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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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Economic Interests, Security Concerns, and the Tribute System

Economic Interests, Security Concerns, and the Tribute System

Kangxi’s Response to Tokugawa Japan’s Licensing System

(p.137) Seven Economic Interests, Security Concerns, and the Tribute System
The Qing Opening to the Ocean

Gang Zhao

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines Kangxi's reaction to the Tokugawa bakufu's decision to license Chinese private traders, showing how economic interdependence affected relations within East Asia and led Manchu rulers to abandon the tribute system in dealing with one of its major neighbors, Japan. In the eyes of Manchu rulers, Japan displayed three conflicting faces: the arrogant state that rejected official ties to China through the tributary channel, the proven military aggressor that might trouble China, and the main source of China's copper. The first two imposed distance between imperial Qing and Japan, whereas the third made a complete rupture impractical. These three conflicting aspects led Manchu rulers to strike a balance among the competing demands of economic interest, political security, and imperial dignity.

Keywords:   Kangxi, Tokugawa bakufu, Chinese private traders, tribute system, Japan, imperial Qing, licensing system

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