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The Qing Opening to the OceanChinese Maritime Policies, 1684-1757$
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Gang Zhao

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836436

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836436.001.0001

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Enriching the State by Cherishing Private Trade

Enriching the State by Cherishing Private Trade

The Kangxi Emperor and the 1684 Open Trade Policy

(p.79) Four Enriching the State by Cherishing Private Trade
The Qing Opening to the Ocean

Gang Zhao

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter describes how the Kangxi emperor arrived at his decision to encourage private overseas trade. In dealing with the issue of overseas trade, Kangxi supported the pursuit of profit and made it the starting point of his trade policy. Like many European monarchs of the day, he believed that trade—including overseas trade—benefited both state and society. On the basis of this view, in 1684, the Kangxi emperor invited foreign merchants to bring their goods to China's ports and encouraged Chinese merchants to set out from those ports for destinations in foreign lands. More important, over the subsequent thirty years, he persisted in this open-door policy, blocked every attempt to reinstate the maritime trade ban, and protected private traders from those who would see them destroyed for “philosophical” reasons.

Keywords:   Kangxi emperor, private overseas trade, trade policy, foreign merchants, Chinese merchants, open-door policy, maritime trade ban, private traders

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