaotong Shi Yanjiu, pp. 404–35. 146 Ma Huan, Ying Ya Sheng Lan (Beijing: Haiyang chubanshe, 2005), pp. 28–29. 147 Thomas S. Raffles, The History of Java (London: Black, Parbury and Allen, 1817); Victor Purcell, The Chinese in Southeast Asia (London: Oxford University Press, 1951); Bao Leshi (Leonard Blusse), Badaweiya Huaren yu Zhong He Maoyi (Nanning: Guangxi renmin chubanshe, 1997).

56

chapter one

earlier dynasties, when it would have been much easier for Chinese to travel. Several historians have demonstrated that migration under the Ming was motivated both by necessity and opportunity; Yang Guozhen pointed to the rise of what he called the “maritime economy and society”.148 An increasing number of coastal Chinese left to seek their fortune: China needed what Southeast Asia could provide as population increased and cultivable land shrank, while the global trade that stretched from China to England via Southeast Asia, and to the Americas via the Philippines, seemed to offer abundant opportunities to become rich. The commercial instinct and talent of the Chinese finally found a match in the environs of Southeast Asia. The increasing pressure from within and the arrival of Europeans made the space that Southeast Asian countries provided, together with the absence of government restriction on commercial activities in these lands, particularly attractive to the Chinese. The consequent Chinese exodus drew China into greater economic, if not political, entanglement with Southeast Asian countries. The Ming also saw the arrival of the Jesuits and the initial spread of Catholicism on Chinese soil. As we shall see in Chapters Four and Five, the Jesuits used goods manufactured in Europe, such as clocks, to gain access to China and the Ming political establishment. While obviously shrewd, their machinations did not produce the kind of success they imagined, and their missions ended in the disastrous “Rites Controversy”. But the Jesuits, the Portuguese, and their rivals the Spaniards and the Dutch were not the only Europeans on Asian waters. On 14th April 1636 a fleet of four ships, the Dragon, Sunne, Catherine, and Planter, and two pinnaces, the Anne and the Discovery, left the Downs near London and sailed for Asia.149 Eager to catch up, the English East India Company wished to establish direct trade links with China.150 Captain Weddell carried with him two royal commissions and three letters from H. M. King Charles I; they were addressed to

148 Zhu Guohong, Zhongguo de Haiwai Yimin, pp. 98–127; Jiang Bingcheng, Guwang Jinlai Hua Taiwan (Taibei: Youshi wenhua shiye gongsi, 1981), pp. 73–96; Guo Liang, Dongnan Ya Huaqiao Huaren Jingji Jianshi (Beijing: Jingji kexue chubanshe, 1998), pp. 8–19; and Yang Guozhen, Ming Qing Zhongguo Yanhai Shehui yu Haiwai Yimin (Beijing: Gaodeng jiaoyu chubanshe, 1997), pp. 12–47. 149 H. B. Morse, The Chronicles of the East India Company Trading to China 1635– 1834 (4 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1926), vol. 1, p. 16. 150 H. B. Morse, The Trade and Administration of China (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1913), p. 279.

facing the seas

57

the agents of the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oost Indische Compagnie or VOC), to the Portuguese Viceroy at Goa and to the Governor at Macao. That the letters were addressed to such diverse authorities reveals that control of Asian trade was complex and that the British venture would be far from straightforward.151 Dutch and English competition, in the words of H. B. Morse, was “one of constant fighting like two dogs over one bone”.152 Just as Captain Weddell was setting forth, the Manchus christened their northern kingdom “Qing” and were planning their next plot to invade Ming China, which they managed successfully in May 1644. The English would test the shores of Qing China and challenge her much as the Portuguese had done during the Ming. The dynamics of their encounter would shape the history of the Qing. Conclusion The consistencies and disparities of the last two millennia of Chinese encounters with the sea have been laid bare in this chapter. Although the Qin-Han regimes emphasised control, the smaller dynasties that came after had to be flexible in order to survive. The Tang-Song-Yuan regimes recognised the potential of maritime trade to generate muchneeded profit, and they installed institutions and fashioned laws that allowed ordinary Chinese to pursue trade and travel. The biggest beneficiaries of this maritime activity were, of course, the regimes themselves. The relationship of the Ming to the sea was far more ambivalent and paradoxical. The Ming had neither the mentality nor the need for a liberal seafaring policy, and the period was characterized by the reigns of hard-line anti-maritime monarchs like Hongwu, and maritime visionaries like Yongle. The Ming saw the zenith of tribute trade; it also saw the rise of private trade. Foreigners, too, had noticed China ever since the Qin, if not earlier. Han China appeared in The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea; Tang-Song China and porcelains in Arab memoirs like Anciennes Relations des Indes et de la Chine by Sulayman

151 The mission ended in disaster. See John Keay, The Honourable Company: A History of the English East India Company (London: HarperCollins, 1993), pp. 123–24. 152 Morse, The Chronicles of the East India Company, vol. 1, p. 11.

58

chapter one

Al Tajir; Yuan China in European travel logs; and Ming China in Jesuit memoirs.153 China’s engagement with the seas has a long history and demands much more examination. Ever since the founding of the Middle Kingdom, monarchs from the First Emperor to the Yongle Emperor commissioned epic voyages. While some sought the secrets of longevity and revenue in the seas, others sought recognition, power and exotic goods. In succession, Buddhist monks, Song-Yuan diplomats, and finally ordinary Chinese journeyed to South and Southeast Asia. While the rise and fall of the Qin-Han dynasties coincided with that of the Western Roman Empire, the ascendancy of the Tang-Song epoch paralleled the expansion of Islam. While the Ming flourished at the same time as the Portuguese, the Qing would come to face the English. Trade was instrumental in introducing new religions such as Buddhism, Islam and Christianity into China, as well as bringing a diversity of new goods such as fragrances, tobacco and maize. How would the consistency of Tang-Song-Yuan policy towards the seas, and the rupture in this policy that was represented by Ming ambivalence, shape the Qing’s attitude towards the maritime world? What, in other words, would the Manchus learn from their Chinese and Mongol predecessors?

153 The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, p. 120 number 64 and 66 on Thina; Sulayman al-Tajir, Ancient Accounts of India and China by Two Mohammedan Travellers (London: Sam Harding, 1733); Marco Polo, The Adventures of Marco Polo (New York: John Day Co., 1948). See also Catherine C. Brawer and Geri Wu, Trade Winds: the Lure of the China Trade, 16th–19th Centuries (Katonah [NY]: Katonah Gallery, 1985); and Frances Wood, The Lure of China: Writers from Marco Polo to J. G. Ballard (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2009).

CHAPTER TWO

“THE INCONSISTENCY OF THE SEAS” Matteo Ripa was one of many Jesuits who worked for the Kangxi emperor (r. 1662–1722) in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. He served as an interpreter when Kangxi received the Russian embassy led by Count Ismailof in the winter of 1720, and he remembered the audience: His Majesty then began to speak, and after a bombastic preamble, said that the people and welfare of the two nations depended on the Czar’s health; and that having heard how he delighted in marine excursions, he was desirous to warn him against the inconsistency of the seas, lest he should thus expose himself to destruction. At the conclusion of this solemn illustration of the old saying ‘Parturient montes, nascentur riduculus mus,’ Count Ismailof had great difficulty in refraining from laughter, as he himself afterwards told me.1

Kangxi thought the seas were inconsistent and destructive, even though the Manchu sphere of control had extended to the Liaodong Peninsula-Bohai area before they entered China in 1644.2 Perhaps Kangxi knew of the lessons the early Manchu court learnt from the late Ming general Mao Wenlong (1584–1630), who demonstrated to them the difficulty of managing the seas. A major figure in the late Ming fight against the advancing Manchus, General Mao operated from Pi Dao [皮岛], an island at the mouth of the Yalu River, where he held the Manchus at bay for nearly a decade.3 Pi Dao is a most strategic place,

1 Matteo Ripa, Memoirs of Father Ripa during Thirteen Years’ Resident at the Court of Peking in the Service of the Emperor of China (London: John Murray, 1844), pp. 111–12. 2 Pan Ji et al., Qing Ru Guan Qian Shiliao Xuanji: Di Yi Ji (Beijing: Zhongguo renmin daxue chubanshe, 1984), pp. 43–88; Zhou Yuanlian, Qing Chao Xinqi Shi (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe, 1986), pp. 3–12; Li Yaping, Di Guo Zhengjie Wanshi (Beijing: Beijing chubanshe, 2007), Introduction; and Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Qinggong Yue Gang Ao Shangmao Dang’an Quanji (Beijing: Zhongguo shudian, 2002), pp. 1–58. 3 Xu Zhihao, Mao Wenlong Shengpin Yanjiu (unpublished MA thesis, National Qinghua University, Taiwan, 2001). See also Mao Chengdou, Dongjiang Su Jie Tang Bao Jiechao (Hangzhou: Zhejiang guji chubanshe, 1986); Liu Fengming, Shandong Bandao yu Dongfang Haishang Sichou zhi Lu, pp. 311–27; and Gertraude Roth Li, “State Building Before 1644”, in The Cambridge History of China Volume 9 The Ch’ing

60

chapter two

situated at the heart of the Northeast Asia maritime triangle, which consists of the Shandong-Liaodong peninsulas, Korea and Japan (Jiuzhou or Kyūshū). Not much has been written on this important episode of history; the two volumes of the Cambridge History of China on the Ming do not discuss Mao Wenlong at all, which again demonstrates the lack of interest in the maritime regions. Perhaps Kangxi had not forgotten about Ming loyalist Zheng Chenggong, whose four-decade-long resistance will be discussed in the following pages. His comment may also have merely been words of caution, which he habitually offered to many—whether they wanted or not—but “inconsistency” certainly captures the essence of his maritime policies. This chapter focuses on the Qing’s foremost encounters with the maritime world after they entered China. In doing so, it lays bare the Qing’s political philosophy and control mechanism toward the seas, and illuminates the circumstances behind their several vacillations: the ban of 1656, which was reinforced in 1661 but relaxed in 1684; the ban of 1717, revoked in 1727 before a change in 1757 implemented the so-called “Guangzhou one port system”. This dictated Sino-foreign trade in theory, but not in practice, as the seafaring provinces continued—as they always had—to circumvent court policies in whatever ways they could in order to protect their own interests, until the Treaty of Nanking in 1842. Change but Continuity On the 14th day of the 6th moon (July) in the Kangxi emperor’s 22nd year (1683), 238 ships carrying more than 21,000 soldiers set sail from the island of Dongshan on the southeast coast of Fujian province. Led by Shi Lang [施琅], the Fujian Naval Commander and Junior Guardian to the Heir Apparent [太子太保], the fleet rode on the south wind and sailed straight towards Penghu (Pescadores in Portuguese or Fishermen), an archipelago off the southwest coast of Taiwan consisting of 90 small islands covering an area of 141 square kilometres.4 Their target was the anti-Qing forces which, led by Zheng

Empire to 1800 Part 1, ed. Willard J. Peterson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 9–72. 4 Zhongguo Renmin Daxue Qingshi Yanjiu Suo, Qing Shi Bian Nian (10 vols. Beijing: Renmin daxue chubanshe, 1988), vol. 2, pp. 452–66. See also Shi Qingwei, ed.

“the inconsistency of the seas”

61

Chenggong, had established themselves in Taiwan in 1662 after they were driven from their mainland stronghold in Xiamen. In the face of this successful assault the Zheng regime surrendered a month later, in August 1683.5 This victory was not an easy one, despite the fact that Dongshan is not at all far from Taiwan; it is as far as Miami is from Cuba. It came forty years after the Manchus installed themselves in Beijing as the Qing dynasty, and after several failed attacks led by the same general. What made this attempt successful? This conquest is important not because it brought Taiwan into the Qing orbit, but because history threatens to repeat itself as the Communist regime on the mainland continues to pursue the dream of unification. This was the first and last time that the Qing court utilised the talents and resources maritime China had to offer and assembled a large naval force that sailed to victory. This supremacy on the seas was lost soon after the Taiwan conquest, a loss which ultimately led to the Qing defeat in the Opium Wars in the nineteenth century. This section traces the Qing encounter with the maritime world when they swept down the central plains to coastal China. It analyses Qing responses to the challenges of the seas and assesses what lessons were learnt from the Ming, if not from history. The Manchu regime and its armies of the Eight Banners entered Ming China in 1644 without firing a single shot, thanks to treacherous Ming general Wu Sangui, who opened the Mountain Sea Pass. The Manchus quickly installed themselves in the old Ming palace, and their luck may indeed have been a manifestation of a “Mandate from Heaven”. Ho Ping-ti believes that the Qing was “the most successful of conquest dynasties”, and Charles Hucker describes the conquest as “the least disruptive transition”.6 As soon as the Manchu court had

Shi Lang yu Taiwan (Beijing: Shehui kexue chubanshe, 2004), pp. 246–47. See also Wu Zhenglong, Zheng Chenggong yu Qing Zhengfu Jiande Tanpan (Taibei: Wenjin chubanshe, 2000); John E. Wills, “Maritime China from Wang Chih to Shih Lang”, in From Ming to Ch’ing: Conquest, Region, and Continuity in Seventeenth-century China, eds. Jonathan Spence and John E. Wills Jr. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979), pp. 203–238; and Lynn A. Struve, “The Southern Ming, 1644–1662”, in The Cambridge History of China Volume 7 The Ming Dynasty 1368–1644 Part 1, pp. 641–725. 5 Lian Xinhao, Zhongguo Haiguan yu Duiwai Maoyi, pp. 27–35. 6 Ho Ping-ti, “In Defense of Sinicization: A Rebuttal of Evelyn Rawski’s ‘Reenvisioning the Qing’ ”, Journal of Asian Studies 57, 1 (1998): 123–155; and Charles O. Hucker, China’s Imperial Past: an Introduction to Chinese History and Culture (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1975), p. 295. See also Frederic Wakeman, The Great Enterprise:

62

chapter two

accustomed itself to the Forbidden City, they began the real conquest. Like the Mongols before them, they swept through the north and central plains easily, until they arrived at Fujian in 1648. The Manchus soon realised that southern China was not as easy to conquer, as it was not only exotic but also challenging. The Zheng Chenggong conglomerate would offer strong resistance in the city of Xiamen and the Taiwan Strait vicinity until 1683. The Qing court and officials began to reinforce the old Ming naval force to help them defeat the Zheng opposition.7 To prevent the coastal population from communicating with and providing support to the Zheng forces, the Shunzhi emperor (r. 1644–1661), the first Manchu monarch to rule from China, issued the first Sea Ban [海禁] edict in August 1656: Sea rebel Zheng Chenggong and his troops hide themselves in the sea. They have not been wiped out; traitors will pass on information to them. They hope to profit from the trade and provide the rebels with provision and ammunitions. If we don’t set the rule, how can we turn our seas into calm waters? From now on, all the civil and military officials of the coastal provinces/regions cannot allow merchants and ordinary people to go out to the seas on their own.8

The edict also stipulated that those who helped provide provisions, especially rice, and other kinds of help to the rebels would be punished severely. However, this ban on coastal people going to sea did not prevent rebels from sneaking in, and the vigilance of local military officials, who could be tempted to let them pass with a little money, was not always to be depended on. Punishment was therefore also laid out not just for those who were immediately responsible for such transgressions, but for the entire chain of command. Sea bans had been frequent during the Ming and remained so during the early Qing, as the father-son tug of war continued; neither the Ming nor the Qing was able to produce a sensible policy. The 1656 ban was motivated by security concerns and imposed along the coast from Shandong to

the Manchu Reconstruction of Imperial Order in Seventeenth-century China (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985); and William T. Rowe, China’s Last Empire: the Great Qing (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009). 7 Li Qilin, Qingdai Qianqi Yanhai de Shuishi yu Zhanchuan (unpublished PhD thesis, National Jinan University, Taiwan, 2009). 8 Zhongguo Renmin Daxue, Qing Shi Bian Nian, vol. 1, pp. 453–54; See also Qun Gang & Liu Quduan, Qing Ding Da Qing Huidian Shili (1220 vols. Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1997), vol. 629, p. 753.

“the inconsistency of the seas”

63

Guangdong; but it did allow people in less affected areas to use onemast vessels for fishing in coastal waters. The Qing differed from the Ming in their enforcement of sea bans due to their determination to wipe out the Zheng resistance. To tighten the net on the Zheng forces, the Shunzhi emperor issued Order to Move the Boundary [迁界令] in 1661: Move the coastal people of Fujian, Guangdong, Jiangnan and Zhejiang provinces thirty miles inland from the sea. . . . No one can help supply the Zheng rebels and they will disappear before we attack them. Order the governors-general of the four provinces to give those who moved ‘land and housing’ so that they can settle in the interior. Their houses and boats should be burnt and destroyed. Not a single plank of wood is allowed into the sea. Build walls, put up stone boundaries, erect bunkers and barracks. The punishment for those who go beyond the boundary is death.9

Unprecedented in maritime history, the 1661 Order forced tens of thousands of coastal people to leave their homes and move inland, some more than one hundred miles. By cutting off their moral support and material supply, the Manchus thought they could starve the Zheng rebel forces to death. The Manchus were determined, thorough and effective, and the Zheng-led resistance was forced off the mainland in 1662 due to a shortage of food, rice in particular.10 Far from easing the problems, however, the expulsion of Zheng’s forces from the mainland made matters worse. The rebels managed to oust the Dutch from Taiwan in 1662 and obtained a rich island base that could provide everything from manpower to supplies. The Qing court could have left the rebels in Taiwan but they didn’t. The Manchus realised that the threat was even greater than before, since they could now no longer foresee when and where enemy forces might emerge from the sea. The worst scenario was that the Zheng resistance coordinate with their supporters on the mainland and mount covert attacks. In the meantime, the Order to Move the Boundary proved to be catastrophic for the ordinary people who lived along the coast, as evidenced in the works of Zhu Delan, who has carefully studied life during this period.11 Some inhabitants would return decades later,

9

Zhongguo Renmin Daxue, Qing Shi Bian Nian, vol. 1, pp. 611–12. Xiamen Shi Liangshi Ju, Xiamen Liangshi Zhi (Xiamen: Lujiang chubanshe, 1989). 11 Zhu Delan, “Qingchu Qianjie Ling Shi Zhongguo Chuan Haishang Maoyi zhi Yanjiu”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Er Ji, pp. 105–59. 10

64

chapter two

but many would never again see their home villages or the seas as they settled permanently in the interior. This naturally affected the maritime trade that now stretched from China to Europe via Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean on the one hand, and to the Americas via the Philippines on the other. But the Kangxi court had much more urgent matters to deal with at this time, as pockets of resistance persisted in various areas of southern China, challenging the nomadic banner warriors who were more used to the cold weather of the north. Heat and tropical diseases proved to be more menacing than the Chinese, but the Manchus held on. Kangxi managed to crush the so-called “three feudatories” scattered in Yunnan, Guangdong and Fujian provinces. He then turned his attention to the Zheng forces in Taiwan. The 1683 assault was very successful and the 1680s marked the Qing’s final campaigns in southern China; these territories would remain under Manchu control until the Taiping Rebellion in the 1850s.12 Decades of war and the maritime ban not only ruined families and businesses but also emptied local and court treasuries. Many of Kangxi’s officials had complained about the lack of funds ever since the Manchus began the southern campaigns; they blamed the maritime ban and suggested lifting it, even during the Taiwan campaigns, in order to garner badly-needed financial resources. Kangxi read their memorials carefully and acknowledged the issue, as we can see from the jottings he made on those documents, which usually read “Noted” [知道了]. National security, however, took precedence over all else, even profit-making. When all southern resistance was crushed and Taiwan brought into the realm, the debate over whether to lift the ban re-opened immediately within officialdom. Kangxi clearly took the issue seriously this time, and convened with his advisers to discuss lifting the ban in Jiangnan, Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong provinces. He sent a team of officials to investigate and assess the situation in these coastal regions. Jin Shijian returned in the spring (lunar April) of 1684 and reported on the situation in Zhejiang: Your Majesty’s virtue and power have spread to all the corners and the seas are calm. Along the coast of Zhejiang, we should be able to use the

12 Jonathan Spence, The Search for Modern China (New York: Norton, 1990), pp. 53–57; and Mote, Imperial China, pp. 848–50.

“the inconsistency of the seas”

65

same policy for Shandong. We could allow the people to use boats under 500 dan capacities to go fishing and trade on the sea.13

Reports from Fujian and Guangdong read more or less the same, as life returned to normal after years of unrest. These were not just recommendations from a handful of officials in the field; they reflected the consensus that was building among the majority of those who served in the maritime regions. Kangxi read their memorials and made up his mind: I intend to lift the ban of sea trade because it would benefit the small people along the Fujian and Guangdong coast. If these two provinces have enough, the circulation of money and goods will be smooth, and every other province would benefit from it. Those who could go do overseas trade are not poor people but big merchants. We can tax them heavily; this would not burden the small people. We could use the money for military purposes and help other provinces in need. This way, the provinces can help each other out in terms of grains and funds; and the small people can enjoy peace and plenty. I therefore lift the ban on maritime trade.14

Qing maritime policy was determined by considerations of national security, as it had been during the Ming. Like the founders of the Ming, the Manchus rose with a few thousand men and without the support of the maritime world. Seafaring was not of great concern to them, even though Kangxi, followed by his son and grandson, were interested in what the maritime world could bring. The court benefited from the revenues it generated, and they themselves became addicted to the exotic foreign goods brought in by maritime trade, which will be discussed in greater detail in Chapters Four and Five. After lifting the ban, the Qing set up four Sea Passes/Checkpoints [海关], to manage maritime affairs: Guangdong Customs [粤海关] in Guangzhou, Fujian Customs [闽海关] in Zhangzhou, Zhejiang 13 Zhonghua Shuju, Qing Shengzhu Shilu (300 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju, 1985), vol. 115, p. 6A or 1535. Dan is a unit of weight equal to 50 kilograms. See Beijing Waiguo Yu Xueyuan, The Pinyin Chinese-English Dictionary (Beijing: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1988), p. 134. See also Lillian M. Li, Fighting Famine in North China: State, Market, and Environmental Decline, 1690s–1990s (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007), appendix on weights and measures, pp. 391–92. 14 Zhonghua Shuju, Qing Shengzhu Shilu, vol. 116, p. 212; See also Dou Ruyi and Sun Rong, Huangchao Wenxian Tongkao (300 vols. Taibei: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1983), vol. 33, pp. 10B–11A; and Zhang Bincun, “Shiliu zhi Shiba Shiji Zhongguo Haimao Sixiang de Yanjin”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Er Ji, pp. 39–58.

66

chapter two

Customs [浙海关] in Ningbo, and Jiangnan Customs [江海关] in Songjiang (Shanghai).15 A government agency was also established in Guangzhou; this was the Gong Hang or Co-hong [公行] which managed acquisition and taxation for the court, just like the old Maritime Trade Bureau during the Tang-Song-Yuan era.16 The Qing did not invent these institutions, but simply re-opened them for business. The Manchus proved to be sensible in allowing private trade, which generated badly-needed revenue after decades of devastation.17 Below is a rare image found in the Chinese Collection held at the John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester, depicting what is called “Canton Customs Inspection” [粤海关巡船] (Illustration 2.1).18

Illustration 2.1

Canton Customs Inspection

15 Zhongguo Renmin Daxue, Qing Shi Bian Nian, vol. 2, p. 485. See Yao Meilin, Zhongguo Haiguan Shihua, p. 108. 16 Liang Jiabin, Guangdong Shisan Hang Kao (Shanghai: Guoli bianyiguan, 1937); Li Guorong and Lin Weisen, eds. Qingdai Guangzhou Shisan Hang Jilue (Guangzhou: Guangdong renmin chubanshe, 2006); and Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan and Guangzhou Shi Liwan Qu Zhengfu, Qinggong Guangzhou Shisan Hang Dang’an Jinxuan (Guangzhou: Guangdong jingji chubanshe, 2002). 17 Zhang Bincun, “Ming Qing Liangchao de Haiwai Maoyi Zhengce”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Si Ji, ed. Wu Jianxiong (Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan zhongshan renwen shehui kexue yanjiusuo, 1991), pp. 45–60. 18 “Canton Customs Inspection”, Chinese Collection, Drawings volume 15, no 5, John Rylands Library, University of Manchester, UK. Reproduced by courtesy of the University Librarian and Director, the John Rylands University Library, the University of Manchester. This applies to all the images from the John Rylands Library.

“the inconsistency of the seas”

67

The lifting of the ban would usher in one of the most dynamic periods in maritime trade. Southeast Asian historian Leonard Blusse has referred to the 1684 relaxation as “liberalisation” and “institutionalisation”, which is the correct terminology in the language of economics but does not adequately reflect the perspective of the Qing.19 They could—and did—resume the ban should the situation change, but seafaring and trade went on, despite or even because of the restrictions, as it had during the Ming. We know this from the countless efforts of the East India Company; they “had striven for a third of a century to obtain entrance to the China trade, and had had no success”.20 They tried again in the year 1676: A ship was dispatched from England to Amoy, with a view of establishing a factory there, in which they succeeded; but the trade was obstructed by the civil wars which then raged in China. In 1680 the Tartars drove the Chinese from Amoy, and destroyed the Company’s factory, their servants escaping to Tonquin and Bantam. In 1684 the Tartar General permitted the factory to be re-established. In the following year the Company’s Residents there observed that ‘having had five months’ experience, of the nature and quality of these people, they can characterise them into no otherwise than as devils in men’s shape;’ and they stated, ‘that to remain exposed to the rapaciousness of the avaricious Governors was considered as more detrimental than the trade would be beneficial.’ The factory was, however, continued, till the Emperor’s edict for confining the trade to Canton, compelled them to withdraw.21

This Company account testifies to the opening of the Customs in 1684 (despite its apparent mistake about the year 1680). Trade went on during the ban years and became more sophisticated, as people learned to avoid patrol boats and as Chinese communities in the various Southeast Asian destinations began to take shape, making it easier for people to settle. Official sanction in 1684 only made things easier for the “small people”, as Kangxi called them; it legitimised maritime activities in the official dictionary. The English came at a time of dynastic change, which complicated their own business just as it had complicated Portuguese affairs during the Ming. The consolidation and rise of the Qing in China coincided with the ascent of Britain on the seas.

19 Leonard Blusse, “Chinese Century: the Eighteenth Century in the China Sea Region”, Archipel 58, Paris (1999): 107–29. 20 Morse, The Chronicles of the East India Company, vol. 1, p. 31. 21 William Milburn, Oriental Commerce: Containing a Geographical Description of the Principal Places in the East Indies, China, and Japan (2 vols. London: Black & Parry, 1813), vol. 2, p. 546.

68

chapter two

Historians of Northeast and Southeast Asia have noticed the increasing number of Chinese vessels that called upon ports in those areas in the post-1684 years. Zhu Delan has carefully studied Sino-Japanese trade and finds that a total of 7 Chinese ships (excluding those from Taiwan) called on Japan in 1684; this figure jumped to 57 in 1685 and reached 153 in 1688.22 Between 1644 and 1684, fewer than 7 Chinese ships annually called on Manila, where Sino-Philippine commerce had flourished after the Spanish established themselves there in 1571 and fostered the Galleon trade. An average of 20 ships, however, sailed into Manila each year from 1685 to 1716, the dawn of another maritime ban which is examined in the next section.23 Thai scholar Sarasin Viraphol believes that “after 1685 the number of Chinese ships calling at Siam increased steadily” to about 15 in 1689.24 Another indicator of the obvious consequences of the 1684 relaxation was the increase in Chinese settlement in small Southeast Asian countries. Viraphol believes that the Chinese population in Siam grew to more than three thousand in the post-1684 years, and a similar increase was also noted in Java.25 Leonard Blusse has argued that the 1680s saw the decline of Dutch trade in Asia; indeed, it was not just the English, Javanese and other peoples of Southeast Asia who were competing with the Dutch, but the Chinese.26 Luc Nagtegaal argues that increased opium smoking in Java in the 1680s was linked to the increased circulation of Chinese merchants and labourers on the island.27 The Chinese who sojourned in Java learned to smoke opium there; they returned to the coastal provinces with opium and the habit

22 Zhu Delan, “Qing Kaihai Ling hou de Zhong Ri Changqi Maoyi yu Guonei Yanhai Maoyi”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di San Ji, ed. Zhang Yanxian (Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan sanminzhuyi yanjiusuo, 1988), pp. 369–416. See also Lan Daju, Xuannao de Hai Shi (Nanchang: Jiangxi gaoxiao chubanshe, 1999), p. 166; and Liu Fengyun, “Shi Lang Tongyi Taiwan yu Qingchu de Kaihai Maoyi”, in Shi Lang yu Taiwan, ed. Shi Weiqing (Beijing: Shehuikexue wenxian chubanshe, 2004), pp. 139–51. 23 Yu Dingbang and Yu Changsen, Jindai Zhongguo yu Dongnan Ya Guangxi Shi (Guangzhou: Zhongshan daxue chubanshe, 1999), pp. 386–87. 24 Sarasin Viraphol, Tribute and Profit: Sino-Siamese Trade, 1652–1853 (Cambridge: Harvard University Council on East Asian Studies, 1977), p. 55. 25 Ibid., p. 15. 26 Leonard Blusse, “No Boats to China: the Dutch East India Company and the Changing Pattern of the China Sea Trade, 1635–1690”, Modern Asian Studies 30, 1 (1996): 51–76. 27 Luc Nagtegaal, Riding the Dutch Tiger: the Dutch East India Company and the Northeast Coast of Java, 1680–1743 (Leiden: KITLV Press, 1996), pp. 143–47.

“the inconsistency of the seas”

69

of smoking the substance.28 Maritime traffic continued to increase over the following decades, as greater numbers of Chinese went out to trade and labour in Southeast Asia. The 1680s proved to be a successful decade for the Kangxi emperor, as he secured a territory larger than the old Ming and established the border with Russia in the Treaty of Nerchinsk in 1689.29 He would then march west into Central Asia to pacify the Zunghars (Mongolian and Tibetan-Buddhist), the Tibetans and the Uyghurs (Turkic and Islamic).30 These campaigns, which continued into the mid-eighteenth century, are significant because they redrew the map of China and established the boundaries which still stand today and continue to generate controversy.31 Kangxi accomplished a feat of which his forefathers could only dream. He undertook his first Southern Tour in 1684, a practice begun eighteen hundred years prior by the First Emperor and continued by Kangxi’s Ming predecessors; his grandson Qianlong would perfect the practice, and even Deng Xiaoping would emulate it in the 1980s.32 Kangxi also took time out to renew his Manchu skills, such as hunting and archery, and stumbled upon an old Ming garden in ruin, which he claimed for himself and began to rebuild and enlarge. He called it Garden of Eternal Spring [畅春园]. The Kangxi Emperor versus Pope Clement XI Just as Kangxi was beginning to enjoy the fruits of his hard work in the early years of the eighteenth century, Pope Clement XI issued a decree to Chinese Catholics in 1704 which addressed the way in which they should worship: I. We use Deus to call the creator of Heaven, Earth and everything in the universe in Europe; but these two words do not exist in the Chinese

28 Zheng Yangwen, The Social Life of Opium in China (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. 41–55. 29 The impact of this Treaty went beyond China and Russia. See Boleslaw B. Szczesniak, “Diplomatic Relations between Emperor K’ang hsi and King John III of Poland”, Journal of the American Oriental Society 89, 1(1969):157–61. 30 Peter C. Perdue, China Marches West: the Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005). 31 The latest was the so-called Wulumuqi Incident in Xinjiang that began on 5th July 2009. 32 Michael G. Chang, A Court on Horseback: Imperial Touring & the Construction of Qing Rule, 1680–1785 (Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2007).

70

chapter two language. Europeans in China and the Chinese converts to Catholicism have been using Tian Zhu (Heavenly God) for a long time. From now on, they can’t use the word Tian (Heavenly), they also cannot use the phrase Shang Di (Heavenly God); they can only use Deus. As for the horizontal board Jing Tian (Reverence for Heaven) that hangs in churches, don’t hang it if you haven’t and take it down if you have. II. During the Confucius and ancestor worship in the spring and autumn, Chinese Catholics are not allowed to participate or help with the ceremonies; they should not even stand by because that constitutes participation.33

These were only the first two of a long list of restrictions the Pope placed on Chinese converts; they effectively dictated that converts relinquish Chinese cultural practices once they became Christians. Many Chinese converts and officials found this unacceptable, and the Kangxi emperor reacted strongly: Reading this proclamation, I can only say that the Europeans are really small-minded. They don’t read or understand Chinese; how can they have such opinions and lecture us about China? They are absolutely ridiculous. They are not different from monks, priests and other extreme sects. I have never seen anything full of such nonsense. To avoid further trouble, we should not allow them to preach in China from now on.34

This was the so-called Chinese “Rites Controversy”, in which an increasing number of historians have become interested; none, however, has linked it with the 1717 maritime ban, the focus of this section.35 It is vital to explore this link, as the Pope’s quarrel with the Qing court over the issue of dual worship would provide the context for another maritime ban, imposed by the ageing Kangxi emperor. In other words, the controversy led to yet another change in the Qing’s attitude and policy towards the seas. It also highlights the challenge that would continue

33

Taiwan Xuesheng Shuju, Kangxi yu Luoma Shijie Guanxi Wenshu (Taibei: Taiwan xuesheng shuju, 1973), p. 90. 34 Gu Weimin, Zhongguo yu Luoma Jiaoting Guanxi Shilue (Beijing: Dongfang chubanshe, 2000), p. 79. 35 D. E. Mungello, ed. The Chinese Rites Controversy: its History and Meaning (Nettetal: Steyler Verlag, 1994); Ben Elman, On Their Own Terms: Science in China, 1550–1900 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005), pp. 160–68; Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History, 100 Roman Documents Concerning the Chinese Rites Controversy (1645–1941) (San Francisco: Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History, 1992); and Paul A. Rule, “The Chinese Rites Controversy: a Long Lasting Sino-Western Cultural History”, Pacific Rim Report 32, (February 2004):1–8 at http:// usf.usfca.edu/ricci/research/pacrimreport/prr32.pdf, accessed on 6 August 2010.

“the inconsistency of the seas”

71

to face the Qing regime. The Jesuits had been operating in Macao since the 1550s and in China since the 1580s; they managed to gain some converts, both high status—such as the late Ming scholar-official Xu Guangqu—and low status, or “rice Christians”.36 Chinese Catholics made good Christians, but the problem from the Church’s perspective was that they also worshiped Confucius, their ancestors, and possibly many other gods at the same time. Not only that, they used the word Tian, which means “Heaven”, and Di, which means “God”. Although these are native Chinese words, the Pope found their wide usage unacceptable and claimed a Catholic monopoly over them. This struggle was not new; it had surfaced during the very first Catholic–Chinese encounters in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.37 Matteo Ricci, the first Jesuit to arrive and settle in Ming Beijing, seemed to have resolved the issue. Ricci believed that the Jesuits must respect Chinese tradition if they were to be successful in China, and turned himself into a defining example of tolerance. He learned to speak Chinese and wore Chinese clothes, and also followed Chinese customs. Ricci believed that the commemoration of Confucius and one’s ancestors was not a religious act in the same way as the worship of God in the Catholic faith was; he therefore did not consider these rituals to be in conflict with the worship of God.38 Catholicism could, and did, live in harmony with Chinese cultural practices, and many Jesuits tolerated or put up with this “Ricci doctrine”, even though they might not have been reconciled to it in their hearts.39 This was what Ben Elman calls the “Sino-Jesuit accommodation”.40 To a large extent, the Chinese rites controversy resulted from the arrival of the Dominicans and Franciscans, what Liam Brockey calls the “arrival of rivals”.41 Juan Bautista de Morales, one of the first

36

Rowe, China’s Last Empire, p. 139. Alvarez Semedo, The History of that Great and Renowned Monarchy of China (London: E. Taylre, 1644), p. 205. See also Mote, Imperial China, pp. 663–68. 38 Huang Qiaolan, Qingting Chajing Tianzhujiao Qijian Chuanjiao Huodong zhi Tanjiu (Unpubished MA thesis, National Normal University, Taiwan, 2007), p. 20; Chen Shouyi, Zhong Ou Wenhua Jiaoliu Shishi Luncong (Taibei: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1970), pp. 1–56; Zhang Xiping, Zhongguo yu Ouzhou Zaoqi Zongjiao he Zhexue Jiaoliu Shi (Beijing: Dongfang chubanshe, 2001), pp. 252–73. 39 Wu Liwei, Wenming de Zhangli yu Quanli de Jiaoliang (Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 2007), pp. 5–38. 40 Elman, On Their Own Terms, pp. 107–49. 41 Liam Brockey, Journey to the East: the Jesuit Mission to China, 1579–1724 (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007), pp. 151–63; and Jonathan 37

72

chapter two

Dominicans to arrive in China in 1633, not only reopened the debate but also reported to the Pope, accusing the Jesuits of allowing dual worship and compromising Catholic etiquette. A fundamentalist, Morales was also jealous of the Jesuits’ success and dominance. The first edict from Pope Innocent X was issued in 1645; it stated that Chinese Catholics should not participate in activities that commemorated Confucius and that they should not establish altars and tablets for their ancestors.42 This edict arrived in China at a time when the Ming court had escaped to southern China and the Manchus had barely established themselves on Chinese soil. How the Manchu court perceived the various missionaries after they entered Beijing in 1644 is certainly a question worth exploring if we assume that they had never seen Europeans, except the Russians, before. Anxious to “consolidate their claims as the holders of the Mandate of Heaven, the true heirs to the Ming”, the Shunzhi emperor treated those with astronomical skills well, as the calendar of the Mandate of Heaven rested in their hands.43 It seems that he was on very friendly terms with Jean Adam Schall von Bell (1591–1666), whom he called Mafa [玛法], a Manchu term for a respected senior.44 This prompted some Jesuits, Alvarez Semedo for example, to believe that Shunzhi was converted.45 Kangxi inherited his father’s ministers and missionaries when he became emperor in 1662. A reading of the various Jesuit memoirs reveals that Kangxi was not initially hostile to the Catholic faith. He was friendly with the missionaries, as they themselves remembered and as historians have acknowledged.46 He treated those with technical

Spence, The China Helpers: Western Advisers in China 1620–1960 (London: Bodley Head, 1969), p. 20. 42 Sun Shangyang, Jidu Jiao yu Mingmo Ruxue (Beijing: Dongfang chubanshe, 1994), pp. 19–23 & 49–63; Feng Xianyu, Ming Qing Wenhua Shi Zaji (Shanghai: Renmin chubanshe, 2006), pp. 67–84; and Wu Liwei, Wenming de Zhangli yu Quanli de Jiaoliang, pp. 21–22. 43 Spence, The China Helpers, p. 16. 44 Louis Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Bibliographiques sur les Jesuites de l’Ancienne Mission de Chine 1552–1773 (2 tomes. Chang-hai: Imprimerie de la mission Catholique, 1932), tome 1, pp. 168–69. It was translated as “Venerable Père” in French. See also Spence, The China Helpers, p. 19; and Arthur W. Hummel, Eminent Chinese of the Ch’ing Period 1644–1912 (Taibei: Ch’eng Wen publishing company, 1970), pp. 255–59. 45 Semedo, The History of that Great and Renowned Monarchy of China, p. 287. 46 Joachim Bouvet, The History of Cang-Hy, the Present Emperour of China (London: F. Coggan, 1699), pp. 53, 93; and Feng Zuozhe, Qingdai Zhengzhi yu Zhongwai Guanxi (Beijing: Shehuikexue chubanshe, 1998), pp. 204–58.

“the inconsistency of the seas”

73

abilities extremely well; he was well-disposed to the educated missionaries in part because of his intense interest in astronomy and geography and his desire to master mathematics and music, about which I shall elaborate in Chapter Four. Good relations with the missionaries made Kangxi flexible when friction surfaced, a trait evidenced in the ways in which he received and handled the special envoy of Pope Clement XI. Nevertheless, it is important not to over-estimate the emperor’s leniency, and he did not hesitate to punish and banish those who did not follow his rules as the rites controversy escalated into a bitter clash between the Qing court and the Vatican. Kangxi was well aware of what the missionaries came for and he knew how to handle them. The struggle over dual worship would decide the fate of Christianity in China, the consequences of which is still felt today. The situation between the Qing court and the Vatican had already begun to deteriorate in 1693, when the French missionary Charles Maigrot publicly forbade Chinese Catholics in Fujian to carry on dual worship.47 This angered many converts, as well as officials who reported to Kangxi. To make things worse, Pope Clement XI issued the above decree and sent a special envoy, Cardinal Carlo Tommaso Maillard de Tournon (1669–1710), who arrived in Beijing on 4 December 1705. Tournon was sent to reiterate and reinforce the ban on dual worship among Chinese Catholics. Kangxi was deeply serious about this and, as court documents and missionary memoirs testify, received the envoy on 31 December.48 When Tournon mentioned a figure somewhat like a Cardinal for China, Kangxi replied that this must be someone who had stayed long enough in the country—at least ten years—to know the culture well. Kangxi clearly had a representative of the Jesuit community in mind, which aroused the jealousy of the Dominicans and Franciscans. Kangxi received Tournon again on 29 and 30 June 1706, when Tournon mentioned that Charles Maigrot was to arrive in Beijing. Kangxi received Charles Maigrot at the Palace of Heavenly Purity [乾清宫] in early August. Kangxi tested his Chinese by asking him to translate the four characters on a horizontal sign behind the dragon throne, which read Jing Tian Fa Zu [敬天法祖] or Reverent to Heaven and Follow the Ancestors. Maigrot could only decipher the second, and

47

Gu Weimin, Zhongguo yu Luoma Jiaoting Guanxi Shilue, p. 211. Taiwan Xuesheng Shuju, Kangxi yu Luoma Shijie Guanxi Wenshu, pp. 50–51 & 55–57. 48

74

chapter two

most common, of the four characters, Tian or Heaven.49 Kangxi’s reaction was understandable: “You don’t even read Chinese, how dare you lecture the Chinese about the ways in which they should behave”.50 Already furious that someone who neither read their language nor understood their culture should dictate the religious life of the Chinese people, Kangxi was further angered by the fact that Tournon communicated the Vatican’s edict to the missionary community in Beijing against his wishes. Tournon left for Nanjing in August and spoke publicly about his mission.51 He denounced the Kangxi emperor and demanded unconditional compliance from Chinese Catholics. This was not acceptable to Kangxi, who expressed his displeasure by expelling him to Macao, where he died in 1710. Liam Brockey has called this episode “a cruel tragedy”.52 Kangxi then introduced a bond system for the missionaries. Those who agreed to follow the “Ricci doctrine” and signed the bond could continue to practice in China; those who refused would be forced to leave. According to the research of Wu Liwei, 75 signed the bond, 43 were expelled, and 5 restricted to work only in the Guangdong area.53 Kangxi was not hostile to Catholicism and the missionaries; what made him angry was that they interfered with the practice of Chinese tradition, and more importantly defied his authority. Hard-line missionaries did not understand why Catholicism could not replace Chinese culture and found it difficult to accept that their God had to live side-by-side with Confucius and the ancestors of the converts. Cultural accommodation held the key to success for the missionary enterprise, but it seems that fundamentalist Catholicism had foreshadowed the future of Christian faith in China. The battle with the Catholic Church over dual worship did not end here, but intensified in the following decade and culminated in 1716, when Kangxi discovered that the Pope had bypassed the Qing court and secretly sent agents to China to enforce the ban on dual worship.

49 Zhang Xiping, Zhongguo yu Ouzhou Zaoqing Zongjiao he Zhexue Jiaoliu Shi, pp. 274–81; Gu Weimin, Zhongguo yu Luoma Jiaoting Guanxi Shilue, pp. 64–73. 50 Taiwan Xuesheng Shuju, Kangxi yu Luoma Shijie Guanxi Wenshu, pp. 48–49. See also Gu Weimin, Zhongguo yu Luoma Jiaoting Guanxi Shilue, pp. 67–68; Guo Fuxiang and Zuo Yuanbo, Zhongguo Huangdi yu Yangren (Beijing: Shishi chubanshe, 2002), pp. 209–15. 51 Wu Liwei, Wenming de Zhangli yu Quanli de Jiaoliang, pp. 107–25. 52 Brockey, Journey to the East, pp. 184–92. 53 Wu Liwei, Wenming de Zhangli yu Quanli de Jiaoliang, p. 30.

“the inconsistency of the seas”

75

This enraged not only Kangxi, but also the political establishment, especially those in the localities affected. A tidal-wave of memorials poured in, attacking foreigners in general and missionaries in particular. Many, if not all, called for an immediate and permanent ban on foreign missionary activity. The letter from Governor-General Yang Lin of Guangdong-Guangxi provinces detailed the whereabouts of the various foreigners: I have investigated the situation in Japan, Siam, Java and Luzon. . . . Java is where Red Hair [红毛] traded and Luzon where West Ocean [西洋] traded. The Red Hair is the most devious. Among them are the English, the Spanish, the Dutch and other big or small countries of Europe. Although their names are different, they are the same. The Dutch are very tough, like the Portuguese in Macao; they are the same kind and they know Guangdong extremely well. I have asked the coast patrol and Customs to guard against them and only allow them to anchor after having checked whether they carry arms on board or not. We should establish another Pass just to manage the merchants. Each year we should only allow a certain number of ships to gather and take turns to trade/exchange. According to my investigation, they have been trading with us for the past decade or so and they have been law-abiding. They should be allowed to continue trading. . . . When their ships arrive, officials along the coast should watch them all day long so that they will be afraid and can’t do any bad things. As for those who established churches and preached, they should be banned and thrown out completely.54

Just as the court in Beijing recognised the difference between Jesuits, Franciscans and Dominicans, so local officials in Guangdong knew how to distinguish the different kinds of foreigners, even though their knowledge was imperfect. They had “Red Hair” and came from the “West Ocean”, which at that time meant Europe, and had established themselves in places like Siam, Java and Luzon. Some came to trade and others to establish churches; most came with arms, while many stayed. Governor-General Yang did not have negative opinions of the merchants, but he did harbour the suspicion that all foreigners were potential troublemakers. It seemed to him that keeping all of them at bay, regardless of whether they were merchants or missionaries, were by far the safest option. Macao was a particular cause for concern, as it was the destination of the expelled missionaries.

54

Zhonghua Shuju, Qing Shengzhu Shilu, vol. 277, p. 716.

76

chapter two

The missionaries themselves, especially those serving at the court, noticed the political storm that was gathering. Matteo Ripa was one: At this period, Ching-mow, a military mandarin who resided at Kie-she, not far from Canton, sent a libel to the Emperor, in which he attempted to show that the foreign trade and the propagation of the Christian religion were highly detrimental to the empire. His Majesty handed it over to the Ping-poo, or Military Board, in order that, after giving due consideration to the charge, it might come to a proper decision regarding it. The Ping-poo answered that the matter, being of paramount importance, should be referred to the Kieu-king, or Supreme Board. The recommendation was followed, and the Kieu-king resolved that Canton should be closed against foreigners, our holy religion prohibited, all the Christians imprisoned, and their churches demolished.55

The news filled Ripa and others with horror and despair, even though they had signed the bond pledging their allegiance to the “Ricci doctrine” that respected Chinese tradition. In the meantime, Kangxi realized that banishing the missionaries to Macao was similar to driving the Zheng resistance to Taiwan; it only made his empire less secure, as it would be easier for them to organize and return. He needed to keep them at bay, if not destroy them as he did with the Zheng rebels, and he also needed to restrict Chinese access to Macao, where the missionaries were banished, and to places where they congregated. The rationale behind the policy that Kangxi was formulating in order to deal with the missionary problem is clear, and in January 1717 Kangxi made up his mind: Merchant ships can only go and trade in East Ocean [东洋]. They cannot go to South Ocean [南洋], places like Luzon and Java; they should be stopped at Nan’ao. Guangdong and Fujian coast guard and patrol can punish those who break the rules. Foreign vessels can come and trade but should be guarded strictly. From now on, those who made ships, that is before they undertake such a thing, must report to the Customs. Local officials must check and the ship-maker must sign a contract which should register name of the owner, size of the vessel, and places where it intends to go. Coastal officials must check the details against the agreement and file them on a monthly basis.56

55

Ripa, Memoirs, p. 92. See also Brockey, Journey to the East, pp. 192–98. Zhonghua Shuju, Qing Shengzhu Shilu, vol. 271, p. 658. See also Dou Ruyi and Sun Rong, Huangchao Wenxian Tongkao, vol. 33, pp. 26A–B; Zhongguo Renmin Daxue, Qing Shi Bian Nian, vol. 2, pp. 471–72. 56

“the inconsistency of the seas”

77

Kangxi did not take chances when it came to national security, but his edict was full of loopholes. East Ocean meant Taiwan, Okinawa, Korea and Japan; South Ocean started from Luzon and included Java, while the West Ocean referred to Europe, from whence the missionaries and merchants came. Although the ban was imposed on the South Ocean, it only named Java and Luzon. It neglected to mention Siam, Vietnam and other places. Whether or not Kangxi and his officials knew that Siam lay close to Java, this loophole meant that seafarers could easily pretend that their destination was Siam but stop in Java. In addition, the edict stressed that those Chinese who left the mainland before 1717 could return. If they did not, their rights of homecoming would be revoked and punishments were laid out for them. How would they know about this change, when Qing jurisdiction did not extend to Java and Luzon, which were under Dutch and Spanish rule respectively? The fact was that many returned regardless of the edict and without the notice of local authorities, as it was impossible to closely patrol the long coastline. Like the ban imposed by Shunzhi in 1656, this ban was born out of specific concern for the Qing’s sovereignty and stability. Like the previous ban, it would make life difficult not just for the “small people”, but also for the foreigners who were by now deeply entrenched in the trade that was already global in scale. Kangxi was ageing and suffering from many ailments by the late 1710s. When he had been able, hardworking and effective, he had expanded and stabilized the Qing empire; now he left his duties to his ministers. The Garden of Eternal Spring helped him to escape from work and his sons who intrigued for the throne. Even as he aged, however, Kangxi did not lose his mind or control, and the 1717 maritime ban testifies to this fact. The emperor knew where potential dangers lay and he dealt with them in the best way he knew. Neither expelling missionaries nor banning trade to the South Ocean brought peace to the ageing Kangxi; instead, these actions caused more problems. Guangdong and Fujian were by this time unable to feed their population and relied on inland provinces and neighbouring countries for rice, especially in times of famine, such as the year 1721: lack of rice could lead to unrest and rebellions. Kangxi was advised that the country of Siam was rich with rice and that it could be easily obtained to relieve the situation, which was growing urgent. Kangxi had to act immediately, and authorised the import of rice from Siam

78

chapter two

in June 1722.57 This seems to be the first time the court authorised a rice import, but henceforth this would become a necessary policy. Although it was the Qing court who invited the Siamese to come, the news encouraged many Chinese to go and procure rice in Siam in violation of the 1717 ban. Siam lies close to Java, and ships could stop at the island on their way to and from their destination. Kangxi became seriously ill and died in December 1722, leaving a cloud of confusion regarding his successor.58 The Qing Empire might have looked strong and stable, but the question of succession sparked an unprecedented family feud. The Yongzheng emperor, Kangxi’s fourth son, managed to succeed him, but would be plagued for the rest of his life by the suspicion that he had usurped the throne from his fourteenth younger brother, despite the fact that his own son, the Qianlong emperor, seemed to have redeemed his ascension. Yongzheng proved to be an ambitious and astute ruler, seemingly better than many of his brothers. He knew very well that corruption was rampant, and upon ascending the throne he quickly eliminated his rivals and took effective measures to curb corruption. Yongzheng confiscated the property of corrupt officials and made Manchu princes and Banner men work for a living, but such measures, as the emperor himself was aware, only served to make him more enemies. Observing that “the treasury was several hundred millions short”, and that this deficiency extended to local government and military coffers, Yongzheng established a central agency to oversee the collection and distribution of money and provisions.59 He also created a most important central agency: the Grand Council, which consolidated and controlled decision making.60 Yongzheng was ruthless toward his own brothers; he would be even more so to foreigners. Like his father, he retained those with technical and artistic skills but had little tolerance for the rest. Matteo Ripa, Kangxi’s favourite painter, noticed the difference between father and son: A few months after, all the Europeans were summoned to appear before the Too-yoo-soo, or Board of the Imperial Household, when the mandarins informed us in the name of the Governor, who was the seventeenth 57 58 59 60

Zhongguo Renmin Daxue, Qing Shi Bian Nian, vol. 3, p. 553. Ibid., vol. 3, pp. 558–60. Zhongguo Renmin Daxue, Qing Shi Bian Nian, vol. 4, p. 111. Hummel, Eminent Chinese, pp. 915–19.

“the inconsistency of the seas”

79

brother of the Emperor, that for the future, when they wanted anything, they must no longer go to the palace, but communicate with the Board. In consequence of this measure, which has certainly emanated from the Sovereign, the Europeans were excluded from the imperial residence, to which they had hitherto been admitted; and from that day forward no one of them was allowed to enter it unless by his Majesty’s especial permission, as in Scipel’s case and my own.61

Missionaries were treated better in Kangxi’s time. Many were taken to see Kangxi upon their arrival, as he was keen to learn about their technical skills. While some lived in the imperial compound, others were allowed to walk freely in the various royal palaces, an honour that only the emperor could bestow. Some even spent hours with Kangxi, who seemed to enjoy their company, as Joachim Bouvet (1656–1730) vividly remembered: The whole Court have been eye-witness (to their great Surprize) of the private Audiences and Conferences we had duly every day, no body being admitted to be present, but three or four Eunuchs of the Empereur‘s Bed-chamber; where the Chief Subject of our Discourse was concerning all manner of Sciences, the Manners and Customs, and what else was worth our Observation in the European, and some other States of the World. As there was not any Subject, wherewith we used to entertain this Prince with more particular Satisfaction, than the Glorious Actions of Lewis the Great, so I can testify it my self, That there was not any thing of this Nature, in which he took more delight to be inform’d in. At last, he gave us such ample Marks of his great Esteem, that he would absolutely command us to sit down near his side; an Honour never granted before to any Body living, unless to his own Children.62

Yongzheng thought his father was too kind to the foreigners and was not about to continue in the same vein, as Antoine Gaubil (1689– 1759) realised: L’empereur n’aime pas la Religion. Les Grands et les Princes nous fuyant par cette raison. Nous ne paraissons au palais que rarement. L’empereur a besoin de nous pour le tribunal des mathématiques, pour les affaires des Moscovites, et pour les instruments et autres choses qui viennent d’Europe.63

61

Ripa, Memoirs, p. 124. Bouvet, The History of Cang-Hy, p. 69. 63 Antoine Gaubil, Correspondance de Pekin 1722–1759 (Geneve: Librairie Droz, 1970), p. 128. This letter was dated 6 November 1726. See also Yan Jiale (Charles Slaviczek), Zhongguo Laixin 1716–1735 (Zhengzhou: Daxiang chubanshe, 2002), pp. 40–54; and Brockey, Journey to the East, pp. 198–203. 62

80

chapter two

Yongzheng established rules for those in Beijing, as detailed by Ripa, and he kept a close eye on the rest through his army of local officials, who reported to him often and in secret. Yongzheng was suspicious by nature; he worried about retaliation from missionaries scattered in the provinces and those in Macao in particular. Many officials, especially those in the maritime region, shared his concern, as they would have to deal with the foreigners should they make trouble. Kong Sunxun, the new Governor-General of Guangdong-Guangxi provinces, wrote to Yongzheng in his second year (December 1724) about the situation in Macao: Foreigners have been living in Macao for a long time. After I took up office, I checked the situation with regard to the mixed population and foreign vessels. There are now three thousand five hundred sixty-seven foreign men and women there; twenty-five big or small foreign ships, eighteen of which are old and seven new. There are two thousand five hundred and twenty four Chinese mouths there.64

He proposed to Yongzheng: “Those foreigners who came without a reason should not be allowed to stay; even if they came to trade and make money, they can’t reproduce here and mix with our people”.65 One of Sunxun’s colleagues, Liang Wenke, was even more worried. “Over the years”, he wrote, “their population has grown; we can’t rule out evil wills. We must be careful so we can prevent potential concerns to come true”.66 Just as the Dutch authority noticed and worried about the increase of Chinese merchants and migrants on the island of Java at the same time, so Chinese officials saw and concerned themselves with the increase of Europeans in Macao.67 Apprehension of the “other” is common. Many, not just European merchants and missionaries, but also Chinese outlaws, frequented or had taken refuge in Macao, and the enclave had grown significantly. Like the retreat to Taiwan by the Zheng resistance, the increase in foreigners and foreign vessels in Macao provoked the anxieties of local and court authorities, but neither the Ming nor the Qing had a durable policy; when worries arose, regimes reacted with a ban, and when circumstances or regimes

64 Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Ming Qing Shiqi Aomen Wenti Dang’an Wenxian Huibian (6 vols. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1999), vol. 1, p. 144. 65 Ibid. 66 Ibid., pp. 140–141. 67 A. R. T. Kemasang, “The 1740 Massacre of Chinese in Java: Curtain Raiser for the Dutch Plantation Economy”, Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars 14, (1982): 61–72.

“the inconsistency of the seas”

81

changed, they responded with relaxation. While some scholar-officials exaggerated the danger from the foreigners, others knew that the cycle of ban and lift had not deterred coastal Chinese from departure or homecoming, and bans were in fact an opportunity for many. Just as Yongzheng was contemplating a decision regarding the foreigners, a domestic crisis once again emerged from the coastal provinces, one which demanded a quick solution. Rice or Riot Kangxi’s 1717 maritime ban on South Ocean, like those introduced by emperors before him, outlawed seafaring activities in theory but not in practice. Many of those who dared to continue their seafaring adventures would thrive, as the ban meant less competition; the more restrictions the court imposed, the more innovative local circumvention became. Of those unable to skirt the new rules, some switched to other livelihoods, while others lost partial or entire incomes. In times of natural disaster and bad harvest, this relative decline in wealth would have grave consequences. Kangxi made an exception and authorised the import of Siamese rice in 1722, but in order to have real impact Siamese rice ships would have to come every month and keep coming. Many local officials were aware of this; some were outspoken about necessary change. Kong Sunxun made bold suggestions to the Yongzheng emperor in the first year of his reign, 1723, proposing a lift of the 1717 ban in order to facilitate the import of rice, but it would take more than just memorials for Yongzheng to revise his father’s policy. Trouble was brewing in these provinces as his Grand Council sat on the pile of requests from officials. Posing a challenge to his young mandate, bad news poured in throughout the first two years of Yongzheng’s reign. While the supply of rice had been stretched to its limit in 1723 and 1724, the spring and summer of 1725 brought further disaster to the Guangdong region. Governor-General Kong’s deputy Yang Wengan wrote to Yongzheng to report on the situation in the region: “Local thugs gathered people and plundered the government rice depot; they beat up officials and guards. They also stormed local government offices where the Banner troops are stationed”.68 The reason for the shortage of rice and the

68 Guangdong Sheng Guangzhou Shi Difangzhi Bianweihui, Qing Shilu Guangdong Shiliao (6 vols. Guangzhou: Guangdong ditu chubanshe, 1995), vol. 1, pp. 290–91.

82

chapter two

outbreak of riots, as Yang elaborated, was bad harvests in previous years and flooding in eleven counties of the Pearl River delta region in the spring and summer. If the news from Guangdong was bad, that from Fujian was worse. The autumn harvest of 1725 was appalling, and that of spring 1726 even worse. Soon crowds gathered and stormed rice shops and government depots reserved for emergency and military purposes. Gao Qizhuo, Governor-General of Fujian-Zhejiang, reported to Yongzheng: In Nantai county of Xinhua prefecture, people have plundered rice shops. . . . In Fuzhou, people have demanded that the price of rice be lowered. . . . When Governor Mao Wenquan did not want to do so, people broke into his office compound and destroyed his official sedan. . . . In Jianning county of Zhaowu prefecture, people have held a demonstration. . . . In Tingzhou, people have chased and harassed the magistrate He Guodong, and in Shanghang they have plundered the rice depot.69

This is what R. Bin Wong called “grain seizures”: Between the late seventeenth and mid-nineteenth centuries, food was frequently a focus of popular protest in Western Europe. . . . less well known are the strikingly similar types of conflict that took place in late imperial China. Chinese crowds gathered to demand lower prices, to block the shipment of grain beyond their local areas, and forcibly to seize grain that was hidden in storehouses. . . . . . . During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, grain seizures occurred in almost all Chinese provinces.70

The reports from the provinces demanded a quick response and effective solution. The questions of why the Cantonese and Fujianese could not feed themselves, and why rice-producing provinces like Hunan and Jiangnan could not help feed these areas in times of disaster as they had done previously, lead us to three important issues, the first two of which have been at the heart of the academic debate: the eighteenth-century population explosion and the growing cash cropping economy that diverted land from rice cultivation. The third issue was an increasing dependence on foreign supply, as growing numbers of coastal Chinese sojourned to Southeast Asia, where rice was

69 Taibei Gugong Bowuyuan, Yongzheng Zhupi Yuzhi (10 vols. Taibei: Wenhai chubanshe, 1965), vol. 8, pp. 49–51. See also Zhongguo Renmin Daxue, Qing Shi Bian Nian, vol. 4, pp. 113, 189–90, 196–97, 204–05, 234 & 247. 70 R. Bin Wong, China Transformed: Historical Change and the Limits of European Experience (Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press, 1997), pp. 209 & 213.

“the inconsistency of the seas”

83

abundant and cheap and where they could make a living—even a fortune—growing and shipping rice to China.71 The shortage of rice and resulting riots exposed fundamental change in Qing society; they also point to the ways in which we could approach the study of the Qing as it became dependent on the maritime world—Southeast Asia in particular—for its food supply. The coastal provinces had made money for the Tang-Song-Yuan dynasties, but made only trouble for the Ming and Qing regimes. Let us first look at Fujian; its geography seems to have dictated the fate of the Fujianese.72 It sits right above the Tropic of Cancer, facing the East China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, on the same latitude as Saudi Arabia or central Mexico. Seventy-five percent of the province consists of mountains, which not only separate Fujian from other provinces but also form a natural divide separating the two economies, mountain and plain, of the province itself. Fujian enjoys warm winters but humid summers, and two big waterways, Long River and Min River, nourish the lowland plains. This geography and climate allow the Fujianese to cultivate and reap two to three harvests per year, but this did not produce enough to feed themselves, even with the help of the maize and foreign yam crops introduced during the late Ming. The Fujianese needed to import rice even in good harvest years. In bad years, price cuts and government subsidies were a necessity, while imports from inland provinces like Hunan as well as Taiwan and Southeast Asia became vital from this point on, if not earlier.73 Rice importation became a specialised and lucrative business and would remain so until the mid-twentieth century.74

71 Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great Divergence: China, Europe and the Making of the Modern World Economy (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2000), pp. 31–43, 211–24. See also Peter Perdue, Exhausting the Earth: State and Peasant in Hunan, 1500–1850 (Cambridge: Harvard University Council on East Asian Studies, 1987), pp. 17–24; Spence, The Search for Modern China, pp. 90–96; Fairbank and Goldman, China: A New History, pp. 167–72; Mote, Imperial China, pp. 903–08; and R. Bin Wong, China Transformed, pp. 22–32. 72 Zhao Zhaobing, Fujian Sheng Dili (Fuzhou: Renmin chubanshe, 1993), pp. 41–64; Li Jinming, Xiamen Haiwai Jiaotong (Xiamen: Lujiang chubanshe), pp. 1–28; Yang Guozhen, Min Zai Hai Zhong (Nanchang: Jiangxi gaoxiao chubanshe, 1998), pp. 14–21; Liao Dake, Fujian Haiwai Jiaotong Shi, pp. 9–13, 21–29, 44–55; Zhuang Jinghui, Quanzhou Gang Kaogu yu Haiwai Jiaotong Shi Yanjiu, pp. 384–403. 73 Perdue, Exhausting the Earth, pp. 17–24. 74 Xiamen Liangshi Ju, Xiamen Liangshi Zhi.

84

chapter two

There are three important reasons why a semi-tropical province blessed with two or three cultivation seasons could not grow enough rice to feed itself. First and foremost was population growth. Ramon H. Myers and Yeh-chien Wang point out that Fujian was home to nine million people by 1750.75 The province had been the destination of massive migration from the interior, the great southward move of the Chinese people which had begun with the Yongjia Disturbance in 311 and had intensified during the Song as the Mongols pushed down the central plains. It became a real problem during the Ming, as the province became over-crowded and the population spilled over into Taiwan, the Philippines and Southeast Asia as opportunities presented themselves. The increase in new births since the Ming had put pressure on a land with limited resources, and a shortage of land for cultivation meant shortages of food. While neighbouring rice-producing provinces had often helped before, these regions were increasingly faced with the same problems and thus could export little or no rice. The maritime ban that prevented the trade which would have imported rice from Southeast Asia only compounded the problem. What exacerbated the dilemma of an increasing population on limited cultivable land was cash cropping, the Chinese “capitalist sprout” that began to bud in the Song and blossomed since the Ming.76 The mountains of Fujian made large-scale rice cultivation difficult, but their sunny valleys and warm climate made it easy to grow tea, tobacco, fruits and vegetables. This had become the lifeline of many Fujianese and an integral part of the local and regional economy. Fujian was home to many exotic fruits, like li zhi (lychee) and long yan or dragon eye; it supplied the court and the country with fresh fruits and vegetables all year round. One of the three provinces to first cultivate tobacco in China, Fujian had become famous for its “golden slice smoke” by the early Qing.77 The most profitable item was tea, grown in the lush Wuyi 75 Ramon H. Myers and Wang Yeh-chien, “Economic Developments, 1644–1800”, in The Cambridge History of China Volume 9 The Ch’ing Empire to 1800 Part 1, pp. 563–645. 76 Xu Dixin and Wu Chengmin, Zhongguo Ziben Zhuyi de Mengya (Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1985); and Pomeranz, The Great Divergence, pp. 166–87. 77 Wang Shizhen, Xiangzu Biji (12 vols. Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1982), vol. 7, p. 131. See also Ye Mengzhu, Yueshi Bian (10 vols. Taibei: Chengwen chubanshe, 1983), vol. 7, p. 167; and Zeng Yuwang, ‘Zeng Yuwang Riji’, in Qingdai Riji Huichao (Shanghai: Renmin chubanshe, 1982), p. 4. For the latest publication, see Carol Benedict, Golden-Silk Smoke: a History of tobacco in China, 1550–2010 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011), pp. 34–60.

“the inconsistency of the seas”

85

Mountains, and synonymous with Fujian in the Sino-British tea trade. The Min River and its tributaries carried this local produce downstream to regional commercial centres and coastal metropolises, where they were bought and shipped to other parts of China and Asia—and increasingly Europe, in the case of tea. The cultivation of such products had provided a livelihood for people in the mountains as well as those in the plains; more importantly, it balanced the two economies. While the steady and healthy income from cash cropping had given many Fujianese enough money to buy what they did not cultivate— rice, life’s necessities and even luxuries—the sea was another source of income. Seafaring, whether fishing or trading and whether to nearby shores or distant lands, had been part of the local economy since ancient times, as seen in Chapter One. The sea provided livelihood, as well as escape at times of disaster. Large numbers of Fujianese had migrated to Taiwan, Luzon, Java, Siam and other Southeast Asian countries since the Zheng He voyages during the Ming. This had not only reduced the burden of numbers at home but also helped those who stayed behind, as those who sojourned overseas often sent home, or returned with, money and goods. The Fujianese had become dependent on the sea; this dependence would encourage more seafaring and the development of a maritime trade that would ultimately see the establishment of farms in Southeast Asia producing exclusively for the China market. This would lead to the rise of the Chinese in the region, as they turned many parts of Southeast Asia into what Carl Trocki called an “offshore production zone for China”.78 Rice is a defining example of this process, and will be examined in Chapter Three. Where nature had given the Fujianese mountainous terrain, it gave the Cantonese a land of water.79 Like Fujian, Guangdong had been the

78 Carl A. Trocki, Opium, Empire and the Global Political Economy: a Study of the Asian Opium Trade 1750–1950 (London: Routledge, 1999); Introduction; Opium and Empire: Chinese Society in Colonial Singapore, 1800–1910 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990) and “The Internationalisation of Chinese Revenue Farming Networks”, in Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong Region, pp. 159–73. See also John Butcher and Howard Dick, eds. The Rise and Fall of Revenue Farming: Business Elites and the Emergence of the Modern State in Southeast Asia (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993); and James R. Rush, Opium to Java: Revenue Farming and Chinese Enterprise in Colonial Indonesia, 1860–1910 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990). 79 Chen Bojian and Huang Quchen, Guangzhou Waimao Shi (3 vols. Guangzhou: Guangzhou chubanshe, 1995), vol. 1, pp. 8–18; Zhou Hongwei, Qingdai Liang Guang Nongye Dili (Changsha: Hunan jiaoyu chubanshe, 1998), pp. 10–16; Dian H. Murray,

86

chapter two

destination of waves of migrants since the Western Jin. It saw rapid population growth during the Ming, and also experienced a growing cash cropping economy, but its geography is very different from that of Fujian. The province sits on the Tropic of Cancer, the same latitude as the Bay of Bengal and Cuba. It marks the end of the continent, and its entire southern coast faces the South China Sea. The province is blessed with many rivers, which converge in the Pearl River estuary to join the sea. Like blood vessels, they irrigate the lowland plains, nurture a vibrant cash-cropping economy, and provide easy transportation for trade even to this day. Guangdong’s waterways connect the province with the interior and capital, with easy access to neighbouring Vietnam and Siam, the “Rice Bowl of Asia”. But when these waterways flood, the entire region suffers, since there is no escape from the water. Guangdong enjoys warm winters (a January average of 10–20 degrees Celsius) and hot summers (a July average of 30–40 degrees Celsius). The lowland plains and tropical climate allowed the Cantonese to harvest virtually all year round, which would have fed the populace had they not, like the Fujianese, found more profitable things to cultivate, mulberry and sugar among them as pointed out by William T. Rowe.80 “In every Chinese region, physiographic features of the landscape– topography, climate, water supply, and soil quality–condition the forms of agricultural production”.81 It seems that Peter Perdue’s verdict on Hunan in south-central interior China is also applicable to the case of the maritime region. The people of Fujian and Guangdong had become sea-and-trade oriented rather than land-and-agriculture bound. This was a perfect example of “Geography as Destiny”, as outlined by Heather Sutherland.82 Fujian and Guangdong faced the

“Guangdong de Shuishang Shijie: Ta de Shengtai he Jingji”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Qi Ji Shang Ce, ed. Tang Xiyong (Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan zhongshan renwen shehui kexue yanjiusuo, 1999), pp. 145–70; and Ye Xianen, “Yimin yu Zhujiang Sanjiao Zhou Haiyang Jingji Hua”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Ba Ji, ed. Zhu Delan (Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan zhongshan renwen shehui kexue yanjiusuo, 1999), pp. 23–72. 80 William T. Rowe, “Social Stability and Social Change”, in The Cambridge History of China Volume 9 The Ch’ing Empire to 1800 Part 1, pp. 473–562. 81 Perdue, Exhausting the Earth, p. 25. 82 Heather Sutherland, “Geography as Destiny? The Role of Water in Southeast Asian History”, in A World of Water: Rain, Rivers and Seas in Southeast Asian Histories, ed. Peter Boomgaard (Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2007), pp. 27–70.

“the inconsistency of the seas”

87

same problem, brought on by different geographies.83 The issue of food shortages, which surfaced during the Ming and now confronted the Yongzheng regime, could lead to serious consequences, as provincial officials well understood. Many people had already taken matters into their own hands, indifferent to government sanction. When the land didn’t provide, they turned to the sea. It seemed natural for the “small people”, but it was a matter of great concern for local officials. Governor-General Gao Qizhuo summarised the reason for Fujian’s instability as follows: “The terrain is limited and densely populated, there is not enough land to cultivate, people left to become pirates”.84 For the authorities, when people turned to the sea they became by definition outlaws. Governor-General Gao, like many of his classically-trained colleagues, seemed prejudiced against seafaring, but he had a much better understanding of the needs and circumstances of the “small people” than many in the bureaucracy, and he was pragmatic in trying to find a solution to the problem he faced. He wrote to Yongzheng again: The five districts of Fu, Xin, Zhang, Quan and Ting have little land, and people increase day by day. Many cannot find land to cultivate; no wonder many became thieves, thugs and pirates. I have thought about the problem over and over; the only solution is to provide them with opportunities for survival. If we lift the ban that was imposed, the rich would become ship owners and merchants, the poor headmen and boatmen; one boat takes a few hundred, they won’t consume the rice produced here but they would bring in money to feed their families. . . . Lifting the ban would benefit the local area enormously. I beg you to lift the ban.85

Lifting the ban would facilitate rice imports and feed the hungry, while the profit generated would benefit the provincial treasury, supplementing the local economy and stabilising the region. Many, not just the governors-general of the two regions, petitioned Yongzheng to lift the ban. The emperor and his Grand Council more or less agreed with Gao and his colleagues: what concerned them was how to regulate the “small people” in their dealings with the maritime world. They 83 Zhou Hongwei, Qingdai Liang Guang Nongye Dili, pp. 49–87, 194–241; Zhao Zhaobing, Fujian Sheng Dili, pp. 129–44. 84 Taibei Gugong Bowuyuan, Yongzheng Zhupi Yuzhi, vol. 8, pp. 49–51; and Feng Erkang, Yongzheng Zhuan (Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1985), p. 411. 85 Zhongguo Renmin Daxue, Qing Shi Bian Nian, vol. 4, pp. 253–54; and Wang Hongbing, Qingdai Qianqi Haifang: Sixiang yu Zhidu (Beijing: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe, 2002), pp. 21–28.

88

chapter two

were told that ship owners reported sixty, seventy or eighty passengers when they set sail, when in fact they carried two to three, or even four to five hundred, on board. Most left without notice and many would not return, which was why the Philippines and Java were home to tens of thousands of Chinese by the early eighteenth century. Why should this worry the regime, given that it reduced the population in China and the burden of feeding them? The debate that ensued gives us a hint. Local authorities wanted to register everyone who departed; they also wanted to see them return “on time”, which was certainly difficult, if not impossible, to regulate. This desire to track a sojourning population showcases the regime’s concern with foreign travel and exposure. Gao and his pro-relaxation provincial officials proposed two rules: first, anyone who wanted to leave must produce two warrants, one from one’s neighbourhood watch committee and the second from one’s professional organisation. Only when these two warrants were presented would the authority issue a pass, which would record the name, age, appearance, and fingerprint of the person; details for each individual would be checked upon their return. This method is similar to the Han-invented and Song-enhanced public proof system, and is a precursor to today’s passports. As for those who did not return, their relatives and the owners of the ships that bore them would be punished. On this, Yongzheng replied immediately: I don’t really mean that I want to see these people come back. What good would this do to the country? What I am concerned with is those who left and settled in foreign lands: they must harbour the idea of returning to their motherland one day. Once they return, we can not guarantee that there are no traitors among them who might have bad ideas/designs.86

Yongzheng was not concerned with those who settled overseas, understandable given that it removed the problem of having to feed them. On the contrary, he was concerned with those who might return and suspicious that they would harbour different or rebellious ideas. Like his father Kangxi and some of the Ming emperors, Yongzheng was convinced that those who had been abroad would be exposed to—and return with—evil designs for their homeland. The Ming-Qing regimes

86 Taibei Gugong Bowuyuan, Yongzheng Zhupi Yuzhi, vol. 8, pp. 49–51. See also Wang Hongbing, Qingdai Qianqi Haifang, pp. 39–46.

“the inconsistency of the seas”

89

seemed to believe that any potential threat to their rule would come from abroad rather than from within, a political mentality which continued well into the Cold War: the Communist regime was suspicious of overseas Chinese, including their relatives in China, doubting their loyalty to their “motherland”. For Yongzheng, those who lingered and settled in foreign lands were better left beyond China’s shores. He criticised his officials: “In the vast ocean, shipwrecks are quite common. What’s the use of chasing after their families?”87 A consensus was building within officialdom: no harm could be done to the local economies if the ban were lifted, despite lingering concerns about the overseas Chinese and the expelled foreigners, who might be contemplating retaliation or even a full return. Guangdong officials asked Yongzheng to lift the ban in early 1727, arguing that their province needed this policy urgently; this request was granted immediately, as was the similar petition by Governor-General Gao of Fujian-Zhejiang. The maritime ban to South Ocean imposed by Kangxi in January 1717 was lifted by his son Yongzheng in the summer of 1727. In theory, this was welcome news for the “small people”: unlawful departures and returns had continued as usual—and perhaps been even more rampant during the ban years—and this relaxation gave them the much-desired official green light. But it also created unforeseen problems: most seamen had rough hands with calloused skin which did not produce clear fingerprints; this created difficulties for the authorities who were required to fingerprint them. There was also the problem, foreseen by Yongzheng, of what to do if a seaman died during the voyage, which given the conditions of the time they often did. Liu Xufeng has written expertly about the management of ocean-going ships and their crews during the Qing.88 Like Kangxi’s 1717 decree, Yongzheng’s new legislation was full of loopholes and rules that were impossible to enforce. In the winter of 1727, 21 ships left Xiamen; 12 returned in the autumn of 1728. They bore many goods, from staples

87

Feng Erkang, Yongzheng Zhuan, p. 412. See also Dou Ruyi and Sun Rong, Huangchao Wenxian Tongkao, vol. 33, pp. 34B–35A. 88 Liu Xufeng, “Qing Zhengfu dui Chuyang Chuanzhi de Guanli Zhengce: 1684– 1842”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Jiu Ji, pp. 331–76.

90

chapter two

like rice to luxuries like bird’s nests, as well as many Fujianese with their Southeast Asian wives and employees.89 Leonard Blusse has carefully studied trade during this period, and observed the numbers of ships that left the three key ports of Xiamen, Ningbo and Guangzhou for Batavia (present-day Jakarta), the heart of Dutch trade (Table 2.1):90 Tables 2.1 Year 1721–1725 1726–1730 1731–1735 1736–1740 1741–1745

Chinese ships calling on Batavia 1720s to 1740s

Total

Xiamen

Ningbo

46 79 88 82 41

21 43 46 55 27

16 17 12 6 4

Guangzhou Elsewhere 2 8 23 15 8

7 11 7 6 2

The increase of ships to Batavia after the 1727 lifting of the ban is obvious: the total nearly doubled. Xiamen claimed the lion’s share, followed by Ningbo and Guangzhou. The sharp decline after 1740 was a result of the Dutch massacre of Chinese in Java, when nearly 10,000 Chinese were murdered and the rest expelled by the Dutch colonial authority.91 Despite this, 41 Chinese junks called on Batavia over the next five years, although that number would gradually halve by the 1780s. The 1740 massacre by the Dutch sheds light on the making of that nation’s colonial legacy in the region; it also reveals the extent and increase of Chinese settlement in the post-1684 and post-1727 periods. Chinese competition had seriously challenged Dutch supremacy, as can be seen from the regulations imposed by the Dutch authority after the massacre. First, it stipulated how many passengers each vessel could carry, so as to limit the profit of ship owners and the number of new Chinese migrants to Dutch-controlled territory. Second, the authority

89 Feng Erkang, Yongzheng Zhuan, pp. 414–15. See also Dou Ruyi and Sun Rong, Huangchao Wenxian Tongkao, vol. 33, pp. 35B; and Ng Chin-keong, “The Case of Ch’en I-lao: Maritime Trade and Overseas Chinese in Ch’ing Policies, 1717–1754”, in Emporia, Commodities and Entrepreneurs in Asian Maritime Trade, c. 1400–1750, pp. 373–99. 90 Bao Leshi (Leonard Blusse), Badaweiya Huaren yu Zhong He Maoyi, p. 151. 91 A. R. T. Kemasang, “The 1740 Massacre of Chinese in Java”, Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars 14, (1982): 61–72. See also Jonathan I. Israel, Dutch Primacy in World Trade, 1585–1740 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989), pp. 377–98.

“the inconsistency of the seas”

91

forbade the Chinese to go to neighbouring Sumatra, Malaya, Sulawesi and especially the Spice Islands, which were most dear to the Dutch. Third, and most important, the Dutch imposed heavy taxation on the Chinese who operated in the environs of Java. The Dutch might have dominated Asian waters in seventeenth century; but their trade had gone into decline beginning in the 1680s. The Chinese were catching up, and so were the English. English competition was becoming significant, and it forced the Dutch to tighten their grip; it would also force the Qing to modify its maritime policy in 1757. The English would ultimately replace the Dutch, but not without difficulties. The East India Company had been unsuccessful in establishing a strong foothold in Asia due to Portuguese and Dutch dominance; it was also frustrated with the China trade, which was less profitable than it could be. The Company had been trying to bypass the Guangzhou-Macao authority and open direct trade with other localities along the coast. Captain Wendell’s 1636 voyage, mentioned in Chapter One, and the 1676 expedition related in the first section of this chapter were two such efforts. Neither met with success and another attempt was made under James Flint, whose ship surprised the Ningbo port authority in 1755: The Ningpo mandarins were taken by surprise but ‘received us very graciously, not at all like the Hoppo of Canton’, reported Flint. Pending reference to higher authorities the ship was allowed to trade on most reasonable terms as were the two vessels sent in the following year.92

The English were seemingly better treated in Ningbo than in Guangzhou. This was a ray of hope, and the English returned in 1756 and 1757. The Qianlong emperor was more or less ready to allow this to continue, judging from comments he made in August 1757.93 However, he changed his mind in November, based on the petition of Fujian-Zhejiang Governor-General Yang Tingzhang, who accused the

92 Keay, The Honourable Company, pp. 350–53. See also Auber, China, pp. 167–73; Howard T. Fry, Alexander Dalrymple (1737–1808) and the Expansion of British Trade (London: Frank Cass, 1970), pp. 39–42. Normally historians would have referred to H. B. Morse; but Morse informed his readers that “there is a gap of twenty-one years, from 1754 to 1774” in the Company archive, see The Chronicles of the East India Company, Prefatory notes. See also Zhang Xiaoning, Tianzi Nanku: Qing Qianqi Guangzhou Zhidu Xiade Zhong Xi Maoyi (Nanchang: Jiangxi gaoxiao chubanshe, 1999), pp. 27–33. 93 Zhongguo Renmin Daxue, Qing Shi Bian Nian, vol. 5, pp. 583–84. See also Wang Hongbing, Qingdai Qianqi Haifang, pp. 49–51.

92

chapter two

English of seeking special treatment and better profit than other foreigners in Guangzhou. Qianlong was also informed that the English ships were heavily armed, and was persuaded immediately: “From now on, Guangdong is the port and no one should go up to Zhejiang. This concerns the livelihood of the Cantonese; it benefits the passes in Shaoguan and Jiangxi. And the waters of Zhejiang can be calm”.94 James Flint returned to Ningbo in 1759, hoping to take up residency and open a British factory, but this time he was turned away immediately. Instead of returning home, he sailed north and into the harbour of Tianjin in July.95 This was exactly what the 1757 decision sought to avoid: armed foreign vessels in the vicinity of the capital. Flint’s unexpected arrival shocked the port authority, as did his submission of a long list of complaints about the treatment he had suffered in Ningbo and Guangzhou, for which he demanded redress. Although the Qing court knew that Flint could not do much harm, they were disturbed. The Portuguese had ravaged the coast during the Ming, and now it seemed it was to be the English. The court assured the Englishman that they would send a commissioner to Guangzhou to investigate the situation and address his grievance, but Flint was promptly arrested upon his return to Guangzhou and imprisoned for three years, until November 1762. In their eagerness to establish themselves, the English had destroyed their opportunities and reputation. They would try again with Lord McCartney in 1793, Lord Amherst in 1816, and Lord Napier in 1834, but success eluded them until the conclusion of the Opium War. We can only imagine whether the first Sino-British conflict would have even taken place had the English been granted a factory in Ningbo in 1757. Conclusion It is strange that Chinese historians have overlooked the significance of Qing maritime policy while scholars of Southeast Asia have made much out of the two waves of liberalisation of the seas. Let us assume for the moment that it is only fitting, since the consequences were felt acutely in the small countries of Southeast Asia where coastal Chinese

94 95

Zhongguo Renmin Daxue, Qing Shi Bian Nian, vol. 5, pp. 591, 648–49. Ibid., vol. 5, pp. 583–84, 591, 597, 632 & 648.

“the inconsistency of the seas”

93

sojourned and settled. Anthony Reid described the Chinese waves of migration this way: It is the curious reversals of the flow southward, periodically running evenly, occasionally gushing, sometimes tightly shut, more often dripping like a leaking tap, that provides the rhythm behind the historical interaction of China and Southeast Asia. Beneath that tap we might envisage the pool of water it feeds, which sometimes looks constant or expanding although in reality seepage is occurring from the pool into the surrounding terrain it helps to fertilize. Only when the tap is shut relatively tightly can one observe the seepage draining the pond altogether.96

If the flow was “gushing” in 1684 it was also doing so in 1727, whereas in the decade between 1717 and 1727 it merely “dripped”. Reid labelled the century from 1740 to 1840 the “Chinese century”, as many Cantonese and Fujianese came to settle, stimulate and ultimately control the small economies of Southeast Asia and in turn shaped the region as we know it today.97 What was distinctive about the Qing’s encounter with the seas in comparison with earlier regimes discussed in the previous chapter? While profit-making was a constant in shaping the Tang-Song-Yuan preoccupation with the sea, it seems that national security took precedence over profit during the Ming and Qing dynastic era. The Ming period therefore marked a clear change in attitude towards the sea. What can explain this dramatic change, one that continued during the Qing? Was it due entirely to a conservative political philosophy, or to fear of desperate and violent foreigners? This obviously demands further study. The anxieties expressed by the Qing court and officials over the various foreigners and sojourning Chinese seemed to have been justified by the Opium Wars with Britain; the Taiping Rebellion, led by a Cantonese with missionary connections, that challenged the Manchu mandate; and the Nationalist Revolution, led by a sojourning Cantonese, which ultimately overthrew the Qing dynasty. The worst fears of the Kangxi and Yongzheng emperors came true in the end; they had envisaged the means of their downfall a hundred or so years prior.

96 Anthony Reid, “Flows and Seepages in the Long-term Chinese Interaction with Southeast Asia”, in Sojourners and Settlers: Histories of Southeast Asia and the Chinese, ed. Anthony Reid (Honolulu: Hawaii University Press, 1996), p. 15. 97 Anthony Reid, Charting the Shape of Early Modern Southeast Asia (Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books 1999), pp. 241–43.

94

chapter two

The Ming marked the beginning of large-scale Chinese migration to Southeast Asia, and the outflow increased massively during the Qing. The question remains why large-scale and persistent migration did not begin earlier, in the absence of restrictions. The rice shortages in Guangdong and Fujian provide at least one answer, but this need for foodstuffs was not limited to the coastal provinces, as Yongzheng quickly learned. Feeding China was not a new problem, but it did become a more challenging one. Rice is hardly mentioned in Ming documents but dominates those of the Qing—Veritable Records [实录] and Emperor Commented [朱批] for example. The preoccupation with rice reflected in these documents is indicative of the major change in the demographics and economy of China. Increasing population, cash cropping and dependence on overseas supply led to food shortages, and feeding the people became an administrative priority.98 This had surfaced in Kangxi’s reign; it intensified under Yongzheng, as we have seen, and it would become acute in Qianlong’s time.

98

Perdue, Exhausting the Earth, pp. 17–24.

CHAPTER THREE

FEEDING CHINA

His Majesty went to the Temple of Agriculture and made offering. Then He changed clothes and went to the field. He ploughed four times. Then He asked Prince Zhuang Yung Lu, Prince Yi Yung Xiang and Prince Yu Guang Lu to plough five times. Then He asked the Ministers of Law, of Finance, of Ceremony, of War, of Punishment and of Works and the Directors of the Three Grand Courts to plough nine times. The third month of the Yongzheng Emperor’s eleventh year or 17331 At the season for threshing rice, His Majesty went to thresh at the Sweetmeat crown fields. Then He took the rice and placed it in small ox carts and He had all His Holy Royal sons, His Holy royal daughters, His maids in waiting and His ladies pull them to the interior of the Palace enclosure. Then He took the (twice-threshed) rice stalks, made into large tiered umbrellas, and rice gruel to present to (the members of the) Royal Synod who were living in the crown temples every year without exception. Book Ten: King Borommakot, 1733–17582

The significance of rice can be seen from the royal ploughing of the Qing emperors in China and the harvest ritual of the Ayutthaya monarchs in Siam, which Harvard sociologist Carle Zimmerman tried in the early 1930s: “the threshing is done by hand in a fashion which requires a great amount of human labor”.3 Rice worship was not by any means a royal monopoly in China and Siam. The common people, not just the celestial beings, pay their respect to and celebrate rice through rituals, a common practice among many peoples: “Rice rituals are widespread throughout rice-growing Asia, and villagers

1 Zhonghua Shuju, Qing Shizong Shulu (159 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1987), vol. 82, p. 679. 2 Siam Society, The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya (Bangkok: Siam Society, 2000), pp. 423–24; and John Crawford, Journal of an Embassy from the Governor-general of India to the Courts of Siam and Cochin China (London: Henry Colburn, 1828), pp. 135–36. 3 Carle C. Zimmerman, Siam: Rural Economic Survey 1930–31 (Bangkok: Bangkok Times Press, 1931–1935), p. 147.

96

chapter three

show honour to the rice spirits at certain stages of rice farming. Although the form of the ceremonies differs from place to place, attitudes toward and reverence for rice bear a very close resemblance.”4 The Chinese seemed to have emphasised ploughing, as the Son of Heaven himself symbolically opened the season of cultivation, whereas the Siamese were more interested in the joy of harvest.5 A visible and interesting difference between the Chinese and the Siamese is that the Siamese treated the royal threshing as a family affair, including the King’s daughters and ladies, whereas no record is found of women participating in the Chinese ploughing ritual. The Kangxi emperor had even set aside an allotment for rice cultivation in his beloved Garden of Eternal Spring in order to understand the pains of cultivation, the effect of weather on agriculture and the joy of harvest.6 Kangxi and his son Yongzheng tried to understand agrarian cycles and life. They requested reports of weather and grain prices from local officials; they often sent delegates to investigate the real situation, and occasionally even went to see for themselves. This hands-on management style has left behind a gold mine of information on everything from precipitation and prices to the frequency of ecological disasters during their reign. Chinese officials diligently reported rice prices; so did their counterparts in Siam, as we can see from the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya. Chinese and Siamese monarchs were concerned with rice production and price fluctuation, as they well understood that rice dictated families’ survival, and by extension the longevity of their dynasty. This chapter investigates how the Qing regime managed to find more rice to feed the increasing Chinese population from the early

4 Koichi Mizuno, “The Social Organization of Rice-Growing Villages”, in Thailand: a Rice-growing Society, ed. Yoneo Ishii (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1984), p. 83; Jan Wisseman Christie, “Water and Rice in Early Java and Bali”, in A World of Water: Rain, Rivers and Seas in Southeast Asian Histories, pp. 235–58; Jiang Bin, Daozuo Wenhua yu Jiangnan Minsu (Shanghai: Wenyi chubanshe, 1996); Ren Zhaosheng and Li Yunfeng, eds. Daozuo yu Ji Yi (Qunming: Yunnan renmin chubanshe, 2003). 5 H. G. Quaritch Wales, Siamese State Ceremonies: their History and Function (Richmond: Curzon Press, 1992), pp. 256–64; and Wendell Blanchard, Thailand, its People, its Society, its Culture (New Haven: HRAF Press, 1958), pp. 104–07. 6 Feng Boqun and Qu Chunhai, Qinggong Dang’an Miwen (Beijing: Huawen chubanshe, 2008), pp. 52–53; and Zhang Jiuzhou, Qingdai Huangdi Quwen Yishi (Zhengzhou: Henan renmin chubanshe, 2007), pp. 65–68.

feeding china

97

eighteenth century onwards. When the coastal regions could not feed themselves, and neighbouring provinces which had traditionally offered assistance faced the same problem, the maritime region and its people naturally looked to the seas for help. “Feeding China” forced the Qing court to come up with a policy that stimulated trade from Siam as that agrarian kingdom transformed into Thailand, the focus of sections one and two. China’s demand for rice had a transformative effect on the smaller economies of Southeast Asia. As the population in China continued to grow and Southeast Asia became more accessible, many Chinese left their motherland to make a living; some even made their fortune. But Southeast Asian rice still could not feed the exploding Chinese population. Section three, “Maize and Foreign Yam”, traces the indigenisation of maize and the foreign yam during the Qing. Introduced during the late Ming from South-Southeast Asia by both overland and overseas routes, maize and the foreign yam were widely cultivated by the mid-eighteenth century. Southeast Asia therefore played an unmistakable role in the making of the Qing: on one hand, it drained the overpopulation in China, and on the other it fed the increasing number of mouths. Southeast Asia helped write the legacy of China’s “last golden age”.7 “To Compensate for the Shortage of Cultivation” [以补耕耘之不足]8 “Rice or Riot” exposed the difficult socio-economic circumstances that made necessary the 1727 liberalisation of the ban on seafaring. Yongzheng justified his act by quoting his father that this was done in order to “compensate for the shortage of cultivation”. The addition of Manchuria, Mongolia, Xinjiang (New Dominion), Tibet and Taiwan did not add to the burden of feeding China since, with the exception of the Taiwanese, these were nomadic people who did not base their diet on rice. On the contrary, these territorial acquisitions provided space for internal migration and land for cultivation as well as diversification. Whereas Jiangxi filled up Hu-Guang—people from Jiangxi province migrated to Hunan-Hubei and Guangdong-Guangxi region

7

Charles O. Hucker, China to 1850: A Short History (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1978), p. 148. 8 Zhonghua Shuju, Qing Shengzhu Shilu, vol. 116, p. 212.

98

chapter three

during the Ming—Hu-Guang filled up Sichuan: people from these provinces populated the Sichuan region during the Qing. Peter Perdue calls this “state-directed colonization”.9 Jonathan Spence believes that China’s population during the early Ming stood between 65 to 80 million, whereas John K. Fairbank puts the number at 80 million: and where Spence estimates the 1850 figure to be 430 million, Fairbank puts it at 400 million.10 This is similar to estimates advanced earlier by Xu Dixin and Wu Chengming, who asserted that the population jumped from 120 million during the late Ming to 400 million during the Daoguang emperor’s time (r. 1820–1850).11 This volume will use 400 million as a yardstick. Although demographic historians have continued to help us understand how the population grew, and economic historians have cast considerable light on how the early and middle Qing regime managed to amass grains from around the country and how they administered the grain system, they have not addressed the issue of how the Qing managed to find more rice from outside China and miscellaneous grains, to actually sustain the population and enable it to grow still further.12 The Qing court appreciated that failure to feed the people would lead to hunger and rebellions. Knowing the absolute importance of rice, Kangxi prohibited the export of this staple as early as his 47th year, 1708. “Ocean going ships”, declared the legislation, “can carry no more than 50 dan [担] of rice. If found exceeding that amount, the ship owner will be punished and rice confiscated”.13 50 dan (1 dan = 50 kilograms) measured 2,500 kilograms.14 This law was reinforced by an edict in the following year, and again in 1717 when Kangxi imposed

9 Perdue, Exhausting the Earth, pp. 94–113; and Dai Yingcong, The Sichuan Frontier and Tibet: Imperial Strategy in the Early Qing (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2009). 10 Spence, The Search for Modern China, pp. 93–94 & 210; Fairbank and Goldman, China: A New History, pp. 128 & 168; William Lavely, James Lee and Feng Wang, “Chinese Demography: the State of the Field”, Journal of Asian Studies 49, 4 (1990): 807–834; and James Z. Lee, One Quarter of Humanity: Malthusian Mythology and Chinese Realities, 1700–2000 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999). 11 Xu Dixin and Wu Chengmin, Zhongguo Ziben Zhuyi de Mengya, p. 187. 12 Pierre-Etienne Will and R. Bin Wong, Nourish the People: the State Civilian Granary System in China, 1650–1850 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies, 1991); and Lillian Li, Fighting Famine in North China. 13 Qun Gang and Liu Quduan, Qing Ding Da Qing Huidian Shili, vol. 629, p. 754. See also Dou Ruyi and Sun Rong, Huangchao Wenxian Tongkao, vol. 33, pp. 22B–23A. 14 Beijing Waiguo Yu Xueyuan, The Pinyin Chinese-English Dictionary, p. 134.

feeding china

99

the South Ocean maritime ban: “When going overseas, one person is allowed to carry 1 sheng [升] (which equals 1 litre) of rice per day and an extra sheng in case of emergency on the sea. If found, excess rice will be confiscated, and the ship owner and merchants punished”.15 The severe shortage of rice surfaced towards the end of Kangxi’s reign in 1722, when he authorized the first official import of rice, 30,000 dan from Siam in order to relieve the situation: I heard that Siam has plenty of rice and it is cheap; two or three qian (copper money) can buy one dan of rice. Please tell them that since you have so much rice, you can ship 30,000 dan to Fujian, Guangdong and Ningbo, etc. places to sell. If you can do that, that would help the localities and this thirty thousand dan would be on the government, that is no taxes will be levied.16

Kangxi’s officials must have briefed him about the abundance of rice in Siam. It looked like a one-time affair for the Kangxi court, since the emperor died six months later, but this was not to be the case, as Yongzheng came to see. To feed China, he lifted the ban his father imposed in order to facilitate the import of rice; he was well aware of the long-term problem: Our country has enjoyed peace for a long time and the mouths (new births) have increased massively. What the land produces can hardly feed them; the ordinary have a real hard time when there are bad harvests and disasters. Mouths increase daily, what can they do to make a living?17

Yongzheng went on to endorse the policy of opening up frontiers for cultivation, and this approach would continue into the twentieth century under the Communist regime.18 Unaware of Kangxi’s death, the King of Siam sent another ship carrying not only rice, but also the best varieties of seeds and fruit trees. The Governor of Guangdong, Nian

15 Zhonghua Shuju, Qing Shengzhu Shilu, vol. 271, p. 658; or Zhongguo Renmin Daxue, Qing Shi Bian Nian, vol. 2, pp. 471–72. Sheng is Chinese unit of dry measure for grain equals to one litre. See Beijing Waiguo Yu Xueyuan, The Pinyin ChineseEnglish Dictionary, p. 610. 16 Zhonghua Shuju, Qing Shengzhu Shilu, vol. 298, p. 884. See also Le De Hong, Da Qing Shengzhu Ren (Kangxi) Huangdi Shilu (300 vols. Taibei: Hualian chubanshe, 1964), vol. 298, pp. 3A–B or 3954. 17 Zhongguo Renmin Daxue, Qing Shi Bian Nian, vol. 4, p. 18. 18 Ge Jianxiong, et al., Zhongguo Yimin Shi, vols. 5 & 6. See also Li Guorong and Zhang Shucai, Shi Shuo Yongzheng (Beijing: Zijingcheng chubanshe, 1999), pp. 369–72.

100

chapter three

Xirao, was very pleased and reported to the Yongzheng emperor, who replied immediately: Undeterred by the long distance and dangerous waters, the King of Siam has sent the best types of seeds and fruit trees. This is indeed most reverential and praiseworthy; they should be rewarded. Allow the local officials to sell the Siamese rice at the current price in Guangdong. They should be sold quickly and no one can lower its price. To buy low and sell high harms the intention of a small nation like Siam. . . . None of the cargoes should be taxed.19

Yongzheng was told that the Siamese captain was an overseas Chinese called Xu Song, and those who worked for him on board his ship were also of Chinese descent.20 Yongzheng was so pleased that he rewarded the captain with gifts; he was in a sense rewarding those people whose potential return to the coastal provinces worried him. Xu Song’s forefathers must have travelled to Siam and settled there to engage in the lucrative Sino-Siamese trade that included rice and a few other commodities which fetched high prices in China—sappan wood and bird’s nests among them. Perhaps they left China to escape the Manchu conquest in the 1640s, or possibly after the 1684 liberalisation. Just as Guangdong and Fujian relied increasingly on foreign rice, the Chinese who settled in Siam and shuttled back and forth became increasingly specialised in the crop; they would come to control both its cultivation in Siam and its export to China until the mid-twentieth century. Word soon spread in the Kingdom of Siam that China needed more rice, and Siamese rice ships began to call regularly.21 One anchored in Guangzhou in the summer of 1727, and another in Xiamen in 1728. Governor Chang Lai of Fujian was delighted, and reported the arrival to Yongzheng: “Please allow this rice to be sold in Xiamen according to the usual tax and supervised by an official. Please allow us this rule from now on when Siamese rice ships come to Guangdong, Fujian and Zhejiang”.22 Chang Lai wanted to tax the Siamese rice but Yongzheng

19

Zhonghua Shuju, Qing Shengzhu Shilu, vol. 25, p. 20. Yu Dingbang and Yu Changsen, Jindai Zhongguo yu Dongnan Ya Guanxi, p. 189. 21 Zhongguo Renmin Daxue, Qing Shi Bian Nian, vol. 4, pp. 253–54. See also Feng Erkang, Yongzheng Zhuan, pp. 410–15; Li Guorong and Zhang Shucai, Shi Shuo Yongzheng, pp. 424–25. 22 Zhonghua Shuju, Qing Shizong Shilu, vol. 66, p. 10A or 1033. 20

feeding china

101

disagreed; his reply was simple and straightforward: “Rice should not be taxed. Abide by this rule from now on”.23 Yongzheng was sharp, with a hands-on approach to administration, and his measures were largely effective, as Siamese rice ships kept coming. Of the two hundred or so memorials from officials around the country in April 1728, many answered his questions about rice, and twenty-six were entirely devoted to the issue.24 The increasing demand for rice during the reign of Yongzheng represents a turning point in the history of rice and its supply, price and trade. Fortunately Chuan Han-sheng and Richard Kraus have carefully studied this.25 Their extensive research has enabled them to estimate rice price levels during Yongzheng’s reign, as detailed in the following chart (Diagram 3.1). In the context of southern China as a whole, where cities like Chongqing and Keiyang reported price levels as low as 51 and 68, the prices in Fuzhou and Guangzhou, as high as 114 and 110, reveal the intensity of demand in these regions.26 As explained in Chapter Two, the increase in population; the geography of the coastal regions that contributed to cash cropping, which took land away from staple cultivation; natural disasters; and the maritime ban that prohibited trade which would have facilitated rice import from Southeast Asia all contributed to the shortage of rice in the early years of Yongzheng’s reign. As the population exploded towards the mid-eighteenth century, the demand for food increased still further; more rice was needed and more rice ships were expected by the local authorities. What was initiated by Kangxi and reinforced by Yongzheng would become institutionalised by the first decade of Qianlong’s reign.

23

Ibid. Li Guorong and Zhang Shucai, Shi Shuo Yongzheng, pp. 369–72. 25 Chuan Han-sheng and Richard A. Kraus, Mid-Ch’ing Rice Markets and Trade: An Essay in Price History (Cambridge: Harvard University East Asian Research Center, 1975), p. 46. See also Chen Chunsheng, Shichang Jizhi yu Shehui Bianqian: Shiba Shiji Guangdong Mijia Fenxi (Guangzhou: Zhongshan daxue chubanshe, 1992); and Wang Jianye, Qingdai Jingji Shi Lunwen Ji (Taibei: Daoxiang chubanshe, 2003). 26 See also Ramon H. Myers and Wang Yeh-chien, “Economic Developments, 1644–1800” and William T. Rowe, “Social Stability and Social Change”, in The Cambridge History of China Volume 9 The Chi’ng Empire to 1800 Part 1, pp. 563–645 & 473–562. 24

Diagram 3.1

Estimated Rice Price Levels in China, 1723–1735

102 chapter three

feeding china

103

Like his father and grandfather, the Qianlong emperor took charge of rice imports and issued orders as Siamese rice ships kept coming: From now (Qianlong eighth year or 1743) on, when foreign vessels come to Fujian, Guangdong and other provinces to trade, if they bring 10,000 dan or more of rice, their cargo and ship duties should be reduced by 5/10. If they bring 5,000 dan or more, the reduction would be 3/10. Allow them to be sold at market price. At times of harvest, the local authority should purchase the rice to store for hard times or hand them to the military.27

R. Bin Wong is correct to point out this kind of government intervention: “In China, the eighteenth-century state made efforts to centralize its control over grain movements by reducing the powers of provincial and local authorities to restrict the commercial movement of grain”.28 10,000 dan was equivalent to 500,000 kilograms, still a small amount for a land as densely populated as China.29 Qianlong’s tax incentive also created problems whereby an increasing number of coastal Chinese journeyed to Siam, knowing that the rice trade was profitable. Using the cheap timber available there, they built ships and returned to China with rice, only to be told that they were not entitled to the tax benefit, since the benefit was intended only for foreign ships. Many subsequently opted to ship other, more profitable, goods such as sappan wood and bird’s nests, but again faced punitive measures, as authorities deemed that: “Those who did not bring rice but only came back with a new ship and other goods should be taxed double so that they understand the punishment”.30 The rice trade called for better management and regulation. Qianlong’s officials in the maritime region studied the situation and came up with a mechanism to ensure a steady supply by encouraging local Chinese to engage in the trade. As a reward, the Qing would grant them degrees and official titles, depending on the amount of rice they shipped home. In other words, any Chinese who left China and came back with rice could obtain rewards which money otherwise could

27 Beijing Gugong Bowuyuan, Zhu Pi Zou Ze: Waijiao Lei 342–345 Zhou Xuejian Zou Ze, quoted in Yu Dingbang and Yu Changsen, Jindai Zhongguo yu Dongnanya Guanxi, p. 191. 28 R. Bin Wong, China Transformed, p. 224. 29 Millburn, Oriental Commerce, vol. 2, p. 472. 30 Zhonghua Shuju, Qing Gaozong Shilu (1500 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju, 1985), vol. 424, pp. 20–21 & vol. 285, pp. 6–7.

104

chapter three

not buy—position and prestige in the local community. The governor of Fujian, Yang Tingzhang, was instrumental in forging this policy in 1754; he suggested to Qianlong: As for those merchants from the provinces who went to Siam on their own capital and shipped rice home, they would be rewarded by the local authority according to the established rules if they shipped 2,000 dan. If they returned with more than 2,000, sheng jian and the ordinary should be rewarded with official titles.31

Sheng jian [生监] refers to the lowest rank of educated men; only families with some money could have afforded one of its sons the opportunity to study and obtain a title that was associated with a certain socio-economic standing and which, for them, was an achievement of a kind. The incentive and rationale were obvious. Those who could afford this kind of education should have the capital needed to undertake overseas trade; Yang went on to elaborate the details. Knowing the Chinese vanity regarding degrees and official titles, he outlined different rewards for those who were educated, like sheng jian, than for ordinary people. Yang proposed that sheng jian would receive the title of li mu [吏目], a position that oversaw general affairs at the county magistrate office, for 2,000 dan of rice; the title of zhu bo [主薄], another position at the county level that looked after bookkeeping and other general clerical work, for 4,000 to 6,000 dan of rice; and the title of xian chen [县乘], a position similar to a deputy county magistrate, for 6,000 to 10,000 dan of rice. The ordinary, or “small people”, would receive the ninth ranking hat (ranks in the bureaucracy were identified by official attire, hats being prominent among them), the lowest rank in officialdom, for 2,000 to 4,000 dan of rice; the eighth ranking hat for 4,000 to 6,000 dan; and the seventh ranking hat for 6,000 to 10,000 dan, as presented in the following chart:

31

Zhongyang Yanjiuyuan Lishi Yuyan Yanjiusuo, Ming Qing Shiliao Gen Bian (Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan lishi yuyan yanjiusuo, 1999), pp. 526–33. See also Yu Dingbang and Yu Changsen, Jindai Zhongguo yu Dongnan Ya Guanxi, p. 194.

feeding china Social standing

Rice shipped (dan) Official title awards

sheng jian

2,000 4,000–6,000 6,000–10,000

ordinary people 2,000–4,000 4,000–6,000 6,000–10,000

105

li mu or county office clerk zhu bo or county office accountant xian chen or deputy county magistrate jiu ping ding dai or 9th ranking hat ba ping ding dai or 8th ranking hat qi ping ding dai or 7th ranking hat

Li Sirao, Governor-General in neighbouring Guangdong-Guangxi, asked Qianlong for permission to adopt the same mechanism, with slight variation. This was implemented immediately in 1754 and proved effective, as 69,900 dan of rice arrived in Fujian and 24,776 landed in Guangdong the following year.32 Much of the imported rice came through Xiamen, and the commodity offers us a rare view into the rise and fall of that city.33 Xiamen Liangshi Zhi [厦门粮食志] or Xiamen History of Rice, commissioned by the city’s Bureau of Food Provision in 1989, confirms that rice imports into Xiamen began during the late Ming—1593 to be precise.34 This is evidenced in memoirs like Dong Xi Yang Kao [东西洋考] or An Examination of the East and West Oceans, first published in 1617, which listed the tariff for imported rice and discussed the smuggling situation.35 It is not surprising that China first became dependent on foreign rice during the late Ming, as this period witnessed rapid population growth, a significant increase in cash cropping, and the beginning of large-scale migration to Southeast Asia. While Xiamen rose and shone as the prime trading port during the Tang, Song and Yuan dynasties, it dwindled during the Ming, displaced by neighbouring Zhangzhou. Although the question of why Xiamen fell and Zhangzhou rose lies beyond the scope of this chapter, it is important to consider the resurgence of Xiamen during the

32 Yu Dingbang and Yu Changsen, Jindai Zhongguo yu Dongnan Ya Guanxi, pp. 193–95. See also Tang Wenji & Luo Qingsi, Qianlong Zhuan (Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1994), pp. 56–70. 33 Xiamen Liangshi Ju, Xiamen Liangshi Zhi. 34 Ibid., p. 33. See also James Chin, “The Junk Trade between South China and Nguyen Vietnam in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries”, in Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong Region, pp. 53–66. 35 Zhang Xie, Dong Xi Yang Kao (12 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2000), vol. 7, pp. 144 & 146–47.

106

chapter three

Qing.36 In the early Qing Xiamen was a primary concern, as the stronghold and battleground of the anti-Qing resistance led by the Zheng Chenggong conglomerate. Xiamen History of Rice has argued that rice was the decisive factor in the battle between the Zheng Chenggong resistance and the Manchu troops, and that it was a shortage of rice that contributed to Zheng’s defeat in 1662 and subsequent flight to Taiwan.37 With an army of more than 100,000, the Zheng forces faced problems of supply. Based on the assumption that a soldier consumed 30 jin [斤] (1 jin = 1/2 kilogram) a month, the army alone would have needed 3,000,000 jin or 1,500,000 kilograms of rice every month, a gigantic amount to procure at a time of war and economic embargo. Focusing on the Qing period, Xiamen History of Rice explains that trade in rice flourished from 1728 onwards, testifying to the shortage of rice that had begun to surface at the time of Yongzheng and 1727 relaxation. It claims that thousands of boats and ships were engaged in the rice trade that fanned out to Tianjin, Taiwan, the Philippines, Siam and Vietnam. Indeed, the rice trade became so sophisticated that Xiamen Maritime Custom officials were able to tell where the vessel came from and how much rice was on board simply by the size of the vessel.38 For example, the smallest was the guo tai chuan [过台船], or cross Taiwan boat. There were more than one thousand of these at the peak of the trade, and they specialised in shipping rice from Taiwan. Chu yang chuan [出洋船], or ocean going ships, were mostly Chinese-owned boats. There were up to 295 of these boats which, having a capacity that varied from several thousands to tens of thousands of dan of rice, shuttled between the Fujian coast and Southeast Asian countries. The biggest carriers were called fan chuan [番船], or foreign ships, that originated in the Philippines, Siam and Vietnam. Xiamen re-emerged as a hub of the rice trade during the late Ming and triumphed during the Qing. Chen Kuo-tung has argued that the mid-Qing saw the heyday of Xiamen; there is no doubt rice made that possible.39 It is little wonder, then, that the Fujianese came to control

36 Chen Zaicheng, Zhangzhou Jian Shi; Li Jinming, Zhangzhou Gang (Fuzhou: Fujian renmin chubanshe, 2001) and “Mingchao Zhongye Zhangzhou Yuegang de Xingqi yu Fujian de Haiwai Yimin”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Shi Ji, pp. 65–100. 37 Xiamen Liangshi Ju, Xiamen Liangshi Zhi, pp. 10–16. 38 Ibid., p. 27. 39 Chen Guodong, “Qingdai Zhongye Xiamen de Haishang Maoyi (1727–1833)”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Si Ji, pp. 61–100.

feeding china

107

not only the rice trade, but also rice farming and eventually industry, in Siam as well as in many other parts of Southeast Asia. The case of Xiamen in particular, and the maritime region in general, reflected larger trends in the entire country, and the shortage of rice can be seen from the rising price on the national, or macro-economic, scale. Jiang Jianping has carefully studied and calculated price fluctuations from the early to mid-Qing (Diagram 3.2).40 During the reign of the Shunzhi emperor, rice sold at nearly 2 taels per dan, as the famine and rebellion that marked the end of the Ming and the beginning of Manchu conquest drove prices up. After the Manchus entered China in 1644, prices dropped dramatically and reached a low of 0.8 taels in the second year of Kangxi’s reign (1663). For the next four decades prices remained stable as everyday life returned to normal and agriculture recovered after years of unrest. In the last two decades of Kangxi’s reign, however, prices again began to climb, as the chart shows, which explains the urgency for Kangxi to authorise the first import of Siamese rice in 1722. Given that prices continued to soar during the reigns of Yongzheng and Qianlong, hitting a record 3.5 taels in the early 1780s, the question inevitably arises as to what factors drove this increase. The year 1767 saw the Burmese invasion of Siam, and while Siam managed to continue shipping rice to China, it would take some time for Siamese rice production to return to pre-invasion levels. It is difficult to measure the quantity of Siamese rice shipped or estimate the number of people it fed in the absence of comprehensive crossregional research, but some preliminary remarks can be made. Assuming that each person, civilian in this case, consumed a minimum of 20 jin of rice each month and that an average household during the Qing comprised 10 people, the household would consume a total of 2400 jin or 1200 kilograms of rice annually.41 Official documents show that between 1754 and 1758 Siam shipped from 90,000 to 120,000 dan of rice to China annually.42 As one dan equals 50 kilograms or 100 jin, this rice would only have fed 5000 such families, a tiny fraction 40 Jiang Jianping, Qingdai Qianqi Mi Gu Maoyi Yanjiu (Beijing: Beijing daxu chubanshe, 1992), p. 181. See also Chen Chunsheng, Shichang Jizhi yu Shehui Bianqian; and Wang Jianye, Qingdai Jingji Shi Lunwen Ji. 41 During the Cultural Revolution, the government ration was 28 jin for adults and 25 for the young and the elderly in Hunan where I grew up. 20 hence can be considered the minimum for survival. 42 Yu Dingbang and Yu Changsen, Jindai Zhongguo yu Dongnan Ya Guanxi, p. 194.

108

chapter three

Diagram 3.2

Rice Price Fluctuation, 1644–1793

feeding china

109

of the populous country. Taking the yardstick number of 400 million stipulated at the start of this section, and using the formula of 10 mouths per household, 40 million households at 2400 jin or 1200 kilograms a year would have consumed a total of 96,000,000,000 jin or 48,000,000,000 kilograms of rice annually. The annual rice import from Siam was, in other words, just a drop in the bucket. How many Cantonese and Fujianese received official ranks and titles as a result of shipping rice from Siam? Was this extended to imports from other countries?43 Once again it seems that the research necessary to answer such questions has been conducted by Southeast Asians rather than Chinese historians. The Fujianese might have led the way, but it was the Cantonese who claimed the ultimate glory in the rice trade. Research by Sarasin Viraphol shows that at least seven Cantonese received the ninth ranking position in 1758 and nine received the same rank in 1767.44 Without comprehensive and cross-regional joint research that would look into court, provincial, local, family and Thai sources, we cannot be sure of the number of people who received official titles. However, a trend does emerge: of the seven awards made in 1758, all seven came from the Guangzhou area, whereas seven of the nine awards made in 1767 were from the Chaozhou [潮州] municipality, specifically the Zhenghai (Chenghai) district. Situated between Guangdong and Fujian and facing both the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea, Chaozhou is home to seasoned seafarers and shrewd merchants, who would play a dominant economic role from now on, one not just limited to rice. As more Chaozhou (Teochew) people sojourned to or settled in Siam, they became a major force in Siam’s Chinese community, with significant consequences. Siam to Thailand: The Rice Bowl of China How did the growing Chinese appetite for rice affect the economy, and even politics, of Siam? To what extent can we say that demand from China, which would soon include opium, helped to shape and transform this and other small economies of Southeast Asia? What was the significance of Cantonese and Fujianese involvement in the rice

43 Zhongyang Yanjiuyuan Lishi Yuyan Yanjiusuo, Ming Qing Shiliao Gen Bian, pp. 526–33. 44 Viraphol, Tribute and Profit, p. 104.

110

chapter three

trade and other emergent enterprises? These are just some of the questions that Southeast Asian, rather than Chinese, historians have been grappling with: Jennifer Cushman, Carl Trocki and Li Tana are amongst those who have produced outstanding works. A co-operative effort is necessary among scholars if we are to better comprehend a phenomenon that shaped the economy and history of both regions. While foreign trade drove Siam’s economy and transition to modernity, the zenith of the Qing was made possible by assistance from Siam and other parts of Southeast Asia. The two countries and regions were tied inextricably by maritime trade and seafaring Cantonese and Fujianese. Many foreigners who travelled to the Kingdom of Siam, for example Dr. Engelbert Kaempfer (1651–1716) in the seventeenth century and Jean-Baptiste Pallegoix (1805–1862) in the nineteenth century, saw that rice was an integral part of the landscape, culture and history.45 This remained so into the 1930s, when scholar Carle Zimmerman saw that “the village along a waterway is most prevalent. The waterway furnishes the water for the rice growing”.46 Well into the Cold War period, “rice still maintains a fundamental position in her economy and consequently in government revenues and politics”.47 Arthur Goodfriend, an American official serving in Thailand, came to the realisation that “. . . it is at the rice roots that Asia’s great men and great causes are nourished. It is here, at the rice roots, that America’s understanding of Asia might well begin”.48 Historians who study Thailand have observed a gradual political consolidation and with it a southward migration and expansion that encouraged lowland rice cultivation and discouraged upland production. This transition is reflected in the southward relocation of capitals, which always sat at the heart of rice production; it also manifested in a shift of agricultural trends. Tadayo Watabe has

45 Engelbert Kaempfer, The History of Japan, together with a Description of the Kingdom of Siam, 1690–92 (3 vols. Glasgow: J. MacLehose and sons, 1906), vol. 1, pp. 40–41; Jean-Baptiste Pallegoix, Description du Royaume Thai ou Siam (Farnborough: Gregg, 1969), pp. 122–24; and D. Insor, Thailand: a Political, Social and Economic Analysis (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1965), p. 36. 46 Zimmerman, Siam: Rural Economic Survey 1930–31, p. 15. 47 Virginia Thompson, Thailand: the New Siam (New York: Paragon book, 1967), p. 353. 48 Arthur Goodfriend, Rice Roots: An American in Asia (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1958), p. 4.

feeding china

111

carefully studied the difference between northern-upland rice in the Lanna Kingdom and southern lowland rice in the maritime region.49 His studies reveal that upland rice was widely cultivated in the north and may have extended to Lopburi, north of Bangkok, by the eleventh century; and that upland and lowland rice were equally distributed in the central plains. However, by the fifteenth century upland rice had disappeared from the central plains and remained peripheral thereafter, as lowland rice became dominant. “Without doubt”, Watabe concluded, “the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries witnessed a remarkable change in rice cultivation”. This remarkable change was accompanied by another transformation, the naissance of the Ayutthaya Kingdom (1351–1767), contemporary with the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). In other words, the “maritime” region—the old Sukhothai Kingdom in the south—overtook the “hydraulic” region—the old Lanna Kingdom of Chiang Mai in the north. It is possible that the maritime geography and economy that exposed Siam to frequent contact with the wider world led to the southward migration of the Thai polity and economy. It is also possible that this was driven by Chinese expansion to the southwest, Yunnan in particular, during the Ming.50 The dynamics of internal and external forces at work can be seen not only from the gradual reclamation of land and intensified canal digging, but also from the emergence of the “plantation type” agricultural economy with the foundation of the Ayutthaya dynasty in the fourteenth century.51 Voneo Ishii believed that the “plantation type” marked the transition from “medieval” to “modern”. This transition was economic, turning Siam into the “Rice Bowl of Asia”, but it was also political, as it would see the birth of modern Siam.52 How much of this transition was stimulated by forces from China is naturally debatable and requires a joint effort from both Thai and

49 Tadayo Watabe, “The Development of Rice Cultivation”, in Thailand: a RiceGrowing Society, pp. 3–14. 50 Norman G. Owen et al., The Emergence of Modern Southeast Asia: A New History (Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2005), pp. 93–105. See also Ann M. Hill, Merchants and Migrants: Ethnicity and Trade Among Yunnanese Chinese in Southeast Asia (New Haven: Yale University Southeast Asian Studies, 1998). 51 Thai Ministry of Commerce and Communication, Siam: Nature and Industry (Bangkok: At the Ministry, 1930), pp. 185–216. 52 David M. Davies, The Rice Bowl of Asia (South Brunswick [NJ]: A. S. Barnes, 1968).

112

chapter three

Chinese historians. There is no doubt that rice became the pillar of the Siamese economy from at least the mid-fifteenth century. The question remains, however, whether demand from China encouraged the rice production in, and imports from, Siam which came to dictate the character of Sino-Siamese relations. Norman Owen and his co-authors believe that Siam changed rapidly after about 1720 and “[t]hat change was brought about by economic and social developments deriving particularly from growing trade with Asia, especially China”.53 This timing, highlighted by a group of Southeast Asian scholars, corresponds with what was happening in China, as we have seen in the previous section. Sarasin Viraphol and Jennifer Cushman are amongst those who have analysed Sino-Siamese trade using a wide variety of Chinese, English and Thai sources. Cushman’s classic study comes to the following conclusion: A salient feature of Siamese exports was their uniformity over time. Seventeenth and eighteenth-century Western sources mention that rice, wood, salt, coconut oil, hides, brown sugar, tin, iron, copper and lead, indigo, cotton, sticklac, benjamin, wax, horns, and ivory were the principal exports.54

Siam became central in the provision of rice to China in the Ayutthaya period, and as we have seen in the previous section by the eighteenth century it was undoubtedly the Rice Bowl of Asia. This continued into the nineteenth century, as Cushman reminds us: “the Siamese products considered particularly desirable by the Chinese during the nineteenth century and regularly shipped there were rice”, followed by others.55 Rice was flowing into the coastal provinces regularly until 1767, when Chinese officials noticed a sharp decline in the number of Siamese rice ships calling on Chinese ports: they did not know that Burma had invaded Siam. Despite the interruption, the Siamese still managed to ship rice, as Thonburi Taksin emerged to lead the nation in their fight against the Burmese and founded the Thonburi dynasty in 1769. Half Chinese, Chaozhou or Teochew to be precise, the new king’s father came from the above-mentioned Zhenghai district of Chaozhou municipality in Guangdong province, and married a Sia53

Owen et al., The Emergence of Modern Southeast Asia, p. 93. Jennifer W. Cushman, Fields from the Sea: Chinese Junk Trade with Siam during the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries (Ithaca: Cornell University Southeast Asia Program, 1993), p. 74. 55 Ibid., p. 75. 54

feeding china

113

mese woman. Taksin himself was therefore the product of Chinese trade with, and settlement in, Siam. Leading the Siamese to drive out the Burmese, Taksin the Great, as he was called, united the divided country and also the scattered Teochew Chinese communities before marching into Cambodia and Vietnam.56 Leaving aside his rise and fall, which is fascinating but not the focus of this chapter, his reign saw more Chinese flood to Siam, where they enhanced the plantation system of agricultural economy. These rice farms were sanctioned by the government with a license fee; run by Chinese on a family/kinship/ village basis, they produced almost exclusively for the Chinese market.57 This new plantation economy would revolutionise the production of rice, followed by other crops, in Siam and eventually elsewhere in Southeast Asia. China needed rice; the Qing regime welcomed and rewarded the Siamese rice trade, and also encouraged the “small people” to go to Siam to procure rice. This would inspire an industry based on rice production and processing, and mills began to emerge in Siam. No previous Chinese regime had ever promoted foreign travel; as we have seen, the Tang-Song-Yuan regimes welcomed, even solicited in some cases, foreigners to come and trade in China, but they did not encourage the Chinese to settle overseas. The Qing exception was made possible by rice—now a staple in its political economy. The increasing demand for rice and the trade that thrived into the mid-twentieth century can explain why large-scale overseas migration began during the Ming and intensified during the Qing. Anthony Reid believes that “the greatest of all Chinese ports outside China, however, was Bangkok, which probably replaced Batavia at the end of the eighteenth century as the busiest port between Calcutta and Canton”.58 To what extent Bangkok’s rise came at the expense of Batavia’s fall is debatable. Could the mighty Dutch East India Company have survived the competition and maintained its supremacy had they worked with the Chinese on rice, since Java was equally fertile? The 1740 massacre spelt the end of the VOC’s success and it would 56 Yumio Sakurai, “Eighteenth-Century Chinese Pioneers on the Water Frontier of Indochina”, in Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong Region, pp. 35–52. 57 Butcher and Dick, eds. The Rise and Fall of Revenue Farming; and Rush, Opium to Java: Revenue Farming and Chinese Enterprise. 58 Anthony Reid, “Chinese Trade and Southeast Asian Economic Expansion”, in Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong Region, pp. 21–34.

114

chapter three

never regain its former glory. In its place, Bangkok rose to become the busiest intra-Asian port. Bangkok was destined to replace Batavia not just because the Chinese were turned away from Java, but because Siam possessed the rice that China prized. John Barrow, secretary to Lord McCartney, observed the abundance of rice in Southeast Asia and commented on its importance to China in the 1790s. “For rice”, he wrote, “there is a never-failing demand in the populous city of Canton, and sugar and pepper are equally acceptable; all of which are most abundantly produced in the fertile valleys of Cochinchina”.59 Eager to catch up, British diplomats and Company agents noticed the absolute importance of rice to both China and Siam. John Crawford was one such agent, arriving in the region in the 1820s. When his ship entered the Menam River on its way to Bangkok, Crawford saw “the neatest and best description of dwellings” lined up on the river bank, which he was informed were “occupied by good Chinese shops”.60 The same can be said about other ports in Siam and Southeast Asia. As he spent more time there, Crawford became aware that “the useful arts practised in Siam are commonly in the hands of Chinese and other strangers”.61 In addition to rice and commerce, the Chinese also controlled the production of and trade in sugar and pepper.62 Crawford concluded that “of the foreign trade of Siam, the most important branch is that with China” and that the Chinese were the “only foreigners whose trade is upon a fair footing”, while the English and the Americans were “subjected to much vexation and imposition”.63 This is quite revealing, as Europeans—the British in particular— would continue to complain that their trade with China did not enjoy equal footing. The attempt to gain such parity would become the very purpose of the McCartney and Amherst missions, and the motivation behind the actions of Lord Napier and ultimately the Opium War. Would the British have complained if China needed and sought what they could offer? They certainly didn’t complain when China began to buy so much opium from them. Howard T. Fry summed up this situation brilliantly: “The harsh fact was that the Chinese were chiefly

59 John Barrow, A Voyage to Cochinchina in the Years 1792 and 1793 (London: T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1806), p. 341. 60 Crawford, Journal of an Embassy, p. 79. 61 Ibid., p. 327. 62 Ibid. 63 Ibid., pp. 175–76, 408.

feeding china

115

interested in their trade with neighbouring islands and states, a commerce helped by the fact that wherever they did business they tended to leave behind colonies of their fellow-countrymen”.64 This brings us to the human consequence of China’s interaction with Southeast Asia. Like many others, Crawford became fascinated by the Chinese presence in Siam and throughout the region, and researched the subject. He noticed that there were 280 junks and about 11,500 seamen, almost all ethnic Chinese, based in Bangkok. He was informed that the population of Siam comprised the following: Siamese Laotians Chinese Malays

1,260,000 840,000 440,000 195,00065

By the 1820s, Chinese outnumbered the Malays, Siam’s immediate neighbours. The number of Chinese would increase to 3,000,000 out of a total population of 18,000,000 by 1950, when Thailand could claim the largest Chinese community in Southeast Asia.66 The penetration and power of the Chinese in Thailand was palpable by the mid-twentieth century; this was initially and mainly made possible by the demand for rice. Old Siam drained China’s excess population, just as Siamese rice saved more hungry souls on the mainland; this process helped China grow and transformed Siam as well. “China’s population growth was expanding and could only be fed by the import of rice from Vietnam and Siam”, concluded Norman G. Owen and colleagues.67 Rice had set the pattern for other commodities to come, just as Siam provided an example for the rest of Southeast Asia to follow. Having learnt from rice, the Chinese soon came to dominate the cultivation of and commerce in staples like sugar and pepper. The region would become an “offshore production zone for China” by the nineteenth century; Carl Trocki has brilliantly

64

Fry, Alexander Dalrymple, p. 37. Ibid., pp. 451–52. 66 G. William Skinner, Report on the Chinese in Southeast Asia (New York: Cornell University Department of Far Eastern Studies, 1950), p. 79. See also Hong Lin and Li Daogang, Taiguo Huaqiao Huaren Yanjiu (Hong Kong: Shehui kexue chubanshe, 2006); Ian Rae and Morgan Witzel, The Overseas Chinese of South East Asia (Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). 67 Owen et al., The Emergence of Modern Southeast Asia, p. 20. 65

116

chapter three

demonstrated how this process worked in the case of opium.68 The Chinese came to control the Siamese economy over time; many foreigners arrived at the conclusion that “A Typical Merchant of Siam Usually has Chinese Blood”:69 . . . His grandfather, more than likely a full-blooded Chinese who smoked a long pipe of red tobacco and wore a queue, may have come to settle in that community when it was still unincorporated, when there were no railroad tracks, no rice mills or steam boats or trade with the outside world. Our native Siamese were not commercial minded, and they did not know how to develop their fertile valleys into trade centers. It was these uncouth Chinese and some of his friends who built the first grassroofed store shacks where local goods could be exchanged. Now the shacks have been transformed into concrete buildings, mills have been built on the river banks, and steam boats are distributing the local goods to remote lands. The old man may still worship his ancestors by burning gold paper, but his sons have gone to Siamese schools and learned how to write on their shingles in both languages. The third generation do not remember Chinese; many of them have changed their family names, and begin to forget their origin. These Siamese-born Chinese belong to one of the most desirable classes of our society.70

The mention of queues points to the Qing dynasty, as the hairstyle was a symbol of Manchu rule. Overseas Chinese were the first to cut their queues, a platform of the Nationalist Revolution led by Sun Zhongshan, who relied on overseas Chinese for support. What pushed the Chinese in the coastal provinces towards Southeast Asia were disasters and survival; what pulled them back were profits, the prestige money could buy and attachment to their homeland, especially for those who were born on Chinese soil. While many made a living in old Siam, some, such as Kaw Su Chiang, made fortunes in the new Thailand. A coolie immigrant who went to Thailand without a penny, Kaw Su Chiang amassed such a fortune through tin mining and trade that his wealth was second only to that of the King by the

68 Trocki, Opium, Empire and the Global Political Economy, Introduction and “The Internationalisation of Chinese Revenue Farming Networks”, in Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong Region, pp. 159–73. 69 Kenneth P. Landon, Chinese in Thailand (New York: Russell & Russell, 1973), p. 11. 70 Kumut Chandruang, “Young Siam in a New World”, Asia, May (1939): 301, quoted in Landon, Chinese in Thailand, p. 11.

feeding china

117

time of his death.71 Kaw Su Chiang and his family were so important to Thailand’s economy that he was given the title of “Phraya” when he was Governor of Ranong.72 Tan Kay Kee, one of (if not the) richest Chinese in the first half of twentieth century, also began as a rice merchant, and used his fortune to help China fight the war against Japan.73 A more contemporary example would be ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (governed 2001–2006), a wealthy businessman whose ancestors came from the rice-trading Zhenghai district of Chaozhou municipality. Captain Xu Song, Taksin the Great, Kaw Su Chiang, Tan Kay Kee and Thaksin Shinawatra illustrate the case of Siam, but more importantly exemplify the broader impact of the Chinese Diaspora throughout Southeast Asia.74 The reduction in Siamese rice exports as a result of the Burmese invasion allowed others in the region to exploit this opportunity. Vietnam began to ship rice to Guangdong as early as 1756, according to the research of Yu Dingbang.75 Perhaps this can help explain the reason for the drop in prices in the early 1780s, as supplies from other Southeast Asia countries filled the vacuum left by Siam. Yumio Sakurai has carefully studied the water frontier of Indochina in the eighteenth century, when “it rapidly became a Chinese ‘Promised Land’, attracting Chinese immigrants” who founded the Chinese port polity kingdom of Hatien and turned the region into an “export-oriented rice bowl”.76 Many more such “rice bowls” sprang up along the coast of Southeast Asia as the so-called junk trade flourished in the eighteenth century.77 Vietnam was not alone; Korea sent rice to China, as

71 Jennifer W. Cushman, Family and State: the Formation of a Sino-Thai Tin Dynasty, 1797–1932 (Singapore and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991); and Landon, Chinese in Thailand, pp. 11–12. 72 “Phraya” was the second-highest rank in the Thai bureaucratic nobility. 73 C. F. Yong, Tan Kah-kee, the Making of an Overseas Chinese Legend (Singapore and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987). 74 Owen et al., The Emergence of Modern Southeast Asia, pp. 19–34. 75 Yu Dingbang and Yu Changsen, Jindai Zhongguo yu Dongnan Ya Guanxi, p. 18. 76 Yumio Sakurai, “Eighteenth-Century Chinese Pioneers on the Water Frontier of Indochina”, in Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong Region, pp. 35–52. 77 Choi Byung Wook, “The Nguyen Dynasty’s Policy toward Chinese on the Water Frontier in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century” and James Chin, “The Junk Trade between South China and Nguyen Vietnam in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries”, in Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong Region, pp. 85–99 & 53–70.

118

chapter three

did the Philippines, while Malaysia’s exports would come to rival those of Thailand in the late nineteenth century as the population further exploded on the mainland and China became the land of famine.78 The place of rice in the history of Southeast Asia was expertly summarised by Norman Owen: “Rice was also the export that introduced Burma, Siam, Vietnam, and Cambodia to the modern world system, and it remained their leading export earner up to World War II”.79 It was in reference to the expansion of China’s trade, the intensification of migration, and China’s subsequent role in shaping and dominating the economies of Southeast Asia that Leonard Blusse called for the eighteenth century to be treated as a Chinese category, and Anthony Reid labelled the period from 1740 to 1840 the “Chinese Century”.80 Reid has taken a comprehensive view of their activity, if not achievement: This era saw the establishment of colonies of Chinese miners in northern Vietnam, western Borneo, Phuket, Kelantan and Bangka. Chinese planters established new export industries of pepper in Brunei, Cambodia, and Chantaburi, and of gambier in Riau-Johor. In southeast Siam as well as Kedah and Java, sugar plantations were opened by Chinese immigrants. The Mekong delta area became a new frontier for Chinese agricultural and commercial enterprise. Whereas rulers in Burma and northern (Trinh) Vietnam reacted with fear and tight controls, the Nguyen rulers of Hue, like Taksin and Rama I in Siam and the Yamtuan Mudas in Riau, were eager to use Chinese colonists to increase not only their revenue but their control over frontier areas. Most of these economic pioneers produced or traded for the China market. Hence a great expansion occurred in the junk trade to such ports as Ha Tien, Saigon, Trengganu, Riau, Brunei (where seven junks a year were said to be arriving in the 1770s) and Sulu.81

Generations of Southeast Asian historians have explored the Chinese Diaspora in Southeast Asia and produced outstanding works that cast

78 Li Tana, “The Water Frontier: an Introduction” and Anthony Reid, “Chinese Trade and Southeast Asian Economic Expansion”, in Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong Region, pp. 1–17 & 21–34; and Paul H. Kratoska, ed. Food Supplies and the Japanese Occupation in South-East Asia (New York: St. Martins’s Press, 1998). 79 Owen et al., The Emergence of Modern Southeast Asia, p. 191. 80 Leonard Blusse and Femme Gaastra, eds. On the Eighteenth Century as a Category of Asian History: Van Leur in Retrospect (Aldershot [England] and Brookfield [Vermont]: Ashgate, 1998). 81 Reid, Charting the Shape of Early Modern Southeast Asia, pp. 241–43.

feeding china

119

light on the making of the region’s economy.82 However, situating their work within the larger picture of China requires the response of Chinese scholars. Whereas the Yongzheng and Qianlong regimes made efforts to secure the importation of rice, it was ordinary Chinese who made it sustainable in the long run. China’s growing population required more rice, and Siam responded to this demand as coastal Chinese grabbed the opportunity. Many shuttled back and forth, but many more settled in Siam. The growing demand and economic specialisation contributed to the kingdom’s transformation from Siam to Thailand, even if the extent is debatable. Thai fragrant rice remains the most favoured brand among the Chinese people today, no matter whether they live in Shanghai or San Francisco, Manchester or Melbourne. But Thai rice still could not feed the population of eighteenth-century China. What alternative foodstuffs were available to feed the Chinese? Maize [玉米] and Foreign Yam [番薯] In his memorial about the rice riot in Fujian in 1726 (as discussed in Chapter Two), Governor-General Gao Qizhuo of Fujian-Zhejiang province also included the following information: The two districts of Quan-Zhang are densely populated. Even in years of good harvest, their own rice could not feed the population. We have just had a 7/10 harvest this year, this obviously is not enough. Due to the shortage of rice in these two regions, many people have replaced rice with fan shu [番薯]; it has become a staple food.83

The above-mentioned fan shu is the foreign yam or the common sweet potato. Hunger had turned the Fujianese to whatever they could lay their hands on, which also included maize. Rice, in other words, whether Chinese-grown or imported from Siam, was not enough to feed the increasing population. Both official and private sources indicate that maize and the foreign yam helped to feed the ever-increasing number of hungry souls and made it possible for the population to grow. It is important to consider their introduction, the timing of their

82 Heather Sutherland, “Geography as Destiny? The Role of Water in Southeast Asian History”, in A World of Water: Rain, Rivers and Seas in Southeast Asian Histories, pp. 27–70. 83 Taibei Gugong Bowuyuan, Gongzhong Dang: Yongzheng Chao Zouzhe [8] (Taibei: Gugong bowuyuan, 1976), p. 31.

120

chapter three

widespread cultivation, and the ways in which they were integrated into the Chinese diet, because population growth might not have continued without these New World crops, or what the Chinese call miscellaneous grains. Historians tend to assume that the foreign yam and maize, and the peanut as well, arrived in China after the Columbus-Da Gama voyages, because another New World product, tobacco, is understood to have appeared in the 1550s, if not earlier.84 They have overlooked the possibility that the foreign yam, native to Africa, could have been introduced during the Song-Yuan era, when China and West Asia– East Africa had frequent contacts. Shen Fuwei has suggested that it was already in use during the Song, a timeframe which has some legitimacy but should be subjected to further research.85 The foreign yam could also have been introduced after the Zheng He voyages, given that his fleet visited West Asia and East Africa. Xie Guozhen put the date of maize’s entry as early as 1511, slightly late if we assume that it came with the Zheng He voyages, but slightly early if we believe that it was brought to Asia by the Portuguese or Spaniards.86 Ho Ping-ti remains the only historian who has carefully studied and compared the introduction of these three foreign food plants. Ho’s dating is rather precise: maize came to China “two or three decades before 1550”, and the foreign yam decades before 1594.87 Ho suggests that maize was first introduced to the maritime regions, namely Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Fujian. He also points out that the earliest reference to maize appeared in Henan, a province in central China far from the maritime frontiers. Ho believes that it is possible that various ethnic tribes had passed through Henan on their way to Beijing to

84 Yi Yongwen, Ming Qing Yingshi Yanjiu (Taibei: Hongye wenhua chubanshe, 1997), pp. 10–11; Zheng Chaoxiong, “Cong Guangxi Hepu Mingdai Yaozhinei Faxian Ciyandou Tanji Yancao Chuanru Woguo de Shijian Wenti”, Nongye Kaogu 12, 2 (1986): 383–391. For the latest work, see Carol Benedict, Golden-Silk Smoke: a History of tobacco in China, 1550–2010 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011), pp. 15–33. 85 Shen Fuwei, Zhongguo yu Feizhou: Zhong Fei Guanxi Liangqian Nian (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1990), pp. 555–56. 86 Xie Guozhen, Mingdai Shehui Jingji Shiliao Xuanbian (2 vols. Fuzhou: Fujian renmin chubanshe, 2005), vol. 1, p. 31. 87 Ho Ping-ti, “The Introduction of American Food Plants to China”, in European Intruders and Changes in Behaviour and Customs in Africa and Asia before 1800, eds. Murdo J. MacLeod & Evelyn S. Rawski (Brookfield [VT]: Ashgate 1998), pp. 283– 294.

feeding china

121

pay tribute, and that is why maize was initially called imperial wheat [御麦].88 According to Ho, the gazetteers of Changle and Zhangzhou in Fujian claimed that the foreign yam was first introduced and grown in their localities: Changle’s gazetteer even named the native who brought the plant from the Philippines. Ho also found that the 1563 edition of the Dali Gazetteer [大理县志] and the 1574 edition of the Yunnan Province Gazetteer [云南省志] claimed the foreign yam as local produce. While Chinese historians believe that these New World foodstuffs came via Southeast Asia, whether overland or overseas, Southeast Asian historians have suggested that maize spread from China to Southeast Asia.89 Clearly the study of maize and foreign yam—not excluding tobacco and others—demands the collaboration of scholars who work on Africa, America and Asia. How did the Chinese perceive these foodstuffs, and more importantly, when did they start to cultivate them and integrate them into their diet? Let us look at maize first, because it appears in the written works of Chinese scholars earlier than the foreign yam. Li Shizhen (1518–1593), the founding father of traditional Chinese medicine, left vital information about maize in his definitive Bencao Gangmu [本草纲目] or Compendium of Materia Medica, first published in 1578: Yu shu shu [玉蜀黍] comes from the West; those who cultivate it are few. Its sprout and leaves make it look like sorghum except they are wider and shorter. It also looks like barley and the sprout can shoot up to 3 or 4 inches high; and it blossoms like wheat in June or July. It grows into one wrapped crop, somewhat like a small fish. It breeds a fluffy willow-like tail at the end. Soon the wrapped crop opens up with seeds inside; they are cuddled together, bigger than millet and yellow-whitish. One can fry or puff it. When puffed, they open up like white flowers, just like sticky rice when they are puffed.90

Given that Li researched and wrote during the mid-Ming period, the “West” should have referred to Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan and Tibet, or to Central Asia. “Puff ” seems to suggest that the Chinese were making what we now call popcorn in 1578 or earlier.

88 Dong Pingya and Zhao Guoshi, Yumu Shihua (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe, 1988), pp. 61–67. 89 Lieberman, Strange Parallels, pp. 436–37. 90 Li Shizhen, Benchao Gangmu (52 vols. Beijing: Huaxia chubanshe, 1998), vol. 23, p. 997.

122

chapter three

Another late Ming scholar, Tian Yiheng (b. 1524) also wrote about maize in his memoir. Tian explained that it came from the “barbarians to the West”, and it was called imperial wheat because it used to be a tribute item.91 It is difficult to ascertain whether Tian copied information from Li or had conducted his own research into the subject, but it is clear that he was fascinated with the ways in which the imperial wheat was shaped and seasoned: “its fruit figures like a fist; it bears a red fluffy tail, its grains are hard, big and whitish; it blossoms at the top and bears fruit at the end; it is really unusual”.92 The works of Li Shizhen and Tian Yiheng offer us some very important information about maize. First of all, the statement that maize came “from the West” demonstrates that late Ming scholars did not consider the grain to be native to China. It is possible that maize was indeed a tribute item from the indigenous tribes to the west of Ming China. It is also possible that it came to the maritime region first due to its proximity to Macao, where the Portuguese settled in 1557, and to the Philippines, where the Spaniards established themselves in 1571. Regardless, we are still left with the question of when it was introduced. The comment that “those who cultivate it are few” suggests that maize had arrived before 1578 when Li published his masterpiece. Li was a native of Hubei in central China, where he carried out most of his research. Although he travelled widely, we can assume that his travels most likely did not cross the Ming boundary. This would imply that maize was at the beginning stage of localisation in at least south-central China by the late sixteenth century. Alvarez Semedo (1585–1658) spotted maize in the north when he travelled from Macao to Beijing in the early seventeenth century: “The Northern Provinces use for their proper sustenance Wheate, Barly, and Maiz; eating rice but seldome, as we do in Europe; leaving it for the Southern Provinces”.93 Thirdly, “one can fry or puff it” demonstrates that people in the late Ming (late sixteenth century) had discovered more than one way of consuming maize. This is the key phase in the social life of maize, because its survival would have depended on how its first consumers

91 Tian Yiheng, Liuqing Riza (39 vols. Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1997), vol. 26, p. 8A. 92 Ibid. 93 Semedo, The History of that Great and Renowned Monarchy of China, p. 4.

feeding china

123

perceived it and more importantly consumed it—that is, how it fitted in with or enhanced existing modes of consumption. Puffed rice with sugar was, and still is, a common snack for children and adults as well; puffed maize with sugar proved even more popular. Li Shizhen might not have foreseen that every peasant household would be cultivating maize a century after he died, and that the grain would become a welcome addition to the cash-cropping economy and a major food staple on the Chinese dinner table, with an attendant name change from Yu shu shu and imperial wheat to jade rice [玉米]. The change of nomenclature is significant, and might suggest that the hungry Chinese valued maize highly, as “jade” implies value and status. Leaving aside the history of its introduction, which requires far more extensive research, this chapter is concerned with the timing of its indigenisation and the ways in which it fed the Chinese people: when they began to cultivate it as a foodstuff and how they consumed it. Wang Chongli, Magistrate of Yanchang county in the poor Shaanxi province, saw that maize helped the locals weather famine in the 1750s. He wrote to the Qianlong emperor in 1762, in a memorial entitled “Persuading Peasants to Grow Maize for Food Shortage”, which became famous in mid-Qing officialdom. Wang explained what he called the “ten conveniences” [十便] and “five profits” [五利] of maize, in classic prose: Many grains are constrained by the season when it comes to planting and cultivation. Maize can be sown from February to April. There is no need to rush planting and rush harvest, this helps utilizing agricultural labour. This alas is its first convenience. When it sprouts, it grows into rough leaves and tall branches. They are not disrupted and impacted by wild grasses, weeding hence can be done later (not rushed). This is its second convenience. It can be sown close or far apart, the taller varieties even more so. It is very easy to weed and tend, as they are not closely clustered. This is its third convenience. When it blossoms, it grows a fluffy tail; strong wind and heavy rain don’t damage it. This is its fourth convenience. It ripens but it doesn’t turn yellow, drop to the ground and ruin itself. It can wait until you have harvested and stored other grains. This is its fifth convenience. Its grains are firmly engrained to its kernel such that it would not fall unless you peel it; this makes it easy to pick and harvest. This is its sixth convenience. Once it is picked, one can leave it anywhere, hence no need for pots and containers. This is its seventh convenience.

124

chapter three With any other grains, we need to separate the grain from its shell. Maize does not need this process of shelling. This is its eighth convenience. We can pound it, grind it, turn it into grain or powder or make noodles; we can cook it whole, boil it and eat it in any way we prefer. This is its ninth convenience. We can tuck it under the sleeves (Chinese sleeves were often long and wide and could serve as wallets and bags) and take it to the road: we can eat it when it’s cold. This is its tenth convenience. It grows deep and into four to five branches, each branch yields hundreds of grains, and this is far more than any other grain species. This is its first profit. The red ones are hardy and the white ones are stickier, similar to other grains: this means it can be used as rice, it can be used to make wine or steamed buns, and they are filling. This is its second profit. Its grains do not have skins; this makes its powder purer and softer than other grains. Each dou (Chinese unit of dry measure for grain = 1 dekalitre) can turn into 8 or 9 sheng, the leftover can turn into 1 or 2 sheng to feed the animals which grow faster on this. This is its third profit. It can be eaten alone; it is even better when mixed with others like rice and wheat. This is its fourth profit. Its brushes and branches can be used as fuel and they last longer than others do; they can be used as cushion materials for building and roofing. This is its fifth profit.94

Magistrate Wang’s opinion was virtually the same as that of Doctor Juan de Cardenas, a Spanish doctor practicing in Mexico in the 1580s, who praised the many virtues of maize in Problemas y Secretos Maravillosos de las Indias (1591).95 Separated by 171 years and great oceans, a Spanish doctor and a Chinese official had reached the same conclusions about maize. Their observations can be grouped into three kinds of advantages: maize was easy to grow, simple to harvest and store, and great to consume, offering more nutrition than other grains. Maize’s first advantage is that it grows everywhere: in cold, hot, dry or wet climates, and in mountains, valleys and plains. While Chinese peasants devoted the best land to rice cultivation, they used the ragged

94 Wang Congli, ed. Yanchang Xian Zhi (10 vols. Taibei: Chengwen chubanshe, 1970), vol. 10, pp. 303–07. See also Zhongguo Shehui Kexueyuan Lishi Yanjiusuo Qingshi Yanjiushi, Qing Shi Ziliao Di Qi Ji (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1989), pp. 39–40; and Yi Yongwen, Ming Qing Yingshi Yanjiu, pp. 12–13. 95 Juan de Cardenas, Problemas y Secretos Maravillosos de las Indias (Madrid: Ediciones Cultura Hispánica, 1945). See also Arturo Warman, Corn and Capitalism: how a Botanical Bastard Grew to Global Dominance (Chapel Hill: Duke University Press, 2003), pp. 12–13 & 19–26.

feeding china

125

mountain side and valley range to grow maize.96 This was good news to many during the Qing, especially those in the mountainous regions. While rice and other crops need constant weeding and irrigation, maize hardly needs any care after sowing. Less labour-intensive, maize needs little attention and investment, a great advantage when resources were hard to come by, let alone in years of famine and drought. Seasoning quickly (within three or four months), the people in south, central and even north-central China could, and did, grow and harvest maize twice a year, or three times in two years. This meant a steady supply of the staple year-round. Most importantly, maize has a high yield, ranging from at least 100 to 200 measures of grain per measure of seed sown. The second key advantage is that maize is simple to harvest and store. Picking maize involves much less work than gathering other grains and anyone, even children, could be employed in this respect. Wu Shixian, a magistrate in Hubei province, penned a classic verse, “Song to Maize” [包榖行] in 1763.97 He described the scene of harvest and celebrated the power of maize, as he was relieved that his people would not go hungry. Wu’s verse is one of many devoted to maize. Like opium, maize generated its own literature, which sheds detailed light on the indigenisation of a foreign foodstuff and on eighteenthcentury peasant life. Maize is also easy to store, as it requires no further processing after picking and can be left in baskets, in piles or hung up. Dr. Cardenas and Magistrate Wang both emphasised the way in which every part of the plant could be put to good use. The two peoples naturally found different uses for maize: where the Mexicans hollowed out corncobs to make instant smoking pipes, Chinese peasants hung them below their roofs to trumpet their harvest and abundance. In fact, maize-decorated peasant households have become the symbol of a middle-class or even rich peasant family. The third advantage is that maize is great to cook and healthy to consume. It contains more nutrients than other grains, and the Chinese discovered many ways of eating it. A Chinese meal is composed of main dishes of meat, vegetables or a mix of both, cooked in a multitude of ways and consumed with rice or noodles, with variations 96

Perdue, Exhausting the Earth, p. 114. Hong Xiantao and Ji Zhongying, Daoguang Hefeng Zhou Zhi (13 vols. Nanjing: Jiangsu guji chubanshe, 2001), vol. 13, p. 46A or 454. See also Yi Yongwen, Ming Qing Yingshi Yanjiu, p. 13. 97

126

chapter three

such as steamed or stuffed buns and dumplings, which can also be eaten as snacks. The consumption of maize fitted in seamlessly with these existing modes of cooking and consumption. Rice was boiled, as was maize; rice was ground to make noodles, buns and cakes, and so was maize; rice was fermented into wine, and so was maize. As was only natural, the Chinese first cooked and ate maize in the same way they cooked and ate other grains, before beginning to innovate: maize soup [玉米粥] tops the menu of many Chinese restaurants today, since every proper Chinese meal usually starts with, and sometimes ends with, soup. Maize has also been made into stuffed buns, especially in the north, and into cakes, popcorn and snacks; it can also be stir-fried with meat and vegetables. Doctor Juan de Cardenas and Magistrate Wang were maize enthusiasts and advocates whose writings were based on years of observation and experience. Wang’s memorial lends credibility to the naturalisation of maize in northwest China by the 1760s, if not earlier. This is late in comparison with the maritime regions, and suggests that it took time for maize to spread to the interior, as it did for tobacco and would for the foreign yam. If this timeframe is adopted, it could possibly help explain the sudden drop in the price of rice in the 1780s as illustrated in the Jiang Jianping diagram. As we have seen, the Yongzheng and Qianlong reigns saw a steady rise in the price of rice until it hit 3.5 taels in the early 1780s. Is it possible that the subsequent drop in the price of rice could be attributed to the fact that maize had now begun to help feed the Chinese? This supports my hypothesis (which should of course be subject to further research) that China probably did not desperately need maize until the population exploded in the mid-eighteenth century. If we accept Li Shizhen’s timeline of a midsixteenth century introduction, it took about two centuries for maize to spread, as a multitude of sources—government documents, local gazetteers, memoirs and even poems—testify to its widespread cultivation and consumption by the mid-eighteenth century. The “botanical bastard”, as anthropologist Arturo Warman labelled maize, was born in south-central Mexico. From the New World, maize rose to dominate the economies and diets of the Old. The crop nourished the Maya, Aztec and Inca civilisations, and beginning in the 1550s, from the Venetian plain to the mountains of Assam and from Qianlong’s China to Khrushchev’s Collectivization Program, maize fed the exploding populations of Europe and, more importantly,

feeding china

127

Africa and Asia.98 Maize sustained African slaves and the slave trade; it lent power to colonial authorities as they controlled foreign trade and appropriated commercial farming; it sanctioned the modernising endeavours of aspiring nation-states.99 Despite its humble origins, maize has come to dominate the global food market and epitomise capitalism, and it may yet play a larger role in the fuel revolution that is presently unfolding. Maize’s significance extends beyond the fact that it fed, and continues to feed, China, the world’s second largest producer today after the United States. The success of maize lay in the fact that it fitted in with and enhanced the existing culture of food consumption. Maize was welcomed in China because it fed the increasing millions; more so was the foreign yam, also called red yam or sweet potato. The late Ming scholar, astronomer, mathematician and agricultural scientist Xu Guangqu (1562–1623), who was also one of Matteo Ricci’s first converts and partner in translation, devoted a section to “yams” in his famous Nongzheng Quanshu [农政全书] or Encyclopaedia of Agriculture, printed in 1639: There are two kinds of yams. One is called shan shu [山薯], Fujian and Guangdong cultivate it. Another is called fan shu [番薯]. People say that someone got it from overseas in recent years. It is said that overseas countries ban it from export, and this person hid the entire branch by attaching it to the anchor of the boat; this is how he smuggled it in from overseas. Soon after it was transplanted and spread in Fujian and Guangdong. The stems and leaves of the two yams are alike. But mountain yam needs the support of trees to grow whereas foreign yam grows/spreads into the ground on its own. It is shaped like a mound, round and long. It tastes sweet, much better than the mountain yam.100

Several other late Ming scholars, for example Qu Dajun (1630–1696) and Zhou Lianggong (1612–1672), also wrote about the foreign yam, and claimed it came from the Philippines during or after the reign of

98 There are 518 kinds of maize in China today; many of them are genetically modified. See Zhonggo Nongye Kexueyuan Zuowu Pingzhong Ziyuan Yanjiusuo, et al., Zhongguo Yumi Pingzhong Zhi (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe, 1988). 99 Warman, Corn and Capitalism; James C. McCann, Maize and Grace: Africa’s Encounter with a New World Crop, 1500–2000 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005); and Jeffrey M. Pilcher, Food in World History (New York: Routledge, 2006). 100 Xu Guangqu, Nongzheng Quanshu (60 vols. Taibei: Mingwen shuju, 1981), vol. 27, pp. 688–95; and Rowe, China’s Last Empire, p. 139.

128

chapter three

Wanli (1573–1619); so did the local gazetteers of Fujian.101 It is quite possible that the foreign yam was indeed introduced via the overseas route, from the Philippines to Fujian in this case, or by land from South and Southeast Asia. That the foreign yam is native to the African continent rather than the Americas complicates matters and could have several implications. As China had contact with Africa before the discovery of the New World, it is possible that Asian travellers to Africa or West Asia, not excluding the Zheng He voyagers, could have brought the foreign yam to Asia and China before Europeans arrived. The global life of the foreign yam clearly demands the attention of both Asian and African scholars. Leaving the issue of timing aside, Xu’s writing highlights even more important aspects. First, the foreign yam was new to the late Ming. By comparing the foreign yam with the mountain yam, which was believed to be native to China, Xu gives evidence of the novelty of the foreign yam to the Chinese agricultural landscape and economy. Xu lived and worked during the late Ming; he was known for his research and has been hailed as the godfather of modern Chinese agriculture. Secondly, according to him Fujian and Guangdong were the two regions that first cultivated the crop, during the late Ming. A native of Jiangsu, Xu travelled widely and worked in Beijing, where he served the Ming court, but his research only mentions Fujian and Guangdong. In other words, the spread of foreign yam was limited during the late Ming. Thirdly, people already knew that the foreign yam tasted sweet, meaning that they were learning to consume it during this period. It did not take long for many more peasants to grow the foreign yam and for it to appear on the Chinese dinner table. He Qiaoyuan (1557–1633), a late Ming scholar who served as Deputy Minister of Finance and Works, provides further clues to the spread of cultivation and the mode of consumption in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Not only did he know the conditions under which it would grow and what parts of it were edible, but he also knew the ways in which people cooked and consumed it:

101 Qu Dajun, Guangdong Xin Yu (28 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1985), vol. 27, 830 tiao; Zhou Lianggong, Min Xiao Ji (2 vols. Shanghai: Wenyi chubanshe, 1991), vol. 2, p. 11; He Qiaoyuan, Min Shu (154 vols. Fuzhou: Fujian renmin chubanshe, 1995), vol. 150, pp. 4436–37. See also Tang Wenji, ed. Fujian Gudai Jingji Shi (Fuzhou: Fujian jiaoyu chubanshe, 1995), pp. 411–14.

feeding china

129

Its stems and leaves grow luxuriously, they are edible. You can boil the yam or grind it into powder. Its skin is thin and reddish; you can peel and eat it. You can consume it raw or cooked; you can use it to make wine. If you eat it raw, it tastes like (mountain) yam. If you eat it cooked, its colour looks like honey and tastes like wild chestnut. If you store it, it gives a honey-like smell with its fragrance lingering around. The foreign yam doesn’t fight for land with other staple foodstuff. They grow on poor land and on rough mountains. If you fertilise it, it grows big, as its roots suck in and store all the water when it rains. If there is a drought, you don’t need to worry about it, it grows as usual. One jin costs no more than one qian, two jin can really fill you up. The elderly, the young, beggars and even chickens like to eat it.102

A contemporary of Xu Guangqu, He seems to know more about the foreign yam, possibly because he was a native of Fujian, where the crop might have first been introduced and cultivated. The island of Jinmen (Quemoy) celebrated the foreign yam with a festival in 1999. Lying just off the coast of Xiamen, Jinmen belongs to Taiwan or the Republic of China; its strategic importance and turbulent history was expertly analysed by Michael Szonyi in “Cold War Island: Quemoy on the Front Line”.103 The local government commissioned a volume titled Fanshu Jinmen Sibainian [番薯金门四百年] or Foreign Yam, Jinmen and Four Hundred Years, which details the crop’s introduction and naturalisation. The Jinmenese claim that the foreign yam arrived on the island in 1599, and the book traces its journey on the island over a period of four hundred years.104 The foreign yam means much to the islanders, who believe that they could not possibly have survived without it. Four hundred years later, they are convinced that the foreign yam symbolises what they call the “Jinmen spirit”, as they have weathered so many political storms and natural disasters that almost destroyed them. Perhaps they are reminding themselves that the worst storm may be yet to come, given the very real threat by the People’s Republic of China to “liberate” the island, which would be very easy given its proximity to Xiamen, where the Manchus and Zheng-led resistance battled it out in the early Qing. As the preface of the book explains, “In the past four hundred years, Jinmen people grew fanshu, they ate

102

He Qiaoyuan, Min Shu, vol. 150, pp. 4436–37. Michael Szonyi, Cold War Island: Quemoy on the Front Line (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008). 104 Chen Binrong, Fanshu, Jinmen, Si Bai Nian (Jinmen: Jinmen xianzhengfu, 1999). 103

130

chapter three

fanshu, they drank fanshu wine, and they spoke fanshu dialect”. Fanshu were forbidden to leave the island in 1933, a disastrous period for the Jinmenese. The foreign yam had by this time replaced rice for the people of the island, and like rice it had become a strategic commodity that contributed not only to local law and order but also to collective survival. The 1599 Jinmen timeline sits comfortably with those proposed by Xu Guangqu and He Qiaoyuan; this rare and concrete case shows that the foreign yam began to spread from the coast to the interior in the seventeenth century. Like maize, foreign yam is easy to grow, needing very little labour and care. Harvesting takes more effort, as the yam that has grown deep in the mud must be dug out and washed prior to sale, and again, more carefully, before cooking; preparation of yams involves labour and tools or utensils, and valuable resources like water. But it is also a versatile foodstuff, fun to consume. Like maize, foreign yam arrived on the Chinese dinner table as a main food replacing or complementing rice, as noodles, with side dishes, and as deserts. Foreign yams were processed, cooked and consumed in many different ways, from steamed to fried, and from noodles to dried slices. Dried foreign yam slices were a state ration during the Cultural Revolution as the country faced severe food shortages.105 Toasted red yam [烤红薯] remains a favourite snack for children, whereas many adults prefer fried foreign yam chips to potato chips. Stir-fried alone or with meat, the stem has become a favourite green, as China’s conscientious urban elite try to catch up with their Western counterparts in terms of healthy eating. Like maize, the foreign yam became indigenised by the mid-Qing, even though it was introduced during the late Ming. This supports the hypothesis I advance regarding maize, namely that China did not particularly need to incorporate the foodstuff before the population exploded in the mid-eighteenth century—when it acquired another name, golden yam [金薯] or, just as maize transitioned to jade rice.106 This can be seen from the memorials of many officials who wrote to the Qianlong emperor, Chen Hongmou in particular. He wrote to the emperor as early as 1745 to advocate the cultivation of the foreign yam, which he called sweet yam, in Shaanxi, where he served as

105

I remember this from growing up in Hunan. Zhao Xuemin, Bencao Gangmu Shiyi (10 vols. Taibei: Hongye shuju, 1985), vol. 8, pp. 369–76. 106

feeding china

131

Governor.107 Chen was one of the most exemplary officials of the Qing and he showed the way for others such as Wang Congli, as we have seen in the case of maize.108 Qianlong himself took a great interest in the cultivation of the foreign yam, as evidenced by frequent comments in the memorials. Imperial endorsement and local official promotion helped to spread the cultivation of maize and the foreign yam, and fed the Chinese when the population exploded towards the late eighteenth century.109 How much maize and foreign yams were cultivated, and how many people did they feed? Not much attention has been paid to this specific question, which will take years of research and demands information from across the country, as cultivation increased from the late Ming to the mid-Qing, and yield differed greatly from north to south. However, some preliminary remarks can be made based on the information we already have, however limited. Several agricultural historians have studied the cultivaton and average yield of all grains, including maize and the foreign yam, from the Qing through the early Republican era (until the Japanese war in 1937).110 Their research shows that while mainland specialists have quarrelled over the percentage of cultivation and yield, their own calculation, a synthesis of others, reveals that by the mid-Qing maize occupied 6 percent of the 9.5 million acres of total cultivable land; this increased to 17 percent of a total of 13.5 million acres by the 1930s.111 As for yield, north China, including the northeast and the northwest, only sowed once a year, whereas south China could sow twice a year or three times in two years. Northern yield per acre was higher than southern yield, as they calculated: One year one sowing: 2.18 dan One year two sowings: 1.86 dan Two years three sowings: 1.86 dan Average yield of an acre of maize: 1.967 dan

107

Chen Hongmou, Peiyuan Tang Ou Cungao, in Qing Shi Ziliao Di Qi Ji (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1989), pp. 260–263. See also Wu Boya, Kang Yong Qian San Di yu Xixue Dongjian (Beijing: Zongjiao wenhua chubanshe, 2002), p. 43; Pan Guisheng, Chen Hongmou Zhuan (Nanning: Guangxi renmin chubanshe, 2007), pp. 217–25. 108 William T. Rowe, Saving the World: Chen Hongmou and Elite Consciousness in Eighteenth-Century China (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001). 109 Feng Boqun & Qu Chunhai, Qinggong Dang’an Miwen, pp. 77–80. 110 Zhao Gang, Qingdai Liangshi Muchan Liang Yanjiu (Beijing: Zhongguo nongye chubanshe, 1995). 111 Ibid., pp. 60–62.

132

chapter three

The national average yield of per acre of maize, in other words, was close to 2 dan (1 dan = 50 kilograms or 100 jin) or 200 jin. Using the formula I advanced in the first section, that a family of ten consumed 2400 jin of rice per year (20 jin per individual per month and 240 a year), 200 jin would only have fed and sustained one person out of the ten. The information and research on the foreign yam provided by this group of mainland scholars seems incomplete, but they emphasise that maize and foreign yam helped raise the average yield of an acre to 21.14 shi jin (1 shi jin = 1 kilo).112 On the other hand, provincial-level research and calculation might be more helpful. Gong Shengsheng, an agricultural geographer, believed that the output of maize and foreign yams in Hunan and Hubei provinces provided 11,500,000 dan of extra foodstuff.113 These extra miscellaneous grains might have fed 4,791,666 individuals, or 479,166 families, according to my formula. Taking the yardstick of 400 millions by the mid-Qing, this population would have needed 96,000,000,000 jin or 48,000,000,000 kilograms of grain or other food to survive—which they did. Yi Yongwen, a culinary scholar, believes that the yield of maize and foreign yam in 1813 could have fed more than 51,900,000 people.114 The unorganised nature and paucity of numbers demonstrates the poor state of research; the introduction and naturalisation of maize and the foreign yam in China demands much more micro- and macro-level research, which will undoubtedly shed light not just on how the 400 million Chinese survived, but also on how the population continued to grow, to 646.5 million by 1957 despite a century of wars and natural disasters, and to more than 1.34 billion in 2011.115

112 Ibid., pp. 63–65. Shi jin is Chinese unit of weight and it equals to one jin/kilo or ½ kilograms. See Beijing Waiguo Yu Xueyuan, The Pinyin Chinese-English Dictionary, p. 623. 113 Gong Shengsheng, “Qingdai Lianghu Diqu de Yumi he Ganshu”, Zhongguo Nong Shi, 3 (1993): 47–57. 114 Yi Yongwen, Ming Qing Yingshi Yanjiu, p. 17. See also Wu Hui, Zhongguo Lidai Liangshi Muchan Yanjiu (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe, 1985), pp. 192–93. 115 Spence, The Search for Modern China, p. 545. The 2011 figure came from the census conducted and made public by the Chinese government.

feeding china

133

Conclusion Song and Yuan China exported rice to Southeast Asia, which demonstrates the abundance of rice in China and the demand from Southeast Asia.116 The earliest rice import can be traced to 1593, according to Xiamen History of Rice. Population increase was clearly putting strains on the traditional output by the late sixteenth century, but the seventeenth century saw rebellions and dynastic change which reduced the population. A shortage of rice surfaced again in the final years of the Kangxi emperor in the early eighteenth century, when life returned to normal after a century of unrest. Yongzheng’s reign saw the turning point, as the consequences of long-term demographic change began to unfold. Can we thus attribute the food shortage to the population explosion alone? Leadership mattered, and Lillian Li has recently shown that the Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong emperors amassed an enormous amount of grain in the capital granaries to weather famine and social unrest of any kind.117 The three emperors took measures to solve the problem and were effective in finding grains from outside China to feed the increasing population. After they left the scene, China would become the land of famine in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The story of feeding China sheds light on the long-term demographic and economic changes that took place during the Qing. The “battle over rice” continued into, and even worsened, in the Republican era, as Christian Henriot highlights in the case of Shanghai.118 Despite a century of rebellion and revolution, the Chinese population tripled, from 400 million at the dawn of the Nationalist Revolution to more than 1.3 billion today. The Communist regime had to import grain from Japan and the United States in the 1960s, as failure to feed the growing population during the Cold War threatened national security.119 What 116 Huang Chunyan, Songdai Haiwai Maoyi, p. 35; Chen Gaohua, Yuan Shi Yanjiu Lungao, p. 106. 117 Lillian Li, Fighting Famine in North China. 118 Christian Henriot, Shanghai: 1927–1937: Municipal Power, Locality, and Modernisation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), pp. 213–17. See also Seungjoon Lee, Gourmets in the Land of Famine: the Culture and Politics of Rice in Modern Canton (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011). 119 Chad J. Mitcham, China’s Economic Relations with the West and Japan, 1949–79: Grain, Trade and Diplomacy (London & New York: Routledge, 2005); Liming Wang and John Davis, China’s Grain Economy: the Challenge of Feeding more than a Billion (Aldershot & Burlington [VT]: Ashgate, 2000).

134

chapter three

would have happened to Qing China without rice from Siam and the introduction of maize and the foreign yam? The exodus to Manchuria, Taiwan and Southeast Asia would certainly have been much greater.120 Today’s Asia, both the Northeast and Southeast, would look very different had the Ming-Qing regimes encouraged overseas migration and settlement in order to manage overpopulation and reduce the burden of feeding them.

120 Christopher Isett, State, Peasant, and Merchant in Qing Manchuria, 1644–1862 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007), pp. 55–56 & 109–13; Philip A. Kuhn, Chinese Among Others, pp. 7–52 & 55–104.

CHAPTER FOUR

CETTE MERVEILLEUSE MACHINE1 Jesuit Ferdinand Verbiest (1623–1688), who served the last Ming and the first two Qing emperors, might be the best witness to the MingQing dynastic transition. He had this to say about the young Kangxi emperor (born in 1654 and became emperor in 1662): Ce jeune prince, infatigable au travail, d’un esprit curieux, d’une intelligence prompte et solide, avait un penchant décidé pour les sciences. Pendant plus de cinq mois, il appela journellement le Père dans l’intérieur du palais; il l’y retenait la journée presque entière, pour recevoir de lui de leçons de mathématiques et surtout d’astronomie.2

Where he left off, the Jesuit chronicles Notices Biographiques et Bibliographiques sur les Jésuites de L’Ancienne Mission de Chine continued: Il voulut que le P. Verbiest lui expliquât les six premiers livres d’Euclide traduits par le P. Ricci, et les autres ouvrages traduits en chinois par les Jésuites sur l’astronomie et les sciences exactes; afin de faciliter ses relations avec le savant missionnaire, il lui donna un de ses serviteurs pour que le Père apprit le tartare mandchou. Il se fit même donner des leçons de philosophie et de musique.3

Whether it was due to the purposeful guidance of Verbiest or the curious nature of the young prince himself, Kangxi asked the Jesuits many questions regarding European science and took lessons from them. Joachim Bouvet (1656–1730) wrote much on this, as did Jonathan Spence.4 Mainland scholars have recently found Kangxi’s writing on mathematics, entitled “Essence of Mathematics”, and the special desk and calculation tools he used.5 Kangxi was also interested in music, which would lead to the introduction of European compositions and instruments, and the compilation of the Qing encyclopaedia of 1

Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Biblographiques, tome 1, pp. 15–21. Ibid., tome 1, pp. 344–45. 3 Ibid. 4 Bouvet, The History of Cang-Hy, pp. 53–54, 57–58; and Spence, The China Helpers, pp. 3–33. 5 Feng Boqun & Qu Chunhai, Qinggong Dang’an Miwen, pp. 54–59; Beijing Gugong Bowuyuan, Qinggong Xi Yang Yi Qi (Hong Kong: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1998), pp. 61–106. 2

136

chapter four

music.6 Knowing that Kangxi liked music, Verbiest spoke of the talent of Philippus Maria Grimaldi (1639–1712) and Thomas Pereyra (1645–1708), who soon joined him in the Qing court upon Kangxi’s invitation. Verbiest was persuasive and Kangxi was pleased, as Jean Baptiste Du Halde (1674–1743) remembered: In the year 1679 he (Kangxi) sent for P. Grimaldi and P. Pereira to play upon an Organ and the Harpsichord that had formerly presented him; he liked our European Airs, and seemed to take great Pleasure in them; then ordered his Musicians to play a Chinese Air upon their instrument, and played likewise himself in a very graceful manner. P. Pereira took his Pocket-book and pricked down all the Tune while the Musicians were playing, and when they had made an end repeated it without missing one Note, which the Emperor could scarcely believe his surprise was so great. He bestowed great Encomiums upon the Justness, Harmony, and Facility of the European Musick; but he admired above all, that the Father had learnt in so short a time an Air which had been so troublesome to him and his Musicians, and that by the Assistance of Characters he could recollect it at any time with Pleasure. To be more certain of this he put him to the Trial several times, and sung several different Airs, which the Father took down in his Book, and repeated exactly with the greatest Justness: It must be owned, cried the Emperor, the European Musick is incomparable; and this Father (speaking of P. Pereira) has not his Equal in all of the Empire.7

The Jesuits were very proud of this episode, and this story is retold in several places in their chronicle.8 Pereyra was a gifted musician and could play Chinese music after hearing it just once, a feat which may be unsurprising to musicians themselves then and now, but which amazed Kangxi, who also heard the difference in notation. He was so enthralled that he established an institution where Chinese scholars and Manchu princes could learn from the Jesuits, and commissioned Lu Lu Zhengyi [律吕正义] or The True Doctrines of Music, a comprehensive work on music theory, instruments and practice, compiled by Pereyra and his successor Don Pedrini.9 The instrument Pereyra played was called a clavecin, which Jean-Baptiste Du Halde translated

6

Guo Fuxiang and Zuo Yuanbo, Zhongguo Huangdi yu Yangren, pp. 183–87. Jean-Baptiste Du Halde, The General History of China (3 vols. London: J. Watts, 1741), vol. 3, pp. 68–69. 8 Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Bibliographiques, tome 1, p. 382; Fang Hao, Zhong Xi Jiaotong Shi, vol. 2, pp. 896–897. 9 Kangxi Emperor Commissioned, Lu Lu Zheng Yi (5 vols. Taibei: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1983). 7

cette merveilleuse machine

137

as “harpsichord”. The clavecin was widely used in baroque music, and can be seen in contemporary Dutch paintings such as Lady Seated at the Virginals by Johannes Vermeer (Illustration 4.1):

Illustration 4.1

Lady Seated at the Virginals

Kangxi ordered instruments like this to be made, and invited the Jesuits to the court to perform.10 He took great pleasure in their performance,

10

Fang Hao, Zhong Xi Jiaotong Shi, vol. 2, p. 897.

138

chapter four

joining in from time to time. An increasing number of historians believe that Kangxi ordered his sons, Princes Third, Fifteenth and Sixteenth, to study music theory and learn to play the instruments with the Jesuits.11 China’s first chamber orchestra was thus made up of Jesuit missionaries, Chinese eunuchs and Manchu princes. What music did they play, given that this was the age of Bach (Johann Sebastian, 1685–1750) and Handel (George Frideric, 1685–1759)? Kangxi toured the south again in 1703 and returned to Beijing with Gao Shiqi (1642–1704), a well-known painter whose garden in Hangzhou had impressed the emperor.12 Gao was summoned to the inner court several times during his stay: On the 21st March (1703), I went to Yuan Jian Zai. His Majesty asked me many questions. I looked around, there are paintings everywhere on the wall, then we turned to Nu An Ge, there are so many exquisite curios and European music instruments. On the 18th of April, I was called to Yuan Jian Zai again. We chatted for a while and came upon the topic of Lu Lu. A European iron string instrument made by the Royal Manufactory in the Imperial Household Department lay nearby, it has 102 strings. His Majesty played a praying tune. It was composed and popular during Tang-Song times; it has been lost for a long time until now. His Majesty then asked a eunuch to play the entire piece behind a curtain. On the 19th, His Majesty bestowed upon me three European paintings.13

Gao’s memoir lends testimony to Kangxi’s fondness for music and collection of musical instruments and European paintings. What did Gao think of the oil paintings, given that the medium was new to the Qing artistic elite, and virtually a court monopoly at that time? Don Pedrini (1670–1746) became the most important court musician after Thomas Pereyra died in 1708. Matteo Ripa, who arrived in Beijing in January 1711, recounts that Kangxi often surprised him in his studio: “The Emperor one day saw the portrait of a Tartar, which he had ordered me to draw, and he said it was a good likeness. He then commanded Pedrini to play on the cymbals, and also expressed himself

11

Taiwan Xuesheng Shuju, Kangxi yu Luoma Shijie Guanxi Wenshu, p. 18; Tao Yabing, Ming Qing Jian de Zhong Xi Yingyue Jiaoliu (Beijing: Dongfang chubanshe, 2001), 60–63; Wu Boya, Kang Yong Qian San Di yue Xixue Dongjian, p. 316; and Zheng Jinyang, “Xi Yue yu Qing Yue”, in Xi Xue yu Qingdai Wenhua, eds. Huang Aiping and Huang Xintao (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2008), pp. 537–53. 12 Kangxi took six southern tours, in the years 1684, 1689, 1699, 1703, 1705 and 1707. 13 Gao Shiqi, Pengshan Miji (Shanghai: Shanghai shudian, 1994), pp. 31–32.

cette merveilleuse machine

139

much pleased with the performance”.14 Was Ripa’s studio equipped with the instrument, or did Pedrini follow the emperor carrying a pair of cymbals? How often did this happen? It seemed that Kangxi was obsessed with music towards the end of his life, as Pedrini often followed him when he went about in the capital and even travelled with him.15 The emperor’s music was not limited to the pieces performed for him by musicians; the clocks that stood in the halls, offices, chambers and corridors of the Forbidden City, the Garden of Eternal Spring, and other royal palaces also played music when they struck. It seems that Kangxi’s interest, however, was not just in pleasing tunes, but also in technicalities, as he collected various musical instruments: Don Pedrini had constructed a small organ, which being moved by clock-work played a tune whenever a spring was touched. He carried it to the palace and requested the mandarin Chao to present it to the Emperor. But this courtier, perceiving that Pedrini was becoming a favourite, declined to receive it, and presented another self-acting instrument of the same description. Not long after Chao fell ill, and Pedrini taking advantage of the opportunity, carried his organ to the palace. The other mandarin, deeming it their duty to please the sovereign rather than Chao, presented it to his Majesty, who accepted it kindly, expressing himself highly delighted at the invention.16

It is clear that Kangxi’s officials were jealous of the Jesuits and tried to limit their contact with the emperor; they carefully guarded their own access to the source of power and privilege. Chao Yin (Cao Yin in pinyin hereafter) was Kangxi’s bondservant, but he was no ordinary courtier.17 Cao’s father rose by serving Kangxi’s mother, and his ability and loyalty earned him a future that no bondservants of Chinese descent could dream of. When Kangxi was born, Cao’s mother was chosen to be the future emperor’s first nanny, while Cao’s father was sent to supervise the Jiangning Royal Manufactory in Nanjing, which the Cao patriarchs would control for more than half a century. Cao and Kangxi were of the same age; they played and grew up together. Cao is important not just because he was grandfather to the author of the fictional autobiography Hong Lou Meng [红楼梦] or Dream of the Red Chamber, which will

14

Ripa, Memoirs, p. 64. Ibid., p. 63. 16 Ibid., pp. 87–88. See also Bouvet, The History of Cang-Hy, p. 57. 17 Jonathan Spence, Ts’ao Yin and the K’ang-hsi Emperor: Bondservant and Master (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966), pp. 18–26, 46–56; and The Search for Modern China, pp. 106–110. 15

140

chapter four

be examined later in this chapter, but because we see how Cao and his family were exposed to European curios. This is a most important aspect in the dissemination of information and knowledge and in the creation of new taste and culture: Cao’s imitation spread consciousness and curiosity about European instruments among the elite, initiating their “outward and downward liquidation”.18 The process of dissemination would continue to the next level when those who served the Cao family and other princely households were exposed to these foreign goods, and knowledge of—and interest in— these exotic items filtered further down to the middle and lower classes as they looked up to and emulated their masters. Kangxi studied European sciences, enjoyed European music and trusted European medical practice. Music can be both elevating and entertaining; it spoke to European royals and elites, and also resonated with their Manchu counterparts in China. But the music Kangxi liked never travelled beyond the Qing palaces, despite an attempt by Qianlong to revive it at one point. The tunes vanished with Kangxi and would not re-emerge until the late nineteenth century. In fact, many of the things that lived with Kangxi gradually disappeared after his departure, except the clocks. Why did music die and clocks live and thrive in Qing China? Visa Fee for China Clocks were not new to Ming-Qing China; in fact, many argue that Su Song of the Song dynasty invented the world’s first clock, which Joseph Needham called the “striking water-clock” and studied carefully.19 Powered by water and therefore involving human labour, this Chinese invention travelled with Arab merchants to West Asia during Song-Yuan times and onward to Europe, where it was reinvented in a process which Needham has dubbed the “westward flow of techniques”.20 After its transformation in Europe, the clock travelled

18 Igor Kopytoff, “The Cultural Biography of Things: Commoditization as Process”, in The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective, ed. Arjun Appadurai (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), pp. 64–91. 19 Needham, Science and Civilisation in China Volume One Introductory Orientations, pp. 203–204 & 240–243; and Science and Civilisation in China Volume Four: Physics and Physical Technology Part II (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965), pp. 435–545. See also Hudson, Europe and China, p. 257. 20 Needham, Science and Civilisation in China Volume One, pp. 240–243.

cette merveilleuse machine

141

back to China with the Jesuits in the late sixteenth century. Tracing the global footsteps of the clock, beginning with its invention in Song China, would surely be welcomed in this age of global history, but the focus of this chapter will be limited to the introduction— re-introduction to be more precise—of European made clocks to China, and their indigenisation. In so doing, this chapter casts light on the popularity and circulation of clocks in and around the court from the late Ming to the early Qing, and considers their consumption among the urban elite and their indigenization beginning in the mid-Qing.21 The social life of clocks is significant because, like opium smoking, they came to govern the lives and work of many Chinese. The adoption of clocks, hence European time, modernised China and laid the foundation for globalisation. Historians usually attribute the introduction of clocks to Matteo Ricci, but it really began with Michel Ruggieri.22 Ricci joined Alexander Valignano, Michel Ruggieri and Franciscus Pasio in Macao in August 1582; Valignano and Pasio were destined for Japan, Ruggieri and Ricci for China. Francis Xavier had preceded them, but had failed to enter the country and died a miserable death offshore. Ruggieri would be the first missionary to enter China, and Ricci the first to enter Beijing and be received by the Ming court. The men discussed the ways in which they could persuade the local authority to let them enter China and establish a mission, as: “The Viceroy of the Province of Canton is looked upon as one of the influential of his order”.23 The power rested with the Governor-General of the Guangdong-Guangxi provinces, Chen Rui (Ricci spelt it Cinsui), who according to Ricci was “decidedly avaricious and took advantage of the settlement at Macao”.24 Chen had the authority to continuously deny their entry into the Middle Kingdom at his pleasure. The Portuguese authority was summoned by Chen Rui in 1582, and they knew very well they had to bring gifts for the audience. Michel 21 Catherine Pagani, Eastern Magnificence and Europe Ingenuity: Clocks of Late Imperial China (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001); Hou Haozhi, Chuantong yu Chuanxin: Sheng Qing Shiqi zai Hua Xiyang Gongyi Yanjiu (unpublished PhD thesis, Chinese Culture University, Taiwan, 2008). 22 Fang Hao, Zhong Xi Jiaotong Shi, vol. 2, pp. 757–58; Liu Shanling, Xi Yang Feng: Xi Yang Faming zai Zhongguo, p. 218; Wu Boya, Kang Yong Qian San Di yue Xixue Dongjian, pp. 358–59; Tang Kaijian and Huang Chunyan, “Qing Chao Qianqi Xi Yang Zhongbiao de Fangzhi yu Shengchan”, in Xi Xue yu Qingdai Wenhua, pp. 483–524. 23 Ricci, China in the Sixteenth Century, pp. 135–36. 24 Ibid.

142

chapter four

Ruggieri accompanied the first delegation, bearing gifts and novelties “valued in all at more than a thousand gold pieces”, but he could not undertake the second meeting as he was taken ill. Matteo Ricci had just arrived from India, and he “avait apporté avec lui une horloge sonnante”.25 Knowing that Chen Rui liked novelties, Ruggieri asked the delegation to convey to the Governor that “he regretted being detained by his illness, because he had intended to bring with him a certain beautiful little piece of mechanism made of brass that struck the hours without anyone touching it”.26 This ploy worked, as he was invited back immediately: Le vice-roi Tsing-tsai (Tch’en), l’ayant appris, brula de l’envie de posséder cette merveilleuse machine qui marquait si exactement les heures. Il écrivit a Macao au P. Ruggieri, l’invitant a venir le trouver a TCaoking avec l’horloge tant désirée. Le 18 déc. 1582, le Père s’embarqua avec le P. Pasio, un Frère et quelques jeunes Chinois. Arrivés a TCao-king le 27 déc., ils obtinrent la faculté de demeurer au faubourg de l’Est, dans un temple bouddhique. Ce fut la première résidence de la Compagnie sur le continent chinois.27

The Jesuits brought the best of what Europe had to offer at that time in an attempt to impress the Chinese authority, and thereby further their ambitions of turning China into a Catholic kingdom. The Jesuits might have read that the Chinese people practiced filial piety, which would make them excellent Catholics should they be converted. They also found out that the Chinese had perfected the art of bribery—the best and most powerful means to any end, as they themselves were learning. The first European clock to enter China, that “marvellous machine that tells time so exactly”, was a gift to Governor-General Chen Rui. Like today’s visa application fee, it earned the Jesuits a permit to enter China in December 1582. The clock became the Jesuit’s ticket to the city of Zhaoqing, where they established the first Catholic Church beyond Macao. Their strategy, or bribery if we are less generous, worked, and opened the door for the operations of the Jesuits in China, as gifts and novelties like clocks became their ticket to Ming officialdom and ultimately to the court in Beijing. Father Ruggieri was approached again by the GovernorGeneral: “En 1585, le gouverneur des deux Koang reçut l’ordre de 25 26 27

Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Biblographiques, tome 1, pp. 15–21. Ricci, China in the Sixteenth Century, pp. 136–37. Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Biblographiques, tome 1, pp. 15–21.

cette merveilleuse machine

143

Pékin d’acheter des curiosités européennes; et de les expédier a la cour. Il se déchargea sur le P. Ruggieri du soin de faire ces emplettes a Macao”.28 How did the late Ming court find out about European clocks? Did Governor-General Chen Rui send the clock to the Wanli emperor as a present, since scholar-officials and eunuchs alike strove to please him with whatever exotica they could lay their hands on? Regardless, the court obviously liked and wanted European curios, and ordered Chen Rui to procure them; naturally Chen turned to Ruggieri for help. Clocks brought good tidings to the Jesuits, and transformed the order in China into court merchants and artisans, as the Ming and later the Qing court relied on them to mount and adjust the clocks, as well as repair them when the marvellous machines stopped “telling time so exactly”. The Jesuits found a means to the end, but in doing so had doomed their holy enterprise to remain merely, as Florence Hsia has correctly labelled it, a “scientific mission”.29 Did they realise that? Perhaps simply being in China was considered an end. Clocks and European curios helped Ricci make his way from Macao to Zhaoqing and soon Nanjing, where he bestowed gifts on and befriended key officials who promised to take him to Beijing, which they managed on the “twenty-fourth of January, in sixteen hundred and one”. Ricci brought presents, especially clocks, of which he explained to the eunuch who received him: The clocks were the invention of very clever artisans, for indicating the time, by day and by night, without anyone’s assistance, and that they sounded the hours of themselves on bells, and pointed out the divisions of the hours with an indicator . . . . . . . these machines had to be regulated by some one, that this was not a difficult operation, and that the servants could readily learn it in two or three days. All this was reported to His Majesty, who appointed four eunuchs from the College of Mathematicians of the palace, with orders to bring these instruments to his reception room, in three days. ...... The three days assigned for instructions had not passed before the King called for the clocks. They were brought to him at his order and he was so pleased with them that he immediately promoted the eunuchs and raised their wages. This they were delighted to report to the Fathers and particularly so because, from that day on, two of them were permitted to enter the presence of the King, to wind the small clocks, which he 28

Ibid. Florence C. Hsia, Sojourners in a Strange Land: Jesuits and their Scientific Missions in Late Imperial China (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), pp. 23–26 & 112–17. 29

144

chapter four always kept before him, because he liked to look at it and to listen to it ringing the time.30

Like a favourite toy, the clock captivated the Wanli emperor. Mounting, initiating, adjusting and repairing clocks was the reason that Ricci was retained in Beijing, as the Jesuit chronicle acknowledged: Cette circonstance fixa les Pères au palais. Comme il n’y avait personne qui sut les remonter, le premier eunuque vint dire officiellement de la part du monarque, aux deux étrangers, que Sa Majesté verrait avec peine qu’ils quittassent la capitale, et que s’ils le voulaient, il leur serait servi tous les mois une pension pour vive a Pékin.31

This was the start of the Jesuit mission to China, which ended in the “Rites Controversy” as detailed in Chapter Two. With royal patronage, Ricci settled in Beijing. He continued to use clocks and other European curios to dazzle ranking scholar-officials, including Feng Shike (1571 jinshi): I arrived in Beijing where there was a foreign man of religion called Li Mao Du (Matteo Ricci). He gave me a Japanese fan with four folds. You can’t close it with one finger; it’s very light and fans with good breeze. It is firm and refined. He also produced a foreign instrument which is very different from those in China as it uses copper and iron strings to make sound. You don’t use your fingers to rattle but a small piece to produce music. Above all, there is the self-sounding clock. Small like a powder box and exquisitely made, it sounds twelve times a day and every time it sounds differently.32

While Ricci spread the gospel of clocks from Zhaoqing to Nanjing and Beijing, Macao exposed more Chinese to the devices. The city had become both a window to China for the missionaries and a window to Europe for the Chinese. Here Europeans and European goods assembled; they opened the eyes of many who travelled there. A native of Jiangsu (1589 jinshi), Wang Linheng journeyed there for work in 1601 and wrote about his experience in the maritime frontier province. He was very impressed by what he saw:

30

Ricci, China in the Sixteenth Century, pp. 373–75. Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Biblographiques, tome 1, pp. 22–42. 32 Feng Shike, Peng Chuang Xulu (Taibei: Xinxing shuju, 1985), p. 1A. Similar to the Ph.D., Jinshi [進士] is the third and highest degree in the Chinese examination system. See also Spence, The China Helpers, pp. 5–6; and Willard Peterson, “Learning from Heaven: the Introduction of Christianity and other Western Ideas into Late Ming China”, in The Cambridge History of China Volume 7 The Ming Dynasty 1368– 1644 Part 1, pp. 789–839. 31

cette merveilleuse machine

145

The foreigners in Macao, the utensils they use to eat are really exquisite. They also have natural music and natural timers. It is placed within a wooden box where hundreds of pipes and strings are installed. A machine is put to move them. If you move one, all the pipes and strings sound. If you touch one, all sing as well. The music is really harmonious and uplifting. The natural timer is made of copper. It strikes at the first hour after noon and continues at every hour after until midnight. The birds, animals and flowers inside the timer look so vivid and the people are no different than real ones. Liu Tianyu (his colleague) told me that when he went to Macao, the people inside looked so real that he nearly went close to talk to them but stopped when he got very close.33

Wang’s description is crude but extremely informative. Clocks fascinated Governor-General Chen Rui, the Wanli emperor, Feng Shike, Wang Linheng and his colleague Liu Tianyu; they would also fascinate their successors, the Qing emperors and their elite scholar-officials, as timepieces became more available with the arrival of more Jesuits on Chinese soil and more European merchants in Asia. This contributed to the spread and localisation of clocks during the mid-Qing. Aomen Jilue [澳门记略] or A Brief History of Macao describes St. Paul’s Cathedral, of which only the façade still stands today, as a symbol of the once flourishing enclave: The St. Paul’s church in Macao has a plate with the 12 hour timer on it. It sounds/tells time in front of the church; it moves slowly towards the next hour. There are several types of self sounding clocks: one is called table clock, the other hanging clock, the small ones are like silver vessels. They all sound on time. They start from the first hour at night to 12 noon, and then again from the first hour after noon to the twelfth hour at night. They play all sorts of music when they sound, that’s why they are also called music clocks.34

Why were the scholar-officials from the late Ming to the early Qing fascinated with this foreign way of keeping time? Was it its novel nature, curio status, mechanical genius or functional value that captured them? How did the Chinese keep time themselves, given that they invented the clock? Time-keeping is universal; different peoples and cultures found their own ways to keep and tell time, and the Chinese were no exception. While the sound of bells from city gates or

33 Wang Linheng, Yue Jian Bian (4 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1987), vol. 3, p. 92. 34 Yin Guangren and Zhang Rulin, Aomen Jilue, in Ming Qing Shiqi Aomen Wenti Dang’an Wenxian Huibian (6 vols. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1999), vol. 1, p. 306.

146

chapter four

towers told the time, peasants in the countryside measured the height of the sun with such simple tools as bamboo sticks. As a matter of fact, Chinese ways of keeping time had impressed the Jesuit Gabriel de Magaillans (1609–1677). I have quoted his entire description as such detail is hard to find even in Chinese sources: The Chinese have also found out for the regulating and dividing the Quarters of the Night, an Invention becoming the wonderful industry of that Nation. They beat to Powder a certain Wood, after they have peel’d and rasp’d it, of which they make a kind of Past, which they rowl into Ropes and Pastiles of several shapes. Some they make of more costly Materials, as Saunders, Eagle, and other odoriferous Woods, about a finger’s length, which the wealthy sort, and the Men of Learning burn in their chambers. There are others of less value, one, two and three Cubits long, and about the bigness of a Goose Quill, which they burn before their Pagods or Idols. These they make the same use of as of candles to light them from one place to another. They make these Ropes of powder’d Wood of an equal Circumference, by the means of Moulds made on purpose. Then they wind them round at the bottom, lessening the circle at the bottom till they come to be of a Conick figure, which enlarges it self at every Turn, to one, two and three hands breath in Diameter, and sometimes more; and this lasts one, two and three days together, according to the bigness which they allow it. For we find some in their Temples that last ten, twenty or thirty days. These Weeks resemble a Fisher’s Net, or a String wound about a Cone; which they hang up by the Middle, and light at the lower end from whence the Fire winds slowly and insensibly, according to the windings of the string of a powder’d Wood, upon which there are generally five marks to distinguish the five parts of the Watch, or Night. Which manner of measuring Time is so just and certain, that you shall never observe any considerable Mistake. The Learned Men, Travellers, and all Persons that would rise at a precise hour about Business, hang a little weight at the Mark, which shews the Hour when they design to rise, which when the Fire is come to that point, certainly falls into a Copper Bason, that is plac’d underneath, and wakes them with the noise of the fall. This invention supplies the want of our Larum Watches, only with this difference, that this is so plain a thing and so cheap, that one of these Inventions, which will last Four and twenty Hours, (does not) cost above Three pence; whereas Watches that consist of so many wheels and other devices, are so dear, that they are not to be purchas’d but by those that have store of money.35

35 Gabriel de Magaillans, A New History of the Empire of China Containing a Description of the Most Considerable Particulars of that Vast Empire (London: Golden Ball, 1688), pp. 124–26.

cette merveilleuse machine

147

Like the water clock invented by Su Song, this “invention becoming the wonderful industry” of the Chinese, as Magaillans called it, required elaborate human labour. What made European clocks fascinating was the exotic nature of the devices and their self-working elements, such that they did not require manual labour. This mechanical ingenuity was new to the Chinese and made them believe they were magic. Most importantly, they were rare and foreign, a status symbol. They were not just useful but delightful, as they precisely told time by making music. Such foreign objects were hard to find and undoubtedly expensive, a collector’s item from the beginning. Kangxi’s “Discipline Regime”: 金钟预报时 清晨勤政务36 The Ming to Qing transition in 1644 did not end the Jesuit mission, even though there was “no lack of vexations”.37 The Jesuits were lucky that the new, alien, masters of China did not throw them out with the old regime. The Manchus might not have seen Europeans (except the Russians) before, but they appreciated their technical and artistic skills and retained them for good use. The first and most important change for a new regime would be the calendar, as each Mandate of Heaven was believed to ring in a new era. Jean Adam Schall von Bell became so important to the new ruler that the Shunzhi emperor nominated him Vice-president of the Board of Astronomy, which became the monopoly of the order until the last Jesuit astronomer died in 1837.38 The Jesuits became deeply entrenched in the politics and rituals of the new dynasty. If astronomy was the obsession of the first Qing emperor on Chinese soil—since it was his divine duty to get the calendar right—clocks would mesmerize his son and grandsons. Kangxi shared a passion for clocks with his Ming predecessor Wanli: he had them standing and mounted on the walls in the halls where he read court documents, consulted his ministers and gave audiences to foreign dignitaries.

36 Kangxi Emperor, “Yong Zi Ming Zhong”, in Qing Shengzhu Yuzhi Shiwen, compiled by Beijing Gugong Bowuyuan (6 vols. Haikou: Hainan chubanshe, 2000), vol. 1, p. 270. 37 Brockey, Journey to the East, pp. 107–36. 38 Guo Fuxiang & Zuo Yuanbo, Zhongguo Huangdi yu Yangren, pp. 225–33; and Wu Boya, Kang Yong Qian San Di yue Xixue Dongjian, pp. 221–23.

148

chapter four

Kangxi travelled with clocks; they were fitted on the imperial cruiser which carried him down the Grand Canal on his Southern Tours. Wang Yingkui (1683–1759) knew the 1699 tour very well: In the spring of the Kangxi Emperor’s 38th year, His Majesty went on another southern tour. He was returning from Zhejiang and stopped by Suzhou briefly. The story began with the Suzhou scholar Wu Shanlun, who had passed the provincial exam but was not granted the degree on the grounds that he used a fake birthplace. Wu presented a poem to Kangxi who liked it very much and invited him on board the royal barge; he asked Wu to compose another poem dedicated to the three rivers. Wu wrote ‘Green waves and golden rays shine on the cruiser’s window, the Son of Heaven has returned from the country of Yue. Suddenly, the clock began to sound and tell time, it heralds that His Majesty has arrived at Wujiang (Suzhou)’. Kangxi was really pleased with the poem and granted him one of his arrows and asked Wu to come to see him the next day, when he personally bestowed the Provincial Exam degree on him. But the real story was that Wu was at a loss after the first two lines, when suddenly the clock began to strike, which inspired him and helped him to finish the poem brilliantly. Some have called the self-sounding clock ‘life-saving clock’.39

This incredible story was the talk of Suzhou for a long time. It was widely known that on this particular Southern Tour Kangxi would stop in Suzhou, and it was in this city where the scholar named Wu sought justice. He had passed his provincial examination but had been refused the degree, as the provincial authority believed that he had not been honest about his birthplace. Having already had his appeal dismissed, Wu knew that Kangxi’s visit was his last chance to overturn the judgment and obtain his degree. He decided to present a poem to the emperor, a risky business given that Kangxi was surrounded by guards and provincial officials, but luck was on Wu’s side: not only did Kangxi like his poem, he also invited him on board the imperial barge. Naturally, Kangxi asked Wu to compose a poem in his presence. Wu was nervous and got stuck after the first two lines: just when he was at a loss, the barge’s clock began to sound and tell the time, which inspired him to finish the next two sentences just as the clock stopped striking. Kangxi was truly impressed and asked Wu to accompany him the next day. Of course, Wu received his degree from His Majesty, much to the jealousy of the provincial officials who themselves never enjoyed that privilege. What sweet revenge!

39

Wang Yingkui, Liunan Suibi (6 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997), vol. 4, p. 73.

cette merveilleuse machine

149

Why would Kangxi worry about time when he was on holiday, and when he had the power to dictate time as the Son of Heaven? Clocks were a wonder and a novelty that the ordinary people had not heard of, as the story testifies. They were majestic and extraordinary; they signalled imperial power and prestige. Kangxi obviously liked clocks, so much so that he could not bear being away from one, but his addiction to clocks demands a more sophisticated explanation. This ingenious instrument was far more important than other European curios to Kangxi: he liked its mechanical ingenuity, but more importantly he liked the fact that it helped him manage his precious time and affairs. This can be seen from one of his many poems, entitled Song to Self Sounding Clocks [咏自鸣钟]: The rules originally come from Europe [法自西洋始] Smart teaching passed on the knowledge [巧心授受知] The wheels turn as hours and quarters pass [轮行随刻转] Its needles/fingers move minute by minute [表指按分移] This continues when you have gone to sleep [绦帻休催晓] When the golden clock sounds to tell time [金钟预报时] It is morning and time to attend politics [清晨勤政务] And ask whether memorials have arrived [数问奏章迟]40

Kangxi’s poem praises not just the technical ingenuity and precision of clocks, but also their practicality. The entertaining element might have fascinated the Wanli and Shunzhi emperors; but Kangxi found the instruments more useful than did his predecessors, using them to help manage his time and work. He could set a clock so that it woke him up at exactly the time he wished—this was not about saving labour, as the palace was not short of it, but about the emperor’s ability to dictate when he desired to start his day. Most historians agree that Kangxi was a conscientious monarch; he worked very hard and achieved much for the Qing. Without discipline, he could not have accomplished what he did. Discipline came from his determination to rule; it also came from the machinery that told time. The “golden clock” woke him up in the morning. But more importantly it helped him to “attend politics and ask whether memorials have arrived”. Clocks kept Kangxi’s rhythm of life; they helped him manage the empire and his army of officials from daybreak. Clocks gave him one more power—the power to impose imperial rule and watch over his officials.

40 Kangxi Emperor, “Yong Zi Ming Zhong”, in Qing Shengzhu Yuzhi Shiwen, vol. 1, p. 270.

150

chapter four

Clocks became Kangxi’s “discipline regime”, as articulated by Michel Foucault. Time is power, and the most powerful tool for a leader. Kangxi’s passion for and adoption of clocks is consequential. It enhanced the management of the big imperial household, as clocks reminded officials and princes of their duties and eunuchs and maids of their chores. The emperor led by example and ensured that his officials were reminded of their jobs on an hourly basis. Kangxi bestowed clocks upon his favoured Manchu and Mongol princes, Chinese literati and ranking officials, many of whom mentioned the rarity and desirability of clocks in their memoirs. They were very popular and much sought-after in Kangxi’s time: the internal demand for clocks was so great that the emperor established a workshop devoted to the making of clocks inside the walls of the Forbidden City in 1692. This was the famous Clock Workshop, under the direct supervision of the Royal Manufactory in the Imperial Household Department.41 The IHD was in charge of dressing, feeding, housing, transporting and entertaining the imperial family; it produced garments, food, furniture, utensils, carriages, curios and everything the royals desired. An excerpt from the memoir of Alvarez Semedo (1585–1658) seems to suggest that court clock-making had begun even earlier: The workmanship of Europe, which they most admired were our clocks, but now they make of them such as are set upon tables, very good ones, and will be able to do the like in small ones,. . . Notwithstanding in general we do much exceed them in manufactures and mechanick Arts.42

Kangxi’s Clock Workshop collected a large team of artisans, not from China but from Europe. This was noted by Chinese officials like Liu Xianting (1648–1695), who remembered that only the Jesuits knew how to make, mount, adjust and repair the devices.43 This certainly echoes Kangxi’s poem observing how the expertise came from Europe and required “smart teaching”. One of the masters in the Clock Workshop

41

Liu Shanling, Xi Yang Feng: Xi Yang Faming zai Zhongguo, pp. 217–24. See also Yang Boda, Qingdai Guangdong Gong Ping (Hong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, 1987); Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Yuan Ming Yuan (2 vols. Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1991); Zhou Ruchan and Yan Zhong, Jiangning Zhizhao yu Cao Jia (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2006); Wu Meifeng, Sheng Qing Shiqi Jiaju zhi Xingzhi yu Liubian (unpublished PhD thesis, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan, 2004); and Hou Haozhi, Chuantong yu Chuanxin: Sheng Qing Shiqi zai Hua Xiyang Gongyi Yanjiu. 42 Semedo, The History of that Great and Renowned Monarchy of China, p. 27. 43 Liu Xianting, Guang Yang Zaji (5 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997), vol. 3, 141.

cette merveilleuse machine

151

was Gabriel de Magaillans, who so admiringly described the Chinese way of time-keeping, but nonetheless tried to impress the Kangxi emperor with the European way: C’est ainsi qu’un jour il offrit au prince une statue mue par des ressorts intérieurs, qui marchait pendant un quart d’heure, tenant une épée nue de la main droite et un bouclier au bras gauche. Une autre fois, il offrit une horloge, dont le mécanisme était si bien combine, qu’après le son de chaque heure, on entendait chaque fois un nouvel air de musique, suivi d’une décharge de mousqueterie qui allait se perdre dans le lointain.44

A descendant of the legendary Portuguese navigator Magellan, Gabriel had become a clock-maker at the Qing court, and was very good at it. His clock described above sounded a different piece of music for each hour, followed by a diminishing striking sound as if a volley of gunfire was receding into the distance—how imaginative and entertaining! The fun and functional aspects of clocks were fully exposed here, explaining to a great extent why Kangxi and so many others loved them. Magaillans was preceded and succeeded by many other Jesuits who served the Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong emperors, a roster that includes Thomas Pereyra, Pierre Jartoux, Jacques Brocard, Leopold Liebstein, Charles Slaviczek, Valentin Chalier, Gilles Thebault, Michel Benoist, Nicolas-Marie Roy, Pierre-Martial Cibot, JeanMathieu de Ventavon, Hubert de Mericourt and many more.45 Though Men of God, the Qing court better appreciated the Jesuits’ lay skills. Kangxi simply told the Society of Jesus to send more of those with technical skills. Court documents such as Emperor Commented [朱批] show his eagerness: “As for the foreigners, do send those with knowledge and professional skills to Beijing as quickly as possible”.46 He met many upon their arrival and was eager to learn about their knowledge and abilities. This explains the expansion of the Jesuit enterprise during the early Qing, when many came as astronomers, mathematicians, painters, musicians and doctors, and notably clockmakers, who introduced European clock technology to China and trained Chinese clock-makers as described in Kangxi’s poem. What

44

Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Biblographiques, tome 1, pp. 253–54. Ibid., tome 1, p. 384; tome 2, pp. 584, 592, 617, 655, 718–20, 793, 815, 872, 891, 913 & 974. 46 Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan and Guangzhou Liwan Qu Zhengfu, Qinggong Guangzhou Shisan Hang Dang’an Jinxuan, p. 51. See also Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Kangxi Chao Hanwen Zhupi Zouzhe Huibian (8 vols. Beijing: Dang’an chubanshe, 1984), vol. 1, pp. 642–45 & 701–04. 45

152

chapter four

Matteo Ricci started had become an industry within the Qing palace, as the Society continued to supply the most devoted artisans and technicians that Europe had trained. Knowing that Kangxi liked clocks, they became his birthday presents. His sixtieth celebration in 1713 collected so many gifts that his ranking officials compiled the birthday present list into an album that consisted of 120 juan [卷].47 This was indeed the birthday of the century and an international event, attracting not just the usual ManchuMongol elite, Chinese officials, and vassal state dignitaries from around the Asian neighbourhood, but also missionaries and merchants from Russia and Europe. One of the impressive clocks presented was called a “One thousand four hundred forty minute self-sounding clock”, which marked each of the 1440 minutes of the day.48 Some of the clocks were shipped directly from Europe by the cunning officials of Guangdong, some were made in the Clock Workshop or the various Royal Manufactories, and others were presented by the increasing denominations of missionaries and the growing number of European merchants who were knocking on China’s door. Not much of the Kangxi tribute list has survived, according to Yang Boda, onetime Deputy Director of the Palace Museum, one of the few scholars who had access to the Tribute Archive [贡档].49 Was it deliberately destroyed? Is this one of the reasons that led historians to conclude that Kangxi was conscientious and frugal? We know that among the Czar’s gifts to Kangxi delivered by Count Ismailof, who visited in 1720, were “two watches studded with diamonds, a clock in a case of crystal, containing a portrait of the Czar”.50 Below are a few of the many clocks that still stand in Beijing Palace Museum today.51 The first is a gilt-copper watch inlaid on a chariot drawn by an elephant, made in England; the second a pavilion-shaped musical clock inlaid with hawksbill turtle, pastes and silver flower, made in England by Edward Wicksteed; the third a gilt-copper clock decorated with a juvenile gardener, made in England by Marriott (Illustration 4.2).

47

Ma Qi, Wan Shou Sheng Dian (120 vols. Beijing: Guji chubanshe, 1996). It was my colleague Karen Wang who helped me solve the puzzle of 1440. 49 Yang Boda, Qingdai Guangdong Gong Ping, pp. 11–12. 50 Ripa, Memoirs, p. 111–12. 51 Beijing Gugong Bowuyuan, Qinggong Xi Yang Yi Qi, p. 193, item 170, p. 203, item 179, and p. 194, item 171. 48

cette merveilleuse machine

Illustration 4.2

Clocks: Qing Court Collection

153

154

chapter four

Kangxi left his collection to Yongzheng, who reversed some of his father’s policies after he came to power in 1723 and revoked his father’s maritime ban in 1727. He did not inherit his father’s love for European music, but they obviously shared a passion for clocks.52 Like his father, Yongzheng also dedicated poems to clocks, but he was much more interested in the objects themselves rather than their practical values. Many more tribute lists survived from the Yongzheng era, according to Yang Boda; some were called “self-sounding time-reporting clocks”, while others were labelled “music-making clocks”.53 Yongzheng was so besotted with clocks that he turned the small workshop his father had founded into a full-fledged factory. Although his reign was short, this factory and its artisans—both European and increasingly Chinese— would carry the art of clock-making to its zenith under the auspices of his son, the Qianlong emperor. Gilles Thebault was one of the most innovative, as the Jesuit chronicle details: Il construisit un lion automate qui faisait une certaine de pas comme les bêtes ordinaires, et qui cachait dans son sein tous les ressorts qui le faisaient mouvoir. . . . Il construisit aussi un autre lion et un tigre qui marchaient 30 à 40 pas. Ces machines plaisaient singulièrement alors à l’empereur K’ien-long.54

But Thebault had rivals; Jean-Mathieu de Ventavon tried to outdo him: Je suis chargé maintenant de faire deux hommes qui portent un vase de fleurs en marchant. Depuis 8 mois j’y travaille, et il me faudra bien encore un an pour achever l’ouvrage. C’est ce qui m’a donné plusieurs fois l’occasion de voir l’empereur de prés.55

Thebault’s clock featured a lion and tiger that walked 30 to 40 steps, whereas Ventavon came up with two men walking while carrying a vase of flowers. What genius! No wonder Qianlong was pleased. The Jesuits competed with each other to gain the favour of China’s Sun King. Qianlong himself was the biggest collector of all, and many of his artefacts remain in the Palace Museums of Beijing and Taipei, bearing silent testimony to the Qing’s obsession and opulence.56

52 53 54 55 56

Zhang Jiuzhou, Qingdai Huangdi Quwen Yishi, pp. 113–14. Yang Boda, Qingdai Guangdong Gong Ping, pp. 13–14. Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Biblographiques, tome 2, p. 793. Ibid., tome 2, pp. 913–18. Guo Fuxiang and Zuo Yuanbo, Zhongguo Huangdi yu Yangren, pp. 248–54.

cette merveilleuse machine

155

“Outward and Downward Liquidation” 57 Kangxi spread the gospel of clocks; Yongzheng increased their production and Qianlong’s reign saw the “outward and downward liquidation” of time pieces. Clocks were luxuries or collector’s items from the time of their introduction in the late Ming until the mid-eighteenth century, when court production peaked and imports proliferated. Clocks enriched Chinese art connoisseurs and seized the imaginations of the royals and the elite. The ingenuity of the devices fascinated not just the Ming-Qing emperors, but many men of letters who were trained in classics and philosophy. Given that not every European invention or curio survived and thrived in China, it is important to consider what it was about the clock that made it so popular amongst the Chinese. How, in other words, did ordinary urban consumers perceive it and absorb it into their everyday work and life? It is important to understand the indigenisation of foreign goods and objects because, as I have argued in the case of opium smoking, it sheds light on the emergence and development of a new consumer culture that helped shape—some would argue significantly changed—the course of history.58 Various foreign goods and objects led very different lives once they landed in China. What can the “outward and downward liquidation” of clocks tell us about the culture and society of eighteenth century China? “Grandma Liu enters the Rongguo Palace”, a story taken from the biographical fiction Dream of the Red Chamber, written by Cao Xueqin, the grandson of Kangxi’s bond servant Cao Yin, provides a vivid picture: Grandma Liu heard a gedang gedang sound as if someone was beating a drum; she was surprised and looked around. She saw a box hanging in the hall, with something like a weight at the bottom, swinging. Grandma Liu thought to herself: ‘What is this crazy thing and what is it used for?’ Just when she was staring at it and wondering, ‘dang!’, the box sounded, like gold or copper hitting a stone. She was really startled when it stroked again, eight times. She was just about to open her mouth and ask what was happening when all the little maids ran by her and said ‘The Lady is coming soon!’ Zhou Rui and Ping’er (two senior maids) said to her ‘Wait here, we’ll come get you when it’s time’.59

57 Kopytoff, “The Cultural Biography of Things”, in The Social Life of Things, pp. 64–91. 58 Zheng Yangwen, The Social Life of Opium in China. 59 Cao Xueqin, Hong Lou Meng (120 vols. Changsha: Yuelu shushe, 1987), vol. 6, p. 45.

156

chapter four

Although Dream of the Red Chamber was written as fiction, literary scholars and historians agree that this was a fictionalised autobiography of Cao Xueqin (1724–1764?), whose grandfather Cao Yin we have already encountered. I highlight the novel not because of a lack of other sources—there are plenty, from the various archives of the Imperial Household Department to private memoirs—but because it details how the ordinary Chinese who served the Qing elite were exposed to foreign products like clocks, and hence why they became popular, generating demand for such goods in the mid-eighteenth century. The Cao family had much to do with early Qing history. They served in the Qing court as bond-servants before they came to control the royal manufactories in the Jiangnan area. Cao Yin grew up studying and playing with the Kangxi emperor, who remained kind to the Cao family throughout his life. The patriarchs of the Cao clan inherited Cao Yin’s rank and became Heads of the Royal Manufactory in Suzhou and then Jiangning (Nanjing), and Salt Commissioners of the Lianghuai region, an enviable and profitable position. This saw the zenith of the Cao family, as they managed Kangxi’s Southern Tours and married two daughters into the imperial family. Chinese scholars have probed the rise and fall of the clan, whose fame and fortune came to an end after the Yongzheng emperor took the throne in 1723.60 He deprived the Cao patriarchs of their source of power and confiscated their assets. The author Cao Xueqin saw the end of the family’s glory and lived through its decline: his autobiographical fiction tells the rise and fall of the Cao through the eyes of its heir, who would have continued its legacy had it not been for Yongzheng. Although supposedly fictional, experts on the novel agree that the story reflects the real lives of the Cao family, an assertion this volume further supports by examining the foreign goods and objects they came to amass, clocks being a perfect example. Dream of the Red Chamber is one of the most valuable sources on the popularity and early consumption of foreign goods in the early and mid-eighteenth century. Let us return to the comic story in the book: a peasant woman from the countryside went to see her rich relatives in their stately mansion. As she was kept waiting in the reception room, she curiously observed this richly-decorated palatial world she had never before seen. A box hanging on the wall, bearing some sort of weight—the pendulum wall

60 Feng Qiyong, Cao Xueqin Jiashi Xin Kao (Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1980); Spence, Ts’ao Yin and the K’ang-hsi Emperor, pp. 282–94.

cette merveilleuse machine

157

clock—caught her attention, and just as she was staring at this strange object that could move itself, trying to understand what it was, the monster startled and horrified her by making sounds as if someone was striking it. Before she could recover from the shock, the maids who worked around the house suddenly started running about, and assured her that the lady of the house would receive her soon. Grandma Liu did not understand that the striking of the clock was what sent all the maids running, as it reminded them of their duties, and that this was also the time they knew she would be received. “Grandma Liu enters the Rongguo Palace” is a rare comic story in the tragic fictional biography. The story captures the novelty of clocks for country folk and the drama of going to the city, Nanjing in this case, and highlights the gap between urban and rural life in the first half of the eighteenth century, when the novel was written (it is believed that the author died in the 1760s). First, it testifies to the fact that a clock was still a luxury item for the mid-Qing urban elite, as it was completely new to Grandma Liu, a peasant from the nearby countryside. The patriarchs of the Cao family managed the imperial factories for the Qing court in Jiangnan; they received designs and raw materials from the Imperial Household Department and tailored everything according to the specific needs of the imperial family. The Kangxi emperor showered them with gifts, such as clocks, and turned a blind eye to their corruption, for which they were investigated and punished by the Yongzheng emperor. The list of confiscation was long; it included 18 clocks and watches, in addition to many other exotic and expensive foreign goods, which will be discussed in Chapter Six.61 Second, the story tells us that clocks helped the lady of this large household manage her servants and her own affairs, just as the Kangxi emperor used time, marked by his clocks, to check the arrival of memorials and to monitor his officials. Clocks were important, not just to the masters but also to servants, who were reminded of their routines and duties. Clocks were still expensive in the mid-eighteenth century, even though the court factory produced at its peak capacity and more clocks flooded in through trade: one could cost as much as 560 taels of silver.62 This explains why many officials who saw such a device remembered its details vividly. Shen Chu (1735–1799) could not forget what he saw in the palace: 61

Cao Xueqin, Hong Lou Meng, vol. 105, p. 844; Zhou Ruchan & Yan Zhong Jiangning Zhizhao yu Cao Jia, p. 29. 62 Cao Xueqin, Hong Lou Meng, vol. 72, p. 579.

chapter four

158

The Imperial Household has a self sounding clock. The bottom compartment has a copper figure of four to five inches tall, bending on one knee in front of a sand plate. When the clock strikes, the copper figure would hold the brush and write ‘Peace under Heaven’ and he would finish when the clock stops striking.63

I found one in the Beijing collection which is similar to what Shen Chu saw (Illustration 4.3):64

Illustration 4.3

Clock: Foreigner Writing Chinese Character

63 Shen Chu, Xiqing Biji (2 vols. Qinhuangdao: Zhonghua shuju, 1985), vol. 2, pp. 19–20. 64 Guan Xueling & Beijing Gugong Bowuyuan, Zhong Biao: Ni Yinggai Zhidao de Liangbai Jian (Beijing: Zijingchen chubanshe, 2007), pp. 120–121, or item 74.

cette merveilleuse machine

159

An exotic mechanical piece and a rare objet d’art in itself, the device also reports time precisely. In doing so, the figure takes up a pen and writes Chinese characters, an action which finishes promptly when the striking ends. This was not so different from another clock mentioned in Dream of the Red Chamber: “the clock is three feet tall, a child would come out with a card that tells whatever time it was and you see people inside the clock who were working and knocking the time”.65 Such figures and more—some drum-beating, many music-making and others machine-operating—can be found at the Palace Museums in Beijing and Taipei, in private hands, and atop the entrances to old stores, like the one at Fortnum and Mason in London, which still entertains passers-by and tourists today.66 Such pieces can also be found in the catalogue of James Cox, an eighteenth-century British jeweller and clock-maker. His clocks were exquisite and magnificent: item forty-three was “An Automation Playing on a Flute”: The figure is richly habited, seated under a grand pavilion of gold stone and lapis lazuli, supported by silver columns of the Corinthian order; the cornices, mouldings and pilasters, are of the same metal, enrich’d with gold; on the top of this pavilion is a small but elegant temple, containing an eight-day musical clock, terminating with a large extending star, in the centre of which are numbers of smaller vertical stars of jewellery, and a Chinese procession.67

Automation and music-making were dominant features of eighteenthcentury clocks. Cox targeted China, initially the Qing court, as his works sold “at a great price in Canton, from whence they were sent, with the presents annually, to the court of Pekin, from that province”.68 China’s demand for clocks was communicated to clock-makers in Europe, who answered the call and exploited the opportunity. Of the two hundred selected exquisite pieces illustrated in one palace collection (Beijing), 100 were made in England, 52 in China, 31 in France and 20 in Switzerland.69

65

Cao Xueqin, Hong Lou Meng, vol. 92, pp. 747–48. Beijing Gugong Bowuyuan, Qinggong Xi Yang Yi Qi; Guan Xueling & Beijing Gugong Bowuyuan, Zhong Biao. 67 James Cox, A Descriptive Inventory of the Several Exquisite and Magnificent Pieces of Mechanism and Jewellery (London: H. Hart, 1774), p. 50. 68 Ibid. 69 Beijing Gugong Bowuyuan, Gugong Shuochang Zhongbiao (Beijing: Zijingchen chubanshe, 2007), Appendix Two. 66

160

chapter four

European clock-makers produced for the China market, and in the eighteenth century some even went to the country to sell their clocks; more clocks therefore became available. Like opium, maize and the foreign yam, clocks had travelled to the far corners of the Qing empire by the mid-to-late eighteenth century, as we can see from the memoirs and verses of Ji Yun (1724–1805), Qianlong’s one-time favourite scholar-official who was banished to Wulumuqi, capital of Xinjiang or New Dominion, in 1769: Garrison farms and towns gather crowd of people They all show off their talents to making a living Some carry foreign clocks which looked new They could check-fix the nine-layered wheels.70

The lands of Zunghar and Uyghur had finally been conquered by the Qianlong emperor barely ten or so years previous, but already clocks, and even clock-smiths, could be found there. Ji footnoted his own poem in case people didn’t understand the situation: “There are so many migrants here; you can find artisans with all kinds of skills. Those who can fix clocks are really talented, so talented that they can fix everything and anything”. A remote and newly-conquered Qing territory in Central Asia was home to highly skilled clock-smiths, able to impress someone who had worked at the Qianlong court and had access to the best of clocks. Does this indicate the speed of travel, the skills of Chinese artisans, or the calibre of elite exiles who were banished here? Joanna Waley-Cohen has written about the politics of exile during the mid-Qing.71 This remote frontier was equipped with mechanics that could repair clocks, which must have been a comfort for banished officials, like Ji himself, who were addicted to their material possessions. This also indicates the difference between Kangxi and Qianlong’s time, and the watershed in the mid-eighteenth century that saw the “outward and downward liquidation” of clocks. The increasing availability of clocks in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was observed by Zhao Lian (1776–1829), an imperial nobleman: “Recently”, he wrote, “more clocks made in Europe in a genius way arrived from Canton. They are so popular

70

Ji Yun, “Wulumuqi Za Shi”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, eds. Lei Mengshui, et al. (5 vols. Beijing: Guji chubanshe, 1997), vol. 5, p. 3719. 71 Joanna Waley-Cohen, Exile in Mid-Qing China: Banishment to Xinjiang, 1758– 1820 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991).

cette merveilleuse machine

161

that gentlemen fought to buy one and place it at their home as like a toy”.72 A toy it was for many, as Zhao Lian knew, but it was more than just a toy, as it dictated the work and lives of many like himself, even though they might not have realised it. Clocks were quietly changing the mentality of Qing nobles and scholar-officials, even though they might have appreciated their artistic ingenuity more than their utilitarian value. While the ingenuity of the clocks fascinated those with time and money, their usefulness enhanced their popularity, as the powerful could manage those who worked around them in yet another way, as we have seen in the case of Kangxi and the lady of the house in Dream of the Red Chamber. Better management of time could translate into better management of manpower and better profit-making, which is why clocks first thrived among the elite and then continued to filter down the social ladder, ultimately becoming a common commodity once availability was no longer an issue. What made clocks welcome and popular was not merely their exotic nature and mechanical ingenuity, or the fact that they did not require manual labour, but more importantly their intrinsic value, which enhanced existing modes of work and life. Being exotic and a symbol of status is not enough for a foreign product to survive; the European music and instruments that Kangxi liked and collected exemplify this point. The new object and its appreciation and consumption must fit in or improve existing ways of life in order for consumers to appreciate its value, during which process it may well indigenise; the cases of opium, maize, and the foreign yam all testify to that. Even then, its survival still hangs in the balance, as availability and—more importantly—affordability matter a great deal in the process of localisation; more so did the socio-economic environment, such as the population explosion in the case of maize, and consumer culture change in the case of opium smoking. In a vast country like Qing China, it would take time for clocks to spread and for local production to emerge, and it would take even more time for them to become affordable. The 1790s was Qianlong’s last decade, and it witnessed the visit of the first official English embassy to China, led by Lord McCartney. This is the audience hall George Staunton saw in 1793:

72 Zhao Lian, Xiaoting Xulu (5 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1980), vol. 3, pp. 468–69.

162

chapter four This spacious and lightsome hall was well calculated to display the presents nothing being left in it besides the throne, a few great jars of ancient porcelain, and a musical clock, playing twelve old English tunes, and made as was marked upon it, in the beginning of the century by George Clarke, of Leaden hall-street, London.73

The English guests were welcomed by a London-made musical clock playing familiar melodies from their home country; the Qing officials, if not Qianlong himself, were thoughtful, since exhibits and decorations in this hall changed frequently in accordance with different occasions and guests. Like the Jesuits, the Russians and others before them, the English brought clocks as gifts. Ostensibly they came to celebrate Qianlong’s birthday, but their real purpose was to seek commercial favour for themselves. These were two very different objectives, and their combination served to deepen Chinese suspicion. Did they assume that the Qing court and Chinese officials had forgotten about Captain Weddell, who forced his way into the Guangdong estuary in the 1630s, the challenge from George Anson in the 1740s and the character of James Flint in 1750s? First the Embassy had to deal with Qianlong’s favourite minister, He Shen, who played the same role as Cao Yin did to Kangxi. A goodlooking and capable young man, He Shen had a warm relationship with the ageing emperor, and his son married the emperor’s youngest daughter. He had his fingers in many pies, undoubtedly including clocks, and he was eventually investigated and put to death by Qianlong’s son, the Jiaqing emperor, immediately after Qianlong died in 1799. Chinese scholars have argued over the long list of confiscation, but they more or less agree on the number of clocks and watches found in He Shen’s various estates: 10 large clocks, 156 small clocks, 300 table clocks and 280 watches.74 We can only wonder whether any of the McCartney clocks were among them. This is considerably more than the 18 clocks/watches that were confiscated from Cao Yin’s estate back in the 1730s, and serves as evidence of their much wider availability by the late eighteenth century. As will be demonstrated in

73 Sir George Staunton, An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China (3 vols. London: G. Nicol, 1797), vol. 2, p. 301. 74 Feng Zuozhe, He Shen Mi Shi: Tangwu zhi Wang (Changchun: Jilin renmin chubanshe, 1989), pp. 224–29; Yehenana Tuheng, Ju Tan Jianxiang He Shen Quanzhuan (Beijing: Zhongguo renshi chubanshe, 1996), pp. 775–82, 835–37; and Hua Erjia, Qingdai Tanwu Shouhui Da An (Beijing: Qunzhong chubanshe, 2007), pp. 320–45.

cette merveilleuse machine

163

Chapter Six, however, these clocks were only the tip of the iceberg of what He Shen had been able to lay his hands on. More clocks were available by the late eighteenth century, as the functional aspect of this timing device became clearer to many. Following the time became endemic in officialdom, as Shen Chu remembered clearly: “When they went to their offices, all the ministers had watches on them so that they could check time. Prime Minister Yu handed in the memorials before the Emperor’s dinner. He would set his watch beside him so that he wouldn’t be late”.75 It wasn’t just for these obvious practical reasons that the Qing’s ranking officials carried watches, as the following samples that still lie in the Beijing Palace Museum suggest (Illustration 4.4):76

Illustration 4.4

75

Watches: Qing Court Collection

Shen Chu, Xiqing Biji, vol. 2, pp. 19–20. Guan Xueling & Beijing Gugong Bowuyuan, Zhong Biao, p. 214, item 139 made in England; pp. 276–77, item 187 made by Juvenia; pp. 290–91, item 197 made by Frisard. 76

164

chapter four

A peek at their timepiece, whether its decoration was pornographic, sentimental or playful, kept them on time for their work and meetings; more importantly, it amused them and fired their imagination. Clarke Abel, secretary to Lord Amherst, carefully observed the ranking officials who received them in 1816 and 1817: “Fans, pipes, and chopsticks hung by their sides; and English watches in embossed cases, were suspended from many of their girdles”.77 Abel worried that his English readers might not understand this and added a footnote: In every part of China, through which the Embassy passed, watches were considered as objects of the greatest curiosity. The attendants of the embassy were perpetually requested to dispose of theirs. I was not, however, able to ascertain, whether they valued them as markers of time, or simply as curious bauble. . . . There can be no doubt, as far as the experience of the members of Lord Amherst’s Embassy goes, that watches are the most acceptable presents, on a small scale, that can be offered to the Chinese of all ranks.78

Time told by clocks and watches had become the Qing court’s “discipline regime”. What Kangxi began, his grandson Qianlong continued, and the practice would become the norm by Jiaqing’s time (1799– 1819). The clocks that hung in the Forbidden City could be heard from a distance, and served as a reminder to the officials who worked in the vicinity; more so did the watches that hung on their bodies. Like opium, clocks generated enormous profits and became a source of corruption. This was noticed by the East India Company, and they took action in the early nineteenth century: Some years ago immense quantities of clocks, and other valuable pieces of mechanism, were annually imported into Canton; and when they pleased the fancy of the Hoppo, or officer who measured the ship on her arrival, sold at a great profit and the Security Merchants were under the necessity of making him a present of them. This exaction became so great an evil, that representations were sent to Europe, requesting that no more such valuable commodities should be sent in consequence of which, the Court of Directors have prohibited any Commander or Officer from carrying out any clock, or other piece of mechanism, the value of which shall exceed $100.79

77

Clarke Abel, Narrative of a Journey in the Interior of China and of a Voyage to and from that Country in the Years 1816 and 1817 (London: Longman, et al., 1819), p. 82. 78 Ibid. 79 Millburn, Oriental Commerce, vol. 2, p. 479.

cette merveilleuse machine

165

This timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Clocks were popular in eighteenth-century China, and this popularity not only fuelled demand and consumption but also encouraged corruption. Just when the East India Company stopped shipping clocks to China, Zi Ming Zhong Biao Tushuo [自鸣钟表图说] or A Pictorial Explanation of Clocks and Watches, appeared (1809).80 The vacuum left by the Honourable Company would be filled by private traders and Chinese production. This caught up so quickly that John Henry Cox, son of the above-mentioned James Cox who made his fortune in China in the eighteenth century, was bankrupt by the early nineteenth.81 Jiaqing’s reign (1799–1819) was the key to the social life of opium, as I have argued; it was also key to the social life of clocks, and not just because imports declined. This was when private Chinese entrepreneurs emerged to experiment with clock-making; and this was also when court production declined dramatically, as the Jiaqing emperor was not nearly as interested in European objects as his forefathers had been. Both imports and court production dwindled, marking a turning point as the court and upper classes moved onto other statusbearing hobbies and the consumption of urban consumers began to grow. This, once again, is similar to the social life of opium; the popularity of opium smoking among the elite fuelled domestic cultivation by the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. As local brands invaded the market, more clocks were made available to general urban consumers even though foreign brands still, and would always, command higher prices. Court production stopped during the reign of Daoguang (1820–1850), and by the time of the Tongzhi and Guangxu emperors (1861–1908) the Qing court had to take its malfunctioning clocks outside the palace for repairs.82 Clocks did not experience “McDonaldization” in the late Qing as opium did: this would come in the mid-twentieth century, when the People’s Republic of China industrialised and modernised.83 This is one theme of variation in the process of localisation.

80

Xu Caojun, Zi Ming Zhong Biao Tushuo (Songjiang: Xushi kanben, 1807). Michael Greenberg, British Trade and the Opening of China, 1800–1842 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1951), pp. 22–27 and Appendix II. 82 Liu Shanling, Xi Yang Feng: Xi Yang Faming zai Zhongguo, p. 222. 83 George Ritzer, The McDonaldization of Society: an Investigation into the Changing Character of Contemporary Social Life (Newbury Park [CA]: Pine Forge Press, 1993). 81

166

chapter four

The Treaty of Nanking, signed between China and Britain in 1842, opened China to foreign trade and investment, and the following decades saw rapid commercialisation in the Treaty port cities. Clocks became a symbol of urbanity and modernity: many were mounted on large buildings, and like the buildings themselves clocks became part and parcel of a new urban mosaic by the mid-nineteenth century. Old and new, Chinese and foreign, they existed face-to-face and side-byside, competing with and complementing each other. The following two verses captured the sight and sounds of Beijing and Shanghai in the mid-late nineteenth century: To the Capital Buildings stand like a forest layer by layer Gold, misty and shining full of good omens After sounds disappeared and humans settled, All self sounding clocks strike at the same time.84 To Shanghai The big clock shoots into the sky It tells time from morning till night Pedestrians pause against the walls They look-check their watch and time.85

The first verse painted the new urban landscape in the commercial heart of Beijing, whereas the second caught a close-up of a new urban behaviour in cosmopolitan Shanghai. The “big clock”, the Shanghai Maritime Customs clock, still stands today. It even underwent a facelift in time for the Shanghai World Exposition held in the summer of 2010.86 China was a land of low architecture, as noted by the Jesuits and many other foreigners. Clocks stood high to make up the new, and what I call foreign, urban mosaic.87 The tall and imposing Westernstyle buildings stood like a brick forest in the otherwise flat city, when sunshine, dust and mist created an enchanting atmosphere around

84

Yang Jingting, “Dumen Zayong: Da Shala”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 1, p. 187. Yuan Xiangpu, “Fushang Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 2, p. 799. 86 Wen-hsin Yeh, Shanghai Splendor: Economic Sentiments and the Making of Modern Shanghai, 1843–1949 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007), pp. 79–81 & 51–78. 87 Zheng Yangwen, “Qingdai Yanghuo de Liutong yu Chengshi Yang Pinqian de Chuxian”, in Cong Chengshi Kan Zhongguo de Xiandai Xing, eds. Wu Jen-shu, Paul Katz and Lin Meili (Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan jindaishi yanjiusuo, 2010), pp. 37–52. 85

cette merveilleuse machine

167

this new urban landscape. The tranquility of tradition was interrupted by the uproar of modernity. The striking of the hours proclaimed the birth of a new era, where clocks timed human activity and ensured efficiency. For some, this was a picture to the eye and music to the ear; for some, the symbol of a new city; and for others, a reminder as they hurried to the next job or destination; all manifestations of urbanity and modernity. For those city-dwellers who could afford a watch, the clocks were their only means to correct the time before the age of radio, as indicated in the second verse. Clocks regulated city life and urban behaviour, if not yet the whole country. What the Kangxi emperor initiated in the late seventeenth century became a norm by the late nineteenth. The utilitarian aspect of clocks explained why they indigenised in China once technology and supply were no longer issues. The massive advertisement of clocks and watches in the print media from the mid-nineteenth century onwards testifies to the popularity of, and demand for, these instruments, and signalled the arrival of a consumer culture.88 The spread of clocks can be seen extending from the port cities where foreign clocks were sold and Chinese clocks were made. As with the case of opium, this was obvious in Shanghai. The presence of clocks signalled the arrival of a different age, where profit making was measured not only by international standards but also by minutes. They put Shanghai on the map of efficiency and modernity. Opium smoking transformed from luxury into necessity and flourished in China because its consumption fit in with Chinese food culture and ways of leisure. Clocks also transformed from luxury to necessity and became a consumer trend because they enhanced the management of work, life and time.

88 Advertisement of clocks and watches, whether foreign or Chinese made, can be found in almost all major late Qing newspapers. The very first issue of Shen Bao in Shanghai carried such an advertisement in April 1872, as did the very first issue of Da Gong Bao published in Tianjin in June 1902. See Shen Bao, Issue Number 1, Da Qing Tongzhi Shi’er Nian San Yue Ershisan Ri (30 April 1872); Issue Number 2, Da Qing Tongzhi Shi’er Nian San Yue Ershiwu Ri (no Western date listed); Issue Number 44, Da Qing Tongzhi Shi’er Nian Wu Yue Shiwu Ri (ditto); Issue Number 129, Da Qing Tongzhi Shi’er Nian Jiu Yue Ba Ri (ditto); and Issue 205, Da Qing Tongzhi Shi’er Nian Shiyi Yue Ershiliu Ri (ditto). See also Da Gong Bao, Issue Number 1, 17 June 1902 (Guangxu ‘Ershiba Nian Wu Yue Shi’er Hao); Issue Number 5, 21 June 1902 (Guangxu ‘Ershiba Nian Wu Yue Shiliu Hao). See also Huang Zhiwei and Huang Ying, Wei Shiji Daiyan: Zhongguo Jingdai Guanggao (Shanghai: Shiji chuban jituan, 2004), pp. 32–50.

168

chapter four Conclusion

The standardisation of time during the Qing is similar to the standardisation of measures, weights and language during the Qin, the dynasty founded by the First Emperor in BC 221. Clocks standardised the management of time and enforced imperial rule; time was, and still is, the most powerful “discipline regime” of all. European clocks were not only exotic status symbols, but were also ingenious and functional. These properties made timepieces fashionable among the elite from the late sixteenth to the mid-eighteenth centuries, and desirable to all as China rapidly commercialised from the mid-nineteenth century onward. Clocks were agents of change during the Qing; they globalised China, whether the Chinese were aware of it or not, and they set urban China firmly on the path of fundamental socio-economic and cultural change. Where time was power to those who were powerful, time would soon be money to those whose objective was to make profit. Clocks and opium share a similar pattern of indigenisation; they help us mine deep into Ming-Qing court life and long-term socioeconomic and cultural shifts. Royal consumption is key, but not every foreign product that the royals appreciated thrived or even survived in the competitive Chinese consumer culture and society. Popularity translates into demand only when consumption fits in with and enhances existing ways of life, and only when a market begins to emerge. Supply plays a key role from then onwards, as the emergence of retail facilities devoted to consumption signals the “liquidation” of a formerly limited or luxury commodity and thus the arrival of a new consumer trend. Globalisation already started when Kangxi adopted clocks and used them to dictate his work and life, and hence that of the imperial family, his officials and his subjects. Time was, and still is, the biggest globalising force of all, and began to modernise and globalize China long before the words modernisation and globalisation were coined.89

89 P. J. Cain and A. G. Hopkins, British Imperialism: Innovation and Expansion, 1688–1914 (London & New York: Longman, 1993).

CHAPTER FIVE

LES PALAIS EUROPÉENS Jean Walter (1708–1759) arrived in Beijing in 1742, as the French came to dominate the Jesuit ranks in China in the eighteenth century. He made this observation on the Qianlong emperor, who was then in his thirties (b. 1711): Les gouts de ce prince variant, pour ainsi dire, comme les saisons. Il a été pour la musique et pour les jets d’eau, il est aujourd’hui pour les machines et pour les bâtiments. . . . Les mêmes gouts peuvent lui revenir; et nous devons toujours nous tenir sur nos gardes pour n’être pas pris au dépourvu.1

Like Ferdinand Verbiest, Joachim Bouvet and Matteo Ripa, who all wrote about the Kangxi emperor, Jean Walter left us detailed accounts of the Qianlong emperor, whom he came to know better than many Manchus and Chinese due to his service at the court. Qianlong’s amicable personality revived the Jesuits’ hope of restoring their influence after their harsh treatment during the short reign of his father Yongzheng, but they soon realised that Qianlong was not as steadfast as his grandfather Kangxi had been. His tastes changed like the seasons, as Walter put it, and he was unpredictable. This meant that the Jesuits needed to be flexible and always ready for service. Qianlong seemed to have inherited his grandfather’s love for European music and his father’s obsession with clocks. The Jesuit musicians from his grandfather’s time had by then left China or died, so Qianlong had to start from scratch. In 1741 he instructed Zhang Zhao (1691–1745, 1709 jinshi) to look for musicians among the missionaries. A musician and theorist himself, Zhang investigated and reported back: Your humble servant found that those in Beijing who are talented in music are three: one is Pedrini who came in Kangxi’s 49th year; one is Florian Bahr who came in Your Majesty’s 4th year (1739), and the last is Jean Walters who arrived in the tenth month of this year. Don Pedrini is now seventy-one; he worked on Zhonghe Shao Yue and wrote

1

Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Bibliographiques, tome 2, p. 804.

170

chapter five Lu Lu Zheng Yi. He still walks around, makes himself understood and is more sensible than the other two. I have studied his instruments; most of them produce string and wind sounds. I asked him to play, the music is not unique and not as harmonic, it’s more like the popular music, loud and hurried. But Pedrini knows how to play Chinese music with his instruments, with the help of Bahr and Walters, the sound is more harmonic.2

Kangxi’s favourite musician, Pedrini, was still alive: what did Zhang Zhao mean when he wrote that Pedrini “is more sensible” than the other two? Perhaps he thought Pedrini was more sinicised, as he made himself understood and liked, while the other two were new— and therefore raw and foreign—to China. What made Pedrini more special than the new arrivals was that he knew how to play Chinese music. Qianlong not only sought out musicians, he also ordered new instruments to be made. The newly-released Complete Archive of the Royal Manufactory shows that: On the 23rd of Qianlong’s seventh year (1743), the Head of the Storage Bai Shixiu reported that Eunuch Gao Yu handed in: Piba [琵笆] 10 pieces Xuanzi [铉子] 6 pieces Xiao la qin [小拉琴] or small violin 10 pieces Chang la qin [长拉琴] or long violin 1 piece Xi Yang xiao [西洋箫] or European flute big and small 8 pieces Banzhu ban [斑竹板] or mottled bamboo percussions 3 pieces Sheng [笙] 1 piece His Majesty’s order: Ask the Europeans [洋人] to examine them, take them and leave them in Lu Hao Pavilion to be used for teaching the six young eunuchs.3

The presence of violins, European flutes, and bamboo percussions seem to suggest a mixed chamber orchestra, not just a string ensemble, resident at the Qianlong court. A rare drawing (dated 1780s) showcases some of the above-mentioned Chinese instruments (Illustration 5.1):4

2 Yun Lu and Zhang Zhao, Lu Lu Zheng Yi Hou Bian (120 vols. Taibei: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1983), p. 7. See also Tao Yabing, Ming Qing Jian de Zhong Xi Yingyue Jiaoliu, p. 60; and Hummel, Eminent Chinese, pp. 24–25, 285–86. 3 Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Qinggong Zhaoban Chu Dang’an Zonghui (55 vols. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 2005), vol. 11, p. 215. 4 “Seventeen People Performance”, Chinese Collection, Drawings volume 27, number 2, John Rylands Library.

Illustration 5.1

Chinese Orchestra

les palais européens 171

172

chapter five

Piba (played by the first and third players from the left, in the front row) is a Central Asian instrument, similar to the guitar, which came to China via the Silk Road and was sinicised long before the Qing. Xuanzi is unclear, but the name suggests that it was made up of strings and is possibly a type of harp (player standing in the back row on the left). The small violin should be a violin or viola, whereas the long violin was probably a cello. If this was the string ensemble, it included both Eastern and Western instruments. The big European flute may have been the long flute, whereas the sheng (played by the musician standing next to the seated dulcimer player on the right) is a reed-pipe wind instrument used by ethnic minorities in southern China like the Miao and Dong. Jean Walter was often one of the Europeans mentioned in the Archive: he checked the instruments, fine-tuned them and then rejected those that did not produce the right sound. Eunuchs were put to study these instruments, just like during Kangxi’s days. Like Thomas Pereyra and Don Pedrini under Kangxi, Florian Bahr—whom Pfister called an “excellent musicien, et surtout violoniste distingue”—and Jean Walter became Qianlong’s favourite musicians; they were soon joined by Jean Joseph Marie Amiot and Jean Joseph de Grammont.5 The Jesuit chronicle seems to suggest that a choir came into existence, and that Bahr and Walter became their conductors: Sur la demande des Peres de Pékin, le R. P. General lui envoya l’ordré de se rendre en Chine, parce que l’empereur Kien-long désirait posséder plusieurs bons musiciens a sa Cour. Le P. Walter n’arriva a Pékin qu’en 1742, et comme il était très verse dans la musique, il plut au monarque, qui le faisait jouer en sa présence. Il fut charge, avec le P. Bahr, de former au chant et a la musique 18 pages de la Cour.6

What did they sing to please the unpredictable Qianlong, given that this was the age of Vivaldi (Antonio Lucio, 1678–1741) and Handel (George Frideric, 1685–1759)? The eunuchs learnt to play instruments and sing; it is not inconceivable that they also danced. Qianlong also commissioned Pedrini to compile a supplement to The True Doctrines of Music.7 Since the Kangxi-commissioned volume focused on European music, the addition was devoted to Chinese and Asian music. It included court compositions used for such rituals as

5 6 7

Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Bibliographiques, tome 2, p. 749. Ibid., p. 804. Yun Lu and Zhang Zhao, Lu Lu Zheng Yi Hou Bian.

les palais européens

173

imperial commemorations, audiences, banquets and even hunting.8 It also included a study of instruments, music theory and notation systems, in addition to a pictorial illustration of Manchu, Tibet, Uyghur, Mongol and Korean instruments. But Qianlong was soon distracted, as Jean Walters had predicted. His passion for music was displaced by a preoccupation with European architecture, interior design and furniture, as manifested in the construction of Les Palais Européens. Western music would return in the late nineteenth century, but even then its spread was limited, restricted to the urban elite until the 1950s, when the Communist regime promoted Western-style music to spread the gospel of communism. Unlike clocks and opium, but like ballet and oil painting, European music led a very different social life in China and deserves independent study. “A Veritable Paradise on Earth” 9 When the Manchu regime entered Beijing in 1644, they went straight to the Ming palace, the Purple Forbidden City, which would be their home and workplace. Despite its glory, the Forbidden City seemed more like a prison, and it had suffocated many during the Ming. This was even more pronounced for the Manchus, who were used to traversing the wilderness and open spaces of Manchuria on horseback. The claustrophobic atmosphere of imperial palace might explain why Kangxi often went on hunting trips: not solely to renew Manchu skills, as some historians have claimed, but perhaps to escape the suffocating walls of the Forbidden City. As we have seen, Kangxi stumbled upon an old Ming garden during one of his excursions and claimed it for himself as the Garden of Eternal Spring.10 This was his pleasure-palace; he liked the place so much that he built a new palace next to it in 1709. He called the new addition Garden of Perfect Brightness [圆明园], which would become the name of the entire complex, including later additions, even though they all retained their individual names.11

8

Zhu Zaiyu, Lu Lu Zheng Lun (Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1996). Hope Danby, The Garden of Perfect Brightness: the History of the Yuan Ming Yuan and of the Emperors who Lived there (London: Williams and Norgate, 1950), p. 70; Jean Denis Attiret, A Particular Account of the Emperor of China’s Garden near Pekin (London: R. Dodsley, 1752), pp. 6–8. 10 Hummel, Eminent Chinese, p. 330. 11 Guojia Tushu Guan, Yuan Ming Yuan Dang’an Shiliao Congcan (10 vols. Beijing: Xinhua shudian, 2004). 9

chapter five

174

This chapter traces the construction and decoration of the European palaces within the garden. In doing so, it exposes the growth and scale of the Qing monarchs’ appetite for European architecture, interior design and decor. This was a step further than the appreciation of clocks, as it involved the adoption of—or show of enjoying—a European lifestyle, and even mentality. A century of royal fascination with and consumption of European objects would bear consequences not felt until the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which will be discussed in greater detail in Chapters Six and Seven. Matteo Ripa left us a most rare and extremely detailed description of the garden as it was in the 1710s when he worked there, painting, interpreting and waiting on Kangxi until the emperor’s death in 1722: This, as well as the other country residences which I have seen in China, is in a taste quite different from the European; for whereas we seek to exclude nature by art, levelling hills, drying up lakes, felling trees, bringing paths into a straight line, constructing fountains at a great expense, and raising flowers in rows, the Chinese on the contrary, by means of art, endeavour to imitate nature. Thus in these gardens there are labyrinths of artificial hills, intersected with numerous paths and roads, some straight, and others undulating; some in the plain and the valley, others carried over bridges and to the summit of the hills by means of rustic work of stones and shells. The lakes are interspersed with islets upon which small pleasure-houses are constructed, and which are reached by means of boats or bridges. To these houses, when fatigued with fishing, the Emperor retires accompanied by his ladies. The woods contain hares, deer, and game in great numbers and a certain animal resembling the deer, which produces musk. Some of the open spaces are sown with grain and vegetables, and are interspersed with plots of fruit trees and flowers. Wherever a convenient situation offers, lays a house of recreation, or a dwelling for the eunuchs. There is also the seraglio, with a large open space in front, in which once a month a fair is held for the entertainment of the ladies. All the dealers being the eunuchs themselves, who thus dispose of articles of the most valuable and exquisite description.12

Many historians believe that Kangxi was a conscientious and frugal monarch, but Kangxi took great pleasure in his southern tours, indulged very much in women and pampered himself in the Garden of Eternal Spring. His constructions were modest, however, in comparison with those to be undertaken by his son and grandson. He spent

12

Ripa, Memoirs, pp. 62–63.

les palais européens

175

much of his later life in the garden and died there. Yongzheng began expansion immediately after he finished mourning his father, in his second year, 1724.13 He ordered raw materials and set up a Silver Bank [银库] for the expansion of the garden; its first deposit was “three hundred thousand taels” of silver.14 The Bank became the private coffer of Yongzheng and his son Qianlong. If Kangxi treated the garden as a place of leisure, a retreat from politics, Yongzheng moved work and politics into it. He began the construction of the Palace of Grandness and Brightness [正大光明], the political machine where Qing emperors received and entertained ranking officials and foreign dignitaries, including Lord McCartney in 1793.15 He also built the site Nine Prefectures Peaceful and Clear [九洲清晏], the living quarter of the royal family. In the summer, the lakes allowed his family to enjoy boating and sunsets on the water. The garden was a place of fun as well as a place of work for the monarch. The First Emperor and the King of Wu commissioned epic voyages to look for the “Three Celestial Islands” of Penglai, Fangzhang and Yingzhou, but Yongzheng instead simply had them built, in the largest lake, Sea of Happiness [福海], which sits at the heart of the garden, shown below (Illustration 5.2):16

Illustration 5.2

The Three Celestial Islands

13 Fan Wei and Jin Tiemu, Ri Luo Yuan Ming Yuan (Beijing: Dangdai zhongguo chubanshe, 2007), pp. 28–41. 14 Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Yuan Ming Yuan, vol. 1, p. 9. 15 Staunton, An Authentic Account, appendix. 16 Zhang Baocheng & Zhang Enyin, Shiqu de Xianjing Yuan Ming Yuan (Beijing: Lantian chubanshe, 2002), pp. 38 & 40.

176

chapter five

The Manchus carried on the Chinese imperial obsession with, and search for, the celestial islands; the only difference was that they made it accessible. Smarter than their predecessors, they turned legend into reality and lived in it—how brilliant and pragmatic! Yongzheng was indeed a unique character: so different, in fact, that he commissioned a portrait of himself with a wig (Illustration 5.3).17

Illustration 5.3

17

Feng Erkang, Yongzheng Zhuan.

Yongzheng Portrait

les palais européens

177

What persuaded Yongzheng to assume this pose, given that he disliked missionaries? He even ordered a European moustache to be made, and cared for it attentively.18 Jesuit painter Giuseppe Castiglione (1688– 1766) would become significant from now on, as he “fit plusieurs tableaux pour l’empereur Yong-tcheng qui s’en montra reconnaissant et lui fit don de divers présents, mais jamais ne voulut lui parler en personne”.19 Yongzheng liked the Milanese artist and his oil painting, but didn’t want to talk to him, a relationship very different than that which developed between Kangxi and Matteo Ripa, as we have seen. Yongzheng’s fondness for European exotica can be found in five hundred or so tribute lists. Yang Boda noticed a major change; they were listed in the yang huo [洋货] or foreign stuff category rather than under other categories, as was the case during Kangxi’s reign. Yang reproduced the list from Guangdong officials in 1733: Telescope, field glasses, self-sounding clock, self-sounding music clock, foreign jiashilun [珈实伦] dressing table, yidalian [益达联] dressing table, foreign snuff, foreign jiashilun snuff box, yidalian snuff box, foreign agate snuff box, foreign hawksbill turtle shell snuff box, colourful moss agate snuff box, flower design camlet, double sided droguet, flower design flannel and felt, foreign square blanket, foreign blanket, foreign embroidered curtain, foreign embroidered handkerchief, bright foreign writing paper, foreign sandalwood oil/palm, foreign clove oil, foreign white flower oil or analgesic balm.20

Such was the tradition of Guangdong officials who tried to gauge what Yongzheng liked and did their best to procure them. Below is one of the dressing tables, made by James Cox, with a gilt-copper watch on top and a music box below (Illustration 5.4):21

18

Wu Meifeng, Sheng Qing Shiqi Jiaju zhi Xingzhi yu Liubian, p. 175; Li Guorong & Zhang Shucai, Shi Shuo Yongzheng, pp. 32–46. 19 Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Bibliographiques, tome 2, pp. 635–39; Taibei Gugong Bowuyuan, Xin Shijie: Lang Shining yu Qinggong Xi Yang Feng (Taibei: Gugong Bowuyuan, 2007); Liu Lu and Guo Lei, “Shisan Hang Maoyi yu Qing Zhongqi Guangzhi Yishu Ping”, in Xi Xue yu Qingdai Wenhua, pp. 525–36; Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Qinggong Yue Gang Ao Shangmao Dang’an Quanji, pp. 82–85. 20 Yang Boda, Qingdai Guangdong Gong Ping, p. 14. I have not been able, even with the help of Zhuang Jifa, Charles Alymer and a few others, to decipher 珈实伦 and 益达联. 21 Beijing Gugong Bowuyuan, Qinggong Xiyang Yi Qi, p. 202 or item 178; Guan Xueling & Beijing Gugong Bowuyuan, Zhong Biao, p. 188, item 119.

chapter five

178

Illustration 5.4

Dressing Table with Clock and Singsong

Yongzheng died in his beloved garden, just like his father Kangxi. Qianlong finished where his father had left off, completing the forty distinct scenes in 1743, seven years into his reign and the year JeanDenis Attiret (1702–1768), yet another Jesuit painter, arrived. Attiret was so taken by what he saw that he wrote of the imperial palace and garden to M. D’Assaut from Beijing on 1 November, 1743:

les palais européens

179

The Palace is, at least, as big as Dijon; which City I chuse to name to you, because you are so well acquainted with it. This Palace consists of a great Number of different Pieces of Buildings; detach’d from one another, but disposed with a great deal of Symmetry and Beauty. They are separated from one another by vast Courts, Plantations of Trees, and Flower-gardens. The principal Front of all these Buildings shines with Gilding, Varnish-work, and Paintings; and the Inside is furnish’d and adorn’d with all the most beautiful and valuable Things that could be got in China, the Indies, and even from Europe. As for the Pleasure-houses, they are really charming. They stand in a vast Compass of Ground. They have raised Hills, from 20 to 60 Foot high; which form a great Number of Little Valleys between them. The Bottoms of these Valleys are water’d with clear Streams; which run on till they join together, and form larger Pieces of Water and Lakes. They pass these Streams, Lakes, and Rivers, in beautiful and magnificent Boats. I have seen one, in particular, 78 Foot long, and 24 foot broad; with a very handsome House raised upon it. In each of these Valleys, there are Houses about the Banks of the Water, very well disposed: with their different Courts, open and closed Porticos, Parterres, Gardens, and Cascades: which, when view’d all together, have an admirable Effect upon the Eye.22

Like Matteo Ripa, Attiret furnished us with a most rare and complete view of Yuan Ming Yuan in the 1740s.23 John Barrow, member of Lord McCartney’s mission, estimated that it was at least twelve miles long and called it “a delightful place”, whereas George Staunton provided a glimpse of the garden in 1793: The grand and agreeable parts of nature were separated, connected or arranged in so judicious a manner as to compose one whole, in which there is no inconsistency or unmeaning jumble of objects; but such an order and proportion as generally prevail in scenes entirely nature. The Chinese are particularly expert in magnifying the real dimensions of a great piece of land, by a proper disposition of the objects intended to embellish its surface; for this purpose, tall and luxuriant tress of the deepest green were planted in the fore ground, from whence the views was to be taken; whilst those in the distance gradually diminished in size and depth of colouring; and in general the ground was terminated by broken and irregular clumps of trees, whose foliage varied as well by

22 Attiret, A Particular Account, pp. 6–8. See also Danby, The Garden of Perfect Brightness, pp. 69–70; and Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Bibliographiques, tome 2, p. 792. 23 Danby, The Garden of Perfect Brightness; Young-tsu Wong, A Paradise Lost: the Imperial Garden Yuanming Yuan (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2001).

180

chapter five the different species of trees in the group, as by the different times of the year in which they were in vigour.24

Jesuit missionaries and British delegates left us extremely valuable accounts of the garden, which are hard to find today even in Chinese sources. Some believe that it is the greatest imperial garden city ever built, a great synthesis of garden arts, even though others disagree.25 The garden occupied 350 hectares of land.26 It reminded Attiret of the scale of Dijon, a medium-size city in France. The gigantic garden had more than 100 unique sites in the shape of palaces, halls, pavilions, studios, chambers, chapels, cottages, belvederes, porches, gardens, terraces and flower beds, walls and hills. It was home to more than 3000 structures, decorated with thousands of fine art and rare objects, exotic trees and plants, fishes and birds. They were connected by stone or foot bridges, land-boats, man-made hills or islands, galleries, ponds, canals and basilicas. What more could be done to what was already “a veritable paradise on earth”? Little did Attiret know when he wrote the letter in 1743 that he would be summoned by China’s Sun King a year later and given the mighty task of building European Palaces. He would be one of the two chief architects—the other being Giuseppe Castiglione—of what the Jesuits called Les Palais Européens or “Chinese Versailles”. Attiret’s letter is not just valuable to the study of the garden; it would be translated, printed and read by European elites at a time when they were fascinated with Chinese art and architecture, and helped bring Chinoiserie to its full bloom in eighteenth century Europe, as I shall discuss in Chapter Eight.27 To the northeast of this complex, Qianlong would build European palaces on 7 hectares of land.28 Below (Illustration 5.5) is the layout of the entire garden with the Three Celestial Islands (number 35) at the heart of the complex, and the European palaces (number 61) at the northeast corner.29 24

Staunton, An Authentic Account, vol. 2, pp. 306–07. Zhang Baocheng and Zhang Enyin, Shiqu de Xianjing Yuan Ming Yuan, preface; and Young-tsu Wong, A Paradise Lost, p. 16. 26 Zhang Baocheng and Zhang Enyin, Shiqu de Xianjing Yuan Ming Yuan, preface; and Young-tsu Wong, A Paradise Lost, p. 5 Introduction. 27 Gwynne Lewis, “Henri-Leonard Bertin and the Fate of the Bourbon Monarchy: the ‘Chinese Connection’ ”, in Enlightenment and Revolution: Essays in Honour of Norman Hampson, eds. Malcolm Crook, et al. (Aldershot [England] & Burlington [VT]: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 69–90. 28 Young-tsu Wong, Zuixun Shiluo de Yuan Ming Yuan (Taibei: Maitian chubanshe, 2004), p. 89. 29 Zhang Baocheng and Zhang Enyin, Shiqu de Xianjing Yuan Ming Yuan, p. 1. 25

les palais européens

181

Illustration 5.5 Yuan Ming Yuan [圆明园] Layout

Grey indicates water; the garden was built on a water world. Although the Number One History Archive published materials related to the construction of the garden in 1991, many more valuable sources remain scattered around the world. The Copper Engravings of the European Palaces in Yuan Ming Yuan, which I found at the John Rylands Library in 2010, is a perfect example of that.30 Yuan Ming Yuan is central to the story of the Qing from at least two perspectives. First, it points us directly to the maritime world and how it galvanised and facilitated the imperial appetite for everything European; this was the Xi Yang Feng [西洋风], or the Wind of the West, that began to blow from the Qing court. This fascination with things European is significant because it evolved to become a consumer trend

30 Maurice Adam, Yuen Ming Yuen L’Oeuvre Architectrale des Anciens Jesuites au XVIIIe Siecle (Peiping: Imprimerie des Lazaristes, 1936); Michele Perazzoli-t’Serstevens, Le Yuanmingyuan: Jeux D’Eau et Palais European du XVIII Siecle a la Cour de Chine (Paris: Edition Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1988); and Regine Thiriez, Les Palais Europeens du Yuanmingyuan a Travers la Photographie: 1860–1940 (Amsterdan: Gordon and Breach, 1998).

182

chapter five

that, like opium smoking and the adoption of clocks, helped shape the course of Chinese history; the manifold impact of this preoccupation will be examined further in Chapters Six and Seven. Second, the garden and the European palaces, designed by the Jesuits, built with European materials and furnished with European furniture and objets d’art, would be burned by Anglo-French forces in 1860 during the Second Opium War (1856–1860), less than a century after they were completed. The garden, in other words, epitomizes both the Qing’s heyday and its subsequent demise. Its ruins stand today as a site of patriotic education, reminding millions of visitors of China’s ultimately disastrous love affair with Europe. What persuaded Qianlong to build Baroque-style European palaces? Hope Danby points to the Jesuits, with good reason.31 She argues that the answer lies in the scenes that were built on the clocks, in the art presented to and painted for Qianlong, and in the conversations he had with the Jesuits, many of whom tried to influence him and were more than eager to please him. Giuseppe Castiglione and Jean-Denis Attiret were chief among them: “Quand le Frère était à sa toile, l’empereur venait souvent le voir travailler et causait familièrement avec lui. Il restait avec lui des deux heures et plus pour se faire peindre dans diverses positions et en différents costumes: et il retouchait de sa main ce qui ne lui paraissait pas de son goût”.32 Like Yongzheng, who was curious enough to put on a wig, Qianlong had the means to put paintings into reality. Curiosity aside, Qianlong might well have desired to outdo his forefathers; he might even have wanted to show the Jesuits that he could outdo his counterparts in Europe. He certainly achieved this: Louis XIV built but one Chinese-style pleasure pavilion, the Trianon de Porcelaine, which his architects covered with ceramic tiles to give the impression of China. Qianlong could not have undertaken the construction of the “Chinese Versailles” without the help of Attiret and Castiglione.33 Castiglione “fit le dessin de la maison de plaisance de K’ien-long dans le jardin Yuen-ming-yuen, et il en dirigea la construction”.34 Soon Michel 31

Danby, The Garden of Perfect Brightness, p. 99. Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Bibliographiques, tome 2, pp. 787–92. 33 Cecile and Michel Beurdeley, Giuseppi Castiglione: a Jesuit Painter at the Court of the Chinese Emperors (Rutland [Vermont] and Tokyo: E. Tuttle, 1971); Guo Fuxiang & Zuo Yuanbo, Zhongguo Huangdi yu Yangren, pp. 255–58. See also Taibei Gugong Bowuyuan, Xin Shijie: Lang Shining yu Qinggong Xi Yang Feng. 34 Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Bibliographiques, tome 2, p. 638. 32

les palais européens

183

Benoit (1715–1774) was sent in to help with the construction, as he was a mathematician who might have knowledge of hydro-science which could aid in the construction of fountains.35 Many others were also called in: Ignatius Sickelpart, Ferdinando Moggi, Pierre d’Invarville, and Gilles Thebault, to name but a few. The Jesuits designed and supervised the construction of the European palaces, checking every detail from the selection of raw material to the laying of pipe. Acquisition was no small matter: the pipes needed for the fountains, for example, had to be imported. Qianlong turned the Jesuits into architects and hydro-scientists; this proved to be a recipe for disaster toward the end of his reign, once they died or left China. European Palaces [ 西洋楼] The European Palaces or “Chinese Versailles” sits in the northeast corner of the garden (Illustration 5.6): the entire section is devoted to European-style palaces and gardens, although it contains a few Chinese scenes and several Chinese pavilions connected by bamboo bridges.36 This was the most expensive imperial project ever undertaken, as nearly all of the materials and furniture were imported from Europe. It was built and completed from left to the right, in two phases.37

Illustration 5.6

35

Panorama View of the European Palaces

Ibid., pp. 813–20. Jin Shufeng, “Yuan Ming Yuan Xiyang Lou Pingxi”, Yuan Ming Yuan 3, November (1984): 21–24. 37 Zhang Baocheng and Zhang Enyin, Shiqu de Xianjing Yuan Ming Yuan, p. 71. 36

chapter five

184

The first of the European-style palaces built was a three-story Baroque palace supported by Ionic and Corinthian columns. The structure stretched out to the left and right in gallery wings that terminated in a pavilion on both sides. The entire structure was shaped like a half moon, as if to embrace the quadrangle in the middle. The quadrangle was dotted with terraces and fountains, and faced a pond with a water gate to its west. The gate tower looked like a grand entrance, with a clock hanging at the top and water streaming in from below. The only Chinese element was the yellow roof with blue and green tiles. Qianlong was very pleased with his first European palace; he named it Xie Qi Qu [谐奇趣], which literally translates as Harmonious, Exotic, Interesting, because the structure was symmetric, curious and different. An image of it sits at the start of the Copper Engravings of the European Palaces in Yuan Ming Yuan, which I found at the John Rylands Library (Illustration 5.7):38

Illustration 5.7

Harmonious, Exotic, Interesting [谐奇趣]

38 “Harmonious, Exotic, Interesting”, Chinese Collection 457, number 1, John Rylands Library.

les palais européens

185

To the north of this first palatial structure lay the Flower Garden [花园], in the shape of a cross (the work of the Jesuits, whether Qianlong noticed or not), the four sections each covered with small terraces and gardens. To the east stood a zoo stocked with exotic birds. Walking straight north through the square, one would have arrived at Myriad Rows of Flowers [万花阵] or maze. Common to many European gardens, the maze had come to China through the Jesuits. The 1.5 metre high brick wall with elaborate carvings was surrounded by a canal and further encircled by a wall of pine trees. An octagonal open pavilion sat in the centre, providing a vantage point for the emperor to enjoy the view at festival times, when maids and eunuchs navigated the maze holding yellow lanterns, and his ladies and children raced to reach the pavilion where he waited with rewards. The sight of the lanterns and the sound of his women and children pleased Qianlong so much that he wrote many poems to praise such earthly pleasures.39 A gigantic box sat to the north of the maze complex, and an enormous sing-song. Music boxes, like clocks, were another fashionable foreign novelty, and the sound of exotic music must have made the experience of the maze even more exotic. A pagoda stood atop a mound at the north end, as if guarding the entire complex. Completed in 1751, the palace Harmonious, Exotic, Interesting, the Flower Garden and the Myriad Rows of Flowers constituted the first phase of the European palace construction. Fifteen years into his reign, at age 40, Qianlong had just begun. Over the next decade he would build more and grander European palaces and gardens to match his power and glory. The second phase, as he called it, was calculated to be complete in 1760, to help celebrate his fiftieth birthday in 1761; all of it would be put to the torch exactly a century later, during the Second Opium War. The palaces were European in style, so naturally they had to be decorated with European furniture and pictures, objets d’art and curios.40 Qianlong did not spare anything that would please him and his ladies. He even took matters into his own hands, laying down purchase orders for those objects that China could not offer:

39

Beijing Gugong Bowuyuan, Qing Gaozong Yuzhi Shiwen (100 vols. Haikou: Hainan chubanshe, 2000), vol. 1, pp. 14B–15A; vol. 2, pp. 2B–3A/B; vol. 5, p. 15A; vol. 22, pp. 1A–20B; vol. 44, pp. 16A–B; vol. 65, p. 24; vol. 89, p. 294; vol. 90, p. 309. 40 Guojia Tushu Guan, Yuan Ming Yuan Dang’an Shiliao Congbian.

186

chapter five His Majesty’s Order: Ask the Royal Manufactory to prepare a list of European objects, glass mirrors and materials for the construction of water fountains and furniture needed. Ask the Imperial Household Department to give twenty thousand taels of silver to the imperial merchant Fan Qing who should go to procure these European goods. The 15th year of the Qianlong Emperor (1751).41

The Royal Manufactory in the IHD was where many Jesuits had been working, making clocks, instruments and other European items. They would know where European furniture and curios could be found. The Jesuits had been helping procure European goods since 1585, as we have seen in the case of clocks in the previous chapter. The first wave of objects for the European palaces arrived in 1753, a quick turnaround given the distance involved. Qianlong made it clear that European objects should go to the European palaces, and he took pleasure in giving instruction as to where they should be displayed: “Your humble slave reports that the nine consignments of European objects and furniture have been placed in Xie Qi Qu palace. They include European lamps, microscopes, mirrors, awnings, and globes”.42 Chinese lamps and decorations would have looked out of place in a European palace. Likewise, Chinese awnings would not have fit on a European bed, and besides, European awnings were not only novel but also more suggestive. European mirrors, especially full-size ones, were rated highly, since they were made of glass; glass products had been one of China’s major imports since the Han dynasty. A large number of microscopes were imported during the Qing. What were they used for? Judging from where they were placed, it seems they were on display rather than being used for scientific purposes, although we cannot rule this out given the variety of missionaries working around the Qing court. It seems the three emperors liked globes, as they could be found in nearly all the Qing palaces, not just in the garden. What was it about them that pleased the Qing monarchs? Made in Europe, they would not have highlighted the centrality of China. Was it seeing the sheer size of China, which they had managed to conquer, that pleased them? We do know that Kangxi often used it to ask the new Jesuit arrivals to point out where in Europe they came from.

41

Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Yuan Ming Yuan, vol. 2, p. 1655. Ibid., p. 1656. Not much has been written about how European interior design influenced Chinese furniture making. 42

les palais européens

187

Like other European objects, the globes were ultimately just another curio and status symbol. The three emperors showed off their collections of exotic foreigners and the foreign things they possessed to the less worldly Manchu elite, Chinese officials, and more importantly dignitaries from Mongolia, Tibet, Central Asia and Korea. This would not be enough, and as expansion continued, Qianlong instructed his officials in Guangdong in January 1758: There was silver left from last year which was handed over to Yang Xin Dian. Use this silver to buy foreign goods. Don’t buy foreign carpet, wool, gold or silver threads and things made in Guangdong. Only buy clocks, European jewellery, curios, furniture, gold/silver plaited stuff, or new utensils made in Europe. Don’t worry about the price. Ask Yang Xin Dian for more when necessary. Make sure they arrive before the Duanwu Festival (lunar 5 day of fifth month).43

Qianlong made it clear that foreign products made in Guangzhou were not foreign enough; new acquisitions must be genuinely European and made in Europe. He was not concerned with prices and he was clear that they must arrive in time for the important festival in early summer when he gathered and entertained family, Manchu elite, ranking officials and foreign dignitaries—an opportunity to show off, one art that Qianlong had come to perfect. This was an important year, as the emperor’s generals managed to finally subdue the Uyghurs and brought him a most fitting gift, the so-called Fragrant Consort [香妃], whom I shall describe further in the next section. The European palaces were the destination for expensive European furniture and objects, including sofas made by Henry James Cox for the Qing emperor; he boasts of his illustrious customer in the description of item 48, “A Superb Sopha”: It is finely carv’d and richly gilt, and besides being embellished with a variety of the most capital ornaments, is decorated with convex and other mirrors, in frames of gold, both in front and at the sides. The seats and bolsters are of crimson velvet, embroidered with gold. On the top stands a peacock, in all the beauty of the most exquisite plumage, and the eye of every feather is form’d by a small concave mirror, which has a most pleasing effect. Under the peacock is a temple of christal, wherein is placed a pine-apple in a golden basket. At the sides are pedestals supporting pots of Hesperian fruit, with enamell’d leaves. This sopha, if we

43 Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan & Guangzhou Liwan Qu Zhengfu, Qinggong Guangzhou Shisan Hang Dang’an Jinxuan, p. 109 or number 39.

188

chapter five except its companion, is supposed to be the richest and most magnificent ever completed; it was intended for the Emperor of China, and, by direction, made sufficiently deep for two persons to rest upon.44

The sofa was a great addition to the Qing palaces and imperial interiors. It filled the gap between the chair and the bed, or kang [炕] in northern China. It was a perfect solution to a situation where one is neither sitting nor lying down, and where one can be both formal and relaxed. Like European music and instruments, sofas would disappear with the Qianlong emperor and return in the late nineteenth century with the re-opening of China, when it would become an indicator of a westernising urban household with modern taste. China would come to produce its own sofas, and the piece is now a necessity in ordinary households. Like clocks, the sofa influenced—if not revolutionized— Chinese interior design, and made an impact on domestic life, which was traditionally based on hierarchy and which prioritised family and gender separation. The story of sofas reinforces the argument advanced throughout this volume, that foreign stuff had to fit in with, or enhance, the existing way of life in order for it to be welcomed in China. What would the social life of sofas in China tell us? Although Ming-Qing furniture has attracted much attention in recent years, no scholar has written about the introduction, gradual hybridization and indigenisation of European furniture, let alone their influence on interior design, domestic life and social change.45 How much European furniture and objets d’art did Qianlong manage to amass? Jesuit Francois Bourgeois (1723–1792) saw the variety of foreign objects in the garden’s various palaces and halls: The European palaces contain only ornaments and furniture. It is unbelievable how rich the sovereign is in curiosities and magnificent objects of all kinds from the Occident. You ask me if the Emperor has any Venetian and French glass? Thirty years ago he already had so many pieces that, not knowing where to put them, he had a quantity of the first quality broken up to make window-panes for his European palaces. In the hall which he had made for the tapestries of the manufacture of Gobelins, which the French court sent in 1767, there are many pier glasses. You see this hall, seventy feet long and of good width proportionally, is so full of machines that one can scarcely move in it. Some

44

Cox, A Descriptive Inventory, pp. 61–62. A recent Ph.D thesis from Taiwan dealt with the screen, mirror and dressing table, but not sofa. See Wu Meifeng, Sheng Qing Shiqi Jiaju zhi Xingzhi yu Liubian. 45

les palais européens

189

of the machines have cost two or three hundred thousand francs, for the work in them is exquisite and they are enriched with innumerable precious stone.46

By the time Francois Bourgeois arrived in Beijing in 1767 (where he died in 1792), the European palaces had become overcrowded with the most expensive and splendid objects from Europe. Bourgeois would play a central role in the construction and maintenance of the water fountains after Attiret died, and was granted free access to all the palaces as he laid the pipes. His claim is substantiated by the two volumes published by the Number One History Archive and the work of Yang Boda, who tells us that the tribute lists in Qianlong’s reign numbered tens of thousands and are impossible to exhaust without extensive research. He listed some of the most important tribute items destined for the Qianlong court and garden, including “foreign guns”, “foreign moving bed”, “foreign diamond push clock”, and “foreign smoke”.47 The “foreign moving bed” is puzzling; so is the “foreign smoke”, which could mean tobacco, snuff or even opium. Much of the furniture and objects were imported directly from Europe; some were made in the Royal Manufactories under the supervision of the Jesuits; some came from the various missionaries and East India Companies; and others from officials in Guangdong who procured them from abroad. Qianlong took great pleasure in dictating where the foreign objects and furniture should be placed, especially at important occasions. As we saw at the end of the previous chapter, he ordered a musical clock playing twelve old English tunes, made by George Clarke of Leadenhall-street, London, to be placed in the audience hall for Lord McCartney in 1793. Precisely a year later, he issued another order for the visit of the Dutch embassy: “Put the globe and other English gifts in the Palace of Grandness and Brightness of Yuan Ming Yuan”.48 Did Qianlong want to show the Dutch that he already possessed the best Europe could offer, or was he trying to play them against each other? Qianlong did not hide his interest in and possession of things European, but he deprecated them in his letter to King George III, which sounds very different from what he was thinking and doing:49

46 Danby, The Garden of Perfect Brightness, pp. 106–07; and Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Bibliographiques, tome 2, pp. 926–46. 47 Yang Boda, Qingdai Guangdong Gong Ping, pp. 15–18. 48 Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Yuan Ming Yuan, vol. 2, p. 1669. 49 Wu Boya, Kang Yong Qian San Di yu Xixue Dongjian, pp. 461–62.

190

chapter five Swaying the wide world, I have but one aim in view, namely, to maintain a perfect governance and to fulfil the duties of the State: strange and costly objects do not interest me. If I have commanded that the tribute offerings sent by you, O King, are to be accepted, this was solely in consideration for the spirit which prompted you to dispatch them from afar. Our dynasty’s majestic virtue has penetrated unto every country under Heaven, and Kings of all nations have offered their costly tribute by land and sea. As your Ambassador can see for himself, we possess all things. I set no value on objects strange or ingenious, and have no use for your country’s manufactures. This then is my answer to your request to appoint a representative at my Court, a request contrary to our dynastic usage, which would only result in inconvenience to yourself. . . .50

What contradiction between rhetoric and reality, as we have seen so far. The matter of fact was that China did not “possess all things”, and Qianlong himself set great “value on objects strange or ingenious”. “Strange and costly objects” had surrounded and interested him since he was born, yet he sought more of, and found great use for, England’s “manufactures”, which by this time extended to wool, replacing animal skins in the making of many items, especially imperial robes, chairs and coaches. “We must examine Chinese acts rather than Chinese words”, Joanna Waley-Cohen has cautioned us, and as I demonstrate in the case of opium.51 There are certainly more “acts” we need to examine in order to learn more about Qianlong, and how European objects made possible by maritime trade defined Qing court life. Did the few Jesuits who were still present help translate this famous letter, as had been their monopoly? What did they think when they turned Chinese words into English sentences—or were they responsible for making the letter sound this way, since no Chinese official would have been able to check whether anything was lost in translation? Big Water Magic [大水法]52 The second phase of construction extended eastward from the Flower Garden, through a gate which opened to a small pond that led to two small bridges, one of them zig-zagging towards a pavilion facing a 50 E. Backhouse and J. O. P. Bland, Annals and Memoirs of the Court of Peking (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1914), pp. 322–31. 51 Joanne Waley-Cohen, The Sextants of Beijing (New York: Norton, 1999), p. 4; Zheng Yangwen, The Social Life of Opium in China, pp. 71–86. 52 Wu Boya, Kang Yong Qian San Di yu Xixue Dongjian, p. 438; Guo Fuxiang & Zuo Yuanbo, Zhongguo Huangdi yu Yangren, pp. 255–58.

les palais européens

191

building called Look Abroad Hall [方外观]. Facing south, in accordance with Chinese fengshui [风水] or geomancy, the Hall was a handsome two-story palace built on a raised marble platform and flanked by two staircases ascending to the second floor. The elaborate carving on the door, windows and steps demonstrated the labour and care put into its construction and the importance of the future resident. The front door opened to a main marble pathway flanked by a multitude of terraced flower beds, which led to the bridge over the canal mentioned above; beyond stood five bamboo pavilions, joined by galleries. Common in southern China due to the watery geography, this cluster of bamboo structures showcased the effort to integrate Chinese landscape art. The canal was home to tens of thousands of exotic fishes from southern China,53 whereas the pavilion garden collected the most exotic plants and flowers from Southeast Asia, Siam in particular: “His Majesty Order: Ministry of Rites sent 19 tribute items from Siam: there are nineteen kinds of fruit and plants, totalling ninety bushes in twenty different pots. Siam also sent rice plants, put some of them in the garden. Carefully cultivate it and report back to me”.54 The record does not give any hint as to what kind of fruits and plants they were. How did these exotic tropical fruits and plants survive in north China? Why were the Siamese so friendly to China? Was it still about the rice that Siam needed China to buy, or the menace from Burma? What ensured the fame of Look Abroad Hall was neither the way the European structure was integrated with Chinese pavilions and landscape, nor the juxtaposition of exotic fish from southern China and tropical plants and flowers from Southeast Asia. Rather, it was the palace resident, Rong Fei (1734–1788), known popularly as the Fragrant Consort, who has become a legend and inspired much study.55 A beautiful captive from the Uyghur campaigns, who supposedly exuded a unique and captivating natural fragrance, she was a gift to the Qianlong emperor, who liked her so much that he made her an Imperial Consort. Qianlong’s new captive was a Muslim and said her prayers in the palace where she lived; the building served as a mosque too. Qianlong tried very hard to make her happy, as evidenced by other 53

Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Yuan Ming Yuan, vol. 1, p. 43. Ibid., vol. 1, pp. 10–11. 55 Li Jingping, Qianlong Wangchao Zhen Xiang (Beijing: Nongcun duwu chubanshe, 2003), pp. 302–06; Yu Shanpu, Qianlong Huangdi yu Xiang Fei (Nanjing: Jiangsu jiaoyu chubanshe, 2006), 32–177. 54

192

chapter five

vistas built after her arrival. The Uyghur native was surrounded by circling canals that took her to terraced promenades for walks, to the five bamboo pavilions for tea or rests, and the ponds on both sides that featured so many fishes and plants she had never seen before. When the Fragrant Consort opened her door and walked left, she stood in front of the biggest and most impressive palace in the European complex. This was the renowned Hall of Peaceful Seas [海晏堂], which the Jesuits compared to the Court of Honour at Versailles. It consisted of four connected palatial structures, with entrance foyers on all four sides opening to large squares dotted with water fountains among gardens. The west side featured zigzagging staircases that ascended to the entrance, which was distinguished by possibly the most elaborate water fountain ever built to that point. Michel Benoit worked hard on its construction: L’essai du P. Benoit eut un succès complet. Cette eau jaillissante, dont l’art n’était pas encore connu a la Chine, excita les applaudissements de l’empereur et de sa Cour. Ce prince, peu de temps âpres, fit bâtir, dans l’immense enceinte de ses jardins, quelques palais à l’européenne. Il désira qu’on y prodiguât les décorations hydrauliques, et chargea le P. Benoit de leur direction. Ces travaux occupèrent le missionnaire français pendant plusieurs années, et il finit par déployer dans leur exécution les plus rares talents. Tout ce que l’hydraulique a de plus ingénieux dans ses combinaisons, de plus varie et de plus agréable dans ses formes, fut réuni pour l’embellissement de ces maisons impériales. Parmi les nombreuses scènes d’eaux jaillissantes qu’on y voit, on distingue celle de la Guerre des Animaux, du Cerf aux abois, poursuivi par des chiens, et l’Horloge d’eau. Cette dernière consiste en 12 animaux différents qui représentent les 12 heures du jour chez les Chinois. Le P. Benoit imagina de réunir ces 12 animaux sur les deux côtes d’un vaste bassin triangulaire, et d’en composer une horloge perpétuelle. Ces animaux marquent la division du jour entier en lançant chacun par la gueule, successivement et pendant une heure chinoise, des gerbes d’eau qui retombent paraboliquement au centre du bassin. Une machine immense formait un château d’eau ou réservoir, capable de fournir abondamment de l’eau a tous les jardins de l’empereur. Toutes les conduites d’eau de cette machine sont en cuivre, et les principales sont de la grosseur du corps d’un homme. Ce magnifique travail aurait suffi, en Europe, pour procurer une réputation brillante a son auteur.56

56

Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Bibliographiques, tome 2, p. 815.

les palais européens

193

Benoit poured his heart and mind into the fountain work, knowing that it pleased the Qianlong emperor. The two layered basins in front of the west entrance were flanked by marble carved stairs that led to the grand foyer, where two dolphins and two lions greeted guests. They spouted water into the top basin, from where it poured down like a miniature waterfall into a lower basin flanked by twelve Chinese zodiac animals: the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Hare, Dragon, Serpent, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Cock, Dog and Boar. These aminals marked the passing hours in turn by spouting into the fountain. The railing of the stairs was also fitted with small jets; one can only imagine the dancing and shimmering water cascades at noon, when all the fountains sprang into action. An image of the Hall of Peaceful Seas is found among the Copper Engravings, and the animals are apparent on both sides of the lower basin of the large complex (Illustration 5.8).57

Illustration 5.8

Hall of Peaceful Seas [海晏堂]

57 “Hall of Peaceful Seas”, Chinese Collection 457, number 10, John Rylands Library.

194

chapter five

This combination of Western technology and Chinese culture pleased Qianlong, as we can see from his poems. Qianlong dedicated many verses to the garden, some on the subject of water fountain: Connect house and pavilion following European style Thus continuing the example of my grandfather Kangxi Collecting waters to make them fly and flow The copper painting makes it look even more refined They travel through the stone so they come cool Tens of thousands of white raindrops fly like pearls Skillful work of artisanship from those afar The picture makes the structure gold-plait.58

Qianlong was afraid that his readers might not understand what the water fountain was about, since it was completely new to China; he wrote a short preface to explain this European water technology: Using European water technology to escort water into the reservoir, it can move the fan; it is cool and serene even though it is neither silk nor bamboo: from far and near, they fly and shine. Li Daoyuan once said: ‘To have the heart of bamboo and pine, it connects you with the spiritual. The depth of one’s wisdom and benevolence are as deep as the mountains and waters’. This is really like that.59

How can we explain Qianlong’s fixation with shui fa [水法] or water magic? His new taste can help us better comprehend the Ming-Qing fascination with what Europe had to offer in general, and water fountains in particular. The Chinese tradition of water management, epitomised by Da Yu and Li Bing, was devoted to perfecting the rerouting of flows from higher to lower ground. This law of nature, which no one can alter, is particularly emphasised in Chinese garden art, which aims to “imitate nature”.60 In other words, man-made water projects were synchronized with the environment. Projecting water into the air with a mechanism to control not only its volume but also its shape was something new and unprecedented; water fountains presented something completely different—water under human control, with the help of “European water technology”, in Qianlong’s own words. Europe

58 Qianlong Emperor, “Guan Xie Qi Qu Shui Fa”, in Yuan Ming Yuan Ziliao Ji (Beijing: Shumu wenxian chubanshe, 1984), p. 349. See also Wu Boya, Kang Yong Qian San Di yu Xixue Dongjian, p. 438; and Guo Dianhuan, Qianlong Yu Ping Yuan Ming Yuan (Hangzhou: Zhejiang guji chubanshe, 2007). 59 Qianlong Emperor, “Guan Xie Qi Qu Shui Fa”, in Yuan Ming Yuan Ziliao Ji, p. 349. See also Fang Hao, Zhong Xi Jiaotong Shi, vol. 2, p. 944. 60 Ripa, Memoirs, pp. 62–63.

les palais européens

195

mastered the use of science and machines to manage water—and clocks, as we have seen—and with this they impressed the Ming-Qing emperors and elite. China’s lack of science and innovation was noticed by many Jesuits such as Alvarez Semedo: “Notwithstanding in general we do much exceed them in manufactures and mechanick Arts”.61 Qianlong’s appetite for water magic did not stop there. If the fountain work on the west side of the Hall of Peaceful Seas dazzled the Fragrant Consort, what lay to the east of the hall must have blinded her. The hall’s front opened to a gigantic water fountain composite, which Qianlong simply called Da Shui Fa [大水法], or Big Water Magic. Modelled after St. Cloud in Versailles, a pool sat in the centre of the fountain square, where statues depicted a deer surrounded by 12 dogs; all were fitted with jets. When the dogs spouted water, it appeared as if they were baying at and chasing after the deer, reflecting the important Manchu ritual of deer hunting. Two pyramids of carved stone stood to the east and west of the pool, with two nine-story pine trees between them; each structure was furnished with a level of thirty jets, surrounded by another of eight larger jets. Two similar but smaller pyramids stood a bit further off, with more jets hidden among the rocks. One can imagine the cloud of water that filled the sky when all the jets were activated: below is an image of the Big Water Magic found among the Copper Engravings (Illustration 5.9).62

Illustration 5.9 61 62

Big Water Magic [大水法]

Semedo, The History of that Great and Renowned Monarchy of China, p. 27. “Big Water Magic”, Chinese Collection 457, number 15, John Rylands Library.

196

chapter five

This was the grandest and most elaborate water work within the garden, and the emperor could admire it from his perch on an elevated dragon seat, built on a raised marble platform flanked by a dragon screen with intricate carving. This seat gave the Son of Heaven the best view when the jets were at work. Francois Bourgeois observed the sight: One group has jets of water arranged most artistically, and one represents a kind of combat between fishes, birds and animals of all kinds, that are in the pool, on its borders and on the top of rocks, placed seemingly haphazard and forming a semi-circle; and it is really the lovelier because it is rustic and wild-looking.63

But there were serious problems, as this contraption was designed and built by missionaries, not architects and engineers. Michel Benoit himself was aware of the shortcomings, writing before his death in Beijing in 1774: I am again occupied in making hydraulic machines for the Emperor. We are actually putting them in the interior of the palace, and must take the water around the throne of the Prince by different ways and in marble conduits. All that is made in Europe of lead or iron or even wood is here made of copper. That which costs in France but ten pistols, costs the Emperor ten thousand pounds. You can judge the expense, but because of the too hasty execution of the work, one cannot guarantee its solidity.64

Benoit’s worries proved well-founded, because the fountain broke down after he died and nobody knew how to repair it. The Chinese technicians who worked with him never learned its technology. Why not? Kangxi had made sure that his artisans learned the science of clock-making from the Jesuits through “smart teaching”. Why didn’t Qianlong make sure that his architects and engineers mastered the science of fountain-making, given how important this was to him? This omission certainly says much about the emperor. Nevertheless, Qianlong made sure that the fountains continued to flow. Francois Bourgeois knew how this was made possible, as he detailed in a letter he wrote to M. de Latour in 1786: You wish to know if the lovely gushing fountains of the Yuan Ming Yuan Park still function, and if, since the death of Father Benoit, we 63 64

Danby, The Garden of Perfect Brightness, p. 107. Ibid., p. 109.

les palais européens

197

have missionaries capable of preparing the conduits, etc. The machinery to raise the water to the hall, constructed by Father Benoit, is in truth worn out or damaged. They did not try to repair it, and the Chinese, who do not easily abandon their ancient ways, promptly reasserted them; that is to say, by the use of their arms. There is, in this country, a political system to employ the prodigious multitude and to allow the people to live; to them idleness is dangerous. For example, they know when the Emperor is going to the quarter of the European buildings, and two or three days previously they employ a great many men to carry as much water as is necessary to the immense tank in the Water-castle to fill it, and the fountains then play for the Emperor’s passing.65

The Hall of Peaceful Seas may have externally resembled the Court of Honour in Versailles, but was actually a reservoir providing water to the multitude of fountains it supported. After Benoit’s death, this was filled by buckets carried by hundreds of soldiers and labourers for days before the water fountain could display its magic. Qianlong spent millions on Big Water Magic, which never really quite worked. This must have been one of Qianlong’s favourite places, as he built yet another palace behind the Dragon Seat. View of Distant Lake [远瀛观] was a two-story building supported by carved columns and guarded by two lions at the front entrance, another example of the fusion of European and Chinese architecture. It was composed of main, east and west wings, with a clock fitted atop each. It faced a pond and courtyard dotted with rock gardens, marble pathways, layered terraces and tree-lined paths. Tucked away behind the Big Water Magic, this handsome structure projected a serene and even mysterious air, and served as a place of rest for Qianlong when he was out and about; it also became the hideout of the Fragrant Consort. The main entrance opened to a hall of mirrors, a replica of the famous room at Versailles, with a Dragon throne in the centre. A picture of this hall survived into the early twentieth century according to Hope Danby, who saw it hanging in the reception room of the Bishop of Bei Tang in Beijing (Lazarist Mission). Danby described it as “a large room of splendid proportions with the throne and its protecting screen” and “bright scarlet curtains on either side”.66 Except for the porcelain on

65 66

Ibid. Ibid., 106.

198

chapter five

the shelves, the furniture and other decorations were all European, and housed the priceless Gobelins tapestries sent by the French King. The Fragrant Consort was a trophy; the Gate of Triumphant Return [凯旋门] that stood to the east of the Big Water Magic was another. The gate opened to another site, Line Method Hill [线法山].67 This was a gradually elevated hill culminating in a dome, upon which a pavilion stood high. Visitors could ride up the hill on a clear day, the steadily graduated ascent allowing them a clear and varying overview of the surroundings as they circled up. A notable sight was the Square River [方河]: 130 metres long and 40 metres wide, the Square River looked more like a pond, and if the Fragrant Consort looked across, she could seemingly make out her faraway hometown of Aksou, where bazaars, shops and mosques lined the streets and the majestic Tian Shan range loomed in the distance. Far enough away to give the impression of her Central Asian homeland, if she had approached she would have seen that the town and scenery was a layered cluster of painted walls—a large trompe l’œil. Qianlong tried very hard to make her feel at home. Was the Fragrant Consort the reason for the second phase of the “Chinese Versailles”, given that two palaces—Look Abroad Hall and View of Distant Lake—and two sites—Line Method Hill and Square River—were seemingly created for her use? What could be more exotic than a Muslim town, built for the comfort of a Uyghur captive turned Manchu Imperial Consort, who lived in Jesuit-designed European palaces decorated with European furniture and filled with exotic flora from Southeast Asia, in the midst of the Chinese imperial palace? Qianlong was indeed a “Man of the World”, as Mark Elliot has labelled him.68 He made sure he would go down in history as the “Son of Heaven Rarely Seen Since Antiquity”, in European style, thanks to the Jesuits at his disposal. Castiglione helped him: “Il peignait encore, en 1762, plusieurs des grandes toiles qui représentent les victoires de K’ien-long sur les Tartares-Eleuths; les autres peintres furent le P. Sichelbart, le Fr. Attiret et le P. Jean-Damascene”.69 These were victories that his

67

Danby, The Garden of Perfect Brightness, p. 108. Mark C. Elliott, Emperor Qianlong: Son of Heaven, Man of the World (New York: Longman, 2009). 69 Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Bibliographiques, tome 2, p. 638. 68

les palais européens

199

European counterparts could only dream of.70 Qianlong ordered Copper Engravings of the garden in French style “en juin 1789: vingt grandes estampes des palais européens de Yuen-ming-yuen, gravées sur cuivre par ‘deus ou trois Chinois de génie’, tapisseries des Gobelins imitées a Sou-tcheou”.71 How much did the garden in general, and the European palaces in particular, cost? No scholar of China has ever calculated how much silver (also brought in by the Europeans through maritime trade) was spent on building the imperial complex. Although the Monthly Register has recently been opened up, an examination of the manuscripts to calculate the amount of silver that went into the Silver Bank and how it was spent will require a tremendous amount of research. Even then, as I have found, numbers often may not add up simply because the funds went through different people who, like Cao Yin and He Shen, laid their hands on it, and no audits were known to have taken place. We can, however, get a glimpse of the situation from published court documents. Not only did the three emperors, Qianlong in particular, justify the expenditure, but he also found ways to replenish the garden’s Silver Bank: To follow Your Majesty’s order: Liang Huai salt merchant Cheng Kezheng donated one million (1,000,000) taels of silver, from which two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) has been transferred to the Silver Bank of Yuan Ming Yuan (The 21st year of the Qianlong Emperor or 1757).72 To follow Your Majesty’s order: Liang Hui salt merchant Huang Yuande donated one million (1,000,000) taels of silver, from which three hundred thousand (300,000) has been transferred to the Silver Bank of Yuan Ming Yuan (The 22nd year of the Qianlong emperor or 1758).73

70 Pascal Torres, Les Batailles de l’Empereur de Chine: La Gloire de Qianlong Célébrée par Louis XV, une Commande Royale d’Estampes (Paris: Musée du Louvre, 2009). 71 Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Bibliographiques, tome 2, pp. 952–53. See also Danby, The Garden of Perfect Brightness, pp. 103–08; A. Durand and Regine Thiriez, “Engraving the Emperor of China’s European Palaces”, The Bulletin of the New York Public Library 1, 2 (Spring 1993): 81–107; Marcia Reed and Paola Demattè, eds. China on Paper: European and Chinese Works from the Late Sixteenth to the Early Nineteenth Century (Los Angles: Getty Research Institute, 2007). It was Laura Newby who told me about this book. 72 Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Yuan Ming Yuan, vol. 2, p. 1657. 73 Ibid.

chapter five

200

Two salt merchants donated two million taels in two years, and more than one fifth of that, or 550,000 taels, went to the Silver Bank. This was only the tip of the iceberg. Although no one has studied the price tag for the garden, or the European palaces in particular, historians have studied salt merchants and their relationship with the Qing court. Wang Congyuan has compiled the contributions they made to the Qing court (Table 5.1): Table 5.1

Salt merchant financial contribution to the Qing court

Time

1

Kangxi 17th year

2

Qianlong 13th year

3 4

Qianlong 20th year Qianlong 53rd year

5

Qianlong 57th year

6 7 8 9

Jiaqing 4th year Jiaqing 5th year Jiaqing 6th year Jiaqing 9th year

10 11 12

Qianlong 11th year Qianlong 26th year Qianlong 56th year

13 14 15 16 17 18

Qianlong 9th year Qianlong 11th year Qianlong 12th year Qianlong 13th year Qianlong 14th year Qianlong 55th year

19

Total:

Lead contributor

Amount in ten thousand taels

Chen Guangzu, Cheng Zhiying Cheng Kezheng, Cheng Qianliu Cheng Kezheng Wang Guangda, Cheng Jiande Hong Qianyuan, Cheng Jiande ditto ditto ditto Huang Yingtai, Cheng Jiande Cheng Kezheng Cheng Kezheng Hong Qianyuan, Cheng Jiande Cheng Kezheng ditto ditto ditto ditto Hong Qianyuan, Cheng Jiande

13.5 80

Purpose

Military expenses ditto

100 200

ditto ditto

400

ditto

200 150 200 40

ditto ditto ditto River works

20 30 3.4 31 30 16 20 100 200 1833.9

Disaster relief ditto ditto Public use ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto

les palais européens

201

We can state that the entire contribution of 18,339,000 taels of silver is from the Cheng clan, since every entry bears a donor from the Cheng family: Cheng Kecheng’s individual contribution amounted to 4,270,000 taels.74 One clan financed the lust and luxury of the three emperors; no wonder they went bankrupt in the nineteenth century. Readers will notice that the 1757 and 1758 contributions seen in the two reports above were not listed in the chart; it is quite likely that some donations were never recorded. What is really revealing about this chart is the last category, “purpose”. Cheng Kecheng’s contribution covered three of the four purposes, and most of them went to something called “public use”. Did they end up in the Silver Bank? Wealthy salt merchants were an endless source of income. They needed government licences in order to stay in the lucrative business and there were thousands of salt merchants, big and small. Did all of them “donate”, and how much did their contributions amount to? We do know that the garden’s Silver Bank became well endowed: To follow Your Majesty’s Order: I have handed two hundred thousand (200,000) taels of silver to the salt merchant from Changlu so that the lent amount of money would make more money. The proceeds of the lent sum will be shared. They will pay an annual and fixed minimum interest of twenty four thousand (24,000) taels and more in times of better profits. They will transfer the profit money to the Silver Bank on a yearly basis (The 49th year of the Qianlong emperor or 1785).75

The money donated by salt merchants was loaned back to the merchants in order to make more money. Obnoxious and greedy, Qianlong was also self-serving: another source of income for his endless expansion was the assets of officials he investigated and indicted: “Your Majesty’s humble servant reports that Yuan Ming Yuan Silver Bank received one hundred forty thousand (140,000) taels of silver, penalty sum for the convicted Huai Customs Supervisor (The 54th year of the Qianlong Emperor or 1790)”.76 From wealthy salt merchants to the assets of officials—and palace pawn shops, which Lai Huimin has examined—Qianlong squeezed money wherever he could and put it in

74 Wang Congyuan, Ming Qing Hui Shang Jingying Huai Yan Kaolue (Chengdu: Bashu shushe, 2008), p. 220; Wei Minghua, Liang Huai Yan Shang (Fuzhou: Fujian renmin chubanshe, 1999), pp. 58–67; and Zhu Zhenghai, Yan Shang yu Yangzhou (Nanjing: Jiangsu guji chubanshe, 2001), pp. 94–127 & 180–203. 75 Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Yuan Ming Yuan, vol. 2, p. 1666. 76 Ibid., p. 1669.

202

chapter five

his private treasury, not the government’s.77 Some information about his final years was made available by the Number One History Archive, which I have calculated. Between 1796, when the emperor supposedly stepped down, and 1799, when he died, Qianlong received 1,040,440 taels of silver from various sources, in addition to the existing 693,290 taels; the Silver Bank thus had a total of 1,733,730 in deposit.78 But the expenses were also high by that time, amounting to 1,492,990 taels. Left with 240,740, his son Jiaqing lent out 100,000 to salt merchants in order to make money in 1800.79 But soon things changed dramatically: in Jiaqing’s eighteenth year (1814), he had to transfer 200,000 to the Ministry of Finance to pay for the suppression of the White Lotus Rebellion.80 In his twenty-first year (1817), he had to transfer another 200,000 to the capital’s administration; this was the last time that a large sum of money was moved.81 By the time of the Daoguang emperor (1820–1850), the garden’s Silver Bank created by his great grandfather Yongzheng was drained of its last tael, making it difficult for the court to maintain the garden. The garden itself was looted and burned in 1860 when British, French, Russian and American troops marched into Beijing to end the Second Opium War. The garden, along with the silver that funded it, epitomises the rise and fall of the Qing dynasty. One might assume that the Silver Bank paid for all the expenses incurred by the garden, but the reality was hardly so. Many of the expenses, for example the vehicles that shuttled to and from the garden, were taken from the Ministry of Finance rather than from the garden’s coffer. The annual number of vehicles needed stood at 5,431 in the eleventh year of the Yongzheng emperor (1734): in other words, an average of 452 per month.82 This number increased dramatically during the time of Qianlong, from 7,410 in his twelfth year (1748) to 9,944 in his thirteenth year (1749).83 The vehicles themselves were elaborate and costly; they were paid for and maintained by the

77 Lai Huimin, “Qianlong Chao Neiwu Fu de Dangpu yu Fashang Shengxi”, Zhongyang Yanjiuyuan Jindaishi Yanjiusuo Jikan [Bulletin of the Institute of Modern History Academia Sinica], 28 (1997): 133–75. 78 Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Yuan Ming Yuan, vol. 2, pp. 1669–70. 79 Ibid., p. 1670. 80 Ibid., p. 1672. 81 Ibid., p. 1673. 82 Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Yuan Ming Yuan, vol. 1, pp. 40–41. 83 Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Qingdai Dang’an Shiliao Congbian Di Wu Ji (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1980), p. 149.

les palais européens

203

Ministry of Finance, rather than the Silver Bank, simply because they did not travel to the garden exclusively.84 This subsidy extended to the fragrances used for the various temples and the fuel that was needed for the long winters that lasted from October to April. The garden had 324 ovens that needed at least 2,931 bundles of red charcoal, 66,247 bundles of black charcoal, 77,614 bundles of coal, and 86,230 bundles of regular charcoal.85 China’s Sun King spent millions of taels on the garden; he squandered the fortune and resources of the empire. On a contemporary note, the call for the restoration of Yuan Ming Yuan, in particular the European palaces, was first made in 1981; this initiative was led by Song Qingling, also known as Madam Sun Zhongshan (Yatsen), and more than 1,500 academics, artists and wealthy overseas Chinese.86 The search for lost objects scattered around the world has also intensified in recent years, as has the debate about how to best preserve the site and this episode of history.87 The Copper Engravings, specially the coloured image which is used as the cover of the book, I found in the John Rylands will probably please those seeking a restoration of the garden, as China is not known to have an original set. Restoration is not a matter of finance, but political concern, as the ruins are tied to the legitimacy and future of the current regime. The social life of the Yuan Ming Yuan continues to be colourful in the twenty-first century. Conclusion Palace and garden building had been key to all imperial dynasties, and not just in China; they raced and rivalled one another to leave their mark on the landscape and on history, and the Manchus were no exception. Like European music, which Kangxi and Qianlong enjoyed,

84

Ibid., pp. 139–55. Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Yuan Ming Yuan, vol. 1, pp. 85–87. 86 Song Qingling, “Baohu, Zhengxiu ji Liyong Yuan Ming Yuan Yizhi Changyi Shu”, Yuan Ming Yuan 1, November (1981): 1–6; He Zhongyi and Ze Zhaofen, “Changchun Yuan de Fuxing he Xiyang Lou Yizhi Zhengxiu”, Yuan Ming Yuan 3, November (1984): 25–37; Wang Lizhi, “Zhengxiu Yuan Ming Yuan Xiyang Lou Yizhi de Jiben Fangzhen yu Chubu Anpai”, Yuan Ming Yuan 4, October (1986): 188–223. 87 Shi Shuqing, “Faguo Fengdan Bailu Zhongguo Guan Zhong de Yuan Ming Yuan Yi Wu”, Yuan Ming Yuan, 1 (1981): 156–59; Yuan Ming Yuan Guanli Chu, Yuan Ming Yuan Liusan Wenwu (Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, 2007); Wang Daocheng and Duan Yuhong, Yuan Ming Yuan de Zhongda Zhengbian (Hangzhou: Zhejiang guji chubanshe, 2007). 85

204

chapter five

Les Palais Européens, though limited to the Qing court, spread consciousness about European architecture. As a matter of fact, smallscale emulation had already begun in Guangdong, China’s maritime frontier, and Jiangnan, where the Royal Manufactory operated, as I will discuss in Chapter Seven. This shows the power and influence of royal consumption, as the court made European-style buildings a desirable status symbol just as it had clocks. Such construction would surface again after 1842, in Beijing itself and a growing number of Treaty port cities. This was a different kind of resurgence, one that daily exposed ordinary Chinese to foreign influences, as those with the means would build them and those with the taste would move in. It was during this phase that European-style buildings began to change the Chinese urban landscape and shape a new urban mosaic, which will be discussed in Chapter Seven. What does the three emperors’ appreciation of all things European tell us? Firstly, the Qing court and elite were not only interested in, but were also kept up-to-date and furnished with, the latest innovation and luxury from Europe. Qing China, starting with the court, was not closed to and isolated from the outside world, as some historians have argued. Would Sino-Western conflict have surfaced in the nineteenth century if the Qing’s fascination with European science, music, art and architecture had continued? What do we learn from the fact that this fascination disappeared after Qianlong died in 1799? Secondly, Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong sought after, enjoyed, and in some cases depended upon, the skills and knowledge of the Jesuits, and they loved the exotic European goods that China could not produce. This love affair did not, however, extend beyond the superstructure—the Chinese embraced material Europe but rejected its religious or political ideals, a situation similar to that prevailing in the modern Muslim world, where many have embraced material and technological modernity but rejected the political. A mirror image of this exchange took place on the other side of the Eurasian continent, as Europeans wore Chinese silk, drank Chinese tea from Chinese porcelain, and raced each other to procure Chinese artefacts; but they did not need the ideology that had nourished and made China, even though some of them—intellectuals in particular—flirted with it. We have learnt a good deal about Qianlong; he professed to be uninterested in Europe while accumulating an astonishing array of European objects. His insecurity manifests itself in his attitude toward his grandfather; he paid him verbal reverence and yet spent his life

les palais européens

205

attempting to outshine him. Where Kangxi fought numerous battles to secure China for the newly-founded Qing, Qianlong became so famous for the ten battles he won that he was called Old Man of Ten Enumerations [十全老人]. Where Kangxi added a few new palaces to the garden, Qianlong spent millions to expand it, adding an entire section of European palaces. While Qianlong proclaimed that he would abdicate in order not to exceed his grandfather’s 61–year reign (1662–1723), he nevertheless sat on the throne for 63 years (1736–1799). Qianlong was a shrewd historian, who skilfully choreographed his own legacy as Son of Heaven Rarely Seen Since Antiquity [古稀天子].

CHAPTER SIX

“WIND OF THE WEST” [西洋风]1 I am of the opinion that the Chinese possess the ingenuous trait of preferring that which comes from without to that which they possess themselves, once they realize the superior quality of the foreign product. Their pride, it would seem, arises from an ignorance of the existence of higher things and from the fact that they find themselves far superior to the barbarous nations by which they were surrounded.2

Chinese fascination with yang huo [洋货], or foreign stuff/goods, led Matteo Ricci to this conclusion as he journeyed from Zhaoqing to Beijing via Nanjing and many other places. “[T]hat which comes from without” included clocks and other exotica from Europe, as we have seen in Chapters Four and Five. Ricci had detected a most important aspect of the Chinese consumer psyche, one that was changing the country and which continues to dictate the behaviour of many Chinese consumers today. This is what mainland scholar Liu Shanling called Xi Yang Feng [西洋风]: translated literally, the Wind of West Ocean, which meant Wind of Europe after Europeans appeared in Asia, and Wind of the West after the Opium Wars. It is a consumer trend that discriminated against local or Chinese goods in favour of foreign, particularly European/Western, goods. This wind gathered force during the Qing as more Europeans arrived, evidenced by the popularity of clocks and the building and decorating of les Palais Européens. It would sweep through the taste-making and trend-setting metropolises in the eighteenth century and engulf the entire country by the early nineteenth. It is vital to understand the origin, strength and scale of this wind, because the introduction of foreign products such as opium and clocks led to fundamental socio-economic and cultural changes that significantly altered the course of history. Having studied the Qing court and elite and their lives with foreign goods earlier in this volume, in this chapter I examine the social life of foreign goods among ordinary consumers. I pinpoint the emergence

1 2

Liu Shanling, Xi Yang Feng: Xi Yang Faming zai Zhongguo. Ricci, China in the Sixteenth Century, pp. 22–23.

208

chapter six

and introduction of such goods; the increase in their trade; and the growing popularity and—crucially—increasing availability of these goods that stimulated their consumption. In doing so, this chapter highlights ordinary consumers’ esteem for, and increasing awareness of and reliance on, what the maritime world could supply. This allows us to closely examine the major socio-economic changes inside China that created the demand and the absorbing power of Chinese consumer culture. Why was Europe referred to as West Ocean? What can its emergence and nomenclature shift, from Europe to the West, teach us about China’s engagement with the maritime world? Tracing the evolution of this engagement is imperative, as it will help us time the crucial moments when foreign goods, especially European products, appeared. It will also allow us to locate the moments when the Chinese people reached out to the seas, as well as identify the watershed of fundamental change. “Works on Travels to the West Ocean Start from Zheng He” [西洋之迹著自郑和]3 “Of the word yang [洋], in Shandong they call a multitude of things yang . . . but today it refers to the middle of a sea where there is most water”.4 This short excerpt by a Song dynasty scholar illustrates China’s increasing awareness of and engagement with the maritime world, beginning with the Song dynasty if not earlier. Tracing the origins of Xi Yang [西洋] or West Ocean and of the category yang huo [洋货] or foreign stuff can help us pinpoint the beginning of increased contact with the maritime world and—more importantly—explore the circumstances behind this contact and its significance. The growth of Chinese knowledge of the seas is noteworthy, as it demonstrates that China was interested in the maritime world and attempted to relate to it. This briefly takes us back to “China’s March toward the Tropics”, or the “Southward Expansion of the Chinese People”.5 It was the massive migration from the north beginning with the Yongjia Disturbance

3 Huang Shengzeng, Xi Yang Cao Gong Dianlu Xiaozhu (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2000), p. 7. 4 Zhao Lingsi, Hou Qing Lu (8 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2002), vol. 3, p. 83. 5 Wiens, China’s March toward the Tropics; and FitzGerald, The Southern Expansion of the Chinese People.

“wind of the west” [西洋风]

209

in 311 that opened up and peopled southern China, and exposed the court and its scholar-officials to maritime Southeast Asia, a region they had previously deemed less civilised. Some would visit these countries as ambassadors while others would write about them. The literature produced by the Chinese, and later by Europeans too, concerning these countries consistently demonstrates an interest in the region’s geography and an over-riding preoccupation with the goods it could offer. Major works on Southeast Asia began to appear in the Song-Yuan era, when frequent seafaring led to a better understanding of the seas.6 They include, as I mentioned in Chapter One, Impressions From South of the Five Ridges by Song dynasty official Zhou Qufei (b. 1134), History of the Various Foreign Countries by Song imperial clansman Zhao Rushi (1208–1224), The Customs of Cambodia by Yuan dynasty diplomat Zhou Daguan (1266–1346), and A Brief History of Island Foreigners by Yuan traveller Wang Dayuan (b. 1311).7 Zhou Qufei (1163 jinshi) served for six years with various local governments in what is now Guangdong-Guangxi province. He travelled widely during his tenure there and kept a diary that recorded his encounters with the peoples and cultures of that region and beyond. As a source of information the book, finished in 1178, can be considered relatively reliable. Of the ten volumes on local people, culture, geography and other topics, six were devoted to southwest China and Southeast Asia. Zhou used the prefix fan [番] or foreign to denote the goods found in these countries, which continued to be used as a common term well into the nineteenth century. Song China came to have a better understanding of the maritime world; the Mongols further strengthened China’s tie with that world, as Persian and Arab merchants sojourned to China and spread the gospel of its riches. The early Ming came to have a much clearer understanding of the ocean world. The seven epic voyages marked the beginning of a long-term trend towards greater Chinese interaction with Southeast Asia, which would materialize fully after the Europeans journeyed east and established themselves in the theatre of Asia. Three key participants in the seven epic Zheng He voyages (1405–1433) left individual works. They are Ying Ya Sheng Lan [瀛涯胜览] or A General Survey of 6

Gu Jianqing, Guangdong Haishang Sichou zhi Lu Yanjiu, pp. 13–14. Zhao Rushi, Zhu Fan Zhi; Zhou Qufei, Ling Wai Dai Da (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1999); Zhou Daguan, Zhenla Fengtu Ji; Wang Dayuan, Dao Yi Zhilue. See also Khair, et al., Other Routes: 1500 Years of African and Asian Travel Writings, pp. 112–18. 7

210

chapter six

the Oceans by Ma Huan, printed in 1451; Xing Chai Sheng Lan [星差 胜览] or A General Survey of Overseas Assignments by Fei Xin; and Xi Yang Fan Guo Zhi [西洋番国志] or History of the West Ocean Foreign Countries by Gong Zhen.8 The authors described the places they visited and their people, and illustrated in great detail the types of goods they had to offer—local produce and exotic items which China lacked. This led mid-Ming scholar Huang Shengzeng (1490–1540) to conclude that “works on travels to the West Ocean start from Zheng He”.9 Eminent maritime scholar Feng Chengjun (1885–1946) carefully studied the above-mentioned works, especially Ma Huan’s, and compared them with court-generated sources such as Ming Shi [明史] or History of the Ming. All these sources seem to indicate that Brunei was the end of East Ocean [东洋]: “the end of East Ocean is hence the beginning of West Ocean”.10 According to this definition, East Ocean would have included what lay above Brunei, namely the Philippines, Taiwan, Okinawa, Korea and Japan. West Ocean [西洋], according to Ma’s definition, would have started from the South China Sea, including today’s Indonesia and Malaysia, and extended as far as the Indian Ocean, as the common phrase “Zheng He goes down to the West Ocean” denotes. West Ocean clearly meant what lay beyond the South China Sea—Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean before, during and even after Zheng He voyages. The European connotation came much later, during the early Qing, through the naming of goods made in Europe or traded by Europeans, as we have seen in Chapters Four and Five. This is important, as many scholars tend to assume that West Ocean meant what we now call the West, when in fact this change in meaning did not materialise until after the Opium Wars in the late nineteenth century. The late Ming and the early Qing is therefore a most important period, during which the term West Ocean acquired a new, European, connotation. Where was South Ocean [南洋], then, if Brunei in the South China Sea was the dividing line between East and West Oceans? We know from Kangxi’s 1717 maritime ban that the term was in use during, if not before, his time, as the decree stipulated clearly that merchant

8 Ma Huan, Ying Ya Sheng Lan; Feng Chengjun, Ying Ya Sheng Lan Xiaozhu (Taibei: Shangwu yinshuguan, 2005), p. 5; Fei Xin, Xing Chai Sheng Lan (Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1997); and Gong Zhen, Xi Yang Fan Guo Zhi (Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1997). 9 Huang Shengzeng, Xi Yang Cao Gong Dianlu Xiaozhu, p. 7. 10 Feng Chengjun, Ying Ya Sheng Lan Xiaozhu, p. 5.

“wind of the west” [西洋风]

211

ships “cannot go to South Ocean, places like Luzon and Java”.11 Feng Chengjun, Wang Ermin as well, believed that it emerged during the early Qing.12 The value of the Ming-produced historical works compared with those produced during the Song-Yuan era lay in the growth of Chinese knowledge about the oceans and countries beyond its shores and what they had to offer. It is important to understand this progress, which will explain not only how they perceived the maritime world, but also help us pinpoint the emergence of the prefix yang or foreign and the category of yang huo or foreign stuff. Another testimony to China’s increasing understanding of the seas came from the names for various kinds of sea phenomena. Yuan Yunquan has studied the origin of the terms used to describe maritime disasters, such as hai xiao [海啸], which can be literally translated as sea howl or sea roar, in essence a tsunami.13 His research shows that most of these emerged during the Song-Yuan era, as they can be found in contemporary local gazetteers, and became more consistent during the Ming. Timothy Brook’s recent work echoes this, as his research informs us that the Yuan-Ming era coincided with the “Little Ice Age”.14 With the ascent of environmental history, this should inspire more studies which will undoubtedly shed light on China’s increasing engagement with the oceanic world. A century after Zheng He embarked on his first voyage in 1405, the Portuguese finally discovered a direct route to Asia via the Cape of Good Hope, and to China via the Straits of Malacca, where they dropped anchor in 1511; they were at the Guangdong estuary by 1514.15 They were followed by the Society of Jesus and the Dutch East India Company in the course of the sixteenth century. Feng Chengjun believed that the usage of the term West Ocean to denote Europe did not emerge until after the Jesuits journeyed to the East.16 There may well be some validity in this, as the Europeans were at first referred 11 Zhonghua Shuju, Qing Shengzhu Shilu, vol. 271, p. 658. See also Dou Ruyi and Sun Rong, Huangchao Wenxian Tongkao, vol. 33, pp. 26A–B; Zhongguo Renmin Daxue, Qing Shi Bian Nian, vol. 2, pp. 471–72. 12 Wang Ermin, “Jindai Shishang de Dong Xi Nan Bei Yang”, Zhongyang Yanjiuyuan Jindaishi Yanjiusuo Jikan [Bulletin of the Institute of Modern History Academia Sinica], 15 (1986): 101–13; Qiu Xuanli, “Zhongguo Haiyang Shishang ‘Dongnan Ya’ Mingci Suoyuan de Yanjiu”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Si Ji, pp. 309–29; Gu Jianqing, Guangdong Haishang Sichou zhi Lu Yanjiu, pp. 13–14. 13 Yu Yunquan, Haiyang Tianzai, pp. 2–15. 14 Brook, The Troubled Empire, pp. 213–37 & Introduction. 15 Morse, The Trade and Administration of China, p. 278. 16 Feng Chengjun, Ying Ya Sheng Lan Xiaozhu, p. 5.

212

chapter six

to as yang ren [洋人], ocean people when translated literally, a term that is still in use today. The definition of West Ocean, according to Ma Huan and in the understanding of generations of historians, had during and even after the time of the Zheng He voyages been the region and the ocean that lay west of Brunei or the South China Sea.17 However, it gradually came to denote Europe after the Portuguese and Jesuits established themselves in East-Southeast Asia beginning in the mid-sixteenth century; it was increasingly, and soon exclusively, used to refer to Europe during the Qing. The definition of what constitutes foreign stuff is not as straightforward, because it took time for the Portuguese and other Europeans to establish themselves after their initial arrival, and even longer for them to determine what they could sell to the Asians and Chinese. This is obvious with the so-called foreign cloth [洋布]. Dong Xi Yang Kao [东西洋考] or An Examination of the East and West Oceans (first printed in 1617) listed foreign cloth, as did Guangdong Xin Yu [广东 新语] or The New Language of Guangdong, written a few decades later. These books stated that the foreign cloth was tribute from Siam, Malacca, Sri Lanka and Pattani.18 This was correctly categorised as foreign stuff, because Ma Huan’s definition clearly stated that Brunei was the end of East Ocean and the beginning of West Ocean. Such categorization, however, is potentially confusing for historians, as foreign cloth would come to mean cloth made in Europe, most often in England, by the eighteenth century, and even those made in Japan by the early twentieth century. It is therefore important for historians to understand what yang or foreign meant at a given time, and when yang huo or foreign stuff, describing both individual items and a category of commodities, emerged and came to stand for European goods. After their arrival in the sixteenth century it took more time—through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries—for the category to spread and establish itself. This was a most important period, as new products from Europe tried to find a market in China while the old, those from Southeast Asia,

17 Liu Yingsheng and Chen Jiarong “‘Dong Yang’ yu ‘Xi Yang’ de Youlai” and “Zheng He Hangxing Shiqi de Dong Xi Yang”, in Zhouxiang Haiyang de Zhongguo Ren: Zheng He Xia Xi Yang 590 Zhounian Guoji Xueshu Yantao Hui Lunwen Ji, ed. Nanjing Zheng He Yanjiuhui (Beijing: Haicao chubanshe, 1996), pp. 120–35 & 137–47. 18 Zhang Xie, Dong Xi Yang Kao, vol. 7, p. 146; and Qu Dajun, Guangdong Xin Yu, vol. 15, 460 tiao.

“wind of the west” [西洋风]

213

continued to be imported. In other words, foreign could mean a variety of things, from whatever greater Asia supplied to China to those goods which Europeans were trying to sell. To make things even more complicated, Europeans often bought things on their way to China and sold these, which were then labelled foreign stuff by the Chinese. We should therefore be extremely cautious when interpreting the names given to goods, especially those with the foreign prefix. Having established a rough timeframe and a tentative definition, which should be subjected to more vigorous research, this section proceeds to establish when exactly new actors appeared and what new foreign goods they brought to the marketplace that was China. An Examination of the East and West Oceans, written by the late Ming scholar Zhang Xie (1574–1640), examined trade and profit in the Fujian vicinity during the period. A native of Zhangzhou, which flourished during the Ming, Zhang came from a respected scholarofficial family. In his book, East Ocean is a term that extends from the Philippines to Brunei, whereas West Ocean includes Vietnam, Siam, Java, Cambodia, Gelantan, Champa, Malacca and Sumatra. Clearly Zhang Xie followed Ma Huan’s definition of East and West Oceans, but he added a further category: Outer Ocean [外洋], which included Japan and foreigners with “deep eyes, high nose, and red hair”—Europeans. The use of this novel category is significant because it shows that late Ming scholars were faced with the challenge of naming not just new oceans but also new actors, and more importantly new goods. This continued in the seventeenth century, as illustrated by this verse about early Qing Guangzhou: Those who fight to go out are government merchants Its cross-like doors are wide open to the two oceans All kinds of silk, goods and Guangdong products Silver money piled up in the Thirteen Companies.19

This well-written poem comes from The New Language of Guangdong, by late Ming and early Qing scholar Qu Dajun (1630–1696). A native of Guangzhou, Qu’s work testifies to the changing landscape of his home town. The Qing court controlled foreign trade, as ocean-going ships were monopolised by the government or the Thirteen Company merchants. The “two oceans” here are still puzzling. Did he mean the

19

Qu Dajun, Guangdong Xin Yu, vol. 15, 458 tiao.

214

chapter six

East and West Ocean, based on Ma Huan’s definition? Silk was still a lucrative trade item, as “silver money piled up in the Thirteen Companies”. The book mentions foreign countries in a section entitled “Tributes from the Various Foreigners”; it includes the usual list of Southeast Asian countries but ends with Portugal.20 The author even gives a definition of foreign stuff: The goods in Guangzhou, those that came from the neighbouring nine areas are called Guangdong stuff/goods [广货]; those from Qiongzhou are called Qiongzhou stuff/goods [琼货] or Thirteen Companies stuff/ goods [十三行货]; and those from the various neighbours in the Southwest are called foreign stuff/goods [洋货].21

Southwest of Guangdong and China is maritime Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. It is clear, then, that even by the early Qing, the late seventeenth century, foreign stuff still referred chiefly to products originating in Southeast Asia, even though new foreign items brought in by new actors had begun to emerge alongside the old. Qu mentions these items, some with the prefix yang, which I translate as foreign: foreign vessels, foreign mast, and foreign peach. Others bear the prefix Xi Yang, which I translate as European, as it increasingly was used to denote Europe: European lotus and European parrot. Why does the author make a distinction between yang and Xi Yang in his work? Perhaps he employed yang as a prefix for goods from Southeast Asia and Xi Yang to highlight goods brought in by Europeans. To further complicate matters, he mentions other foreign goods without any such suggestive prefixes, notably the imperial wheat. Could this have been maize, as discussed in Chapter Three? “They all came from oceangoing ships,” Qu reminds his readers at the end.22 It is also interesting to note that Qu claims that the Thirteen Companies monopolised goods from Qiongzhou, Hainan Island. The works of Zhang Xie and Qu Dajun help us gauge the changes that were taking place in the late Ming and early Qing. They recorded the arrival of new actors in the late Ming period and the emergence of the yang [洋] category that could now mean both the traditional and the new types of foreign goods. At this moment yang was still

20

Ibid., vol. 15, pp. 428–32 or 460 tiao. Ibid., vol. 15, p. 432 or 461 tiao. 22 Ibid., vol. 18, p. 427; vol. 26, p. 558–59; vol. 27, p. 611; vol. 14, p. 351; vol. 20, p. 457. 21

“wind of the west” [西洋风]

215

predominantly used to denote goods from Southeast Asia, but by the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century it was gradually used to refer to European products. This complex transition is also reflected in Ming court records such as Da Ming Hui Dian [大明汇典], and in newly released and printed Qing archives such as the Complete Archive of the Royal Manufactory in the Imperial Household Department.23 Seeking out spices, silk, and porcelain, the new foreign traders realised that trade in Asia was controlled by Arabs, Indians, Malays and Chinese, depending on the localities and commodities.24 They would have to work very hard to earn the trust of Asian traders, or resort to intrigue, even force, in order to cut into this long-established and lucrative intra-Asian trade. “Most Exotic Treasures Come from Europe” [奇珍大半出西洋]25 My previous research into opium, and into maize, the foreign yam and clocks for this volume, has taught me the importance of identifying individual commodities that significantly changed Chinese economy, culture and society; it is even more important to identify with precision the category that such goods belong to. While tracing a commodity like maize exposes a particular socio-economic change that emerged, the category it belongs to, maize as foodstuff for example, can highlight the long-term developments that distinguished that era and made its collective emergence possible. The introduction of New World foodstuffs like maize helps pinpoint the coming of new actors, whereas the spread and indigenisation of such staples points to socioeconomic conditions in China, where they were welcomed and indigenised. This section analyses the categories of foreign goods that came into China from the late Ming, late sixteenth through seventeenth centuries, to the mid-Qing, late eighteenth to early nineteenth centuries; it more importantly compares the late Ming and the mid-Qing

23 Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Qinggong Zhaoban Chu Dang’an Zonghui. See also Morse, The Chronicles of the East India Company; Anders Ljungstedt, Contribution to an Historical Sketch of the Portuguese Settlements in China: Principally of Macao (Boston: James Munroe, 1836); Charles R. Boxer, Dutch Merchants and Mariners in Asia, 1602–1795 (London: Variorum, 1988). 24 Keay, The Honourable Company, p. 6. 25 Li Tiaoyuan, Yuedong Huanghua Ji (4 vols. Taibei: Hongye chubanshe, 1972), vol. 3, p. 8.

216

chapter six

categories. This comparative analysis is essential, as it will highlight the long-term changes that were occurring during the eighteenth century. Thanks to the work of mainland scholars, the comparison can begin in the Tang to illustrate the overarching trend. Tang dynasty (618–960) imports include four general categories: 1. Minerals (including precious metals); 2. Plants (including spices and herbs); 3. Animals (including birds); 4. Handicrafts and household items.26 Song dynasty (960–1278) imports include five general categories: 1. Treasures and jewellery; 2. Fragrances; 3. Herbal medicines; 4. Household items; 5. Weaponry.27 Yuan dynasty (1279–1367) imports include six general categories: 1. Treasures and jewellery; 2. Fragrances; 3. Herbs; 4. Textiles; 5. Utensils; 6. Raw materials.28

Tang, Song and Yuan China imported similar things. Most were either luxury items, such as treasures, exotic plants, fragrances, animals, medicinal herbs, foreign handicrafts; raw materials, which included precious metals, woods, dyes; or weapons, a category specific to the Song. Mark E. Lewis has recently highlighted the pattern of trade in early imperial China (pre-Tang), and his insight can also be applied to the case of mid-imperial China (Tang-Song-Yuan): Most of the goods that flowed in the other direction from the west (central Asia) into China were exotic curiosities or rare items that contributed to the self-aggrandisement of the ruling elite: precious metals, glass, slaves and entertainers, animals both wild and domestic, furs and feathers, rare plants and woods, exotic foods, perfumes and drugs, textiles and dyes, secular and sacred art objects, as well as books and maps

26

Fang Yaguang, Tangdai Duiwai Kaifang Chutan, pp. 33–34. Huang Chunyan, Songdai Haiwai Maoyi, p. 55. Li Junyuan and Ren Xiwen, Zhongguo Shangye Shi (Beijing: Zhongyang guangbo dianshi daxue chubanshe, 1985), pp. 115–16; 28 Chen Gaohua, Yuan Shi Yanjiu Lungao, p. 108. 27

“wind of the west” [西洋风]

217

telling of foreign places. When brought in as tribute, these rare goods testified to the power and prestige of a Chinese ruler who could summon from across the world. When purchased by the elite, these items demonstrated the wealth and taste of their purchaser, who participated in the passion for things foreign that characterised the Chinese elite from the Han to the Tang. These exotica included innovation in costumes, white face powder, new musical instruments and songs, foreign fruits, and new styles and techniques in the arts, all of which became defining elements of Chinese civilisation.29

This pattern of importing exotic treasures continued into the late Ming. Huang Quchen has produced excellent work on the period, and categorized the goods that came to China during the “latter half ” of the Ming dynasty, from the reign of the Longqing emperor (1567–1572) through that of the Wanli emperor (1573–1620), as follows:30 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Fragrances and spices; Rare birds and animals; Exotics and precious things; Herbs and herbal medicines; Weaponry; Handicraft raw materials; Handicrafts, textiles and household appliances.

The Ming categories did not therefore differ greatly from those of the Tang, Song, and Yuan periods. However, there is one change, and it lies in the seventh category, which included ordinary consumer goods. Such goods were imported before, but the Ming category is much longer and its products much more diverse. I have translated, as literally as possible, yang as foreign and Xi Yang as European, in order to illustrate the complexity of naming imported goods in this period, and thus the caution with which we should identify their origin, since yang could refer to goods from both Southeast Asia and Europe, while Xi Yang increasingly meant imports from Europe, even though yang would replace Xi Yang to become the standard appellation for Western goods after the Opium War in 1842. The seventh category includes:

29

Lewis, China Between Empires, p. 158. Huang Qichen, Guangdong Haishang Sichou zhi Lu Shi (Shenzhen: Guangdong jingji chubanshe, 2003), pp. 404–405. 30

218

chapter six Bamboo cloth, foot basins, garments (Turfan style), gold enriched rings, golden belts, gold plaited fans, paper fans, white cotton, small flower mattresses, European cloth, picked leather, glass vases, foreign flower handkerchiefs, gold and silver utensils, gold sprinkled cooking gear, gold sprinkled stationary desks, gold painted powder boxes, gold sprinkled hand boxes, hemp cloth of all colours, dragon print lined curtains, red ribbon flower handkerchief, colourful yarn, red cotton cloth, white cotton cloth, dark cotton cloth, round flower cloth, curtains with red flower rim, curtains of mixed colours, foreign flower handkerchiefs, brocade quilts/duvets, white head wrapping cloth, red Sahara cloth, red skein cloth, red flower head wrapping cloth, dim white cloth with red rim, chess boards with brocade design, flower cloth with human figure imprints, fused cloth, oiled red cloth, European fine cloth, precious stones, gold rings, copper drums, cloth with woven red flowers, sheared flannel mixed flower quilt covers, mixed silk bamboo cloth, red flower silk handkerchiefs, mixed red thread curtains with human figure imprints, European iron, iron guns, iron knives, rings with gold inlays, white Sahara cloth, yellow cloth, Sahara fine cloth, flower curtains, foreign tin, foreign salt, wild stem mattresses, garbage bins, foreign knives and bows, etc.

Why did this particular category grow in the latter half of the Ming? Who needed these goods? A brief analysis of the Ming categories and individual commodities can help us see the fundamental socioeconomic and cultural changes that were emerging, and thus examine the situation of the Qing more clearly. Fragrances and spices top the Ming imports, as they had since the Han dynasty. Fragrance trade rose during the Northern and Southern dynasties (420–588) when Buddhism began to indigenise. It flourished during the Song, as I explained in Chapter One, and the Ming saw the zenith of the trade. Many of the fragrances mentioned, cloves for example, were used to make cosmetics. Some were used in medicine; some, such as lavender, were used to purify air while others were used for making joss sticks, mosquito-repellent incense, and even for timekeeping, as described by Gabriel Magaillans in Chapter Four. Why did the fragrance trade flourish during the two Han Chinese dynasties, Song and Ming? Perhaps the Han Chinese are more superstitious than the Mongols and the Manchus; they have a multitude of gods, including ancestors and Confucius, to whom they must pay respect. From the Han to the Ming, China had relied on the tropical regions stretching from East Africa to the Pacific Islands for a steady supply of fragrance. It is peculiar that Huang did not mention black fragrance [乌香] or opium, which can be found alongside these fragrances in many Ming sources, such as Da Ming Hui Dian.

“wind of the west” [西洋风]

219

Rare birds and animals made up a considerable portion of the long list of products that the Ming imported, as they had during previous dynasties; these were destined for the Ming court and elite households. Included in the list of rare birds and animals is a name which literally translates as “black little slave”. Did this refer to human beings, and if so where did they come from? They were categorised as animals, indicating that they were most likely treated as such. If we look back to the Tang, this doesn’t appear unusual: in his study of the Tang’s exotic imports, Edward Schafer included a category called “men”, which included “slaves, dwarfs and human tribute”.31 Dwarfs were brought from southern China and Southeast Asia during the Tang, and possibly came from the same areas during the Ming. They served as entertainers during the Tang, and it is quite possible that they continued to dance and perform magic (including acrobatics) during the Ming. Medicinal herbs, which can include spices and fragrances, had been the staple of China’s imports, used as (or in) medicines and supplements. Herbal science was the foundation of traditional Chinese medicine, which continues to command a large patient base today both in China and among overseas Chinese. Nutmeg broth, boiled with other herbs, was used to treat various kinds of indigestive problems; so was asafoetida, though it could also stimulate the nervous system. Aloe vera was—and still is—widely used to treat skin conditions. Opium was first introduced and used as a panacea to stop pain and diarrhoea. Still valued highly in China, the elixir ginseng has been used in many formulas to prevent and treat a multitude of problems. From Northeast Asia to North America, China’s appetite for health and longevity nearly exhausted the world’s supply of ginseng by the nineteenth century.32 Weaponry and precious metal had always been government monopolies. Late Ming China still imported horses and saddles, a trade which dated to before the Han dynasty. The mention of guns is curious, however: what kind of guns were they, and from where? The category of raw materials is wide-ranging and fascinating, from Islamic blue and sulphur to red copper and foreign red mud. The Ming Chinese seemed to prefer dyes from other countries, like sappan wood and Islamic blue, which was used to make the famous blue and white Ming

31

Schafer, The Golden Peaches of Samarkand, pp. 40–57. Kristin Johannsen, Ginseng Dreams: the Secret World of America’s Most Valuable Plant (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2006); David A. Taylor, Ginseng, the Divine Root (Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2006). 32

220

chapter six

porcelain—was it the specific shade of blue the Chinese liked, or the fact that the dye was foreign? We can only wonder to what purpose the late Ming imported foreign red mud; and the large quantities of red copper that were imported were most likely used to make Buddhist statues and ritual objects. The mention of European iron is puzzling: perhaps it did not come from Europe, despite the prefix Xi Yang, but from European enclaves in South and Southeast Asia. Handicrafts, textiles and household items, the seventh category, is the longest list, composed of the most commonly used consumer goods. Small quantities of these had been imported in earlier times and throughout the Ming, but the list was growing longer and becoming more detailed. These imports ranged from such common objects as paper fans and gold-plated powder containers to red Sahara cloth and foreign flowered handkerchiefs. The old prefix fan was used to describe the foreign flower handkerchiefs, foreign tin and foreign knives, but the new prefix Xi Yang was in evidence, describing European textiles and fine cloth. The latter half of the Ming is a puzzling juncture, when yang or foreign could mean both traditional imports from South-Southeast Asia and new things made in Europe. Perhaps this is what John E. Wills called “old ways made new.”33 The textiles included many kinds of fabric which could be used for making clothes and household necessities like curtains and quilts, whereas utensils ranged from glass ware and gold/silver containers to gold rings and foot basins. Was Ming China unable to make enough foot basins, or were the foreign ones thought better? Perhaps the Ming Chinese washed themselves more, in addition to the fact that as the population grew there were more feet and bodies to be washed. The categories of commodities and individual items being imported during the late Ming raise a number of questions. Systematic research into the demand for and consumption of these imports will undoubtedly shed new light on the changing socio-economic and cultural landscape of late Ming China. At the very least, these categories tell us on the one hand that foreign trade during the latter half of the Ming echoed earlier patterns of import, while on the other we see that important changes were beginning to emerge in the seventh category. Why did late Ming China import so many kinds of handicrafts, textiles, and household items that could usually be found in China? Perhaps as in

33 John E Wills Jr., The World from 1450 to 1700 (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 49–71.

“wind of the west” [西洋风]

221

the case of rice, the Ming’s population was beginning to outgrow production and putting strains on the resources normally available. The seventh category is a mix of both old imports and new additions, but whether old or new they are general consumer goods for ordinary consumers. This is extremely important, as China’s imports since the Han-Tang had been mostly luxuries destined for imperial and elite households, as I have shown in Chapters One, Four and Five. The late Ming was the most important turning point in the economic history of China, as the bulk of Chinese imports shifted from luxury items to mundane consumer products. Very few historians have written about this. The latter half of the Ming period witnessed the beginning of a revolution that would become obvious by the mid-Qing. The following verse celebrates the changing season of foreign trade in Guangzhou: Most exotic treasures come from Europe [西洋], Foreign ships carry them when they come/return, New prince of commerce and shining silk, Foreign money fills the Thirteen Companies.34

Xi Yang or Europe takes a prominent place in this description of trade. Looking for silk, the “new prince of commerce” brought exotics to China and continued to make the Thirteen Companies rich in the mid-Qing. A local scholar, Li Tiaoyuan (1734–1803), was fascinated with this change and wrote extensively about it in the late eighteenth century, as did Zhou Kai (1779–1837) and Liang Tingnan (1796–1861) in the early nineteenth century before the Opium Wars. Xiamen Zhi [厦门志] or Xiamen Gazetteer was compiled by Zhou Kai in 1832 and first printed in 1839. A scholar-official stationed in Xiamen, Zhou mobilized local resources to compile the local gazetteer, which was how scholar-officials left their names in history. The Gazetteer classified the various countries that traded with Xiamen into four categories based on the oceans they came from—a very important turning point. In addition to the usual East Ocean countries of Japan, Korea and Okinawa, three other oceans were mentioned. These were: Southeast Ocean, which included today’s Philippines, Brunei and Sulu Islands; South Ocean, which included today’s Vietnam, Siam, Java and Malacca; and finally Southwest Ocean, which included Cambodia, Holland, England and France.35 That the oceans began to 34

Li Tiaoyuan, Yuedong Huanghua Ji, vol. 3, p. 8. Zhou Kai, Xiamen Zhi (16 vols. Xiamen: Lujiang chubanshe, 1996), vol. 8, pp. 182–219. 35

222

chapter six

be categorized more exactly and with greater discrimination indicates that the Chinese now had a better understanding of the oceanic world, even though their knowledge was still far from precise. This can also be seen from Yue Hai Guan Zhi [粤海关志] or History of the Guangdong Customs written by Cantonese scholar Liang Tingnan and first published in 1839.36 Compared with the Ming works An Examination of the East and West Oceans and The New Language of Guangdong, the two Qing works published in 1839 demonstrate that the Chinese had become more knowledgeable about the maritime world since the late Ming. This familiarity was made possible by closer contacts with foreigners and maritime trade. The works of Li Tiaoyuan, Zhou Kai and Liang Tingnan testify to the growing trade with the various new foreign countries. The foreigners themselves wrote even more extensively about their trade with and travel in Asia, ranging from works by contemporaries such as Charles Lockyer, Cornelius Le Bruyn and Louis Dermigny to the records of the various East India Companies.37 What could European merchants offer to eighteenth-century China as they competed with China’s old partners in greater Asia, and more substantially with each other, to squeeze into the market? Xiamen Gazetteer listed three categories of imports that passed through the port and were taxed:38 Textiles and garments: Silk fabric, satin, yarn, gauze, brocade, tough silk, damask silk, wool, camlet, serge, leather, flannel, velvet, cloth, hemp cloth, felt, blankets; fabrics of flax, cotton, and palm fibre; hats, shoes/boots, stockings, collars, belts, pouches, pillows, mattresses, quilts/duvets, mosquito nets/ canopies, chair cushions, tablecloths. Foodstuff and sundry goods: Salted/pickled fish, seafood, bird’s nests, abalone, sea cucumbers and slugs, medicinal herbs, wines, teas, smokes, molasses, dried fruits, oil. Household items and raw material: Amber, pearls, jade, coral, agate, crystals, glass, lamp wicks, mirrors, hawksbill turtle shells, gemstones, porcelain, spiral shells, ivory, horns,

36

Liang Tingnan, Yue Haiguan Zhi (30 vols. Taibei: Wenhai chubanshe, 1975). Charles Lockyer, An Account of the Trade in India (London: printed for the author, 1711); Cornelius Le Bruyn, Travels into Muscovy, Persia, and Part of the EastIndies (London: A. Bettesworth, 1737); Louis Dermigny, La Chine et l’Occident; Le Commerce à Canton au XVIIIe Siècle, 1719–1833 (Paris: S.E.V.P. E.N., 1964). 38 Zhou Kai, Xiamen Zhi, vol. 7, pp. 153–76. 37

“wind of the west” [西洋风]

223

woollens, musical instruments, various goods, papers, flowers, fans, umbrellas, lamps, gold and silver, copper, iron, tin, dyes, fragrances, lacquer wares.

They are similar to those listed in History of the Guangdong Customs, but the latter has two additional categories:39 Garments: Clothes, hats, hat brims, belts, jackets/overcoats, stockings, shoes/boots. Foodstuff and sundry goods: Rice, sesame, wine, smokes, meat, fish, bird’s nests, shark’s fins, deer muscles, sea slugs, abalone, etc., vegetables, spices, pepper, etc., fruits, molasses. Utensils and Household items: Satin, yarn, brocade, damask silk, gauze, tough silk, velvet, wadded silk tassel/yarn, woollens, skins/leathers, cloth/brocade and velvet/leathermade items; gold and silver utensils, gold and silver utensils of different colours, enamels, enamels of different colours, bronze and tin utensils, bronze utensils of different colours, iron utensils, iron utensils of different colours, wood utensils, bamboo and wood utensils of different colours, precious toys of different colours, stone utensils of different colours, wax utensils, chinaware, earthenware, enamelled utensils, lacquer wares, bone, horn and leather made utensils, hawksbill turtle shell utensils, spiral shell-made utensils, mounted utensils of different colours, rattan/straw-made utensils, miscellaneous utensils. Miscellaneous: Medicinal herbs, mixed/all kinds of medicinal material, fragrances, mixed materials, paper, paper of different colours, paper material of different colours, rare curios of different colours, stone material of different colours, fuel material, gold/silver/copper/tin/lead/iron-made miscellaneous goods, woollen/bone/leather-made miscellaneous goods, bamboo and wood material, bamboo/wood/rattan/straw goods. Ships/ship-building material: East Ocean double-deck boat, West Ocean double-deck boat, Oceangoing ships.

The most obvious change is that the categories for fragrances, rare birds and animals, and medicinal herbs have now completely disappeared from both the Xiamen and Guangdong lists. The single and general word “fragrances” appears at the bottom of the “household items and raw material” group in the Xiamen list and in the “miscellaneous”

39

Liang Tingnan, Yue Haiguan Zhi, vol. 9, pp. 621–47.

224

chapter six

category in the Guangdong list. The fragrance trade began more than two thousand years ago; it had been a flourishing one just a hundred or so years ago during the late Ming. Why did the category completely disappear during the Qing? Perhaps the Qing court burned fewer joss sticks, or perhaps China had begun to cultivate aromatics by that time. Even so, some can only grow in the lush tropical forests of Southeast Asia; transplantation and hybridisation in the pre-modern era was limited. This dramatic decline of fragrance imports raises questions. I found one answer in the Monthly Register; the Qing court did not have a Fragrance Bank [香库], and fragrances were instead placed in the Tea Bank [茶库]. This is a remarkable change, since many—if not all— previous dynasties had Fragrance Banks. The recently opened archive shows the consumption of a steady monthly amount of agar wood [沉速香]: 500 to 600 kuai [块] or cakes throughout the entire Qianlong period.40 The Qing court used one fragrance for all occasions; the Song and Ming monarchs would have laughed at such unsophisticated court culture, given the multitude of fragrances they used in elaborate fashion for different occasions. Perhaps the Manchus did not have as many gods to worship, or perhaps this demonstrates the increasing secularisation of imperial rituals and Chinese society. But what of fragrance’s essential role in cosmetics making, air purification and mosquito repellents? Like fragrances, rare birds and animals and medicinal herbs had all virtually disappeared. They had been China’s staple imports since Han–Tang times, and were still imported during the latter half of the Ming. Perhaps the court and elite had moved onto other exotic hobbies like snuff bottles, clocks, sing-songs and opium smoking. What did this shift of interest mean for the small economies of West, South and Southeast Asia, whose survival depended on demand from China? Perhaps they switched to growing rice, and soon opium. Medicinal herbs hardly figure at all in the two Qing lists: perhaps the herbal preparations that traditionally healed and nurtured many were supplements or luxuries to begin with, or perhaps they were replaced by new ready-made pills or syrups.

40 Neiwu Fu Guangchu Si Liu Ku Yuezhe Dang, bundle for the Qianlong Emperor’s 8th, 10th, 20th, 21st, 30th, 40th and 60th years, Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Beijing, China. This amounted to 84 bundles of material.

“wind of the west” [西洋风]

225

Luxury goods vanished from the Qing list of imports. A careful look would reveal that the categories of the two lists are similar, starting with textiles/garments [衣], followed by foodstuff/sundry goods [食], household items/utensils [住], and vehicles/transportation [行], all mundane consumer necessities. Textiles, ranging from fabrics to ready-made garments or accessories like hats and stockings, topped the Qing lists. Although we have seen that this category was growing during the latter half of the Ming, it became one of the most important branches of foreign trade during the Qing and has remained so. Traditionally foreign trade had been tailored to meet the various demands and desires of the court and elite, but now the everyday needs of ordinary consumers commanded the market. This change is the most important turning point in the history of China’s foreign trade, and demands much more study than it receives here. Despite this shift, court-driven imports did not stop, as we saw in the case of clocks and the construction and furnishing of Europeanstyle palaces. Royal consumption continued to shape the character of maritime trade. The difference was that the consumer market began, for the first time, to dictate the volume of imports; this had begun during the latter half of the Ming but did not manifest itself clearly until the mid-Qing, and became the norm thereafter. After two thousand years, China’s foreign trade had finally become driven by the market, rather than by the court or elites. In a comparative study of Rome and Han China, Peter F. Bang summed up what he called “empire as a tributary enterprise”, “tribute and commercialization”, and “market as transformer”.41 China’s foreign trade had been a “tributary enterprise” since the Qin-Han. This led to waves of commercialisation, the Song being a perfect example, as the market finally emerged and completely transformed China nearly two millennia later during the Qing. The Qing categories allow us a much better glimpse into the Qing economy, culture and society. The first category, textiles and garments, points us directly to the population explosion and the growing cashcropping economy. The population grew from 160 million during the late Ming to 400 million by the mid-Qing, which demanded not only a doubling of the rice supply to feed them—as we saw in Chapters Two and Three—but also more textiles to clothe them. Clearly, China’s 41 Peter Fibiger Bang, “Commanding and Consuming the World: Empire, Tribute, and Trade in Roman and Chinese History”, in Rome and China: Comparative Perspectives on Ancient World Empires, ed. Walter Scheidel (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 100–20.

226

chapter six

cotton, like China’s rice, was not enough to clothe the growing population, and the list of imports included shoes, stockings, hats, and jackets or overcoats. Whereas in previous times a large household, family, or clan supported itself by weaving and making its own clothes, this changed during the mid-Qing as China was confronted with massive population growth and rapid urbanization. Urban Chinese increased and consumed at a greater scale than the traditional peasant household economy could accommodate. They demanded ready-made, fashionable garments that would reflect their newly-found social status and wealth. The second category, foodstuff and sundry goods, includes rice, cooking oil, dried fish and fruits, in addition to both old and new luxuries such as bird’s nests and wine, which supplies further evidence to what I have argued in Chapter Three, “Feeding China”. Garments and foodstuff were followed by household items and material. These ranged from decorative objects made of wood and metal to mirrors, umbrellas, enamels of all colours, and much more. What does this demand tell us about mid-Qing consumer society? Perhaps this is what Kenneth Pomeranz called “more and less ordinary luxuries”.42 What had been the preserve of the court and elite in the early Qing had begun to filter down to general consumer society by the mid-Qing. The early nineteenth century, the few decades before the Opium War, did not just see a watershed in Qing politics, as Joseph Fletcher and John K. Fairbank have argued.43 This period also witnessed a turning point in the economy and consumer culture, reflected in the demand for so many foreign goods. Both Xiamen Gazetteer and History of the Guangdong Customs paid special attention to the newest foreign—which by this time meant European—products that passed through Customs and were taxed.44 These included foreign carpets, handkerchiefs, glass ware, musical instruments, pens, matches, timber, pictures, bowls and much more. We must again be cautious here, as some of the new foreign products were in fact old goods bearing the new prefix yang. Yang tan [洋毯] or foreign carpet is a good example, as these originated in West or South 42

Pomeranz, The Great Divergence, pp. 114–16. Joseph Fletcher, “Ch’ing Inner Asia c. 1800”, in The Cambridge History of China Volume 10 The Late Ch’ing 1800–1911 Part 1, eds. Denis Twitchett and John K. Fairbank (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978), pp. 35–106. John K. Fairbank, The Great Chinese Revolution 1800–1985 (New York: Harper & Row, 1987), p. 23. 44 Zhou Kai, Xiamen Zhi, vol. 7, pp. 160–75; Liang Tingnan, Yue Haiguan Zhi, vol. 9, pp. 621–92. 43

“wind of the west” [西洋风]

227

Asia as they always had. Their prefix yang suggests, however, that those who now actually brought the carpets to China were Europeans. Alternatively, it may reflect the fact that Chinese merchants added the prefix yang in order to fetch a higher price, knowing that many consumers would pay a premium for items that they understood to be foreign or European in the now-common sense of the term. China’s old trading partners in Asia supplied her with the essentials she needed, whereas her new partners, sometimes together with the old ones, brought new items to the growing number of needy Chinese consumers. Xiamen Gazetteer and History of the Guangdong Customs testify to major demographic, socio-economic and cultural changes that were taking place inside China, manifested through the demand for more consumer goods. This is supported by research on the East India Company compiled by William Milburn, who meticulously studied Sino-British trade up to the second decade of the nineteenth century (Table 6.1):45 Table 6.1

Sino-British trade to the first decade of the 19th century

Name Broad cloth Long ells Superfine long ells Embossed long ells Camblets Worleys Elephants' teech Cornelians Beads Lead Tin Cotton Pepper Beetle-nut Rattans Prussian blue Rose maloes Window glass Cuttings Rabbit skins Putchock

45

Quantity 1,907 bales 10,254 173 12 1,796 119 23 peculs 116,580 pieces 3 peculs 36,523 10,588 107,039 11,346 36,671 14,259 1,899 215 316 70 46,850 pieces 6,911peculs

Name Sandal wood Shark’s fin Fish maws Wax clocks Long cloths Coarse clothes Cutbear Copper Coral Olibanum Beaver skins Fox skins Beech de mer Watches Bird’s nests Sheet copper Iron Flannel duroys White lead Red lead

Milburn, Oriental Commerce, vol. 2, p. 481.

Quantity 4,691 peculs 1,219 238 422 30 in number 480 pieces 900 98 peculs 352 8 1,354 2,220 pieces 2,270 44 228 in number 14 peculs 36 1,781 3,612 bales 438 peculs 69

chapter six

228

Of the 42 import items, 15 are clothing materials; the rest are general consumer goods, although the list also includes a small amount of the old luxuries, such as clocks and bird’s nests. The predominance of textiles points us to the fact that there were not only more mouths to feed, but more bodies to clothe and more households to furnish, which put pressure on limited resources. China began to import these textiles and household items in the early eighteenth century, and these ordinary consumer goods would become the only import items by the mid-nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries. This can be seen from the inventory of Shanghai Department Store: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Machine-made cotton products Cosmetics of all kinds Utensils made of steel and thermos Daily and household utensils46

This echoes the findings of economic historians like Yao Xiangao, Yan Zhongping, Liang-lin Hsiao and Chao Kang. Although their research focuses on different aspects of the late Qing and early Republican economies, and they disagree about numbers, they concur that textile imports were second only to opium by the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.47 This is clearly seen in the work of the eminent H. B. Morse (1855–1934), who began working in China in 1874 and served as General Inspector of the Maritime Customs. He studied China’s import of cotton manufactures carefully:48

46 Shanghai Baihuo Gongsi, Shanghai Jindai Baihuo Shangye Shi (Shanghai: Shehui kexueyuan, 1988), pp. 72–98; See also Jiang Jianguo, Guangdong Xiaofei Wenhua yu Shehui Bianqian: 1800–1911 (Guangzhou: Guangdong renmin chubanshe, 2006), pp. 140–93. 47 Yao Xiangao, Zhongguo Jindai Duiwai Maoyi Shi Ziliao (3 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1962), vol. 2, p. 598 & vol. 3, pp. 1602–04; Yan Zhongping, Zhongguo Jindai Jingji Shi (Shanghai: Renmin chubanshe, 1989), pp. 353–63; Liang-lin Hsiao, China’s Foreign Trade Statistics, 1864–1949 (Cambridge: Harvard University East Asian Research Center, 1974), pp. 22–23, 109, 117–18 & 132; Chao Kang, The Development of Cotton Textile Production in China (Cambridge: Harvard University East Asia Research Center, 1977), pp. 87–105. See also Yu Heping, “Yangwu Yundong Shiqi Zhong Wai Maoyi Zhuangkuang Bianhua de Ji Ge Wenti”, in Wan Qing Guojia yu Shehui, eds. Zhongguo Shehui Kexueyuan Jindaishi Yanjiusuo Zhengzhishi Yanjiushi (Beijing: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe, 2007), pp. 513–28. 48 Morse, The Trade and Administration of China, pp. 293–98. See also Thomas P. Lyons, China Maritime Customs and China’s Trade Statistics, 1859–1948 (Trumansburg [NY]: Willow Creek of Trumansburg, 2003).

“wind of the west” [西洋风]

229

Year

Value (taels)

Percentage of total import

1867 1905

14,617,268 181,452,953

21% 40%

Morse included what he called “plain fabrics (grey and white shirtings, sheetings, drills, jeans, and T-cloths)”:

Year 1867 1905

Pieces 3,738,965 (130,000 from the United States and the rest from England) 28,702,693 (from England, United States, Japan and India)

Having emphasised the rising imports of foreign textiles, I do not mean to suggest that China did not export textiles of its own. A brief discussion is necessary here, which will not undermine but rather support what has been argued to this point. Made in the environs of Nanjing and named after it, so-called “Nankeen” cloth is a perfect example. Chao Kang has written expertly on the subject: “In the eighteenth century nankeen not only was better in quality than the local products of Kwangtung but was also superior to cloth manufactured by the newly established mills in Lancashire”.49 Nankeen was quite popular in Europe, and its export rose from at least 1734, when concrete records became available, until 1833, when the overseas market for Nankeen completely disappeared. This is a defining moment, as foreign imports increased and American products began to compete. Despite this, Chinese textiles rebounded in the 1870s and exports peaked between 1921 and 1925. Would Nankeen have reduced China’s need for foreign textiles if it was not exported? The fact it was exported points to the invisible hand that dictated the flow of goods, as well as capital, to and from China. Capitalism was putting the Chinese economy and consumers at the mercy of a market which was already global and beyond local control. From the Tang dynasty to the Qing, we have seen the categories of goods that found a market in China, and we have seen how that market grew from the latter half of the Ming to the late Qing. Fundamental

49 Chao Kang, The Development of Cotton Textile Production in China, pp. 81–105.

230

chapter six

change began to set in during the late Ming and materialised fully in the mid-Qing, as old categories disappeared and new ones emerged— and more importantly became permanent. The changes in Chinese consumer behaviour were wrought by the population increase and social transformations, which for the first time in Chinese history dictated foreign trade. Perhaps the “cosmetics” category in the late Qing– early Republic list can help explain the disappearance of “fragrances”, as technological innovation and consumer trends emerged to replace tradition and limited production. How did Chinese consumers perceive and consume these new categories of goods? What can they tell us about the changing consumer culture and society during the midQing (the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries)? “Western Merchant Ships Fly Here Everyday” [西洋贾舶日纷驰]50 This section charts the rising popularity and increasing availability of foreign goods, a trend that during the Qing spread from the maritime regions to the interior and moved from royal palaces to common households. It investigates how Chinese consumers initially perceived the new products, and how these goods reflected the changing psyche and behaviour of ordinary Chinese, which helped to shape a consumer culture that discriminated against traditional and local products. It is vital to understand the appeal of foreign goods to Chinese consumers, led by those people who I called the “taste-makers” and “trendsetters” of culture and style—emperors and princes, intellectual elites and scholar-officials—in The Social Life of Opium in China. Early consumers also include those who served them, the aspiring middle classes who looked up to them, and the ordinary people who lived in the taste-making and trend-setting metropolises, as we have seen in the case of clocks. They certainly included those who travelled to these metropolises; Macao is a perfect example of a city where foreign goods were on display and for sale once the Portuguese settled there in the mid-sixteenth century and more Europeans came to join them. Wu Zhenfang (1679 jinshi) remembered the foreign goods he saw in Macao. Following the rule I established earlier, yang is translated as foreign and Xi Yang as European:

50

Yi Ming, “Xukan Shanghai Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 2, p. 1012.

“wind of the west” [西洋风]

231

There are European palaces in Macao, they have all kinds of foreign things like European rice, foreign yam,. . . and parrots etc., they all come from maritime trade and they can be found in the foreign goods shops where there are many more such things as foreign tin, foreign candles, foreign dogs, foreign paper duvets, and foreign garlic.51

Macao opened Wu’s eyes to a world beyond that with which he was familiar, and he appreciated what he had never seen before. The European buildings there, ranging from shops to churches and residences, were so big that Wu called them palaces. He was fascinated with the foreign shops in Macao and the foreign goods on display, ranging from foodstuff like European rice and foreign yams to household items such as foreign candles and foreign pets. A word of caution is needed here, however, as “European rice” is a good example of potentially confusing terminology. The Europeans in Macao did not bring rice to Asia; they might have bought it in the neighbourhood of South or Southeast Asia for their own use or commercial ends. Were they consuming foreign yam, which like maize was thought of by Europeans as a low-brow foodstuff, or were they for sale to the locals? Perhaps this was one way in which the foreign yam found its way into China. Foreign garlic—the onion—remains in use in Chinese cuisine today. Foreign paper duvets are interesting, as they were certainly not made with paper; they may have been well-ironed or crisp new textiles that looked like paper from a distance. Educated and urban, Wu Zhenfang testifies to the increasing fascination with, and rising availability of, foreign goods by the late seventeenth century, or early Qing. While Macao and Guangzhou benefited from close proximity to foreigners and foreign trade, Nanjing benefited from the Royal Manufactory that operated in its vicinity, as we learn from the celebrated Dream of the Red Chamber. Some of the novel’s female characters, Xue Baoqin for example, often went looking for special fabrics, exotic clothes and curios in the shops of Nanjing which specialised in foreign goods: When I was eight, my father took me shopping in the foreign goods shops in the Xihai Street. We saw a girl from Zhenzhen country [真真国], she was about fifteen. She looked just like the beauties in European paintings; she had yellow hair which was braided and had various kinds of jewellery like coral and precious stones like cat’s eye and grandmother jade all over her head. She wore a chain-mail style overcoat made with foreign brocade woven with gold thread; she had a Japanese knife fitted 51 Wu Zhenfang, Lingnan Zaji (2 vols. Taibei: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1965), vol. 1, p. 12 & vol. 2, pp. 47–52.

232

chapter six with gold and precious stone. In fact she looked much better than those in pictures.52

This short excerpt contains a wealth of information about the variety of foreign products available in Nanjing, where the author Cao’s family lived, and it also demonstrates the popularity of such items among the urban elite. Related to the powerful Cao family I discussed in Chapter Four, the Xue family was one of the most eminent in the Jiangnan region. The image of the girl described above is confusing, because it portrays a mishmash of several countries and cultures. Zhenzhen could have referred to a people in Central Asia, even though the Chinese also braid; whereas yellow or blond hair is normally associated with Europe. The pastiche of a foreign teenage girl might have come from the various foreign paintings and objects that the author Cao had been exposed to when his forefathers were at the zenith of their power. It seems unlikely that foreigners would have brought a teenage girl to China, although it is possible in the case of Central Asians, as some—the Uyghurs for example—came to do business and live in China proper, just as Muslim traders had centuries prior; the mention of precious stones and jade are good hints. The outfit the girl wore is even more confusing: a chain-mail style jacket made with foreign brocade woven with gold thread, if translated literally. This again is a mishmash of several styles. We don’t know whether this was made in Europe or elsewhere, but we do know that foreign brocade had made its way into the Chinese market, primarily attracting women, the most important consumers of fabrics. Golden thread in clothing was a symbol of wealth and status; it can be found in the tribute list for the Kangxi emperor, used in imperial robes and garments, according to the findings of Yang Boda. What is special here is the so-called chain-mail style, not the metal tunic we might normally picture, but possibly an overcoat with a primitive zipper and hood, a style new to China. Cotton padded jackets and coats were common but overcoats with a zipper and hood, combining the function of a jacket and a hat, were new, and possibly in vogue. The fashion of using foreign textiles and foreign design would filter down the social ladder, and would challenge the indigenous handicraft and textile industries in the nineteenth century, as urban consumers preferred

52

Cao Xueqin, Hong Lou Meng, vol. 52, p. 397.

“wind of the west” [西洋风]

233

garments made with foreign fabric and in foreign styles, a trend I will discuss in detail in the following chapter. The above excerpt was one of the many references to foreign stuff in the fictional biography, others mentioned include: foreign carpet, clocks and watches, foreign crab-apple, foreign tea, foreign silverplated tea kettles, foreign enamel, foreign paint, a gold-plated side table with foreign cloth table cover, a foreign painted tea tray, various foreign fabrics, foreign candy, rose perfume, European wine, European medicine, and a European self-propelled boat.53 European medicine reminds us of Kangxi, who used medicines prescribed by the Jesuits. He dispatched the same medicine upon hearing that Cao Yin was gravely ill in 1712, but the treatment arrived too late.54 Kangxi loved European wine, as court records reveal and historians have noted.55 Did he share it with Cao? Evidently, what was available in the Kangxi court was also available, with or without Kangxi’s knowledge, to the Cao family, since the goods listed in Dream of the Red Chamber can be found in the list of tributes to the Qing court and in the newly-released archives. The fictional biography is an extremely valuable source that reveals what foreign goods were available to whom and when, and more importantly the ways in which they spread. Wang Shizhen (1634–1711), a leading man of letters and scholarofficial during the early Qing, enumerated Dutch knives and European copper figures he possessed and valued.56 Zhao Yi (1727–1814), a ranking official who four times was bestowed with the honour of joining the Qianlong emperor on his hunting excursions, detailed Qianlong’s love of European telescopes.57 Wang Qishu (1728–1799) wrote admiringly about winter coats made with foreign marten-skin, and the fashion of cultivating foreign chrysanthemums and collecting foreign insects among his contemporaries.58 Foreign marten and otter skins were exotic and expensive, and very fashionable among the 53 Cao Xuegin, Hong Lou Meng, vol. 3, p. 21; vol. 6, p. 45, vol. 14, p. 95, vol. 45, p. 344; vol. 17, p. 121; vol. 25, p. 183; vol. 40, p. 304; vol. 53, p. 410, vol. 59, p. 461, vol. 63, p. 490; vol. 67, p. 532, vol. 105, p. 844. 54 Zhou Ruchan & Yan Zhong, Jiangning Zhizhao yu Cao Jia, pp. 172–73 & 15–16. 55 Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Kangxi Chao Manwen Zhupi Zouzhe Quan Yi, pp. 768 & 1170; and Wu Boya, Kang Yong Qian San Di yu Xi Xue Dongjian, pp. 308–13. 56 Wang Shizhen, Chi Bei Ou Tan (26 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997), vol. 24, p. 588. 57 Zhao Yi, Yan Bao Zaji (6 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997), vol. 2, pp. 36–8. 58 Wang Qishu, Shui Cao Qing Xialu (16 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997), vol. 8, p. 116; vol. 10, p. 156 & vol. 15, p. 229.

chapter six

234

royals. The newly opened Monthly Register testifies to their popularity, as the Qing court imported an enormous number of them. I have painstakingly surveyed 9 years (Qianlong’s 8th, 10th, 20th, 21st, 27th, 30th, 33rd, 40th and 60th) of records in the Leather Bank [皮库]. Registered and bundled on a monthly basis, the inventory (existing stock) for huang diao pi [黄貂皮] or marten-skin counted as many as 16,840 pieces; the largest monthly arrival of new stock reached 6,281 pieces, and the highest consumption numbered 8,502 pieces, in Qianlong’s 33rd year or 1769.59 Kangxi’s fur-lined robe below gives us a clue as to how exactly these furs were used (Illustration 6.1):60

Illustration 6.1

Kangxi’s Fur-Lined Imperial Robe

59 Neiwu Fu Guangchu Si Liu Ku Yuezhe Dang, bundles for the Qianlong Emperor’s 8th, 10th, 20th, 21st, 27th, 30th, 33rd, 40th and 60th years. This amounted to 108 bundles of material. 60 Beijing Gugong Bowuyuan, Qingdai Gongting Fushi (Hong Kong: Shangwu yinshuguan, 2005), p. 14 or item 6.

“wind of the west” [西洋风]

235

Animal skins made excellent winter garments and were effective in warding off the fierce cold weather of north China. Manchuria itself and tributes from Russia, Korea and Central Asia had originally met the needs of the small Manchu court and Chinese elite in the early Qing, but demand outstripped supply by the eighteenth century as more Manchus and Chinese began to covet such status-bearing winter garments. Merchants from the newly-independent United States were quick to discover and exploit this opportunity: “The principal fur sought by Boston traders was that of the sea-otter, of which the Mandarins had never been able to obtain enough from Russian hunters”, and “the Columbia’s first lading, of one thousand and fifty seaotter skins, sold for $21,404.71”.61 They would develop this trade in the coming decades, as Samuel Eliot Morison discusses: “The value of imports at Canton on American vessels rose to over five million dollars in 1805–06; of this over one million was accounted for by 17,445 sea-otter, 140,297 seal, and 34,460 beaver-skins, and 1600 piculs of sandalwood”.62 The demand from Qing China must have contributed to the dramatic decline of these species. As rare animal skins became increasingly hard to come by, English wool became a substitute by the late eighteenth century. The English, in other words, had all along possessed something that the Manchus and Chinese would buy, but they just hadn’t done enough research. Li Tiaoyuan (1734–1803), whose verse was quoted earlier, wrote much about foreign goods, including foreign mattresses, foreign peaches and foreign lilies.63 Yang Miren (1740–1815) dedicated many verses to Beijing, and began one with “The most popular thing in Beijing is the three needle foreign watch”.64 Chen Zhan (b. 1753) counted a multitude of foreign items in his work, which I discussed in The Social Life of Opium in China.65 Li Dou (1764–1796), a Jiangnan scholar, discussed a whole array of foreign goods used by the legendary flower boats, or

61 Samuel Eliot Morison, The Maritime History of Massachusetts 1783–1860 (London: William Heinemann, 1923), pp. 57 & 66. Columbia was America’s first ship to China after its independence. 62 Ibid., p. 67. See also James R. Gibson, Otter Skins, Boston Ships, and China Goods: the Maritime Fur Trade of the Northwest Coast, 1785–1841 (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1992). 63 Li Tiaoyuan, Nanyue Biji (16 vols. Taibei: Guangwen shuju, 1969), vol. 5, p. 9. 64 Yang Miren, “Dumen Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 1, p. 103. 65 See also Hao Yen-p’ing, The Commercial Revolution in Nineteenth-Century China, pp. 34–46.

236

chapter six

sex industry, in Yangzhou. These ranged from European paintings, privacy screens, oars and hooks, lamps, and glass ware.66 These foreign interior decorations were key to an industry that catered towards, and was maintained by the patronage of, the moneyed class. The mention of foreign privacy screens suggests that Jiangnan’s elite was trying to emulate the Qianlong emperor’s use of European interior decorations in the construction of the European palaces. The popularity of and appreciation for European goods spread, and by the late eighteenth century they were no longer royal monopolies. The best and most comprehensive list of foreign goods can be found in the possession of Qianlong’s favourite minister, master of corruption He Shen. Just as the Yongzheng emperor destroyed the Cao family, the Jiaqing emperor destroyed the He family and likewise took possession of his large fortune. He Shen was found to be richer than the new emperor himself, and the saying at the time went: “He Shen fell. Jiaqing ate full”. What He Shen had amassed included not just a dozen palaces but also entire depositories, just like those of the Imperial Household Department. He had a Foreign Stuff Bank [洋货库] where desirable foreign items were hoarded. The item found in the greatest quantity was English wool; this included 800 plates of red woollen serge, 450 plates of multi-coloured wool, 600 plates of camlet/qiveut and 25 plates of multi-coloured serge.67 The import of these materials was small in quantity because it was limited for the exclusive use of the court, but He Shen was able to lay his hands on much of them. He Shen is a defining example of Chinese corruption, and exotic, expensive foreign goods such as English wool tell a consistent story. The appropriation of exotic and expensive foreign goods by officials was an established pattern of corruption in Chinese officialdom. When the Tang dynasty prime minister Yuan Zhai was investigated, large quantities of pepper were found in his possession.68 When the Song dynasty prime minister Tong Guan was arrested, large quantities of fragrance were found in his possession.69 When the Ming dynasty 66 Li Dou, Yangzhou Huafang Lu (18 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997), vol. 14, p. 333, vol. 17, p. 405, 414, 422, 67 Feng Zuoze, He Shen Mi Shi: Tangwu zhi Wang, p. 228; Yehenana Tuheng, Ju Tan Jianxiang He Shen Quanzhuan, pp. 775–82 & 835–37; and Hua Erjia, Qingdai Tanwu Shouhui Da An, pp. 320–45. 68 Huang Zhengjian, Tangdai Yi Shi Zhu Xing Yanjiu (Beijing: Shoudu shifan daxue chubanshe, 1998), p. 1. 69 Huang Chunyan, Songdai Haiwai Maoyi, p. 203.

“wind of the west” [西洋风]

237

punished its corrupt officials from time to time, the largest stocks discovered were of sappan wood and silver.70 By the eighteenth century, the most frequently confiscated goods were clocks, as we have seen in the case of Cao Yin, and woollen products, as in the case of He Shen. In the nineteenth century it would be opium, as not only individual officials but also local governments laid their hands on the commodity and benefited from its traffic and consumption.71 This set the example for warlords, the Nationalists and the Communists in the twentieth century. Exotic and expensive foreign goods have facilitated and defined Chinese corruption from at least the Tang to the twentieth century. This deserves greater study, as it will undoubtedly shed light on this most timeless and relentless vice which Chinese officials, supposed moral leaders of the people, continue to perfect. Foreign goods became increasingly available by the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Zhao Lian praised the Qianlong emperor for remembering his pastoral roots by practicing archery and speaking Manchu. A minor nobleman, Zhao Lian could not fail to notice the things his more fortunate Manchu kinfolk possessed, and he admired the European chairs, or sofas, at the Qianlong court.72 The nostalgia for things foreign can be best seen in the memoirs of Liang Zhangju (1775–1849), Ouyang Zhaoxiong (1837 juren) and Jin Anqing. They reminisced about the popularity and exquisiteness of foreign imports during the Qianlong period, an era of greatness that made the Daoguang reign in which they found themselves appear dull and boring.73 Things were changing in the nineteenth century, as many Chinese squandered their fortune just like Qianlong had done; but their fascination with and desire for foreign goods grew massively after the Opium War. It was as if the war itself made them even more popular; it didn’t matter at all that these goods were brought in by the people who defeated their country.

70

Chen Kuo-tung, Dong Ya Haiyu Yi Qian Nian, pp. 104–11. R. Bin Wong, “Opium and Modern Chinese State-Making” and Judith Wyman, “Opium and the State in Late-Qing Sichuan”, in Opium Regimes: China, Britain, and Japan, 1839–1952, eds. Timothy Brook and Bab Tadashi Wakabayashi (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), pp. 189–211 & 212–27. 72 Zhao Lian, Xiaoting Zalu, vol. 1, pp. 13–14 & vol. 9, p. 292. 73 Liang Zhangju, Langji Xutan (8 vols Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997), vol. 8, p. 390; Ouyang Zhaoxiong and Jin Anqin, Shui Chuang Chun Yi (2 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997), vol. 2, p. 53. Juren [举人] is the second degree in the examination system. 71

238

chapter six

From court-favoured officials such as Wang Shizhen and Zhao Yi to obscure local scholars like Yang Miren and Li Dou, the Qing’s men of letters have left us a rich trail of information about foreign goods in their memoirs.74 Qing China’s relationship with foreign stuff can be charted in official sources like the Monthly Register and the Tribute Archive relayed to us by Yang Boda, local gazetteers like Xiamen Gazetteer, private memoirs and biographical fiction like Dream of the Red Chamber. They bear witness to the rising popularity and increasing availability of foreign goods, which gave birth to new businesses and a brand new urban mosaic. This manifested itself not just in the appearance of shops devoted to foreign goods but also in the emergence of entire streets devoted to marketing, wholesale and retail, of foreign goods, as seen in the case of Macao in the late seventeenth century and that of Nanjing in the early eighteenth century. Zhao Xuemin mentioned foreign goods shops in Ningbo in Bengcao Gangmu Shiyi [本草纲目拾遗] or Supplement to the Compendium of Materia Medica, published in 1765, while I discuss the case of Tianjin during the mid-late eighteenth century in The Social Life of Opium in China.75 The following excerpt showcases what was happening in Suzhou by the late eighteenth century: Customs can change people and this has been the case since ancient times, and it doesn’t exclude the learned. (Of ) Shanxi and Shaanxi people, the rich look as if they were poor, whereas (for) the Jiangnanese and Guangdongnese, the poor look as if they were rich. Take our Suzhou for example: stores that sell foreign goods, leather goods, silk products/ garments, gold, jade, jewellery, treasures, ginseng and herbal medicine, plus theatres, leisure and flower boats, wine shops, tea houses, they stand like trees in a forest.76

“Heaven on Earth”, Suzhou was now even more heavenly with the addition of foreign goods and pleasures. Even foreign puppet shows called “European Scenes” [西洋景致] appeared on Chinese streets by the late eighteenth century, as this extremely rare drawing depicts (Illustration 6.2):77 74

Wu Boya, Kang Yong Qian San Di yu Xixue Dongjian, pp. 366–67. Zhao Xuemin, Bencao Gangmu Shiyi (10 vols. Taibei: Hongye shuju, 1985), vol. 6, p. 210; and Cui Xu, “Jin Men bai yong”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 1, p. 449. 76 Gu Gongxie, Xiao Xia Xianji Zhai Cao (Shanghai: Shanghai shudian, 1994), p. 27A–B or 700. 77 “Puppeteer: European Scenes”, Chinese Collection, Drawings volume 52, number 45, John Rylands Library. 75

“wind of the west” [西洋风]

Illustration 6.2

239

Puppeteer: European Scene

The unstoppable rise in popularity of foreign merchandise was obvious by the mid-nineteenth century, and West Ocean acquired a further connotation when the United States joined the Europeans trading in China and Asia, and Western—no longer just European—products outshone and overtook Chinese goods even when one looks beyond the coastal urban centres and Treaty port cities: Hankou folk verse Beijing, Jiangsu and foreign goods smartly arranged Everything is exquisite whether standalone or mixed

240

chapter six Facing each other they pack both sides of the street Carefully and orderly laid is a new boulevard.78 Chengdu folk verse Who has the most Tongren stores in the country? It’s naturally Sichuan after Beijing. In addition to big streets and foreign goods shops, Government money goes into these famous shops.79

These are zhuzhici [竹枝词], or folk verses, written by local scholars or even ordinary people. Dedicated to local cultures, they rhyme and are easy to understand and recite. It seems that not many historians have recognised their historical value and exploited them, a reason I highlight them in this volume. They are extremely valuable, as they describe vividly—deliciously in many cases—how foreign goods were perceived and used by the ordinary people. The appearance of foreign goods in local folk verses demonstrates the speed and scale of their spread by the mid-nineteenth century.80 The first verse tells the popularity of foreign stuff and the emergence of a whole new avenue in Hankou, the “emporium” of China, by the mid-nineteenth century. William Rowe has carefully studied its commerce and highlighted the “cityscape” of the tri-city.81 The second verse explains how foreign goods were more popular than the traditional Tongren medicine shops in the west-central province of Sichuan by the mid-late nineteenth century. Naturally the best foreign goods and shops were found in Shanghai: The best foreign goods shop owned by Westerners is the famous Heng Li Da [亨利达]. It specialises in the sale of barometers, clocks, watches, flutes, drums, violins, eight-sound instruments, bird music boxes, microscopes, life vests, and many playful things. As to those owned by the Chinese, Rui Shang and Quan Heng are the best as they have both foreign goods and Guangdong goods. Hundreds of these shops operate in the city today.82

Exotic and expensive goods that were only available to the Qing court less than a century ago were at the disposal of anyone with means by

78

Ye Tiaoyuan, “Hankou Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, p. 2596. Wu Haoshan, “Chengdu Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 5, p. 3214. 80 Li Junyuan & Ren Xiwen, Zhongguo Shangye Shi, pp. 189–90. 81 William T. Rowe, Hankow: Commerce and Society in a Chinese City, 1796–1889 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1984), pp. 23–27. 82 Ge Yuanxu, “Fuyou Zaji”, in Shanghai Tan yu Shanghai Ren Congshu (Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1989), p. 28. 79

“wind of the west” [西洋风]

241

the mid-nineteenth century. The opening of China as a result of her defeat in the Opium Wars had made that possible. Shrewd as they had always been, Chinese merchants knew that foreign products were the future, and they were joined by their counterparts from across the seas as “Western merchant ships fly here everyday”.83 Mainland scholar Sun Yanjing has calculated the number of foreign companies [洋行]. There were about 40 of them in 1840; the number increased to 343 in 1872, and 552 by 1894.84 Britain claimed 221 businesses, followed by the United States, Germany, France, Russia and soon Japan. The foreign merchants marked out their own territories wherever they set up their businesses, courtesy of the Treaty of Nanking and others that followed. The “ten miles of foreign site”, the most fashionable place in Shanghai, featured not only foreign businesses but also foreign cultures and styles, which began to establish a presence that persists today.85 The foreign merchants used “foreign money” and “foreign dollars” in their transactions.86 They spoke “foreign languages”; it seems the British followed by the Americans claimed the lion’s share of foreign trade, and English thus became the lingua franca of business transaction.87 From Guangzhou and Shanghai to Hankou and Xi’an, it was clear that the “big foreign shops make the best sales”, because “East and West Ocean goods were fashionable”.88 Later, when rebellions broke out, many of those with the means moved to the “foreign streets” altogether, as they offered protection from Chinese harassment.89 The emergence of foreign goods companies, shops and streets not only fuelled commerce and consumption, but also gave birth to a foreign urban mosaic which had become obvious by the mid-late nineteenth century. A comprehensive list of foreign goods available to ordinary Chinese can be found in the work of Zheng Guanying (1842–1922):

83

Yi Ming, “Xukan Shanghai Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 2, p. 1012. Yu Heping, “Yangwu Yundong Shiqi Zhong Wai Maoyi Zhuangkuang Bianhua de Ji Ge Wenti”, in Wan Qing Guojia yu Shehui, pp. 513–28. 85 Qin Rongguang, “Shanghaixian Zhuzhici” and Yi Ming, “Xukan Shanghai Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 2, pp. 996 & 1007. 86 Jiang Zhongyu, “Yangcheng Zhuzhici” and Luo Sifeng, “Hankou Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, pp. 2754 & 2666. 87 Hu Zijin, “Guangzhou Zhuzhici” and Luo Sifeng, “Hankou Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, pp. 2897 & 2666. 88 Hu Zijin, “Guangzhou Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, p. 2899; and He Qinzhe, “Qingmen Zhuzhici (Shaanxi)”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 5, p. 3677. 89 Luo Sifeng, “Hankou Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, p. 2670. 84

242

chapter six Foreign liquid medicine, foreign medicine pills, foreign medicine powder, foreign smoke slices, Luzon smoke, Hawaii smoke, Russian and American cigarettes, snuff smoke, foreign wine, ham, preserved foreign meat, foreign cakes and pastry, foreign candies, foreign sugar, foreign salt, foreign dried fruit, foreign fruit, coffee, and many I could not name. All these eatables are wicked things that have brought misfortune to us. In addition to foreign cloth, there are foreign silk, foreign satin, foreign wool, foreign eiderdown, foreign velvet, foreign camlet, foreign quilts, foreign blankets/rugs/carpets, foreign towels, foreign lace, foreign buttons, foreign needles, foreign thread, foreign umbrellas, foreign lamps, foreign paper, foreign pictures, foreign pens, foreign ink, foreign pigments, foreign leather trunks and suitcases, foreign china, foreign toothbrushes, foreign tooth powder, foreign soap, foreign matches, foreign oil, etc. All these materials and utensils are wicked and they have only brought misfortune to us. Except the above, there are electric or gas lights, tap water, cameras, glass mirrors big or small, lead-copper-iron-tin-coal, tinplate, foreign wood furniture, foreign clocks/watches, sundials, thermometers, and other ingenious and seductive things that are so many I cannot list them all here. All of these ingenious and excessive things are wicked that have brought nothing but misfortune to us.90

Calling his book Sheng Shi Wei Yan [盛世危言] or Warning Words to a Prosperous World, the late Qing thinker saw how these foreign merchandise corrupted his countrymen and were in the process of destroying his country. This was a result of what he and many others called yang huo [洋祸]—not foreign stuff but foreign misfortune, as the spelling huo is endowed with several characters and very different meanings.91 As a matter of fact, foreigners, foreigner-provoked wars, foreigner-imposed institutions, foreign influence and presence, along with the foreign goods, were all called foreign misfortune by this time. Little did Zheng Guanying know that the appreciation and consumption of foreign goods would continue into the twenty-first century, as his descendants continue to change the face of China and re-define “elements of Chinese civilisation”, to again evoke Mark E. Lewis’s phrase, with nearly everything foreign.

90

Zheng Guanying, Sheng Shi Wei Yan chapter 13 at www.tianyabook.com/lishi/ shengshiweiyan/index.html accessed on 28 July 2010. 91 Wen Fang, ed. Yang Huo (Beijing: Zhongguo wenshi chubanshe, 2004).

“wind of the west” [西洋风]

243

Conclusion The nomenclature change from West Ocean to Europe and ultimately the West teaches us much about China’s increasing engagement with and understanding of the seas. Not only the Qing court and elite, but also ordinary consumers, appreciated and needed foreign—European/ Western—goods. Royal and elite consumption that began in the late Ming and intensified in the early Qing had consequences as the Wind of the West blew across China. However, this hypothesis cannot fully explain the situation. Would Qing China have needed so many foreign consumer goods had the population remained low? What would have happened if the Europeans never arrived? I ask these obvious counterfactual questions in order to highlight the significance of the seas and call for more studies that will examine maritime trade and its role in the making of Qing China. The categories of China’s imports since the Tang lend force to my argument that major change was taking place during the Ming, but did not reveal itself until the late Ming and then became obvious by the mid-Qing. The categories laid bare the changing consumer needs wrought by population increase; consumer goods for the first time in history dictated the volume of maritime trade. China’s trade pattern changed as its imports shifted from luxuries catering to the court and elite, as they had done since the Han-Tang, to mundane consumer items beginning in the latter half of the Ming. The categories and the individual commodities shed light on Ming-Qing China’s increasing reliance on maritime trade; they also reveal the changes inside China manifest in the demand for more consumer goods. This economic watershed demands much more study, as it will undoubtedly expose the dynamics of foreign trade during the Qing and the westernisation or globalisation that was gathering pace.92 Foreign goods emerged as a special category and a specialised commerce of their own by the eighteenth century, as more were brought in and more people were exposed to them and began to consume them. Some items would survive and thrive, some would slowly indigenise, while others would disappear. What can their diverse social lives in China tell us about Qing consumer culture and society? 92 Zhang Haiying, Ming Qing Jiangnan Shangping Liutong yu Shichang Tixi (Shanghai: Huadong shifan daxue chubanshe, 2002), p. 267.

CHAPTER SEVEN

PATTERN AND VARIATION: INDIGENISATION Matteo Ricci made the following observation about the Chinese dining table in the late sixteenth century: It is customary with the Chinese, more so than with other people who use this polish, not to spread their dining table with a cloth when they sit down to eat. If the table loses any of its lustres or becomes soiled by particles of food falling upon it, the gloss can be readily restored by washing with water and polishing with a cloth, because this thin but hard finish prevents any permanent stains. The export of this product of this particular tree might well be the beginning of a profitable enterprise, but up to the present it seems that no one has given any thought to such a possibility.1

George Staunton made the same kind of observation two hundred years later, in the late eighteenth century: Their tables, which the varnish always laid upon them prevents from imbibing moisture, or being injured by dust, are not covered with cloth. They spread no sheets upon their beds. They have not adopted the use of linen; and white cotton is applied by most of them to a very few purposes only. . . . It is likely that the general use of linen, to which Europe is supposed to be indebted for its present exemption from leprous affections, will be adopted by the Chinese, in the course of their increased commerce and connection with Europeans. . . . The article of soap will, probably, soon follow that of linen, as a necessary appendage.2

Although the observation of George Staunton was partial and he did not mention “Nankeen” at all, his prediction about table cloth and soap turned out to be accurate. The growing consumption of foreign goods was part of a long historical process that began in the latter half of the Ming and continues today, as China catches up with the West. Europeans appeared in the maritime theatre of China a century after Zheng He’s voyages, but the significance of their arrival would not make itself felt until the mid-Qing, when the population exploded.

1 2

Ricci, China in the Sixteenth Century, pp. 17–18. Staunton, An Authentic Account, vol. 2, pp. 283–84.

246

chapter seven

This is a most important intersection, where endogenous and exogenous forces met to shape the course of history. The rising popularity and increasing availability of foreign goods beginning in the early Qing led in turn to commercial specialisation, which can be seen from the emergence by the mid-Qing of businesses, shops and streets that were dedicated to the import, retail and marketing of foreign products. They gave birth to a foreign urban mosaic; they not only encouraged but also grew consumption.3 This can be seen in the ways in which people dressed themselves, ate, drank, smoked and entertained; it can also be seen from where people lived and how they moved around, hence the Chinese categories of clothing, food, housing and transportation. Foreign goods were changing the mentality of the Chinese and shaping a new, sometimes hybrid, urban landscape and consumer behaviour. This chapter focuses on the consumption of a few foreign goods to highlight the complex process of localisation. Focusing on how the demand for foreign products was generated and the ways in which these goods were used, this chapter probes the circumstances under which they naturalised and casts light on why some products indigenized quickly and thrived while others caught on slowly or even disappeared. In doing so, it lays bare the pattern and variations in the process of sinicisation which will enhance our understanding of Qing culture and society. The story of foreign chrysanthemums and peaches can be a good start. Zheng Banqiao (1693–1765), an early Qing artist who was famous for his paintings of nature, knew them very well: Fashionable among the super rich to grow flowers They brag about foreign chrysanthemums and peaches Freshly delivered from Jiaozhou last night A red pot of stunning and exuberant jewellery.4

The cult of cultivating exotic flowers had its origin in the “garden mania” of the late Ming and raged into the mid-Qing, as many literati and scholar-officials competed with each other to grow not just the most beautiful but, more significantly, the most exotic plants.5 This

3 Zheng Yangwen, “Qingdai Yanghuo de Liutong yu Chengshi Yang Pinqian de Chuxian”, in Cong Chengshi Kan Zhongguo de Xiandai Xing, pp. 37–52. 4 Zheng Banqiao, “Weixian Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, p. 2468. 5 Joanna F. Handlin Smith, “Gardens in Ch’i Piao-chia’s Social World: Wealth and Values in Late-Ming Kiangnan”, Journal of Asian Studies 51, 1 (1992): 55–81; Craig

pattern and variation: indigenisation

247

short verse tells us much more than just the celebrity of foreign chrysanthemums and peaches; it informs us about who their early consumers were and how they were procured. “Super rich” indicates that it was the top echelon who could afford such luxuries; this included the Qianlong emperor, who loved foreign chrysanthemums. He commissioned paintings of, and also devoted verses to, this exotic plant. He was concerned that his readers might not understand this foreign species and inserted an explanatory note before the verse he composed: The foreign chrysanthemum [洋菊] recently appeared and there are different types. It can be as big/wide as a normal diameter and it has never been so since ancient times. That’s why I asked Zhou Yigui to paint and record them in our Book of Flowers. Originally from the Eastern neighbours Now suddenly it comes from Europe [西洋] Vigorous, lush and extremely beautiful We can’t find it in our Book of Flowers. . . .6

The foreign chrysanthemum was so new to the Qing that Qianlong could not find it in the court’s Book of Flowers, and thus asked for it to be painted and recorded. He acknowledged that they usually came from the Eastern neighbours, namely Japan and Korea, but he made it clear that they now came from the West Ocean, which by this time meant Europe. Zhou Yigui (1688–1772), the above-mentioned painter, detailed this experience in a pamphlet titled Yang Ju Pu [洋菊谱] or The Book of Foreign Chrysanthemum.7 He not only painted, but also named, the thirty-six pots of foreign chrysanthemums he was asked to record. Growing foreign chrysanthemums was a fashion among the “super rich” in the early Qing. Many mentioned their rarity and beauty in their memoirs. Qu Dajun (1630–1696) spoke of their exuberance, in The New Language of Guangzhou; so did Wang Qishu (1728–1799), Li Tiaoyuan (1734–1803), and the minor Manchu noble Zhao Lian (1776–1829).8 Clunas, Fruitful Sites: Garden Culture in Ming Dynasty China (London: Reaktion, 1996). 6 Qianlong Emperor, “Yang Ju”, Qing Gaozong Yuzhi Shiwen, vol. 65, p. 16B or 24. 7 Zhou Yigui, Yang Ju Pu (Taibei: Xinwenfeng chubanshe, 1989), pp. 423–27. 8 Qu Dajun, Guangdong Xin Yu, vol. 26, pp. 636–37; Wang Qishu, Shui Cao Qing Xialu, p. 156; Li Tiaoyuan, Nanyue Biji, vol. 13, p. 10A; Zhao Lian, Xiaoting Zalu, v. 9, p. 26. For more, see Qiu Zhonglin, “Ming Qing Jiang-Zhe Wenren de Kan Huaju yu Fanghua Huodong”, Tanjiang Shixue 18 (2007): 75–104 and “Huayuanzi yu Huashu Dian: Ming Qinng Jiangnan de Huahui Zhongzhi yu Yuanyi Shichang”, Zhongyang

248

chapter seven

The “super rich” could not have bragged about their latest exotic acquisition to the less privileged; vying with their peers must have made these exotic plants more popular and generated the demand. Chinese chrysanthemum and peach were common in Chinese gardens, but not their foreign counterparts. These expensive plants were very popular among the top rich; the demand existed, but a consumer market did not, let alone a retail-supply chain that would meet or grow that demand, as illustrated by the line “freshly delivered from Jiaozhou last night”. This short sentence is extremely informative, as it indicates the import and circulation, as well as the market value, of foreign chrysanthemum and peach in the early-mid Qing period when the poet-painter lived and worked. These precious foreign flowers were not on sale in a market, but rather were delivered on special order from outside the locality. A bay area on the south coast of the Shandong peninsula which grew into today’s Qingdao, Jiaozhou faces the Yellow Sea and Korea to the east, and it sits on the same latitude as northern Syria and the American state of Virginia. How did the beauty and fragility of those plants survive the long journey from Europe or elsewhere to north China if they didn’t come from the usual “Eastern neighbours”, as Qianlong emphasised? Perhaps they were hybridised or transplanted in places like Macao. Leaving aside these important issues of where they came from and how they were delivered, this verse reminds us of more important things. Some sort of commercial network was in place to facilitate the purchase, sale and delivery of exotic foreign flora like foreign chrysanthemum and peach, and it serviced the “super rich”; but this did not constitute a market in the strict economic sense. This kind of elite demand can grow and transform into a market and further a consumer trend—as in the case of opium and clocks—if at least two other major conditions are met. First and foremost is the intrinsic value of the foreign goods, or the value potential consumers attribute to them. I have argued that opium smoking fit in perfectly with the existing Chinese culture of consumption, and this explains why it germinated and flourished in China. The case of the foreign chrysanthemum is different, because even if the ordinary people enjoyed these flowers and wished to grow them,

Yanjiuyuan Lishi Yuyan Yanjiusuo Jikan [Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology Academia Sinica] 78, 3 (2007): 473–528.

pattern and variation: indigenisation

249

they were constrained by a few variables. The foreign chrysanthemum is perishable and blooms in winter: September for early bloom, October to November for mid bloom, and December to January for late bloom.9 Its delicate nature and unusual blooming season meant that it demanded expertise in purchase and extra care in handling. North China’s cold winters make the flower unsuitable for outdoor display; ideally a large and specially-designed indoor space is necessary to properly exhibit these exotic flowers. The fragile nature of the plant, its blooming season and the demand for indoor space conditioned the ways in which the ordinary could afford such a luxury; but more so did geography and climate, as sailing to the northern hemisphere in winter with easily-damaged expensive foreign goods could be a costly, even dangerous, undertaking. Equally important, if not more so, is the capability of commercial networks to meet or grow the demand once the market has been discovered. Again using the example of opium, we can see that supply certainly met and even created a demand in the 1830s; commercial operators cashed in on its popularity and fuelled consumption. This was not the case with foreign chrysanthemum. Their perishable nature dictated that their maintenance cost, from shipping to delivery, was high. If traders had a choice, they might choose something else, opium or rice for example, which are easy to handle. Opium and rice circulated like currency, which points to their market value. Supply involves acquisition, transportation, warehousing and wholesale—it requires, in other words, the existence of responsive local commercial networks and operators. Foreign chrysanthemum and peach might have been as popular as opium and clocks during the early Qing, but the demand for them didn’t grow into a consumer trend. Instead they disappeared not only from gardens, but also from the memoirs of the elite.10 Why did some foreign goods disappear, some remain luxuries and others thrive?

9

Chen Haozi, Hua Jing (6 vols. Beijing: Nongye chubanshe, 1962), pp. 27–32. Chen Weiyan, Nanyue Youji (3 vols. Guangzhou: Guangdong gaodeng jiaoyu chubanshe, 1990), vol. 2, p. 183. 10

250

chapter seven “No Less Dazzling than the Imperial Robes of Zhang Lihua” [不减张丽华桂宫霓裳]

Foreign cloth [洋布] tells a story different from foreign chrysanthemum. It appeared in the tributes to the Ming court after the Zheng He voyages; An Examination of the East and West Oceans and The New Language of Guangdong listed foreign cloth as a tribute item from Siam, Malacca, Sri Lanka and Pattani.11 Mao Xiang (1611–1693) described the fabric and its use in detail: We dropped anchor by the riverside. My Western friend Franciscus Sambiasi sent me some European cloth [西洋布] recently. Thin as silk, white like snow, with fading red interior, we made a light chemise for my beloved; it is no less dazzling than the imperial robes of Zhang Lihua. So we started to walk up Mountain Jin. At that time, four or five boats rode upstream and there must have been several hundred tourists in the area. They followed us and pointed to us and said we were immortals. We went around trying to avoid them. But wherever we went, the boats followed us; they would not leave us alone after we tried several times.12

Where was this piece of foreign cloth, “thin like silk and white like snow”, made, given that this story takes place before the Industrial Revolution, and long before the British enjoyed any share in China’s foreign trade? It could have been from Africa, Persia-Arabia, India or Southeast Asia—especially Siam, Malacca, Sri Lanka and Pattani, as listed in The New Language of Guangdong, given that Franciscus Sambiasi (1582–1649) would have passed through many of these regions on his way to China. Mao thought so highly of the shirt made from this exotic piece of white cloth that he compared it to the dazzling robes of a famous imperial consort. Mao’s beloved, Dong Xiaowan, was a legendary beauty and anything would have looked pretty on her, let alone an exotic piece of fabric that the ordinary people had never seen before. Sambiasi’s status as a foreigner added value to this simple piece of cloth; so did Mao’s own status as a member of Jiangnan’s elite. Mao called Sambiasi “friend”: how close were they? Like Matteo Ricci and many other Jesuits, Sambiasi gifted his way through Chinese

11 Zhang Xie, Dong Xi Yang Kao, vol. 7, p. 146; Qu Dajun, Guangdong Xin Yu, vol. 15, 460 tiao. 12 Mao Xiang, Yingmei’an Yiyu (Changsha: Yulu shushe, 1991), p. 8. Zhang Lihua was a senior consort of the Chen dynasty emperor Chen Houzhu (553–604). For Sambiasi, see Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Bibliographiques, tome 1, pp. 136–43.

pattern and variation: indigenisation

251

official and elite circles when he visited the Jiangnan area in the late Ming. His gifting didn’t help him convert China’s intellectual elite, like Mao, but it helped spread the gospel of foreign goods, foreign cloth in this particular case. A leading literary figure and a legendary beauty of the Ming-Qing transitional period, Mao Xiang and his beloved went walking on a nearby mountain and were followed by tourists wherever they went. The late Ming saw the emergence of a small celebrity class that commanded the fascination of the ordinary. Did this nascent paparazzi culture signal the arrival of some sort of social modernity? The period also saw a tourist boom, as many people took holidays and went sightseeing.13 This points us directly to the commercialisation of the tourist industry and the growth of Chinese “capitalist sprouts” during the late Ming. Mao’s memoir is extremely valuable, because it draws attention to the quintessence of the Wind of the West that began to blow in the late Ming, and what conditions might cause a foreign item to spread. As I emphasised in the previous chapter, the late Ming was the turning point when change began to reveal itself through the import of mundane consumer goods, and when a new consumer taste for foreign stuff, traditionally from Southeast-South Asia but increasingly from Europe, emerged. The foreign cloth that Mao praised was not something exotic made in Europe; it was most likely made in South or Southeast Asia. What made it exotic was the foreign connotation itself, which denoted Europe, especially in connection with the exotic gift-giver, Franciscus Sambiasi. That a Jesuit was able to make an old tribute item from Southeast Asia fashionable and desirable reveals something about late Ming culture and society. Like the late Ming court, the contemporary elite coveted exotic objects that conferred status, and their desire for things European suggests that Europe was rising to replace greater Asia as the source of elite fascination. The term yang, with its foreign or European connotation, denoted scarcity, and meant something superior and tasteful. This continued to gain currency during the early Qing. Liu Xianting (1648–1695) mentions foreign cloth in his

13

Wu Jen-shu, Pingwei Shehua: Wan Ming de Xiaofei Shehui yu Shi Dafu (Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan lianjin chubanshe, 2007), pp. 177–21; Susan Naquin, Peking: Temples and City life, 1400–1900 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), pp. 249–58 & 451–98.

252

chapter seven

memoir.14 So does Lu Hong, in a poem dedicated to European brocade [西洋锦]: Smooth cloth passes the South China Sea Flowers cluster on the white wave-like fabric. … They can be used for chambers and beddings They also make blouses and skirts for court ladies.15

“South China Sea” indicates maritime trade and its foreign origin, whereas “ladies” reminds us of the female character Xue Baoqin in Dream of the Red Chamber who, as we saw in the previous chapter, went to look for foreign fabrics in the fashionable foreign goods shops in Nanjing. The Monthly Register reveals that the Qing court imported foreign cloth. The newly-opened archive begins in the fourth month of Qianlong’s eighth year or 1744. European cloth can be found in the Cloth Bank [衣库] by the tenth year or 1746.16 The question arises: was cloth “thin as silk and white like snow” unavailable domestically in late Ming and mid-Qing China? The history of cotton in China has been the subject of much study and intense debate; the works of Yan Zhongping and Chao Kang have been comprehensive.17 In addition to indigenous cotton and hemp, Indian cotton came to China and flourished from the Song-Yuan onwards. The Mongols needed more textiles for their increasingly sedentary lifestyle, and their expanding army needed uniforms, which were quite elaborate. They encouraged cotton cultivation and bought it in return; this “procurement system was in effect a tax in kind”, as Chao Kang has explained.18 This was inherited and enhanced by the Ming, who adopted both “mandatory fiats and incentive measures” to promote cotton production, since they clad their own army in the fiber 14

Liu Xianting, Guang Yan Zaji, vol. 1, p. 19, vol. 3, p. 141. Lu Hong, Si Zhao Tang Shiji (35 vols. Beijing: Beiijng chubanshe, 1997), vols 3, p. 11A; Wu Boya, Kang Yong Qian San Di yue Xixue Dongjian, p. 366. 16 Neiwu Fu Guangchu Si Liu Ku Yuezhe Dang, bundles for the 2nd month of the Qianong Emperor’s 10th year. 17 Yan Zhongping, Zhongguo Mian Fangzhi Shigao 1289–1937 (Beijing: Kexue chubanshe, 1963); Chao Kang, The Development of Cotton Textile Production in China; Shanghaishi Fangzhi Kexue Yanjiuyuan, Fangzhi Shi Hua (Shanghai: Kexue Jishu chubanshe, 1978); Li Renbo, Zhongguo Gudai Fangzhi Shigao (Changsha: Yuelu shushe, 1983); Lin Jubai, Jindai Nantong Tubu Shi (Nantong: Zhang Qian yu Nantong yanjiu zhongxin choubeizu, 1984); Xu Xinwu, Jiangnan Tubu Shi (Shanghai: Shehui kexueyuan, 1992), p. 1. 18 Chao Kang, The Development of Cotton Textile Production in China, p. 19. 15

pattern and variation: indigenisation

253

and used cotton textiles both as salaries for officials and as barter for horses from Central Asia.19 Chao Kang points out the “rapid spread of cotton textiles after the thirteenth century”.20 “After grain”, Dwight H. Perkins concluded in 1977, “cotton was and is China’s most important agricultural crop”; it was also “the raw material for China’s largest handicraft industry and later for China’s first major modern industry”.21 Cotton production led to cash cropping and specialization as the lower Yangzi River delta, especially Songjiang, today’s larger Shanghai area, became the centre of a flourishing industry and commerce that fanned out to the countryside and contributed to Ming economic growth.22 Historians have labeled cotton cash cropping China’s “capitalist sprouts” and used it to argue for China’s early industrialization.23 Where cotton gave birth to “capitalist sprouts” in China, it became central to the Industrial Revolution in Britain, as written about by British historians.24 “Whoever says Industrial Revolution says cotton”, stated eminent historian Eric J. Hobsbawm.25 Cotton marked the first phase of the Industrial Revolution: “Until 1770 over ninety percent of British cotton exports went to colonial markets in this way, mainly to Africa”.26 The cotton industry advanced further after 1785 as the Revolution accelerated. The textile trade was one of the reasons for Lord McCartney’s mission to China in 1793, and it was hope for the British before opium was discovered. Although the British and others continued to speculate and ship cloth to Asia and China, they would have to wait until 19 Zhao Gang and Chen Zhongyi, Zhongguo Mian Ye Shi (Taibei: Lianjing chubanshe, 1977), pp. 43–50. 20 Chao Kang, The Development of Cotton Textile Production in China, p. 16. 21 Ibid., foreword. 22 Fan Jinmin, Ming Qing Jiangnan Shangye de Fazhan (Nanjing: Nanjing daxue chubanshe, 1998), pp. 10–13, 26–30 & 159–63; Zhang Haiying, Ming Qing Jiangnan Shanping Liutong yu Shichang Tixi, pp. 130–47; Zhu Guodong and Wang Guozhang, Shanghai Shangye Shi (Shanghai: Caijing daxue chubanshe, 1999), pp. 66–71. 23 Fu Yiling, Ming Qing Shidai Shangren ji Shangye Ziben (Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1956) & Mingdai Jiangnan Shimin Jingji Shitan (Shanghai: Renmin chubanshe, 1957); Zheng Changjin, Ming Qing Nongcun Shangping Jingji (Beijing: Zhonguo renmin daxue chubanshe, 1989); Li Bozhong, Jiangnan de Zaoqi Gongye Hua 1550–1850 (Beijing: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe, 2000), pp. 37–85. 24 Maxine Berg, The Age of Manufactures: Industry, Innovation and Work in Britain 1700–1820 (London: Fontana, 1985); Pat Hudson, The Industrial Revolution (London: Edward Arnold, 1992). 25 Eric J. Hobsbawm, Industry and Empire from 1750 to the Present Day (London: Penguin books, 1990), p. 56. 26 Ibid., p. 57.

254

chapter seven

“after the middle of the nineteenth century” when “it found its staple outlet in India and the Far East”.27 Even after the Opium Wars, they still had to compete with indigenous cloth and find ways to make their brand appealing to ordinary Chinese consumers. This harks back to what I have articulated throughout this volume: that is, the success of a foreign export to China is highly dependent on the intrinsic value that potential consumers attribute to the product itself, and the ability of commercial operators and networks to make it not only desirable but also affordable. Many mainland historians, Yan Zhongping and Xu Xinwu among them, have written expertly on how foreign yarn and foreign cloth displaced Chinese yarn and cloth in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.28 Some have elevated the discussion to a higher plane, arguing that foreign capitalism destroyed “the promising capitalist sprouts in handicraft industry and commerce”.29 Xu believes that foreign cloth had completely replaced indigenous cloth by the 1920s. There are three major reasons, in my opinion, as to why it took so long for foreign cloth, and later machine-made cloth, to replace the local and hand-made product. First, the character of the indigenous cloth industry and the fortitude of local cloth mattered; second, the foreign brand had to be affordable; and third, there had to exist underlying socio-cultural conditions that favoured the foreign product. It is essential to understand these three reasons, which very few—if any— historians of China have discussed, not just because they dictated the slow progress of foreign cloth as a brand, but also because they will shed light on the process by which they and other commodities were naturalised in China. First of all, China’s cloth-making industry was household-, clanor even village-based, and these small social organisms fed, clad, housed and employed their own members, even though more and 27

Ibid., p. 58. Yan Zhongping, Zhongguo Mian Fangzhi Shigao; Xu Xinwu, Jiangnan Tubu Shi. 29 Albert Feuerwerker, “Presidential Address: Questions about China’s Early Modern Economic History that I Wish I Could Answer”, Journal of Asian Studies 51, 4 (1992): 757–769. This was different from his earlier view, see “Economic Trends in the Late Ch’ing Empire, 1870–1911”, in Cambridge History of China Volume 11 The Late Ch’ing 1800–1911 Part 2, eds. John K. Fairbank and Kwang-ching Liu (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980), pp. 1–69. See also Fu Yiling, Ming Qing Shehui Jingji Shi Lunwen Ji (Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1982), pp. 3–16; and Xu Dixin, Zhongguo Guomin Jingji de Biange (Beijing: zhongguo shehui kexueyuan, 1982), pp. 2–46. 28

pattern and variation: indigenisation

255

more profit-driven workshops and factories emerged during the Ming. “The family as an entity felt an obligation to take care of its members, which made them more dependent on family support than they would be otherwise”.30 Surplus labour was put to good use, as young girls learned to spin and weave at an early age; this could potentially earn them good husbands and provide for their own family in the future. This form of economy was self-sufficient and relatively resistant to external pressure. As in the case of rice, the demand for more would only emerge when the formerly self-sufficient unit could no longer provide. In other words, it would take fundamental demographic and socio-economic change for the indigenous cloth industry to change or collapse. While economic historians have produced excellent works on the history of cotton production and trade in China, they have not explained why it was able to resist foreign brands for so long. The strength of Chinese cloth lay in the fact that it was coarser than foreign cloth; it was not only more durable but also warmer. This was important to the majority, as keeping warm was a key concern. “Thin as silk” cloth, which would evolve into machine-made cloth with the Industrial Revolution, was much less durable than the traditional Chinese textile. In addition, the old way of washing, involving soaking the fabric and pounding it with a club, could easily damage “thin as silk” foreign cloth at the first wash. Above all, foreign cloth was more expensive than Chinese; in other words it was not only undesirable but also unaffordable to the ordinary people. The self-sufficient familybased textile industry, the strength of local cloth and the sheer number of Chinese consumers can help explain the longevity of indigenous cloth and the slow progress of foreign cloth imports. Unlike the Qing court and the elite, who had silk and rare skins at their disposal, the majority of Chinese consumers at this time valued the usefulness of indigenous cloth. They did not know and could not have desired something more fashionable, let alone something much more expensive. In other words, China’s socio-economic and cultural conditions were not yet ready to embrace foreign cloth. The economy of late Ming through mid-Qing China was still largely agrarian, despite intensified commercialisation and urbanisation. Cities and towns did grow but the majority of Chinese consumers were still peasants. An

30

Chao Kang, The Development of Cotton Textile Production in China, p. 39.

256

chapter seven

agrarian economy continued to support a philosophy and culture that centred on the land and what it could provide. This explains why only the urban elite, such as Mao’s beloved wife and Xue Baoqin, knew about foreign cloth, and only they and the Qing court could afford it until the 1860s, when its price dropped dramatically. Low prices facilitated consumption by the middling classes, as Zhu Zurong observes: “Look at the world around you today, regardless in the big city or remote countryside, two out of ten wear big (indigenous) cloth, while those who wear foreign cloth are eight or nine out of ten”.31 Foreign cloth had begun to cross class as well as urban-rural lines in the mid-nineteenth century. As a brand it seems to have finally begun to spread throughout general consumer society more than two centuries after it first appeared in China, if we use the Franciscus Sambiasi timeframe (even though the cloth he gave Mao might not have come from Europe). What made it possible? This brings us to the second major reason I advanced earlier: the affordability of the foreign product. The Treaty of Nanking had allowed British and other foreign manufacturers to not only dump their products, but also set up their own factories in China, while Chinese entrepreneurs were still catching up. The first Western-style cotton textile factory began to operate in Shanghai in 1878.32 A late Qing scholar Wu Qingshi saw the foreign product this way: Foreign yarn [洋纱] is pretty and cheap, our yarn is no way comparable. . . . Its weave is small and even, the cloth it makes is much better than the indigenous cloth. The best thing about is that it is bright and eye-catching after being dyed, something that we cannot imagine with indigenous cloth.33

Wu was full of praise, like Mao Xiang and Lu Hong. He noticed the smaller weave of foreign yarn and liked its eye-catching brightness. Foreign yarn was not only prettier but also cheaper, and this made a difference to ordinary consumers. Both foreign cloth and foreign yarn were widely available by the late nineteenth century; foreign yarn would squeeze Chinese yarn out of the market. Foreign cloth, imported or made in China by Western or Chinese manufacturers 31 Zhu Zurong, “Quan Zhong Yang Mian Shuo”, in Xu Xiu Si Ku Quan Shu Di Qi Shi Qi Ji (Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1999), p. 143. 32 Wu Guifang, Shanghai Fengwu Zhi (Shanghai: Wenhua chubanshe, 1985), pp. 202–09. 33 Wu Qingshi, Nancun Caotang Biji (Taibei: Guangwen shuju, 1976), vol. 4, p. 5.

pattern and variation: indigenisation

257

with machines, came to dominate the market by the early twentieth century, although this did not extend to every single township and village of China.34 This doesn’t mean that the deficiencies of foreign cloth in comparison to Chinese cloth had disappeared. Yang Jingting, a local scholar in Beijing, knew them very well: Foreign cloth made my wife a brocade robe, They are colourful, bright and cheap Alas before a winter is barely finished It wrinkled like steamed eggplant with garlic.35

What a different description and opinion of foreign cloth than that of his contemporary Wu Qingshi. Being a good husband, Yang bought foreign cloth, affordable by then, to make a fashionable dress for his wife. It was thin and wore out in less than a winter, creased beyond repair, as described by the author using a famous dish as metaphor. This problem with foreign cloth, which had mattered greatly before the Opium Wars, did not seem to matter that much in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Sales surged despite the poor quality of foreign cloth, as captured by Luo Sifeng, who observed the scene at a wholesale shop in Hankou: Hankou folk verse: the wholesale shop Cloth was the largest item in foreign stuff sale The fashion rages on and no one can stop it Do go and take a look at the wholesale place The cloth shop gathers tens layers of people.36

Late Qing Chinese consumers valued foreign cloth that was thin and not as warm as China-made cloth. This takes us to the third reason why foreign cloth finally made its way into the Chinese market, the underlying socio-cultural conditions that favoured its consumption. The onset of a new era in the wake of the Opium Wars came with its idiosyncrasies. China was catching up with the West and the urban population was westernising, and the new era brought modes and styles that could only be made with new fabrics. Thick and rough Chinese cloth could not make tightly-fitting fashionable clothes that

34

Nankai Daxue Ming Qing Yanjiushi, Qing Wangchao de Jianli, Jieceng ji Qita (Tianjin: Tianjin renmin chubanshe, 1994), pp. 228–42. 35 Yang Jingting, “Dumen Zayong: Jin Pao”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 1, p. 184. 36 Luo Sifeng, “Hankou Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, p. 2669.

258

chapter seven

served to identify the wearer with the new socio-cultural environment, which the following verse illustrates: Foreign blue [洋蓝] shirt and foreign white thin skirt, Willow body and small waist make you marvel, When the well-brushed beauty brows fly to place, They make me, not yet an old man, lose my mind.37

“Foreign blue” was fashionable not just in Hankou, but among teenage girls in Beijing, where “dancing butterflies dress in foreign blue”.38 The new fashion was not just about “foreign blue”, “foreign cloth”, “foreign satin” and “European exotic designs”.39 It points us to the “Westernstyle fashion” that caught, and continues to capture, the imagination of Chinese womankind: Women’s fashion now is that it is not long It has to measure and fit the body closely Tight sleeves, short blouse and tall collar The blue skirt models after Western style.40

Women, especially young women, became the spokespeople of the new urban culture through their western-style school uniforms or clothes.41 This was in provincial Hankou; we can only imagine the fashion capital Shanghai and courtly Beijing. Women certainly were not alone: changes in male fashion were even more sweeping, as Chinese men swapped their long robes for Western-style shirts, jackets, trousers and suits. Young men looked urban, professional, and sophisticated, as attested to by this verse describing a gathering in the remote interior province of Shaanxi: Looking forward to the weekend to get busy, Same rank, same school and same hometown. They all look proud with the western suits Foreign perfume wafts among the uniforms.42

This desire to emulate Western fashions extended to headwear like hats: “foreign felt” was now rated above the old hide headgear which had been extremely fashionable in the eighteenth century, as we have 37 38 39 40 41 42

Ye Tiaoyuan, “Hankou Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, p. 2629. Zhilan Zhuren, “Dumen Xin Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 1, p. 355. Luo Sifeng, “Hankou Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, p. 2672. Ibid., vol. 4, p. 2677. Ibid., vol. 4, p. 2685. He Qinzhe, “Qingmen Zhuzhici (Shaanxi)”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 5, p. 3677.

pattern and variation: indigenisation

259

seen in Chapter Six.43 This also extended to a new style of shoes, called “foreign inlay” after the way in which they were sown together.44 New garments made with foreign fabrics in foreign styles became part and parcel of a new urban landscape. Yet this was not just a new urban mosaic, but the dawn of a consumer revolution, where westernisation and modernisation replaced old values as well as old attire. Consumption filtered down to general consumer society because cheaper products, both imports and local brands, made general participation possible at the same time as consumers themselves were changing, which was equally—if not more—important. Local production signalled the arrival of general consumption; this would challenge the imports. Chinese cloth caught up quickly and, as Linda Grove has pointed out, it was difficult to distinguish tu [土] or native and yang [洋] or foreign in places like Tianjin by the early twentieth century, when Chinese competition was winning.45 From the late Ming, when it appeared as a tribute item, to the late Qing, when it became widely available, the name foreign cloth never changed. But it took more than two centuries for the general category to be established. China needed cloth, but it also had to be affordable. Yet demand and price alone could not have brought about a consumer revolution until the socio-cultural conditions changed in favour of the foreign brands, as they did after the Opium Wars. The opening of China after the conflicts brought as consequences the replacement of handmade products by machine-made cloth, just as washing machines would ultimately replace hand washing. Foreign cloth completely changed China’s cotton industry and fashions. Would foreign cloth have spread without the yang—foreign or European and Western depending on the period in which it was imported—prefix and connotation? I believe so, as the scale of population growth and the changes that would have arrived with or without foreign intervention would have necessitated mass production aided by machines sooner or later.

43

De Suoting, “Chao Zhu Yi Chuan”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 1, p. 149. Zhilan Zhuren, “Dumen Xin Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 1, p. 355. 45 Linda Grove, “ ‘Native’ and ‘Foreign’: Discourses on Economic Nationalism and Market Practice in Twentieth-Century North China”, in Empire, Nation, and Beyond: Chinese History in Late Imperial and Modern Times—A Festschrift in Honor of Frederic Wakeman, eds. Joseph W. Esherick, et al. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006), pp. 149–66. 44

260

chapter seven

Foreign Pepper [番椒] to the Peanut [花生] and Foreign Wine [洋酒] From what the Chinese wore to what they smoked and ate: foreign cloth, tobacco and opium, and maize and foreign yams had been quietly changing the Chinese economy, consumer culture and society ever since the late Ming. While foreign cloth and clocks took a few hundred years to localise, it did not take that long for maize and the foreign yam to indigenize. A simple explanation is that they are foodstuffs: once people discovered that they were edible, they naturally found ways to consume them. Nevertheless, the exact timing of their widespread cultivation demands more explanation. They came during the late Ming, possibly at the same time as tobacco, but they did not spread as quickly as tobacco did. They did not land on the Chinese dining table until a time of great need during the mid-Qing, when the population exploded; this explains its delayed localisation. It is vital to factor this timeline into the narrative, as it sheds light on the mid-Qing period, an important junction of socio-economic change. Each foreign item led a different social life upon entering the indigenous economy and society. Some foreign imports, like music, stayed within the walls of royal palaces; some, like maize, settled with peasants; others, the foreign chrysanthemum for example, blossomed and disappeared. While some foreign goods shared a similar pattern of indigenisation, the progress of others differed radically. Foreign pepper [番椒], which was also called chilli pepper [辣椒], is a great example, and another New World produce that significantly changed Chinese taste buds and culture of consumption. No Chinese historian has written on the foreign pepper that revolutionised the southern styles of cuisine in the provinces of Hubei-Sichuan, HunanJiangxi, and Yunnan-Guizhou, where it was first called hai jiao [海椒] or sea pepper, an indication of its maritime origin. Like maize and the foreign yam, the timing and route of its introduction into China is unclear, but the foreign pepper can be found in several works, including Cao Hua Pu [草花谱] or The Book of Flowers and Grasses, written by the late Ming scholar Gao Lian (1573–1620), and Hua Jing [花镜] or The Flower Mirror, written by the early Qing agricultural scientist Chen Haozi (born c. 1612): The foreign pepper [番椒] is also called sea wild vine and it has a nickname: spicy eggplant. It’s about one or two inches high with clustered white flowers, it bears fruits in the autumn, like a brush upside down.

pattern and variation: indigenisation

261

It’s green at the start but turns bright red. It hangs and is very nice to look at. It is very spicy, some people pick and grind it into powder; they use it in the winter instead of black pepper. You save the seed and plant it again in the spring.46

The foreign pepper began its social life in China as an exotic plant rather than as a cooking ingredient or spice. This is not surprising, given the striking beauty of its fruit, which changes colours when it seasons and hangs upside down just like an eggplant. Before the arrival of foreign pepper, the Chinese used black pepper [胡椒], which came from South Asia.47 It seems the foreign pepper was beginning to replace black pepper, as Chen Haozi stated, which also indicates that people had already discovered its culinary value sometime before 1688 when the book was published. Chen was a native of Zhejiang, where he cultivated and researched many of the plants he wrote about. Yet Zhejiang or East China cuisine, just like Guangdong and Fujian cuisine, is not renowned for being spicy. This is puzzling, given that foreign pepper was first called sea pepper and might well have entered China through these maritime regions. Instead, it is the cuisines of the interior provinces of Hunan and Sichuan that saw a culinary revolution based on the spicy fruit. How can we explain the fact that the foreign pepper flourished in the southern interior rather than coastal China (Guangdong and Fujian)? It did not cross the Yangzi River to invade the northern plains, nor did it land in eastern (Shanghai and Zhejiang) cuisine. Spicy dishes are available on demand in many restaurants today but it was and still is Hunan and Sichuan cuisines that identify themselves strongly with, and takes pride in, the foreign pepper that inspired a culinary revolution. The Hunanese and Sichuanese were and still are addicted to the pungent taste. Another foreign plant, the betel nut, shares similar patterns of acceptance.48 Betel nut [槟榔] was known as a medicinal herb and limited to coastal China until its consumption flourished during the late Ming,

46 Gao Lian, Cao Hua Pu (Taibei: Xinxing shuju, 1964), p. 1801; Chen Haozi, Hua Jing, vol. 6, p. 394. See also Zhang Fuyuan, Shangping Shihua (Shenyang: Liaoning renmin chubanshe, 1988), pp. 652–58. 47 Jia Sixie, Qi Min Yao Shu (Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 2006), pp. 303–06. 48 Ibid., pp. 742–46. See also Lin Fushi, “Pinglang Ru Hua Kao”, in Li Shi, July (2003): 94–100; and Zhao Rushi, Zhu Fan Zhi, pp. 186–87.

262

chapter seven

when large numbers of Chinese travelled to Southeast Asia.49 The betel quid, composed of areca nut, betel leaves which give a zesty peppery taste, and lime, is consumed by chewing. For extra flavour, cloves for example can be added. Like any other stimulant, betel nut chewing can cause oral, facial and bodily sensation. Widely used in Southeast Asian countries, it was said to be capable of preventing diarrhoea and dysentery, of fighting parasitic worms and easing hunger during longdistance travel. The coastal Chinese who sojourned to Southeast Asia came back with the habit of chewing betel nuts, and by the mid-Qing one Cantonese way of welcoming guests, in addition to offering tea, was by offering betel nut wrapped “in a small foreign handkerchief ”.50 Like the foreign pepper, betel nut chewing spread to the interior but it never crossed the Yangzi River, stopping in the south-central parts of Hunan and Hubei. The people of Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces do not habitually chew betel nuts, and many even consider it unhealthy and unsophisticated.51 Neither the foreign pepper nor the betel nut invaded the northern plains. The Yangzi River has often been seen as the boundary between North and South China, where people speak different dialects, enjoy different culinary cultures and are blessed with different geography and weather. Could these have played different roles in the spread of the foreign pepper and betel nut chewing? How can we explain the southern addiction to particular foods? I have probed the question of why Chinese people of various classes and regions became addicted to opium smoking at particular historical periods of time. But opium is only one of a dozen commodities and cultures of consumption that challenges scholars who work on addictive substances, which can include sugar, vodka, qat, tea, and possibly even curry and kimchi.52 If, as David Christian and Thomas Brennan

49

Zhou Qufei, Ling Wai Dai Da, vol. 6, p. 235–36. See also Anthony Reid, “From Betel-chewing to Tobacco Smoking in Indonesia”, in European Intruders and Changes in Behaviour and Customs in Africa and Asia before 1800, pp. 295–313. 50 Li Tiaoyuan, “Nanhai Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, p. 2743. 51 This observation results from my research over the past decade as I asked many people, particularly those from Zhejiang and Jiangsu, about their views on betel chewing. 52 Sidney W. Mintz, Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History (New York: Vikings, 1985); David Christian, Living Water: Vodka and Russian Society on the Eve of Emancipation (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1990); Thomas Brennan, Public Drinking and Popular Culture in Eighteenth-Century Paris (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988); Lee V. Cassanelli, “Qat: Changes in the Production and Consumption of a Quasilegal Commodity in Northeast Africa”, in The Social Life of

pattern and variation: indigenisation

263

have argued, vodka and public drinking encouraged revolutions of a kind, perhaps we might consider the role of the pungent foreign pepper in the Nationalist and Communist Revolutions, both led by pepper-eating southerners. If vodka, kimchi, betel nut and curry have earned the Russians, the Koreans, the Indonesians, and South Asians respectively some sort of cultural identity, then perhaps the foreign pepper has been similarly important in shaping some sort of southern Chinese temperament, which at times can be characterised as stubborn and feisty. Might it be possible to consider the role of geography, climate, local beliefs and traditions in influencing a region’s or people’s affection for—and addiction to—certain foods in a certain period of time?53 I would like to try and move beyond the analysis of such issues in isolation and attempt a coherent investigation. Although this will take another kind of research across a large region and over a long period of time, one answer can be found in Supplement to the Compendium of Materia Medica, written by mid-Qing herbal scientist Zhao Xuemin and first published in 1765. Zhao devoted a large section to the foreign pepper, which was called the “foreign ginger” or “spicy eggplant”: Many people grow it in their field or garden. In the deep autumn people from the mountains sell theirs in the market. You can boil it to make a spicy jam which can cure chilblains. It is widely used. But the Encyclopaedia doesn’t mention it at all. In 1743, I had a young servant when I was working in Lin’an (Zhejiang). He drank lots of cold water and slept in a damp place in the summer; by the autumn he was suffering from malaria. He tried all kinds of medicine but they couldn’t help him. This dragged on into winter when he by chance ate some foreign pepper jam; he found it tasty and had it every time he ate. He also put it into his porridge and he was fully recovered soon after.54

Zhao’s elaboration points to the medicinal value of the foreign pepper; more importantly, it sheds light on other issues that might help explain the southern preference for, if not addiction to, the foreign

Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective, pp. 236–57 and Lizzie Collingham, Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006). 53 Che Fu and Xiong Sizhi, Chuancai Longmen Zhen (Chengdu: Sichuan daxue chubanshe, 2004), pp. 323–26; Zhao Rongguang, Zhongguo Yingshi Wenhua Shi (Shanghai: Renmin chubanshe, 2006), pp. 346–47. 54 Zhao Xuemin, Bencao Gangmu Shiyi, vols 8, pp. 383–84; Zhang Fuyuan, Shangping Shihua, pp. 652–58.

264

chapter seven

pepper. Like opium, the foreign pepper began its social life in China as a beautiful plant, until its therapeutic and recreational values were discovered; the same can be said of tea in the case of England, as I shall detail in the next chapter. This seems to be a pattern for a handful of exotic plants that are also addictive. This revelation is significant, because it suggests the intimacy between traditional Chinese medicine and the practice of shi liao [食疗], or healing and treatment through food. A pipe of opium not only chases away the aches and pains of the world but also relaxes one’s body and mind, as I explained in the The Social Life of Opium in China. A little bit of foreign pepper in one’s food not only galvanises one’s taste buds but also treats one’s bodily illnesses, as Zhao Xuemin discovered and detailed. This takes the discussion into uncharted and challenging territory, which is the combined impact of geography, weather, traditional beliefs, class and gender, not excluding consumer culture and marketing, on diet and addiction. Encircled by the coastal provinces of Fujian and Guangdong, southern interior China doesn’t escape the monsoon rain in the winter and spring, when it becomes extremely damp. A little bit of foreign pepper in food can help drain the extra fluid—or excess moisture—from the body, which can cause problems if left in the system. This is an important theory in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), as Zhao explains that extra fluid in the body, especially those containing bacteria, can cause malaria, common to the region due to the wet air and the mosquitoes that thrive in this environment and transmit many diseases.55 The rainy season is followed by long, hot and humid summers without relief, which affects the appetite and immune system. Foreign peppers not only help create the craving for food, but also help to fight disease, as they contain high amounts of vitamin C and other essential nutrients like magnesium and iron.56 Prevention and treatment through food is an enduring philosophy and practice in TCM, which contributed to the spread and popularity of foreign peppers in southern China. The foreign pepper inspired

55 Yang Xinrong, et al., Encyclopedic Reference of Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Manual from A–Z, Symptoms, Therapy, and Herbal Remedies (Berlin & New York: Springer, 2003); and Joerg Kastner, Chinese Nutrition Therapy: Dietetics in Traditional Chinese Medicine (Stuttgart & New York: Thieme, 2004). 56 New Mexico State University is home to the Chilli Pepper Institute devoted to its research.

pattern and variation: indigenisation

265

a culinary revolution that obviously demands much more academic attention than it has received here. The example of foreign pepper is not repeated in another New World produce, the peanut, which possibly came to the mainland at the same time as maize, the foreign yam and the chilli pepper, and via the same routes as can be seen in the trail of literature it left behind. Ho Ping-ti believed that the peanut was first introduced into the maritime regions.57 Late Ming and early Qing Guangdong scholar Qu Dajun, whom we encountered in the previous chapter, wrote about the peanut, as did his contemporary Fang Yizhi: The foreign bean called falling flower nut [落花生] has kernels inside. You sow them in February or March, just a dozen of them. They would grow into a big stem which you need to hold up with some sort of framework. It would blossom and its flower would drop into the soil and grow which after winter you can take it out. Its shells have deep prints, its bean is yellow whitish. It smells so fragrant when toasted, just like pine nuts.58

A blossom drops into the soil and grows into nuts: that is why the Chinese called the peanut falling flower nut [落花生] initially and flower nut [花生] today. This fascinated many, especially herbalists and agricultural scientists like Fang. It was also called long live nut [万寿果/长生果], indicating the nutritious value it was perceived to have. Qing sources indicate that the peanut was cultivated in Yunnan, Hainan Island and several other localities in Guangdong and Fujian by Kangxi’s time, in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.59 Unlike maize, the peanut seasons slowly. Like the foreign yam, its cultivation and harvest demanded some labour and care. Fang went on to explain how a fellow scholar who experimented with the foreign nut realised that it released oil. This was a most important discovery, as peanut oil became, and continues to be, one of the most commonly used cooking oils in Chinese cuisine. But this was only one of the many uses to which the peanut has been put.

57 Ho Ping-ti, “The Introduction of American Food Plants to China”, in European Intruders and Changes in Behaviour and Customs in Africa and Asia before 1800, pp. 283–294. 58 Fang Yizhi, Wuli Xiaoshi (12 vols. Taibei: Shangwu chubanshe, 1981), vol. 6, pp. 29B–30A; Xie Guozhen, Mingdai Shehui Jingji Shiliao Xuanbian, vol. 1, p. 25; Qu Dajun, Guangdong Xin Yu, vol. 27, p. 715. 59 Xie Guozhen, Mingdai Shehui Jingji Shiliao Xuanbian, vol. 1, pp. 26–27.

266

chapter seven

Peanuts joined meats and vegetables in main dishes, especially stir-frys. It enriches soups served before or after the main course, or as dessert. It can be made into cooking oils and jams, and ground peanuts coat noodles and other dishes. Peanuts make the best candies, cakes and snacks. The peanut has enriched Chinese culinary culture and nourished generations of children, as it is endowed with major vitamins and nutrients that foster growth. The Chinese boil, bake, flavour, fry, salt, season, steam, and toast nuts and beans, and they took to cooking and consuming the peanut in the same fashion. Different regions have prepared the peanut in a multitude of different ways. My native Hunan wouldn’t be home without Big red robe [大红袍], the most delicious peanut I have ever eaten in my life. A plate of fried and salt-sprinkled peanuts and a small kettle of Chinese wine was synonymous with the pre-modern male “happy-hour”, be it in big cities or small villages, with or without a meal. This small kettle of Chinese white wine would sometimes be replaced, and at other times complemented, by foreign wine and beer by the mid-late nineteenth century—another foreign invasion. Foreign wine reminds us of the Kangxi emperor in the early Qing; it came back to China, along with beer and other soft drinks invented in Europe and America, as a common commodity in the late Qing. Alcohol, not opium, precipitated the Opium War. Drunken British sailors attacked a Chinese grocer, Lin Weixi, after he refused to serve them more alcohol once they were already drunk. Grocer Lin subsequently died of his injuries, provoking the first shot to be fired and leading to the outbreak of the first Sino-British conflict in the hot summer of 1839.60 The Treaty of Nanking helped to spread foreign wine and beer quickly in the port cities where they were sold in the various foreign Settlements. Shanghai gentleman scholar Ge Yuanxu detailed his adventures to foreign wine bars in the French Settlement in 1876: Foreign drinking houses are mostly situated in the French Settlement. Westerners often go drinking on Saturday afternoon and Sundays. There are many types of drinks and different prices, from one bottle at three foreign silvers to three bottles at one foreign silver dollar. The interior of the shops are stylish and shining. Drinks are served by women, as if

60 “Journal of Occurrence”, Chinese Repository, VIII (May, 1839–April, 1840): 180– 81 & 212–15.

pattern and variation: indigenisation

267

Wenjun’s apprentices have come back to the world; this is one of the major ways in which westerners take pleasure.61

What was only available to the Kangxi emperor one hundred and fifty years prior was now available to anyone with the means and the taste for it. Ge was interested in the alcoholic drink which was called foreign wine [洋酒]; he was even more interested in the foreign barmaids.62 Ge and his fellow gentlemen scholars, Wang Tao being another, were fascinated with the foreign drinks and foods served in foreign restaurants. Even the menus in these bars and restaurants appeared exotic, as they were written horizontally in English or French and called foreign characters [洋字] or; they listed such novel foods as foreign noodle [洋粉] or spaghetti.63 These westernising urbanites enjoyed dining out, where they relaxed, philosophised and gossiped while eating, drinking, and smoking, followed sometimes by brothel-going. Traditionally, tea or Chinese wine with fried and salted peanuts or other small dishes began such a gathering, which could last a whole day. Now foreign wine and beer had joined them: while exotic wine was more expensive and the beer tasted bitter, they were just as intoxicating, and above all, à la mode. It was served elegantly in the foreign restaurants, bars and clubs, and other social venues that foreigners and Chinese elite frequented. It fitted in perfectly with their social and recreational orgies. Foreign wine and beer did not replace traditional Chinese wine; they only made dining out and brothel-going more exotic and exciting. Like opium smoking, they were a welcoming and natural addition to the existing Chinese culture of consumption and mode of leisure. They would flourish once a supply chain was established to meet or to grow demand and facilitate consumption. China’s first brewery, Qingdao Beer (Tsingtao), began production in the 1910s. It now accompanies Chinese dining and toasting whether at home or abroad, and regardless of who is being entertained. Indeed, Qingdao beer has gained an international reputation and has now invaded the 61 Ge Yuanxu, “Fuyou Zaji”, in Shanghai Tan yu Shanghai Ren Congshu, p. 30. See also Wu Chengxian, Jiu Shanghai Chaguan Jiulou (Shanghai: Huadong shifan daxue chubanshe, 1989), p. 77; and Chen Fensen, Xifang Yingshi zai Zhongguo (Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe, 2007), pp. 147–59. 62 Luo Sifeng, “Hankou Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, p. 2675. See also Wang Zhicheng, Shanghai E’qiao Shi (Shanghai: Sanlian shudian, 1993), pp. 332–44. 63 Luo Sifeng, “Hankou Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, p. 2671; Qing Lan Shi, “Guang Xiaoyi Zhuzhici” and Youhui Sheng, “Jinghua Bai’er Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 1, pp. 574 & 295.

268

chapter seven

global market. If we can say that the southerners accepted spices more readily, the Chinese in general accepted foreign smokes and drinks readily; alcohol consumption—addiction as well—is more widespread in northern rather than southern China, but it exists throughout the country. China remains the largest market for foreign food, drinks, and smokes as well, as targeting China’s new middle class has become a most profitable business, and recent efforts have been made at “selling cheese to the Chinese”, as a 2009 BBC documentary reported.64 “Western Means Tall Buildings that Number Nearly a Hundred” 65 [洋是高楼近百寻] The challenge facing any study of the consumption and indigenisation of foreign goods and things is that they followed different patterns. Although the patterns enable us to analyse and synthesize their commonalities, it is the variations that teach us the best lessons about Chinese consumer culture and society. Foreign buildings and foreign houses [洋楼洋房] are a defining example of this. Macao, the first enclave of European presence on Chinese soil, exposed the Chinese to European architecture from the mid-sixteenth century onwards. The first public structures to appear were the churches of the different orders, and residences. While many have since disappeared, some remain standing today. As we have seen in the previous chapter, early Qing scholar-official Wu Zhenfang travelled to Macao for work and saw what he described as “European palaces”.66 Yin Guangren and Zhang Rulin, two officials stationed in the area in the 1740s, wrote much about St. Paul’s cathedral: St. Paul’s sits against the mountain in the northeast corner of Macao. It is several stories high, long extending and has doors on the sides. It is built by stone with elaborate carvings and they shine like gold when it is sunny or lit. The ceilings look like layered netting and the walls are laid

64

“Selling Cheese to the Chinese” was first broadcasted on BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service on Monday 17th of August 2009. It was my MA student Nicholas Hulme who first mentioned this program to me. 65 Li Jingshan, “Zengbu Dumen Zayong”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 1, p. 289. See also Liu Shanling, Xi Yang Feng: Xi Yang Faming zai Zhongguo, pp. 77–81. 66 Wu Zhenfang, Lingnan Zaji, vol. 1, p. 12, vol. 2, pp. 47–52.

pattern and variation: indigenisation

269

with beautiful lines. The lord of their worship is called tian mu (heavenly mother). …67

They went on to describe the interior, the pictures of God the Father, Mary and Jesus, the organ, and the bell which hung high above and sounded majestic. They thought the whole structure was extremely well-built and stately. The capital Beijing itself saw the construction of churches in the late Ming and early Qing. The first, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, or the South Cathedral, was built by Matteo Ricci, and still stands today.68 This was followed by others around the country, in places where the Jesuits and other orders gradually established themselves.69 Scholar-officials like Yin and Zhang were impressed with European churches, but what they were really taken with were European dwellings, which had more than one story and looked taller than Chinese houses, and thus more imposing. They described the residential area of Macao in detail: They live in storied houses, mostly three stories high. Built against hills or high ground, they look down at you. They come in different shapes: square, round, triangular, octave, even in the shape of fruits and flowers. Its roof comes down like a spiral, echoing the structure itself beautifully. Its wall is raised to four to five feet high and fortified around the corners with little towers. The windows are big, open in double shades; they are bolted inside and locked outside. There is always a front gate with more than a dozen steps that lead to the front door. This way, one can see from inside who is coming. The servants live downstairs. The building is surrounded by a courtyard at the end of which is the wall.70

Yin and Zhang must have spent some time in the European residential area of Macao, judging from the details they were able to provide. European houses sounded absolutely better and much more desirable than their Chinese counterparts: shooting high into the air and strongly fortified, these buildings looked down on Chinese dwellings and they were more secure. Yin and Zhang were full of praise and admiration, and always compared the European houses favourably to Chinese dwellings. It seems “that which comes from without”, as 67

Yin Guangren and Zhang Rulin, Aomen Jilue, p. 62. Pfister, Notices Biographiques et Bibliographiques, tome 1, pp. 32, 170 & 384. See also Fang Hao, Zhong Xi Jiaotong Shi, vol. 2, p. 933. 69 Gu Weimin, Jidu Zongjiao Yishu zai Hua Fazhan Shi (Shanghai: Shanghai shudian, 2005), pp. 212–84. 70 Yin Guangren and Zhang Rulin, Aomen Ji Lue, p. 60. 68

270

chapter seven

Matteo Ricci termed it in the late sixteenth century, can be applied here. What was wrong with Chinese houses? Alvarez Semedo (1585–1658) is one of many who noticed the difference in Chinese architecture: The houses, where they inhabite, are not so sumptuous and lasting, as ours; yet are they more convenient for the good contrivance, . . . They built them not very high, esteeming them more convenient for being low, as well for habitation, as for good accommodation.71

Convenience and privacy highlight traditional Chinese architecture, whereas security and the projection of power distinguish European structures. Did these two officials wish they could build and enjoy such palatial houses of their own? If so, they were certainly not alone, as the so-called Thirteen Companies, where Europeans and other foreigners lived and worked during the trading season in Guangzhou, exposed many more Chinese to European buildings.72 Locals, Qu Dajun in the early Qing and Li Tiaoyuan in the mid-Qing, wrote about those foreign structures; so did officials who served there, and visitors to the maritime metropolis.73 Some began to emulate them, a trend that did not go unnoticed by local officials. The Governor-General of the Guangdong-Guangxi provinces, Li Sirao, wrote to the Qianlong emperor to propose regulations on the building of European style houses in 1759: “Recently those money-suckers turned entire houses, either newly-bought or old ones, into foreign style buildings. They are elaborately carved and decorated; they target foreigners and hope to make a lot of money”.74 The cause for Governor-General Li’s concern can be found in the Jardine Matheson Archive.75 The several odd-sized boxes of Chinese material contained many contracts made between foreign companies like Jardine Matheson and local Chinese landlords, dating back to Qianlong’s thirty-first year, 1767, a few years after Li wrote to the Qianlong emperor, and continuing into the Xianfeng emperor’s fifth

71

Semedo, The History of that Great and Renowned Monarchy of China, p. 3. Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan & Guangzhou Liwan Qu Zhengfu, Qinggong Guangzhou Shisan Hang Dang’an Jinxuan. 73 Qu Dajun, Guangdong Xin Yu, vol. 15, 458 tiao; Li Tiaoyuan, Yuedong Huanghua Ji, vols 3, p. 8; Fang Hao, Zhong Xi Jiaotong Shi, vol. 2, pp. 938–40. 74 Dou Ruyi and Sun Rong, Huangchao Wenxian Tongkao, vol. 33, p. 58B. See also Fang Hao, Zhong Xi Jiaotong Shi, vol. 2, pp. 939–40. 75 Jardine Matheson Archive Chinese Material, Chinese Language Documents H2/1/1–H2/1/17, H2/2/1–H2/2/9, H2/3/3–H2/3/4, H2/4/1–H2/4/2, University Library, the University of Cambridge, UK. 72

pattern and variation: indigenisation

271

year, 1855. Why did Jardine Matheson and other foreign companies suddenly need so much space, given that they were long-established? Was it the work of local “money-suckers”, in Governor-General Li’s words, who had found a way of making profit? Local authorities worried, because foreigners were not allowed to live and operate beyond the designated area. This expansion of construction could mean two things: the foreigners were increasing, or the Chinese who had the means were trying to emulate them. Governor-General Li need not have worried too much, because the trend for building foreign-style houses did not—and could not—have spread as quickly as opium smoking and clocks. First of all, European houses were not something the ordinary Chinese could contemplate building. Only the Qing court could afford to build something so exotic and expensive as les Palais Européens. Their design and construction demanded expertise and materials that were not readily available. Although Qing officials like Yin and Zhang admired foreign residences, it would be an expensive project that they could only dream of. A second reason was their general appeal and adaptability: les Palais Européens was not the main residence of the Qing emperors, but rather was their pleasure palace, which they enjoyed occasionally. Foreign residences were built for Europeans who had very different mentalities and led very different lives. To inhabit a European style house did not just entail living in a European domestic environment; it would necessitate a transformation in attitude and lifestyle. It would take time for the Chinese to get used to a foreign way of life and for the exotic space to enhance their comfort. However, this line of thought can be challenged when we move to the Chinatowns in Europe and North America, and the case of foreign buildings might become clear in some aspects, but more complicated in others. The architecture is not Chinese; they are in essence foreign buildings. What make them Chinatown are the roofs, windows, doors, signs, and décor—and most importantly the people who inhabit them and work around the area. Ordinary Chinese, the lower classes in this case, could live in foreign buildings when they had no choice, even though their mentality and lifestyle remained Chinese, as can be seen from their language, food, and culture, best manifested in the shops, restaurants and opium dens. Some of those who made money overseas would return to China and erect foreign buildings in their hometown; Kaiping is a living museum of this, as can be seen from the following picture (Illustration 7.1).

272

chapter seven

Illustration 7.1 Kaiping Watchtowers [开平碉楼]76

More than three thousand of these Western-style—some would say hybrid—structures were built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in this county of the coastal region alone, with 1,833 of them still standing. But the buildings or watchtowers of Kaiping were not just an example of the Chinese showing off cash they had accumulated in America and Europe. The Cantonese valued the defence mechanisms of houses built in this style, as they were able to fit them with watch towers, shooting positions and large stores, since they were often attacked by pirates at night. This also explains why they are called watchtowers [碉楼]. The interiors of these foreign structures remained largely Chinese, although they were always furnished with the latest western interior design and décor like toilets, bath tubs and inventions like cameras and radios. Visitors are often reminded by tour guides that some of these items were seldom used, and in some cases never,

76 My colleague Matthew Rothwell took the picture when we visited Kaiping after “The Cold War in Asia” conference in November 2007.

pattern and variation: indigenisation

273

as evidenced by intact sales tags. They were really symbols of wealth and the status of overseas sojourning. Just as Chinatowns represent a difference, foreign buildings before the Opium Wars did not invite duplication on a general consumer scale. The points I advanced earlier in the chapter: the intrinsic value given to the foreign product by consumers, the capability of commercial operators to make it not only desirable but also affordable, and the underlying socio-cultural condition that favoured its consumption, apply to this case as well. The Treaty of Nanking opened up the eastern seaboard and soon the Yangzi River valley for foreign trade and penetration. Foreign buildings arrived in China in the form of embassies, businesses, schools, churches, hotels, residences, and social and recreational venues, the Bund in Shanghai being the best example.77 They were the quintessence of the foreign presence in China, an icon of internationality and modernity, as cities without them lagged behind. The following verses depict the emergent urban mosaic and goings-on in Beijing and Shanghai in the mid-late nineteenth century: Chinese and foreign dishes and wines as much as you like, Western means tall buildings that number nearly a hundred. The lights outside the door shine like daylight, Drunken above the beautiful tall buildings in deep alleys.78 Gold-plated mirror hangs high in the chamber, Shines on the gentleman as he comes everyday, Newly added is the Western sleeping chair (sofa) Love-making and happy hours go on and on . . .79 ... Exquisite tea cups in Western style pavilion, Secret dates booked the small window seats, From now on the blue bridge leads to a road Where wild mandarin ducks roam in pairs.80

The first verse captures an image of late Qing Beijing, where tall buildings (though not by today’s standards) stood like forests and where electric lights turned night into day. The quintessence of this foreign presence was summed up in one line: “Western means tall buildings 77 Leo Ou-fan Lee, Shanghai Modern: the Flowering of a New Urban Culture in China, 1930–1945 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999). 78 Li Jingshan, “Zengbu Dumen Zayong”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 1, p. 289. 79 Yuan Xiangpu, “Xu Hai Shang Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 2, p. 803. 80 Ibid., vol. 2, p. 810.

274

chapter seven

that number nearly a hundred”, a scene and culture that bred a different kind of urban mentality and lifestyle, vividly described in the second verse. Many men liked to visit the new kind of tea houses, where they would find inviting Western sofas and Western-style food and drinks, as we have seen in the example of Ge Yuanxu in the previous section. They came to the Western building to find their secret lovers, where they enjoyed a tryst and a view of the city through a window lit by a Western style lamp. Tall buildings exposed some Chinese and excited others, who took pleasure in not only the buildings but also the way of life that came with it. Soon those with the means and taste would move into these foreign buildings in the various foreign settlements in an ever-increasing number of port cities. Like other items that start with the yang prefix, foreign buildings became fashionable and developers soon began to exploit this new consumer trend. Initially, foreign styles were mixed with traditional elements, an amalgamation of eastern and western design. Many hybrid structures sprang up as the late Qing regime embarked on various public service and social reform programs.81 Early universities, many still standing today, are great examples of this, as are the multitude of hospitals built by missionaries. Residential areas, some hybrid like Shi Ku Men [石库门] in Shanghai, were built in the port cities to accommodate the growing and westernising urban population in the late Qing and early Republican era.82 To buy or live in foreign buildings and foreign houses became a middle class ambition, synonymous with urban professional life and upward social mobility. This has intensified in the post-Mao era, as both exclusive villas and gated high-rises, still called yang lou yang fang, target a new generation of professional urbanites and foreign expatriates. The social life of foreign buildings continues as Beijing and Shanghai have more skyscrapers, some technologically more advanced and others more environmentally friendly, than London and Paris.

81

Shi Ying, ed. Mingguo Yang Fang (Beijing: Tuanjie chubanshe, 2005). Li Xuetong, Jindai Zhongguo de Xishi Jianzhu (Beijing: Renmin wenxue chubanshe, 2006); Lin Yongkuang, Minguo Zhuzhi Wenhua Tongshi (Chongqing: Chongqing chubanshe, 2006), pp. 213–46; Jiang Lan, Wen Gu: Zhengzai Xiaoshi de Jianzhu (Beijing: Zhonghua gongshang lianhe chubanshe, 2003). 82

pattern and variation: indigenisation

275

Self Moving Vehicle [自行车] and Many More The foreigners brought their textiles and fashion, food and drink, and houses and religion with them, and they also brought their modes of transportation, which would revolutionize the way the Chinese traveled. This included the so-called self moving vehicle [自行车], or the bicycle. The Qing’s last emperor Pu Yi, Qianlong’s great great grandson, mentioned his love for the bicycle in his memoir. This fondness was popularised by the Oscar-winning film The Last Emperor. After he and the imperial family were driven out of the Forbidden City in 1925, he often went on long bicycle rides in the early hours of the morning: When I was living in the Japanese Legation I went for several bicycle rides at night out of curiosity, taking one or two servants with me; later the main gate of the legation was closed and I was not allowed to go out. On one of these trips I rode as far as the moat outside the Forbidden City and as I looked at the turrets and battlements I thought of the Mind Nurture Palace and the Cloudless Heaven Palace that I had left so recently, and of my throne and of imperial yellow. A desire for revenge and restoration welled up in my heart. My eyes filled with tears as I resolved that I would return here in the future as a conquering king just as the first of my line had done. Muttering an ambiguous goodbye I remounted my bicycle and rode away at a high speed. . . .83

Bicycle-riding rather than Manchu-style hunting helped the dethroned Last Emperor fantasize about return of the Qing dynasty, which his audacious ancestors managed to establish in 1644 and which was lost to the Nationalist Revolution in 1911 when he was only three. Pu Yi enjoyed his bicycle rides enormously as they allowed him freedom, if only for a short space of time. Like clocks, the novelty and ingenuity of the bicycle caught not only the attention of the westernising urban elite in port cities but also everyone who could use it, and those who were open-minded.84 Bicycles were advertised regularly in all the newspapers and sold in the various foreign settlements and port cities. They were so popular in Shanghai that the first bike-riding competition was

83

Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi, From Emperor to Citizen: the Autobiography of Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), p. 167. See also Reginald F. Johnston, Twilight in the Forbidden City (London: Victor Gollancz, 1934). 84 Yang Xingsheng, Shehui Wan Xiang (Changsha: Yulu shushe, 2004), pp. 309–11.

276

chapter seven

held there as early as 1897.85 Indispensable to small businesses and the newly-created Post Bureau, bicycles helped deliver goods and provide public services. The bicycle came to play an ever-bigger role after 1949, when local governments were provided with bicycles so that officials and police could patrol cities and towns to enforce law and order. The very mention of China today conjures up images of massive bicycle hordes waiting for the traffic light. Nine Million Bicycles, a song by Katie Melua, starts with the line “there are nine million bicycles in Beijing”.86 In addition, China makes and exports millions each year. The pattern by which the bicycle became Chinese is clear. Like clocks, the “feet-peddling vehicle”, as it was initially labelled, was a novelty when it was first introduced in the late nineteenth century.87 It became a general consumer good when China began manufacturing its own brands in the mid-twentieth century. China now supplies the world with its cheap brands and the bicycle has come to define post-Mao economic reform. A leisure and sports vehicle in the West today, the bicycle continues to be a means of transport in China. It has served China as she rapidly industrialises, urbanises and catches up with the environmental revolution. The popularity of the bicycle soon extended to other inventions that enhanced Chinese travel: 1905 saw the first installation of electric buses or trams in Hong Kong, followed by Tianjin in 1906 and Shanghai in 1908. The following verses tell the first reaction: Capital folk verse: the electric bus Tens of thousands of people are going home How can several electric buses sit all of them Some sit on the floor when there are no more seats There isn’t any other way but to squeeze in.88 Shanghai folk verse At dawn foreign streets look like a picture Like watching a movie in the theatre Buses seem to drive towards the crowd Ladies stumble and need support.89

The foreign streets were located in the British, French and International Settlements; at nightfall these streets looked like a picture, an 85 86 87 88 89

Wu Youru, Dian Shi Zhai Hua Bao (Shanghai: Huabao chubanshe, 2001). It was Dr. Vicky Morrisroe who told me about this song. Ge Yuanxu, “Fuyou Zaji”, in Shanghai Tan yu Shanghai Ren Congshu, p. 17. Yi Ming, “Shoudu Zayong: Dian Che”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 1, p. 424. Li Ruqian, “Fushang Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 2, p. 831.

pattern and variation: indigenisation

277

impressionist painting to be more precise, where buses, labelled foreign vehicles, looked as if they were driving into crowds as they turned corners.90 When pedestrians, especially women, stepped back from the approaching buses, they looked as if they were stumbling. Buses and tall buildings, some with clocks mounted high, were standing testimonies that reminded people every day and every hour that a new era had dawned on China. This era was one that was marked by the arrival of foreign—European and Western—fabrics and fashions, food and drink, houses and buildings, modes of transportation, entertainment, and science and technology, all of which offered new possibilities. The introduction of these imports gave rise to a foreign and sometimes mixed urban mosaic that was transforming the mentality and lifestyle of ordinary Chinese urbanites in the late nineteenth century, as can be seen from the following folk verse: Hankou folk verse: Western style furniture Traditional decorations no longer fashionable Everyone wants to decorate with foreign style Many Ningbo people sell foreign furniture The fashion is beds made with copper or iron.91

“Foreign furniture” was the vogue. Like les Palais Européens, the foreign houses and dwellings had to be decorated with foreign furniture and household necessities such as matches, which were initially called “foreign light”, and then “foreign fire”.92 The houses also had to have “foreign mirrors” and “foreign flowers”.93 Chinese dogs were no longer fashionable: one needed a “foreign dog” to match one’s foreign taste and possessions.94 As for relaxation, opium was called “foreign smoke” and “foreign drug”, and it still commanded the best market, whether in Beijing, Shanghai or Hankou.95 Compradors had emerged with the first arrival of Europeans, but now they were called “foreign translators/

90

Youhui Sheng, “Jinghua Bai’er Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 1, p. 276. Luo Sifeng, “Hankou Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, p. 2671. 92 Li Jingshan, “Zengbu Dumen Zayong”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 1, p. 231; Luo Sifeng, “Hankou Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, p. 2667. 93 Li Muzhou, “Yangcheng Zhuzhici” and Liao Xinchi, “Xu Yangcheng Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, p. 2921, 3012. 94 Liu Jingxiang, “Jigong Shan Zhuzhici (Henan)”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, p. 2569. 95 De Suoting, “Chao Zhu Yi Chuan”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 1, p. 234; Yuan Xiangpu, “Haishang Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 2, p. 786; Luo Sifeng, “Hankou Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, p. 2671, 2675. 91

278

chapter seven

interpreters”.96 It was fashionable to go overseas to study or work, as girls wanted to marry men who had been to foreign lands.97 The impact of foreign influences on China is best seen in the reforms undertaken by the Qing court, collectively known as the Foreign Affairs Movement [洋务运动], even newly-opened archives of this era are titled Foreign Matters [洋事] and Foreign Cases [洋案].98 China aimed to catch up with the West by building “foreign guns, cannons and ships”, railways, telegraph lines, anything a modern nation state could build and control. This was what Hans van de Ven calls the “onrush of modern globalisation” in China.99 As reform deepened, this “onrush” extended to what used to be the most enduringly Chinese institutions, schools and the arts.100 This transformation was noted in the Jia-Hu area in northeast Zhejiang: If you have a boy, you wish he’d do business It doesn’t matter if he can’t read much The so-called education reform in the past ten years All the schools now start their name with yang (Of the ten or so schools in our city, there are hundreds of students. People call those schools that study foreign books ‘foreign school’. Alas, I’d send my kids to private tuition rather than these schools.)101

Learning to do business was the priority in these new schools. While some embraced them, others resisted—but not for long, as the author lamented. Foreign education was emerging and in many places replacing traditional education. Yeh Wen-hsin discussed “commerce as learning” and “business schools” briefly in her new work Shanghai Splendor.102 Business and professional schools mushroomed in the early twentieth century. In 1912, the young Mao Zedong arrived in Changsha, capital of Hunan province, to pursue a better education. He

96

Luo Sifeng, “Hankou Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, p. 2683. Yuan Xiangpu, “Xu Hai Shang Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 2, p. 789; Ye Tingxun, “Guangzhou Xiguan Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, 2762. 98 Guojia Tushu Guan, Yang Shi Jice (Beijing: Xinhua shudian, 2004) and Qingmo Tongshang Maoyi Dang’an Huibian (Beijing: Xinhua shudian, 2008). 99 Hans van de Ven, “The Onrush of Modern Globalisation in China”, in Globalisation in World History, ed. A. G. Hopkins (London: Pimlico, 2002), pp. 167–193. 100 Qin Rongguang, “Shanghaixian Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 2, pp. 880 & 881. 101 Shen Yun, “Shenghu Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 3, p. 2070. 102 Wen-hsin Yeh, Shanghai Splendor: Economic Sentiments and the Making of Modern Shanghai, 1843–1949, pp. 31–40. 97

pattern and variation: indigenisation

279

was still roaming around the city looking for a school after he “had been a soldier for half a year”: I began to read advertisements in the papers. Many schools were then being opened and used this medium to attract new students. I had no special standard for judging schools; I did not know exactly what I wanted to do. An advertisement for a police school caught my eye and I registered for entrance to it. Before I was examined, however, I read an advertisement of a soap-making ‘school.’ No tuition was required, board was furnished and a small salary was promised. It was an attractive and inspiring advertisement. It told of the great social benefits of soap-making, how it would enrich the country and enrich the people. I changed my mind about the police school and decided to become a soap-maker. I paid my dollar registration fee here also.103

The tuition included housing, food and even financial aid—quite a deal for a country boy who depended on his peasant family. Learning to make the soap seemed to promise a living, if not a fortune. Unfortunately, the young student apprentice didn’t want to make a living, nor a fortune; he was more interested in making a revolution, which would further westernise China, even though his political platform was built on anti-imperialism stance. Foreign education was transforming the lives of many young men like Mao; it was challenging age-old moral values and shaping new artistic creativity: Multitude of foreign paintings and many strokes Glass mirrors serve as windows and frames Have a look at the nude then you know why The exposed foreign body is the attraction.104

A monopoly of the Qing emperors, oil painting returned to China as common education; so did European music.105 This lent force to the argument I have pursued persistently in this and other works. The agent and agency of introduction, the Jesuits and the Qing court in this case, dictated the social life of oil painting in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. What came in as imperial privilege lived through, and thus was limited by, royal patronage. The soil upon which it could grow on

103 Edgar Snow, Red Star Over China (London and Southampton: Camelot Press, 1937), pp. 139–40; Liu Shanling, Xi Yang Feng: Xi Yang Faming zai Zhongguo, p. 190. 104 Yuan Xiangpu, “Xu Hai Shang Zhuzhici”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 2, p. 808. 105 Liu Xin, Zhongguo Youhua Bainian Tushi (Nanning: Guangxi meishu chubanshe, 1996); Pan Feisheng, “Ge Chang”, in Zhonghua Zhuzhici, vol. 4, p. 2886.

280

chapter seven

a common scale was absent despite the fact that a small export industry developed in Guangzhou in the mid-Qing; this too had its own specific origin which limited its spread.106 The general socio-political environment of reform and learning from the West provided the soil upon which it could and did grow in the late Qing. Not only progressive artists but also the young Mao Zedong and the Communist Party embraced oil painting. The foreign genre would play a disproportionately significant role in the Communist Revolution, as the regime used it to spread the gospel of communism and indoctrinate its citizens, new and old, until Mao’s death in 1976.107 From foreign furniture and foreign education to oil painting, what once only the Qing emperor could afford had become readily available to those with the means and the inclination ever since the Opium Wars. Not only was foreign education available, but one could travel to foreign countries to study. This had long-term consequences, as the Taiping Rebellion and the Nationalist and Communist Revolutions were all based on foreign ideologies and led by foreign-connected or educated intellectuals.108 The so-called Foreign Affairs Movement or in essence “Learning from the West”, gave birth to Chinese patriots; it also gave birth to generations of scholars, scientists, writers, artists and capitalists who would transform not just China’s polity and economy, but also its culture and society, in the twentieth century. Today’s China, from its political ideology to its economic platform, from interior design to artistic forms, bears testimony to the westernization of China that first began during the late Ming as a result of intensified contact and exchange with the maritime world. The seas facilitated and defined China’s path to modernity. Conclusion From what the Chinese wear to what they eat, chew, drink and smoke, from how they live to the ways in which they move themselves, and

106 Carl L. Crossman, The China Trade: Export Paintings, Furniture, Silver and Other Objects (Princeton: Pyne Press, 1972), pp. 24–39 & 84–91; and Jiang Yinghe, Qingdai Yanghua yu Guangzhou Kou’an (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2007), pp. 327–80. 107 Melissa Chiu & Zheng Shengtian, eds. Art and China’s Revolution (New Haven & London: Asia Society and Yale University Press, 2009). 108 Ding Xianjun, Yang Wu Yundong Shihua (Beijing: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe, 2000); Zhongguo Shi Xuehui, et al., Yang Wu Yundong (Shanghai: Renmin chubanshe, 2000).

pattern and variation: indigenisation

281

even to the manner in which they think about and re-invent their country, foreign goods, inventions and ideas have fundamentally changed China. How do their diverse social lives enlighten us? Some, like the foreign chrysanthemum, disappeared after being fashionable for only a few decades; some, like foreign cloth, would take time to grow; some, like foreign pepper, only spread to certain regions; some, like foreign houses, only developed in hybrid shapes, while others, like the bicycle, indigenised quickly in its original form. The processes by which foreign goods were indigenised in China help shed light on the condition of the local economy and society, the capacity of local commercial networks and consumer culture. What also mattered were geography, weather, and medical philosophy, as was the case with the foreign pepper, but even more important could be the resilience of the local product and the timing of the import’s introduction, as can be seen with foreign cloth. As I have argued in relation to opium, the “outward and downward liquidation” of foreign imports depends on a number of complex variables. Introduced during the late Ming, many of them did not spread and indigenise until the mid- and even the late Qing. While the Ming dynasty saw the arrival of the Portuguese and the Dutch, the Qing witnessed the rise of the British on Asian waters. In other words, the introduction and indigenisation of many of these foreign goods coincided with the ascent of Europe. This raises questions about the dynamics of internal and external change, namely population growth and commercialisation in China and the industrial and political expansion of Europe, made possible by maritime contact and exchange. It seems that this trend is reversing today with China’s industrialisation, as Chinese products head towards Europe and America. Industry and commerce need markets and consumers regardless of when and where. Their interaction has shaped the course of global history, and will undoubtedly continue to do so. Just when the Wind of Europe was blowing in China, the Wind of China—Chinoiserie—was being felt in Europe. This too had its own specific origins and consequences.

CHAPTER EIGHT

“RACE FOR ORIENTAL OPULENCE”1 During the period from the first penetration of the Portuguese to the coasts of China in 1514 to the close of the eighteenth century the nations of Europe drew a cordon around China both by sea and land, so that at the end of the period the country bore a resemblance to a walled city in a state of siege, a siege wherein the invaders coming from afar have occupied the open country but are not yet strong enough to storm the walls, while the defenders made no serious attempt to drive them away. In the centre of the city the Son of Heaven continued to reign in ceremonious majesty, and refused to accept any other ruler of men as an equal . . .2

This seemingly dated comment makes an important point. Europe had been trying to find the “Seres” (silk people) since Roman times, but they did not accomplish this feat until the early sixteenth century.3 The first Europeans to arrive in Asia were the Portuguese, who were soon followed by all the major actors on the political stage of Europe. They took on China with diplomacy and force, but nothing worked until the English used gunboats to throw open the gates of the Middle Kingdom. The “state of siege”, in other words, lasted 328 years, from 1514, when the Portuguese first called on the port of Guangzhou, to the end of the Opium War in 1842. The Spanish had even toyed with the idea of an invasion of China during the late Ming: we can only wonder what dissuaded them, given their supremacy at that time.4 This chapter traces the race to appropriate the trade in three Chinese commodities—silk, porcelain and tea. A particular emphasis is placed on the early modern era and the British demand for tea. The previous seven chapters have examined China’s, and especially the Qing’s, engagement with the maritime world; this chapter aims to show how the world reached out to and engaged with China through the trade in these Chinese commodities over two thousand years. The seas were

1 2 3

Morison, The Maritime History of Massachusetts, p. 84. Hudson, Europe and China, p. 235. Pausanias, Guide to Greece Volume 2 Southern Greece, pp. 365–66 and footnote

234. 4

Hudson, Europe and China, p. 249.

284

chapter eight

vital to Sino-foreign trade after the fragmentation of the Silk Road following the Yongjia Disturbance in 311, as I highlight in Chapter One. Tracing the world’s interaction with China through maritime links will highlight key themes, even “strange parallels”, in global trade, economic life and the great convergence that began two thousand years ago, and showcase the importance of comparative world history.5 The race that began in Roman times and crystallized in the Chinoiserie of the eighteenth century ended in a series of conflicts beginning with the First Opium War in 1839, followed by the “Scramble for China” and what eminent Chinese historian John K. Fairbank (1907–1991) called the “century of unequal treaties”, 1842–1945.6 How did Europe in general and Britain in particular come to admire and then despise and molest China? “Seres” to “Sinae” and “Tsinistan” 7 Two thousand years ago, four large empires contemporaneously occupied the Eurasian landmass. They were the Qin-Han Empire, the Kushan Empire, the Persian Empire and the Roman Empire; they grew and thrived separately. But the desire to live better and to expand pushed them into contact, exchange and conflict.8 While Chinese historians have noted that Western Han China saw an increase in silk production, they have not explained why this household-based industry suddenly grew in this particular era. Taiwan-based historian Fang Hao has advanced the idea that Zhang Qian’s epic journeys to Central Asia, commissioned by the Han court, were not undertaken with the diplomatic aim of making peace, but rather to locate markets for the surplus silk that Han China produced.9 Fang’s claim is as yet

5

Lieberman, Strange Parallels. Robert Bickers, The Scramble for China: Foreign Devils in the Qing Empire 1832– 1914 (London: Allen Lane, 2011). 7 Pausanias, Guide to Greece Volume 2 Southern Greece, pp. 365–66 and footnote 234; The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, p. 120 number 64 and 66 on Thina; Indicopleustes, The Christian Topography of Cosmas Indicopleustes, pp. 48–49; and Hourani, Arab Seafaring in the Indian Ocean, p. 41. 8 Fritz-Heiner Mutschler and Achim Mittag, eds. Conceiving the Empire: China and Rome Compared (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2008); and Walter Scheidel, ed. Rome and China: Comparative Perspectives on Ancient World Empires (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2009). 9 Fang Hao, Zhong Xi Jiatong Shi, vol. 1, pp. 119–22. 6

“race for oriental opulence”

285

unsubstantiated, but the fact that the famous Silk Road came into existence and flourished during the Han is unquestionable. In other words, foreign demand must have contributed to the expansion of silk production in China, although to what extent this was the case is a matter which, like Fang’s claim itself, demands vigorous research. The foreign trade of the Roman Empire, according to Mortimer Wheeler, was based on five major commodities: German amber, African ivory, Arabian incense, Indian pepper and Chinese silk.10 Many believe that it was the Parthians who introduced silk to Roman Europe in the first century AD.11 The Romans loved it so much that Pliny the Elder complained: “By the lowest reckoning, India and China (Seres) and the Arabian peninsula take from our empire 100 million sesterces every year: that is how much our luxuries and our women cost us”.12 The luxury and decadence which was associated with Arabia, India and China was perceived to be detrimental to human character, and it was a trait that worried Roman scholars; many historians even claim that this led to the downfall of the Roman Empire.13 The Romans were no more extravagant, however, than any of their trading partners in the other three empires. There is no doubt that silk marketed China during the Qin-Han era, earning the Chinese the name of “Seres”, the “Silk people”; this can be seen from one of the earliest works on Asia, The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea.14 As there was neither direct trade nor a direct route between China and Europe, silk travelled a long way and passed through at least four major layers of merchants, scattered from Kansu to the Pamirs and from the Merv oasis to Seleucia, before it reached “the city of Antioch, in the Roman province of Syria”.15 The vast landmass between China and Europe enabled all kinds of middlemen

10 Wheeler, Rome Beyond the Imperial Frontiers, pp. 176–81. See also Simkin, The Traditional Trade of Asia, p. 38; and Dalby, Empire of Pleasures, pp. 199–200. 11 Frederick J. Teggart, Rome and China; A Study of Correlations in Historical Events (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969), p. 120; Impey, Chinoiserie, p. 98. See also Emmanuel Choisnel, Les Parthes et la Route de la Soie (Paris: Harmattan, 2004); and Pierre Biarnès, La Route de la Soie: une Histoire Géopolitique (Paris: Ellipses, 2008). 12 Pliny the Elder, Natural History (London and Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1956–62), vol. 12 and number 84. 13 Dalby, Empire of Pleasure, p. 11. 14 Pausanias, Guide to Greece Volume 2 Southern Greece, pp. 365–66 and footnote 234; and The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, p. 120 number 64 & 66 on Thina. 15 Hudson, Europe and China, p. 79; and Teggart, Rome and China, p. 120.

286

chapter eight

to monopolise the silk trade, and it was the attempt to bypass these merchants that drove the Romans and their descendants to look for a direct sea route to the riches of the East. This was the beginning of the “race for Oriental opulence” that would last for the next two thousand years. While the Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476, the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire managed to survive until the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople in 1453. Trade between Byzantium and Sassanid Persia (224–651) thrived, but the Sassanids were swept away by the Islamic Empire in the seventh century. This was a transitional era, as Islam rose to shape the course of history from North Africa to Southeast Asia, where modern-day Indonesia claims the world’s largest Muslim population. The spread of Islam would have a profound impact on global trade, as the seventh and eighth centuries saw the regularisation of the silk trade and the introduction of another important Chinese product: porcelain, the “Tang cargo” being a great example. Persian and Arab merchants would continue to control trade between China and Europe for the next thousand years, until the Portuguese emerged. Historian George Hourani cites the vivid recollection of an Arab merchant in Tang-dynasty Guangzhou: When the seamen come in from the sea, the Chinese seize their goods and put them in the (customs) sheds; there they guard them securely for (anything up to) six months, until the last seaman has come in. After that, three tenths of every consignment is taken as a duty, and the remainder is delivered to the merchants. Whatever the Government requires, it takes at the highest price and pays for promptly and fairly.16

Just as six months is a long time, three tenths is a large toll. What made the Arab merchants accept these conditions and unfair practices? Baghdad-born historian and geographer Mas’ûdi (896–956) explained: The Chinese are the most clever people on earth: they have extraordinary skills in plastic and other arts, so that no other nation can be compared with them in any kind of workmanship. . . . China is rich in remarkable objects, and there are many interesting accounts of the inhabitants.17

16

Hourani, Arab Seafaring in the Indian Ocean, p. 72. See also Zhang Xiaoning, Tianzi Nan Ku, p. 20; and al-Tājir, Anciennes Relations des Indes et de la Chine. 17 Mas’ûdi Ali-Abu’l-Hassan, Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems (London: Oriental Translation Fund, 1841), pp. 340–41.

“race for oriental opulence”

287

Some of the “remarkable objects” can be found in the “Tang cargo”. They include: a 35–inch-tall ornamental ewer of unique size and design with a dragon-head stopper and a wine cup, as seen below (Illustration 8.1).18 Qin-Han China produced silk for the Roman Empire, the most powerful empire of the ancient world; Tang-Song China manufactured household utensils and artefacts, including the Changsha ceramics, for the Islamic Caliphate, the most powerful empire of the medieval world; and Ming-Qing China supplied not just silk and porcelain but also tea to Europe, the most powerful region in the early modern era. This continues today, as China supplies the United States with everything from artificial Christmas trees and cheap clothing to computer parts and rare earth, a key material in many high-tech devices. It seems that not much has changed since the Han-Tang era. A rare drawing from the 1780s, titled “Painting Porcelain” depicts the changing wind of the porcelain trade, as the sign at the door reads: “This shop accepts (orders) for painting European style flowers, multiple coloured figures,

Illustration 8.1 18

Tang Cargo

Photo courtesy of Baron Nicolai von Uexkull-Guldenband.

288

chapter eight

and landscapes” [本店接写洋装青花五彩人物山水翎毛], seen below (Illustration 8.2).19 The study of Chinese porcelain has been the monopoly of art historians, but also demands the attention of economic historians, as porcelain is an excellent yardstick with which to measure the extent of Sino-Arabian and Sino-African trade. Mainland scholars have called North Africa the “museum”, and East Africa the “depot”, of Chinese ceramics, and have traced their extent as far as South Africa.20 Their research so far has identified the Tang as the era when porcelain first made its way to Africa, and Chen Xinxiong has written about the “indirect but strong maritime trade” between Tang China and Africa.21 The emphasis on the Tang as a significant period in the history of China’s trade—not just maritime—is supported by the discovery of the “Tang cargo” and by the works of Middle Eastern and African scholars on Chinese porcelains that have been discovered in Topkapi, Ardebil, and

Illustration 8.2

Painting Porcelain

19 “Painting Porcelain”, Chinese Collection, Drawings volume 14, number 7, John Rylands Library. 20 Ma Wenkuan & Meng Fanren, Zhongguo Guci zai Feizhou de Faxian, pp. 1, 7 & 30. 21 Chen Xinxiong, “Tangdai Zhongguo yu Feizhou de Guanxi: Jianjie er Qiangshi de Hailu Maoyi”, in Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Si Ji, pp. 125–60.

“race for oriental opulence”

289

other parts of the Near East and Africa.22 Persians, Arabs and Africans, many of them Muslim, valued Chinese porcelain so much that they used ceramics in the decoration of shrines, some of which still stand today. Europeans would emulate this a thousand years later, as will be discussed in the next section. The Persian-Arab domination of the China trade lasted until the Mongols swept through the Eurasian continent in the thirteenth century. “The Mongol conquests restored mutual knowledge and communication between Europe and China after all contact had been lost for at least four centuries”.23 This was the last time that the old Silk Road would regain some of its former glory, as merchants were now able to travel from China to Europe un-harassed “whether by day or night”.24 As the Mongols helped to spread knowledge about China, a handful of Europeans came to Asia. Regardless of whether or not the Marco Polo episode is true, the legend itself testifies to the popularity of China in Europe, which would accelerate the “race for Oriental opulence” after the Mongol empire collapsed. The beginning of the fifteenth century saw Zheng He’s voyages spreading the gospel of China and reinforcing China’s ties with Southeast, South, and West Asia and East Africa. Just as post-Yongle officials were burning the maps of the Zheng He voyages and vowing never to allow anyone to embark on the seas again, Portuguese explorers were drawing up their own maps, and Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope in 1498. The Oriental riches that the Portuguese brought back to Europe generated profits for the crown, and more importantly fostered jealousy and competition amongst the nations of Europe. The Portuguese led the “race”: the English were no serious competitor at this time, instead remaining in European waters to attack Spanish and Portuguese ships returning from the East. On the 26th of July, 1592, Thomas White in his ship the Amitie of London captured two Spanish ships bound for the West Indies. The first of these was the “mightie and rich Carak called the Madre de Dios”, which belonged to the Portuguese Crown. On board were 1400 22 James S. Kirkman, The Arab City of Gedi: Excavations at the Great Mosque, Architecture and Finds. (London: Oxford University Press, 1954); John A. Pope, Chinese Porcelains from the Ardebil Shrine (Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Freer Gallery of Art, 1956); Tagatoshi Misugi, Chinese Porcelain Collections in the Near East: Topkapi and Ardebil (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1981). 23 Hudson, Europe and China, p. 134. 24 Ibid.

290

chapter eight

chests of quicksilver, which “amounteth to 600000 pounds”.25 Richard Hakluyt went to great lengths to record the catalogue of the sundry rich commodities that were also taken from the Madre de Dios: To give you a taste (as it were) of the commodities, it shall suffice to deliver you a general particularity of them, according to the catalogue taken at Leaden hall the 15 of September 1592. . . . Where upon good view it was found, that the principal were often the jewels (which were no doubt of great value, though they never came to light) consisted of spices, drugges, silks, calicos, quilts, carpets & cloves, &c. The spices were pepper, cloves, maces, nutmegs, cinamom, greene ginger; the drugs were beniamin, frankincense, galingale, mirabolans, aloes, zocotrina, camphire; the silks, damasks, taffatas, sarcenets, altobassons, that is, counterfeit cloth of gold, unwrought Chinese silke, slaved silke, white twisted sike, curled cypresse.26

This was followed by a category called calicos, which listed all kinds and colours of materials, alongside other goods such as elephant teeth, porcelains of China, coconuts, hides, eben-wood, bedsteads of the same, and cloth of artificial workmanship. The value of these goods amounted to no less than 150,000 pounds which, Hakluyt continued, “being divided among the adventures where of her Majesty was the chief was sufficient to yield contentment to all parties”.27 Was Queen Elizabeth the chief recipient of the booty from the Madre de Dios? This was very different from the situation of the late Ming court in 1585, when it asked Governor-General Chen Rui to purchase European curios, who then turned to the Jesuits for help, as we have seen in Chapter Four. Richard Hakluyt (1552–1616) reminds us of Zhang Xie (1574– 1640), who wrote An Examination of the East and West Oceans, and Qu Dajun (1630–1696), author of The New Language of Guangdong, whereas the above lists of goods are reminiscent of those from the late Ming to the mid-Qing, which were examined in Chapter Six. The Madre de Dios belonged to the Portuguese Crown and was laden with all kinds of Asian goods, such as spices, silk, calicoes, and porcelain; spices topped the list of desired products, just as fragrances topped the category of Chinese imports. While the demand for spices drove the

25

Richard Hakluyt, The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation (3 vols. London: George Biship, 1599), vol. 3, pp. 7–8. 26 Ibid., vol. 3, pp. 9–14. 27 Ibid.

“race for oriental opulence”

291

European race for Asia and China, the desire for fragrances dictated China’s foreign trade until the late Ming.28 Silk and porcelains followed spices, and as a consequence of maritime trade with China, Europeans could dine and dress better; soon they would also drink better. The Dutch East India Company proved to be a formidable competitor to the Portuguese in the seventeenth century. Their struggle began early in March 1602, when the Dutch successfully seized the San Jago in St. Helena.29 The San Jago was a Portuguese ship on its way back to Europe with “a large amount of porcelain and other Chinese goods”.30 Two years later, in 1604, the Dutch took another Portuguese ship, the Catharina, “fully laden with porcelain, raw silk, silk textiles, gold, lacquer, furniture, sugar, drugs and other Chinese goods” in the Gulf of Thailand.31 The booty went under the hammer in Amsterdam as “buyers poured in from far and wide and at the end the proceeds amounted to almost six million gilders”. The money and prestige generated from the sale of these goods encouraged the Dutch in their ambitions to secure a prominent place on Asian waters and a large share in the Eurasian trade. It also kicked off the Europe-wide race for Chinese and Asian luxuries, as the Swedish, French and English joined them. The Dutch taking of a Portuguese ship on Asian waters signalled that the “race” was moving away from Europe and towards Asia, or more precisely the Straits of Malacca and South China Sea, where this kind of “taking” would continue into the mid-eighteenth century, when the British finally emerged as the dominant party. George Anson (1697–1762) captured a Spanish Manila Galleon called Nuestra Señora de Covadonga, commanded by the Portuguese-born general Don Jeronimo de Montero, in the waters of the Philippines in 1743. Its cargo was mostly silver from the Americas, and its value amounted to “near a million and a half dollars”.32 This seizure signalled the rise of the British, who had seen the importance of trade with China:

28 John Keay, The Spice Route: a History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006). 29 C. J. A. Jörg, Porcelain and the Dutch China Trade (The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1982); see also John E. Wills, Jr. Peppers, Guns and Parleys: the Dutch East India Company and China 1622–1681 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974); and Francesco Carletti, My Voyage Around the World (New York: Pantheon, 1964). 30 Jörg, Porcelain and the Dutch China Trade, p. 17. 31 Ibid. 32 Richard Walter, Anson’s Voyage Round the World in the Years 1740, 1741, 1742, 1743, 1744 (London: Blackie and Son, 1748), p. 199.

292

chapter eight That the Chinese trade is the most important and the most advantageous of the Company’s extensive concerns is, I believe, universally admitted; and that it is worthy of high consideration in a national point of view requires but little proof. It employs direct from England 20,000 tons of shipping, and nearly three thousand seamen; it takes off our woollen manufactures and other products to a very considerable extent; and it brings into the Exchequer annual revenue of about three millions sterling. It is the grand prop of the East India Company’s credit, and the only branch of their trade from which perhaps they may strictly be said to derive real profit.33

This “only branch of their trade” refers to the tea business; tea could only be procured from China, which was also seen as the ultimate market for the products of the Industrial Revolution. It is hardly surprising, given that China seemed to be an ideal partner in trade, that the Honourable Company had been continuously trying to gain a foothold in this market, as we have seen with the voyage of Capital Weddell, the attempts made in 1676 and again by James Flint in the 1750s, and in the missions led by Lord McCartney, Lord Amherst and finally by Lord Napier. Silk had defined China’s foreign trade since Roman times, while porcelain rose to define her trade with the expansion of Islam. Tea had joined these exports by the eighteenth century, marking the third phase of Sino-foreign interaction. Trade with China had never ceased, but only changed hands, from Parthians and Sassanids to Muslims and Europeans. While Persians and Arabs had enjoyed a China that was open and had freely taken up residence in cities like Yangzhou, the Europeans encountered a different China under the Ming and Qing, one wary of foreigners. Many Ming-Qing emperors seemed inwardlooking and conservative; but some of them showed flexibility, even innovation, when necessary. The Europeans were certainly more competitive as they battled each other, and were less tolerant and more violent than their predecessors—they came heavily armed, which concerned Chinese officials; and they did not hesitate to use force. As the Han dynasty fell with the Roman Empire, the Tang rose with the Islamic Caliphate; the Ming and the Portuguese emerged and declined more or less simultaneously. The English and the Manchus, for their part, seemed to have been inextricably tied together by the seas. These

33

Barrow, A Voyage to Cochinchina, pp. 338–39.

“race for oriental opulence”

293

empires and dynasties traded with each other, and really were what Victor Lieberman calls “strange parallels”.34 More “Strange Parallels” Historian Victor Lieberman fashioned the concept of “strange parallels” in his effort to better comprehend and synthesise the rich histories of Southeast Asia in conjunction with the history of its colonial masters. I have found many more parallels; the Yongle emperor (1360–1424) and Henry the Navigator (1394–1460) are perfect examples.35 They were not the first-born (and thus not chosen heirs), but they distinguished themselves in battle; the only difference was that Yongle took the throne by force. They were both interested in the maritime world but left very different legacies. Less than a century after Zheng He’s fleet disappeared over the horizon of South-Southeast Asia, the Portuguese arrived to establish colonies; this set the example for other Europeans to follow. This section contrasts several “strange parallels” to illustrate what early modern Europe had in common with Ming-Qing China, and exposes European appreciation and desire for Chinese luxuries which culminated in the so-called Chinoiserie. Not just Ming but also Qing monarchs had much in common with their counterparts in Europe. The reigns of Louis XIV, XV and XVI, which lasted from 1643 to 1792, coincided with the rule of Shunzhi, Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong, who reigned from 1644 to 1796.36 If Kangxi and Louis XIV had “fought rivers and mountains”, or secured the empire, as the Chinese saying goes, Yongzheng and Louis XV “sat on the rivers and mountains”, whereas Qianlong and Louis XVI certainly squandered whatever their forefathers had managed to amass: “Fortune doesn’t last beyond three generations”, is another common saying. This was not all that these French and Chinese rulers had in common. They shared a passion for exotic things and indulged in building foreign palaces; they patronised the arts, encouraged scholarship

34

Lieberman, Strange Parallels. Levathes, When China Ruled the Seas; and Dreyer, Zheng He: China and the Oceans. 36 J. H. Shennan, The Bourbons: the History of a Dynasty (London & New York: Hambledon Continuum, 2007); William Doyle, Officers, Nobles and Revolutionaries: Essays on Eighteenth-century France (London & Rio Grande [Ohio]: Hambledon Press, 1995). 35

294

chapter eight

and compiled encyclopaedias. While Louis XVI was executed by guillotine in 1793, the revolution did not arrive in China until 1911. The Chinese imperial structure therefore seemed more resilient: perhaps the French were less patient; perhaps weather and diet played a role. Would the Revolution have broken out if the weather was cold and no one was drinking in Paris on that legendary 14th of July? While the “three emperors”, Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong, helped blow the Wind of the West, their counterparts in France helped bring about the storm of Chinoiserie. Many have studied it but nearly all have focused on the artistic aspect; they have neglected the economic origin of this phenomenon, and more importantly its economic consequences. The absence of historical debate can be seen in the fact that there is, as yet, no clear definition of what is meant by Chinoiserie. Historians have not firmly established whether this term refers to royal fascination, consumer culture, artistic imagination or philosophical interest. Oliver Impey believed that it was an era and style, or “the European idea of what oriental things were like, or ought to be like”.37 Definition aside, there is no doubt that China was at the centre of this European fascination with what the Orient had to offer. Like the Wind of the West, Chinoiserie was an intellectual fascination inspired by the Jesuits and a consumer revolution created and maintained by the various East India Companies. It embodied the European desire for things Chinese; it reached its zenith in the eighteenth century, although it started earlier and lingered on after. Like the Wind of the West, Chinoiserie began as an imperial obsession, as European royals competed with each other to build Chinese rooms, pavilions, and palatial structures decorated with Chinese furniture, carpets, tapestry, needlework, drawings, engraving and metalwork, and adorned with Chinese cabinets full of ceramics and other oriental curiosities. This fascination extended to Chinese puppet shows and costumes, as the royals and elite in Europe raised goldfish and drank Chinese tea from Chinese cups. Although royal consumption reached its apogee in the mid-eighteenth century and declined thereafter, the middle classes of Europe were just catching on at this time. Increased industrialisation and urbanisation gave birth to a middle class that was eager to participate in new consumer trends such as the drinking

37 Impey, Chinoiserie, p. 9; and René Étiemble, L’Europe Chinoise (Paris: Gallimard, 1988).

“race for oriental opulence”

295

of tea; this is similar to the Wind of the West in China, where court fascination with foreign goods came to an end in the mid-eighteenth century, just as the middle classes had begun to appreciate them. This “strange parallel” alone deserves a greater degree of comparative study and synthesis. Unlike the Wind of the West, Chinoiserie varied greatly depending on the duration and degree of European exposure to China. It emerged first in Italy, Portugal and Holland, reflecting the fact that it was associated with the praises of the Jesuits who, in the early days, were mainly Portuguese and Italians. Although Baroque emerged from Italy, Chinoiserie did not blossom there as it would elsewhere in Europe. Portugal and Holland were exposed to the Orient earlier; they had probably grown out of their initial fascination by the time France and Britain joined in. It swept through the French court in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries but ended up as a consumer culture in England in the late eighteenth century. In Germany and Sweden, it was a phenomenon confined to the court and elite. Although Chinoiserie touched all of Western Europe, there are great variations in its spread, penetration and longevity. Where the Jesuits helped the Qianlong emperor to build a Chinese Versailles, French monarchs had tried to build a Chinese chateau that similarly symbolised absolute power.38 There were no Confucian missionaries in Europe, and the Bourbon court left the construction in the hands of real architects—a better choice, it would seem. Built around 1670, the Trianon de Porcelaine consisted of a main pavilion with four wings. It was inspired by the porcelain tower in Nanjing, a nine-story pavilion covered with porcelain and wind bells. Louis XIV built it for his mistress Madam de Montespan, much as Qianlong would construct palaces for the Fragrant Consort. Built as a pleasure pavilion, the architects covered the central structure and its four branch buildings with blue and white Chinese-style ceramic tiles to give an impression of China, just as some Muslims did with their shrines. Unaware that blue and white were really peasant colours during the Ming, the architects equated the colour scheme with Chinese style and furnished the reception hall with marble stone laden with blue patterns; even the tables and chairs were painted this way.

38 Andrew Zega and Bernd H. Dams, Palaces of the Sun King: Versailles, Trianon, Marly: the Chateaux of Louis XIV (New York: Rizzoli, 2002).

296

chapter eight

This Chinese-style palatial structure attracted the attention of many European royals. The Trianon was demolished in 1687 due to the difficulty of its maintenance—the tiles fell off in cold weather—and as a result of the fall from favour of Madam de Montespan. Nevertheless, the competition to build Chinese pavilions, and Chinese rooms with Chinese cabinets full of Chinese ceramics, surrounded by Chinese décor and curios, had just begun. They included the Chinese pavilion at Harmstown House, built in 1750; the Chinese house in Drottningholm in Sweden, built around 1760; and the Pavilion Chinois a Bonnelles at Cassan, to name a few. The Hapsburgs tried to rival the French in Schönbrunn, where: The Chinese Cabinets were decorated with the most precious artefacts from China and are excellent illustrations of the early eighteenth century predilection for Far Eastern lacquer work, silk wall-hangings and porcelain from China and Japan, which were to have an increasingly formative influence on the home decor of princely residences in Europe. Materials, wall paper, furniture and vases followed their way into the interior decoration of princely residences in Europe. They were exhibited in special rooms reserved for them, or were adapted for decorative purposes. Huge sums were spent on imports from the Far East, and not infrequently the imported objects were not given a final finish until they arrived at their destination.39

This reminds us of Francois Bourgeois’s description of European objects in Qianlong’s palaces. Chinese and European monarchs desired those items which the other possessed. While European royals learned to drink tea from Chinese porcelain and enjoy Chinese plays such as L’orphelin de la Chine [赵氏孤儿], the Manchu monarchs in China drank European wine, listened to European music and enjoyed clocks. Where Louis XIV built one Chinese palace, the Qianlong emperor built a cluster of European palaces decorated with European furniture, objets d’art and exotica. These constructions were, in both cases and in large part, affairs of the heart, and neither lasted long. What did last was the so-called Anglo-Chinese garden that would become the prototype of garden art in Europe. The English came to re-define, hybridize and integrate the Chinese way of garden design in Europe. William Chambers spent some time in old Guangzhou, where he was impressed with the gardens: 39 Elfriede Iby and Alexander Koller, Schönbrunn (Vienna: Verlag Christian Brandstatter, 2000), pp. 107–10.

“race for oriental opulence”

297

The Chinese excel in the art of layout gardens. Their taste in that is good, and what we have for some time past been aiming at in England, though not always with success. I have endeavoured to be distinct in my account of it, and hope it may be of some service to our Gardeners.40 Nature is their pattern, and their aim is to imitate her in all her beautiful irregularities. . . . As the Chinese are not fond of walking, we seldom meet with avenues or spacious walks as in our European plantations: the whole ground is laid out in a variety of scenes, and you are led by winding passages cut in the groves, to the different points of view, each of which is marked by a seat, a building, or some other object. Their rivers are seldom straight, but serpentine, and broke into many irregular points; sometimes they are narrow, noisy, and rapid, at other times deep, broad and slow.41

This passage is highly reminiscent of Yin Guangren and Zhang Rulin, the two officials who described the European houses and structures in Macao in great detail and called them “palaces”. Men of arts and letters, not just royals, admired what foreign culture had to offer. Chambers’ work, as many agree, laid down the rules for the Anglo-Chinese style of gardening and changed English, as well as European, garden culture in the same way that European architecture had a permanent impact on the Chinese landscape. European clocks, oil paintings and palaces were not something ordinary Chinese could afford when they were first introduced, and likewise palaces with Chinese rooms and cabinets filled with Oriental exotica, or Chinese-style pavilions and gardens, were far beyond the reach of ordinary eighteenth-century Europeans. They could, however, contemplate other subjects over a nice cup of tea. When the race for Chinese luxuries evolved into Chinoiserie, the phenomena blossomed into a consumer revolution centred on and around tea drinking in England. Increased trade made the exotic drink available, and it became an important accessory for the middle classes who were keen on “keeping up with the Jones’’. The social life of tea in Britain is an obvious “strange parallel” to the social life of opium in China. Like opium, tea was foreign to England. Its introduction to Europe illustrates the significance of the China trade, whereas its indigenisation exposes the making of modern Britain; tea diversified the English diet

40 William Chambers, Designs of Chinese Building, Furniture, Dresses, Machines, and Utensils (London: printed for the author, 1757), preface. 41 Ibid., pp. 15–16.

298

chapter eight

and gave birth to a consumer and popular culture around its use that is still central to the modern British identity. In 1730 Dr. Thomas Short published A Dissertation Upon Tea. Thomas believed that “tea has been known in Europe about a hundred and twenty years” and that it was the Dutch East India Company that “first imported and rais’d its Reputation in Europe”.42 According to the doctor, then, tea had first been introduced to England in the 1610s. William Milburn, who devotes an entire section to the Rise, Progress, and Present State of the Tea Trade in his classic work, agrees with this dating: Tea, which, about one hundred and fifty years ago, was scarcely known as a commodity of traffic, now holds the most distinguished rank in the list of Asiatic imports. … The precise period at which tea was first introduced into Europe, is in some measure involved in obscurity. The Editors of the Encyclopaedia Britannica state, that it was first imported by the Dutch in 1610.43

Both authors failed to acknowledge the presence of the Portuguese in Asia and China from the early sixteenth century, but they could not have failed to notice tea. Surely, the timeframe these authors suggest should be pushed back to Elizabethan times, if not earlier. It is hard to believe that Queen Elizabeth (1533–1603), so fond of new possessions and as Richard Hakluyt informs us the “chief ” beneficiary of maritime adventures, did not taste what was then the exotic beverage tea. Several sources state that Samuel Pepys (1633–1703) was another early consumer.44 Tea sold between 16 and 50 shillings per pound; Pepys drank tea on 25 September 1660, according to his diary. Tea was an expensive item and a curiosity in the mid-seventeenth century, but it was slowly making its way down the social hierarchy, and did not stop at the upper echelon like Chinoiserie. What did it take for tea drinking to take off on a consumer level?

42 Thomas Short, A Dissertation upon the Nature and Properties of Tea (London: W. Bowyer, 1730), p. 11. 43 Milburn, Oriental Commerce, vol. 2, pp. 527–42. See also Liu Yong, The Dutch East India Company’s Tea Trade with China, 1757–1781 (Boston: Brill, 2007). 44 Samuel Pepys, Diary: Volume I-1660, Page 253, quoted in C. Ann Wilson, Eating with the Victorians (Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing, 2004), p. 21; and Jane Pettigrew, A Social History of Tea (London: The National Trust, 2001), pp. 8–9.

“race for oriental opulence”

299

The social life of tea resembles that of opium, as its “outward and downward liquidation” depended on similar variables to those I advance in Chapter Seven: the intrinsic value of tea or the value perceived by its potential consumers, the endorsement of social elites, major socio-economic change, and the ability of commercial operators to make it not only available but also affordable. Tea is a natural plant endowed with some therapeutic and recreational values. Like opium, the foreign pepper and betel nut, it is, or can be, addictive. It takes socio-cultural authorities, Qing emperors in the case of European clocks and Bourbon kings in the case of Chinese-style architecture, to redefine foreign objects and endorse their value. Even if the ordinary knew about exotic and expensive foreign stuff like tea in the seventeenth century, they had neither the means nor need nor taste to appreciate it. While the Industrial Revolution and rapid urbanisation gave birth to a middle class who aspired to be fashionable, their participation in the drinking of tea still depended on its availability and, more importantly, its affordability. While many didn’t know that Samuel Pepys drank tea, they would listen to professionals like Dr. Short, whose A Dissertation Upon Tea is a careful study of the drink’s medicinal values: Another Thing which mightily ingratiates the Use of the Liquor to Men of a sprightly Genius, who court the Continuance of their lively and distinct Idea, is, its remarkable Force against Drowsiness and Dul-ness, Damps, and Clouds on Brain and intellectual Faculties; for its keeping is too great; But to prevent frightful Dreams, ‘tis best to take three or four dishes in the Afternoon, but not too strong, left it cause Watch-ings, and to forbear a Flesh Supper after: the Same Time and Quantity is best to prevent Drowsiness.45 The Muses Friend, Tea, does our Fancy aid, Repress those Vapours which the Head invade, And keep that Palace of the Soul serene Fit on her Birth-day to salute a Queen.46

Fit for a Queen, tea had become a panacea that inspired genius and cured drowsiness. Does “Queen” refer to Elizabeth I, Catherine of Braganza, or both? Jane Pettigrew believes that it was Queen Catherine

45 46

Short, A Dissertation, pp. 46–47. Ibid., p. 47.

300

chapter eight

of Braganza who popularised tea?47 Full of praise, Dr. Short confirmed its medicinal value, in the same way Zhao Xuemin confirmed the medicinal value of the foreign pepper, as we have seen in Chapter Seven. Dr. Short did not just endorse tea-drinking; he in fact prescribed tea to the whole nation. Popularity alone, however, would not have enabled tea drinking to take off in any spectacular fashion. It was the major socio-economic changes taking place in the eighteenth century, as studied by Maxine Berg, which provided the most important impetus. The Industrial Revolution spawned a rising middle class and a competitive consumer culture that promoted the rapid emergence of tea as a fashionable drink. Maxine Berg believes that luxuries and novelties like sugar and tea “were of special significance to eighteenthcentury consumers” and “even among very ordinary people”.48 She also asserted that “by 1760 a breakfast of toast and rolls and tea was entrenched in middling circles”.49 The culture and soon the ritual of tea were born: Tea drinking was a domestic event, still limited until the last half of the eighteenth century mainly to the middling and upper classes, but quickly becoming a priority of expenditure among the artisan and labouring classes and even the poor. Tea and coffee were particularly associated with polite behaviour. Tea drinking had become a regular ritual; it was infrequent with guests, but had become an expected time of sociability. Tea drinking and the equipage and chinaware that went with it acted in two capacities open to an anthropological approach. It both increased personal availability, and it acted as a marker of ranks.50

Tea to the British was like foreign goods to the Chinese in the eighteenth century, clocks being a perfect example. The growing consumer culture explains the rising demand for tea in the eighteenth century. This would filter down the social ladder, as Sidney Mintz has brilliantly argued in his definitive Sweetness and Power. Tea with sugar diversified the English diet and gave energy to the working people.51

47

Pettigrew, A Social History of Tea pp. 28–29. Maxine Berg, Luxury and Pleasure in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 21. 49 Ibid., p. 229. 50 Ibid., p. 230. 51 Mintz, Sweetness and Power, p. 183. 48

“race for oriental opulence”

301

Only when general consumers joined in did the demand for tea grow rapidly and change the nature of consumption. At this point, the speed and scope of the spread of tea was dependent on a further factor: a commercial network that could meet and grow the demand. This was more than just an opportunity; it was a blessing for the Honourable Company, as it finally found the staple, and soon the monopoly, for which it had been searching since its foundation. Although the first ship of the English East India Company, under Captain Lancaster, arrived in Java in 1602, it would take more than a century for the EIC to overcome the competition of the Portuguese and the Dutch.52 It would take them even longer to find out how they could make a profit from trade in Asia. As a matter of fact, the EIC’s trade to/in Asia was not profitable at all. In his study of the traditional trade in Asia, C. G. F. Simkin discusses this “historical constant”:53 Long after their intrusion Asian trade remained substantially what it had always been—exchange between Asian countries themselves conducted by Asian merchants. Trade with Europe, until the late eighteenth century, was comparatively unimportant to Asia. It sought little from Europe beyond precious metals or slaves; some amber, coral, and glass, a few linens or woollens, minor novelties, and, after the fifteenth century, increasing quantities of fire-arms.54

The Europeans did not have much to offer China or Asia; this is supported by the works of many other economic historians, E. H. Pritchard, Michael Greenberg, Charles Boxer and K. N. Chaudhuri among them. This changed in the mid-eighteenth century with the rising demand for tea in Europe, Britain in particular, and the rising demand for opium in China. Tea had made Britain dependent on China, just like opium made China dependent on British trade. Maxine Berg believes that tea was not a major factor or consideration in the EIC voyages until 1763, when tea became the reason for the voyages.55 The mid-eighteenth century, in other words, appears to mark the breakthrough of tea in the

52 Edmund Scott, An Exact Discourse of the Subtilties, Fashions, Policies, Religion, and Ceremonies of the East Indians, as well Chyneses as Javans (London: Hakluyt Society, 1943); William Foster, ed. Letters Received by the East India Company from its Servants in the East (6 vols. London: S. Low, Marston, 1896–1902); David Cannadine, ed. Empire, the Sea and Global History: Britain’s Maritime World, c. 1760–c. 1840 (Houndmills & Basingstoke [England] & New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) 53 Simkin, The Traditional Trade of Asia, pp. 251–60. 54 Ibid., p. 252. 55 Berg, Luxury and Pleasure, p. 47.

302

chapter eight

British consumer market and trade. Tea’s popularity would continue to increase; this is reflected in the Commutation Act of 1784, by which the government required the East India Company to provide a year’s stock and reduced the tax on tea from 119 to 12.5 percent.56 The Act ended high taxation which had encouraged smuggling, and increased revenues through legitimate sales of tea; but it seems that it did not entirely wipe out the illicit trade, as a box of manuscripts titled “tea trade” belonging to members of the EIC reveals.57 Tea had become a staple in the political economy and a source of steady income for the Treasury. William Milburn sums up the significance of tea: Tea, which, about one hundred and fifty years ago, was scarcely known as a commodity of traffic, now holds the most distinguished rank in the list of Asiatic imports. It is not only the most extensive, but the least fluctuating branch of the East India Company’s concerns; nor are the advantages that result therefrom confined merely to the Company alone; the public are deeply interested therein. It benefits navigation, by affording constant employment, out and home, for at least 50,000 tons of shipping, and 6000 seamen; it has been the means of opening an increased market for the vent of one the most important of our national manufactures, (woollens, to the extent of upwards of a million sterling per annum); and it has at all times contributed largely in support of the public revenue.58

The endorsement of authority figures like Dr. Thomas Short, the competitve middle class consumer culture, and the increasing availability and affordability of tea made possible by the Commutation Act and the East India Company all contributed to the unstoppable rise of tea drinking. By the nineteenth century the tea culture of consumption was firmly established, along with its own elaborate etiquettes.59 The ritual of tea drinking can be found in a multitude of Victorian novels, demonstrating that it was integral to Victorian society: it defined 56

Jonathan Thompson, Commutation-act Candidly Considered, in its Principles and Operations (Newcastle upon Tyne: M. Angus, 1789); Mui Hoh-Cheung and Lorna H., “The Commutation Act and the Tea Trade in Britain, 1784–93”, The Economic History Review 16, 2 (December 1963): 234–53. 57 The Melville Papers, Eng Ms 523/02, John Rylands library, the University of Manchester, UK. 58 Milburn, Oriental Commerce, vol. 2, pp. 527–28. 59 Erika Rappaport, “Packing China: Foreign Articles and Dangerous Tastes in the Mid Victorian Tea Party”, in The Making of the Consumer: Knowledge, Power and Identity in the Modern World, ed. Frank Trentmann (Oxford & New York: Berg, 2004), pp. 125–46; Amanda Vickery, Behind Closed Doors: at Home in Georgian England (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009).

“race for oriental opulence”

303

Victorian “sense and sensibility”. Like the Dream of the Red Chamber, Victorian novels lent force to the sophisticated tea culture, vividly describing the ways in which it was consumed and the meaning of its consumption. The increasing specialisation and sophistication of Victorian tea ritual would see the emergence of such classics as Mrs. Beeton’s The Book of Household Management.60 In order to make good tea it is necessary that the water should be quite boiling, but it must on no account be water that has boiled for some time, or been previously boiled, cooled, then re-boiled. It is a good plan to empty the kettle and refill it with fresh cold water, and make the tea the moment it reached boiling point. Soft water makes the best tea, and boiling softens the water, but after it has boiled for some time it again becomes hard. When water is very hard a tiny pinch of carbonate of soda may be put into the teapot with the tea, but it must be used very sparingly, otherwise it may impart a very unpleasant taste to the beverage. Tea is better made in an earthen than a metal pot. One good teaspoonful of tea will be found sufficient for two small cups, if made with boiling water and allowed to stand 3 or 4 minutes; longer than this it should never be allowed to stand. The delicate flavour of the tea may be preserved, and injurious effects avoided by pouring the tea, after it has stood 3 or 4 minutes, into a clean teapot which has been previously heated.61

The English, rather than the Chinese, had come to perfect the art of tea, just as the Chinese, rather than the Javanese, came to perfect the cult of opium smoking. This kind of tea etiquette gave rise to the socalled observance of High Tea, which became the six o’clock evening meal, and the Afternoon Tea, which many hotels still serve—especially to tourists, as it is seen to define Englishness. The Ritz in London advertises its Afternoon Tea in grand style: TEA AT THE RITZ is an institution in itself and we are proud to be a member of the Tea Council’s prestigious Tea Guild. Served in the spectacular Palm Court, a choice of several varieties of tea, finely cut sandwiches, freshly baked scones, jam and clotted cream and a range of delicate pastries, combine to make for the unforgettable afternoon.62

60 Isabella Mary Beeton, The Book of Household Management (London: S. O. Beeton, 1861). 61 Beeton, Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management (London: Ward and Locks, 1907), pp. 1476–77, number 3481. 62 http://www.theritzlondon.com/pdfmenus/PALM%20COURT%20menu.pdf, accessed 22 January 2010.

304

chapter eight

Tea at the Ritz is still served in the traditional style and has a dress code: Befitting the elegant style of The Ritz, we observe a formal dress code in the public areas of the Hotel. With the exception of breakfast, gentlemen are required to wear a jacket and tie in The Ritz Restaurant, The Palm Court and The Rivoli Bar. Jeans and sport shoes are not permitted in any of these areas.63

Tea drinking has become not only a national institution but also a cultural practice that distinguishes the island nation from other Europeans. The social life of tea and the social life of opium are “strange parallels”, even though they left different legacies. Where tea drinking enriched the English diet as well as the coffers of merchants and governments, opium smoking destroyed the lives of many Chinese and depleted the Qing treasury. Two commodities which followed the same path to localisation thus had very different long-term implications. When Britain finally claimed its place in the Asia and China trade, Qing China began to fall, and opinions towards the Middle Kingdom began to change as well. From Chinoiserie to the “Scramble for China” 64 This section tries to probe how the “race for Oriental opulence” led to what Robert Bickers recently called the “Scramble for China”. Europe’s fascination with China began with silk, followed by porcelain and ultimately crystallized in tea. These products are domestic luxuries that only China could provide for a sustained period of time. They made Europe, and Britain in particular, dependent on China until they were able to produce their own, and this dependence brought Europe/Britain and China closer together. China lured merchants seeking profits, and it was a destination for Jesuits who attempted to convert China to Christianity. While the various East India Companies made Chinese luxuries available, the missionaries made China more accessible. Many sang the praises of China from the very beginning of intensified SinoWestern contact in the fifteenth century. But criticisms increased by the late eighteenth century, and intensified on the eve of the Opium

63 64

Ibid. Bickers, The Scramble for China.

“race for oriental opulence”

305

War. How and why did admiration turn into contempt, and ultimately hostility? It took two thousand years for Europeans to find their way to China; it seems that they were disappointed with what they found. What was the difference between the European idea of China and the real China that they discovered? European works on China began to appear in the decades after the voyages taken by Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama. The first important analysis of China was produced by Juan González de Mendoza (1540–1617).65 Mendoza never went to China, and his main sources of information were Galeote Pereira (a Portuguese soldier), Martin de Rada (of the Order of Saint Augustine) and Gaspar da Cruz (a Portuguese Dominican friar), who lingered along coastal China in 1550s.66 Mendoza’s work was first published in 1585 and the scarcity of writing on China meant that it was soon translated into many European languages. It is the most comprehensive work of this period and it covered many aspects of Chinese culture, society and polity. Its significance lay in the fact that it became a must-read for many who headed to China, and many more who would never set foot in the country. This book not only dictated but also grew the European imagination of China. The two volumes honoured China, while also pointing out the country’s problems, one of which was corruption on the part of officials. Mendoza, in researching and writing extensively about China, became possibly the world’s first Sinologist, establishing a scholarly discipline that continues today. Mendoza was full of praise for a country he had never seen nor been to; this alone demonstrates his admiration. He elaborated: “How that in all this mightie kingdom there is no poore folks walking in the streets nor in the temple a begging, and the order that the King hath given for the meantayning of them that cannot worke”.67 A rich and morally-enlightened kingdom where the sovereign takes care of the poor: this was Mendoza’s China. He imagined and invented for himself a China, and this fictitious China became the only one that many who read his work knew. Mendoza might have heard that this was called Confucianism: like a father, the sovereign takes care of—

65

Mendoza, The History of the Great and Mighty Kingdom of China. Galeote Pereira, Gaspar da Cruz and Martin de Rada, South China in the Sixteenth Century: Being the Narratives of Galeote Pereira, Fr. Gaspar da Cruz, O.P. [and] Fr. Martín de Rada, O.E.S.A. (1550–1575) (London: Hakluyt Society, 1953). 67 Mendoza, The History of the Great and Mighty Kingdom of China, vol. 1, p. 66. 66

306

chapter eight

controls to be more precise—his people, who in turn revere him, just as children respect and obey their parents. Did it ever occur to him that the sovereign might not have permitted the poor to beg on the street? Mendoza procured his information from a few men who visited coastal China for an extremely short period of time, ranging from a few hours to a few days. It is possible that this was what they saw briefly, in a small town, at a time when there was neither conflict nor famine. It is also possible that Mendoza’s data collectors were told of such things and then relayed this information to him, for it is impossible not to notice the goings-on of any place if one stays long enough. Alvarez Semedo (1585–1658) did, and noted: “as the number of the people is so great, there are not wanting also among them idle persons and vagabonds, a common and irremediable plague”.68 The significance of Mendoza’s writing was that it inspired many and carried the imagination of many more. In fact, what Mendoza described can be found in the newspapers of Mao’s or Cold War China and what he wrote sounded similar to the propaganda of the Chinese Communist Party. The picture Mendoza painted was of an enlightened and humane society where the less privileged were taken care of by the most privileged. This was, and still is, a moral principle preached by Christianity, but one that only the Church tried to follow in Europe, a noble deed that few could afford, since feeding the poor is an expensive and political enterprise as we saw in “Feeding China”. Yet the Chinese had supposedly achieved this at a time when Europe seemed to have just emerged from the Dark Ages. What an awe-inspiring kingdom China was: what made it possible? There were two major reasons: first, the enlightened political philosophy of Confucianism; and second, the institution that practiced this philosophy, the officialdom run by an army of scholar-officials who came to define meritocracy. These officials were the best-educated of the empire and they had earned their right to serve the emperor and lead the people, rather than being born with such privileges as was the situation in Europe. Endowed with wisdom through years of learning, China’s rulers were not only the most powerful but also the most learned.

68

Semedo, The History of that Great and Renowned Monarchy of China, p. 33.

“race for oriental opulence”

307

Confucianism was perceived to be the foundation of an enlightened society and the examination system the pillar of Chinese enlightenment. This line of thought would come to influence generations of historians.69 The ideal and practice of Confucianism were undoubtedly noble and commendable, and the system did produce generations of dedicated scholar-officials who tried to live up to the highest moral principles. But many of them became corrupt once they attained office and used their position to lay their hands on rewards of all kinds, as we have seen in the case of Cao Yan, He Shen and many others throughout history. The only thing Mendoza had to criticize was this: “I do prosecute the religion they have, and of the idols they do worship”.70 Everything China had to offer was superior except its religion. Mendoza believed that his God was better, and he was followed by generations of Jesuits with the same opinion. The words of the missionaries were more powerful, since they lived, worked and sometimes died in China. They reinforced the European imagination of China that Mendoza first presented, and they created new visions as well. The first and foremost amongst these influential Jesuits was the celebrated Matteo Ricci: Another remarkable fact and quite worthy of note as marking a difference from the West, is that the entire kingdom is administrated by the Order of the Learned, commonly known as The Philosophers. The responsibility for orderly management of the entire realm is wholly and completely committed to their charge and care.71

Ricci was followed by many, including Gabriel Magaillans. After having praised nearly everything about China, from Confucius to clocks, as detailed in Chapter Four, Magaillans continued: “If China be to be valu’d for those things which we have already related, it merits certainly a far greater reputation for the Excellency of its Government”.72

69 Ho Ping-ti, The Ladder of Success in Imperial China: Aspects of Social Mobility, 1368–1911 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1962); Etienne Balazs, Chinese Civilisation and Bureaucracy: Variations on a Theme (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1964); Ben Elman, A Cultural History of Civil Examinations in Late Imperial China (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000). 70 Mendoza, The History of the Great and Mighty Kingdom of China, vol. 1, p. 39. 71 Ricci, China in the Sixteenth Century, p. 55. See also Nicholas Trigault, The China That Was; China as Discovered by the Jesuits at the Close of the Sixteenth Century (Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing, 1942). 72 Magaillans, A New History of the Empire of China, p. 193.

308

chapter eight

Louis D. Le Comte was another.73 Confessor to the Duchess of Burgundy and one of the French King’s mathematicians, Le Comte arrived in China in February 1688. Like other Jesuits before him, Le Comte kowtowed or performed the prostration to the Kangxi emperor. He wrote to the Cardinal D’Estrees with expressions of admiration for China: Amongst the several models and plans of government which the ancients frame, we shall perhaps meet with none so perfect and exact as is that of the Chinese monarchy. . . . Thus, my lord, I have set before you a general scheme of the government of China, of which people have spoken such wonders, and which is indeed admirable for its antiquity, for the wisdom of its maxims, for the plainness and uniformity of its laws, for that exemplary virtue which it has produced in a long succession of emperors, for that regularity and order which it has kept the people in . . .74

An extremely vague but flattering account of China written with an admiring set of eyes. Le Comte did not speak Chinese; he went to China at a time when the activities of Jesuits were limited. Yet he wrote expertly and his writings came to influence many. He caught a glimpse of Kangxi: He was something above the middle stature, more corpulent than what in Europe was reckon handsome; yet somewhat more slender than a Chinese wish to be: full visaged, disfigured with the small pox, had a broad forehead, little eyes, and a small nose after the Chinese fashions; his mouth was well made, and the lower part of his face very agreeable. In fine, tho’ he bears no great majesty in his looks yet they show abundance of good nature; yet his ways and actions have something of the prince in them, and show him to be such.75

Like his previous comment on the Chinese polity, his description of Kangxi is generous and constructive. Writings like this furnished seventeenth-century Europe with the latest and most authentic information about China. This would be further reinforced by the eighteenth-century generation of Jesuits: Jean-Baptist Du Halde (1674– 1743), Jean-Denis Attiret (1702–1768) and Jean Joseph Marie Amiot (1718–1793) among them. The work of Du Halde became influential, 73

Louis D. Le Comte, Memoirs and Remarks: Geographical, Historical, and Ecclesiastical. Made in above Ten Years Travels through the Empire of China (London: John Hughs, 1738). 74 Ibid., pp. 248 & 314. 75 Ibid., pp. 40–41.

“race for oriental opulence”

309

as he spent thirty-two years in China, ten of them in Beijing serving the Qianlong emperor; he called China “the most remarkable of all Countries yet known”.76 He was full of admiration for the Chinese form of government: The Political Government of China entirely turns on the Duty of Parents to their Children, and of Children to their Parents. The Emperor is called the Father of the Empire. One cannot help being surprised to see a People infinitely numerous, naturally unquiet, self-interested even to excess, and always endeavouring to be rich, nevertheless governed and kept within the Bounds of their Duty by a small number of Mandarins at the Head of every Province.77

Du Halde echoed Mendoza and reinforced earlier writings about the way in which China was governed: the brightest few led the lesseducated majority. What he saw might have been true: people working hard and going about their business. They were “kept within the Bounds of their Duty” by a small number of officials whom they didn’t dare to challenge, as the price was often too high. This doesn’t, however, mean that they never rebelled, as dynastic changes were often, if not exclusively, brought about by peasant rebellions. Although du Halde saw China’s deficiencies in many branches of sciences just as Mendoza and Ricci had, and he was not impressed at all with the creative arts such as music, he was not prepared to denigrate the Chinese on this basis since they were so advanced in many other branches of learning. The praises that were heaped on China centred on the Chinese government, which can be compared to the Catholic Church, with Beijing as the Vatican and the degree-holding scholar-officials as clergy, leading the flock that outnumbered them. China was a secular example of what the Catholic Church could achieve. The superstitious and filial Chinese, many assumed, could become the best Christians. The Jesuits lauded praise on a distant land that was so different to Europe, a land that they never fully understood even after living and working there. What they admired most was a civil society governed by the most learned rather than the most powerful. China functioned on a principle that they had tried to practice with the Catholic Church. The Jesuits wrote what they wanted to see. Their praises came to

76 77

Du Halde, The General History of China, vol. 1, preface. Ibid., vol. 2, p. 32.

310

chapter eight

influence many who never went to China, as well as scholarship on the country: In China, no Man is a Gentleman by his Birth, but that the Mandarins, or Gentlemen, become such by their own Parts and Learning: That the utmost Care and Impartiality is used to examine whether a man is really qualified to be a Mandarin, before he is admitted into an Order which is so truly Honourable: That out of these Mandarins, distinguished by their Habit and Language, the most considerable Officers are chosen for all Civil and Military Employments.78 The long duration of the Chinese empire is solely and altogether owing to the operation of a principle, which the policy of ever successive dynasty has practically maintained in a greater or less degree, viz. That good government consists in the advancement of men of talent and merit only, to the rank and power conferred by official posts.79

Elites in Europe, be they politicians or intellectuals, became increasingly interested in what China could offer during the Age of Enlightenment. Labelled the “Confucius of Europe”, François Quesnay (1694–1774) was an economist and philosopher. John Hobson has argued that his famous economic theory, that of laissez-faire, was derived from the Chinese concept of Wu-Wei, and this was part of what he called “Eastern origins of Western civilisation”.80 Bourbon expert Nicholas Dew tells the story of “printing Confucius in Paris”, and believes that the printing of Confucius Sinarum Philosophus during the reign of Louis XIV “marked a watershed in the history of European knowledge of, and access to, the Chinese philosophical tradition”.81 This access was made possible by the King, the Jesuits and the Bibliotheque du Roi. They were “manufacturing Confucius”, in the words of Lionel Jensen.82 This is best seen in the ways in which many Jesuits presented themselves. Many of their memoirs opened with themselves in the image of mandarin scholars in their studies, wearing mandarin hats and robes and holding a book in their hand. 78 Eustace Budgell, A Letter to his Excellency Mr. Ulrick D’ypres, Chief Minister of the King of Sparta (London: S. West, 1731), p. 30. 79 Thomas T. Meadows, Desultory Notes on the Government and People of China and on the Chinese Language (London: W. H. Allen, 1847), p. 124. 80 John M. Hobson, The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 190–218. 81 Nicolas Dew, Orientalism in Louis XIV’s France (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 205–33. 82 Lionel M. Jensen, Manufacturing Confucianism: Chinese Traditions & Universal Civilization (Durham: Duke University Press, 1997).

“race for oriental opulence”

311

Royal interest and patronage in China continued into the eighteenth century, with a different twist. The longevity and stability of the Chinese monarchy seemed to have fascinated Louis XV and XVI. It more importantly galvanised their supporters, like Henri-Leonard Bertin (1720–1792), one of the Louis XV favourite ministers.83 Bertin carried on a life-long correspondence with the Jesuits, most persistently with Jean Joseph Marie Amiot (1718–1793). Like a spy, Amiot reported back to the French minister on every detail of Qianlong’s China, from politics to herbal medicine, and the letters to Bertin formed the Correspondance Litteraire, one of the best sources available for the study of Qianlong’s court and China. The nature of Bertin’s interest in China is obvious: where the absolute monarchy was crumbling in France, it remained stone solid in China and it seemed that lessons gleaned from the Chinese example might help the Bourbons retain their authority. Although French and European scholars and art historians have highlighted Bourbon and French interest in China, few if any have pointed out the bizarre combination of the French fascination. François Quesnay, Henri-Leonard Bertin and Jean Joseph Marie Amiot are three strange bedfellows—intellectual, monarchist and Jesuit, respectively. They are very different people with diverse, if not opposing, political views. Where intellectuals saw enlightenment in Confucianism, the Catholic Church saw opportunity for revival, whereas the Bourbon kings and their loyalists saw hope in the Chinese monarchy. How could eighteenth century China offer so much to such a different array of people? This obviously demands much more study, and joint attention from both French and Chinese scholars. Admiration and wishful thinking defined the early writings on China that came to influence many, a great lesson about sources. If we dispute the account and conclusion of Mendoza because he never went to China, it would be hard to do so with those furnished by the Jesuits. Matteo Ricci, Lewis D. Le Comte and Jean-Baptiste Du Halde all seem to validate Mendoza. They have provided the most coherent account of China, and their works live on as original sources, shaping the research and writings of past as well as future generations of scholars. Yet some of the content of these sources is undoubtedly

83 Gwynne Lewis, “Henri-Leonard Bertin and the Fate of the Bourbon Monarchy: the ‘Chinese Connection’ ”, in Enlightenment and Revolution: Essays in honour of Norman Hampson, pp. 69–90.

312

chapter eight

exaggerated, inaccurate and biased. They were written with an admiring set of eyes and wishful thoughts, and they stand in sharp contrast to observances written from a more critical perspective. These commentators on China saw and consequently wrote about their own, very different, China. Negative views of China eventually emerged to challenge the writings of the Jesuits.84 Damaging views began to gather an audience by the mid-eighteenth century, just as the British were rising to be the dominant maritime power in Asian waters. Despotism and corruption were the key points of criticism. Daniel Defoe (1659–1731) did not have any positive things to say about China, as the British became increasingly frustrated with the corruption of Chinese officials they had to deal with and the manner in which they were treated by the Chinese authorities.85 Macao and Guangzhou were the last stops of George Anson (1697–1762), captain of the flagship Centurion, before he returned to Britain in 1744. He had heard of the vexations in dealing with the Chinese and now he learned of these difficulties first hand. He was only able to meet the Viceroy after a great deal of trial and tribulation, and this is a description of their encounter: Mr. Anson then proceeded, and told him that the subjects of the King of Great Britain trading to China had complained to him, the Commodore, of the vexatious impositions, both of the merchants and inferior customhouses officers, to which they were frequently necessitated to submit by reason of the difficulty of getting access to the Mandarins, who alone could grant them redress; that it was his, Mr. Anson’s duty, as an officer of the King of Great Britain, to lay before the Viceroy these grievances of the British subjects, which he hoped the Viceroy would take into consideration, and would give orders that hereafter there should be no just reasons for complaint. Here Mr. Anson, and waited some time in expectation of an answer; but nothing being said, he asked his interpreter if he was certain the Viceroy understood what he had urged; the interpreter told him he was certain it was understood, but he believed no reply would be made to it.86

The Viceroy and his entourage were examples of the very people that the Jesuits praised. These men were not the living examples of high

84

Dew, Orientalism in Louis XIV’s France, pp. 205–33. Daniel Defoe, The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner (London: John Camden, 1869). 86 Walter, Anson’s Voyage Round the World, p. 218. 85

“race for oriental opulence”

313

moral principles, but corrupt and inept officials. It is very interesting that it took an economic historian, E. H. Pritchard, to rationalise the behaviour of these officials: “Competition among scholars stimulated corruption before getting into office and extortion afterwards, to make up for the long years of privation and financial loss”.87 Corruption, arrogance and refusal to deal with problems would become chief British grievances with regard to China, and they would ultimately provide the case for war. Criticism of China fell into two large categories: the authoritarian system and corrupt officials. It is really the other side of the same coin that the Jesuits saw. Anson could not have failed to notice China’s military weakness, and this would be the subject of Cornelius Franciscus de Pauw (1739–1799), private reader to King Frederic II of Prussia. Like Mendoza, De Pauw had never been to China, yet he was deeply contemptuous of China’s military. He saw China in a different light not only because he was a critical observer, but possibly because he also saw what he wanted to see, much like the Jesuits. What de Bauw wrote reveals what was on his mind and that of his sovereign, Frederic II of Prussia, who was eager to catch up with the French and, more importantly, the British. De Bauw ridiculed the five divisions of the Chinese, Manchu to be more precise, military forces in great detail: The first comprehends the cavalry; they have no fire arms of any kind; because the Tartars, who perhaps understand this part of tactics better than any other, are convinced that bows are so much preferable to musketoons; and they continue, like all the Parthians and Scythians, to shoot arrows when in full gallop. The second division is composed of cannoniers and arquebufiers; the third of pikermen; the fourth of infantry, who use bows; and last of all, those who are armed with swords and bucklers.88

With arrows and swords, the Romans, Arabs and Mongols had conquered much of the world, and the Manchus had subdued China. De Pauw was contemptuous; he forgot that it was China which had invented gunpowder. But he was correct that Qing China was falling behind as it rested on its glory, while the smaller kingdoms of Europe were competing against each other and modernising their militaries.

87

Earl H. Pritchard, Anglo-Chinese Relations during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (New York: Octagon books, 1970), p. 30. 88 Cornelius Franciscus De Pauw, Philosophical Dissertations on the Egyptians and Chinese (2 vols. London: T. Chapman, 1795), vol. 2, p. 311.

314

chapter eight

The deficiencies in the Chinese military system which de Pauw pointed out would be fully revealed in the Opium Wars in the nineteenth century. He pointed his fingers at the Jesuits and criticised “the system of misrepresentation, formerly introduced by the Jesuits, respecting China”.89 He named Jean-Baptiste Du Halde and Jean Joseph Marie Amiot, among others, whom he accused of falsely representing China. He believed that “China is more governed by police than by laws” and: The two chief springs of this government are the whip and cudgel; and neither Chinese nor Tartar can be secure against this discipline. The emperor, say Father du Halde, sometimes orders a few bastinadoes to persons of great rank and consequences, and afterwards treats them as if nothing had happened. This is the conduct of all the despots of Asia without exception.90

The emperor and his government were, in De Pauw’s view, tyrants who bullied and intimidated their people: terror and cruelty were their weapons. This is a very different country than the one which the Jesuits described for us. De Pauw did not see the presence of a highly admirable moral principle, which like an invisible hand dictated the lives and works of everyone. The almighty emperor was aware and did punish the corrupt officials, who continued in their ways despite the occasional outburst of punishment. De Pauw believed that all Asian rulers were similar and this was driven home by later observers like George Staunton: “The political, moral, and historical works of the Chinese contains no abstract ideas of liberty, which might lead them to the assertion of independence”.91 De Pauw and his fellow critics of China exposed the fundamental flaws with the guiding philosophy of the Chinese government and the institution that had made it possible for this to last. Admiration and praise for China seemed to have completely disappeared by the 1790s. Perhaps it was the French Revolution that made Europeans in general, and the French in particular, change their mind about China, as well as the suppression of the Society of Jesus.92 Where the Industrial Revolution shaped Europe’s economic development, 89

Ibid., Preface. Ibid., vol. 2, p. 292. 91 Staunton, An Authentic Account, vol. 1, p. 298. 92 D. E. Mungello, The Great Encounter of China and the West, 1500–1800 (Lanham [MD]: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009), pp. 28–37 & 53–60. 90

“race for oriental opulence”

315

the French Revolution influenced the course of politics and set the standard for European-style democracy. The English had knocked on China’s door several times; they remained somewhat hopeful in the 1790s, despite the negative image they held of the country. Reports of Lord McCartney’s mission would damage the European image of China still further. The focal point centred on how Lord McCartney was received by the Qianlong emperor in 1793: The Ambassador, instructed by the president of the tribunal of rites, held the large and magnificent square box of gold, adorned with jewels, in which was inclosed his Majesty’s letter to the Emperor, between both hands lifted above his head; and in that manner, ascending the few step that led to the throne, and bending on one knee, presented the box, with a short address, to his Imperial Majesty; who graciously receiving it with his own hands, placed it by his side, and expressed ‘the satisfaction he felt at the testimony which his Britannic Majesty gave to him of his esteem and good will, in sending him an Embassy, with a letter and rare presents; that he, on his part, entertained sentiments of the same kind towards the Sovereign of Great Britain, and hoped that harmony should always be maintained among their respective subjects.’93

While George Staunton clearly states here that Lord McCartney did not perform the humiliating ritual of kowtow, this nevertheless became a source of irritation, criticism, and an abiding controversy in SinoBritish relations, and ultimately the case for war. As the debate about kowtow goes on and is revived from time to time, historians seem to have forgotten a more revealing issue, namely why kowtowing was a problem for the English when it wasn’t for others before them, such as Louis D. Le Comte: Next we fell on our knees, and having joined our hands, and lifted them up to our heads, so that our arms and elbows were at the same height, we bowed thrice to the ground, and then stood again as before; The same prostration was repeated a second time, and again a third, when we were ordered to come forward, and kneel before his majesty.94 The gracious prince, whose condescension I cannot enough admire, having enquired of us the grandeur and present state of France, the length and dangers of our voyage, and the manner of our treatment by the Mandarins.95

93 94 95

Staunton, An Authentic Account, vol. 2, p. 37. Le Comte, Memoirs and Remarks, p. 40. Ibid., p. 40.

316

chapter eight

The Jesuits kowtowed; so did all the merchants, the Portuguese and the Dutch.96 What the Jesuits and merchants had accommodated since the late Ming was rejected by the English in the late eighteenth century. China had not changed since the late Ming but Europe, the English in this case, had. China had irritated the missionaries, but most of them seemed to have internalised these irritations. China had also frustrated the merchants, but many had found ways to accommodate or deal with their displeasure. The English, however, were not prepared to swallow their pride. Like De Pauw, they realised that China was not as rich and strong as they read about or were told; this message was driven home by the Amherst mission in the early nineteenth century. Clarke Abel, secretary to Lord Amherst, went ashore to look for plants when they passed the Gulf of Pe-tche-lee that led to Beijing. Poor and savage, this was the China her critics, the English in this case, saw twenty years before the Opium War: On my return, I passed through the village, and was presently surrounded by its male in habitants. Dirt, squalidness, and extreme poverty were as usual their leading characteristics. Their inhabitations were miserable beyond anything which England can exemplify. Built of mud, and divided into unfurnished rooms, ventilated by several apertures, they looked more like the dens of beasts than the habitations of men.97

We have seen two very different kinds of representation, one positive and the other negative, shaped by the two opposing perspectives and convictions of the commentators. It was natural that observers admired a kingdom that seemed prosperous and promising; it was equally natural that a closer look allowed them to see the differences, while closer contact generated friction. Respect turned into contempt, ultimately culminating in the hostilities of 1839 and the outbreak of the Opium War. The late eighteenth century was the turning point, as fundamental political and socio-economic change took place in Europe. Europe, England in particular, was changing, not China. In many ways, China remains fundamentally the same today, despite two centuries of often violent change.

96

Henriette Rabusen-De Bruyn Kops, “Not Such an ‘Unpromising Beginning’: The First Dutch Trade Embassy to China, 1655–1657”, Modern Asian Studies 36, 03 (July 2002): 535–78. 97 Abel, Narrative of a Journey in the Interior of China, p. 87.

“race for oriental opulence”

317

Did the Chinese, both the court/elite and the ordinary people, go through a similar journey which led them to see the outside world, Europe in particular, in a different light? Perhaps this helps answer the question I posed in Chapters One and Two. If the Tang-Song-Yuan regimes behaved like a friendly merchant, the Ming-Qing regimes behaved more like a suspicious trader who carefully guarded his own territory and resources. Where the Tang-Song-Yuan regimes had welcomed foreigners to come and do business in China, the Ming-Qing regimes were deeply suspicious of them. The new wave of European visitors was very different from their predecessors. They were more arrogant, like the Portuguese Simão de Andrade; more violent, like the Dutch who massacred tens of thousands of Chinese in Java; and more persistent, like the English who kept knocking at the door. The English had come before: Captain Weddell, George Anson, James Flint, Lord McCartney and Lord Amherst, as we have seen. They would come again in 1834, represented by Lord Napier, and followed by Captain Charles Elliot, who led the first expedition during the Opium War. This was one of the many urgent memorials that landed on the desk of the Daoguang emperor (Qianlong’s grandson, r. 1820–1850) in the summer of 1840: From the Governor of Zhejiang Province: according to the report of the Magistrate of County Yin in Ningbo Prefecture, the 4th of June (1 July 1840 in Western calendar) saw many foreign vessels anchored close to the Elephant Hill area. After twenty minutes, they heard that two big vessels and two small vessels headed for Dinghai . . . General Zhu Tingbiao reported there were twenty some foreign vessels wandering around the waters of Dinghai. . . . On the 9th (the day Dinghai fell into British hands) he received report from the Magistrate of Dinghai that there were twenty six big and small foreign vessels and they immediately arranged their canon positions in order to defend. The foreign vessels were so fast as if they flew to their flag position. . . . they were engaged in a fighting with the foreign vessels and were unable to obtain victory. The foreigners all came on shore, there were about three or four thousand of them and they attacked the city walls.98

The small island nation, which China had managed to keep at bay since the failure of Captain Weddell in 1636, brought the Qing dynasty to its knees two hundreds years later. Britain would dictate not only 98 Wen Qing, ed. Chouban Yiwu Shimo: Daoguang Chao (260 vols. Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1997), vol. 37, pp. 737–39.

318

chapter eight

its future, with the Treaty of Nanking, but also the ways in which China should conduct its business and foreign affairs, as evidenced by the establishment of the Zhongli Yamen [总理衙门] and the Britishcontrolled Maritime Customs after an even more humiliating Second Opium War in 1860. Although the Qing court embarked on reform, more battleships came to humiliate China in the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894–95 and in the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. Not only did more foreign goods and foreigners continue to arrive, but many Chinese sailed away to foreign shores, not to make money but to learn. They came back and led the Nationalist and then Communist revolutions—the worst fear of the Kangxi and Yongzheng emperors came true. The seas they feared and the people they suspected, those who sojourned to foreign lands and returned, overthrew the Qing dynasty. Foreigners, foreign goods and ideas that came from the seas, saw the end of the Middle Kingdom founded in BC 221, and played a most important role in the creation of modern China. Conclusion Just as foreign goods enriched and transformed the Chinese economy, culture and society from the late Ming onwards, silk, porcelain and tea re-shaped European, and particularly British, history and ways of life at roughly the same time. These “strange parallels” testify to common themes in global history which demand global analysis and synthesis. The Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong emperors were interested in European clocks, oil painting and architecture; their counterparts in France and the rest of Europe were likewise fascinated with Chinese philosophy, objects d’art and architecture. This mutual appreciation did not last long, however. The Europeans sought after and laid siege to China, but closer contact led to irritation. Sixteenth and eighteenth century China, and some would say even today’s China, operated on the same political philosophy. But Europe went through fundamental change over the course of those two hundred years, and those transformations also changed European attitudes towards China. The Europeans wanted what China had to offer; they also wanted China to accept European values; they desired—and still do—a different China. When they found that China was not accommodating, they used force to subdue and carve out their spheres of control and interest. Unlike the earlier regimes, the Ming-Qing were preoccupied with

“race for oriental opulence”

319

the threat posed by foreigners, and foreign ideas borne by sojourning Chinese returning from overseas. They had reason as the Europeans were different from earlier waves of foreigners: they came heavily armed and often used force; they were competitive and aggressive. A comparative study of the different waves of foreigners who traded with China will undoubtedly help us better comprehend Chinese regimes’ changing attitudes towards the sea and how their interaction with it shaped the course of history.

CONCLUSION Charles Hucker has summarised the reign of the Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong emperors (r. 1662–1796) thusly: For the first century and a half of their rule the Manchus gave China good government and strong leadership, so that Chinese life flourished in every regard. In the eighteenth century China attained the last golden age of the imperial tradition and very likely was the most awe-inspiring state in the world.1

Neither he nor any other historian has pointed out that this was made possible by the seas. The seas shaped the Qing’s political outlook and characterised its economic policy, while the foreign goods which came from overseas distinguished Qing court life and transformed Chinese consumer culture. The seas defined China’s relations with the outside world too, from Southeast Asia to Europe. It was the maritime world that drained excess population and enabled millions more to live on the mainland. It was products made overseas that clothed China’s expanding population and furnished their households. And it was visitors who came from the seas who helped spread the gospel of China and introduced European luxuries. We can only imagine what would have happened to the Qing if it had not engaged with the seas at all. Looking at China’s relationship with the seas helps us to better understand Qing politics and policies. National security took precedence over a more liberal policy that would have generated revenue; the Manchus didn’t leave their survival to chances, as evidenced by their crossing of the Taiwan Strait to crush resistance. Could this preoccupation explain their other adventures, such as the conquest of Tibet and Xinjiang? If the Tang-Song-Yuan regimes were confronted with the same problem, they fashioned laws to deal with it. The “inconsistencies of the seas,” the father-son tug-of-war pattern peculiar to the Ming-Qing, demands greater study; more so does the challenge of the Europeans, who were more dangerous than the foreigners who came before. Managing China meant feeding an ever-increasing population during the Qing. When the land could no longer meet the growing demand, the regime turned to the seas, as coastal people had done 1

Hucker, China to 1850, p. 148.

conclusion

322

for centuries. The Qing court solicited rice from Southeast Asia and even devised a scheme that encouraged the Chinese to go and procure the grain. The Manchus were flexible and innovative when they had to be. The seas help us better comprehend the Qing’s dependence on maritime trade and Southeast Asia. Rice is one of many products that the region offered China: Southeast Asia has been pivotal in the gradual transformation of China since the Song, if not earlier, and China would not have become what it is today without its links to the region. The peoples of Southeast Asia responded to demands from China, a process which transformed the smaller economies of the region. Trade with Southeast Asia enabled the population to grow on the mainland, but it also emboldened China to meddle in the region’s internal affairs, interference which continued into the Mao era, and which some argue persists today. In the same way, China’s growing appetite continues to transform the economies of Africa, as many Chinese have already flooded that continent. To what extent will this transform Africa as it did Southeast Asia? What do these regions have in common that have made it possible for the Chinese to exploit them? This should inspire crossregional and cross-disciplinary research in this age of global history. Maritime trade distinguished Qing court life and high culture. Just as fragrances shaped court culture from the Han to the Song and the Ming, scientific inventions from Europe fascinated first the Ming and later the Qing emperors. Royal affection for exotic and expensive foreign goods is consistent throughout history, and this was made possible by the Jesuits during the Qing. In their endeavour to convert the Middle Kingdom, the Jesuits put themselves at the service of the Qing emperors, who were indeed very interested in what Europe and the missionaries had to offer. Would the Opium War have taken place if this had continued? Qing China was not closed to the outside world, as generations of historians have argued. It was more open than Europe, where no monarchs employed Chinese men of letters. It even tolerated Christianity, until the Vatican itself became intolerable. Its openness, however, came with conditions, as the regime appropriated foreign goods and ideas according to its needs, or “on their own terms”, to use the phrase fashioned by Benjamin Elman.2 This aspect of Qing China’s openness demands independent studies.

2

Elman, On Their Own Terms.

conclusion

323

Maritime trade transformed Qing consumer culture. Opium is a good example, as I explain in The Social Life of Opium in China; so are foreign cloth, maize, foreign houses, clocks, bicycles, and many more. While some foreign products survived and thrived, some languished for years or disappeared, and others would re-appear after the Opium War. How do their different social lives enhance our understanding of Qing China? A pattern with variations did emerge. Perceived value is key to a commodity’s acceptance and survival, and even more so are the timing and agent of introduction, and the calibre of its first consumers. Each foreign import led a different social life and each deserves independent study, as their diverse routes to indigenisation can tell us a great deal about demographic change, the needs of local consumer society, the capacity of local consumer culture, the resilience of local brands, and the competence of local commercial networks. Geography and climate mattered; more so did traditional belief in healing. The changing categories of imports point to the Wind of the West and help us see long-term socio-economic and cultural changes more clearly. Population growth and increasing urbanisation surfaced during the late Ming and manifested during the Qing through consumer demand, and China’s foreign trade responded—for the first time—to demands from the market. This is extraordinary, as foreign trade had catered only to the court and elite from the Han through the midMing. This shift coincided with the coming of Europeans and the onset of the Industrial Revolution in Europe. We see the dynamics of endogenous and exogenous forces at work. In fact, the Wind of the West is still blowing. Many foreign goods are still deemed better and valued higher than their native counterparts, a trend that has intensified in the post-Mao era, as young Chinese wear the same outfits as their counterparts in the West and enjoy American-style fast food, while their upwardly mobile parents have moved the family into small villas or gated high-rises—which are still called yang fang and yang lou—and more importantly drive foreign cars. Many have also opted to educate their children in North America, Europe or Australia rather than in China. The seas defined the Qing’s relations with Europe and there are many “strange parallels” to be drawn between Chinese and European history. China had offered the world silk since the Roman era, porcelain since the rise of Islam, and tea after the Zheng He-Da Gama voyages. In return it received Buddhism, Islam and Christianity, fragrances, maize, clocks and much more. Qing China welcomed much

324

conclusion

of what Europe had to offer, just as Europe sought Chinese luxuries. But the court and elite were nevertheless deeply suspicious of European ideas and rejected Christianity. The Taiping Rebellion and the Nationalist and Communist Revolutions, however, represent a break in this pattern, as they were all inspired by foreign religious or political thought. Does this volume help us better grasp this? This certainly is a large question that demands systematic attention; but some preliminary conjunctions can be made here. For a foreign product—foreign religious or political thought in this case—to survive, the Chinese must see its usefulness to them. To evoke Ricci again, “the Chinese possess the ingenuous trait of preferring that which comes from without to that which they possess themselves, once they realize the superior quality of the foreign product”.3 The Taiping rebels, the Nationalists and the Communists found something “superior” or useful in Christianity, Republicanism and Communism respectively. Even then, they had to redefine these foreign ideals before they could exploit them to further their own political ambitions. This is important, as the Chinese may yet find some usefulness in the practice of democracy, which continues to sour China’s relations with the West, but history has taught us that China will only do so in its own timeframe and on its own terms. This volume has enhanced our understanding of the Qing; it has also helped us better comprehend China’s maritime history from the Qin-Han to the Yuan-Ming. From the First Emperor to Qianlong in the eighteenth century, China’s Sons of Heaven sought luxuries, profit, power and prestige from the maritime world; so did their officials, as exotic and expensive foreign goods defined Chinese corruption. While the Wind of Hu [胡风] blew from the west during the Tang, the Wind of the West [西洋风] arrived to re-define Ming-Qing China. The tribute trade was transformed into a consumer market when foreign goods—cultures as well—became the “elements of Chinese civilisation”, as Mark Lewis put it.4 It was the seas that made Tang China a “Cosmopolitan Empire”, the Song dynasty China’s “Greatest Age”, and the reign of the three Qing emperors China’s “last golden age”.5

3

Ricci, China in the Sixteenth Century, pp. 22–23. Lewis, China Between Empires, p. 158. 5 Lewis, China’s Cosmopolitan Empire; Fairbank and Goldman, China: A New History, pp. 88–107; and Hucker, China to 1850, p. 148. 4

conclusion

325

This volume has challenged the “Walled Kingdom” perspective, a biased framework that has not only limited the vision of scholars of China, but also the horizons of the Chinese themselves. This can be seen from the book and documentary He Shang [河殇] or River Elegy, which inspired the 1989 student-led pro-democracy movement.6 The Elegy is dedicated to the sand-clogged Yellow River, which symbolises the land-bound civilisation it bred: authoritarian and backward. The blue sea, on the contrary, offers hope, representing democracy and progress. The message is that the River and the civilisation it bred have died; China should now look to the sea for inspiration. The ocean was thought to be the source of new blood, and the opening of China as a result of the Opium Wars was expected to lead China to a new civilisation bred by the sea. Like Witold Rodzinski, the author Su Xiaokang did not see that China’s coastline is longer than the Great Wall; it has also bred a civilisation that has been marginalised and mystified precisely by writers like himself. This volume has highlighted the seas and their role in the making of Qing China. It has demonstrated that the seas can be used to measure China’s audacity and capacity; they can also reveal her authoritarianism and weakness. They can be used as a benchmark to better comprehend China from the Qin-Han to the Ming-Qing. The maritime world shaped China, late imperial China in particular, possibly much more than the continental world. Although it will take extensive and cross-regional research to fully comprehend the importance of the sea in Chinese history and integrate it with the main narrative, I believe that in highlighting the case of the Qing, this volume has at least laid the foundation for future studies.

6

Su Xiaokang and Wang Lujing, He Shang (Hong Kong: Sanlian shudian, 1988).

BIBLIOGRAPHY Primary Sources Manuscripts Neiwu Fu Guangchu Si Liu Ku Yuezhe Dang [内务府广储司六库月折档], Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan, Beijing, China. Jardine Matheson Archive Chinese Material, documents H2/1/1–H2/1/17, H2/2/ 1–H2/2/9, H2/3/3–H2/3/4, H2/4/1–H2/4/2, University Library, the University of Cambridge, UK. Chinese Collection Drawings, volumes 1–57 and 457, John Rylands library, University of Manchester, UK. Eng Ms 523, Melville Papers, John Rylands library, University of Manchester, UK. Printed Ban, Gu. Han Shu. 100 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1962. Vol. 28. Beijing Gugong Bowuyuan. ——. Qing Shengzhu Yuzhi Shiwen. 6 vols. Haikou: Hainan chubanshe, 2000. Vol. 1. ——. Qinggong Xi Yang Yi Qi. Hong Kong: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1998. ——. Gugong Shouchang Zhongbiao. Beijing: Zijingcheng chubanshe, 2007. ——. Qingdai Gongting Fushi. Hong Kong: Shangwu yinshuguan, 2005. ——. Qing Gaozhong Yuzhi Shiwen. 100 vols. Haikou: Hainan chubanshe, 2000. Vols. 1, 2, 5, 22, 44, 65, 89 & 90. Changsun Wuyi. Tang Lu Su Yi Yi Zhu. 30 vols. Changchun: Jinlin remin chubanshe, 1989. Vol. 6. Chen, Shou. San Guo Zhi. 65 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1982. Vol. 47. Di Yi Lishi Dang’an Guan. ——. Ming Qing Shiqi Aomen Wenti Dang’an Wenxian Huibian. 6 vols. Beijing: Renmin, 1999. Vol. 1. ——. Yuan Ming Yuan. 2 vols. Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1991. ——. Kangxi Chao Hanwen Zhupi Zouzhe Huibian. 8 vols. Beijing: Dang’an chubanshe, 1984. Vol. 1. ——. Kangxi Chao Manwen Zhupi Zouzhe Quan Yi. Beijing: Shehui kexue chubanshe, 1996. ——. Qinggong Yue Gang Ao Shangmao Dang’an Quanji. Beijing: Zhongguo shudian, 2002. ——. Qingdai Dang’an Shiliao Congbian Di Wu Ji. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1980. ——. Zhu Pi Zou Ze: Waijiao Lei 342–345 Zhou Xuejian Zou Ze quoted in Jindai Zhongguo yu Dongnanya Guanxi, 191. Guangzhou: Zhongshan daxue chubanshe, 1999. ——. Qing Gong Zhaoban Chu Dang’an Zonghui. 55 vols. Beijing: Renmin chubanseh, 2005. —— & Guangzhou Liwan Qu Zhengfu. Qing Gong Guangzhou Shisan Hang Dang’an Jinxuan. Guangzhou: Guangdong jinji chubanshe, 2002. Dou Ruyi & Sun Rong. Huangchao Wenxian Tongkao. 300 vols. Taibei: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1983. Vol. 33. Guan, Xueling and Beijing Palace Museum. Zhong Biao: Ni Yinggai Zhidao de Liangbai Jian. Beijing: Zijingchen chubanshe, 2007.

328

bibliography

Guangdong Sheng & Guangzhou Shi Difangzhi Bianweihui. Qing Shilu Guangdong Shiliao. 6 vols. Guangzhou: Guangdong ditu chubanshe, 1995. Vol. 1. Guojia Tushu Guan. ——. Yuan Ming Yuan Dang’an Shiliao Congcan. 10 vols. Beijing: Xinhua shudian, 2004. ——. Qingmo Tongshang Maoyi Dang’an Huibian. Beijing: Xinhua shudian, 2008. ——. Yang Shi Jice. Beijing: Xinhua shudian, 2004. Kangxi Emperor. “Yong Zi Ming Zhong.” In Qing Shengzhu Yuzhi Shiwen. 6 vols. Haikou: Hainan chubanshe, 2000. Vol. 1. —— commissioned. Lu Lu Zheng Yi. 5 vols. Taibei: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1983. Le De Hong. Da Qing Shengzhu Ren Huangdi (Kangxi) Shilu. 300 vols. Taibei: Hualian chubanshe, 1964. Li, Jinglung. Ming Taizu Shilu. 257 vols. Taibei: Zhongyan yanjiuyan lishi yuyan yanjiusuo, 1966. Vols. 70, 139 & 205. Liu, Xun. Jiu Tang Shu. 200 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1975. Vol. 8. Ma, Qi. Wan Shou Sheng Dian. 120 vols. Beijing: Guji chubanshe, 1996. Ma, Zhijie. San Guo Shi. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1993. Qianlong Emperor. ——. “Guan Xie Qi Qu Shui Fa.” In Yuan Ming Yuan Ziliao Ji, 349. Beijing: Shumu wenxian chubanshe, 1984. ——. “Yang Ju.” In Qing Gozhong Yuzhi Shiwen. 100 vols. Haikou: Hainan chubanshe, 2000. Vol. 65. Qun, Gang & Liu Quduan. Qing Ding Da Qing Huidian Shili. 1220 vols. Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1997. Vol. 629. Sima, Qian. Shi Ji. 130 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1979. Vols. 6 & 118. Taibei Gugong Bowuyuan. ——. Gongzhong Dang Yongzheng Chao Zouzhe [8]. Taibei: Gugong bowuyuan, 1976. ——. Yongzheng Zhupi Yuzhi. 10 vols. Taibei: Wenhai chubanshe, 1965. Vol. 8. Taiwan Xuesheng Shuju. Kangxi yu Luoma Shijie Guanxi Wenshu. Taibei: Taiwan xuesheng shuju, 1973. Wei, Zhen. Sui Shu. 85 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1973. Vol. 82. Wen, Qing, ed. Chouban Yiwu Shimo: Daoguang Chao. 260 vols. Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1997. Vol. 37. Xu, Song. Song Hui Yao Ji Gao. 200 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1957. Vol. 86. Yang, Boda. Qingdai Guangdong Gongping. Hong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1987. Yun, Lu & Zhang Zhao. Lu Lu Zheng Yi Hou Bian. 120 vols. Taibei: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1983. Zhongguo Shehui Kexueyuan Lishi Yanjiusuo Qingshi Yanjiushi. Qing Shi Ziliao Di Qi Ji. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1989. Zhongguo Renmin Daxue Qingshi Yanjiusuo. Qing Shi Bian Nian. 10 vols. Beijing: Renmin daxue chubanshe, 1988. Vols. 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5. Zhonghua Shuju. ——. Qing Shengzhu Shilu. 300 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju, 1985. Vols. 25, 115, 116, 271, 277, 298. ——. Da Qing Shizhong Xian Huangdi (Yongzheng) Shulu. 159 vols. Beijing: zhonghua shuju, 1987. Vols. 66 & 82. ——. Da Qing Gaozong Chun Huangdi (Qianlong) Shilu. 1500 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju, 1985. Vols. 424 & 285. Zhongyang Yanjiuyuan Lishi Yuyan Yanjiusuo. Ming Qing Shiliao Gen Bian. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan lishi yuyan yanjiusuo, 1999.

bibliography

329

Chinese memoirs Cao, Xueqin. Hong Lou Meng. 120 vols. Changsha: Yuelu shushe, 1987. Vols. 6, 105, 72, 92, 52, 3, 14, 45, 17, 25, 40, 53, 59, 63 & 67. Chen, Haozi. Hua Jing. 6 vols. Beijing: Nongye chubanshe, 1962. Chen, Hongmou. Peiyuan Tang Ou Cungao, in Qing Shi Ziliao, 260–63. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1989. Chen, Weiyan. Nanyue Youji. 3 vols. Guangzhou: Guangdong gaodeng jiaoyu chubanshe, 1990. Fa, Xian. The Travels of Fa-hsien (300–414 AD). London: Trübner & Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh, 1877. Fang, Yizhi. Wuli Xiaoshi. 12 vols. Taibei: Shangwu chubanshe, 1981. Vol. 6. Fei, Xin. Xing Chai Sheng Lan. Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1997. Feng, Shike. Peng Chuang Xulu. Taibei: Xinxing shuju, 1985. Gao, Lian. Cao Hua Pu. Taibei: Xinxing shuju, 1964. Gao, Shiqi. Pengshan Miji. Shanghai: Shanghai shudian, 1994. Ge, Yuanxu. “Fuyou Zaji.” In Shanghai Tan yu Shanghai Ren Congshu. Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 1989. Gong, Zhen. Xi Yang Fan Guo Zhi. Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1997. Gu, Gongxie. Xiao Xia Xianji ZhaiCao. Shanghai: Shanghai shudian, 1994. Gu, Yingtai. Ming Wokou Shimo. Shijiazhuang: Hebei jiaoyu chubanshe, 1996. He, Qiaoyuan. Min Shu. 154 vols. Fuzhou: Fujian renmin chubanshe, 1995. Vol. 150. Hong, Chu. Xiang Pu. 2 vols. Taibei: Xinxing shuju, 1984. Hong, Xiantao & Ji Zhongying. Daoguang Hefeng Zhou Zhi. 13 vols. Nanjing: Jiangsu guji chubanshe, 2001. Huang, Shengzeng. Xi Yang Cao Gong Dianlu Xiaozhu. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2000. Jia, Sixie. Qi Min Yao Shu. Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 2006. Li, Dou. Yangzhou Hua Fang Lu. 18 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997. Vols. 14 & 17. Li, Shizhen. Benchao Gangmu. 52 vols. Beijing: Huaxia chubanshe, 1998. Vol. 23. Li, Tiaoyuan. Nan Yue Bi Ji. 16 vols. Taibei: Guangwen shuju, 1969. Vols. 5 & Yue Dong Huang Hua Ji. 4 vols. Taibei: Hongye chubanshe, 1972. Vol. 3. Liang, Tingnan. Yuehai Guanzhi. 30 vols. Taibei: Wenhai chubanshe, 1975. Vol. 9. Liang, Zhangju. Langji Xutan. 8 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997. Vols. 8 and Yan Bao Za Ji. 6 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997. Vol. 2. Liu, Xianting. Guang Yang Zaji. 5 vols. Beijing: zhonghua shuju, 1997. Vol. 3. Lu, Hong. Si Zhao Tang Shiji. 35 vols. Beijing: Beiijng chubanshe, 1997. Vol. 3. Ma, Huan. Ying Ya Sheng Lan. Beijing: Haiyang chubanshe, 2005. Mao, Xiang. Yingmei’an Yiyu. Changsha: Yulu shushe, 1991. Ouyang, Xiu. Gui Tian Lu. 2 vols. Taibei: Shangwu yinshuguan 1983. Vol. 2. Ouyang, Zhaoxiong & Jin Anqin. Shui Chuang Chun Yi. 2 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997. Vol. 2. Qu, Dajun. Guangdong Xin Yu. 28 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1985. Vol. 27. Shen, Chu. Xiqing Biji. 2 vols. Qinhuangdao: Zhonghua shuju, 1985. Vol. 2. Shen, Kua. Meng Xi Bi Tan. Jinan: Qilu shushe, 2007. Shi, Zongle. Quan Shi Waiji. 10 vols. Taibei: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1983. Vol. 4. Tian, Yiheng. Liuqing Riza. 39 vols. Shanghai: Guji, 1997. Vol. 26. Tu, Long. Xiang Qian. Shanghai: Shenzhou guoguang she, 1928. Wang, Congli, ed. Yanchang Xian Zhi. 10 vols. Taibei: Chengwen chubanshe, 1970. Vol. 10. Wang, Dayuan. Dao Yi Zhilue. Taibei: Shangwu yingshuguan, 1983. Wang, Linheng. Yue Jian Bian. 4 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1987. Vol. 3. Wang, Qishu. Shui Cao Qing Xia Lu. 16 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997. Vols. 8, 10 & 15.

330

bibliography

Wang, Shizhen. Chi Bei Ou Tan. 26 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997. Vols. 24. Wang, Yingkui. Liunan Suibi. 6 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997. Vols. 4. Wu, Qingshi. Nancun Caotang Biji. Taibei: Guangwen shuju, 1976. Wu, Zhenfang. Lingnan Za Ji. 2 vols. Taibei: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1965. Vols. 1 & 2. Xu, Caojun. Zi Ming Zhong Biao Tushuo. Songjiang: Xushi kanben, 1807. Xu, Guangqu. Nongzheng Quanshu. 60 vols. Taibei: Mingwen shuju, 1981. Vol. 27. Yan, Jiale. Zhongguo Laixin 1716–1735. Zhengzhou: Daxiang chubanshe, 2002. Ye, Mengzhu. Yueshi Bian. 10 vols. Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1981. Vol. 7. Yin, Guangren & Zhang Rulin. Aomen Jilue collected in Ming Qing Shiqi Aomen Wenti Dang’an Wenxian Huibian Di Liu Ji. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1999. Zeng, Yuwang. “Zeng Yuwang Riji.” In Qingdai Riji Huichao. Shanghai: Renmin chubanshe, 1982. Zhang, Xie. Dong Yi Yang Kao. 12 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1981. Vol. 7. Zhao, Lian. Xiaoting Xulu. 5 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1980. Vol. 3. Zhao, Lingzhi. Hou Qing Lu. 8 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2002. Vol. 3. Zhao, Rushi. Zhu Fan Zhi. 2 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2000. Zhao, Xuemin. Bencao Gangmu Shiyi. 10 vols. Taibei: Hongye shuju, 1985. Vol. 8. Zhao, Yi. Yan Bao Za Ji. 6 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997. Vol. 2. Zhou, Daguan. Zhenla Fengtu Ji. Shanghai: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1930. Zhou, Jiazhou. Xiang Cheng. 28 vols. Taibei: Commercial press, 1979. Zhou, Kai. ed. Xiamen Zhi. 16 vols. Xiamen: Lujiang chubanshe, 1996. Vol. 8. Zhou, Lianggong. Min Xiao Ji. 2 vol. Shanghai: Wenyi chubanshe, 1991. Vol. 2. Zhou, Qufei. Ling Wai Dai Da. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1999. Zhou, Yigui. Yang Ju Pu. Taibei: Xin wenfeng chubanshe, 1989. Zhu, Zurong. “Quan Zhong Yang Mian Shuo.” In Xu Xiu Si Ku Quan Shu 977 Ji, 143. Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1999. Ming-Qing folk verses collected in Lei Mengshui, et al., eds. Zhonghua Zhuzhici. 5 vols. Beijing: Guji chubanshe, 1997. Volume 1 Yang, Miren. “Dumen Zhuzhici.” 103. De Suoting. “Chao Zhu Yi Chuan.” 149 & 234. Yang, Jingting. “Dumen Zayong: Jin Pao.” 184 & “Dumen Zayong: Da Shala.” 187. Li, Jingshan. “Zengbu Dumen Zayong.” 231. Li, Jingshan. “Zengbu Dumen Zayong.” 289. Youhui Sheng. “Jinghua Bai’er Zhuzhici.” 276 & 295. Zhilan Zhuren. “Dumen Xin Zhuzhici.” 355. Yi Ming [Anonymous]. “Shoudu Zayong: Dian Che.” 424. Cui, Xu. “Jin Men Bai Yong.” 449. Qing Lan Shi. “Guang Xiaoyi Zhuzhici.” 574. Volume 2 Yuan, Xiangpu. “Haishang Zhuzhici.” 786. Yuan, Xiangpu. “Xu Hai Shang Zhuzhici.” 789, 799, 803 & 808. Li, Ruqian. “Fushang Zhuzhici.” 831. Qin, Rongguang. “Shanghaixian Zhuzhici.” 880 & 881. Qin, Rongguang. “Shanghaixian Zhuzhici.” 996. Yi Ming [Anonymous]. “Xukan Shanghai Zhuzhici.” 1007. Yi Ming [Anonymous]. “Xukan Shanghai Zhuzhici.” 1012. Volume 3 Shen, Yun. “Shenghu Zhuzhici.” 2070.

bibliography

331

Volume 4 Zheng, Banqiao. “Weixian Zhuzhici.” 2468. Liu, Jingxiang. “Jigong Shan Zhuzhici (Henan).” 2569. Ye, Tiaoyuan. “Hankou Zhuzhici.” 2596. Luo, Sifeng. “Hankou Zhuzhici.” 2666, 2669 & 2670. Ye, Tiaoyuan. “Hankou Zhuzhici.” 2629, 2671, 2672, 2675, 2677, 2683 & 2685. Li, Tiaoyuan. “Nanhai Zhuzhici.” 2743. Jiang, Zhongyu. “Yangcheng Zhuzhici.” 2754. Ye, Tingxun. “Guangzhou Xiguan Zhuzhici.” 2762. Pan, Feisheng. “Ge Chang.” 2886. Hu, Zijin. “Guangzhou Zhuzhici.” 2897 & 2899. Li, Muzhou. “Yangcheng Zhuzhici.” 2921. Liao Xinchi. “Xu Yangcheng Zhuzhici.” 3012. Volume 5 Wu, Haoshan. “Chengdu Zhuzhici.” 3214. He, Qinzhe. “Qingmen Zhuzhici (Shaanxi).” 3677. Ji, Yun. “Wulumuqi Za Shi.” 3719. European-language memoirs and materials Abel, Clarke. Narrative of a Journey in the Interior of China, and of a Voyage to and from that Country, in the Years 1816 and 1817. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1819. Aisin-Gioro, Pu Yi. From Emperor to Citizen: the Autobiography of Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987. Attiret, Jean Denis. A Particular Account of the Emperor of China’s Garden near Perkin. London: R. Dodsley, 1752. Auber, Peter. China: An Outline of its Government, Laws, and Policy: and of the British and Foreign Embassies to and Intercourse with That Empire. London: Parbury and Allen 1834. Backhouse, E. and J. O. P. Bland. Annals and Memoirs of the Court of Peking (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1914. Barrow, John. A Voyage to Cochinchina in the Years 1792 and 1793. London: T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1806. Beeton (Mrs.), Isabella Mary. The Book of Household Management. London: S. O. Beeton, 1861 & London: Ward and Locks, 1907. Bingham, J. Elliot. Narrative of the Expedition to China, from the Commencement of the War to its Termination in 1842. 2 vols. London: Henry Colburn, 1842. Vol. 1. Bouvet, Joachim. The History of Cang-Hy, the Present Emperour of China. London: F. Coggan, 1699. Budgell, Eustace. A Letter to his Excellency Mr. Ulrick D’ypres, Chief Minister of the King of Sparta. London: S. West, 1731. Chambers, William. Designs of Chinese Building, Furniture, Dresses, Machines, and Utensils. London: printed for the author, 1757. Cosmas, Indicopleustes. The Christian Topography of Cosmas Indicopleustes, an Egyptian Monk. London: Hakluyt Society, 1987. Cox, James. A Descriptive Inventory of the Several Exquisite and Magnificent Pieces of Mechanism and Jewellery. London: H. Hart, 1774. Crawford, John. Journal of an embassy from the Governor-general of India to the courts of Siam and Cochin China. London: Henry Colburn, 1828. Danby, Hope. The Garden of Perfect Brightness: the History of the Yuan Ming Yuan and of the Emperors who Lived there. London: Williams and Norgate, 1950. Defoe, Daniel. The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner. London: John Camden, 1869.

332

bibliography

Dermigny, Louis. La Chine et l’Occident; Le Commerce à Canton au XVIIIe siècle, 1719–1833. Paris, S.E.V.P.E.N., 1964. Du Halde, Jean-Baptist. The General History of China. 3 vols. London: John Watts, 1736. De Pauw, Cornelius Franciscus. Philosophical Dissertations on the Egyptians and Chinese. 2 vols. London: T. Chapman, 1795. Foster, William, ed. Letters Received by the East India Company from its Servants in the East. 6 vols. London: S. Low & Marston, 1896–1902. Gabriel, Magaillans. A New History of the Empire of China Containing a Description of the Most Considerable Particulars of that Vast Empire. London: Golden Ball, 1688. Gaubil, Antoine. Correspondance de Pekin 1722–1759. Geneve: Librairie Droz, 1970. Hakluyt, Richard. The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation. 3 vols. London: George Biship, 1599 and 1810. Johnson, Reginald F. Twilight in the Forbidden City. London: Victor Gollancz, 1934. Kaempfer, Engelbert. The History of Japan, together with a Description of the Kingdom of Siam, 1690–92. 3 vols. Glasgow: J. MacLehose, 1906. Vol. 1. Le Bruyn, Cornelius. Travels into Muscovy, Persia, and Part of the East-Indies. London: A. Bettesworth, 1737. Le Comte, Louis D. Memoirs and Remarks: Geographical, Historical, and Ecclesiastical. Made in above Ten Years Travels through the Empire of China. London: John Hughs, 1738. Lockyer, Charles. An Account of the Trade in India. London: printed for the author, 1711. Masùdi, Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Ali ibn Àbd Allah. Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems. London: Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland, 1841. Meadows, Thomas Taylor. Desultory Notes on the Government and People of China and on the Chinese Language. London: W. H. Allen, 1847. Mendoza, Juan González de. The History of the Great and Mighty Kingdom of China. 2 vols. London: Hakluyt Society, 1853–54. Vol. 1. Milburn, William. Oriental Commerce: Containing a Geographical Description of the Principal Places in the East Indies, China, and Japan. 2 vols. London: Black Parry, 1813. Vol. 2. Morse, H. B. The Trade and Administration of China. London: Longmans & Green, 1913 & The Chronicles of the East India Company Trading to China 1635–1834. 4 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1926. Vol. 1. Pallegoix, Jean-Baptiste. Description du Royaume Thai ou Siam. Farnborough: Gregg, 1969. Pausanias. Guide to Greece Volume 2 Southern Greece. Harmondsworth: Penguin books, 1971. Pelliot, Paul. Mémoires sur les Coutumes du Cambodge de Tchéou Ta-Kouan Paris: Librairie Maisonneuve d’Amérique et d’Orient, 1997. Pepys, Samuel. Diary, Vol. I-1660, 253 as quoted in C. Ann Wilson, ed. Eating with the Victorians. Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing, 2004. Pereira, Galeote, Gaspar da Cruz and Martin de Rada. South China in the Sixteenth Century. London: Hakluyt Society, 1953. Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. London: Hakluyt Society, 1980. Pfister, Louis. Notices Biographiques et Biblographiques sur les Jesuites de l’Ancinne Mission de Chine 1552–1773. 2 tome. Chang-hai: Imprimerie de la mission Catholique, 1932. Pliny, the Elder. Natural History. London & Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1956–62. Raffles, Thomas S. The History of Java. London: Black, Parbury and Allen, 1817.

bibliography

333

Ricci, Matero. China in the Sixteenth Century: the Journals of Matthew Ricci 1583– 1610. New York: Random House, 1953. Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History. 100 Roman Documents Concerning the Chinese Rites Controversy (1645–1941). San Francisco: Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History, 1992. Ripa, Matero. Memoirs of Father Ripa during Thirteen Years’ Resident at the Court of Peking in the Service of the Emperor of China. London: John Murray, 1844. Scott, Edmund. An Exact Discourse of the Subtilties, Fashions, Policies, Religion, and Ceremonies of the East Indians, as well Chyneses as Javans. London: Hakluyt Society, 1943. Semedo, Alvarez. The History of that Great and Renowned Monarchy of China. London: E. Taylre, 1644. Short, Thomas. A Dissertation upon the Nature and Properties of Tea. London: W. Bowyer, 1730. Siam Society. The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya. Bangkok: Siam Society, 2000. Snow, Edgar. Red Star Over China. London and Southampton: Camelot Press, 1937. Staunton, Sir George Leonard. An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China. 3 vols. London: W. Bulmer, 1797. Vols. 1 & 2. Sulaymān al-Tājir. Anciennes Relations des Indes et de la Chine. A Paris: Chez JeanBaptiste Coignard, 1718 & Ancient Accounts of India and China by Two Mohammedan Travellers. London: Sam Harding, 1733. Trigault, Nicholas. The China That Was; China as Discovered by the Jesuits at the Close of the Sixteenth Century. Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing, 1942. Walter, Richard. Anson’s Voyage Round the World: in the Years 1740, 1741, 1742, 1743, 1744. London: Blackie and Son, 1748. Journals and Newspapers Chinese Repository “Journal of Occurrence.” VIII (May 1839–April 1840): 180–81 & 212–15. Shen Bao Issue Number 1, Da Qing Tongzhi Shi’er Nian San Yue Ershisan Ri [30 April 1872]. Issue Number 2, Da Qing Tongzhi Shi’er Nian San Yue Ershiwu Ri [no Western date listed]. Issue Number 44, Da Qing Tongzhi Shi’er Nian Wu Yue Shiwu Ri [ditto]. Issue Number 129, Da Qing Tongzhi Shi’er Nian Jiu Yue Ba Ri [ditto]. Issue 205, Da Qing Tongzhi Shi’er Nian Shiyi Yue Ershiliu Ri [ditto]. Da Gong Bao Issue Number 1, 17 June 1902 [Guangxu ‘Ershiba Nian Wu Yue Shi’er Hao]. Issue Number 5, 21 June 1902 [Guangxu ‘Ershiba Nian Wu Yue Shiliu Hao]. Secondary Sources Adam, Maurice. Yuen Ming Yuen L’Oeuvre Architectrale des Anciens Jesuites au XVIIIe Siecle. Peiping: Imprimerie des Lazaristes, 1936. Atwell, William. “Ming China and the Emerging World Economy, c. 1470–1650.” In The Cambridge History of China Volume 8: the Ming Dynasty, 1368–1644, Part 2, ed. Denis Twitchett and Frederick W. Mote, 376–416. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Balazs, Etienne. Chinese Civilisation and Bureaucracy: Variations on a Theme. New Haven: Yale University press, 1964.

334

bibliography

Bang, Peter. “Commanding and Consuming the World: Empire, Tribute, and Trade in Roman and Chinese History.” In Rome and China: Comparative Perspectives on Ancient World Empires, ed. Walter Scheidel, 100–20. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Beijing Waiguo Yu Xueyuan. The Pinyin Chinese-English Dictionary. Beijing: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1988. Benedict, Carol. Golden-Silk Smoke: a History of tobacco in China, 1550–2010. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011. Berg, Maxine. The Age of Manufactures: Industry, Innovation and Work in Britain 1700–1820. London: Fontana press, 1985 & Luxury and Pleasure in EighteenthCentury Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. Beurdeley, Cecile and Michel. Giuseppi Castiglione: a Jesuit Painter at the Court of the Chinese Emperors. Rutland [Vermont]: C. E. Tuttle Co., 1971. Biarnès, Pierre. La Route de la Soie: une Histoire Géopolitique. Paris: Ellipses, 2008. Blanchard, Wendell. Thailand, its People, its Society, its Culture. New Haven: Hraf Press, 1958. Blusse, Leonard. “Chinese Century: the Eighteenth Century in the China Sea Regioin”, Archipel 58, Paris (1999): 107–29. ——. “No Boats to China: the Dutch East India Company and the Changing Pattern of the China Sea Trade, 1635–1690”, Modern Asian Studies 30, 1 (1996): 51–76. ——. Badaweiya Huaren yu Zhong He Maoyi [Batavia Chinese and Sino-Dutch Trade]. Nanning: Guangxi renmin chubanshe, 1997. —— and Femme Gaastra, eds. On the Eighteenth Century as a Category of Asian History: Van Leur in Retrospect. Aldershot [England] & Brookfield [Vermont]: Ashgate, 1998. Bosco, Joseph and Puay-peng Ho. Temples of the Empress of Heaven. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. Boxer, Charles R. Dutch Merchants and Mariners in Asia, 1602–1795. London: Variorum Reprints, 1984 and 1988. Brawer, Catherine and Geri Wu. Trade Winds: the Lure of the China Trade, 16th-19th Centuries. Katonah [NY]: Katonah Gallery, 1985. Brennan, Thomas. Public Drinking and Popular Culture in Eighteenth-Century Paris. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988. Brockey, Liam. Journey to the East: the Jesuit Mission to China, 1579–1724. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007. Brook, Timothy. The Troubled Empire: China in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010. Butcher, John and Howard Dick, eds. The Rise and Fall of Revenue Farming: Business Elites and the Emergence of the Modern State in Southeast Asia. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993. Cai, Weizhou. Zhongguo Haiguan Jianshi. Beijing: Zhongguo zhanwang chubanshe, 1989. Cain, P. J. and A. G. Hopkins. British Imperialism: Innovation and Expansion, 1688– 1914. London & New York: Longman, 1993. Cannadine, David, ed. Empire, the Sea and Global History: Britain’s Maritime World, c. 1760–c. 1840. Houndmills & Basingstoke [England] & New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. Cao, Yonghe. “Shi Lun Ming Taizhu de Haiyang Jiaotong Zhengce.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Yi Ji, 41–70. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan sanminzhuyi yanjiusuo, 1984 & Zhongguo Haiyang Shi Lunji. Taibei: Lianjing chubanshe, 2000. Cardenas, Juan de. Problemas y Secretos Maravillosos de las Indias. Madrid: Ediciones Cultura Hispánica, 1945.

bibliography

335

Carletti, Francesco. My Voyage Around the World. New York: Pantheon Books, 1964. Cassanelli, Lee V. “Qat: Changes in the Production and Consumption of a Quasilegal Commodity in Northeast Africa.” In The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective, ed. Arjun Appadurai, 236–57 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986. Chandruang, Kumut. “Young Siam in a New World”, Asia, May (1939): 301 as quoted in Kenneth Perry Landon, Chinese in Thailand, 11. New York: Russell & Russell, 1973. Chang, Michael G. A Court on Horseback: Imperial Touring and the Construction of Qing Rule, 1680–1785. Cambridge & London: Harvard University Press, 2007. Chang, Pin-tsun. “The First Chinese Diaspora in Southeast Asia in the Fifteenth Century.” In Emporia, Commodities and Enterprenuers in Asian Maritime Trade, c. 1400–1750, eds. Roderich Ptak & Dietmar Rothermund, 13–28. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1991. Chao, Kang. The Development of Cotton Textile Production in China. Cambridge: East Asia Research Center, Harvard University, 1977. Chao, Zhongchen. Mingdai Haijin yu Haiwai Maoyi. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 2005. Chaudhuri, K. N. Trade and Civilisation in the Indian Ocean: an Economic History from the Rise of Islam to 1750. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Che, Fu & Xiong Sizhi. Chuancai Longmen Zhen. Chengdu: Sichuan daxue chubanshe, 2004. Chen, Binrong. Fanshu, Jinmen Sibainian. Jinmen: Jinmen xian zhengfu, 1999. Chen, Bojian & Huang Quchen. Guangzhou Waimao Shi. 3 vols. Guangzhou: Guangzhou chubanshe, 1995. Vol. 1. Chen, Chunsheng. Shichang Jizhi yu Shehui Bianqian: Shiba Shiji Guangdong Mijia Fenxi. Guangzhou: Zhongshan daxue chubanshe, 1992. Chen, Fensen. Xifang Yingshi zai Zhongguo. Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe, 2007. Chen, Gaohua. Yuan Shi Yanjiu Lungao. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1991 & Yuanshi Yanjiu Xinlun. Shanghai: Shehui kexueyuan chubanshe, 2005. Chen, Guodong. “Qingdai Zhongye Xiamen de Haishang Maoyi (1727–1833).” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Si Ji, ed. Wu Jianxiong, 61–100. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan zhongshan renwen shehuikexue yanjiusuo, 1991 & Dong Ya Haiyu Yi Qian Nian. Taibei: Yuanliu chuban gongsi, 2005. Chen, Shouyi. Zhong Ou Wenhua Jiaoliu Shishi Luncong. Taibei: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1970. Chen, Xinxiong. “Song Yuan de Yuanyang Maoyi Chuan: Zhongguo Haiwai Fazhan Dingsheng Shiqi de Jiatong Gongju.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Er Ji, 1–38. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan sanminzhuyi yanjiusuo, 1986 & “Tangdai Zhongguo yu Feizhou de Guanxi: Jianjie er Qiangshi de Hailu Maoyi.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Si Ji, ed. Wu Jianxiong, 125–60. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan zhongshan renwen shehuikexue yanjiusuo, 1991. Chen, Zaicheng. Zhangzhou Jian Shi. Zhangzhou: Zhangzhou jianzhou yiqian sanbai nian jinian huodong chouweihui bangongshi, 1986. Chin, James. “The Junk Trade between South China and Nguyen Vietnam in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries.” In Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong region, 1750–1880, eds. Nola Cooke and Li Tana, 53–66. Singapore & Lanham [MD] & Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004. Chiu, Melissa and Zheng Shengtian, eds. Art and China’s Revolution. New Haven & London: Asia Society and Yale University Press, 2009. Choi, Byung Wook. “The Nguyen Dynasty’s Policy toward Chinese on the Water Frontier in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century.” In Water Frontier: Commerce

336

bibliography

and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong region, 1750–1880, eds. Nola Cooke and Li Tana, 85–99. Singapore & Lanham [MD] & Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004. Choisnel, Emmanuel. Les Parthes et la Route de la Soie. Paris: Harmattan, 2004. Christian, David. Living Water: Vodka and Russian Society on the Eve of Emancipation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990. Christie, Jan Wisseman. “Water and Rice in Early Java and Bali.” In A World of Water: Rain, Rivers and Seas in Southeast Asian Histories, ed. Peter Boomgaard, 235–58. Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2007. Chuan, Han-sheng & Richard A. Kraus. Mid-Ch’ing Rice Markets and Trade: An Essay in Price History. Cambridge: Harvard University East Asian Research Center, 1975. Clark, Hugh R. Community, Trade, and Networks: Southern Fujian from the Third to the Thirteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991. Clunas, Craig. Fruitful Sites: Garden Culture in Ming Dynasty China. London: Reaktion, 1996. Collingham, Lizzie. Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Crossman, Carl L. The China Trade: Export Paintings, Furniture, Silver and Other Objects. Princeton: the Pyne Press, 1972. Cushman, Jennifer W. Fields from the Sea: Chinese Junk Trade with Siam during the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries. Ithaca: Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, 1993 & Family and State: the Formation of a Sino-Thai Tin Dynasty, 1797–1932. Singapore & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Dai, Yingcong. The Sichuan Frontier and Tibet: Imperial Strategy in the Early Qing. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2009. Dalby, Andrew. Empire of Pleasures: Luxury and Indulgence in the Roman World. London & New York: Routledge, 2000. Davidson, Basil. The Lost Cities of Africa. Boston: Little, Brown, 1959. Davies, David M. The Rice Bowl of Asia. South Brunswick [NJ]: A. S. Barnes, 1968. Delgado, James P. Khubilai Khan’s Lost Fleet: In Search of a Legendary Armada. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2008. Deng, Duanben. “Shibosi Sheli Qian zhi Haiwai Maoyi Guanli.” In Guangzhou Waimao Lianqian Nian, ed. Chen Bojian, 56–70. Guangzhou: Wenhua chubanshe, 1989. Vol. 1. Deng, Kent. “The State and Market in China’s Maritime Sector.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Jiu Ji, ed. Liu Xufeng, 479–555. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan haiyangshi yanjiuzhongxin, 2005. Dew, Nicolas. Orientalism in Louis XIV’s France. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Ding, Xianjun. Yang Wu Yundong Shihua. Beijing: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe, 2000. Dong, Pingya & Zhao Guoshi. Yumu Shihua. Beijing: Nongye chubanshe, 1988. Doyle, William. Officers, Nobles and Revolutionaries: Essays on Eighteenth-century France. London & Rio Grande [Ohio]: Hambledon Press, 1995. Dreyer, Edward L. Zheng He: China and the Oceans in the Early Ming Dynasty, 1405– 1433. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007. Durand A. and Regine Thiriez. “Engraving the Emperor of China’s European Palaces.” The Bulletin of the New York Public Library 1, 2 (Spring 1993): 81–107. Elliott, Mark. Emperor Qianlong: Son of Heaven, Man of the World. New York: Longman, 2009. Elman, Ben. A Cultural History of Civil Examinations in Late Imperial China. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000 and On Their Own Terms: Science in China, 1550–1900. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005.

bibliography

337

Endicott-West, Elizabeth. “The Yuan Government and Society.” In The Cambridge History of China Volume 6 Alien Regimes and Border States, 907–1368, eds. Herbert Franke & Denis Twitchett, 587–615. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994. Étiemble, René. L’Europe Chinoise. Paris: Gallimard, 1988. Fan, Jinmin. Ming Qing Jiangnan Shangye de Fazhan. Nanjing: Nanjing daxue chubanshe, 1998. Fan, Wei & Jin Tiemu. Ri Luo Yuan Ming Yuan. Beijing: Dangdai zhongguo chubanshe, 2007. Fan, Zhongyi. Qi Jiguang Pingzhuan. Nanjing: Nanjing daxue chubanshe, 2004. Fairbank, John K. The Great Chinese Revolution 1800–1985. New York: Harper & Row, 1987. —— & Merle Goldman. China: A New History. Cambridge and London: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2001. Fang, Hao. Zhong Xi Jiatong Shi. 2 vols. Taibei: Wenhua daxue chubanshe, 1983. Fang, Yaguang. Tangdai Duiwai Kaifang Chutan. Hefei: Huangshan shushe, 1998. Feng, Chengju. Zhongguo Nanyang Jiaotong Shi. Shanghai: Shangwu Yinshuguan, 1937 & Ying Ya Sheng Lan Xiaozhu. Taibei: Shangwu chubanshe, 2005. Feng, Boqun & Qu Chunhai. Qinggong Dang’an Miwen. Beijing: Huawen chubanshe, 2008. Feng, Erkang. Yongzheng Zhuan. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1985. Feng, Qiyong. Cao Xueqin Jiashi Xin Kao. Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1980. Feng, Xianyu. Ming Qing Wenhua Shi Zaji. Shanghai: Renmin chubanshe, 2006. Feng, Zuozhe. He Shen Mi Shi: Tangwu zhi Wang. Changchun: Jilin renmin chubanshe, 1989 & Qingdai Zhengzhi yu Zhongwai Guanxi. Beijing: Shehui kexue chubanshe, 1998. Feuerwerker, Albert. “Presidential Address: Questions about China’s Early Modern Economic History that I Wish I Could Answer.” Journal of Asian Studies 51, 4 (1992): 757–769. ——. “Economic Trends in the Late Ch’ing Empire, 1870–1911.” In Cambridge History of China Volume 11: Late Ch’ing, 1800–1911, Part 2, eds. John K. Fairbank & Kwang-ching Liu, 1–69. Cambridge: Camrbidge University Press, 1980. Finnane, Antonia. Speaking of Yangzhou: a Chinese City 1550–1850. Cambridge & London: Harvard University Asia Centre, 2004. FitzGerald, C. F. The Southern Expansion of the Chinese People: “Southern Fields and Southern Ocean.” London: Barrie & Jenkins, 1972. Fletcher, Joseph. “Ch’ing Inner Asia c. 1800.” In The Cambridge History of China Volume 10 Late Ch’ing 1800–1911 Part 1, eds. Denis Twitchett & John K. Fairbank, 35–106. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978. Fry, Howard T. Alexander Dalrymple (1737–1808) and the Expansion of British Trade. London: Frank Cass, 1970. Fu, Yiling. Ming Qing Shidai Shangren ji Shangye Ziben. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1956 & Mingdai Jiangnan Shimin Jingji Shitan. Shanghai: Renmin chubanshe, 1957. ——. Ming Qing Shehui Jingji Shi Lunwen Ji. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1982. Fujita, Toyohachi. Songdai zhi Shibo Si yu Shibo Tiaoli. Shanghai: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1936. Garlake, Peter. Early Art and Architecture of Africa. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Ge, Jianxiong, et al. Zhongguo Yimin Shi. 6 vols. Fuzhou: Fujian renmin chubanshe, 1997. Vol. 2. Geiss, James. “The Chia-ching Reign, 1522–1566.” In The Cambridge History of China Volume 7 The Ming dynasty, 1368–1644, Part 1, eds. Frederick W. Mote and Denis Twitchett, 440–510. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Geng, Yingzeng. Zhongguo Ren yu Yindu Yang. Zhengzhou: Daxiang chubanshe, 1997.

338

bibliography

Gibson, James R. Otter Skins, Boston Ships, and China Goods: the Maritime Fur Trade of the Northwest Coast, 1785–1841. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1992. Gong, Shengsheng. “Qingdai Lianghu Diqu de Yumi he Ganshu.” Zhongguo Nong Shi 3 (1993): 47–57. Goodfriend, Arthur. Rice Roots: An American in Asia. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1958. Greenberg, Michael. British Trade and the Opening of China, 1800–1842. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1951. Grove, Linda. “ ‘Native’ and ‘Foreign’: Discourses on Economic Nationalism and Market Practice in Twentieth-Century North China.” In Empire, Nation, and Beyond: Chinese History in Late Imperial and Modern Times—A Festschrift in Honor of Frederic Wakeman, eds. Joseph W. Esherick, et al., 149–66. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006. Gu, Jianqing. Guangdong Haishang Sichou Zhilu Yanjiu. Guangzhou: Guangdong renmin chubanshe, 2008. Gu, Weimin. Zhongguo yu Luoma Jiaoting Guanxi Shilue. Beijing: Dongfang chubanshe, 2000 & Jidu Zongjiao Yishu zai Hua Fazhan Shi. Shanghai: Shanghai shudian, 2005. Guan, Fuquan. Song Dai Guangzhou de Haiwai Maoyi. Guangzhou: Guangdong renmin chubanshe, 1994. Guo, Dianhuan. Qianlong Yu Ping Yuan Ming Yuan. Hangzhou: Zhejiang guji chubanshe, 2007. Guo, Fuxiang & Zuo Yuanbo. Zhongguo Huangdi yu Yangren. Beijing: Shishi chubanshe, 2002. Guo, Liang. Dongnan Ya Huaqiao Huaren Jingji Jianshi. Beijing: Jingji kexue chubanshe, 1998. Guo, Tingyi. “Cong Lishi Shang Kan Zhongguo de Hanghai Shiye.” In Hanghai Jie Jinian Ji, 14–33. Taibei: Hanghai tongxunshe, 1955. Hamashita, Takeshi. China, East Asia and the Global Economy: Regional and Historical Perspectives. London & New York: Routledge, 2008. Han, Yaoqi. Shi Ji Pingzhu Ben. Changsha: Yuelu shushe, 2004. Hansen, Valerie. The Open Empire, a History of China to 1600. New York: W. W. Norton, 2000. Hao, Yen-p’ing. “Zhongguo Sanda Shangye Gemin yu Haiyang.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di liu Ji, ed. Zhang Yanxian, 9–44. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan haiyangshi yanjiuzhongxin, 2005 & The Commercial Revolution in Nineteenth-Century China. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986. Haw, Stephen G. Marco Polo’s China: a Venetian in the Realm of Khubilai Khan. London & New York: Routledge, 2006. He, Mianshan. Ba Min Wenhua. Shenyang: Liaoning jiaoyu chubanshe, 1998. He, Zhongyi & Ze Zhaofen. “Changchun Yuan de Fuxing he Xiyang Lou Yizhi Zhengxiu.” Yuan Ming Yuan 3, November (1984): 25–37. Henriot, Christian. Shanghai: 1927–1937: Municipal Power, Locality, and Modernisation. Berkeley and London: University of California Press, 1993. Herman, John E. Amid the Clouds and Mist: China’s Colonisation of Guizhou 1200– 1700. Cambrdige [MA] & London: Harvard University Asia Center, 2007. Ho, Ping-ti. The Ladder of Success in Imperial China: Aspects of Social Mobility, 1368– 1911. New York: Columbia University Press, 1962. ——. “In Defense of Sinicization: A Rebuttal of Evelyn Rawski’s ‘Reenvisioning the Qing.’ ” Journal of Asian Studies 57, 1 (1998): 123–155. ——. “The Introduction of American Food Plants to China.” In European Intruders and Changes in Behaviour and Customs in Africa and Asia before 1800, eds. Murdo J. MacLeod & Evelyn S. Rawski, 283–294. Brookfield [Vermont]: Ashgate, 1998.

bibliography

339

Hobsbawm, Eric J. Industry and Empire from 1750 to the Present Day. London: Penguin books, 1990. Hobson, John M. The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Hong, Lin & Li Daogang. Taiguo Huaqiao Huaren Yanjiu. Hong Kong: Shehui kexue chubanshe, 2006. Hong, Xiuping. Zhongguo Fojiao Wenhua Licheng. Nanjing: Jiangsu jiaoyu chubanshe, 1995. Hou, Haozhi. Chuantong yu Chuanxin: Sheng Qing Shiqi zai Hua Xiyang Gongyi Yanjiu. Unpublished PhD thesis, Zhongguo Wenhua Daxue Shixue Yanjiu Suo, Taiwan, 2008. Hourani, George F. Arab Seafaring in the Indian Ocean in Ancient and Early Medieval Times. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995. Hsia, Florence. Sojourners in a Strange Land: Jesuits and their Scientific Missions in Late Imperial China. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009. Hsiao, Liang-lin. China’s Foreign Trade Statistics, 1864–1949. Cambridge: East Asian Research Center, Harvard University, 1974. Hua, Erjia. Qingdai Tanwu Shouhui Da An. Beijing: Qunzhong chubanshe, 2007. Huang, Chunyan. Songdai Haiwai Maoyi. Beijing: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe, 2003. Huang, Gongmian & Yang Jinsen. Zhongguo Lishi Haiyang Jingji Dili. Beijing: Haiyang chubanshe, 1985. Huang, Jinyan. Qin Han Shangping Jingji Yanjiu. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 2005. Huang, Qiaolan. Qingting Chajing Tianzhujiao Qijian Chuanjiao Huodong zhi Tanjiu. Unpubished MA thesis, Taiwan National Normal University, 2007. Huang, Qichen. Guangdong Haishang Sichou Zhilu Shi. Shenzhen: Guangdong jingji chubanshe, 2003. Huang, Shunli. Haiyang Misi: Zhongguo Haiyang Guan de Chuantong yu Bianqian. Nanchang: Jiangxi gaoxiao chubanshe, 1999. Huang, Zhengjian. Tangdai Yi Shi Zhu Xing Yanjiu. Beijing: Shoudu shifan daxue chubanshe, 1998. Huang, Zhiwei & Huang Ying. Wei Shiji Daiyan: Zhongguo Jingdai Guanggao. Shanghai: Shiji chuban jituan, 2004. Hucker, Charles. China’s Imperial Past: an Introduction to Chinese History and Culture. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1975. ——. China to 1850: A Short History. Stanford: Stanford Univerity Press, 1978. ——. “Ming Government.” In The Cambridge History of China Volume 7 the Ming Dynasty 1368–1644 Part 1, eds. Frederick W. Mote & Denis Twitchett, 9–105. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. Hudson, G. F. Europe and China: a Survey of Their Relations from the Earliest Times to 1800. Boston: Beacon Press, 1961. Hudson, Pat. The Industrial Revolution. London: Edward Arnold, 1992. Hummel, Arthur W. Eminent Chinese of the Ch’ing Period 1644–1912. Taipei: Ch’eng Wen publishing company, 1970. Iby, Elfriede and Alexander Koller. Schönbrunn. Vienna: Verlag Christian Brandstatter, 2000. Impey, Oliver. Chinoiseries: the Impact of Oriental Styles on Western Art and Decoration. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1977. Insor, D. Thailand: a Political, Social and Economic Analysis. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1965. Isett, Christopher Mills. State, Peasant, and Merchant in Qing Manchuria, 1644–1862. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007. Ishii, Yoneo, ed. Thailand: a Rice-growing Society. Honolulu: the University Press of Hawaii, 1984.

340

bibliography

Jensen, Lionel M. Manufacturing Confucianism: Chinese Traditions & Universal Civilization. Durham: Duke University Press, 1997. Jian, Xiuwei, et al. Liu Chao Shi Gao. Shanghai: Huadong shifan daxue chubanshe, 1994. Jiang, Bin. Daozuo Wenhua yu Jiangnan Minsu. Shanghai: Wenyi chubanshe, 1996. Jiang, Feifei, et al. Zhong Han Guanxi Shi: Gudai Bian. Beijing: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe, 1998. Jiang, Jianguo. Guangdong Xiaofei Wenhua yu Shehui Bianqiani: 1800–1911. Guangzhou: Guangdong renmin chuban she, 2006. Jiang, Jianping. Qingdai Qianqi Mi Gu Maoyi Yanjiu. Beijing: Beijing daxu chubanshe, 1992. Jiang, Lan. Wen Gu: Zhengzai Xiaoshi de Jianzhu. Beijing: Zhonghua gongshang lianhe chubanshe, 2003. Jiang, Yinghe. Qingdai Yanghua yu Guangzhou Kou’an. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2007. Jin, Shufeng. “Yuan Ming Yuan Xiyang Lou Pingxi.” Yuan Ming Yuan 3, November (1984): 21–24. Jin, Weixian. “Song Li Guanxi yu Songdai Wenhua zai Gaoli de Chuanbo ji Yingxiang.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Shi Lunwen Ji Di Liu Ji, ed. Zhang Yanxian, 71–123. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan zhongshan renwen shehuikexue yanjiusuo, 1997. Johannsen, Kristin. Ginseng Dreams: the Secret World of America’s Most Valuable Plant. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2006. Jörg, C. J. A. Porcelain and the Dutch China Trade. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1982. Kastner, Joerg. Chinese Nutrition Therapy: Dietetics in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Stuttgart & New York: Thieme, 2004. Keay, John. The Honourable Company: a History of the English East India Company. London: Harper Collins, 1993 & The Spice Route: a History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006. Kemasang, A. R. T. “The 1740 Massacre of Chinese in Java: Curtain Raiser for the Dutch Plantation Economy.” Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars 14 (1982): 61–72. Khair, Tabish, et al., eds. Other Routes: 1500 Years of African and Asian Travel Writings. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005. Kirkman, James S. The Arab City of Gedi: Excavations at the Great Mosque, Architecture and Finds. London: Oxford University Press, 1954. Kops, Henriette Rabusen-De Bruyn. “Not Such an ‘Unpromising Beginning’: The First Dutch Trade Embassy to China, 1655–1657.” Modern Asian Studies 36, 03 (July 2002): 535–78. Kopytoff, Igor. “The Cultural Biography of Things: Commoditization as Process.” In The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective, ed. Arjun Appadurai, 64–91. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986. Kratoska, Paul H., ed. Food Supplies and the Japanese Occupation in South-East Asia. New York: St. Martins’s Press, 1998. Kuhn, Dieter. The Age of Confucian Rule: the Song Transformation of China. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009. Kuhn, Philip A. Chinese Among Others: Emigration in Modern Times. Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2008. Lai, Huimin. “Qianlong Chao Neiwu Fu de Dangpu yu Fashang Shengxi”, Zhongyang Yanjiuyuan Jindai Shi Yanjiusuo Jikan [Bulletin of the Institute of Modern History Academia Sinica] 28, December (1997): 133–75 & “Qing Qianlong Cao Neiwu Fu Pihuo Maimai yu Jingcheng Shishang.” Gugong Xueshu Jikan 21, 1 (2003): 101–34. Lan, Daju. Xuan Nao de Haishi. Nanchang: Jiangxi gaoxiao chubanshe, 1999. Landon, Kenneth Perry. Chinese in Thailand. New York: Russell & Russell, 1973. Lavely, William, James Lee and Feng Wang. “Chinese Demography: the State of the Field.” Journal of Asian Studies 49, 4 (1990): 807–834.

bibliography

341

Lee, James Z. One Quarter of Humanity: Malthusian Mythology and Chinese Realities, 1700–2000. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999. Lee, Leo Ou-fan. Shanghai Modern: the Flowering of a New Urban Culture in China, 1930–1945. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999. Lee, Seung-joon. Gourmets in the Land of Famine: the Culture and Politics of Rice in Modern Canton. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011. Leslie, Donald, et al. Islam in Traditional China: a Bibliographical Guide. Sankt Augustin: Momumenta Serica Institute, 2006. Levathes, Louise. When China Ruled the Seas: the Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne 1405–1433. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994. Lewis, Gwynne. “Henri-Leonard Bertin and the Fate of the Bourbon Monarchy: the ‘Chinese Connection’.” In Enlightenment and Revolution: Essays in Honour of Norman Hampson, eds. Malcolm Crook, et al., 69–90. Aldershot [England] & Burlington [VT]: Ashgate, 2004. Lewis, Mark E. China Between Empires: the Northern and Southern Dynasties. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009 & China’s Cosmopolitan Empire: the Tang Dynasty. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009. Li, Bozhong. Jiangnan de Zaoqi Gongye Hua 1550–1850. Beijing: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe, 2000. Li, Donghua. “Song Yuan Shidai Quanzhou Haiwai Jiaotong Shengkuang.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Yi Ji, 1–40. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan sanminzhuyi yanjiusuo, 1984 & Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Guanjian Shi Di Ge’an Yanjiu. Taibei: Da’an chubanshe, 1990. Li, Gertraude Roth. “State Building Before 1644.” In The Cambridge History of China Volume 9 Part One The Ch’ng Empire to 1800, ed. Willard J. Peterson, 9–72. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Li, Guorong & Lin Weisen, eds. Qingdai Guangzhou Shisan Hang Jilue Guangzhou: Guangdong renmin chubanshe, 2006. Li, Guorong & Zhang Shucai. Shi Shuo Yongzheng. Beijing: Zijingcheng chubanshe, 1999. Li, Jinming. Mingdai Haiwai Maoyi Shi. Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe, 1990. ——. Xiamen Haiwai Jiaotong. Xiamen: Lujiang chubanshe, 1996. ——. Zhangzhou Gang. Fuzhou: Fujian renmin chubanshe, 2001. ——. “Mingchao Zhongye Zhangzhou Yuegang de Xingqi yu Fujian de Haiwai Yimin.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Shi Ji, ed. Tang Xiyong, 65–100. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan haiyangshi yanjiuzhongxin, 2008. Li, Jingping. Qianlong Wangchao Zhen Xiang. Beijing: Nongcun duwu chubanshe, 2003. Li, Junyuan & Ren Xiwen. Zhongguo Shangye Shi. Beijing: Zhongyang guangbo dianshi daxue chubanshe, 1985. Li, Lillian M. Fighting Famine in North China: State, Market, and Environmental Decline, 1690s-1990s. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007. Li, Meihua. Shi zhi Shisan Shiji Song Li Ri Wenhua Jiaoliu Yanjiu. Beijing: Hualing chubanshe, 2005. Li, Qilin. Qingdai Qianqi Yanhai de Shuishi yu Zhanchuan. Unpublished PhD thesis, National Jinan University, Taiwan, 2009. Li, Qingxin. Mingdai Haiwai Maoyi Zhidu. Beijing: Kexue wenxian chubanshe, 2007. Li, Renbo. Zhongguo Gudai Fangzhi Shigao. Changsha: Yuelu shushe, 1983. Li, Tana. “The Water Frontier: an Introduction.” In Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong region, 1750–1880, eds. Nola Cooke and Li Tana, 1–17. Singapore & Lanham [MD] & Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004. Li, Tingxian. Tangdai Yangzhou Shi Kao. Nanjing: Jiangsu guji, 1992.

342

bibliography

Li, Xinhua. Zhongguo Yisilan Jiao Shi. Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe, 1998. Li, Xuetong. Jindai Zhongguo de Xishi Jianzhu. Beijing: Renmin wenxue chubanshe, 2006. Li, Yaping. Di Guo Zhengjie Wanshi–Qian Qing Min Shi: Ru Zhu Zhongyuan zhi Lu. Beijing: Beijing chubanshe, 2007. Lian, Xinhao. Zhongguo Haiguan yu Duiwai Maoyi. Changsha: Yuelu shushe, 2004. Liang, Jiabin. Guangdong Shisan Hang Kao. Shanghai: Guoli bianyiguan, 1937. Liao, Dake. Fujian Haiwai Jiaotong Shi. Fuzhou: Renmin chubanshe, 2006. Lieberman, Victor B. Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c. 800–1830. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Lim, Ivy. Lineage Society on the Southeastern Coast of China: the Impact of Japanese Piracy in the 16th Century. Amherst [NY]: Cambria Press, 2010. Lin, Fushi. “Pinglang Ru Hua Kao”, in Li Shi [History], July (2003): 94–100. Lin, Jinshui and Xie Bizhen. Fujian Duiwai Wenhua Jiaoliu Shi. Fuzhou: Jiaoyu chubanshe, 1997. Lin, Jubai. Jindai Nantong Tubu Shi. Nantong: Zhang Qian yu Nantong yanjiu zhongxin choubeizu, 1984. Lin, Tian-wei. Songdai Xiangyou Maoyi Shigao. Hong Kong: Zhongguo xueshe, 1960. Lin, Yongkuang. Minguo Zhuzhi Wenhua Tongshi. Chongqing: Chongqing chubanshe, 2006. Liu, Fengming. Shandong Bandao yu Dongfang Haishang Sichou Zhi Lu. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 2007. Liu, Fengyun. “Shi Lang Tongyi Taiwan yu Qingchu de Kaihai Maoyi.” In Shi Lang yu Taiwan, ed. Shi Weiqing, 139–51. Beijing: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe, 2004. Liu, Lu & Guo Lei. “Shisan Hang Maoyi yu Qing Zhongqi Guangzhi Yishu Ping.” In Xi Xue yu Qingdai Wenhua, eds. Huang Aiping & Huang Xintao, 525–36. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2008. Liu, Shanling. Xi Yang Feng: Xi Yang Faming zai Zhongguo. Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 1999. Liu Xin. Zhongguo Youhua Bainian Tushi. Nanning: Guangxi meishu chubanshe, 1996. Liu, Xufeng. “Qing Zhengfu dui Chuyang Chuanzhi de Guanli Zhengce: 1684–1842.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Jiu Ji, ed. Liu Xufeng, 331–76. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan haiyangshi yanjiuzhongxin, 2005. Liu, Yingsheng & Chen Jiarong. “’Dong Yang’ yu ‘Xi Yang’ de Youlai” & “Zheng He Hanxing Shiqi de Dong Xi Yang.” In Zhouxiang Haiyang de Zhongguo Ren—Zheng He Xia Xi Yang 590 Zhounian Guoji Xueshu Yantao Hui Lunwen Ji, ed. Nanjing Zheng He Yanjiu Hui, 120–35 & 137–47. Beijing: Haicao chubanshe, 1996. Liu, Yong. The Dutch East India Company’s Tea Trade with China, 1757–1781. Boston: Brill, 2007. Ljungstedt, Anders. Contribution to an Historical Sketch of the Portuguese Settlements in China: Principally of Macao. Boston: James Munroe, 1836. Lu, Yifei. Hu Zu Fengsu yu Sui Tang Fengyun: Wei Jin Beifang Shaoshu Minzu Shehui Fengsu ji Qi dui Sui Tang de Yingxiang. Beijing: Wenxian chubanshe, 1994. Lyons, Thomas P. China Maritime Customs and China’s Trade Statistics, 1859–1948. Trumansburg [NY]: Willow Creek of Trumansburg, 2003. Ma, Wenkuan & Meng Fanren. Zhongguo Guci zai Feizhou de Faxian. Beijing: Zijingcheng chubanshe, 1987. Majumdar, Ramesh C. Champa: History and Culture of an Indian Colonial Kingdom in the Far East 2nd–16th Century A. D. New Delhi: Gyan publishing house, 1985. Mao, Chengdou. Dongjiang Su Jietang Bao Jiechao. Hangzhou: Zhejiang guji chubanshe, 1984.

bibliography

343

McCann, James C. Maize and Grace: Africa’s Encounter with a New World Crop, 1500–2000. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005. Mintz, Sidney W. Sweetness and Power: the Place of Sugar in Modern History. New York: Vikings, 1985. Mitcham, Chad J. China’s Economic Relations with the West and Japan, 1949–79: Grain, Trade and Diplomacy. London & New York: Routledge, 2005. Mizuno, Koichi. “The Social Organization of Rice-growing Villages.” In Thailand: a Rice-growing Society, ed. Ishii Yoneo. Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1984. Morison, Samuel Eliot. The Maritime History of Massachusetts 1783–1860. London: William Heinemann, 1923. Morse, H. B. The Trade and Administration of China. London: Longmans and Green 1913. Mote, F. W. Imperial China 900–1800. Cambridge/London: Harvard University Press, 2003. Mui, Hoh-Cheung and Lorna H. “The Commutation Act and the Tea Trade in Britain, 1784–93”, The Economic History Review 16, 2 (December 1963): 234–53. Mungello, D. E. The Chinese Rites Controversy: its History and Meaning. Nettetal: Steyler Verlag, 1994 & The Great Encounter of China and the West, 1500–1800. Lanham [MD]: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009. Murray, Dian H. “Guangdong de Shuishang Shijie: Ta de Shengtai he Jingji.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Qi Ji Shang Ce, ed. Tang Xiyong, 145–70. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan zhongshan renwen shehuikexue yanjiusuo, 1999. Mutschler, Fritz-Heiner & Achim Mittag, eds. Conceiving the Empire: China and Rome Compared. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Myers, Ramon H. & Wang Yeh-chien. “Economic Developments, 1644–1800.” In The Cambridge History of China Volume 9 Part One The Ch’ng Empire to 1800, ed. Willard J. Peterson, 563–645. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Nagtegaal, Luc. Riding the Dutch Tiger: the Dutch East India Company and the Northeast Coast of Java, 1680–1743. Leiden: KITLV Press, 1996. Naquin, Susan. Peking: Temples and City life, 1400–1900. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. Needham, Joseph. Science and Civilisation in China: Volume I Introductory Orientations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1961. ——. Science and Civilisation in China: Volume Two History of Scientific Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1962. ——. Science and Civilisation in China: Volume Three Mathematics and the Sciences of the Heavens and the Earth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1959. ——. Science and Civilisation in China: Volume Four Physics and Physical Technology Part I, Part II and Part III. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1962–1971. Ng, Chin-keong. “The Case of Ch’en I-lao: Maritime Trade and Overseas Chinese in Ch’ing Policies, 1717–1754.” In Emporia, Commodities and Entrepreneurs in Asian Maritime Trade, c. 1400–1750, ed. Roderich Ptak and Dietmar Rothermund, 373– 99. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1991. Owen, Norman G., et al. eds. The Emergence of Modern Southeast Asia: A New History. Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2005. Pagani, Catherine. Eastern Magnificence and Europe Ingenuity: Clocks of Late Imperial China. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001. Pan, Guisheng. Chen Hongmou Zhuan. Nanning: Guangxi renmin chubanshe, 2007. Pan, Ji, et al. Qing Ru Guan Qian Shiliao Xuanji: Di Yi Ji. Beijing: Zhongguo renmin daxue chubanshe, 1984. Perazzoli-t’Serstevens, Michele. Le Yuanmingyuan: Jeux D’Eau et Palais European du XVIII Siecle a la Cour de Chine. Paris: Edition Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1988.

344

bibliography

Perdue, Peter C. Exhausting the Earth: State and Peasant in Hunan, 1500–1850. Cambridge: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1987 & China Marches West: the Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005. Peterson, Willard. “Learning from Heaven: the Introduction of Christianity and other Western Ideas into Late Ming China.” In The Cambridge History of China Volume 7 The Ming dynasty, 1368–1644, Part 2, eds. Denis C. Twitchett & Frederick W. Mote, 789–839. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Pettigrew, Jane. A Social History of Tea. London: National Trust, 2001. Pilcher, Jeffrey M. Food in World History. New York: Routledge, 2006. Pomeranz, Kenneth. The Great Divergece: China, Europe and the Making of the Modern World Economy. Princeton & Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2000. Pope, John A. Chinese Porcelains from the Ardebil Shrine. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Freer Gallery of Art, 1956. Pritchard, Earl H. Anglo-Chinese Relations during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. New York: Octagon books, 1970. Ptak, Roderich and Dietmar Rothermund, eds. Emporia, Commodities, and Entrepreneurs in Asian Maritime Trade C. 1400–1750. Stuttgart: Steiner Verlag, 1991. ——. China and the Asian Sea: Trade, Travel and Visions of the Other. Aldershot & Brookfield [Vermont]: Ashgate, 1998. ——. China, the Portuguese, and the Nanyang: Oceans and Routes, Regions and Traders c. 1000–1600. Aldershot, Hants, England & Burlington [VT]: Ashgate, 2003. Pu, Faren. Pu Shougeng Xingyi yu Xianshi Jiguan. Tainan: Shijie Pu Shi zongqing zonghui, 1988. Purcell, Victor. The Chinese in Southeast Asia. London: Oxford University Press, 1951. Qiao, Wei. Tang Lu Yanjiu. Jinan: Shandong remin chubanshe, 1985. Qiu, Xuanli. “Zhongguo Haiyang Shishang ‘Dongnan Ya’ Mingci Suoyuan de Yanjiu.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Si Ji, ed. Wu Jianxiong, 309– 29. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan zhongshan renwen shehuikexue yanjiusuo, 1991. Qiu, Zhonglin. “Ming Qing Jiang-Zhe Wenren de Kan Huaju yu Fanghua Huodong.” Tanjiang Shixue 18 (2007): 75–104 & and “Huayuanzi yu Huashu Dian: Ming Qinng Jiangnan de Huahui Zhongzhi yu Yuanyi Shichang”, Zhongyang Yanjiuyuan Lishi Yuyan Yanjiusuo Jikan [Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology Academia Sinica] 78, 3 (2007): 473–528. Rae, Ian & Morgan Witzel. The Overseas Chinese of South East Asia. Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. Rappaport, Erika. “Packing China: Foreign Articles and Dangerous Tastes in the Mid Victorian Tea Party.” In The Making of the Consumer: Knowledge, Power and Identity in the Modern World, ed. Frank Trentmann, 125–46. Oxford and New York: Berg, 2004. Reed, Marcia and Paola Demattè, eds. China on Paper: European and Chinese Works from the Late Sixteenth to the Early Nineteenth Century. Los Angles: Getty Research Institute, 2007. Reid, Anthony. Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, 1450–1680. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988–1993. ——. “Flows and Seepages in the Long-term Chinese Interaction with Southeast Asia.” In Sojourners and Settlers: Histories of Southeast Asia and the Chinese, ed. Anthony Reid, 15–50. Honolulu: Hawaii University Press, 1996. ——. Charting the Shape of Early Modern Southeast Asia. Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books 1999. ——. “Chinese Trade and Southeast Asian Economic Expansion.” In Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong region, 1750–1880, ed. Nola Cooke

bibliography

345

and Li Tana, 21–34. Singapore & Lanham [MD] & Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004. ——. “From Betel-chewing to Tobacco Smoking in Indonesia.” In European Intruders and Changes in Behaviour and Customs in Africa and Asia before 1800, eds. Murdo J. MacLeod & Evelyn S. Rawski, 295–313. Brookfield [Vermont]: Ashgate, 1998. Ren, Zhaosheng & Li Yunfeng, eds. Daozuo yu Ji Yi. Qunming: Yunnan renmin chubanshe, 2003. Ritzer, George. The McDonaldization of Society: an Investigation into the Changing Character of Contemporary Social Life (Newbury Park [CA]: Pine Forge Press, 1993). Rodzinski, Witold. The Walled Kingdom: A History of China from 2000BC to the Present. London: Fontana, 1985. Rossabi, Morris. Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times. Berkeley: University of California press, 1988 & “The Reign of Khubilai Khan.” In The Cambridge History of China Volume 6 Alien Regimes and Border States, 907–1368, eds. Herbert Franke & Denis Twitchett, 414–89. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994. Rowe, William T. Hankow: Commerce and Society in a Chinese City, 1796–1889. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1984. ——. Saving the World: Chen Hongmou and Elite Consciousness in Eighteenth-Century China. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ——. “Social Stability and Social Change.” In The Cambridge History of China Volume 9 Part One The Ch’ng Empire to 1800, ed. Willard J. Peterson, 473–562. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. ——. China’s Last Empire: the Great Qing. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009. Rush, James R. Opium to Java: Revenue Farming and Chinese Enterprise in Colonial Indonesia, 1860–1910. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990. Sakurai, Yumio. “Eighteenth-Century Chinese Pioneers on the Water Frontier of Indochina.” In Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong region, 1750–1880, eds. Nola Cooke and Li Tana, 35–52. Singapore & Lanham [MD] & Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004. Schafer, Edward. The Golden Peaches of Samarkand: a Study of T’ang Exotics. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1963. Scheidel, Walter, ed. Rome and China: Comparative Perspectives on Ancient World Empires. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Schottenhammer, Angela, ed. The Emporium of the World: Maritime Quanzhou, 1000–1400. Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2001. ——. The East Asian Maritime World 1400–1800: its Fabrics of Power and Dynamics of Exchanges. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2007. ——. “Transfer of Xiangyao from Iran and Arabia to China: a Reinvestigation of Entries in the Youyang Zazu (863).” In Aspects of the Maritime Silk Road: from the Persian Gulf to the East China Sea, ed. Ralph Kauz, 117–52. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2010. Shanghai Baihuo Gongsi. Shanghai Jindai Baihuo Shangye Shi. Shanghai: Shehui kexue yuan, 1988. Shanghai Shi Fangzhi Kexue Yanjiuyuan. Fangzhi Shi Hua. Shanghai: Kexue jishu chubanshe, 1978. Shen, Fuwei. Zhongguo yu Feizhou: Zhong Fei Guanxi Liang Qiannian. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1990. Sheng Xu Fu Yanjiuhui & Longkou Shi Xu Fu Yanjiuhui. Xu Fu Yanjiu. Qingdao: Qingdao Haiyang daxue chubanshe, 1989. Shennan, J. H. The Bourbons: the History of a Dynasty. London and New York: Hambledon Continuum, 2007. Shi, Qingwei, ed. Shi Lang yu Taiwan. Beijing: Shehui kexue chubanshe, 2004.

346

bibliography

Shi, Shuqing. “Faguo Fengdan Bailu Zhongguo Guan Zhong de YuanMingYuan Yiwu.” Yuan Ming Yuan 1 (1981): 156–59. Shi, Ying, ed. Mingguo Yang Fang. Beijing: Tuanjie chubanshe, 2005. Simkin, C. G. F. The Traditional Trade of Asia. London: Oxford University Press, 1968. Skinner, G. William. Report on the Chinese in Southeast Asia. New York: Cornell University Department of Far Eastern Studies, 1950. Smith, Joanna F. Handlin. “Gardens in Ch’i Piao-chia’s Social World: Wealth and Values in Late-Ming Kiangnan.” Journal of Asian Studies 51, 1 (1992): 55–81. So, Billy K. L. Prosperity, Region and Institutions in Maritime China: the South Fukien Pattern 946–1368. Cambridge: East Asia Center, Harvard University, 2000. Song, Jian. “Quanzhou Gang shi Zhongguo de ‘Alabo Zoulang’.” In Quanzhou Wenhua yu Haishang Sichou Zhilu, ed. Li Yiping, et al., 170–89. Beijing: Shehui kexue chubanshe, 2007 & Huihui Yaofang Kaoshi. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2000. Song, Qingling. “Baohu, Zhengxiu ji Liyong Yuan Ming Yuan Yizhi Changyi Shu.” Yuan Ming Yuan 1, November (1981): 1–6. Spence, Jonathan. Ts’ao Yin and the K’ang-hsi Emperor: Bondservant and Master. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966. ——. The China Helpers: Western Advisers in China, 1620–1960. London, Bodley Head, 1969. ——. The Search for Modern China. New York: W. W. Norton, 1990. Struve, Lynn A. The Southern Ming 1644–1662. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1984 & “The Southern Ming, 1644–1662.” In The Cambridge History of China Volume 7 The Ming dynasty, 1368–1644, Part 1, eds. Frederick W. Mote and Denis Twitchett, 641–725. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Su Xiaokang & Wang Lujing. He Shang. Hong Kong: Sanlian shudian, 1988. Suryadinata, Leo, ed. Admiral Zheng He & Southeast Asia. Singapore: International Zheng He Society & Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2005. Sun, Shangyang. Jidu Jiao yu Mingmo Ruxue. Beijing: Dongfang chubanshe, 1994. Sutherland, Heather. “Geography as Destiny? The Role of Water in Southeast Asian History.” In A World of Water: Rain, Rivers and Seas in Southeast Asian Histories, ed. Peter Boomgaard, 27–70. Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2007. Swope, Kenneth M. A Dragon’s Head and a Serpent’s Tail: Ming China and the First Great East Asian War, 1592–1598. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2009. Szczesniak, Boleslaw B. “Diplomatic Relations between Emperor K’ang hsi and King John III of Poland.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 89, 1(1969): 157–61. Szonyi, Michael. Cold War Island: Quemoy on the Front Line. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Taipei Gugong Bowuyuan. Xin Shijie: Lang Shining yu Qing Gong Xi Yang Feng. Taibei: Gugong bowuyuan, 2007. Tang, Kaijian & Huang Chunyan. “Qingdai Qianqi Xi Yang Zhongbiao de Fangzhi yu Shengchan.” In Xi Xue yu Qingdai Wenhua, eds. Huang Aiping & Huang Xintao, 483–524. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2008. Tang, Wenji & Luo Qingsi. Qianlong Zhuan. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1994. Tang, Wenji, ed. Fujian Gudai Jingji Shi. Fuzhou: Fujian jiaoyu chubanshe, 1995. Tao, Yabing. Ming Qing Jian de Zhong Xi Yingyue Jiaoliu. Beijing: Dongfang chubanshe, 2001. Taylor, David A. Ginseng, the Divine Root. Chapel Hill [NC]: Algonquin Books, 2006. Teggart, Frederick J. Rome and China; A Study of Correlations in Historical Events. Berkeley: University of California press, 1969. Thai Ministry of Commerce and Communication. Siam: Nature and Industry. Bangkok: At the Ministry, 1930.

bibliography

347

Thiriez, Regine. Les Palais Europeens du Yuanmingyuan a Travers la Photographie: 1860–1940. Amsterdan: Gordon and Breach, 1998. Thompson, Jonathan. Commutation-act Candidly Considered, in its Principles and Operations. Newcastle upon Tyne: printed by M. Angus, 1789. Thompson, Virginia. Thailand: the New Siam. New York: Paragon book, 1967. Tong, Laishi. Qi Jiguang Zhuan. Beijing: Junshi chubanshe, 1991. Torres, Pascal. Les Batailles de l’Empereur de Chine: La Gloire de Qianlong Célébrée par Louis XV, une Commande Royale d’Estampes. Paris: Musée du Louvre, 2009. Trocki, Carl A. Opium and Empire: Chinese Society in Colonial Singapore, 1800–1910. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990. ——. Opium, Empire and the Global Political Economy: a Study of the Asian Opium Trade 1750–1950. London: Routledge, 1999. ——. “The Internationalisation of Chinese Revenue Farming Networks.” In Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong region, 1750–1880, eds. Nola Cooke and Li Tana. 159–73. Singapore & Lanham [MD] & Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004. Twichett, Denis & Howard Wechsler. “Kao-tsung (reign 649–83) and the Empress Wu: the Inheritor and Usurper.” In The Cambridge History of China Volume 3 Sui and T’ang China, 589–906, Part 1, ed. Denis Twichett, 242–89. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979. Vermeer, Eduard B. Development and Decline of Fukien Province in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Leiden: Brill, 1990. Vickery, Amanda. Behind Closed Doors: at Home in Georgian England. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. Viraphol, Sarasin. Tribute and Profit: Sino-Siamese Trade, 1652–1853. Cambridge/ London: Harvard University Press, 1977. Von Glahn, Richard. Fountain of Fortune: Money and Monetary Policy in China, Fourteenth to Seventeenth Centuries. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996. Wade, Geoff. “The Li and Pu ‘Surnames’ in East Asia-Middle East Maritime Silk Road Interactions during the 10th–12th Centuries.” In Aspects of the Maritime Silk Road: from the Persian Gulf to the East China Sea, ed. Ralph Kauz, 181–95. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2010. Wakeman, Frederic. The Great Enterprise: the Manchu Reconstruction of Imperial Order in Seventeenth-century China. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985. Wales, H. G. Quaritch. Siamese State Ceremonies: their History and Function. Richmond [Surrey]: Curzon Press, 1992. Waley-Cohen, Joanne. Exile in Mid-Qing China: Banishment to Xinjiang, 1758–1820. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991 & The Sextants of Beijing: Global Currents in Chinese History. New York: W. W. Norton, 1999. Wang, Congyuan. Ming Qing Hui Shang Jingying Huai Yan Kaolue. Chengdu: Bashu shushe, 2008. Wang, Daocheng & Duan Yuhong. Yuan Ming Yuan de Zhongda Zhengbian. Hangzhou: Zhejiang guji chubanshe, 2007. Wang, Di. Song Dai Jingji Shigao. Changchun: Changchun chubanshe, 2001. Wang, Ermin. “Jindai Shishang de Dong Xi Nan Bei Yang.” Zhongyang Yanjiuyuan Jindaishi Yanjiusuo Jikan [Bulletin of the Institute of Modern History Academia Sinica] 15 (1986): 101–13. Wang, Gungwu. “Ming Foreign Relations: Southeast Asia.” In The Cambridge History of China Volume 8: the Ming Dynasty, 1368–1644, Part 2, eds. Denis Twitchett and Frederick W. Mote, 301–332. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Wang, Hongbing. Qingdai Qianqi Haifang: Sixiang yu Zhidu. Beijing: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe, 2002. Wang, Jianye. Qingdai Jingji Shi Lunwen Ji. Taibei: Daoxiang chubanshe, 2003.

348

bibliography

Wang, Liming and John Davis. China’s Grain Economy: the Challenge of Feeding more than a Billion. Aldershot & Burlington [VT]: Ashgate, 2000. Wang, Lizhi. “Zhengxiu Yuan Ming Yuan Xiyang Lou Yizhi de Jiben Fangzhen yu Chubu Anpai.” Yuan Ming Yuan 4, October (1986): 188–223. Wang, Shengzhe. Song Dai Shenghuo Shehui Yanjiu. Beijing: Remin chubanshe, 2007. Wang, Suichang. Qin Shi. Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 2000. Wang, Wei, et al. Zhong Chao Guanxi Shi. Beijing: Shijie zhishi chubanshe, 2002. Wang, Zhicheng. Shanghai E’qiao Shi. Shanghai: Sanlian shudian, 1993. Warman, Arturo. Corn and Capitalism: how a Botanical Bastard Grew to Global Dominance. Chapel Hill: Duke University Press, 2003. Watabe, Tadayo. “The Development of Rice Cultivation.” In Thailand: a Rice-growing Society, ed. Yoneo Ishii, 3–14. Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1984. Wei, Minghua. Liang Huai Yang Shang. Fuzhou: Fujian renmin chubanshe, 1999. Wen, Fang, ed. Yang Huo. Beijing: Zhongguo wenshi chubanshe, 2004. Wheatley, Paul. The Golden Khersonese: Studies in the Historical Geography of the Malay Penninsula before A. D. 1500. Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press. 1961. Wheeler, Mortimer. Rome Beyond the Imperial Frontiers. London: Bell, 1954. Wiens, Harold J. China’s March toward the Tropics. Hamden [CT]: Shoe String Press, 1954. Will, Pierre-Etienne & R. Bin Wong. Nourish the People: the State Civilian Granary System in China, 1650–1850. Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan, 1991. Wills Jr., John E. Peppers, Guns and Parleys: the Dutch East India Company and China 1622–1681. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974. ——. “Maritime China from Wang Chih to Shih Lang.” In From Ming to Ch’ing: Conquest, Region, and Continuity in Seventeenth-century China, eds. Jonathan Spence & John E. Wills, Jr., 203–238. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979. ——. “Relations with Maritime Europe, 1514–1662.” In The Cambridge History of China: Volume 8, The Ming Dynasty, 1368–1644, Part 2, eds. Denis Twitchett, John K. Fairbank and Albert Feuerwerker, 333–75. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998. ——. “The South China Sea Is Not a Mediterranean: Implications for the History of Chinese Foreign Relations.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan shi Lunwen Ji Di Shi Ji ed. Tang Shi-yeoung, 1–24. Taibei: Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, Academia Sinica, 2008. ——. The World from 1450 to 1700. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. ——. China and Maritime Europe, 1500–1800: Trade, Settlement, Diplomacy and Mission. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Wong, R. Bin. China Transformed: Historical Change and the Limits of European Experience. Ithaca/London: Cornell University Press, 1997. ——. “Opium and Modern Chinese State-Making” In Opium Regimes: China, Britain, and Japan, 1839–1952, eds. Timothy Brook and Bab Tadashi Wakabayashi, 189–211. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. Wong, Young-tsu. A Paradise Lost: the Imperial Garden Yuanming Yuan. Honolulu: Hawaii University Press, 2001 & Zuixun Shiluo de Yuanming Yuan. Taibei: Maitian chubanshe, 2004. Worrall, Simon. “China Made: A 1,200-year-old Shipwreck Opens a Window on the Ancient Global Trade” (Photograph by Tony Law). National Geographic 215, 6 (June 2009): 112–22. Wood, Frances. The Lure of China: Writers from Marco Polo to J. G. Ballard. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2009.

bibliography

349

Wu, Boya. Kang Yong Qian San Di yu Xi Xue Dong Jian. Beijing: Zongjiao wenhua chubanshe, 2002. Wu, Chengxian. Jiu Shanghai Chaguan Jiulou. Shanghai: Huadong shifan daxue chubanshe, 1989. Wu, Guifang. Shanghai Fengwu Zhi. Shanghai: Wenhua chubanshe, 1985. Wu, Hui. Zhongguo Lidai Liangshi Muchan Yanjiu. Beijing: Nongye chubanshe, 1985. Wu, Liwei. Wenming de Zhangli yu Quanli de Jiaoliang. Shanghai: Guji chubanshe, 2007. Wu, Meifeng. Sheng Qing Shiqi Jiaju zhi Xingzhi yu Liubian. Unpublished PhD thesis, Taiwan Normal University, 2004. Wu, Zhenglong. Zheng Chenggong yu Qing Zhengfu Jiande Tanpan. Taibei: Wenjin chubanshe, 2000. Wyman, Judith. “Opium and the State in Late—Qing Sichuan.” In Opium Regimes: China, Britain, and Japan, 1839–1952, eds. Timothy Brook and Bab Tadashi Wakabayashi, 212–27. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. Xiamen Shi Liangshi Ju. Xiamen Liangshi Zhi. Xiamen: Lujiang chubanshe, 1989. Xie, Guozhen. Mingdai Shehui Jingji Shiliao Xuanbian. 2 vols. Fuzhou: Fujian renmin chubanshe, 2005. Xu, Dixin. Zhongguo Guomin Jingji de Biange. Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue yuan, 1982. Xu, Dixin & Wu Chengmin. Zhongguo Ziben Zhuyi de Mengya. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1985. Xu, Xinwu. Jiangnan Tubu Shi. Shanghai: Shehui kexueyuan, 1992. Xu, Zhihao. Mao Wenlong Shengpin Yanjiu. Unpublished MA thesis, National Qinghua University, Taiwan, 2001. Yan, Chongnian. Qi Jiguang Yanjiu Lunji. Beijing: Zhishi chubanshe, 1990. Yan, Zhongping. Zhongguo Mian Fang Zhi Shigao 1289–1937. Beijing: Kexue chubanshe, 1963 & Zhongguo Jindai Jingji Shi. Shanghai: Renmin chubanshe, 1989. Yang, Bing. Xu Fu Dong Du zhi Mi. Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe, 1989. Yang, Guozhen. MingQing Zhongguo Yanhai Shehui yu Haiwai Yimin. Beijing: Gaodeng jiaoyu chubanshe, 1997 & Min Zai Haizhong. Nanchang: Jiangxi gaoxiao chubanshe, 1998. Yang, Xinrong, et al., eds. Encyclopedic Reference of Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Manual from A-Z, Symptoms, Therapy, and Herbal Remedies. Berlin and New York: Springer, 2003. Yang, Xingsheng. Shehui Wan Xiang. Changsha: Yulu shushe, 2004. Yao, Meilin. Zhongguo Haiguan Shihua. Beijing: Zhongguo haiguan chubanshe, 2005. Yao, Xiangao. Zhongguo Jindai Duiwai Maoyi Shi Ziliao. 3 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1962. Vols. 2 & 3. Ye, Xianen. “Yimin yu Zhujiang Sanjiao Zhou Haiyan Jingji Hua.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Ba Ji, ed. Zhu Delan, 23–72. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan zhongshan renwen shehuikexue yanjiusuo, 1999. Ye, Wencheng. Zhongguo Gu Waixiao Ci Yanjiu Lunwen Ji. Beijing: Zijingcheng chubanshe, 1988. Yeh, Wen-hsin. Shanghai Splendor: Economic Sentiments and the Making of Modern Shanghai, 1843–1949. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007. Yehenana, Tuheng. Ju Tan Jianxiang He Shen Quanzhuan. Beijing: Zhongguo renshi chubanshe, 1996. Yi, Yongwen. Ming Qing Yingshi Yanjiu. Taibei: Hongye wenhua chubanshe, 1997. Yong, C. F. Tan Kah-kee, the Making of an Overseas Chinese Legend. Singapore and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987. Yu, Changsen. Yuandai Haiwai Maoyi. Xi’an: Xibei daxue chubanshe, 1994.

350

bibliography

Yu, Dingbang & Yu Changsen. Jindai Zhongguo yu Dongnan Ya Guangxi Shi. Guangzhou: Zhongshan University Press, 1999. Yu, Heping. “Yangwu Yundong Shiqi Zhong Wai Maoyi Zhuangkuang Bianhua de Ji Ge Wenti.” In Wan Qing Guojia yu Shehui, eds. Zhongguo Shehui Kexueyuan Jindaishi Yanjiusuo Zhengzhishi Yanjiushi, 513–28. Beijing: Shuhui kexue wenxian chubanshe, 2007. Yu, Shanpu. Qianlong Huangdi yu Xiang Fei. Nanjing: Jiangsu jiaoyu chubanshe, 2006. Yu, Ying-shih. “Han Foreign Relations.” In The Cambridge History of China Volume 1 The Ch’in and Han Empires, 221 B.C.–A.D. 220, eds. Denis Twichett and Michael Loewe, 377–462. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986. Yu, Yunquan. Haiyang Tianzai: Zhongguo Lishi Shiqi de Haiyang Zaihai yu Yanhai Shehui Jingji. Nanchang: Jiangxi gaoxiao chubanshe, 2005. Yuan Ming Yuan Guanli Chu. Yuan Ming Yuan Liusan Wenwu. Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, 2007. Zega, Andrew and Bernd H. Dams. Palaces of the Sun King: Versailles, Trianon, Marly: the Chateaux of Louis XIV. New York: Rizzoli, 2002. Zhang, Chengzong, et al. Liu Chao Shi. Nanjing: Jiangsu guji, 1991. Zhang, Baocheng & Zhang Enyin. Shiqu de Xianjing Yuan Ming Yuan. Beijing: Lantian chubanshe, 2002. Zhang, Bincun. “Shiliu Shiji Zoushan Qundao de Zousi Maoyi.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Yi Ji, 71–96. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan sanminzhuyi yanjiusuo, 1984. ——. “Shiliu zhi Shiba Shiji Zhongguo Haimao Sixiang de Yanjin.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Er Ji, 39–58. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan sanminzhuyi yanjiusuo, 1986. ——. “Ming Qing Liangchao de Haiwai Maoyi Zhengce.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Si Ji, ed. Wu Jianxiong, 45–60. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan zhongshan renwen shehuikexue yanjiusuo, 1991. Zhang, Fuyuan. Shangping Shihua. Shenyang: Liaoning renmin chubanshe, 1988. Zhang, Haiying. Ming Qing Jiangnan Shangping Liutong yu Shichang Tixi. Shanghai: Huadong shifan daxue chubanshe, 2002. Zhang, Jiuzhou. Qingdai Huangdi Quwen Yishi. Zhengzhou: Henan renmin chubanshe, 2007. Zhang, Xiaoning. Tianzi Nanku: Qing Qianqi Guangzhou Zhidu xiade Zhong Xi Maoyi. Nanchang: Jiangxi gaoxiao chubanshe, 1999. Zhang, Xiping. Zhongguo yu Ouzhou Zaoqing Zongjiao he Zhexue Jiaoliu Shi. Beijing: Dongfang chubanshe, 2001. Zhang, Xun. Mazu: Xinyang de Zhuixun. Taibei: Boyang wenhua shiye youxian gongsi, 2008. Zhang, Zengxin. “Shiliu Shiji Qianqi Putaoya Ren zai Zhongguo Yanhai de Maoyi Judian.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Er Ji, 75–104. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan shehuikexue yanjiusuo, 2002. Zhao, Gang, ed. Qingdai Liangshi Mucan Liang Yanjiu. Beijing: Zhongguo nongye chubanshe, 1995. Zhao, Gang & Chen Zhongyi. Zhongguo Mian Ye Shi. Taibei: Lianjing chubanshe, 1977. Zhao, Rongguang. Zhongguo Yingshi Wenhua Shi. Shanghai: Renmin chubanshe, 2006. Zhao, Zhaobing. Fujian Sheng Dili. Fuzhou: Fuzhou renmin chubanshe, 1993. Zheng, Changjin. Ming Qing Nongcun Shangping Jingji. Beijing: Zhonguo renmin daxue chubanshe, 1989. Zheng, Chaoxiong. “Cong Guangxi Hepu Mingdai Yaozhinie Faxian Ciyandou Tanji Yancao Chuanru Woguo de Shijian Wenti.” Nongye Kaogu 12, 2 (1986): 383–391.

bibliography

351

Zheng, Jinyang. “Xi Yue yu Qing Yue: Xi Xue yu Zhongguo Wenhua Guanxi Yige Youji Zhucheng Bufen.” In Xi Xue yu Qingdai Wenhua, eds. Huang Aiping & Huang Xintao, 537–53. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2008. Zheng, Liangsheng. Mingdai Wokou. Beijing: Wenshizhe chubanshe, 2008. Zheng, Xin. Wei Jin Nan Bei Chao Shi. Jinnan: Shandong daxue chubanshe, 1997. Zheng Yangwen. The Social Life of Opium in China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. ——. “From Live Righteously to Small Orchid and Construct China: a Systematic Inquiry into Chinese Naming Practice.” In Personal Names in Asia: History, Culture and Identity, eds. Zheng Yangwen and Charles J.-H. Macdonald, 52–76. Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2009. ——. “Qingdai Yanghuo de Liutong yu Chengshi Yang Pinqian de Chuxian”, in Cong Chengshi Kan Zhongguo de Xiandai Xing, eds. Wu Jen-shu, Paul Katz and Lin Meili, 37–52. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan jindaishi yanjiusuo, 2010. Zheng, Yongchang. “Ming Yongle Nianjian (1407–1424) Zhongguo Tongzhi xia de Annan.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Wu Ji, eds. Zhang Bincun and Liu Shiji, 61–109. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan zhongshan renwen shehuikexue yanjiusuo, 1993. Zhonggo Nongye Kexueyuan Zuowu Pingzhong Ziyuan Yanjiusuo. Zhongguo Yumi Pingzhong Zhi. Beijing: Nongye chubanshe, 1988. Zhongguo Shi Xuehui, et al. Yang Wu Yundong. Shanghai: Renmin chubanshe and shudian, 2000. Zhou, Chuanbin and Ma Xuefeng. Development and Decline of Beijing’s Hui Muslim Community. Chiang Mai: Asian Muslim Action Network & Silkworm Books, 2009. Zhou, Hongwei. Qingdai Liang Guang Nongye Dili. Changsha: Hunan jiaoyu chubanshe, 1998. Zhou, Ruchan & Yan Zhong. Jiangning Zhizhao yu Cao Jia. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2006. Zhou, Shirong. Changsha Yao Ci: Jianding yu Xinshang. Nanchang: Jiangxi meishu chubanshe, 2000. Zhou, Weili, ed. Dili Huizong: Guan Shi Dili Zhimeng Pian. Guangzhou: Guangzhou chubanshe, 1995. Zhou, Yuanlian. Qing Chao Xinqi Shi. Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe, 1986. Zhu, Delan. “Qingchu Qianjie ling Shi Zhongguo Chuan Haishang Maoyi zhi Yanjiu.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di Er Ji, 105–59. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan sanminzhuyi yanjiusuo, 1986 & “Qing Kaihai Ling hou de Zhong Ri Changqi Maoyi yu Guonei Yanhai Maoyi.” In Zhongguo Haiyang Fazhan Shi Lunwen Ji Di San Ji, ed. Zhang Yanxian, 369–416. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan sanminzhuyi yanjiusuo, 1988. Zhu, Guodong & Wang Guozhang. Shanghai Shangye Shi. Shanghai: Caijing daxue chubanshe, 1999. Zhu, Guohong. Zhongguo de Haiwai Yimin: Yixiang Guoji Qianyi de Lishi Yanjiu. Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe, 1994. Zhu, Long & Dong Shaohua. “Dengzhou Gang yu Dongfang Haishang Sichou Zhilu.” In Dengzhou Gang yu Zhong-Han Jiaoliu Guoji Xueshu Taolun Hui Lunwen Ji, ed. Chen Shangsheng, 207–23. Jinan: Shangdong daxue chubanshe, 2005. Zhu, Yafei, ed. Xu Fu Zhi. Jinan: Shangdong renmin chubanshe, 2009. Zhu, Zhenghai. Yan Shang yu Yangzhou. Nanjing: Jiangsu guji chubanshe, 2001. Zhuang, Jinghui. Quanzhou Gang Kaogu yu Haiwai Jiaotong Shi Yanjiu. Changsha: Yuelu shushe, 2006. Zimmerman, Carle C. Siam: Rural Economic Survey 1930–31. Bangkok: Bangkok Times Press, 1931–1935.

352

bibliography

Zürcher, Erik E. The Buddhist Conquest of China: the Spread and Adaptation of Buddhism in Early Medieval China. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1959. Internet Ruke, Paul A. “The Chinese Rites Controversy: a Long Lasting Sino-Western Cultural History.” Pacific Rim Report 32 (February 2004): 1–8. @http://usf.usfca.edu/ricci/ research/pacrimreport/prr32.pdf accessed on 6 August 2010. Selling cheese to the Chinese http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/documentaries/2009/08/090814_cheese_to_ chinese.shtml downloaded on 21 January 2010. 盛世危言——天涯在线书库 www.tianyabook.com/lishi/shengshiweiyan/index.html

INDEX A Brief History of Macao [澳门记略], 145 A Dissertation Upon Tea (by Thomas Short), 299 A Pictorial Explanation of Clocks and Watches [自鸣钟表图说], 165 Abel, Clarke, 164, 316 Africa, 128, 253, 286, 289, 322 agar wood [沉速香], 224 “Age of Commerce”, 5, 51 Age of Exploration, 45 Aksou, 198 Al Tajir, Sulayman, 57–58 alcohol, 266 Amherst, Lord, 164, 316 Amitie (ship), 289 Amiot, Jean Joseph Marie, 172, 308, 311 Amoy, see also Xiamen, 67 Amsterdam, 291 An Examination of the East and West Oceans [东西洋考], 105, 212 ancestor worship, 42 Ancestral Instructions [祖训], 49 Andrade, Simão Pires de, 52 Angkor Wat, 44 Anglo-Chinese garden, 296 Anson, George, 291, 312 Antioch, 285 Arab, Abbasid Caliphate, 5, 33; merchants, 140, 286; memoirs, 35, 286; traders, 35 Arabia, 1, 285 Ardebil, 288 Attiret, Jean-Denis, 178, 182, 308 Ayutthaya, 95, 111 Bahr, Florian, 169, 172 Bangkok, 111, 113 Baroque, 295 Barrow, John, 114, 179 Batavia (Jakarta), 90, 113 Battle of the Talas River, 5, 33 “battle over rice”, 133 beaver-skins, 235 beer, 266–67 Beijing (Pekin), 9, 61, 72, 79, 120, 122, 143, 151, 158, 166, 169, 178, 196, 202, 235, 257, 273, 309

Bell, Jean Adam Schall von, 72, 147 Benoist, Michel, 151, 182, 192, 196 Berg, Maxine, 300 Bertin, Henri-Leonard, 311 betel nut [槟榔], 261–62 Bibliotheque du Roi, 310 Big red robe [大红袍], 266 Big Water Magic [大水法], 195 Bingham, John Elliot, 4 bird’s nest, 90, 100, 222–23, 227 Bishop of Bei Tang, 197 black pepper [胡椒], 261 blue and white, 1, 219, 295 bo mai [博买], 39 Board of Astronomy, 147 Bohai [渤海], 16, 53, 59 Boston, 235 “botanical bastard”, 126 Bourbon, 295, 299, 310–11 Bourgeois, Francois, 188, 196 Bouvet, Joachim, 79, 135 Britain, see also England, 93, 166, 241, 253, 295, 301, 312, 317 Brunei, 55, 210, 213, 221 Buddhism, 16, 18, 26, 29, 32, 36, 41 Bund, 273 Burma, 112, 118 Cambodia, 55, 113, 118, 213, 221 candle/s, 42 Canton, see also Guangdong, 27, 31, 67, 76, 113, 141, 159, 164, 235 Cao Xueqin, 155–56 Cao Yin, 139, 155 Cape Town, 11 “capitalist sprout”, 84, 251, 253 Cardenas, Dr. Juan de, 124 Caribbean islands, 11 Castiglione, Giuseppe, 177, 182 Catharina (Portuguese ship), 291 Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 269 Catholic Church, 142, 309, 311 Catholicism, 56, 70 Central Asia, 22, 33, 37, 69, 121, 232, 235, 253 Ceylon, see also Sri Lanka, 27 Chambers, William, 296

354

index

Champa, 24, 25, 213 Changle (Fujian), 121 Changsha, 35, 278 Changsha ceramics [长沙窑], 1, 34 Chaozhou (Teochew), 33, 109, 112, 117 Checkpoint fair [关市], 19 Chen Haozi, 260–61 Chen Hongmo, 130 Chen Rui, 141 Chengdu, 240 Cheng Kezheng, 199–201 Chiang Mai, 111 Chinatown/s, 271 Chinese Cabinets, 296 Chinese Catholics, 69, 73 “Chinese Century”, 5, 93, 118 Chinese Diaspora, 117 “Chinese domination” (in Vietnam), 25 Chinese goods, 291 Chinese house/s, 296 Chinese pavilion, 296 Chinese porcelain, 33, 204, 288–89 Chinese trade, 292 “Chinese Versailles”, 180 Chinese zodiac, 193 Chinoiserie, 14, 180, 294–96 Christianity, 18, 29, 73, 304, 306, 322 Christians, 46 chou jie [抽解], 39 chu yang chuan [出洋船], 106 chuan [传], 23 clavecin, 136 Clocks, 36, 143–45, 150, 152, 157, 162, 164, 167, 187, 237, 242; first European clock to enter China, 142; world’s first, 140 Clock Workshop, 150, 152 Cloth Bank [衣库], 252 Cold War, 25, 89, 110, 306 Columbia, 235 Communist Revolution, 280 Commutation Act, 302 compass, 29, 41 Compendium of Materia Medica [本草 纲目], 121 Confucianism, 42, 305, 307, 311 Confucius, 42, 70, 218, 310 “Confucius of Europe”, 310 Confucius Sinarum Philosophus, 310 copper, 20, 46, 112, 144, 152, 158, 218–19, 223, 242, 277 Copper Engravings of the European Palaces in Yuan Ming Yuan [圆明

园西洋楼铜板画], 10, 181, 184, 192, 194, 195, 199, 203 Correspondance Litteraire, 311 “Cosmopolitan Empire”, 324 cotton, 112, 228, 245, 252–53 Court of Honour, 192 Cox, James, 159, 177, 187 Cox, John Henry, 165 Crawford, John, 114 cuisine, 54, 260, 265 cymbals, 158 Czar, 59, 152 da Gama, Vasco, 289 Dali Gazetteer [大理县志], 121 Daoguang emperor, 165, 202, 317 de Montero, Don Jeronimo, 291 de Pauw, Cornelius Franciscus, 313–14 democracy, 324 Deng Xiaoping, 69 Dijon, 180 Dinghai, 317 “discipline regime”, 150, 164 Dominicans, 71 Dong Xiaowan, 250 Dongshan (Fujian), 60 Dream of the Red Chamber [红楼梦], 139, 155, 159, 231–33, 303 “dual worship”, 72 Dutch, 63, 75; authority, 80; East India Company (VOC), 57, 113, 211, 291; embassy, 189; knives, 233; massacre of Chinese, 90; paintings, 137; trade, 68, 90 East Africa, 44, 50, 120, 288 East China Sea, 6, 23, 51, 83 East India Company (EIC), 56, 67, 91, 164, 301 East Ocean [东洋], 77, 210, 213, 221, 223 Eight Banners or banner men, warriors, troops, 61, 64, 78, 81 electric bus, 276 “elements of Chinese civilisation”, 217, 242, 324 Elliot, Captain Charles, 317 Encyclopaedia of Agriculture [农政 全书], 127 England, see also Britain, 67, 152, 159, 190, 212, 221, 229, 292, 297 English wool, 75, 235–36 “Essence of Mathematics”, 135 eunuchs, 51, 138, 143, 170

index Europe, see also West Ocean [西洋], 12, 17, 36, 69, 75, 77, 82, 122, 140, 144, 149, 152, 160, 183, 186, 196, 207, 211, 229, 245, 251, 271, 285, 293, 301, 306 European: awnings, 186; brocade, 251; chairs (sofa), 237; cloth, 218, 252; copper figure, 233; curios, 187; exotic design, 258; fashion, 258; fine cloth, 218; flute, 170; furniture, 187–87; glass ware, 186, 218, 236; globes, 186; houses, 271; interior design, 174, 188, 272; iron, 218; jewellery, 187; lamps, 186, 236, 274; landscape, 287; lotus, 214; medicine, 233; microscopes, 186; mirrors, 186; moustache, 177; multiple coloured figures, 287; music/ music instruments, 138, 169; objects, 186; paintings, 138, 231, 236; palaces, 180, 183, 231; parrot, 214; rice, 231; Scenes, 238; science, 135; self-propelled boat, 233; sleeping chair (sofa), 273; style flowers, 287; style houses, 270; telescopes, 233; water technology, 194; wine, 233 Europeans, 70, 78, 147, 213, 289 Europeans [洋人], 170, 211–12 examination, 44, 148, 307 “export-oriented rice bowl”, 117 Fa Xian, 3, 26 falling flower nut [落花生], 265 fan [番], 209, 220 fan chuan [番船], 106 Fang Guozhen, 49 Fang Yizhi, 265 Fangzhang [方丈], 15, 175 Fanyu [番禺], 20 Fei Xin, 210 Feng Chengjun, 7, 210–211 Feng Shike, 144 fengshui [风水], 191 First Emperor, 15, 19, 24, 175 “five profits” [五利], 123–24 Flint, James, 91 foodstuff/s, 50, 94, 121, 222–23 foot basins, 218 Forbidden City, 62, 139, 150, 164, 173, 275 Foreign Affairs Movement [洋务运动], 278 foreign blue [洋蓝], 258 foreign buildings and foreign houses [洋楼洋房], 268–274 foreign characters [洋字], 267

355

foreign chrysanthemums [洋菊], 233, 246–49 foreign cloth [洋布], 212, 242, 251, 256–57 foreign companies [洋行], 241 foreign education, 278–79 foreign furniture, 277 foreign goods [洋货], 207, 212, 214; & in: Dream of Red Chamber, 233; Hankou, 239, 257; History of the Guangdong Customs, 233, 226; Macao, 231; memoirs, 233, 235–36; Nanjing, 231; Qianlong tribute list, 189; Shanghai, 240; Suzhou, 238; Xiamen Gazatteer, 226–27; Yangzhou, 236; Yongzheng tribute list, 177; Yuan Ming Yuan, 188; Zhang Guanying’s work, 242 Foreign goods shops, Chengdu, 240; Hankou, 239, 257; Macao, 231; Nanjing, 213; Ningbo, 238; Tianjin, 238; Shanghai, 240; Suzhou, 238 foreign misfortune [洋祸], 242 foreign noodle [洋粉], 267 foreign objects, in Yuan Ming Yuan, 188 foreign pepper [番椒] or chilli pepper [辣椒], 260–61, 263–64 Foreign Stuff Bank [洋货库], 236 foreign textile/s, 232 foreign yam [番薯], 50, 119–120, 127–131, 231 Foreign Yam, Jinmen and Four Hundred Years [番薯金门四百年], 129 foreign yarn [洋纱], 256 foreign wine [洋酒], 266–67 Fortnum and Mason, 159 Fragrance Bank [香库], 224 fragrances, 29, 33, 38, 43, 216, 217, 223, 224, 230, 236 Fragrant Consort [香妃], 187, 191, 195, 197, 198 France, 159, 180, 196, 221, 241, 294, 311, 315 Franciscans, 71 French Settlement, 266 fu [符], 23 Fujian, 47, 51, 60, 63, 73, 76, 82, 83–85, 99, 105, 119, 120, 127, 213, 261, 265 Fujian Customs [闽海关], 65 Funan, 24, 25 Fuzhou, 82, 101 Galleon, trade, 68, 291 Gao Lian, 260

356

index

Gao Qizhuo, 82, 119 Gao Shiqi, 138 Gaozong (Song), 39 “garden mania”, 246 Garden of Eternal Spring [畅春园], 69, 96, 139, 173 Garden of Perfect Brightness [圆明园], 173 Gate of Triumphant Return [凯旋门], 198 Gaubil, Antoine, 79 Ge Yuanxu, 266 Gelantan, 213 “Geography as Destiny”, 86 Germany, 241, 295 ginseng, 219, 238 giraffes, 54 glass, mirrors, ware, 20, 216, 222, 226, 242, 279, 301 globe, 189 Goa, 57 golden yam [金薯], 130 Gong Hang (Co-hong) [公行], 66 gong ju [公据], 40 gong ping [公凭], 40 Gong Zhen, 210 “grain seizures”, 82 Grammont, Jean Joseph de, 172 Grand Canal, 1, 148 Grand Council, 78, 81, 87 Grandma Liu (Dream of the Red Chamber), 155 Great Wall, 1, 6, 19, 325 Grimaldi, Philippus Maria, 136 Guan [关], 18 guan juan [官卷], 40 Guangdong, 20, 55, 63, 74, 76, 81, 85–86, 92, 99, 105, 117, 127, 152, 177, 187, 211, 213–14, 240, 261, 265 Guangdong Customs [粤海关], 65 Guangzhou, 1, 20, 25, 29, 32, 35, 38, 44, 51, 65, 90, 100, 109, 213–14, 221, 280, 283, 286, 296, 312 Guangzhou Maritime Trade Regulation [广州市舶条例], 39 Gulf of Thailand, 291 Gulf of Vietnam, 6 guo tai chuan [过台船], 106 hai xiao [海啸], 211 Hainan Island, 20, 24, 214, 265 Hakluyt, Richard, 290, 298 Halde, Jean Baptiste Du, 136, 308–09 Hall of Peaceful Seas [海晏堂], 192, 197

Han Law, 22 handicraft/s, 216, 217, 220 Hangzhou, 38, 44, 138 Hankou, 239, 257, 277 Hapsburgs, 296 Harmonious, Exotic, Interesting [谐奇趣], 184 harpsichord, 136 He Qiaoyuan, 128 He Shen, 162, 236 Henan, 120 Henry the Navigator, 293 herb/s, 38, 216, 217, 222–23 Hindu, 24 History of the Guangdong Customs [粤海关志], 223 History of the Ming [明史], 210 History of the Song [宋史], 55 History of the Sui [隋书], 31 History of the Three Kingdoms [三国志], 25 “historical constant”, 9, 301 Holland, 221, 295 Hong Kong, 276 Hongwu emperor, 48, 50 Hongxi emperor, 51 Hormuz, 44 horses, 20–22, 33, 219, 253 household goods/items, 216, 217, 220, 222–23, 228 Huang Chao, 46 Huang Shengzeng, 210 Hubei, 122, 125, 132, 262 Huiji (Zhejiang), 24 Hunan, 82, 86, 132, 261–62, 266, 278 Ichikikushikino, 16 “imitate nature”, 174, 194 Imperial Household Department (IHD), 9, 138, 150, 186 imperial wheat [御麦], 121, 214 India, 1, 26, 142, 229, 254, 285 Indian Ocean, 8, 51, 210, 214 Indonesia, 38, 210, 286 Industrial Revolution, 253, 292, 300 Islam, 29, 33, 35, 42, 286, 292 Islamic blue, 219 Islamic Caliphate, 17, 34, 287 Islamic Encyclopaedia of Medicine [回回药方], 47 Ismailof, Count, 59, 152 Jade Gate Pass [玉门关], 19 jade rice [玉米], 123

index Japan, 16, 25, 32, 44, 60, 68, 75, 77, 133, 210, 221, 229, 296 Japanese, fan, 144; knife, 231; Legation, 275; pirates, 3, 53 Jardine Matheson, 270–71 Java, 27, 44, 68, 75, 77, 90, 113, 118, 211, 213, 221, 301 Jesuits, 56, 71, 135, 139, 143, 150, 180, 185, 192, 211, 269, 294, 308–09, 314 Ji Yun, 160 Jiajing emperor, 53 Jiangnan/Jiangsu, 63, 82, 120, 128, 144, 156, 232, 250, 262 Jiangnan Customs [江海关], 66 Jiangning Royal Manufactory, 139, 156 Jiaozhou (Hanoi), 33 Jiaozhou (Shandong), 246 Jiaqing emperor, 162, 165, 202, 236 Jinmen (Quemoy), 129 “Jinmen spirit”, 129 jinshi, 144, 169, 209, 230 joss sticks, 29, 42, 218, 224 Junior Guardian to the Heir Apparent [太子太保], 60 Kaiping Watchtowers [开平碉楼], 272 Kanchipuram, 20, 21 kang [炕], 188 Kangxi emperor, 59, 65, 70, 73, 76, 79, 96, 98, 135, 138, 148, 149, 155, 174, 234, 267, 293, 308, 321 Kaw Su Chiang, 116 King Borommakot, 95 King Charles I, 56 King Frederic II of Prussia, 313 King George III of England, 189 King Manuel I of Portugal, 52 King of Wu, 3, 23–24, 32, 50, 175 Kingdom of Qin, 19 Kingdom of Siam, 100, 110 Kingdom of Wu, 23 Kong Sunxun, 80 Korea, 15, 25, 32, 41, 44, 60, 77, 117, 210, 221, 235, 248 kowtow, 308, 315 Kyrgyzstan, 33 Kyūshū, 15, 60 Lady Seated at the Virginals (by Johannes Vermeer), 137 laissez-faire, 45, 310 lan [阑], 23 Lancashire, 229 Lanna Kingdom, 111

357

Lao mountain, 27 Le Comte, Louis D., 308, 315 Leaden hall (London), 162, 290 Leather Bank [皮库], 234 Les Palais Européens, see also European palaces, 180, 271 Li Dou, 235 li mu [吏目], 104 Li Shizhen, 121 Li Sirao, 105, 270–71 Li Tiaoyuan, 221, 235, 247 Liang Tingnan, 221 Liaodong, 6, 16, 59 Line Method Hill [线法山], 198 linen, 245, 301 lingua franca, 1, 35, 241 list of confiscation, Cao Yin, 157; He Shen, 162 “Little Ice Age”, 53, 211 Liu Xianting, 150, 251 London, 56, 159, 162, 303 Long violin [长拉琴], 170 Longqing emperor, 53, 217 Look Abroad Hall [方外观], 191 Louis XIV, 182, 293, 310 Louis XV, 293, 311 Louis XVI, 293 Lu Hong, 251 Luo Sifeng, 257 Luoyang, 30 Lusong or Luzon, 55, 75, 77, 211, 242 Ma Huan, 55, 210, 213 Macao, 57, 71, 74, 80, 91, 122, 141, 144, 230, 268–69, 297, 312 Madam de Montespan, 295 Madam Sun Zhongshan, 203 Madre de Dios (Portuguese ship), 289–90 Mafa [玛法], 72 Magaillans, Gabriel de, 146, 151, 307 Maigrot, Charles, 73 maize, 50, 120, 121–127, 131 Malacca, 55, 212, 213, 221, 250 Malaria, 263 Malay Peninsula, 25, 32 Malaysia, 21, 91, 118, 210 Malindi, 50 “Man of the World”, 198 “Mandate of/from Heaven”, 61, 72, 147 Manila, 68, 291 Mao Wenlong, 59 Mao Xiang, 250 Mao Zedong, 278

358

index

maritime ban, 53, 64, 81, 89, 99, 210 Maritime Customs, 228, 318 Maritime Trade Ambassador, 32, 35 Maritime Trade Bureau, 32, 38, 44–45, 49 Maritime Trade Law [市舶则法], 45 marten-skin, 234 Mas’ûdi, Ali-Abu’l-Hassan, 286 Mazu [马祖], 11, 41 McCartney, Lord, 114, 161, 175, 179, 253, 315 “McDonaldization”, 165 Mecca, 50 Menam River, 114 Mendoza, Juan González de, 4, 305–07 Mexico, 124 microscopes, 186, 240 Middle Kingdom, 16, 19, 23, 141, 283, 318 Milburn, William, 227, 298, 302 Ming dynasty, 3, 48, 54, 111, 217, 236–37 miscellaneous grains [杂粮], 12, 98, 120, 132 Mohammed, 35 Mongols, 43–44, 45–46, 209, 218, 252, 289, 313 Monthly Register [月折档], 9, 199, 224, 234, 252 Morales, Juan Bautista de, 71 Morse, H. B., 57, 228 mosquito-repellent incense [蚊香], 43 Mote, Frederick, 6, 38, 40 Mountain Sea Pass [山海关], 19, 61 Muslim/s, 36, 46, 191, 286 Myriad Rows of Flowers [万花阵], 185 Nagasaki, 54, Nanjing, 74, 139, 143, 157, 229, 231, 295 Nankeen, 229 Nationalist Revolution, 93, 116, 133, 275, 280 native [土], 259 Needham, Joseph, 41, 140 New World, 50, 120, 260, 265 Nian Xirao, 99 Nine Million Bicycles (song by Katie Melua), 276 Nine Prefectures Peaceful and Clear [九洲清晏], 175 Ningbo, 33, 38, 44, 52, 66, 90, 91, 99, 277, 317 North America, 4, 219, 271, 323

Northeast Asia, 16, 32, 60, 219 Northern and Southern dynasties, 6, 29, 42 Nuestra Señora de Covadonga (Spanish Manila Galleon), 291 “offshore production zone for China”, 85, 115 Okinawa, 15, 77, 210, 221 oil painting/s, 138, 177, 279–80 Old Man of Ten Enumerations [十全老人], 205 opium, 68, 114, 125, 141, 165, 189, 219, 228, 237, 253, 264, 271, 277, 297, 301 Opium War/s (First and Second), 4, 13, 93, 182, 185, 202, 210, 257, 283, 314, 317–18, 322 Order to Move the Boundary [迁界令], 63 organ, 136, 139, 269 Outer Ocean [外洋], 213 “outward and downward liquidation”, 155, 160, 299 Palace Museum (Beijing and Taipei), 152, 154, 159, 163 Palace of Grandness and Brightness, 175, 189 Palace of Heavenly Purity [乾清宫], 73 Palembang, 55 paparazzi culture, 251 Pattani, 212, 250 peanut/s, 120, 265–66 Pearl River, 82, 86 Pedrini, Don, 138, 169, 172 pendulum wall clock, 156–57 Penghu (island), 60 Penglai, 15, 24, 32, 41, 53, 175; Pavilion, 16; Celestial Site, 16 pepper, 54, 118, 223, 236, 285, 290 Pepys, Samuel, 298 Pereyra, Thomas, 136, 151, 172 Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, 57, 285 Persian Gulf, 33, 44 Philippines, 15, 55, 84, 106, 118, 121, 127, 210, 213, 221, 291 Pi Dao, 59 Pires, Tomé, 52 Pizong (Pulau Pisang), 21 “plantation type”, 111 Pliny the Elder, 285 Polo, Marco, 47, 289 Pope Clement XI, 69 Pope Innocent X, 72

index Population, China, 35, 68, 98, 132; Siam, 115 porcelain, 18, 23, 33, 47, 197, 286, 288, 290–91, 296 Portugal, 214, 295 Portuguese, 3, 52, 57, 75, 120, 141, 151, 211, 283, 289, 291, 298 Problemas y Secretos Maravillosos de las Indias, 124 “Promised Land”, 11, 16, 117 Pu Shougeng, 47 Pu Yi (Last Emperor), 275 Qi Jiguang, 53 Qingdao or Tsingtao, 248, 267 Qianlong (Kien-long) emperor, 69, 91, 123, 131, 162, 169, 172, 182, 187, 191, 194, 197, 199, 202, 233, 237, 247, 252, 270, 293, 308, 315, 321 Qiongzhou, 214 Qu Dajun, 127, 213, 247, 265, 290 Quanzhou, 33, 35, 38, 44, 55 Queen Catherine of Braganza, 299–300 Queen Elizabeth, 290, 299 Quesnay, François, 310 queue, 116 “Race for Oriental opulence”, 286, 289, 304 Red Hair [红毛], 75, 213 Red Mud country [赤土国], 32 Reid, Anthony, 93, 113, 118 Reverent to Heaven and Follow the Ancestors [敬天法祖], 73 “Ricci doctrine”, 71, 74 Ricci, Matteo, 3, 7, 71, 127, 142, 207, 245, 269, 307 Rice, 62, 77, 81–82, 87, 90, 94, 112, 124, 130, 191, 223; Kangxi restriction on, 98; first official import, 99; merchant/s, 117; official policy; 104–05; price fluctuation, 107; price level, 101; Qianlong on import, 103; ranks/titles received for shipping 109; reason for Zheng Chenggong defeat, 106; riot/s, 82; shipped by other countries, 117; trade in Xiamen, 106; Yongzheng on, 99–101; worship, 95 “Rice Bowl of Asia”, 86, 111 “rice bowls”, 117 “rice Christians”, 71 Ripa, Matteo, 59, 76, 78, 138, 174 “Rites Controversy”, 12, 70, 144 River Elegy [河殇], 325

359

Roman Empire, 17, 22, 285 Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya, 96 Royal Manufactory, 10, 138, 150, 156, 170, 186, 231 royal ploughing, 95 Royal Synod (Siam), 95 Ruggieri, Michel, 141 Russia, 69, 152, 235, 241 Salt, 112, 218, 242; Commissioner, 156; merchants, 199–201 Sambiasi, Franciscus, 250, 256 San Jago (Portuguese ship), 291 sappan wood, 54, 219, 237 scholar-officials, 43, 51, 144, 221, 230, 269, 306, 309 Schönbrunn, 296 “Scramble for China”, 284, 304 Sea Ban [海禁], 45, 62 Sea of Happiness [福海], 175 sea-otter, 235 Sea Pass/Checkpoint [海关], 20, 65 sea pepper [海椒], 260 seal, 235 Seleucia, 285 Self moving vehicle [自行车], 275–76 “selling cheese to the Chinese”, 268 Semedo, Alvarez, 72, 122, 150, 195, 270, 306 “Seres” (silk people), 283, 285 Shaanxi, 123, 130, 238, 258 Shandong, 6, 16, 38, 60, 65, 208, 248 Shanghai, 38, 44, 66, 133, 166, 253, 256, 266, 273, 276; Department Store, 228; Maritime Customs, 166; World Exposition, 166 Shen Chu, 157, 163 Sheng jian [生监], 104 Shi Ku Men [石库门], 274 Shi Lang, 60 shi liao [食疗], 264 Short, Dr. Thomas, 298 short pirates [倭寇], 53 Shrivijaya, 38 Shunzhi emperor, 62, 72, 147, 293 Siam, see also Thailand, 68, 75, 77, 86, 95, 99, 104, 106, 111, 114, 116, 191, 212, 213, 221 Sichuan, 98, 121, 240, 261 Silk, 18, 22, 33, 46, 213, 221, 284–85, 290–91; Silk Road, 5, 22, 33, 44, 285, 289; Silk Road on the Sea, 6, 33 silver, 20, 46, 51, 152, 157, 186, 199–202, 213, 218, 223, 237, 291

360

index

Silver Bank [银库], 175, 199–202 sing-song, 185 Singapore, 1, 21 Sino-British, conflict, relations, trade, 85, 92, 227, 266, 315 Slaviczek, Charles, 151 “small people”, 65, 77, 87, 89, 104, 113 Small violin [小拉琴], 170 soap, 242, 245, 279 Society of Jesus, 151, 211 sofa or sopha, 187–88, 237 Son of Heaven, 16, 96, 148, 196, 283 Son of Heaven Rarely Seen Since Antiquity [古稀天子], 198, 205 Song dynasty, 16, 38, 140, 208, 216, 236, 324 Song Qingling (Madam Sun Zhongshan), 203 “Song to Maize” [包榖行], 125 Song to Self Sounding Clocks [咏自 鸣钟], 149 South China Sea, 6, 23, 86, 109, 210, 252, 291 South Ocean [南洋], 77, 81, 89, 210, 221 Southeast Asia, 1, 11, 24, 27, 33, 38, 41, 51, 69, 84, 93, 105, 114, 118, 121, 128, 191, 209, 214, 250, 262, 286, 321 Southeast Ocean, 221 Southern Tour/s, 69, 148, 156 Southwest Ocean, 221 Spaniards/Spanish, 3, 68, 75, 120 Spice Islands, 91 Spring-Autumn period, 18 Square Rive [方河], 198 Sri Lanka (Yichengbu), 21, 212, 250 St. Cloud (Versailles), 195 St. Helena, 291 St. Paul’s Cathedral (Macao), 145, 268 Staunton, George, 161, 179, 245, 314 Straits of Malacca, 11, 54, 211, 291 “strange parallels”, 14, 18, 284, 323 “striking water-clock”, 140 Su Song, 140, 147 Su Xiaokang, 325 sugar, 86, 112, 118, 242, 291, 300 Sukhothai Kingdom, 111 Sulawesi, 91 Sulu Islands, 221 Sumatra, 91, 213 Sun Quan, 3, 23, 24, 175 Sun Zhongshan, 116 Supplement to the Compendium of Materia Medica [本草纲目拾遗], 238, 263

Suzhou, 148, 156 Switzerland, 159 Syria, 285 Taiping Rebellion, 64, 93, 280 Taiwan, 15, 24, 41, 60, 63, 77, 84, 97, 106, 210 Taiwan Strait, 6, 53, 62, 83, 109 Taizong (Tang), 38 Tan Kay Kee, 117 “Tang cargo”, 1, 6, 33, 286–87 Tang dynasty, 1, 29, 37, 216, 236, 286 Tang Law, 35 Tartars or Tartare, 67, 135, 138, 198, 314 Tea, 18, 23, 84–85, 222–23, 264, 292, 298, 302; Afternoon Tea, 303; art of tea, 303; drinking, 297; High Tea, 303; houses, 238, 274; introduction to Europe, 298; Maxine Berg on tea, 300–01; Samuel Pepys, 298; Tea at the Ritz, 303; Victorian tea classics, 303 Tea Bank [茶库], 224 Temple of Agriculture, 95 “ten conveniences” [十便], 123–24 textiles, 47, 216, 217, 220, 222, 228, 253, 291 Thailand, 110, 115–16 Thaksin Shinawatra, 117 “that which comes from without”, 207, 269, 324 The Book of Flowers and Grasses [草花谱], 260 The Book of Foreign Chrysanthemum [洋菊谱], 247 The Book of Han [汉书], 20 The Book of Household Management (by Isabella Beeton), 303 The Flower Mirror [花镜], 260–61 The New Language of Guangdong [广东新语], 212 The True Doctrines of Music [律吕正义], 136, 172 Thebault, Gilles, 151, 154, 183 Thina, 18 Thirteen Companies, 213–14, 221, 270 Thonburi Taksin, 112 “Three Celestial Islands” [三仙岛], 15, 23, 175, 180 “three feudatories”, 64 Three Kingdoms, 23 Tian Yiheng, 122 Tianjin, 4, 92, 106, 238, 259, 276 Tibet, 97, 121, 173 Toasted red yam [烤红薯], 130

index tobacco, 84, 116, 120, 189, 160 Topkapi, 288 Tournon, Tommaso Maillard de, 73 traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), 47, 121, 219, 264 Treaty of Nanking, 60, 166, 241, 256, 266, 273, 318 Treaty of Nerchinsk, 69 Trianon de Porcelaine, 182, 295 Tribute, 20, 21, 32, 38, 121, 190, 214, 217, 235; Archive, 152; from Siam, 191, 212, 250; Kangxi, 152, 232; missions, 52; Qianlong, 189; trade, 49, 51, 324; Yongzheng, 154, 177 trompe l’oeil, 198 United States, 127, 133, 229, 235, 239, 241, 287 Uyghur/s, 69, 160, 173, 187, 191, 198, 232 Vatican, 73, 309, 322 Ventavon, Jean-Mathieu de, 151, 154 Verbiest, Ferdinand, 135 Vermeer, Johannes, 137 Versailles, 192, 195, 197 Vietnam, 1, 20, 25, 33, 44, 86, 106, 113, 117, 213, 221 View of Distant Lake [远瀛观], 197 “Walled Kingdom”, 2, 325 Walter, Jean, 169, 172 Wang Chongli, 123 Wang Dayuan, 44, 209 Wang Linheng, 144 Wang Mang, 20 Wang Qishu, 233, 247 Wang Shizhen, 233 Wang Yingkui, 148 Wanli emperor, 128, 143–44, 217 Warning Words to a Prosperous World [盛世危言], 242 Warring States period, 18 watch/es, 152, 157, 162–64, 166, 233, 235, 240, 242 water fountain/s, 186, 194 water magic [水法], 194 Weddell (Captain), 56, 162 Wenzhou, 38, 44, 49 West Indies, 289 West Ocean [西洋], 75, 77, 208, 210–11, 213, 223, 239 Western Territory [西域], 22 “westward flow of techniques”, 140

361

White Lotus Rebellion, 202 White, Thomas, 289 Wind of Hu [胡风], 37 Wind of the West [西洋风], 181, 251, 294 wine, 126, 129, 222–23, 238, 242, 266–67, 273 wool, 222 Wu Qingshi, 256 Wu Sangui, 61 Wu Shixian, 125 Wu Zhenfang, 230 Wudi (Han), 20 Wulumuqi, 160 Xi Yang [西洋], 220, 230 Xi Yang Feng [西洋风], see also Wind of the West, 13, 181, 207 xian chen [县乘], 104 Xiamen, 52, 62, 89–90, 100, 106, 129 Xiamen Gazetteer [厦门志], 221, 222 Xiamen History of Rice [厦门粮食志], 105 Xinjiang, 97, 160 Xiongnu, 22 Xu Fu, 15, 24, 55 Xu Guangqu, 71, 127 Xu Song, 100, 117 Xuanzong (Tang), 32 Xue Baoqin, 231 Yalu River, 59 Yanchang (Shaanxi), 123 yang [洋], 208, 211–12, 214, 217, 220, 226–27, 230, 259 Yang Boda, 152, 154, 177, 189, 231 Yang Jingting, 257 Yang Lin, 75 Yang Minren, 235 yang ren [洋人], 211–12 Yang Shu, 44 Yang-ti (Sui), 31 Yang Tingzhang, 91, 104 Yangzhou, 1, 33, 35, 236 Yangzi River, 1, 23, 37, 253, 262, 273 Yellow Sea, 16, 32, 248 Yin Guangren, 268, 297 Yingzhou [瀛州], 15, 24, 175 Yizhou, 24 Yongjia Disturbance [永嘉之乱], 4, 26, 84, 208 Yongle emperor, 50, 293 Yongzheng emperor, 78, 88, 95, 154, 157, 175, 202, 293, 321

362

index

Yu shu shu [玉蜀黍], see also maize, 121 Yuan dynasty, 47, 209, 216 Yuan Ming Yuan [圆明园], see also Garden of Perfect Brightness, 179, 181, 184, 196, 199, 201 Yunnan, 64, 111, 121, 265 Yunnan Province Gazetteer [云南省志], 121 Zhang Qian, 22, 284 Zhang Rulin, 268, 297, Zhang Xie, 213, 290 Zhang Zhao, 169 Zhangzhou, 51, 55, 65, 105, 121, 213 Zhao Lian, 160, 237, 247 Zhao Rushi, 269 Zhao Xuemin, 238, 263 Zhao Yi, 233 Zhaoqing, 142

Zhejiang, 63, 92, 100, 120, 148, 261–62, 278, 317 Zhejiang Customs [浙海关], 65–66 Zheng Banqiao, 246 Zheng Chenggong, 54, 60-61, 106 Zheng Guanying, 241–42 Zheng He, 3, 50, 54, 120, 128, 209, 289 Zhengde emperor, 51 Zhenzhen country [真真国], 231 Zhongli Yamen [总理衙门], 318 Zhou Daguan, 44, 209 Zhou Kai, 221 Zhou Lianggong, 127 Zhou Qufei, 209 Zhou Yigui, 247 zhu bo [主薄], 104 Zhu Zurong, 256 zhuzhici [竹枝词], 240 Zunghar/s, 69, 160