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Boundaries and Beyond: China's Maritime Southeast in Late Imperial Times

Studies development of China’s maritime in Asian seas from historic, boundaries, physical and cultural perspectives. Outlines structure of long-distance trade, commodity and market in the East Asian seas before and after the 19th century. Discusses idea of “us” and “them” or China and others in terms of demarcations, covering maritime frontiers and territorial expansion during the late Ming and high Qing dynasty, trade and sea prohibition during 1513-50, limits of local diplomacy in Fuzhou during the early 1850’s, the Opium war, China’s perceptions of maritime world in the 18th century. Explicates movements of people, goods and ideas beyond either national or cultural boundaries, including the changing landscape in rural south Fujian in late Ming era, off-shore trading activities in 1522-66, managing maritime affairs in late Ming era, Chinese maritime merchants in the 18th-19th century, and Amoy riots in 1852 and Sino-British relations. Exhibits cases of transcending border relations, such as Min-Yue junk-trade enterprise on the China coast and in Nanyang, maritime trade and overseas Chinese in Qing policies during 1717-54, and legal principles and ambiguities regarding the status of the straits Chinese in 1847.