Ming dynasty mercentile/naval trade post Zheng He

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Mr. G
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Re: Ming dynasty mercentile/naval trade post Zheng He

Postby Mr. G » 2013-08-29 01:06am

Thanas wrote:Bearne, that you? :)


Sorry?

If you are wondering my other sources are:

1) http://theunbrokenwindow.com/Developmen ... ennial.pdf, page 95

3) http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/37569/1/Rock%2 ... ero%29.pdf, page 28

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Re: Ming dynasty mercentile/naval trade post Zheng He

Postby Thanas » 2013-08-29 05:41am

We had another user who went inactive a few months ago, who used the same profile picture. Which is what I was asking but you are not him.
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Re: Ming dynasty mercentile/naval trade post Zheng He

Postby PainRack » 2013-09-02 05:28pm

Errr....... I'm not sure how you argue that half of the silver mined in the new world didn't go to china, given that your source states that for the extant period being discussed, 75 million ounces went to Asia but 89.7 million ounces went to Europe.
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Re: Ming dynasty mercentile/naval trade post Zheng He

Postby PainRack » 2013-11-17 11:22pm

Hmm..........

I'm not sure how to develop my theme further.

The whole point of this thread was to substantiate some claims I made on SDN a few years back, when I pointed out that the beheading of the treasure fleet did not end Ming naval effort in Asia, that indeed, it was the dominant trading/naval power until the advent of Portugeuse sailors a century later. And I shown that the arrival of the Portugeuse indeed, stimulated and expanded trade further than ever seen during Zheng He time.

I think I shown the first point adequately.

The general theme however, was to showcase what 'seems' to me a progression from what was a state monopoly on foreign trade, via the tributary system, to private entrepot trade. The opening up of China so as to speak, a direct inverse to the common perception that the ending of the Ming fleet and a naval ban 100 years later created an isolated China akin to Japan.

Its not that difficult to show that when the Ming dynasty was formed, it was a xenophobic state and relatively isolationist. The founding constitution is based on an agrarian economy built along neo Confucian philosophy and as such, foreign trade was discouraged. Each polity was encouraged to be as self sufficient as possible.

However, as population growth exploded, the economy became more complex than the founder intended. State imperialism/exploitation of resources, along with the tributary system created a... well, a state controlled monopoly on trade. And Zheng He expeditions further stimulated this network, to the extent that merchants were drawn into foreign trade with their foreign counterparts.
What people seems to forget is that the tributary system allowed foreigners to trade into China, while the state government returned 'gifts' to the tributary power.

The ending of Zheng He expeditions did shrink the network, but it didn't shut it down entirely. I think that pending archaeological evidence for proof, it is possible to argue that the state, and merhcants acting alongside the state did continue the tributary trade until the naval ban in the 16th century. The ending of the naval ban then heralded the end of state control over foreign trade and with the isolation of Ming China hinterlands, an entrepot trading network was set up where foreign merchants, including Spanish, Dutch and Portugeuse traders would sell goods to Chinese merchants, be it in Taiwan, Manila, Macao. and Chinese merchants would then resell it in China.

A switch from state trade to private.

But I have no idea how to actually.... buttress this viewpoint....... Any ideas?
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Re: Ming dynasty mercentile/naval trade post Zheng He

Postby PainRack » 2014-04-24 12:44am

I'm waiting for the library reservation of AYUTTHAYA VENICE OF THE EAST to come through but based on some museum and catalogue visits.....
http://www.academia.edu/4907251/Ayuttha ... _Thammarat

A short historical blurb on the history of Bangkok, Malacca and the links to the Chinese trade.


The Chinese had been relying on a maritime trade between South China to link it to India, a route that became more important with the collapse of the Silk road. One of the records of this route rests on records such as Tang San Zhang,
http://www.vbtutor.net/xiyouji/history.htm
and fragmentary records from the Yuan dynasty which describe Singapore as Dragon Tooth Strait.


We can trace the history of the Ming trade however, through the impact it has on subsidary cities such as Malacca or Bangkok.

The history of Malacca should be obvious now. Zheng He expedition brought Malacca under the aegis of the Ming, protecting the Malacca Sultunate from the grasp of the Ayutthayan Empire. Trade was conducted under the aegis of both entrepot trade as well as the tributary system. Despite Siam attempts, Malacca would remain free until the Portugeuse successfully invaded and captured it.


At this point in time, the Thai began their own food revolution. From the 15th century onwards, the Thai began using floating rice grains, which allowed them to increase their food cultivation in the Chao Praya River delta, creating a surplus that was used for external trade.

For the purpose of facillating this trade, Bangkok(and the subsidary customs stations downriver) was founded.

Unfortunately, we don't have much extant records of the Ming Chinese trade with Bangkok, most of the details were those during the Qing. However, the Portugeuse and the Dutch in particular soon became the main traders with the Ayutthayan Kingdom and it is from their records that we see the scale of the Thai trade the description of customs stations, disarming of ships and arms before entry into the River delta, the scope of goods available, with both local Thai teak and ivory, rice and other goods, being traded for luxury goods from the Chinese...... such as the ceramics highlighted in the post above.


Any historical focus is rightfully on the European contacts, given the scale and scope of their trade with Bangkok, however, we also gleam from both the English and Dutch trading factories that Ming ships were also prevalent and participating in this trade in the early 17th century.
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Re: Ming dynasty mercentile/naval trade post Zheng He

Postby PainRack » 2014-04-24 12:53am

With regards to Ming merchants, I'm...... trying to find academic references but apparently, based on proclaimations made from the official gazetteers, the Ming merchants had become wealthy and powerful enough that they routinely supplied loans and were solicited by officials to subsidise civic infrastructure, along the lines of Roman citizens of the past.


Some of them also used such official links to either lobby or coerce profitable licenses, such as wine or salt licenses. Due to such lobbying and the impact of the Confucian debate, an Emperor even liberalised and allowed free market production of wine.. before it was reversed for its profitable revenues.
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Re: Ming dynasty mercentile/naval trade post Zheng He

Postby PainRack » 2015-10-15 10:59pm

Zhilong, the father of Koxinga who invaded Dutch owned Taiwan was an outlier.

From Lost Colony by Tonio Andrade, Zhilong fled China to Macau and would serve as a translator to the Dutch.

The Dutch had ultimately settled Taiwan as they did not wish to contest the Ming army on the mainland, however, Lost Colony points out that they made contact with the local minority Min pirates, who were then part of the Wukou pirates in an attempt to control trade with China.

Zhilong would become one of the most feared pirate, because from one ship financed by the Dutch as a dubious form of privateer, he would rise to own over 4 hundred junks pillaging China.

On one trip in his early career, limping into Zealandia with damaged masts and holed hull, the Dutch allowed the pirate Zhilong to dock and received as part of their booty one hundred and sixty pieces of eight.

Later on, Zhilong would hand over 9 captured junks in 1626,with a cargo worth over 20 thousand Chinese taels of silver to the Dutch governor , with a modern price of 5 million USD....

Contrary to Wang, the Ming couldn't defeat Zhilong via numbers as his fleet had been partially equipped with Dutch cannons. Indeed, the Ming desperate attempt to reverse engineer this gap apparently led to the Ming salvaging Dutch wrecks so as to examine the cannons.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zheng_Zhilong

Lost Colony also details how Zhilong eventual allegiance to the Ming dynasty led to him creating a 'modern' junk fleet and the battle of LIulao Bay.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Liaoluo_Bay

This fleet was sunk by Putnam in a sneak attack.


Interestingly , Lost Colony also details how the Chinese viewed the Dutch warships, with the entire fleet fleeing before Putnam punitive attacks and coastal town raided before Zheng fireship attack. The only fleet that was viewed as able to handle the Dutch was Zhilong modern European style junks. Which was sunk.

Reinforcements from other fleets was not viewed as adequate to defeat the Dutch gunline, resulting in the decision for fireship attack, using the capital ships as fireships as a diversion. Lost Colony details Putnam viewing the superior numbers as inconsequential.



It would appear that this pattern repeats itself decades later,as Lost Colony focuses itself on Koxingxia invasion of Taiwan and has an interesting epilogue where the Dutch sends a small squadron to revenge itself for the loss.

It linked up with the Qing navy for manpower,and in a fleet battle, the Ming elements promptly fled before the Dutch after a small skirmish.... Only for the Qjng fleet pincer which was closing the trap to flee before the Ming.


It's.... Answer some questions brought up by Thanas and Simon in this thread and the other and well,shows how ignorant I am of this chapter in history still.

I was aware that the government didn't build modern ships capable of having a gunline capable of challenging a Sea Beggar or Galleon, but apparently, it was built by private hands instead.
The paper cited is behind paywall so I couldn't see How the Ming salvaged wrecks to reverse engineer cannons but the invasion of Taiwan shows that the Europeans cannon and military fortification tech was still leaps more advanced than the Chinese.


Still, this short excerpt shows the size of China private navies and shipyards, the size of the Chinese pirates basing themselves in Min, Japan and etc and the values of the cargoes hijacked during this period of naval trade ban .

It also shows how the Ming military was severely technologically behind the Europeans, their attempts to catch up and how they used numbers and deception tactics to make do for their tactical and technological deficiencies
Let him land on any Lyran world to taste firsthand the wrath of peace loving people thwarted by the myopic greed of a few miserly old farts- Katrina Steiner


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