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Tang China in Multi-Polar AsiaA History of Diplomacy and War$
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Zhenping Wang

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836443

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836443.001.0001

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Seeking Policy Appropriate to a Changing World

Seeking Policy Appropriate to a Changing World

Diplomatic and Foreign Policy Thought under the Tang

(p.231) 6 Seeking Policy Appropriate to a Changing World
Tang China in Multi-Polar Asia

Zhenping Wang

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines how Tang emperors often sought substantiation for their actions from the rich legacy of antiquity, in order to create an international environment conducive to Tang's existence and development. This was an era when Chinese rulers interacted extensively with non-Chinese peoples and gained broad experience in managing external relations. To achieve their goals, these Chinese governments employed peaceful as well as violent means, ranging from appeasement, creation of alliances, the divide and rule method, and reliance on trade to defensive warfare, aggression, and the establishment of military farming colonies, among others. The successes and failures that resulted from using these means offered Li Yuan (Emperor Gaozu) and future Tang rulers lessons that were valuable and immediately relevant to their own situations.

Keywords:   Tang emperors, Chinese governments, external relations, divide and rule, defensive warfare, military farming colonies, Li Yuan

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