East Asia in the World: Twelve Events That Shaped the Modern International Order 1108807402, 9781108807401

This innovative volume provides an introduction to twelve seminal events in the international relations of East Asia pri

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Table of contents :
Cover
Half-title page
Title page
Copyright page
Contents
List of
Figures and Tables
List of
Contributors
Acknowledgments
Part I Historicizing East Asian International Relations
1 Introduction
2 East Asian International Relations over the Longue Duree
3 The Political Economy of the East Asian Maritime World in the Sixteenth Century
Part II The East Asian System over Time
4 East Asia’s First World War, 643–668
5 The Founding of the Korean Chosŏn Dynasty, 1392
6 The Ming Invasion of Vietnam, 1407–1427
7 Ming Grand Strategy during the Great East Asian War, 1592–1598
8 The Qing Unification, 1618–1683
Part III Contact: East and West
9 The Zheng State and the Fall of Dutch Formosa, 1662
10 The Opium Wars of 1839–1860
11 Matthew Perry in Japan, 1852–1854
12 Philippine National Independence, 1898–1904
13 The Sino-Japanese War, 1894–1895
14 The Death of Eastphalia, 1874
Conclusion
15 East Asian History and International Relations
Bibliography
Index
Recommend Papers

East Asia in the World: Twelve Events That Shaped the Modern International Order
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East Asia in the World

This innovative volume provides an introduction to twelve seminal events in the international relations of East Asia prior to 1900: twelve events that everyone interested in the history of world politics should know. The East Asian historical experience provides a wealth of new and different cases, patterns, and findings that will expand horizons from the Western, Eurocentric experience. Written by an international team of historians and political scientists, this volume draws attention to the China-centered East Asian order – with its long history of dominance – and what this order might tell us about the current epoch. stephan haggard is Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea– Pacific Studies at the University of California San Diego. He has written widely on the political economy of East Asia, including Pathways from the Periphery (1990), The Political Economy of the Asian Financial Crisis (2000), Hard Target: Sanctions, Inducements, and the Case of North Korea (2017), and Developmental States (2018). He is editor of the Journal of East Asian Studies. david c. kang is Maria Crutcher Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California and Director of the USC Korean Studies Institute. His publications include American Grand Strategy and East Asian Security in the Twenty-First Century (2017) and East Asia before the West: Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute (2010).

East Asia in the World Twelve Events That Shaped the Modern International Order Edited by

Stephan Haggard University of California San Diego

David C. Kang University of Southern California

University Printing House, Cambridge CB2 8BS, United Kingdom One Liberty Plaza, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10006, USA 477 Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne, VIC 3207, Australia 314–321, 3rd Floor, Plot 3, Splendor Forum, Jasola District Centre, New Delhi – 110025, India 79 Anson Road, #06–04/06, Singapore 079906 Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge. It furthers the University’s mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence. www.cambridge.org Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9781108479875 DOI: 10.1017/9781108807401 © Cambridge University Press 2020 This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published 2020 A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library. ISBN 978-1-108-47987-5 Hardback ISBN 978-1-108-79089-5 Paperback Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

Contents

List of Figures and Tables List of Contributors Acknowledgments

page vii viii x

Part I Historicizing East Asian International Relations 1 Introduction stephan haggard and david c. kang

3

2 East Asian International Relations over the Longue Duree david c. kang and kenneth m. swope

22

3 The Political Economy of the East Asian Maritime World in the Sixteenth Century richard von glahn

44

Part II The East Asian System over Time 4 East Asia’s First World War, 643–668 nadia kanagawa

67

5 The Founding of the Korean Chosŏn Dynasty, 1392 ji-young lee

81

6 The Ming Invasion of Vietnam, 1407–1427 james a. anderson

97

7 Ming Grand Strategy during the Great East Asian War, 1592–1598 kenneth m. swope

108

8 The Qing Unification, 1618–1683 pamela kyle crossley

129

v

vi

Part III

Contents

Contact: East and West

9 The Zheng State and the Fall of Dutch Formosa, 1662 tonio andrade

149

10 The Opium Wars of 1839–1860 richard s. horowitz

164

11 Matthew Perry in Japan, 1852–1854 alexis dudden

188

12 Philippine National Independence, 1898–1904 andrew yeo

206

13 The Sino-Japanese War, 1894–1895 seo-hyun park

224

14 The Death of Eastphalia, 1874 saeyoung park

239

Conclusion 15 East Asian History and International Relations andrew j. coe and scott wolford

263

Bibliography Index

282 309

Figures and Tables

Figures 3.1 3.2 8.1 8.2

Maritime East Asia c. 1620 page 48 Principal daimyo domains and ports of Kyushu c. 1570 52 Areas under Ming governance c. 1500 131 Territories controlled by the Ming empire, Tumet and Oyirod federations, rebel territories in Shaanxi and Shanxi (Li Zicheng), and rebel territories in Sichuan (Zhang Xianzhong), c. 1640 132 9.1 Taiwan and the Chinese coast 153 Tables 2.1 Dynastic changes and their causes in East Asia, 500–1900 CE

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vii

Contributors

james a. anderson is Associate Professor in the History Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is currently engaged in research for a new book on the Southwestern Silk Road between China and northern Southeast Asia during the ninth to thirteenth centuries. tonio andrade is Professor of History at Emory University. He researches global history with a focus on China. His most recent book is The Gunpowder Age: China, Military Innovation, and the Rise of the West in World History (2016). andrew j. coe is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. His work is devoted to understanding the causes and consequences of violent conflict in human civilization. pamela kyle crossley is Collis Professor of History at Dartmouth College. Her most recent book is Hammer and Anvil: Nomad Rulers at the Forge of the Modern World (2019). Her current work is a global history of the Qing empire. alexis dudden is Professor of History at the University of Connecticut. She is currently working on a book project entitled, “The Opening and Closing of Japan, 1850–2020.” stephan haggard is the Krause Distinguished Professor at the School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California San Diego. He has written widely on the political economy of East Asia, including Pathways from the Periphery (1990), The Political Economy of the Asian Financial Crisis (2000), Hard Target: Sanctions, Inducements, and the Case of North Korea (2017), and Developmental States (2018). He is the editor of the Journal of East Asian Studies. richard s. horowitz is Professor of History at California State University Northridge. His scholarship explores China’s foreign relations and foreign involvements in China during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. viii

List of Contributors

ix

nadia kanagawa is Assistant Professor in Asian Studies and History at Furman University. As a cultural and legal historian of classical Japan, her research focuses on how the seventh- through ninth-century Japanese realm approached the incorporation, assimilation, and configuration of immigrants and their descendants. david c. kang is Maria Crutcher Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California. His latest book is American Grand Strategy and East Asian Security in the Twenty-First Century (2017). ji-young lee is Associate Professor of International Relations at American University’s School of International Service. She is the author of China’s Hegemony: Four Hundred Years of East Asian Domination (2016). saeyoung park is an independent scholar specializing in East Asian and particularly Korean history, cultural studies, and critical international relations. seo-hyun park is Associate Professor in the Department of Government and Law at Lafayette College. Her current research project is on the diffusion of different forms of political violence and military competition in latenineteenth-century East Asian international relations. kenneth m. swope is Professor of History and Senior Fellow of the Dale Center for the Study of War and Society at the University of Southern Mississippi. He is the author of On the Trail of the Yellow Tiger: War, Trauma and Social Dislocation in Southwest China During the Ming–Qing Transition (2018), as well as numerous other books, articles, and book chapters on late imperial Chinese history. richard von glahn is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of California Los Angeles. He is the author of The Economic History of China (2016) and other books on the economic and social history of China, and coeditor of The Cambridge Economic History of China (2021). scott wolford is Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. His textbook, The Politics of the First World War: A Course in Game Theory and International Security, was published in 2019 by Cambridge University Press. andrew yeo is Professor of Politics and Director of Asian Studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC. His books include Asia’s Regional Architecture: Alliances and Institutions in the Pacific Century (2019) and Activists, Alliances, and Anti-U.S. Base Protests (2011).

Acknowledgments

This volume was many years in the making. The original idea evolved over a decade, as David C. Kang grappled with ways to integrate East Asian history into the mainstream of the international relations discipline. Initial forays in this vein included his East Asia Before the West: Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute (2012), a special issue of the Journal of East Asian Studies – where Haggard was the Editor – entitled International Relations and East Asian History: Impact Meaning and Conceptualization (2013) and a number of articles that are cited where relevant. His goal was not to simply sit back and ask historians to enlighten scholars of international relations, but rather to initiate a dialogue and have both sides learn from each other. He decided on the format you have before you: a series of chapters focused on events of consequence from East Asian history, but that are largely overlooked or unknown to the standard Western international relations scholar. Stephan Haggard came into the project as conferences were being held around early drafts of the papers. Most of the chapters were written by historians. As with the invitation extended to Andrew J. Coe and Scott Wolford to ponder a conclusion, Haggard’s participation centered on thinking through the links between the underlying historical material and major themes in international relations theory. His interests in the evolution of the East Asian political economy were continually being pushed back from the postwar period to earlier antecedents as he began to teach survey courses on East Asian international relations at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Above all, both Haggard and Kang were preoccupied with the myriad of ways China could be gotten wrong, and on both the liberal and realist ends of the international relations spectrum. History clearly played a crucial role in the politics of the region, particularly in Northeast Asia. The material was by no means of solely academic interest: events as distant as the Opium Wars and the Hideyoshi invasion of Korea continued to resonate deeply. What could a sober consideration of the long arc of East Asian international relations contribute to understanding not only the discipline of international relations but its current practice? x

Acknowledgments

xi

There were a number of people who were involved at one point or another in this volume, but ultimately did not continue with our project. We particularly want to thank Amanda Cheney, Jennifer Rudolf, and Han-hui Hsieh. The generous support of the Korea Foundation was central to publishing the book, and we are deeply grateful for their support. Kang also received funding from the USC Center for International Studies and the USC Korean Studies Institute. Haggard contributed to the effort – albeit more modestly – through the Korea–Pacific Program at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California San Diego. He appreciates the support of the Lawrence and Sallye Krause chair that he holds and the Pacific Century Institute. We thank all of our funders effusively for their support of this type of scholarship, which is unusually interdisciplinary and cross-national. Lucy Rhymer at Cambridge University Press was a dedicated and supportive editor, always enthusiastic about moving the project to conclusion. We are grateful to two referees for helping to make the overall arc and substance of the book much sharper. Jill Lin provided wonderful research assistant support in putting all the files together.

Part I

Historicizing East Asian International Relations

1

Introduction Stephan Haggard and David C. Kang

What, exactly, are the “lessons of history” for the current East Asian order?1 Graham Allison has asserted that “war between the United States and China in the decades ahead is not just possible, but much more likely than recognized at the moment. Indeed, judging by the historical record, war is more likely than not.”2 Susan Shirk, looking specifically at Asia, follows Allison: “History teaches us that rising powers are likely to provoke war. The ancient historian Thucydides identified the fear that a rising Athens inspired in other states as the cause of the Peloponnesian War.” Also drawing on historical analogy, John Mearsheimer has recently asserted that “a much more powerful China can also be expected to try to push the United States out of the Asia–Pacific region, much as the United States pushed the European great powers out of the Western Hemisphere in the nineteenth century.”3 But what historical record are Shirk, Allison, and Mearsheimer referring to? By far, the most commonly examined case studies of rising powers in the scholarly literature are the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BCE) and the rise of Germany under Otto von Bismarck and the Anglo-German rivalry of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.4 Paul MacDonald and Joseph Parent examine sixteen cases of relative decline in the “great power pecking order” since 1870, all from the European experience.5 Kori Schake describes the British–US hegemonic transition in the late nineteenth century as the “only peaceful transition between global hegemons since the nation-state era came into being,” although she makes this sweeping claim based solely on the European record.6 It is not just power-transition theory that relies exclusively on European cases. Realist theory in all its variants – rooted in a mechanical notion of balances of power – grew inductively out of a particularly violent European historical experience in which a number of similarly sized states competed for survival.7 The reliance on European examples extends to comparative politics 1 4 6

Shirk 2007, 4. 2 Allison 2017, 184. 3 Mearsheimer 2014, 18. Kugler and Lemke 1996, 41; Chan 2004. 5 MacDonald and Parent 2018. Schake 2017, 2. 7 Elman, Elman, and Schroeder 1995, 182–195.

3

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Stephan Haggard and David C. Kang

and political economy as well. Bellicist theories of state formation – the argument that “war made the state, and the state made war” – and theories of the role of institutions in economic growth are derived from European history as well.8 Indeed, it is a virtual cliché to point out the Eurocentrism of contemporary international relations theory.9 To be sure, there are reasons for doing so: the Westphalian order, with its underpinnings in the concept of sovereignty, did in fact influence the wider course of world politics, as it was exported beyond Europe to the developing country periphery. Ironically, new states and their leaders – including in Asia – were among the most jealous guardians of the sovereignty concept in part because of their histories of being colonized. Yet there is also a growing recognition of a “deep bias in internationalrelations and comparative-politics scholarship that helps perpetuate the statesunder-anarchy framework.”10 Moreover, there is an equally troubling circularity at work: theories derived from the study of European history were subsequently used to explain how this European model of international relations developed over time.11 As Pinar Bilgin observes, “while theory builds on history, history is read through theory . . . addressing the Eurocentric limits of IR [international relations] involves addressing the Eurocentric historical accounts that students of IR draw upon.”12 These biases are perpetuated through graduate curricula. David C. Kang and Alex Yu-Ting Lin examined the syllabi of core international relations seminars at forty-two PhD programs in the United States and found that 29 percent of the readings use examples solely drawn from Europe while none of the readings use examples solely drawn from Asia.13 With the powerful world history movement that has emerged in the last two decades, it becomes less and less defensible to operate with a canned set of “greatest hits” from European history as our theoretical and historical reference point: the Peloponnesian War; the classical European balance of power; the rise of Bismarckian Germany; the two world wars; the bipolarity of the Cold War and its end with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yet those who have not been trained in non-Western history have few easily accessible sources for pondering whether different international systems might have operated in quite different ways: on the basis of very different structures and units and fundamental ordering principles. 8 9 10 11 13

Tilly 1975; North and Weingast 1989, 803–832. For a powerful critique, see Rosenthal and Wong 2011. Hobson 2004; Rosenthal and Wong 2011; D. C. Kang and Ma 2018, 137–154; Hobson 2012; Acharya and Buzan 2007, 287–312. McConaughey, Musgrave, and Nexon 2018. Ruggie 1993, 139–174; Elman, Elman, and Schroeder 1995, 182–195. 12 Bilgin 2016, 494. D. C. Kang and Lin 2019, 395.

Introduction

5

Toward an East Asian International Relations The purpose of this book is straightforward: to remedy this lacuna by providing an introduction to the international relations of Asia looked at over a longue duree: from the seventh through the nineteenth century, when contact with the West definitively upset the Sinocentric order. The book draws on leading historians and students of international politics, but is nonetheless written in a straightforward way that would engage a general audience. We undertake the task with two key purposes in mind, the first of which is relatively straightforward. First, we seek to offer an accessible overview of the evolution of the East Asian international system through what might be called the “early Westphalian” history of the region, which we date to the end of the nineteenth century. To do this, we do not construct a single narrative; rather we have focused on key events from this East Asian history as a way of focusing analytic attention. As in the European canon, these events include key wars, dynastic changes, and changing inter-unit relationships that had enduring consequence. The broader purpose is not just didactic. Rather, we also want to force a consideration of the implications of these cases for international relations theory. Long understudied by mainstream international relations scholars, the East Asian historical experience provides an enormous wealth of new and different cases that promise to enrich a theoretical literature largely derived from the Western experience. We are in a position to achieve this most basic of purposes because of a groundswell of scholarship that has started to consider Asian international relations over the very long run. This work has emerged from two directions. First, historians have long been studying these issues but have increasingly drawn on global history frameworks to place local events in a much wider theoretical frame. Second, international relations scholars are increasingly incorporating East Asia into their research, in part because of the rising prominence of the region in world politics. Regarding the first intellectual trend, it is not unfair to characterize much of the historical scholarship of previous generations as privileging national histories. Historians tended to study one period in one particular country, with China at the center. Perhaps the leading scholar whose work influenced a generation of students of Chinese foreign policy was John Fairbank.14 From the mid-1940s and for decades following, his scholarship defined the field, particularly through his 1968 edited book, The Chinese World Order.15 14

15

Despite being anachronistic, we use the terms “China,” “Korea,” and others for ease of use and continuity. As Woodside (2006, 1) observes, “The Vietnamese generally did not call themselves ‘Vietnamese’ before the twentieth century, any more than the ‘ancient Greeks’ called themselves Greeks; but anachronisms cannot be avoided here.” Fairbank 1968.

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Other canonical work included Morris Rossabi’s edited volume China among Equals, which focused on a period of Chinese weakness.16 Historians produced accounts of developments in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Central Asia as well, but these tended to restrict their focus to the country in question. Historians have begun to look at how regional or even global events and interactions have influenced local dynamics. Historians of China, Korea, and Japan are increasingly referring to themselves as “global historians” or “world historians,” who are more interested in the connections among societies than on traditionally defined political or cultural units. This new history still has a core geographical area of expertise, but situates its scholarship more broadly. Some seminal books that explore the international relations of East Asian history in this vein include Evelyn Rawski’s Early Modern China and Northeast Asia: Cross-Border Perspectives, which examines the interactions among all the actors in that region; Victor Lieberman’s Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c.800–1830, Vol. 1: Integration on the Mainland, which puts Southeast Asian history into a much larger global context; and Alexander Woodside’s Lost Modernities: China, Vietnam, Korea, and the Hazards of World History, which makes the powerful argument that East Asia was “modern” fully a millennium before Europe.17 Almost by definition, much of the most exciting work in this vein is now drawing on sources in multiple languages. Kenneth Swope’s history of the Japanese invasion of Korea in the late sixteenth century draws on Chinese and Japanese sources. Tonio Andrade’s work on The Gunpowder Age draws on both Asian and European archives.18 In moving away from Sinocentrism, this new scholarship necessarily had to come to terms with the nature of the broader regional system. It may seem odd to call for not focusing research on a hegemonic order on the hegemon, but this move was crucial for opening up the discussion of core–periphery relations in premodern East Asia. From the other direction, scholars of international relations have increasingly been diving into the historical record in search of data and cases that would permit tests of international relations theory. International relations scholars had on rare occasions studied Chinese history to explore questions of grand strategy, focusing for example on the origins of military doctrine and strategy.19 In the past decade, however, an emerging first wave of social science scholarship focusing on East Asian history has considered the nature of the regional system, similarly using sophisticated methods and drawing on a wide array of regional sources.20 16 19 20

Rossabi 1983. 17 Rawski 2015; V. Lieberman 2003; Woodside 2006. 18 Swope 2016b. Johnston 1995; Hui 2005. D. C. Kang 2010; Suzuki 2009; Yuan-kang Wang 2010; D. C. Kang 2013, 181–205.

Introduction

7

Several books exemplify the state of the art of this first wave of scholarship about premodern East Asian international relations, all focused in various ways on questions of international order and hierarchy. Feng Zhang’s Chinese Hegemony and Ji-Young Lee’s China’s Hegemony both focus directly on the tributary system, and while they disagree on particulars both argue that the tribute system was, in fact, an international order based on the fundamental organizing principle of hierarchy.21 Seo-Hyun Park’s Sovereignty and Status in East Asian International Relations explores how concerns about status and hierarchy continued for Asian participants even after the arrival of the West.22 In both these new literatures, in history and international relations, some common themes emerge. Historians and political scientists are both now thinking in terms of whole systems and how they work. Local histories are increasingly placed in a wider regional context. But at the same time, both are seeking to underline the agency of those actors in constituting the system. Engaging Theory: Hegemony and Hierarchy The second purpose of this book goes more directly to the issue of how history informs our assumptions and theories of international relations.23 If the international relations of East Asia is fundamentally similar to that in Europe – in its patterns and causes – then studying it would simply be confirmatory of received wisdom. But if East Asia poses different observable patterns and causes, then we need to engage East Asia on its own terms and ask whether ostensibly universal international relations theories – such as those on balancing and power transitions – are as universal as believed. If not, there may be more fundamental theoretical insights to be gained about international relations from the exercise, insights that ultimately grow out of the ability to compare whole international systems. If East Asia and Europe not only had different cultures, social structures, and political economic systems, but also had different international systems, based on fundamentally different organizing principles, it could provide profound analytic leverage. In our view, research on East Asian history can directly illuminate at least four theoretical issues that are central to the discipline of international relations: the effects of hegemonic versus multipolar international systems; the effects of hierarchy on international order; the relative causal importance of ideas and material interests in determining international political outcomes; and the question of how the past affects the present. Although in different combinations, all of the chapters in this book address one or more of these core 21 23

J.-Y. Lee 2016a; F. Zhang 2015. 22 S.-H. Park 2017; Larsen 2008. Bially Mattern and Zarakol 2016, 623–654; Reus-Smit 2017, 851–885. For example, International Organization is devoting the entire seventy-fifth anniversary issue to “Challenges to the Western liberal order.”

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theoretical questions. The conclusion by Andrew Coe and Scott Wolford adds to this list by taking up several additional questions, including what we can learn from this long history about international political economy and the role of domestic politics. But while offering new insights, all of the chapters also summarize and build upon a growing body of scholarship on the East Asian order that has come to a general consensus on some core issues. To begin with one of the more obvious differences between the East Asian and Westphalian order, we start with the question of polarity. Polarity has long preoccupied international relations theory. For much of the postwar period, the debate largely focused on whether multipolarity posed a particular risk of conflict. (Only for a brief fleeting moment at the end of the Cold War did unipolar models make a comeback, quickly to fade in the face of China’s rise and America’s relative decline.) For almost 2,000 years, however, historical East Asia was a hegemonic system with one dominant member, not a multipolar system of numerous equally-sized units or a bipolar system with a great power duopoly. Nor was sovereign equality of states a norm. As such, East Asia provides an important comparator to the international system that developed in Europe. Many scholars define historical East Asia as having emerged during the Qin/ Han era of 221 BCE to 220 CE, becoming a complete international system three centuries later.24 Nor was this a Chinese historiographical conceit. As Feng Zhang points out, “Japanese scholars have long argued that an East Asian international society had come into being no later than the Sui–Tang period (589–907).”25 The order lasted until the nineteenth century, when Western imperial powers challenged the system in a more frontal way; the first Opium War between Britain and the Qing dynasty in 1839–1842 (Chapter 10) is often taken as a conspicuous breakpoint even though there was a much longer Western imperial presence (e.g., see Chapter 9, on the Dutch). Regular participants in this system included, in addition to China, Japan, the Ryukyu Islands, the Korean peninsula, Taiwan, Vietnam, occasionally Siam as well as Tibet, and the very different social organization of the peoples in the long northwestern Central Asian steppe. The case studies in Part II probe the nature of this hierarchical and hegemonic order, and it is important to underline its persistence. As Yuri Pines writes, choosing particular starting and end points: The Chinese empire was established in 221 BCE, when the state of Qin unified the Chinese world . . . the Chinese empire ended in 1912 . . . for 2,132 years, we may discern striking similarities in institutional, sociopolitical, and cultural spheres throughout the imperial millennia. The Chinese empire was an extraordinarily powerful ideological construct. The peculiar historical trajectory of the Chinese empire was not its 24

E.g., Rosenthal and Wong 2011.

25

F. Zhang 2015, 12.

Introduction

9

indestructability . . . but rather its repeated resurrection in more or less the same territory and with a functional structure similar to that of the preturmoil period.26

Comparisons with Europe in this regard are telling. To be sure, there is a long-standing theoretical tradition that focuses on the rise and fall of European hegemons.27 But those hegemonies were either brief or associated with maritime powers, and sat uncomfortably with models that emphasized multipolarity and bipolarity. For example, scholars refer to a “Dutch hegemony” that might have lasted for a few decades in the early seventeenth century, but it was notoriously thin; a passing dominance in terms of trade.28 Great Britain’s hegemony lasted perhaps a century, but even then was nested within a wider continental system of great power rivalries.29 American hegemony in the postwar period referred to its relationship with the non-Communist world; the dominant characterization of the Cold War era was bipolar, not unipolar, and as we noted, belief in the emergence of a new unipolar order was relatively short-lived. Neither Dutch nor British nor American “hegemony” was anything like the centuries of Chinese hegemony’s enduring civilizational influence across culture, religion, politics, society, and the economy. When scholars study and theorize about hegemony in its various forms, it would seem plausible to begin with an examination of the Sinocentric order rather than the European one. Chapter 2 begins this process with an overview and periodization of the international relations of historical East Asia, and an initial characterization of the important patterns and regularities that occurred over two millennia. Although Chinese power waxed and waned over time, perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the system was China’s ability to reform after periods of chaos. After all, for all the utility in comparing Rome and the contemporaneous Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE), the one most striking difference is that Rome fell and never recovered, while China did. Kenneth Swope and David C. Kang (Chapter 2) consider the effects of oscillations of power within the core and whether they had discernible effect on the broader system. The central debate in the literature, however, is whether a persistent hegemonic order might have been more pacific than one in which relatively equal sovereign states jockeyed for power. The volume outlines the causes and consequences of a number of wars, including ones that look systemic in scope (Chapters 4 and 7). But there are reasons to believe that the China-centered order was more pacific, at least among its core members, and that the structure of the system was implicated. Moreover, the chapters in this volume show repeatedly that in the wake of wars, the system managed to reequilibrate in ways that appear novel in a realist framework. The reasons take us to some of the mechanisms sustaining the China-centered order. 26 29

Pines 2012, 2. 27 For example, Modelski 1987. Spiezio 1990, 165–181.

28

E.g., P. Taylor 1994, 25–46.

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Not only was East Asia’s structure quite different than Europe’s, the ordering principle of historical East Asia’s international system was different from Europe’s as well. Institutions and norms varied too. Although the contemporary international order’s fundamental organizing principle is sovereign equality among states, many international orders have been hierarchic but nonetheless recognized a wide variety of units as legitimate members. Hierarchy endured over the centuries not only because of the structural condition of continued power asymmetry in the region among the member units, but because of an array of complementary conditions catalogued by Coe and Wolford in their conclusion to the volume. These included the standard international relations toolkit – such as threats of force or forbearance on the part of the hegemon – but also norms, political similarities across the units, and common views of the disruptive role that unfettered economic interdependence could play. In reaching a judgment about the incidence of war in the Sinocentric order, it is important to draw a distinction between two sets of actors in the system, actors that ultimately took the form of quite different unit types. East Asian states such as Korea, Vietnam, the Ryukyu Islands, Tibet, and, for long stretches of time, Japan not only operated within a hegemonic system but accepted Chinese authority. The Central Asian peoples – which could barely be considered states at all – did not. This crucial difference had consequences: China’s relations with the “nomads” were characterized by war and instability, whereas relations with the Sinicized states were characterized by greater stability. Unipolarity per se – defined as the distribution of capabilities – cannot easily account for these disparate outcomes. What is becoming increasingly clear is that a common culture, defined by a Confucian worldview, and its related institutional correlates – both international and national – had consequences. Thus when we argue that the organizing principle of East Asian international relations was a hierarchy, we do not simply mean that there was a single dominant power.30 Also implied is the idea that the units themselves are not to be seen as sovereign states equal in status or even type. We have already noted that China confronted not only states but nomadic steppe peoples and transnational pirate networks as well (Chapters 3 and 9). The system thus invites theorizing about completely hybrid structures. However, even those subordinate units that were statelike were not seen as juridical equals of China. To the contrary. At the core of this hierarchical system was the international order known as the tribute system: a set of institutions and norms that regulated diplomatic and political contact, cultural and economic relations, and established the relationship between the political units. In contrast to the modern Westphalian ideal, the tribute system emphasized the norm of “asymmetry and 30

The theoretical bases of hierarchy have been thoroughly discussed by Bially Mattern and Zarakol 2016.

Introduction

11

interdependence of the superior/inferior relationship.”31 Indeed, inequality was the juridical basis for all tributary relations. In the study of historical East Asia, the term “tributary relations” refers to the institutions and norms that regulated diplomatic, political, cultural, and economic relations between two units.32 As Coe and Wolford note in the conclusion, this was a decidedly “hub and spokes” as opposed to multilateral world order and one that emphasized the explicit norm of hierarchy. But tributary relations were also formalized in two key institutions. The first was “investiture,” which involved diplomatic recognition and the granting of titles by the superior state to the secondary unit. On the one hand, investiture represented a formal recognition of subordinate status; the norm of inequality was explicit. Yet investiture was also a diplomatic protocol by which China (and other units) recognized the legitimate sovereignty of their interlocutors, and thus the status of the leader in that tributary unit as the legitimate ruler.33 Not only did investiture explicitly confirm an unequal relationship between the giving and receiving units, but as Ji-Young Lee points out, “investiture practice signified imperial China’s respect for the political autonomy of the receiving country.”34 The second key institution consisted of “tribute missions,” or the exchange of diplomatic envoys between the subordinate and superior units. Lee observes that in East Asia, “diplomacy was conducted through regular exchanges of envoys . . . in a given social relationship, the meaning of A sending (as opposed to receiving) tribute to B signified that A acknowledged B’s position to be superior to that of A . . . tribute practices refer to a reservoir of Confucian cultural scripts constituting a hierarchical order while regulating actors’ socially acceptable behaviors in the conduct of diplomacy.”35 The frequency and size of tribute missions were explicitly negotiated between the two units, and were determined by their status: higher-ranked units were allowed more frequent missions, could remain longer in the host country, and could bring a wider and larger range of participants. Tribute missions also engaged in trade, and higher status units were allowed greater trading privileges. But such trade was rigidly controlled and was generally considered incidental to the diplomatic and political purposes of the tributary order; as we show, the land-based political economies of the central states in the system relegated trade to an unregulated fringe (Chapter 3). Some sense of the nature of these relations can be seen by considering dyads extending into both Southeast and Northeast Asia. During the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Vietnam sent seventy-four tributary missions to Beijing, an average of one every 3.7 years. From 1644 to 1839, during the Qing dynasty, 31 35

Hevia 1995, 124. 32 F. Zhang 2015, 170. J.-Y. Lee 2016a, 47.

33

Yu 2004.

34

J.-Y. Lee 2016a, 50.

12

Stephan Haggard and David C. Kang

Vietnam sent forty-two missions to Beijing, an average of one every 4.6 years.36 During the Ming dynasty, Lee notes that “Chinese envoys made 186 visits to Korea . . . but Korean envoys made three or four regular visits a year to China’s capital.”37 Even if disagreements exist on the consequences of this system, its existence is widely acknowledged as a crucial starting point for understanding the historical East Asian order. In her important book, Lee concludes that, “if there is one ontological reality that scholars agree on, it is that East Asian states and polities shared certain practices in their conduct of relations with one another . . . diplomacy was conducted through regular exchanges of envoys.”38 Seo-Hyun Park similarly concludes that tribute relations “functioned as a wellinstitutionalized, if regionally confined, system of states.”39 Yongjin Zhang and Barry Buzan write: That there existed an indigenous social order in the history and politics of what we call East Asia today is beyond dispute, be it called the Chinese world order, the tributary system, Pax Sinica, the East Asian order, international society in East Asia or any other. Acknowledging this is to recognize that East Asian states and peoples had historically chosen and established complex institutions and practices informed by their history and culture.40

Although scholarly attention on the tributary system has focused on China, a wide variety of political actors across Asia used elements of the tributary system norms and institutions, even when China was not involved. Political units across East Asia viewed unequal relations – hierarchy – as the natural and inevitable order. Nonetheless as noted, we can distinguish between a thick inner core of participants, in which shared normative elements played a more central role, and a much thinner peripheral layer of participants. Nonetheless, the scope of these relationships suggests why it is more accurate to call the system the “tributary system” rather than a “Sinocentric” system, because many actors operated within the institutions and norms of the tributary system even when they were not interacting with China itself.41 The view that historical East Asia was an international system with a clear international order and distinctive organizing principles, norms, and practices is shared by many scholars. At the very least, examination of East Asia’s international system and order should remove any teleological idea that the European and contemporary international orders were inevitable. Research on the many varied ways in which hierarchy obtained and functioned over the centuries has barely begun, but it should rest on the full panoply of cases and not simply the succession of Western hegemons. 36 38 41

D. C. Kang, Nguyen, Shaw, and Fu 2019, 913. 37 J.-Y. Lee 2016a, 40. J.-Y. Lee 2016a, 47. 39 S.-H. Park 2017, 54. 40 Y. Zhang and Buzan 2012, 10. MacKay 2016; Kwan 2016; Perdue 2005; Skaff 2012; Elliott 2001.

Introduction

13

Ideational versus Material Causes A third important strand of theory that the East Asian cases engage has to do with the role of culture, norms, and ideas in shaping behavior and institutions. The extent to which the tribute system influenced state behavior cannot be dismissed, and there is a growing recognition that culture and ideas were central to how it functioned. As Martha Finnemore notes about the postwar world, we should expect ideational factors to matter in hegemonic systems, precisely because of the distribution of power. In a unipolar system, “material constraints are small. Much is determined by social factors, notably the identity of the unipole and the social fabric of the system it inhabits.”42 We do not seek to privilege this particular view, but rather retain it as a sustained hypothesis. As Ayse Zarakol points out, there are two basic approaches to theorizing about hierarchy in international relations. The first is broadly concerned with “bargained solutions to problems of order.” Zarakol notes that the: trade-off explanation has also been deployed to account for the creation of regional orders. Kang has argued that the hierarchy that ordered East Asian international relations from 1368 to 1841 rested on an implicit bargain in which Chinese authority was legitimated because China crafted the kind of Confucian-inspired social order that was generally valued by, and so conformed with, its subordinates.43

Throughout the volume, we see actors – operating within the constraints of the tribute system – nonetheless bargaining for advantage, offering quid pro quos, and deploying constraints in order to maximize their utility. In the conclusion, Coe and Wolford outline the way in which a variety of Chinese practices comport with the well-known toolkit of dominant powers in the Westphalian system, from military protection and threats to aid and sanctions. But the alternative conception of hierarchy emphasizes the constitutive power of ideas, not rationalist bargaining. As Zarakol continues: in direct contrast to the agentic–contractual accounts outlined earlier, the other dominant strain of IR research on hierarchy conceives hierarchies broadly as deep structures of organized inequality that are neither designed nor particularly open to renegotiation. Such accounts suggest that hierarchy does not just shape the behaviors of actors in world politics but rather produces both the actors (or at least their worldview) and the space of world politics in which they act.44

The chapters of the book return repeatedly to the complex calculations between center and periphery, which encompass material as well as social and cultural interactions. But it is worth underlining that a variety of scholars working on the Chinese orders have dug deeply into its cultural or normative 42

Finnemore 2009, 59.

43

Zarakol 2017, 5–6.

44

Zarakol 2017, 7.

14

Stephan Haggard and David C. Kang

structure as well. Feng Zhang, for example, shows that the tribute system rested on an “expressive hierarchy” that functioned in “accordance with Confucian propriety by establishing ethically endowed relationships for the sake of having such relationships . . . Confucianism was the major, not residual, variable.”45 Qin Yaqing argues that Confucian culture and philosophy provide a profoundly different perspective on politics than does the atomized, individualist, Western philosophical tradition. Qin argues that relationality “is based on more than relations: it is the relational web in which the actor is embedded that regulates the behavior and constitutes the identity of the actor.”46 As the basis of an international system and order of remarkable persistence, this emphasis on ideational and constitutive factors provides a different way to understand the construction of international orders. Many chapters in this book – most notably Ji-Young Lee’s treatment of the founding of the Chosŏn dynasty (Chapter 5) – highlight the importance of ideas and normative issues, and provide a natural comparison and contrast to the European historical experience. Past and Present: Are We All Westphalian Now? The East Asian world endured for many millennia. Its end came in the nineteenth century with the arrival of the Western colonizing powers. A simple explanation of the end of the old order returns to shifts in power and its exercise. These shifts were by no means limited to the European powers. Japan responded to its forced opening very differently than China (Chapters 10 and 11) and subsequently posed fundamental challenges to the Sinocentric order that only added to the pressures emanating from the European powers. But the story is decidedly more complex than a simple shift in power; norms should play a crucial role in the analysis of Western imperialism in the region as well. Ironically, Western powers initially sought to establish a new order in East Asia that bore little relationship to the Westphalian ideal-type. The countries in the region, by contrast, responded by advancing demands for legal recognition that were focused on sovereignty and thus looked decidedly Westphalian; this process is evident in countries as diverse as Japan (Chapter 11) and the Philippines (Chapter 12). This experience thus provides insight into how international systems and orders change and, indeed, end. As a result, it can provide clues for contemporary scholarship that anticipates the end of the “American global order,” as Alexander Cooley and Daniel Nexon call it.47 This debate has played out on many intellectual terrains and reaches far beyond international relations. How “modernity” came to be understood and manifest in East Asia has long consumed the disciplines of the humanities; Korea provides but one example. Scholars such as Christopher Hanscom have 45

F. Zhang 2015, 7.

46

Qin 2018, 236.

47

Cooley and Nexon 2020.

Introduction

15

explored how Korean writers and scholars understood “modernity” in the early twentieth century, and how literature changed from a focus on classical Chinese texts and forms – in line with a Sinocentric focus – to an embrace of the European novel, all within a few decades.48 Similarly, Gi-wook Shin and Michael Robinson’s important book on Colonial Modernity in Korea explores how Koreans learned about and interpreted what it meant to be “modern.”49 Todd Henry’s Assimilating Seoul: Japanese Rule and the Politics of Public Space in Colonial Korea, 1910–1945 has been influential in approaching a colonial modernity that came out of Asia itself through the lens of Japanese urban planning, hygiene, and management of public spaces such as shrines and parks.50 The field of international relations is just beginning to theorize about and explain how international systems and orders change and end. How East Asia responded to the arrival of the West was different than what occurred in Africa, Latin America, and elsewhere. East Asia was arguably the most complete and enduring case of a non-Western international system. Partly because of its very size and continental depth, China managed to resist direct or indirect colonial rule of the British and French variety. Rather, the Western powers sought to impose an unequal legal system that rested on the exercise of extraterritoriality. Western imperialism in East Asia was thus not simply colonization and incorporation of non-units into the international system. It also involved complex issues of how actors embedded in a millennia-old international system would respond to the totally alien set of ideas, institutions, and norms – and indeed ideology – of the Westphalian system. As Bruce Cumings writes: Japan’s nineteenth-century choice (Korea’s and China’s, too) was not between a Western international system and no system but between a Western system predicated on the sovereign equality of nations but seeking to subordinate Japan, Korea, and China and an East Asian international system of centuries’ longevity predicated on the sovereign hierarchies of the Middle Kingdom but affording nearly complete autonomy to Japan and Korea. It is amazing to see how even the experts on late-nineteenth-century East Asia take the Western theory as the norm and cannot get it through their heads that there was an international system (and therefore a norm) in East Asia, that it had lasted for centuries, and that China, Japan, and Korea knew each other, cross-fertilized each other, and traded with each other, whereas in the mid-nineteenth century it was the Western system that was utterly new, deeply threatening, and entirely untried and unproved in East Asia.51

The chapters in Part III detail the coming of this new asymmetric system and the distinctive institutions that accompanied it: the treaty port, extraterritoriality, and legal pluralism. Yet these chapters also show how Western contact layered an imperial order on top of the traditional tributary system. These 48

Hanscom 2015.

49

Shin and Robinson 2001.

50

Henry 2014.

51

Cumings 1999, 7.

16

Stephan Haggard and David C. Kang

chapters underline that by systems change, we do not simply mean changes in the identity, number, or even power of major actors; rather, we also mean precisely these changes in underlying principles. The chapters in Part III all consider the profound effect that Western practice of empire and its contradictory conception of sovereignty had on the region. To understand the full course of change associated with the imperial powers – including both the European and Japanese – it is important to revisit the longer arc of imperial contact. It is often forgotten that, in their initial contact with the region, Western powers – operating through trading companies – were hard to distinguish from the traders and pirates who made up the flourishing East Asian trading system. Nor was their subsequent dominance assured (see Chapter 3 on Japanese piracy, and particularly Tonio Andrade’s treatment of the fall of Dutch Formosa in Chapter 9); rather, they operated on the outer edges of the core system we have described here. By the nineteenth century, however, the Western powers increasingly used their superior capabilities to assert imperial prerogatives. The pursuit of indirect rule associated with treaty ports and extraterritoriality was rooted quite obviously in economic as well as strategic preoccupations, as Richard Horowitz shows in his examination of the Opium Wars (Chapter 10) and Alexis Dudden argues in her treatment of the opening of Japan (Chapter 11). Toward the end of the period covered by this volume, imperial competition was accelerating and imperialism started to take a more direct form in a number of important cases. In 1898 Germany secured a ninety-nine-year lease on the Shandong peninsula and Russia negotiated a leasehold on the Liaodong peninsula between Dairen and Port Arthur. Great Britain secured a naval base at Weihaiwei, and France carved out a sphere of influence in southern China. Most consequentially, Japan emerged as a powerful regional actor in its own right as a result of victories in wars with China (1894–1895) and Russia (1904–1905). In this volume, the run-up to the imposition of formal colonial rule is discussed with respect to the United States in the Philippines (Chapter 12) and Japan vis-à-vis China (Chapter 13) and the Korean peninsula (Chapter 14). Once we conceive of international systems as encompassing both structures of power and purpose, however, we are led to deeper questions of how states adjust to competing principles. Layered on top of the hierarchical tribute system was the very different tribute system of the Western imperial powers and ultimately the imposition of direct colonial rule by both the United States and Japan. Yet the European powers and the United States also brought their international legal norms to the region, most notably in the Westphalian conception of sovereignty. A number of chapters in Part III grapple not only with the standard strategic jostling of the emerging imperial order – one in which Japan flipped from a victim to a perpetrator – but with the role that residual

Introduction

17

hierarchical norms and new conceptions of sovereignty meant for the emerging order (see in particular, Saeyoung Park’s analysis of Japan–Korea relations and the “end of Eastphalia” in Chapter 14). Contradictions and ironies abound. Most notably, the gradual penetration of Westphalian norms laid the groundwork for self-strengthening and nationalist movements that sought to grab the mantle of sovereignty for themselves, reaching their peak power in the aftermath of the World War II. As Barry Buzan points out, there are still strong tendencies within the field of international relations to emphasize a “one-way view of cultural transmission from the West to the rest of the world,”52 when in fact these norms – and nationalism more broadly – were seized by the subjugated with decidedly subversive purposes. However, although those Westphalian norms and values have penetrated deeply into East Asian societies and governments, they have not thoroughly erased ideas rooted in the Chinese hierarchical order either. A particularly interesting case in this regard is Japan. Seo-Hyun Park points out that in the 1870s, “the translation of the term sovereignty was chosen carefully to symbolize the power and authority of the state so that [Japan] could compete with the Western powers, and to a lesser extent, China.” While there were certainly material reasons for Japanese behavior toward China and Korea in the late nineteenth century, it would be a mistake, as Shogo Suzuki reminds us, “to somehow assume that the proclamations of Japan’s ‘civilizing’ role within Asia was merely rhetoric.” It is doubtful that Japanese leaders were able to detach themselves “from their particular social world and cynically use the ‘civilizing mission’ to justify imperialist ideas that had somehow always been latent.”53 The chapters in Part III address these fundamental issues of system change, encompassing not only structural shifts such as the rising power of Japan and the United States but the ideational changes that came with modernity. Selecting Cases The following chapters provide an analysis of twelve events from East Asian history that are widely seen among historians and international relations scholars as historically consequential. As noted, the book is divided into three parts;. Part II deals with the Sinocentric order and Part III with its breakdown in the nineteenth century. The sample of events in Part II is biased toward wars and cataclysmic dynastic collapses: East Asia’s first world war, engaging China, Korea, and Japan (643–668; Chapter 4); the highly consequential emergence of the Choson dynasty (1392, Chapter 5); the Ming invasion of Vietnam (1407– 1427, Chapter 6); the Hideyoshi invasion of Korea (1592–1598, Chapter 7); 52

Buzan 2010, 2.

53

Suzuki 2009, 143.

18

Stephan Haggard and David C. Kang

and the near-century-long Ming–Qing transition (1618–1683, Chapter 8). Although the cases provide insight into who and why these wars started, they also explore how these wars were settled and new equilibria established. Part III focuses on empire, starting with an early example of the defeat of the Dutch in Formosa (1662, Chapter 9) before turning to the Western onslaught in China (the Opium Wars, 1839–1860) and the opening of Japan (1852–1854 Chapter 11). The section then turns to the late-century assertion of Japanese and American interests in the region and the final breakdown of the Sino-centered order through a consideration of the efforts to achieve independence in the Philippines (1898–1904, Chapter 12), the Sino-Japanese War (1894–1985, Chapter 13), and Japan–China relations (particularly in the 1870s, Chapter 14). Surely other scholars will claim that we have omitted crucial cases and other events were more consequential. Others will claim that these cases we show here do little other than confirm the utility of existing theoretical approaches. Yet we believe that the choice of cases captures both the operation of the Sinocentric order prior to the penetration of Western powers and the dynamics of system change that empire wrought on the old order. In lieu of a concluding chapter that simply sums up the various chapters, we invited two leading international relations scholars, Andrew Coe and Scott Wolford, to assess what international relations theory can learn from the study of East Asian history. They engage the book by considering a number of controversies: on distributions of power but also on norms, political economy and the role that domestic politics plays in international relations. The conclusion demonstrates that see this volume not as an end, but as the beginning of a conversation. With respect to the design of the chapters, our basic analytic idea was to begin each with an outline of the “event” and to show the background causes, then unfold the event itself and its subsequent ramifications. Some events are more accurately viewed as processes, particularly the eight-decade period of Ming decline and Manchu conquest (Chapter 8). However, for the most part the chapters follow the model of exploring an event that can be delineated fairly sharply. Although we have divided the book into two main substantive parts, this introduction is followed by two additional overview chapters. These provide orienting road maps of the long political arc of historical East Asia and some distinctive features of its political economy. The political chapter by Kang and Swope (Chapter 2) provides a conceptualization and periodization of the region over the very longue duree – roughly 2,000 years – and identifies the major contours and patterns of the China-centered system. The chapter on regional economic relations by Richard von Glahn (Chapter 3) focuses on a particular event – the rise of “Japanese” piracy in the sixteenth century – but uses that issue to provide a general overview of economic relations in the region.

Introduction

19

Conclusion Our hope is that an examination of East Asia’s past will not only raise issues about international relations theory but urge us to ponder the current order through a new lens as well. An obvious rejoinder to this project was posed at the very outset of this introduction. All the world is Westphalian now. The China challenge is a typical power-transition case. China and its East Asian neighbors are interacting on a global, not regional, scale, and the past is thus arguably irrelevant. As one of us argued over fifteen years ago, “a century of chaos and change, and the increased influence of the rest of the world and in particular the United States, would lead one to conclude that a Chinese-led regional system would not look like its historical predecessor.”54 Yet that does not necessarily mean that a global – or particularly a regional – order will look like some previous Western order either, as Mearsheimer’s observations about the rise of China closely mimicking the United States might suggest. It is far from clear that the Westphalian order has taken as firm roots as is typically assumed nor that history is easily forgotten by the protagonists. First, states that developed over millennia in vastly different cultural and structural situations than those of Europe remain different today. There is a robust scholarship that argues that history does not end, and that the past continues to influence politics and society in the present. Seo-Hyun Park has argued that states create and sustain collective identities and memories, and that they join international orders that are not created on a blank canvas. Park calls this a “usable past” similar to Thomas Berger’s discussion of how collective memory sets “sharp boundaries to the kind of historical narrative that can be adopted and sustained over time.”55 It is simply not possible to address these issues without considering the current conjuncture and the question of whether a new China-centered order is being forged today. This new order is anchored in China’s rapid material rise and its distinctive political economy, increasingly both authoritarian and statist in economic orientation. The question is how much of this “usable past” traced in this volume influences and informs East Asia today? How much has changed? Arguably, Chinese pre-Qing regimes were more similar to each other than to today’s Chinese Communist Party (CCP), given the massive shocks of modernization, the leveling of traditional culture during the Cultural Revolution, and the transition to single party rule. These shocks may also have made China Westphalian, or more specifically, made China more like a standard autocratic single party regime. 54

D. C. Kang 2003, 67.

55

S.-H. Park 2017, 12; Berger 2012, 24.

20

Stephan Haggard and David C. Kang

But few autocratic single party regimes can call upon the historical and cultural resources – including the deep historical resentments of a lost past – that the CCP can. Few countries are massive and centrally located in their regions. Moreover, there are certainly at least some areas in which ideas or values have endured from premodern to modern times. For example, Elizabeth Perry has made the case for a degree of continuity in a quite different sphere. How Chinese think about justice in the domestic sphere is by no means solely a legacy of the post-war era: [the idea] that people have a just claim to a decent livelihood and that a state’s legitimacy depends upon satisfying this claim – goes very far back in Chinese political thought. It has roots in the teachings of Confucius (sixth–fifth century BC) and was elaborated by the influential Confucian philosopher Mencius (fourth–third century BC) . . . The idea that good governance rests upon guaranteeing the livelihood of ordinary people has been a hallmark of Chinese political philosophy and practice from Mencius to Mao – and beyond. It is reflected not only in government pronouncements and policies, but also in grass roots protests.56

One of the most intense debates in the contemporary scholarly literature on East Asia centers on whether China poses a threat to the contemporary Western liberal order.57 It is important to underscore that the purported challenge is by no means only material; this is not a simple power transition. Rather it is one that includes challenges arising from fundamentally different conceptions of political and economic order. On the one hand, East Asia in the early twenty-first century is increasingly stable, wealthy, and powerful. Few countries fear for their survival, the exceptions being Taiwan and North Korea. The most contentious issues in international politics are territorial. Yet as Ryan Griffiths points out: China’s territorial claims are not based on claims over other sovereign states; or on key sections of their landmass. The existing territorial grid has already been determined through diplomacy, war, and the other practices, both fair and unfair, that shape international relations. Of course, conflicting claims over territory do exist on the margins of that grid – Taiwan being one of the most prominent . . . But these cases are limited in number, rooted in history, and not simply conjured whole cloth.58

The political economy is also arguably propitious. After a century of tumult and change, East Asian countries are once again deeply intertwined with each other as well as the rest of the world. Although China–US relations appear to have entered a much more rivalrous phase, it is far from clear that a war of power transition is likely or even possible. Yet, Bentley Allan, Srdjan Vucetic, and Ted Hopf pose the question “How strong is the US-led Western hegemonic order and what is the likelihood that 56

Perry 2008, 38–39.

57

Acharya 2014.

58

Griffiths 2016.

Introduction

21

China can or will lead a successful counterhegemonic challenge?”59 If China is fundamentally different in its identity and it is now at best a partial member of the contemporary order, then can we envision a hierarchical Asian order emerging around quite different principles than those which are constitutive of the US-led system? As Iver Neumann argues, “Memories of previous systems are by necessity relevant for any entry into a new one. Former experiences and present actions are tied together.”60 If so, the concern about the challenge that China poses to the Western liberal order may be fundamentally misguided. The risk is not the wars that realists fear but the emergence of contending ideational orders – for example, built around authoritarian and semi-authoritarian rule and more statist economies – that could be in train. To understand these changes, leading with Westphalian assumptions might be the wrong way to go; reconceptualizing the sources of order itself is required. Above all, this volume hopes to contribute to that larger project.

59

Allan, Vucetic, and Hopf 2018, 839–869.

60

Neumann 2011, 471.

2

East Asian International Relations over the Longue Duree David C. Kang and Kenneth M. Swope

This chapter provides an overview of the international relations of historical East Asia. We begin with the Qin–Han unification of what is now central China (221 BCE – 220 CE), extending into the era of contact with the West, stopping around 1900 when the system had clearly disintegrated, and Western imperialism and the rise of Japan had created entirely new dynamics. Our purposes are multiple. The first is to provide a stylized periodization and chronology of crucial events – what might be thought of as key markers – and how they reshaped the regional order. However, our second is to amplify on a number of the theoretical themes raised in the Introduction, placing them in appropriate historical context. As was discussed in Chapter 1, we begin with the observation that East Asia was a hegemonic international system, and the fundamental organizing principle of its international order was hierarchy. Although the contemporary Westphalian international order’s fundamental organizing principle is sovereign equality among states, East Asia’s historical order was unequal, and recognized a wide variety of units as legitimate. This led to systematic patterns of war and other violence that were different in East Asia than they were in Europe. Compared to the routine bellicosity of a multipolar Europe, in East Asia for long stretches of time internal threats were more significant than external challenges. This hierarchic and hegemonic system was also consequential for the units: state formation followed consistent – yet different – patterns than occurred in European history. Second, given our emphasis upon the significance of China as regional hegemon, the unification or division of China is an important storyline that we will focus on. Dynamics at the center were a key element in determining the nature of the system and key behaviors of the units. It is also important to underscore that while China was clearly one of the most consequential actors for much of the past 2,500 years, there were no irreducible features of the Chinese political system that permitted an enduring characterization over time; 22

East Asian International Relations

23

such teleology is not only a Western trope but one that serves deep political purposes of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as well. Rather, changing cultural ideas influenced the various Chinese polities that rose and fell over time, with modification, adaptation, and debate at every point. As Naomi Standen reminds us, “we should not . . . foreclose the issue, by adopting terms and categories, like ethnicity, that imply the inevitability of the modern Chinese nation-state and posit a linear development toward it.”1 Rather, the dynamics of change provide a fascinating basis for comparison with other places and times. Third, although we do place emphasis on China’s position, new scholarship is overturning many of the most hoary stereotypes, starting with the presumption that the history of East Asian international relations is simply the history of China and its dynastic changes. Rather, we have to think of the history of a vast, vibrant, and diverse region encompassing a variety of political forms on China’s peripheries, from well-established kingdoms and social orders, to frontiers of settled farmers as well as nomadic peoples. East Asian history was not an endless cycle of Asian despotism and stagnant dynasties, one following another, but a gradual, uneven evolution of economic, political, and social practices that changed and diffused over centuries among units of diverse types. The region was more interactive and integrated than is normally believed. Moreover, China’s neighbors realized the significant latitude offered to them by the tributary order and effectively carved out their own spheres of interest. East Asia was always more integrated with Eurasia, the Middle East, and beyond than has often been believed. Although China was the major actor for much of this time, we want to highlight and emphasize the overall variety and dynamism of the region, as it relates directly to how we conceptualize the system. The area we are concerned with includes the area that is now central China, but there were deep and long-standing interactions with peoples all along the great Central Asian steppe, which ran from Tibet across the north and west of China all the way to the Pacific Ocean; Korea, the Ryukyu Islands, Japan, and Taiwan to the east, and a number of political units in what is now Southeast Asia, including Burma, Siam, and of course Vietnam. This enormous area might be called “East Asia,” and although many other regions had regular interactions with Chinese and other traders (Melaka, for example), they were not in regular constant contact or cultural or social relations. Finally, we will consider how – and to what extent – Western contact altered the prior relations we observe. European maritime powers appear to have possessed certain military advantages, but they were operating at tremendous distance and the line between state action and private entrepreneurs proves hard 1

Standen 2007, 30.

24

David C. Kang and Kenneth M. Swope

to draw. Moreover, Asians proved quick to recognize and adopt European military technologies and techniques, contrary to common belief.2 Only quite late in the game – arguably not until the nineteenth century – did there occur the kind of clearly identifiable imperialism in which European states, empowered by the fruits of the Industrial Revolution, subordinated regional actors. The broad sweep of East Asian history can be divided into roughly four eras, each with particular defining characteristics. Phase I – hegemony – extends from prehistory to the Qin–Han dynasties of 221 BCE to 220 CE. It was at this time that unified political rule emerged in what is now central China. With the collapse of the Han dynasty in 220 CE, China experienced three centuries of disunity as various states fought for control. Phase II – state formation – ranges from the fifth to the tenth centuries CE. This era witnessed state formation outside of China, particularly in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. The emergence of centralized, territorial states and the Sui–Tang unification of China during this era created a truly regional system. By the tenth century, China had fallen into disarray again. The Mongol Yuan conquest of China in 1279 marks the beginning of Phase III – the East Asian world. This phase saw the full flowering of the system – China remained both united and hegemonic for almost the entire period from the thirteenth to the twentieth centuries; before then, periods of disunity were roughly as common as unity. Phase IV – imperialism – is marked by the decline of Qing China and the arrival of the West in force in the nineteenth century. This most recent period of Chinese disunity led to upheaval across the region and, combined with Western colonization of most of the region and Japanese imperialism, resulted in the complete disintegration of the traditional East Asian world. European traders and missionaries had arrived in East Asia in the sixteenth century but only became truly consequential in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when East Asia became integrated with the rest of the globe, and the international system became truly global. In the first section of this chapter, we briefly discuss Phases I, II, and III – hegemony, state formation, and the East Asian world. We describe some of the pivotal events that shaped the relationship between China and the enduring political entities along its near abroad: Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. As will be seen, we also need to consider two crucial political entities – the Mongols and the Manchus – that are on the periphery but ultimately took over, yet were simultaneously integrated with, China itself. In the second section, we briefly discuss patterns of war and other violence in the system. Scholars – and the chapters in this book – tend to focus on wars 2

For a fascinating comparative study of the adoption of gunpowder in China and the West respectively, see Andrade 2017.

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because they are key focal points and are often well documented. But a focus only on war can overstate the case and leave the impression that history is simply one war after another. In reality, war in historical East Asia was often separated by long periods of stability and peace. Studying both war and peace, and identifying discrete patterns of both, is key to having a fuller picture of the entire sweep of East Asian history. Finally, it is important not to misread the extent of Western penetration by the defining events that characterized Phase IV – the “high” imperial period of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Initially, the arrival of the Dutch and Portuguese, and later the French and British, was by no means as consequential as Western accounts like to make out. As Richard von Glahn’s subsequent chapter on economic interactions will reveal, there was substantial exchange and economic activity among the participants in the region before the arrival of the West, carried through networks that left little or no room for early European traders to operate. Indeed, this is one reason why early European contact uniformly saw these countries as closed: because they had an enormously difficult time penetrating the already deep and well-developed trade relations and networks controlled and regulated by the main actors. This led to a caricature of Japan as a closed country (sakoku), Korea as a “hermit kingdom,” and a China uninterested in trade. But as has been shown, that was never really the case, and not only for economic ties but for the political relations among the diverse entities in the region as well. Reconstructing the international relations of East Asia over the longue duree means repositioning the role of the West in the region’s chronology. The Evolution of the East Asian International System Any periodization of the East Asian international system rotates in no small measure around two general phases: eras of greater Chinese unity and power, and eras of Chinese disarray. In the “strong China” phases, Asia’s predominant pattern was concentrated power, not a balance of power. During phases of disunity, “China among equals” was always a temporary phenomenon, especially when viewed over the centuries from Vietnam, Korea, or Japan. Even during those times that China was conquered, it remained the center of gravity. As Brantly Womack reminds us, “To say China was ‘among equals’ would be missing a key element of the regional situation. Even to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Japan’s second ‘great unifier,’ the (unachieved) ultimate glory would have been to rule China. China was at the center of a set of regional relationships that it could not force, but were not transposable.”3

3

Womack 2010, 158. On the concept of “China among equals,” see Rossabi 1983.

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Phase I: Hegemony (221 BCE–220 CE) Initial Chinese hegemony emerged with the end of the Warring States period (475–221 BCE) and the unification of what is now central China by the Qin dynasty (221–206 BCE). Although many ideas that eventually influenced state formation had their origins during the Warring States or Qin–Han era – such as Confucianism, Legalism, and the idea of a civil service – none of these ideas became fully manifest until centuries later in Phase II. What did emerge during Phase I was hegemony. However, after the collapse of the Han dynasty in 220 CE, there was no uncontested hegemon roughly throughout 200–500 CE, and then again in 900–1200 CE. With the emergence of the Yuan dynasty (1279– 1368), China remained essentially unified up to the twentieth century. Much of the research that does exist on East Asian state formation explores only the emergence of the Qin or Han dynasties.4 But this exclusive focus on the initial emergence of unified rule in what is now central China ignores the profusion of state-building that occurred outside of China, in Korea, Japan, and later Vietnam, and elsewhere during Phase II, between the fifth and tenth centuries CE. The extant literature treats the initial emergence of unified rule in China as the only event of consequence in all East Asian history and ignores the next nineteen centuries of change and growth. This is as if scholars explored the rise of the Roman empire in the third through first centuries BCE and concluded that since then nothing of consequence happened in European history until the end of the Middle Ages. Located in what is now central China and building upon pre-Qin statecraft and institutional foundations, the Han dynasty was a centralized government that saw a flowering of ideas and institutional innovations in politics, society, and the economy; in addition to its key role in establishing an ideal of unity, the term has even taken on an ethnic overlay suggesting a long-standing identity. China expanded and contracted, depending on local conditions and the relative strength of the political center and the periphery. But Mark Edward Lewis notes, “China owes its ability to endure across time, and to re-form itself again and again after periods of disunity, to a fundamental reshaping of Chinese culture by the earliest dynasties, the Qin and the Han.”5 Pursuant to the goals and findings of the present volume, it is perhaps better to characterize Phase I as the emergence of hegemony, not state formation. Within this order, China as hegemon stood at the top of the hierarchy, and allowed formally unequal and unlike units substantial freedom of action as long as they recognized its authority. China crafted a variety of different relations with these units, tributary relations being most central.6 Feng Zhang notes that 4 5

Kiser and Cai 2003; D. Zhao 2004. On the formation of early Chinese identity with respect to state building, see Di Cosmo 2002; C.-S. Chang 2007. M. E. Lewis 2007, 1. 6 Swope 2015; Wills 1984; J. A. Anderson 2007; L. C. Kelley 2005.

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“China was the undisputed regional hegemon,” while Ji-Young Lee concludes that the “Chinese state was an empire, but the international order in which it occupied the central place was hegemonic rather than imperial.”7 This international order was consequential for the behavior of the actors involved: as this chapter will discuss, in both core and periphery, patterns of war, alignment, diplomacy, and trade in historical East Asia were fundamentally different from those in historical Europe. There was no challenge to this order until the nineteenth century and the arrival of the Western powers. The contrast with the European historical experience is stark. As Bin Wong points out, “Missing from the Peace of Westphalia was any hegemonic power in Europe similar to China’s hegemonic position in East Asia.”8 This order also stands in contrast to the contemporary international order based on egalitarian sovereignty, which was the foundational conceit of Westphalia. As Joseph MacKay observes: For more than two millennia . . . a relatively consistent idea persisted of what Imperial China was or should be. When China was ascendant, as during the Han and Ming dynasties, this identity justified Chinese regional dominance. When China was in decline, it provided a source of aspiration. When foreigners occupied the country, as did the Mongols under the Yuan dynasty and the Manchus under the Qing dynasty, they justified their rule by claiming the Mandate of Heaven (tianming) for themselves.9

Every other political actor that emerged in the past 2,000 years in East Asia had to engage with the reality or idea of Chinese power. Korea, Japan, Vietnam, the peoples of the Central Asian steppe, the societies of Southeast Asia – all had to deal with China in some fashion and decide how best to organize their own societies and to manage their relations with the hegemon. The fact or potential of Chinese power and the ideas and debates about the proper role of government and state–society relations were a fact of life in East Asia. Surrounding peoples could choose to embrace or reject the idea and fact of China, but they had to engage it no matter what they chose. Internal rebellions increasingly threatened the unity of the Han. The beginning of the end came with the Yellow Scarves rebellion of 184 CE, a peasant revolt fueled by agrarian crisis and high taxes. In 220 CE, the Han finally collapsed, and for the next 300 years there was no unified rule or regional hegemon. Phase II: State Formation in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam The emergence of Chinese hegemony in Phase I is certainly an important issue, but was arguably not as important as Phase II, which began in the fourth–sixth 7

F. Zhang 2015, 2; J.-Y. Lee 2016a, 16.

8

R. B. Wong 2018b, 22.

9

MacKay 2016, 474.

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centuries CE. It was at this time that the region experienced the emergence of a number of states surrounding China, in what is now present-day Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. In the first few centuries CE countries began to emerge as political units around the periphery of China. These states constituted the inner core of the Chinese-dominated regional system where Chinese cultural, economic, and political influence was direct and pervasive. Full centralized rule in China only returned with the short-lived Sui dynasty (581–618) and ultimately the Tang (618–907). As Richard von Glahn characterizes it: The might and wealth of the Sui–Tang empires (618–907) at their peak deeply impressed China’s neighbors. Japan, the Korean states, and even (briefly) Tibet imitated the Sui–Tang imperial model, and to a greater or lesser degree adopted the Chinese written language, Sui–Tang political institutions and laws, Confucian ideology, and the Buddhist religion. It was during this era that East Asia – a community of independent national states sharing a common civilization – took shape in forms that have endured down to modern times.10

Indeed, it was the Tang dynasty that made perhaps the most direct advances in national governance, introducing a key institutional experiment: a government run by talent, not heredity, with civil servants selected through a public competition assessing candidates’ qualification, open (in theory) to all males, and held at regular, fixed intervals. This bureaucracy was territorially defined and centrally administered. Historian Alexander Woodside notes: The eighth century, indeed, would make a good choice as the first century in world history of the politically “early modern.” It was in this century that the Chinese court first gained what it thought was a capacity to impose massive, consolidating, central tax reforms from the top down, which few European monarchies would have thought possible before the French revolution, given their privileged towns, provinces, nobles, and clergy.11

Even here, impressive East Asian state-building was driven by emulation, not competition. Korea, Vietnam, and Japan emerged as states between the sixth and tenth centuries CE and existed for more than 1,300 years with centralized bureaucratic control defined over territory and administrative capacity to tax their populations, field large militaries, and provide extensive public goods.12 They created these institutions not to wage war or suppress revolt – the longevity of dynasties in these countries is evidence of both the peacefulness of their region and their internal stability. Rather, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan developed state institutions through emulation of China. State formation in premodern East Asia occurred 1,000 years before it did in Europe; and it occurred under a hegemonic system in which war was relatively rare, not 10

von Glahn 2016, 169.

11

Woodside 2006, 1.

12

C.-H. Huang and Kang 2019.

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under a balance of power system with regular existential threats. This occurred because of diffusion through emulation in both structure and the substance – hegemony instead of multipolarity – and the particular political philosophy of East Asia. Gina Barnes observes that “instances of state formation on the Korean peninsula between 500 BCE and 500 CE were multiple and varied in character. All, however, were secondary states which formed at the periphery of the more powerful large states of China.”13 For Japan, John Wills notes that, “the real story of the 600s was a great flow of Japanese students of Buddhism and of Chinese traditions and political practices to China.”14 As Ken Moriyasu writes, Built in 710 and 794 respectively, Nara and Kyoto were direct copies of Chang’an, the cosmopolitan capital of China’s Tang dynasty (618 to 907). From the seventh to ninth centuries, Japan dispatched 20 missions to Tang China by sea, to learn from its civilization and to bring back Buddhist texts. These missions are known as the Kentoshi. Through them, the Japanese learnt how to build a sprawling capital with the palace in the north, a main street running south and a grid of avenues stretching east to west.15

By 668 CE, as Nadia Kanagawa points out in her chapter in this volume (Chapter 4), the Korean Silla kingdom had allied with the Tang to crush the rival Korean peninsular states of Koguryŏ and Paekche, and Silla had taken control of the Korean peninsula. On the Japanese archipelago, Yamato had gone through a period of rapid centralization and declared itself an imperial realm. The Tang retreated from the Korean peninsula. This massive evolution of the East Asian world marked the emergence of centralized polities on the Korean peninsula and Japanese archipelago that would endure until the modern era. Moreover, the Japanese were impressed with the military might and potential of the Tang. Having witnessed the power of the Tang firsthand in the wars on the Korean peninsula, the Japanese erected defenses along the coast of Kyushu, seeking to thwart anticipated mainland invasions at Hakata Bay. Hakata would later serve as a staging ground for Japanese assaults on the Asian mainland. At the same time, the Japanese fashioned their own means of dealing with foreign traders and emissaries that was informed by the Chinese tributary order but by no means a mere copy of it.16 As Karen Wigan concludes about the countries that comprised the inner core of the system: Compared to most countries in the late twentieth century . . . China, Korea, and Japan are among the most venerable nations in the world; although their boundaries have shifted over time, and the style of their imagining has been continually debated, the notion of nationhood has resonated long and deeply with the majority of each country’s inhabitants . . . this sense of region is quite different from what might be encountered 13

Barnes 2001, 1.

14

Wills forthcoming, 4.

15

Moriyasu 2016.

16

Batten 2006.

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elsewhere in Eurasia or Africa, where national space is often complicated . . . by crosscutting affiliations from a colonial or pre-colonial past.17

The Tang increasingly fell into disarray and ultimately collapsed from within in 907, leading to three more centuries of divided control. Significantly, the fall of the Tang did not lead to a system-wide scramble for power. Various units within China fought for dominance, but neither Korea nor Japan nor Vietnam sought to take advantage of Chinese disunity and seize hegemonic status. Indeed, as will be discussed in the next section, internal challenges were often more consequential than external threat for many of these countries over long stretches of time. Writing about the tenth century, Naomi Standen points out that, “during those two hundred years [after the Tang dynasty collapsed] nobody knew that a Chinese empire would ever again be the dominant power in East Asia . . . the radically different world of the late Tang and Five Dynasties (907–960) . . . saw multiple power centers within the same territory interacting on an entirely different basis.”18 The Song dynasty (960–1279) unified China again, and engaged in endemic fighting against the Northern Liao (907–1125) and Jin (1115–1234) empires. But the Song itself lost much of the traditional Chinese homeland; this phase of weakness is often divided into the Northern Song (960–1127) and Southern Song (1127–1279) eras. This disunity, ultimately resolved by the Mongol Yuan conquest, had severe implications for political rule within the Chinese plain. However, it also illustrated the flexibility of the Chinese tributary order and its general acceptance as even China’s equals or superiors adopted aspects of the tributary order to legitimize themselves and establish status hierarchies in foreign relations. Vietnam emerged as a viable country during this time. There is, unfortunately, an anachronistic twentieth-century nationalist myth of Vietnamese history that tends to be taken at face value by Western scholars and indeed most Vietnamese themselves: that historically, Vietnam feared China and saw China as its main external threat. So deeply has this modern Vietnamese meme of chronic war with China taken root that it is often repeated without reflection by observers and scholars of East Asian security and used uncritically to argue that Vietnam fears China in the twenty-first century. Yet the actual historical record suggests that the rulers of the Dai Viet period were much more concerned with internal stability than they were with invasion from China.19 Liam Kelley is worth quoting at length: In 968 a man by the name of Dinh Bo Linh became the ruler of the area of the Red River delta. He did this not by fighting off the Chinese and declaring “independence.” Instead, he allied himself with a Cantonese warlord and defeated other warlords in the region, 17

Wigen 1999, 1187.

18

Standen 2007, 1.

19

D. C. Kang, Nguyen, Shaw, and Fu 2019.

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some of whom were undoubtedly Han Chinese, but others who were likely Vietnamese or Tai-speaking peoples. Two years later, the Song Dynasty dispatched an envoy who granted Dinh Bo Linh the position of commandery prince (quan vuong/junwang), continuing a long-running practice of granting titles to powerful individuals in the region. What would be different this time, however, is that eventually this title would be elevated to the level of “king” (quoc vuong/guowang), and this kingdom would maintain its position as a tributary state for centuries to come.20

Vietnamese centralization of authority also was not a result of war; indeed, Vietnam’s emergence as a state had more to do with domestic ideas about how best to govern. Victor Lieberman’s long survey of Southeast Asia concludes that, “Interaction with China was probably more important in shaping Vietnamese self-identity than warfare with Chams, Khmers, or Thais.”21 James Anderson observes about Vietnam that: “By 1086 a clear border had been mapped out between the two states, the first such court-negotiated border in China’s history . . . The existence of a formal border between the two polities was successfully challenged only once in the next eight hundred years.”22 Phase III: An East Asian World After a century of skirmishing, the Mongols conquered the Song in 1279 and declared their own dynasty, the Yuan (1279–1368). It was the first unified Chinese dynasty not established by the majority Han people of China. The Mongol Yuan used many of the traditional practices of the Chinese state, such as Confucianism and the tribute system, in their domestic and foreign affairs. But importantly, the Yuan also used multiple sources of ideational power to legitimate their rule, including Tibetan Buddhism. It was the Yuan that conquered Tibet for the first time. Khubilai Khan led the Mongols to conquer the Southern Song (1127–1279), thereby unifying China under his Yuan empire. The Yuan dynasty’s domain encompassed China Proper, Mongolia, Tibet, and other entities in East and Central Asia. In this sense it presaged the actions of the Qing along these lines.23 With minor interruptions, China remained unified until the twentieth century, across three dynasties: the Yuan, the Ming, and the Qing. With the Yuan unification and the emergence of states in Korea, Japan, Vietnam, the Ryukyu Islands, and elsewhere, the thirteenth century saw the full flowering of the East Asian world. In addition to their internal development, these territorial states also conducted formal, legal international relations 20 21

22

L. C. Kelley 2010, 8. V. Lieberman 1993, 539. Yet ironically, it was Vietnam’s experience fighting with the Ming and the technologies gained thereby that facilitated the annexation of the kingdom of Champa in 1471. J. A. Anderson 2013, 271. 23 Crossley 2006.

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with each other, and saw international recognition as a legitimate nation as an important component of their existence. “Tributary relations” refers to the institutions and norms that regulated diplomatic, political, cultural, and economic relations between two units. As Feng Zhang observes, tributary diplomacy constitutes “the tribute system’s fundamental institution, embodying its primary norms, rules, and principles.”24 As the primary official mode through which the relationship between two political units was explicit defined, these relations emphasized the norm of hierarchy – inequality – rather than equality. Tributary diplomacy was formalized in two key institutions. The first was “investiture,” diplomatic recognition, and the granting of titles by the superior state. Investiture was acceptance of subordinate tributary status and was a diplomatic protocol by which one unit recognized the legitimate sovereignty of another unit, and the status of the leader in that tributary unit as the legitimate ruler.25 Not only did investiture explicitly confirm an unequal relationship between the giving and receiving units, Ji-Young Lee points out that “investiture practice signified imperial China’s respect for the political autonomy of the receiving country.”26 Although Chinese power waxed and waned over the centuries, it remained a hegemonic system. As Womack writes, “the Mongols and the Manchus conquered China, but Mongolia and Manchuria did not become the new centers of Asia, nor did they obliterate the old one.”27 The Yuan dynasty rapidly fell into disarray, collapsing after little over than a century of formal rule. The Yuan were replaced by insurgents who took power quickly and named themselves the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). For nearly 600 years from the Mongol Yuan’s conquest of China in 1279 to 1840 in the late Qing era, China under three imperial dynasties remained the indisputable hegemon of the East Asian international hierarchy. Its position was rarely challenged throughout that era, perhaps the most notable exception being Japanese general Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s invasion of Korea in 1592. The invasion was successfully thwarted by a Sino-Korean alliance that emerged out of China’s obligations to Korea as part of the tributary system of foreign relations. In his chapter in this volume (Chapter 7), Kenneth Swope examines the Great East Asian War of 1592–1598, which was the largest conflict on the globe in the sixteenth century, yet is still barely known outside of East Asia. This war is a key case for examining the dynamics of East Asian international relations. Japanese general Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536–1598) sought to overturn the long-standing Ming order and create a new international system that could have fundamentally altered the course of Asian, if not world, history had it succeeded. In the end, the defeat of Hideyoshi’s ambitions preserved the East Asian world order and China’s hegemonic position therein for another 250 24

F. Zhang 2015, 170.

25

Yu 2004.

26

J.-Y. Lee 2016a, 50.

27

Womack 2010, 154.

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years, yet another testament to the viability and malleability of the hierarchical China-centered international order in East Asia. Indeed, in part due to the flexibility of this system and the fact that most participants acknowledged its utility, even such dramatic “events” such as the fall of the Ming and the rise of the Qing were not fundamentally systemchanging events. Pamela Crossley writes in her chapter (Chapter 8) that the Ming–Qing transition is often viewed as a particularly violent example of a dynastic succession within a continuing empire. In fact, it appears to be much closer to the second category – a multidimensional conflict that concluded with a reunification of China. Crossley’s chapter disassembles the “event” of the Qing invasion of China and reassembles the chronology and geography. She suggests that Ming dismemberment was actually a slow process with both interior and border dimensions. The Qing conquest of Beijing was only one component, and the Qing “conquest” was an equally slow process that was first an “event” of reuniting the former Ming territories, and afterward a distinct event of adding tangential territories to compose the “Qing empire” as we tend to know it historically. Although the steppe peoples generally did not embrace Chinese notions of civilization, the basic principles of tribute relations ordered relations among the peoples of the Central Asian steppe. Mei-Po Kwan observes that by the seventh century CE, the main ordering principles of China–Inner Asian diplomatic relations had been formed, which were “formally hierarchic, legitimized by heaven and made manifest by victories on the battlefield, and incorporate ceremonies, titles, and diplomatic rituals that were common to both the Chinese and the nomads.”28 Jonathan Skaff writes that Eurasia was characterized by “diplomatic rituals . . . elaborate displays of pageantry, status ranking, obeisance, gift exchanges, and feasting.”29 Kwan notes that by the Song dynasty, Song–Liao relations were formalized and highly specific, with prenegotiated travel routes, standards rules and etiquette, and even rules for dress and seating arrangements.30 David Wright notes that the exchange of ambassadors and gifts relations embodied “very elaborate and formalized practices of diplomacy.”31 Feng Zhang points out that the Oirats and other Mongol tribes actively used tribute missions in their dealings with China, as well as accepting investiture at various levels.32 For example, between 1411 and 1424 alone, Arughtai sent twenty-seven tribute missions to the Ming, and “Ming titles or ranks were themselves a matter of prestige, as well of material interest.” Even Altan Khan, who created the position of Dalai Lama, was invested as a Ming vassal. In fact, some of the non-Han warlords specifically sided with the Ming

28 32

Kwan 2016, 374. 29 Skaff 2012, 8–9. F. Zhang 2015, 147.

30

Kwan 2016, 378.

31

D. Wright 2005, 108.

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because they distrusted the Manchus and were not sure what kind of deal they would negotiate under the Qing.33 From this perspective, the difference between Korea, Vietnam, the Ryukyu Islands, and Japan’s relations with China in the late imperial period and China’s relationship with the Manchus, Tibetans, Burmese, Uyghur, Mongolians, and the chiefdoms of Sichuan and Yunnan is clearer. The Manchus adopted Chinese state institutions before they invaded China, but not its Neo-Confucian ideology. The others never bought into Neo-Confucianism at all. Korea, Vietnam, and the Ryukyu Islands, in contrast, shared with China an elite who communicated in the same language, shared a similar sense of right and wrong, were given an education that emphasized their country’s ritual role in a global ritual hierarchy, and were able to use this training to maintain their personal access to power. A strong case can be made that there was a distinct Neo-Confucian order in later imperial times, and that the states in this order behaved differently than those in other parts of the world – and differently than these same states behaved before Neo-Confucianism was rolled out or after it had disappeared. East Asia is the story of 2,000 years of widening and the slow evolution of political systems, units, and relations. Despite superficial institutional and organizational similarities, the Chinese Ming was centuries more sophisticated than the Tang of 1,000 years earlier.34 These were also clearly territorial polities: Korea and Japan negotiated formal control over the island of Tsushima by the fourteenth century, with clear rules, boundaries, and laws governing treatment of citizens of both countries. Both Korea and Vietnam demarcated a clear border with China by the eleventh century, and those borders have remained in essentially the same place up to the present day.35 JiYoung Lee observes in her chapter (Chapter 5) that Korea and China spoke from a similar Confucian vocabulary, and that although there were differences between the two sides, they were often largely resolved through diplomacy and negotiation, not imposition by power. Likewise, smaller states such the Ryukyu kingdom deployed this vocabulary for their own purposes, and Korea evolved sophisticated ways of “centering the King of Chosŏn in their diplomacy with the Jurchen tribes, Japan and others.”36 War and Peace in East Asian History Patterns of warfare were systematically different between Europe and East Asia.37 As opposed to the recurrent bellicosity of similarly sized multipolar 33 34 35 37

On this phenomenon, see Swope 2018. For example, the Ming claimed to have modeled their weisuo military system after the fubing system of the Tang. See Swope 2001, 42. Ledyard 1994. 36 K. Robinson 2000; Toby 1984. D. C. Kang 2010; D. C. Kang, Shaw, and Fu 2016.

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European states, East Asia was a hegemonic system. Threats came not from the strongest or biggest state (China), but from the smallest and weakest actors (peoples from the Central Asian steppe). Mark Dincecco and Yuhua Wang are representative of the scholarly consensus that, “in centralized China . . . the most significant recurrent foreign attack threat came from Steppe nomads . . . external attack threats were unidirectional, reducing the emperor’s vulnerability.”38 Rosenthal and Wong concur: “periodically, the people living beyond the Great Wall mobilized armies that could threaten major disruptions. These types of threats typically brought dynasties to their knees, but they occurred very infrequently and were separated by long periods of stable rule . . . rates of conflict were radically different in China and Europe.”39 Indeed, compared to most European polities, China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam were remarkably stable internally and externally. If one is interested in war, it is natural to look where there is fighting. But that leads to an overweighting of war and a biased assessment for patterns of both conflict and stability. Just as important as explaining why there was war in some areas is to explain why there was peace in other areas. Although it is widely acknowledged that there was endemic skirmishing between China and the peoples of the Central Asian steppes, it is rarely asked why threats were unidirectional and arose mainly from nomads, rather than arising from powerful states such as Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.40 Indeed, notable in this overview is the startling longevity of the main participants in the East Asian world. In stark contrast to the European experience, there were literally centuries when most of these countries did not face existential threats from the external powers. Domestic politics often drove system dynamics. Dynastic changes in the hegemon drove systemic change and appear as central factors in a wide variety of events, not only in China but on the peripheral countries as well. Table 2.1 provides an overview of the causes of the rise and fall of these dynasties. What is striking is that only three out of eighteen dynastic transitions between 500 and 1900 CE came as a result of war. The three external transitions were the Tang/Silla alliance that crushed Koguryŏ in 668, the Mongol conquest of both the Northern and Southern Song dynasties in 1274–1279, and the Ming intervention in Vietnam in 1407 on behalf of one Vietnamese dynasty against another. Although most dynastic changes were internal and not external, we should not characterize these states as inherently unstable. Rather, long stretches of stable rule were marked only occasionally by disruption. Between 1368 and 1841 there were forty-three years in which China experienced a pirate raid and 38 40

Dincecco and Wang 2018, 342. 39 Rosenthal and Wong 2011, 162–168. For efforts to grapple with this question, see Barfield 1989; Jagchid and Symons 1989; and Johnston 1995.

Table 2.1 Dynastic changes and their causes in East Asia, 500–1900 CE Country

Dynasty

Dates

Cause of fall

Internal or external

Korea

Koguryŏ

37 BCE– 668 CE 57 BCE– 907 CE 907–1392 1392–1910

Tang/Silla alliance and decade-long war

External

Aristocratic families, civil war, king was figurehead for last century. Koryŏ eventually conquered Yi Sŏng-gye rebelled Japanese imperialism

Internal

710–794 794–1185 1185–1333

Rebellion Minamoto no Yoritomo seized power Nitta Yoshisada conquered them

1336–1573

Internal

1600–1868

Sengoku warring states era, Hideyoshi (2nd great unifier), Tokugawa (3rd great unifier) Meiji restoration

1009–1225 1225–1400 1400–1406 1428–1788 1527–1788 1802–1945 618–907 960–1279 1279–1368 1368–1644 1644–1912

Trần Thủ Độ forced Lý Chiêu Hoàng to give the throne to Trần Cảnh Hồ Quý Ly rebellion Ming China intervened on behalf of Trần dynasty Mạc rebellion Many rival civil wars French imperialism Zhu Wen rebellion Mongol invasions Zhu Yuanzhang rebellion Li Zicheng rebellion Empress Dowager Longyu, Yuan Shikai, and Sun Yat-sen

Internal Internal External Internal Internal External (Western) Internal External Internal Internal Internal

Silla Koryŏ Chosŏn Japan

Vietnam

China

Nara Heian Kamakura shogunate Ashikaga shogunate Tokugawa shogunate Lý Trần Hồ Later Lê Mạc, Lê, etc. Nguyễn Tang Song Yuan Ming Qing

Source: D. C. Kang and Ma 2019.

Internal External (twentieth century) Internal Internal Internal

Internal

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166 years in which it experienced a border skirmish along the Central Asian steppe with peoples along its long northern and western frontiers; but only twenty-eight years in which China was at war as typically defined by political scientists.41 Rosenthal and Wong note that “Peaceful economies can provide more public goods than war-torn ones . . . in China a combination of low taxes and provision of public goods defined good governance . . . the long periods of quiet in the Chinese empire enabled rulers and subjects to rely heavily on such strategies.”42 Similarly, Korea experienced only three dynasties during 1,300 years of existence. Remarkably long periods of peaceful rule were occasionally interrupted by instability. For example, Sun Joo Kim writes about the Chosŏn dynasty (1392– 1910) that: “When more than seventy large- and small-scale popular uprisings broke out one after the other across the Korean peninsula in 1862, the central court of Chosŏn (1392–1910) was caught in great alarm and fear because no such widespread revolts had taken place in the more than 450 years since the dynasty had been founded.”43 In short, no matter what measure is used, historical Korea and China faced far more benign environments than did their European peers. Another clear pattern marks interactions with the hegemon. Korea and Vietnam, existing in the shadow of China, experienced more conflict with other peripheral actors than they did with China. Indeed, the stabilization of the Korean border with Ming China in the fourteenth century, regularization of relations with the Jurchen tribes to its north, and the waning of piracy along its coasts, led to a decline in military preparedness. Kenneth Lee writes that, “After two hundred years of peace, Korean forces were untrained in warfare and were scattered all over the country in small local garrison troops. Koreans were totally unprepared on land.”44 Mark Peterson observes that, “Korean history is remarkably stable and peaceful,”45 while Kirk Larsen notes that there were “critical moments in which the Chinese dynasty possessed both the capability and the momentum necessary to complete aggressive expansionistic designs [against Chosŏn] but decided not to do so.”46 In fact the main reason China seems not to have acted is because it deemed that such invasions of Korea were not in its long-term strategic interest. As Kenneth Swope notes in the following sections, the Ming officials referred to Korea as “the lips that protect China’s teeth.” Chinese officials recognized the value of having a loyal ally between them and the tribes of the northeast and the Japanese, and they proved willing to join Korea in meeting these threats when their mutual interests were at stake. Security and friendship seemingly counted for more than adding additional territory to an already vast empire. 41 43 46

D. C. Kang, Shaw, and Fu 2016, 773. 42 Rosenthal and Wong 2011, 189–190. Sun Joo Kim 2007, 993. 44 K. Lee 1997, 99. 45 M. Peterson 2018. Larsen 2012, 9.

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Vietnamese rulers also displayed very little military attention to their relations with China, which were conducted extensively through the institutions and principles of the tributary system. Rather, Vietnamese leaders were clearly more concerned with quelling chronic domestic instability and managing relations with Champa and other kingdoms to their south and west. New research on Vietnam also reveals similar patterns. Using primary sources from premodern Vietnam, Kang, Nguyen, Fu, and Shaw find that over a fourcentury period Vietnam experienced border skirmishes in a total of fifteen years. Interstate war occurred in thirty-nine years, or 9.2 percent of total years. The Vietnamese court was far more often involved in dealing with internal revolts (fifty-six years) or regime contestation (sixty-four years).47 As would be expected by a relationship organized by hierarchy, the Vietnamese court even occasionally sought the Chinese court’s cooperation in putting down rebellions. Liam Kelley observes that “Vietnamese envoys passionately believed that they participated in what we would now call the Sinitic or East Asian cultural world, and that they accepted their kingdom’s vassal status in that world.”48 The patterns identified in this chapter appear to directly challenge a balance of power approach. As noted previously, despite being far smaller, Japan invaded Korea in 1592, intending to conquer China. Not only does this war not follow expected realist theories about how conflict follows the distribution of capabilities, it was also the only war between China and Japan in over six centuries. The fascinating question is why these states chose not to fight for so long, despite having the logistical and organizational capacity to wage war across water and on a massive scale. the Korean state had the capacity to mobilize extraordinary military forces when necessary. During the Imjin War (1592–1598) Korea mobilized up to 84,500 troops along with 22,200 guerrilla soldiers.49 The Japanese had invaded with a force of 281,840 troops, the initial invading contingent consisting of 158,700 men.50 By way of contrast, the Spanish Armada of 1588 consisted of 8,000 sailors and 18,000 soldiers. The premodern East Asian states had the logistical and organizational capacity to mobilize and deploy at great distances and across water military power that was ten times greater than was conceivable in contemporaneous Europe. Realist approaches that emphasize the causal role of relative capabilities have difficulty explaining these patterns. Realism would predict that the far more powerful state (China) would attack the weaker state (Japan), not the other way around. Realism would further predict that the two weaker states, Korea and Japan, would ally together against China – yet it was Korea that sought China’s help to counter the Japanese threat, not the other way around. 47 50

D. C. Kang, Nguyen, Shaw, and Fu 2019. Palais 1996, 78.

48

L. C. Kelley 2005, 2.

49

Palais 1996, 82.

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Indeed, although the social scientific research of war in East Asian history is only beginning, there is extensive evidence that states did not balance power and that smaller states did not ally together to balance a larger threat. For example, in the eleventh century, the Song never allied with the Xi Xia to balance the Liao. More perplexing from a realist perspective, in the early thirteenth century, the Song were so focused on destroying the Jin that they allied with and ignored the clear and rising Mongol threat for long stretches of time.51 As Charles Peterson pointed out, Song grand strategy was inextricably intertwined with its worldview: It has in hindsight struck observers since the thirteenth century that, with the Mongols rising in the rear of Chin, it was not a good idea to assist in the destruction of the regime. But was there ever a genuine choice? The Sung were prisoners of a powerful revanchist heritage which in turn rested on fundamental conceptions of their place in the world and in the cosmos. The former demanded unremitting efforts to recover the ancient Chinese heartland, the latter, uncontested Chinese supremacy over the nations of the world, morally and politically.52

Nadia Kanagawa’s chapter in this volume on the fall of Koguryŏ in 668 CE (Chapter 4) shows similar patterns. It was the competing Korean states that pulled the powerful Chinese Tang empire into the Korean peninsula, as each kingdom sought to use Tang power for its own ends. These wars did not follow the expected pattern of an ascendant Tang dynasty becoming more powerful and expanding outward. Rather the opposite dynamics were at play – the Tang was pulled in by smaller Korean kingdoms. That such dynamics worked so clearly against expected realist and materialist theories makes examining these cases even more important for testing and assessing whether and how our theories of international relations may be used across time and space. A hegemonic system with different ordering principles functions differently than a multipolar system. Indeed, there is evidence that it was not differences in capabilities, but rather ideational and cultural factors, that drove much of the conflict during much of premodern East Asia. As noted previously, David C. Kang identified two broad patterns of violence during the fourteenth to nineteenth centuries: “China’s relations with the Central Asian peoples on its northern and western frontiers were characterized by war and instability, whereas relations with the Sinicized states on its eastern and southern borders were characterized by peace and stability. Unipolarity – Chinese military and economic predominance – cannot account for both of these simultaneous outcomes.”53 Generated by a common Confucian worldview, political units within the core shared a sense of legitimacy, and the institutions of the tributary order played a stabilizing role in their relations. It is not surprising that those units that rejected Confucianism and Sinic notions of cultural achievement 51

Yuan-kang Wang 2010, 60.

52

C. Peterson 1983, 230.

53

D. C. Kang 2010, 10.

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engaged in conflict with those who did. Yet even these units sometimes accepted titles of authority from China and/or utilized the Confucian-derived hierarchy for their own ends, as noted in the previous section. Furthermore, periods of Chinese unity saw far more stability; periods of Chinese disunity saw greater violence throughout the region. Phase IV: Imperialism and the Arrival of the West The most recent period of Chinese disunity began in the late nineteenth century. The Qing dynasty began to crumble from within, wracked by massive uprisings such as the Taiping rebellion (1850–1864), which became one of the bloodiest wars in history, with an estimated twenty million deaths. Although the Qing survived, it was severely weakened both domestically and internationally. In this power vacuum Western imperial powers gained increasingly expansive rights and privileges within China, and the Qing also increasingly lost its position as East Asian hegemon. The resultant period of Chinese weakness, Western imperialism, and the rise of imperial Japan led to a century of instability and warfare, and a reordering of relations throughout the region. Europeans and Americans had begun to arrive in significant numbers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as missionaries and traders that arose during the European Renaissance. Ferdinand Magellan came to Cebu in the Philippines in 1521, yet was killed just two weeks later. In 1557 the Portuguese gained a permanent colony on Macau, which they held until 1999 as a trading entrepôt. Slowly European states began to conquer and colonize various political spaces in East Asia, but usually operating at the far edges of the core system that we have described in the previous section. Dutch East India Company colonies or outposts were established in Atjeh (Aceh), 1667; Macassar, 1669; and Bantam, 1682. The company established its headquarters at Batavia (today Jakarta) on the island of Java, and the Dutch East India Company trade post in Japan on Deshima (1641–1857). Note that it was not until the Treaty of Saigon in 1862, however, that the Vietnamese emperor ceded France three provinces of southern Vietnam to form the French colony of Cochinchina. As the Europeans began to compete with the Chinese trade networks in Southeast Asia, they had a much more difficult time. Gang Zhao notes that, “Wherever Dutch traders landed, Chinese businessmen soon appeared to compete with them. Because the Chinese traders had a longer history of trade with the local people, were more aware of their needs, and had a wider commercial network, they generally won.”54 For example, even in Batavia (Jakarta), a Dutch colony, the annual average number of Chinese ships arriving 54

Zhao 2006, 53.

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for trade far exceeded the number of Portuguese ships arriving. Richard von Glahn addresses economic relations directly in Chapter 3. Here we simply note that the initial impact of Western traders was less influential than traditionally believed. European penetration was rarely politically significant until the nineteenth century. Tonio Andrade’s chapter on the first European–Asian war (Chapter 9), where the Formosans drove out the Dutch from Taiwan, is an important story. These cases show when that imperial system really began to crawl into the center of the system and upset or rearrange established patterns of authority and trade. In 1624, the Dutch East India Company established a colony on the island of Taiwan, intended to serve as a port from which to engage in the rich China trade. Yet in 1662, the Taiwan colony was captured by a family of former Chinese pirates, led by the famous general Zheng Chenggong. Andrade shows that the Dutch did have a level of military superiority vis-à-vis their Chinese adversary, but East Asian actors retained considerable powers well into the nineteenth century compared to their European counterparts. The West truly began to affect East Asia when conquest and colonization became as important as trading. The first actual colony was Spain’s claim of the Philippines, which lasted from 1542 to 1898, or 356 years. As noted previously, the Portuguese won a concession for the port of Macao in 1557, only relinquishing the city back to China in 1999 (442 years). The vast majority of colonization occurred in the nineteenth century, however. Britain claimed Singapore and Malaya (Malaysia) in 1826; the Netherlands claimed Indonesia in 1830; Britain won the concession at Hong Kong in 1842 and formally colonized India in 1858. The French colonized Vietnam and Indochina in 1858; while Japan claimed the Ryukyu Islands in 1879 and Korea in 1910. Germany, Great Britain, Russia, and France won “unequal access” to China through treaties forced on the reeling Qing empire during the nineteenth century. The only country to formally avoid any colonization in Southeast Asia was Thailand, although the British exerted significant influence on Siam through the Burney Treaty in 1826 and the Bowring Treaty in 1855. The United States, for its part, began a westward expansion that resulted in a series of American possessions: the United States claimed Hawaii in 1893, Samoa in 1900, and in 1898 began a six-year war to conquer the Philippines that also resulted in the United States taking possession of Guam. Andrew Yeo’s chapter (Chapter 12) deals directly with the Philippine declaration of independence in 1898; the US campaign was an unpopular jungle war in Southeast Asia that resulted in thousands of US casualties and an estimated 200,000 Philippine deaths. While this wave of colonization was occurring, a significant marker of the changing international system and the change in the state of the various East Asian countries were the Opium Wars of 1839–1860. These wars – discussed in Richard Horowitz’s chapter in this volume (Chapter 10) – were consequential

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for destroying the old system of international relations, based on the tribute system; and the integration – however partially – of East Asian states into the Western, Westphalian system of international relations. The transition was consequential and wrenching for all East Asian societies. The system widened and changed drastically: most significantly, the colonizing Western powers presented new and dangerous challenges for some East Asian countries. In addition, Westphalian principles and institutions obliterated the tributary order in only a few decades. The most notable, perhaps, was the Japanese imperial effort. With the opening of Japan by US commodore Matthew Perry in 1858, discussed in the chapter by Alexis Dudden (Chapter 11), the Japanese embarked on a revolution of their own that overthrew the long-standing Tokugawa regime and embarked on a remarkable learning process that changed society, business, and its government. The result was that within five decades, the Japanese became the first non-Western industrialized power, and also became the first non-Western country to defeat a Western power in war in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. Japan began a series of colonization that only ended in 1945 after a long and devastating series of wars with China and the United States in particular. Understanding how China and the other East Asian countries transitioned and adapted from the tribute system to the Westphalian system, what elements they brought with them, and what still remains today, can help scholars explain both contemporary East Asian regional dynamics and also anticipate future change of the international order more broadly. East Asian countries were forced to deal with Western powers as a fact of international life. The order changed, as well: hierarchy and tributary relations were of little use in dealing with these new powers, which brought with them notions of sovereign equality and diplomacy conducted in European ways and using European languages. These concepts were not at all self-evident to East Asians. How and to what extent enduring conceptions of international order from both East Asia and Westphalia interact will be an important area of future research. The chapters in this book highlight the need to make regional dynamics a central research focus, and not to assume that the Western ideas and principles will replicate themselves seamlessly around the globe. As concerns about the future of the contemporary Western liberal order increase, and as it becomes clear that the periphery has been less enthusiastic about that order than the democratic capitalist core, realizing that East Asia experienced a system and order change less than two centuries ago can provide a powerful lens with which to study how, why, and in what ways international orders change and evolve, and how different countries deal with these changes differently.

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Conclusion East Asia was a vast, interconnected region for centuries before the arrival of the West. Although China often fell into disarray, the reality of Chinese power – both material and cultural – made this a hegemonic system. The centrality of Chinese power and ideas was never far away, even for those peoples who rejected them both. But the system was much more than China, as well: the peoples of the Central Asian steppe, from Tibet over to Mongolia and beyond, the peoples of Southeast Asia – from Burma to Siam and Vietnam – all had regular interactions with each other. A number of observations arise from this far too brief overview of the region. First, the historical order was a hegemonic/hierarchical one, with distinctive patterns of war and peace as a result. Second, ideas and normative factors appear to be just as consequential as were the distribution of capabilities and the relative power of the units. Finally, by the end of the nineteenth century, this was an international order in flux in which empire was about to take a very different turn. The rise of Japan as the most adroit response to the arrival of the West, and the difficulties China faced in changing, highlights the unsettled nature of the region in the late nineteenth century. It is only a century later that the region appears to be reestablishing stability and prosperity after a century of chaos and change.

3

The Political Economy of the East Asian Maritime World in the Sixteenth Century Richard von Glahn

Narratives of the “Age of Exploration” inaugurated by Columbus’s transAtlantic voyage in 1492 continue to privilege the place of European traders, missionaries, and conquerors as the paramount agents of globalization. Western world history scholarship has begun to acknowledge the vitality of Asian maritime commerce – particularly what Geoff Wade has dubbed Asia’s “Early Age of Commerce” – before the arrival of the Europeans.1 Yet when it comes to the post-Columbus period – during the initial formation of a global economy – Asians vanish from the center stage.2 Western perspectives too often abide in the long-standing trope that the seas encircling East Asian states and civilizations rendered them inert and isolated from outside influences until the forced “opening” of China, Japan, and Korea by Western gunships in the mid-nineteenth century. But maritime commerce had thrived in East Asia long before the first wave of globalization. Upon venturing into Asian seas at the turn of the sixteenth century, Portuguese mariners were amazed to find flourishing trade networks spanning the oceans from India to China. The Portuguese (followed by the Spanish and the Dutch) would insinuate themselves into a dynamic of maritime trade and cross-cultural intercourse that had existed for centuries.3 Presumptions about European maritime and commercial supremacy across the globe in the wake of Columbus’s voyages die hard. Especially pernicious is the conviction that the Chinese empire remained eternally indifferent, if not hostile, to foreign trade, based on the endlessly repeated quotation of the Qianlong emperor’s (r. 1735–1796) famous letter to the British monarch George III, in which the Chinese sovereign declared that “we possess all things. 1 2

3

Wade 2009. A recent study of the maritime history of the world that attempts to give due attention to maritime Asia nonetheless dates the end of its “Golden Age” to the conclusion of Zheng He’s voyages in 1433, and its chapter on “The Birth of Global Trade” exclusively features European agents. See L. Paine 2013. For a balanced digest of this story, see Gipouloux 2011.

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I set no value on objects strange or ingenious, and have no use for your country’s manufactures.”4 Scholarship on international relations in premodern East Asia – in Asia as well as the West – remains in thrall to the notion of a “Chinese world order” premised on the supremacy of the Chinese empire and the orchestration of diplomatic relations within a rigidly ritualized tributary system. It is often assumed that the tributary system impeded foreign commerce by subjecting it to the imperative of ritual fealty to the Chinese emperor. But it was only the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) that fused together tributary relations and trading privileges. Private maritime trade flourished during both before the Ming and, after 1683, under the Manchu-ruled Qing dynasty (1644– 1911) as well. The prohibition against private maritime trade enacted by the founding emperor of the Ming, Hongwu, in 1374 was thus an anomaly. Moreover, the Ming state’s efforts to interdict maritime commerce ultimately failed when, in the sixteenth century, the economic and political forces unleashed by the integration of Asian and global trading networks became irresistible. A comprehensive history of the political economy of maritime East Asia is not possible within the scope of this chapter. Instead, I will focus on the proximate cause of the repeal of the Ming ban on private overseas trade in 1567 – the eruption of “Japanese piracy” along the seacoasts of southeastern China – to illustrate the interplay of commercial, political, and military forces that transformed the East Asian international order at a critical moment in its evolution. Europeans played bit parts in this drama, but the main stages were occupied by Asian powers (including, in addition to the Ming imperium, the Korean, Vietnamese, and later Japanese regimes that emulated the Chinese model of empire); the “port polities” that were a distinguishing feature of this age of East Asian history; and merchant coalitions, above all the stateless “Japanese pirates.” “Japanese pirates” (Wokou [Jap. Wakō] 倭寇), as they were called by Ming officials, in fact were neither pirates nor Japanese. Instead, they were multinational merchant seafarers – mostly Chinese – who in the face of the Ming prohibition on overseas trade turned to smuggling, and ultimately to raiding. Many of these smugglers were based in the Japanese islands, or conducted trade between China and Japan, hence the appellation. Beginning in 1547 the Ming court made a concerted effort to eradicate contraband trade along the southeast coast. In response, the smugglers banded together and retaliated with violent attacks on coastal cities. Armed conflicts between the Ming and the Wokou reached their peak intensity during the decade between 1552 and 1562. The Ming forces prevailed, but the Ming court found itself unable to arrest 4

Citations of this letter are legion, and persist to the present. For a recent example, see de Zwart and van Zanden 2018, 24.

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clandestine commerce, and in 1567 it revoked Hongwu’s maritime trade ban. During the final seventy-five years of the Ming dynasty China experienced an unprecedented boom in overseas trade and became an integral part of the first truly global trading system. The transformative effect that global trade had on China’s domestic economy (and its society and culture as well) has been well-studied in recent years. But a closer examination of the “Japanese piracy” phenomenon reveals that the imbrication of trade, diplomacy, and war during the mid-sixteenth century had far-reaching effects – political as well as economic – across maritime East Asia. This chapter will explore three features of these interactions: (1) the reshaping of commercial and political alliances across maritime East Asia engendered by the emergence of a global trading system based on the production and exchange of silver bullion; (2) the role of military conflict – and gunpowder weaponry – in state-making in maritime East Asia; and (3) the emergence – albeit temporary – of the “port polity” (whose economic base rested on maritime trade rather than land revenues) as an alternative to the Chinese model of bureaucratic agrarian empire. Formation of the East Asian Maritime Trade Network The main catalyst for the rise of maritime trade in East Asia was the prodigious economic transformation of China during the Song dynasty (960–1279). The rise of the rice economy and exploitation of the rich resources of South China raised agricultural productivity, engendered rapid population growth, and stimulated the emergence of new technologies and industries. Tea, porcelain, silk, iron goods, paper, books, and sugar as well as staple foods such as rice, soybeans, and wheat became the major commodities traded in regional, national, and even international markets. The evergreen conifer forests of South China supplied the key raw materials for shipbuilding, one of many industries that underwent significant technological improvement. The adoption of deep-keeled ships, stern-post rudders, and the nautical compass enhanced the capabilities of seafarers to venture overseas. In addition, to an unprecedented degree the fiscal base of the Song government relied on indirect taxation of trade and consumption, and maritime customs became an important source of state revenues.5 Expansion of overseas trade also was fostered by the formation of transnational merchant networks that linked together the principal maritime emporia of East and Southeast Asia.6 Arab traders from the Persian Gulf and Tamils from southern India settled in southern Chinese ports.7 But much of China’s maritime trade was handled by Chinese seafarers, who commonly joined 5

von Glahn 2016, 208–278.

6

Wade 2009; Heng 2009.

7

Chaffee 2018.

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together in partnerships to pool capital and diffuse the risks of overseas trading expeditions. Chinese traders entirely dominated maritime trade with Korea and especially Japan, which by the turn of the thirteenth century became China’s leading trading partner. Rapid growth in Sino-Japanese trade was driven by exports of Chinese bronze coin to lubricate the development of a monetary economy in Japan, which minted no coin of its own. Massive quantities of Song coin were exported to Japan, and in 1226 the Kamakura shogunate officially recognized Song coin as its monetary standard.8 Japanese handicrafts – including swords, armor, fans, and lacquer – were held in high esteem in China, but in the twelfth–thirteenth centuries Japan’s main exports to China consisted of gold and bulk commodities such as sulfur (for gunpowder manufacture), timber, and mercury. At this same time Ningbo, with ready access to the Southern Song capital of Hangzhou, emerged as China’s main gateway of international trade. Hakata (modern Fukuoka) – designated by the Japanese court as the single port open to foreign traders – became an enclave of Ningbo merchants and shipping agents, who outnumbered the native Japanese population. The Mongol conquest of Song in 1279 and the seagoing armadas dispatched by Khubilai Khan to invade Japan in 1274 and 1281 disrupted East Asian maritime trade, but the effects were temporary. The Mongols ardently promoted commerce, and under their aegis maritime exchange with the Indian Ocean world and Japan quickly rebounded. Mongol nobles, acting through commercial agents, became deeply involved in trade; the ortoq merchant cartel – primarily composed of Central Asian Muslims – at times enjoyed a monopoly over maritime trade; and powerful merchant families often gained administrative appointments, including serving as maritime commissioners. Government officials themselves organized and dispatched overseas trading vessels. Competition with private merchants intermittently provoked the government to enact (short-lived) bans on private maritime trade. But on the whole maritime trade flourished during the period of Mongol rule over China.9 From the 1330s onward, however, Sino-Japanese trade entered increasingly turbulent waters. Following the accession of Toghon Temür (r. 1333–1370) as emperor, the Mongol court under the direction of chief minister Bayan adopted a harsh attitude toward Japan and – in part, at least, to eradicate the corruption and graft perpetrated by Ningbo’s maritime commissioners – suspended trading relations. Traders from Japan refused entry to Ningbo resorted to violent pillage of other seacoast towns, inciting widespread alarm over nefarious “Japanese pirates” (Wokou). Trade relations were restored following Bayan’s fall from power in 1340, but after 1348 China itself was engulfed in civil wars. As opportunities for trade vanished, seafarers resorted to piracy. In the 1350s 8

von Glahn 2014a.

9

Yokkaichi 2008; Heng 2009, 63–71; Enomoto 2007.

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Figure 3.1 Maritime East Asia c. 1620

Wokou began to prey on commercial shipping in the Bohai Gulf and the tribute fleets that delivered grain and other goods from Jiangnan to the Mongol capital of Dadu (modern Beijing). The precise origins and identity of these “Japanese pirates” is obscure, but recent scholarship suggests that at this time the term was applied to transnational groups of seafarers based in southern Korea, northern Kyushu, and the principal islands – Jeju, Iki, and Tsushima – lying between them (Figure 3.1).10 10

Enomoto 2007, 106–175; Murai 2013, 123–173.

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The Ming Tributary Trade System and the Ryukyu Connection Upon declaring the founding of his new dynasty, the Ming emperor Hongwu (r. 1368–1398) undertook drastic measures to eradicate what he regarded as the corrupting taint of Mongol rule and to restore the values of the agrarian society enshrined in the Confucian Classics. Hongwu repudiated both the cosmopolitan spirit of the Mongol world-empire and the robust market economy that had flowered during Song times. Seeking to restore the autarkic village economy idealized in Confucian doctrines, he created a fiscal system predicated on inkind tax payments, conscripted labor service, self-sufficient military farms, and payments to officials and soldiers in goods rather than money.11 In addition, to secure border defense and discourage commercial development, the Ming court issued decrees prohibiting its subjects from venturing abroad, culminating in a comprehensive ban on maritime trade in 1374. From the outset Hongwu also was determined to reestablish China’s supremacy among its neighbors by creating a Sinocentric world order in place of the Mongol world-empire. He instituted a highly formalized system of tributary diplomacy that exalted the ritual hegemony of the Chinese emperor while compelling deference and a nominal form of vassalage from foreign rulers. Foreign embassies arriving in China were permitted to engage in three types of exchange: (1) submission of tribute, such as exotic goods from their home countries, which were lavishly rewarded with the bestowal of imperial gifts; (2) official trade, in which the Ming officials reserved the right to purchase (at prices they determined) goods brought by foreign merchants who accompanied the embassies; and (3) private trade, whereby the remaining commercial stock could be sold to Chinese merchants through the intermediation of brokers assigned by the government. Thus the hand of the Ming government weighed heavily on all aspects of tributary trade, and effectively throttled the flourishing overseas commerce, especially between China and Japan.12 Among foreign rulers seeking access to Chinese goods none were more avid than the Ashikaga shoguns in Japan, who had supplanted the Kamakura shogunate in the 1330s. As mentioned previously, in the absence of domestic coinage Japan’s rulers and seigniorial class depended on a steady infusion of Chinese coin to maintain commercial exchange and revenue extraction. But the Ming prohibition of private trade, followed by the suspension of Ming coinage in the 1430s, sharply diminished the export of coin to Japan. Perturbed by ever more importunate Japanese appeals to expand the scale of tribute trade, the Ming court on the contrary repeatedly reduced the scale and frequency of Japanese tribute missions. However, the Japanese were able to avail themselves 11 12

von Glahn 2016, 285–289. The most thorough study of the Ming maritime ban and its relationship to the tributary system is Danjō 2013.

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of an alternative means of access to the Chinese market via the Ryukyu kingdom, which ruled the Okinawan archipelago. At the time of the Ming founding Okinawa had been divided into three separate chiefdoms, each of which obtained Ming recognition as a tributary state. In 1429, Shō Hashi vanquished his rivals and united the Okinawan archipelago under his Ryukyu kingdom. The Shō kings developed close ties to the Ming court. Altogether Ryukyu sent 171 tribute missions to China, second only to Korea, and nearly twice as many as any other state. Ryukyu itself lacked much to offer in trade, apart from horses. Instead, its principal port, Naha, became the grand emporium of Sino-Japanese trade, and also the main supplier of Southeast Asian goods to both the Chinese and Japanese markets.13 Under the conditions established by the Ming tributary trade system, Ryukyu became the progenitor of the “port polity” model in maritime East Asia. In the aftermath of the Ōnin War (1467–1477), even the semblance of unified rule achieved by the Ashikaga shoguns vanished. Two rival daimyo clans, the Hosokawa and the Ōuchi, vied for political supremacy – and for control of the vitally important foreign trade with China and Ryukyu. Merchants based at Sakai (modern Osaka) and licensed by the Hosokawa took over the Ryukyu– Japan trade, but the Ōuchi controlled Hakata, Japan’s preeminent international port. The struggle between the Ōuchi and the Hosokawa culminated in 1523, when the two daimyo sent competing tribute missions to China. Violent altercations broke out among the rival Japanese groups after they landed at Ningbo, provoking the Ming court to sever all diplomatic and commercial exchanges with Japan. Although the Ōuchi were allowed to resume tribute missions to China in 1539, by then a new dynamic had arisen in the East Asian maritime world that would render the tribute trade system irrelevant. The Silver Rush and the Rise of “Japanese Piracy” Ming control over foreign trade through the tributary system was utterly upended in the 1530s by the rapid development of silver mining at Iwami in western Japan. The onset of Japan’s “silver rush” marked the beginning of China’s “silver century” (1540–1640) – a period in which the Chinese economy’s ravenous hunger for silver would reverberate around the world, stimulating silver production and export not only in Japan, but in Peru and Mexico as well. The “silver rush” coincided with the arrival of Portuguese seafarers in East Asian waters, and word of the enormous profits to be made in delivering silver to China quickly spread throughout the Iberian merchant networks. The formation of a globalized trading system driven by Chinese demand for silver 13

Hamashita 2011.

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by now is a well-known story.14 The impact of the “silver rush” on intra-Asian maritime networks and on Japan’s domestic economy has received considerably less attention. From the outset, the “silver rush” in Japan was linked to international trade. Legend relates that the Iwami silver lode was discovered when Kamiya Jutei, a Hakata merchant en route to Izumo to purchase copper, espied a brilliant gleam emanating from a mountaintop near the seacoast. Locals reported that the light was emitted from a statue of the bodhisattva Kannon (Guanyin) in a temple surmounting a mountain where silver had been mined centuries earlier. Kamiya, taking the dazzling light as a miraculous sign, initiated new excavations that quickly revealed rich veins of silver ore. The more prosaic story is that in 1527 Kamiya sent his agent Ota Fujisaemon to purchase silver from newly opened mines at Iwami. Six years later Kamiya brought technical experts to introduce a new amalgamation process – knowledge derived from China, but obtained clandestinely from sources in Korea – to Iwami’s miners, which triggered a boom in silver production. By 1542 the amalgamation process was also being utilized at the Ikuno silver mines in Tajima. Korean court chronicles report that from 1538 Japanese merchants began to arrive with large quantities of silver to purchase Korean cotton cloth – much to the consternation of the Chosŏn court, since domestic prices of cotton textiles soared as a result.15 Whether Kamiya Jutei played any part in bringing this silver to Korea is uncertain, but it seems likely, given how deeply involved the Kamiya family was in Hakata’s foreign trade. Jutei’s brother Kazue was the chief of the company of merchants – 315 altogether – that accompanied the tribute mission dispatched to China by the daimyo Ōuchi Yoshitaka in 1539, and his agent Ota Fujisaemon captained one of the ships in Yoshitaka’s 1547 mission to Ningbo.16 Word of the silver strikes in Japan quickly rippled across the Asian seas. By 1540, enterprising Chinese traders were swarming to ports ringing Kyushu to acquire the silver so avidly treasured in China. Over the next several decades “Chinatowns” (Tōjinmachi 唐人町) inhabited not only by seafaring traders but also artisans, doctors, and shopkeepers sprang up in Hakata, Hirado, Gotō, Bungo Funai, Usuki, and other Kyushu ports. From offshore bases such as Shuangyu, near Ningbo, these rogue traders, in collusion with corrupt coast guard officers and influential Ningbo business partners, openly defied the Ming ban on private overseas trade (Figure 3.2). Also at just this time the Portuguese – following their conquest of Melaka, the linchpin of trade between the Indian Ocean and the China seas along the coast of Malaysia, in 1511 – were seeking to expand their seaborne trade into maritime East Asia. The initial efforts of the Portuguese to gain trading 14

Flynn and Giráldez 1995b.

15

Yonetani 2003, 130–131.

16

Kobata 1969, 163–180.

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Figure 3.2 Principal daimyo domains and ports of Kyushu c. 1570

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privileges from the Ming court were soundly rebuffed in 1520. In the following decades Portuguese from Melaka, the farthest beachhead of the Portuguese trade empire, would journey to Shuangyu Island – often aboard Chinese junks – to join in the rapidly burgeoning smuggling trade. Among the Chinese merchants who developed close ties with the Portuguese in this fashion were the four Xu brothers and Wang Zhi. The Xu brothers, among whom Xu Dong emerged as the leading figure, regularly ventured to Melaka and ports in the Gulf of Siam. Wang Zhi was a native of Huizhou (renowned for its empire-wide web of merchant entrepreneurs) said to have forsaken the steady livelihood of the salt trade for the heady temptations of overseas fortune. In 1540, Wang and a partner invested in the construction of a massive ship in Guangdong to deliver sulfur, silk, and cotton goods to Siam. By the 1540s the Portuguese captain major at Melaka began to grant licenses for Portuguese ships to make trading voyages to China, and many Portuguese began to settle at Shuangyu. According to Fernão Mendes Pinto, whose Peregrinaçam remains one of the most valuable (even if often unreliable) early European chronicles of Asia, before it was razed by Ming forces in 1548 Shuangyu Island boasted a population of 3,000 Christians, including 1,200 Portuguese, and “was the noblest, wealthiest, and most affluent community in all of India . . . the commerce carried on by the Portuguese was worth more than three million in gold, the bulk of it consisting of silver from Japan.”17 In 1543 (or perhaps the previous year) a Chinese vessel sailing from the Siamese capital of Ayudhya to Shuangyu was blown off course by storms and made landing at Tanegashima, off the southern tip of Kyushu. Pinto suggests that this vessel was captained by Wang Zhi, although some scholars regard this assertion as dubious. In any event, this voyage would have fateful consequences for East Asian history: it carried several Portuguese bearing the matchlock firearms known as arquebuses that would spark a military revolution in Japan.18 In the next several years other Portuguese traveled on Chinese ships to Japan. In 1549 the Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier landed at Kagoshima, and subsequently journeyed to Kyoto. But it was Xavier’s visits to the daimyo capitals of Yamaguchi (Ōuchi), Hirado (Matsura), and Bungo Funai (Ōtomo) that had the most momentous impact on political and economic developments. The daimyo lords Ōuchi Yoshitaka, Matsura Shigenobu, and Ōtomo Yoshiaki vied with each other for favor with the Portuguese, who offered not only new trading opportunities but also access to the arquebuses and cannon that would soon exert a decisive impact in determining the outcome of Japan’s civil wars. 17 18

Pinto 1989, 508. The identification of the town described here by Pinto with Shuangyu is based on Li Xianzhang 1961a, 70–71. The inconsistent stories regarding the initial arrival of the Portuguese in Japan are surveyed in Lidin 2002.

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The Ōuchi controlled the key ports of Hakata and Akamagaseki (the departure point for tribute missions to China), and in 1541 they annexed the Izumo domain, including the Iwami silver mines. The tribute mission Ōuchi Yoshitaka sent to China in 1539 to repair relations with the Ming court was cordially received. But Ōuchi’s success alarmed his rivals. In 1543, Ōtomo Yoshiaki dispatched his own tribute mission to Ningbo, only to have the ship refused entry on grounds of violating the required ten-year interval between tribute missions. Rather than returning directly to Japan, the Ōtomo vessel lingered at Shuangyu, where it apparently did business with the local Chinese. Finally embarking for Japan, Ōtomo’s envoys brought with them several Chinese merchants, including Xu Dong and Wang Zhi. Upon their arrival in Japan, Wang and Xu as well as their Portuguese companions cultivated business relationships with Japanese merchants. Japanese traders from Bungo Funai (the Ōtomo capital), Gotō, and Hakata readily leapt into the lucrative exchange of Japanese silver for Chinese silks. Both Ōtomo Yoshiaki and Ōuchi Yoshitaka sought to enlist Wang Zhi’s aid to reestablish tributary trade with China. But the Ming court, aghast at the proliferation of smuggling that accompanied the “silver rush,” was in no mood to entertain diplomatic overtures. Instead, the court appointed Zhu Wan as governor of Zhejiang with plenipotentiary powers over coastal defense and a broad mandate to take decisive action against these “Japanese pirates.” In 1548 Zhu’s forces seized Shuangyu and killed or captured many Wokou captains, forcing the remnant Wokou and their Portuguese partners to retreat to Japan. Wang Zhi was among those who escaped to Japan, where he established new bases at Gotō and Hirado, in the Matsura domain. Ironically, Zhu Wan’s success in routing the Wokou from their offshore bases incurred the enmity of powerful local elites along the southeastern coast who were reaping clandestine profits from the thriving smuggling trade. Zhu’s enemies mustered sufficient influence to have Zhu ousted from his position as governor; enraged by this perfidy, Zhu committed suicide. Emboldened by Zhu’s demise and with local officials cowed into tacit silence, Wang Zhi and other Wokou captains reestablished bases in the Zhoushan archipelago, north of Shuangyu. Styling themselves as sea lords, they brazenly conducted trade with merchants in the great silk emporia of Suzhou and Hangzhou. Other Wokou pursued a more militant response, mustering armed forces for reprisals against the coastal regions of China. From 1552 to 1555 Wokou fleets, which according to Ming reports numbered as many as 200 ships, ravaged the coasts of China – and as far away as Korea – with impunity, terrorizing the inhabitants. One Wokou assault even reached the gates of Nanjing, the Ming secondary capital, before being repulsed. Many of these pirates claimed to be acting in the name of Wang Zhi, who was presumed to exercise hegemony over the whole maritime region. But the

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devastating pirate attacks on China’s coastal regions were led by other Wokou captains, including Xu Hai, a former protégé of Wang Zhi. In fact, Wang – seeking to prevent the pirates from disrupting the buoyant smuggling trade as well as to eliminate rival chiefs – often cooperated with Ming commanders to apprehend pirate leaders. But Ming officials reported that Wang grew ever more arrogant, donning official robes, traveling with a guard of fifty men, and even proclaiming himself “King of the Pacific Seas.” According to the memoir of a Matsura retainer, Wang Zhi built a grand mansion in Hirado, where both Chinese and Portuguese trading vessels laden with exotic treasures gathered to conduct business with merchants from Kyoto and Sakai. This trade was so rich that “people called Hirado the imperial capital (miyako) of the west.”19 Meanwhile, the Portuguese – undaunted by the loss of Shuangyu and the imprisonment of a number of Portuguese captains – intensified their engagement in Sino-Japanese trade during the 1550s. The Portuguese established new bases on islands near Zhangzhou and Guangzhou, and began to voyage to Japan in their own ships.20 Desperate in the face of Wokou depredations, the supreme commander of the Ming forces in Zhejiang sent an embassy led by Zheng Shungong to Bungo Funai to seek the assistance of Ōtomo Sōrin (who had succeeded his father Yoshiaki as daimyo after the latter’s death in 1551) in allaying the Wokou menace. Zheng spent more than year at Funai, compiling the intelligence he would report in his Speculum of Japan, before returning in 1556 with a letter from Sōrin pledging support. Ōtomo Sōrin (1530–1587) was perhaps the most aggressive of the Japanese daimyo in trying to extract political gain from maritime trade. Sōrin’s efforts to make Bungo Funai the hub of Japan’s foreign trade sprang from his simmering ambition to become Japan’s paramount ruler. To that end Sōrin cultivated relationships both with the Wokou (Wang Zhi spent some time at Funai) and the Portuguese. In 1551, after Sōrin succeeded his father, a new opportunity presented itself when his chief rival, Ōuchi Yoshitaka, was assassinated by a retainer, leaving no heir. Sōrin maneuvered to place his brother Yoshinaga as official head of the Ōuchi regime. Sōrin sent an envoy to Yamaguchi to invite Francis Xavier to Bungo, and upon Xavier’s departure for China he entrusted the Jesuit missionary with a letter intended for the king of Portugal. The Jesuit missionaries at Yamaguchi relocated to Bungo, where Sōrin gave them a lavish welcome, allowing them to build a hospital, orphanage, and church in Funai and – nominally, at least – converting to Christianity himself. For the next decade Bungo became the main focus of Portuguese traders and their source for the silver they sought to bring to China. Sōrin’s actions bespoke a new political strategy: in contrast to the agrarian revenue base of Japan’s seigneurial lords, 19

Ōmagari 1977, 15.

20

Oka 2010, 25–86.

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Sōrin fashioned Bungo into a port polity whose wealth and power derived from maritime trade and foreign alliances. By the time Zheng Shungong returned to China in 1556, a new supreme commander, Hu Zongxian, had assumed responsibility for the Wokou problem. Hu had sent his own envoys, Jiang Zhou and Chen Keyuan, to Hirado to negotiate directly with Wang Zhi. Jiang and Chen, neither of whom held official rank, constituted only informal emissaries, since Hu could scarcely send a highranking ambassador to negotiate with a renegade pirate. Wang greeted the Ming envoys with pomp and pageantry intended to convey both his exalted dignity and his alienation from Chinese traditions and conventions.21 Jiang and Chen informed Wang that Hu Zongxian would welcome his return and offered to establish formal trading relations. Wang accepted their offer. Leaving behind Jiang as a hostage, Chen returned to Zhoushan along with Wang Zhi and a thousand of his company, who tendered their submission to the Ming emperor. The emperor’s counselors differed sharply on how to respond: one party urged that Hu Zongxian’s offer of official trading privileges be honored, while another group demanded that Wang be executed for treason. The latter faction prevailed. Wang Zhi was imprisoned, and two years later would be put to death. Although news of Wang’s arrest shocked his comrades in Japan and left them in disarray, the Wokou threat by no means had been eradicated. After Wang Zhi’s imprisonment, the Ming envoy Jiang Zhou was released and made his way to Funai. As mentioned earlier, the mission that Sōrin’s father Yoshiaki had boldly dispatched to Ningbo in 1543 was rebuffed by the Ming court, as were subsequent attempts in 1546 and 1547. Yet Sōrin still harbored ambitions to establish tributary relations with the Ming. At the end of 1557 Sōrin and his brother Yoshinaga (acting in the name of the Ōuchi) dispatched a joint embassy to accompany Jiang Zhou back to China. The Japanese envoys bore a letter stamped with the seal of “the king of Japan” and requested official trading licenses from the Ming; they also brought with them captive Wokou intended as gifts to the Ming emperor. But upon their ship’s arrival at Zhoushan the Ming defense forces deemed the envoys to be surreptitious Wokou spies. Their vessel was seized and scuttled, and Sōrin’s envoys were forced to return to Japan empty-handed. Undaunted, Sōrin continued to promote overseas trade and seek foreign alliances. He sent diplomatic missions to the Portuguese viceroyalty at Goa and the Siamese court at Ayudhya, and in 1582 he dispatched the first Japanese ambassadors to Europe, where they paid respects to the Portuguese king and the Roman pope. But the Ōtomo regime suffered a series of setbacks that would prove fatal to the daimyo house. Sōrin’s brother Yoshinaga was captured and forced to commit suicide by Mōri Motonari, bringing an end to the Ōuchi house 21

Shapinsky 2016, 51–59.

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and establishing the Mōri as the dominant daimyo power in western Japan. In 1566 Motonari vanquished the Amago daimyo and seized the Iwami silver mines, whose wealth vastly enhanced his military power. In 1568 the warlord Oda Nobunaga occupied Kyoto, a major step toward his goal of national unification. Meanwhile, Portuguese traders recentered their trading expeditions at Hirado, in the Matsura domain, which had more direct access to the Iwami silver mines. Although Matsura Shigenobu welcomed the Portuguese traders to Hirado, he was less enthusiastic about missionary activities and refused to convert to Christianity. His neighboring rival, Ōmura Sumitada, proved more accommodating. Sumitada converted to Christianity and granted the Portuguese permission to establish a trading base at the fishing village of Nagasaki. After 1571, Portuguese ships bound for Japan almost exclusively made port at Nagasaki, which quickly swelled into a thriving town. But the crucial event that would engender a structural transformation of the trading networks of maritime East Asia was the Ming court’s decision in 1567 to end its two-century-long prohibition against private overseas trade. The End of the Ming Maritime Ban and the Transformation of Maritime East Asia The Ming court’s abrupt about-face in rescinding the maritime trade ban followed, ironically enough, its apparent victory over the Wokou adversaries. In an effort to sever the Portuguese alliance with the Wokou, in 1557 the Ming court granted Portuguese traders the right to settle at Macau, with access to the Chinese market via Guangzhou. As the debate over the fate of Wang Zhi in the same year revealed, a significant cohort of court officials favored the restoration of legal forms of overseas trade. The Wokou menace diminished after the capture and execution of Wang Zhi, but raids still inflicted significant damage in coastal regions. In 1563 a Wokou force attacked the southern Fujian coast, seizing the city of Xinghua before finally being repelled by the Ming general Qi Jiguang, an innovative military tactician who avidly embraced gunpowder weapons.22 Although the Ming had gained the upper hand in the military conflicts against the Wokou, the costly campaigns had taken a substantial fiscal toll. Most importantly, influential elites in the coastal regions of southern China clamored for the right to share in the profits of the escalating overseas trade boom. The Ming court’s reversal on overseas trade still imposed restrictions. A maritime trade superintendency was created at Yuegang – a former Wokou base off the southern coast of Fujian, near modern Xiamen – and Chinese 22

On Qi’s propagation of muskets and his careful attention to the manufacture of firearms and drilling techniques to combine them with traditional weapons, see Andrade 2017, 172–181.

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traders were required to obtain licenses for designated overseas ports. Determined to concede as little as possible to its erstwhile Wokou enemies, the Ming retained the prohibition against direct trade with Japan. Only the Portuguese based at Macau were allowed to conduct trade with Japan. Consequently, Chinese merchants had to seek out indirect means to engage in the lucrative exchange of Chinese silk for Japanese silver. Another source of silver soon emerged in the Philippines. Manila Bay had long been a trading post that had attracted Chinese and Japanese seafarers, who exchanged silks, porcelain, and metal goods for gold, beeswax, and forest products. The Spanish expedition that subdued the Tagalog chieftains of Manila Bay in 1570–1571 had been ordered to establish a port of call to horn in on the rich China trade. The Spanish colony founded at Manila in 1571 provided a gateway to American silver through the trans-Pacific galleon voyages. In 1575 more than a dozen Chinese junks made port at Manila, and in 1582 the Spanish Crown – now fearing a hemorrhage of silver from its American colonies to China – restricted the galleon trade between Manila and Acapulco to two ships per year.23 Within two decades Manila’s Chinese population swelled to 20,000, vastly outnumbering its several hundred Spaniard residents. Manila became a new source of silver for China, but offered little incentive for Chinese and Japanese merchants to trade with each other. Instead, trade between China and Japan gravitated to new intermediate ports in Southeast Asia such as Ayudhya, the Siamese capital, and above all Hội An on the central coast of Vietnam. Since the 1520s the Đại Việt kingdom had been rent by power struggles among its leading families. The Mạc dynasty (1527–1592) usurped the throne of the Lê king and established control over the Tonkin heartland in northern Vietnam. In 1558 the Nguyễn lords founded an independent regime with their capital at Phú Xuân (near modern Hué). The Nguyễn territories hugging Vietnam’s rugged central coast were ill-suited for rice agriculture. Without a substantial agrarian base, the Nguyễn adopted a mercantilist strategy of encouraging foreign trade as a source of revenue. Hội An, about 10 km downriver from Phú Xuân, was declared a free port. By the early seventeenth century Hội An became the main crossroads for Sino-Japanese trade, succeeding to the emporium role formerly performed by Naha.24 Like Naha before it, Hội An also became a multinational merchant enclave, inhabited mostly by Japanese and Chinese traders. Although the Portuguese tried to gain a foothold at Hội An, they were firmly rebuffed by the Chinese and Japanese and excluded from 23 24

On the Spanish conquest of the Philippines and its significance for global trade, see Giráldez 2015. Iwao 1966, 20–84; Kikuchi 2006, 193–217; Lockard 2010, 234–239.

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the city’s trade. The Nguyễn regime’s success in creating a port polity secured its independence from the Mạc and (after 1592) Trinh rulers of Tonkin. The rise of Hội An, Macau, Ayudhya, and other ports as intermediaries between China and Japan spelled the final demise of Ryukyu as the hub of maritime East Asia. Ryukyu’s preeminent place in commerce and shipping already had begun to slip in the late fifteenth century, when Japanese vessels took over trade between the Okinawan archipelago and Japanese ports. Wokou and Portuguese smugglers further eroded Ryukyu’s intermediary role, and the repeal of the Ming maritime ban in 1567 rendered Ryukyu’s special advantage as a conduit of tributary trade wholly obsolete. Ryukyu’s marginalization within the East Asian maritime trade also undermined its political independence: in 1609 the Shimazu daimyo in southern Kyushu imposed de facto hegemony over Ryukyu, the first step leading to the island kingdom’s eventual incorporation into the Japanese nation-state. Silver Production, Foreign Trade, and the Unification of Japan In addition to fueling the explosive growth in East Asian maritime trade, the prolific output of the Iwami and Ikuno silver mines instigated an epochal transformation in Japan’s monetary and fiscal systems. For centuries the Japanese economy depended on imports of Chinese coin as a means of exchange. The virtual cessation of coinage by the Ming government since the early fifteenth century drastically reduced the supply of fine coin to the Japanese market. Although private coiners in China, Ryukyu, and eventually in Japan itself stepped up their operations, the degraded quality and extreme heterogeneity of counterfeit coin caused havoc in Japan’s domestic trade and diminished the value of daimyo revenues.25 Upon installing himself in Kyoto in 1568, Oda Nobunaga issued a set of regulations intended to restore order to the monetary system and settle the marketplaces. Nobunaga’s decree established discount rates for three broad classes of bronze coins (with the poorest discounted by 90 percent) and fixed exchange rates among gold, silver, and fine coin, while permitting the use of gold and silver to purchase high-value goods such as silks, medicines, and porcelains. Notably, Nobunaga also prohibited the use of rice as a means of exchange. Confidence in the value of bronze coins had sunk so low that Kyoto’s inhabitants had resorted to using rice as an alternative measure of value and even as a means of exchange. Despite Nobunaga’s initial prohibition against the use of rice in market exchange, the new land revenue system he adopted in 1575 converted land revenues formerly assessed in coin to rice payments, inaugurating the kokudaka taxation system that would later become a cardinal feature of Tokugawa fiscal administration.26 25

von Glahn 2014b.

26

Honda 2015, 100–106.

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At the same time silver became more widely used as currency within Japan. The first mention of the use of silver as a means of exchange comes from Hakata in 1559. Following the incorporation of the Iwami mines into the Mōri domain in 1566, silver soon became a mainstay of the regional economy. By the 1570s silver “pieces” (mai 枚) – standardized ingots of 10 ryō (approximately 165 g) – were commonly used for wholesale trade, tax payments, and donations to religious institutions in the Mōri territories. Nobunaga, who gained control of the Ikuno mines in 1570, began to tap their silver wealth to purchase guns, bullets, gunpowder, military provisions, and medicines. Recent scholarship has emphasized the “mercantilist” character of Nobunaga’s fiscal policies. In addition to taking possession of the silver mines, he also devoted his energies to securing control of key ports (above all Sakai, which previously had been a free city), sea-lanes, and inland transport routes, and he recruited leading merchants to manage the mines and ports on his behalf.27 The introduction of gunpowder weapons to Japan, like the silver strike at Iwami, spawned its own mythology. Japanese narratives have repeatedly associated the new technology of warfare with the arrival of the Portuguese (purportedly on a ship captained by Wang Zhi) at Tanegashima in 1543. By this time Wokou ships were outfitted with European breech-loading swivel cannon as well as matchlock arquebuses, although these weapons were available in only limited quantities. Korean annals from the mid-1540s indicate that it was Chinese merchants who were importing – reportedly in great quantities – gunpowder weapons to Japan. As Tonio Andrade has shown, civil and military officials in Ming China had quickly adopted and modified Portuguese cannon and muskets, and by the mid-sixteenth century these foreign-derived guns were widely deployed in naval warfare, siege defense, and field battles.28 Most likely it was the Wokou rather than the Portuguese who were the primary catalysts of the dissemination of gunpowder weapons to Japan.29 Despite Mendes Pinto’s report during his visit to Bungo Funai in 1556 that there were already more than 300,000 muskets in Japan, the dissemination of gunpowder weapons proceeded slowly.30 Correspondence between daimyo and their military and civil officers reveals that the warlords, although desperate to obtain the new weapons, repeatedly were stymied by the limited supply available. Over time, Japanese blacksmiths learned the techniques for making muskets by reverse engineering imported specimens. By the 1560s, the warring daimyo of western Japan such as the Ōtomo, Shimazu, and Mōri had begun to field some troops equipped with muskets of domestic manufacture. Foreign 27 29

30

Ikegami 2002, 77–92. 28 Andrade 2017, 124–143. Rebutting Udagawa 1990 that muskets were introduced to Japan by the Wokou, Nakajima 2013 contends that there were multiple sources for the diffusion of gunpowder weapons, and the Portuguese still played a prominent role in this transmission of military technology. Pinto 1989, 278.

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trade remained the source of saltpeter for the manufacture of gunpowder, if not for the guns themselves. In 1567 Ōtomo Sōrin wrote to Bishop Belchior Carneiro in Macau requesting his help in preventing Portuguese traders from selling saltpeter to his Mōri rivals, and instead placed his own order for 120 kg of the crucial ingredient. It was perhaps the Mōri soldiers’ advantage in gunpowder weapons that explains their triumph over Sōrin’s brother and conquest of the Ōuchi domain in 1566. Certainly we can say that with Nobunaga’s campaigns during the mid-1570s, and especially his victory at the Battle of Nagashino in 1575, gunpowder weapons became decisive in the outcome of military conflicts.31 Following the assassination of Nobunaga in 1582, Toyotomi Hideyoshi quickly seized control of Nobunaga’s regime and declared himself imperial advisor (kanpaku), which he later elevated to regent (taikō). Hideyoshi pursued a similar mercantilist agenda to solidify his power and bring the remaining independent daimyo to heel.32 Hideyoshi required the daimyo to maintain residences in the Kyoto–Osaka capital region (the harbinger of the Tokugawa shoguns’sankin kōtai system) and embarked on a massive program of building castle towns both in directly ruled areas and in the vassal domains. The concentration of public works activities and elite consumption in Kyoto and Osaka gave further impetus to the formation of a national market. Like Nobunaga, Hideyoshi assigned privileged merchants (“purveyors to the court,” goyō shōnin) to take charge of town-building projects and fiscal initiatives. Through requisitions imposed on the daimyo lords Hideyoshi mobilized the men and matériel he would need to launch his military campaigns against the remaining independent daimyo. In 1583 Hideyoshi compelled the submission of Mōri Terumoto, bringing western Honshu under his dominion. In 1587 he completed the conquest of Kyushu when the Shimazu daimyo surrendered. The year before a Shimazu army had sacked the Ōtomo capital of Bungo Funai, extinguishing the city’s brief efflorescence as an emporium of international trade. Hakata, whose preeminent position in overseas trade had made it a highly contested prize in the civil wars, was razed three times between 1559 and 1580. Hideyoshi undertook extensive efforts to rebuild Hakata – a task entrusted to Kamiya Sōtan, great-grandson of Kamiya Jutei, who had spearheaded the development of the Iwami mines – but the city never regained its former luster. With the demise of Funai and Hakata, Nagasaki stood unchallenged as Japan’s paramount port for overseas commerce. Hideyoshi immediately placed Nagasaki under his direct rule, sending a trusted Sakai merchant to serve as governor of the city, and claimed a monopoly over the city’s foreign trade.

31

Udagawa 1990, 17–74.

32

Ikegami 2002, 250–264.

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Keen to amass stocks of gold and silver to pay his armies, Hideyoshi like Nobunaga before him exercised direct control over the Ikuno mines and encouraged new mining ventures. Although the Iwami mines remained within the jurisdiction of the Mōri daimyo, Hideyoshi repeatedly demanded that Terumoto – who became one of his inner circle of advisers – submit substantial “gifts” of silver treasure. As he began preparations for the invasion of Korea that would be launched in 1592 (see the Swope chapter in this volume – Chapter 7), Hideyoshi constructed a massive logistical system to funnel provisions, weapons, and gold and silver treasure from all the provinces under his control to the newly built castle town of Nagoya, the staging base for the Korean invasion. (This Nagoya, which was located near modern Karatsu in Kyushu, to the west of Hakata, should not be confused with the modern city of the same name in central Honshu.) In 1594 Hideyoshi sent his commercial agents with a shipment of 13,000 koku of rice (2,145 tons) to Iwami to exchange for silver, which was to be delivered to Nagasaki to purchase imported lead (for bullets) and saltpeter (for gunpowder).33 Hideyoshi also ordered the casting of a special silver currency to pay soldiers’ salaries. In 1595, after organizing Osaka’s silver refiners into a guild, Hideyoshi inaugurated the issue of a standard silver currency. The silver boom that had fostered the rise of Kyushu’s port polities now served as a crucial instrument of national unification. The Demise of the Port Polity Paradigm in Maritime East Asia Hideyoshi’s unification of Japan, which was consolidated under Ieyasu, founder of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603–1868), extinguished the independence of the daimyo lords and effectively eliminated the port polity paradigm of rulership within the Japanese archipelago. Like his predecessors, Ieyasu sought to reap the fiscal, strategic, and technological benefits of foreign trade, which in the first three decades of the seventeenth century reached unprecedented heights in Japan. Granted “red seal” licenses to engage in overseas trade, Japanese merchants flocked to Hội An, Ayudhya, Manila, and other Southeast Asian ports, where “Japantowns” (Nihonmachi 日本町) nestled alongside settlements of Chinese traders. But Ieyasu’s successors, alarmed by both the drain of silver abroad and the growing success of Portuguese missionaries in winning converts to Christianity, began to deter foreign trade and contact. In the late 1630s the shogunate took drastic measures, expelling the Portuguese, prohibiting Japanese merchants from venturing abroad, and confining Chinese and Dutch traders to the single port of Nagasaki. A few other 33

Honda 2015, 155–156.

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avenues of foreign trade – with Ryukyu, Korea, and the indigenous peoples of Hokkaido – remained open, but the continued outflow of silver to China prompted the shogunate to enact increasingly restrictive trade policies that by 1669 effectively halted silver exports altogether. During the final decades of the Ming dynasty much of China’s maritime trade fell under the control of the Zheng clan, which first came to prominence as smugglers and pirates operating between Fujian and Japan in the 1620s. In 1628 Zheng Zhilong entered an alliance with the Ming authorities, offering to suppress coastal piracy in return for freedom to pursue his commercial ventures. Zheng’s bargain reprised Wang Zhi’s strategy seventy years before, but now the much-weakened Ming state was forced to be more accommodating. Amid the collapse of the Ming dynasty in the 1640s, Zhilong’s son Zheng Chenggong transformed the clan’s maritime enterprise into an informal port polity in coastal Fujian with command of its own merchant fleets and naval forces. From its headquarters at Xiamen the Zheng regime maintained branch agencies in Jiangnan cities, Southeast Asian ports (Chenggong signed treaties with both the Tonkin and Nguyễn courts in Vietnam), and Nagasaki, where Chenggong himself had been born.34 The arrival of the Dutch from the early years of the seventeenth century introduced a more predatory, nation-based model of economic competition that effectively eliminated rival Europeans from East Asian trade, but never surpassed its Asian adversaries: the Zheng regime routed the Dutch from Taiwan in 1662, and Chinese merchants’ share of Japan’s foreign trade remained twice that of the Dutch.35 After ousting the Dutch from Taiwan the Zheng moved their political base there, but in 1683 the Manchus finally vanquished the Zheng and incorporated Taiwan into their burgeoning continental empire.36 By 1700 the port polities that had thrived during the “Age of Commerce” in maritime East Asia had all but vanished. Ryukyu and the Kyushu daimyo domains had been absorbed into the hegemonic Tokugawa political order; the Qing empire had annexed Taiwan and eliminated freebooting traders like the Wokou from its maritime periphery; and the Nguyễn regime in Vietnam, after the cessation of hostilities with Tonkin in 1672, shifted its attention southward, expanding into the Mekong delta and developing an agrarian economic base centered on rice cultivation. At the end of the eighteenth century the Nguyễn rulers would efface their origins as a port polity and thoroughly embrace the Chinese model of an agrarian bureaucratic state, recasting themselves as an imperial dynasty reigning over a unified Việt Nam empire. Thus concluded the possibility of the port polity paradigm as an alternative to the Chinese model of state formation in East Asia. 34 36

Hang 2016. 35 See Andrade chapter in this volume (Chapter 9). See Crossley chapter in this volume (Chapter 8).

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Multinational merchant communities began to disappear along with the port polities that had nurtured them. The “Japantowns” that had germinated across maritime East Asia during the heyday of the “red seal” trade withered away. The new order was symbolized by Nagasaki, where the Tokugawa shogunate confined Chinese and Dutch traders to separate walled compounds and forbade them to intermix with Japanese residents. This model of containment – intended to allow trade but exclude cultural interaction – was later replicated in the “Canton System” imposed by the Qing government on European traders in 1760. Still, in the eighteenth century transnational merchant communities persisted in European colonial enclaves such as Macau and Manila and in the port towns ringing the Southeast Asian seas that swelled with Chinese immigrants after the onset of the Chinese diaspora beginning around 1740. Indeed, the enduring legacy of the Wokou traders and the multinational merchant networks they fostered can be found in the surge of overseas Chinese mercantile expansion into the “South Seas” (maritime Southeast Asia) following the Qing conquest of Taiwan in 1683. The pervasive insinuation of Chinese capital and labor into the region’s political economy has prompted historians to refer to the eighteenth century as the “Chinese Century” in Southeast Asian history.37 Under Qing rule, China’s maritime trade flourished throughout the eighteenth century. Neither the “Canton System” nor the Qianlong emperor’s indifference had any adverse effect on China’s trade with the West. Chinese imports of American silver – a key index of the scale of maritime trade – rose sevenfold from the 1720s to the 1820s, faltering only when the Europeans were distracted by internecine conflicts such as the Seven Years War and the Napoleonic Wars. China’s trade with Southeast Asia was even more robust: Kaoru Sugihara has estimated that the volume of intra-Asian trade exceeded that of East–West trade by one-third as late as 1840.38 But in contrast to the mercantilist motives of the European powers, the Qing rulers’ benign attitude toward foreign trade stemmed from concerns about domestic stability: maritime trade provided a necessary livelihood to the inhabitants of the rugged southeastern littoral, where arable land was scarce.39 Although the Qing leadership did not regard maritime trade as vital to national welfare as did the rulers of the port polities, they adopted policies and institutions that encouraged the free flow of commerce, both domestic and foreign, as an expression of providential solicitude toward their most vulnerable subjects.

37

Blussé 1999.

38

Sugihara 2009, 265.

39

Calanca 2011.

Part II

The East Asian System over Time

4

East Asia’s First World War, 643–668 Nadia Kanagawa

Between 643 and 668 CE, the majority of the states in East Asia engaged in a massive war that fundamentally reshaped the region. The victors in the war were the combined forces of the Tang empire on the continent and the Korean peninsula kingdom of Silla. The losers included the Korean kingdoms of Koguryŏ and Paekche, both of which had ceased to exist as independent realms by 668 CE, and Yamato on the Japanese archipelago, which retreated from the peninsula after a disastrous defeat. As a direct result of this war, Yamato went through a period of rapid centralization and declared itself an imperial realm, while Silla consolidated its control over the Korean peninsula and the Tang retreated to deal with other threats to its western borders. This complete reconfiguration of the East Asian world demands our attention not only because it marked the emergence of polities on the Korean peninsula and Japanese archipelago that would endure for hundreds of years, but also because it offers insight into how tributary relations functioned and what they signified in dynamically changing circumstances.1 During the Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), diplomatic relations in East Asia were structured by the Han court, which defined itself as the central realm, accepted tribute from surrounding polities, and extended investiture to them. After the fall of the Han in 220 CE, this diplomatic system was reconfigured as the polities on the Korean peninsula and Japanese archipelago negotiated a new set of investiture relations with the Northern and Southern dynasties on the continent. The new dynamic relied on the division of the continent into multiple realms, each of which claimed to be the central realm and sought tributary states to bolster its claims. This division allowed the smaller (but much longerlasting) polities of the Korean peninsula and Japanese archipelago to balance 1

I call this war “East Asia’s First World War” because I believe it fundamentally altered the structure and dynamics of the seventh-century East Asian world. Doing so puts me at odds with Kenneth Swope (2012, 5–11), who has argued that the war waged in the 1590s when Japanese forces invaded the Korean peninsula should be called the “First Great East Asian War.” While I agree with Swope’s contention that the seventh-century war was not waged with the explicit goal of Asian hegemony, I do not believe that this is a necessary condition for calling it a “world war.” Whether or not it was the “first” East Asian war, there can be no question but that the sixteenth-century war was unprecedented in its scale, scope, and significance for the region.

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continental powers against each other. The rise of the Sui dynasty in 581 CE, and its reunification of the north and south, brought an end to this multipolar order and plunged the region into a period of instability. Between the rise of the Sui in 581 CE and the fall of Koguryŏ in 668 CE, the Sui and Tang empires engaged in major campaigns against Koguryŏ at least seven times. All but the last of these campaigns ended in defeat, and the last Sui campaign in 614 CE was directly related to the collapse of the Sui dynasty. It was arguably only as the result of a series of internal crises in Koguryŏ that the combined Silla–Tang forces were finally able to defeat and destroy Koguryŏ. The reasons for Sui and Tang persistence in attacking Koguryŏ despite the very significant costs of these campaigns were complex, and reflected both Sui– Tang interests and the strategies of Koguryŏ’s rivals on the Korean peninsula. The rulers of both of the Sui and Tang saw themselves as the successors to (or rebirth of) the Han, and therefore laid claim to the territory that Koguryŏ seized from the former Han commanderies in the fourth century. They also recognized Koguryŏ as a critical threat on their northeastern border, which the records indicate their advisors counseled them could not be avoided. Finally, they were drawn into the conflict on the Korean peninsula by Paekche and Silla, who used the tribute and investiture system to draw not only the Sui and Tang but also Yamato into their competition to control the peninsula. In this sense, the ultimate winner of this war was Silla, which successfully drew the Tang into the conflict on the Korean peninsula, eliminated Koguryŏ and Paekche, and then consolidated its control of the peninsula. East Asia during the Northern and Southern Dynasties Because it falls between two of the great dynasties – the Han and the Tang (618–907 CE) – the Northern and Southern dynasties period has often been neglected. It was, however, a critical period both in the history of imperial China and in the development of East Asia, and an understanding of the regional dynamics established during this period is essential to understanding the impact of the rise of the Sui and Tang empires and the war that followed. These dynamics have been characterized in recent scholarship as “multipolar” and “pluralistic,” structured not by a single tributary system but by many tributary and investiture interactions that took place at different levels in the regional hierarchy and among a range of different polities. These interactions drew from a model that had been established in the earlier Han dynasty, but also reflected the capacity of that model to adapt to new circumstances. The classic Sinitic model of empire was articulated in the texts of the Warring States period (474–221 BCE). In this model, heaven sanctioned the authority of a universal sovereign called the “Son of Heaven” who ruled an “all under heaven” centered on his court and surrounded by various barbarian

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peoples. The rulers of these barbarian peoples would pay tribute at the court of the universal sovereign and be invested as vassals. The rulers of the Han dynasty adopted this empire–tributary framework, granting titles and seals of investitures to rulers of several East Asian polities that positioned themselves as subjects by sending envoys with tribute.2 For the Han, tributary relations became an important symbol of the universality of their imperial rule, while for the subject states they were a way to gain recognition and legitimacy vis-à-vis neighbors and competitors. While the Japanese scholar Nishijima Sadao famously argued that the “investiture system” that defined an ancient East Asian world was established during the Han dynasty, more recent scholars have challenged the idea that Han tributary relations approached anything like a “system,” arguing that they are better described as an idealized framework, fundamentally bound up in representations of imperial authority, that operated according to ad hoc rules.3 Building on this observation, Torquil Duthie has argued that it was actually during the Northern and Southern dynasties, a time he describes as “an age of disunion and multiple empires, each of which claimed to be the center of ‘all under heaven,’” that tributary relations with surrounding smaller polities became a critical symbol of imperial legitimacy.4 One of the major difficulties of studying East Asia in this period is that the written sources are relatively sparse. Much of what we know is based on Chinese dynastic histories such as the Weishu (Book of Wei) in the Sanguozhi (Records of the Three Kingdoms, c. 297 CE), the Songshu (Book of Song, c. 493 CE), and the Liangshu (Book of Liang, c. 636 CE).5 Many of these works sought to either explain the downfall of the Han or to identify the legitimate successors of the Han. By far the most detailed written source from Yamato is the Nihon shoki (Chronicles of Japan), an official history compiled by royal order and completed in 720 CE.6 The Nihon shoki begins with the appearance of heaven and earth and continues through the end of the seventh century, but it must be read as the product of an eighth-century court that was seeking to consolidate and legitimize its authority. The major Korean historical sources are the Samguk sagi (Records of the Three Kingdoms), compiled in 2 3

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M. E. Lewis 2007. Among the states who received such recognition were Puyŏ, on the northeastern border, and the Land of Na in Wa, later part of Yamato on the Japanese archipelago. Nishijima 1983. This view of Han tributary relations and much of my discussion of fourth through seventh century interactions between Yamato and the Korean kingdoms have been influenced by Torquil Duthie’s (2014, 15–56) analysis. Specifically, he points to the period known as the Three Kingdoms (220–280 CE) as a time when the competing Wei, Wu, and Shu “empires” each established tributary relations with their neighbors. Duthie 2014, 25. Mark Edward Lewis (2009, 245) notes that more histories were written in this period than in any period until the Qing (1644–1912). The text was compiled by a committee that likely included scholars from the continent and Korean peninsula and was submitted to the throne by Prince Toneri (676–735). For a basic overview of the text and available translations see Lurie 2006, 282–283.

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1145 CE by Kim Pusik (1075–1151 CE) and the Samguk yusa (Legends of the Three Kingdoms), compiled by the monk Ilyon (1206–1289 CE). Both the Samguk sagi and the Samguk yusa were compiled during the Koryŏ dynasty (918–1392 CE), nearly 500 years after the falls of Koguryŏ and Paekche, and 200 years after the fall of Silla.7 The Samguk sagi, like the Nihon shoki, was compiled by a later court seeking to legitimize its rule, and therefore frames the history of the early Korean peninsula to present Koryŏ as the legitimate successor to the three earlier kingdoms.8 As limited as the sources are, they contain significant evidence that the fourth through seventh centuries were marked by extensive diplomatic, military, and cultural interaction between Koguryŏ, Silla, and Paekche on the Korean peninsula, Yamato (also known as Wa) on the Japanese archipelago and a series of Northern and Southern dynasties. This interaction was, to a large extent, conducted within the framework of tribute and investiture. The fourth century was marked by the rise of Koguryŏ as a powerful realm in Northeast Asia. As northern China fractured into the Sixteen Kingdoms period, Koguryŏ gained control of the former Han commanderies of Lelang (K. Nangnang) and Daifang (K. Daebang) between 313 and 314 CE. Koguryŏ then moved into the Liaodong peninsula, which brought them into conflict with the Former Yan (337–370 CE), a Xianbei dynasty. Koguryŏ suffered a major defeat to the Former Yan in 342 CE, and opened diplomatic relations with them the following year by sending a tributary emissary. They received the title of “king” from the Former Yan ruler, who had himself taken the title of “emperor” (huangdi). This tributary relationship was maintained until the Former Yan fell in 370 CE. During the period of peaceful relations with the Former Yan, Koguryŏ turned its attentions to conflicts on the Korean peninsula. A major attack on Paekche in 369 CE resulted in defeat and the death of the Koguryŏ king.9 Koguryŏ then formed an alliance with Silla, and the two states sent envoys to the Former Qin (351–394 CE) in 377 CE. Paekche responded by strengthening its alliance with Kaya and developing relations with the Yamato court that the Nihon shoki characterized as a tributary relationship in which Paekche submitted tribute in return for Yamato’s military aid.10 As they maneuvered for advantage on the Korean peninsula, both Koguryŏ and 7 8

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Jonathan Best (2006, 4) also argues that a lack of Paekche and Koguryŏ sources forced Kim Pusik to rely heavily on Chinese dynastic histories in the Samguk sagi. Given the major gaps in these written sources, archaeology has become increasingly critical to understanding the emergence and development of the polities on the Korean peninsula and Japanese archipelago in particular. Best 2006, 74–77. Although both the Nihon shoki and the Samguk sagi contain records of a Paekche prince being sent as a hostage to the Yamato court in 397 CE, the Nihon shoki’s account of Paekche–Yamato relations cannot be taken at face value.

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Paekche sent envoys with tribute to the Eastern Jin (317–420 CE).11 The famous Kwanggaet’o stele of 414 CE describes a major conflict between the two groups that had emerged by the end of the fourth century – Koguryŏ–Silla allies on the one hand, and Paekche–Yamato–Kaya on the other. Receiving recognition from a continental empire was clearly important to rulers of kingdoms such as Koguryŏ, Paekche, and Silla, who actively sought and maintained these relationships. Past scholarship has tended to emphasize the ostensibly subordinate side of the tributary relationship, focusing on the way “imperial” recognition helped to define and protect emerging polities. More recent scholarship has stressed that Koguryŏ, Paekche, Silla, and Yamato outlasted the empires of the Northern and Southern dynasties period. For the competing continental powers, receiving tribute from these smaller but longer-lived polities came to be an important symbol of legitimacy and a critical way to bolster claims to be the true successors to the Han. The smaller polities were able to use the division of the continental realms to their advantage. Rather than negotiating with a single hegemon, they could switch allegiances or send tribute to multiple “imperial” realms at the same time, balancing them against each other. The fifth and sixth centuries were marked by the emergence of a new set of alliances and the emergence of two major Sinic empires – the Liu Song (420–479 CE) in the south and the Northern Wei (386–534 CE). Neither was able to conquer the other, and thus both highly valued tributary embassies as symbols of the universality and legitimacy of their realms. The smaller states in the region pursued a variety of strategies in responding to this dynamic. Koguryŏ established tributary relationships with both the Northern Wei and the Liu Song, balancing them against each other. In 475 CE, Koguryŏ seized the Paekche capital and killed the king, a disaster that Paekche only narrowly survived by moving its capital southward. Consistent pressure from Koguryŏ led Paekche and Silla to form an alliance, and both Paekche and Silla established tributary relations with the Liu Song but not the Northern Wei. There is some evidence to suggest that Paekche and Silla sought tributary relations with the Northern Wei – in 472 CE they unsuccessfully appealed to the Northern Wei for support in attacking Koguryŏ – but for the most part the records suggest that they were only able to sustain diplomatic relations with the southern dynasty of the time.12 The relationship between Paekche and Yamato during this period remains something of a mystery. The Nihon shoki account of Yūryaku’s reign claims that 11

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Koguryŏ in 372 CE and Paekche in 406 CE. Paekche received investiture from the Eastern Jin in 416 CE, marking the first time they had established a tributary relationship and received recognition under the name Paekche. Samguk sagi, trans. Best (2006, 274, 276). Best (2006, 88–89) notes that this mission is not recorded in the Jinshu (Book of Jin) but is confirmed in the Songshu. Jonathan Best (2006, 71–74) suggests that Paekche’s lack of relations with the Northern Wei may have been due to successful efforts by Koguryŏ to block Paekche access.

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Paekche was a Yamato tributary state, but this account is clearly unreliable, and the narrative does nothing to explain a major gap in Paekche–Yamato relations from 479 to 504 CE. Taking a step back to survey the new regional dynamics, we find that Paekche, Silla, and Yamato sent tribute to establish relationships with the southern Liu Song, balancing the ongoing threat from Koguryŏ, which had relationships with both the Liu Song and the Northern Wei. The Songshu records a memorial sent by the Yamato ruler Wu (J. Bu) to the court of the Liu Song in 478 CE that offers insight into how tribute and investiture diplomacy functioned in these circumstances.13 In it, Wu follows the classic diplomatic protocols of tributary relations by describing his realm as a loyal subject to the great Liu Song court and its “Heavenly Polestar.” The tributary framework did not allow the possibility of acknowledging more than one court or Heavenly Sovereign, and thus in sending envoys with tribute, Wu materially contributed to the construction of the Liu Song as the only empire on the continent. He went on to request confirmation for the title “Commissioner Bearing Credentials, Inspector General of the Various Military Affairs in the Seven Lands of Wa, Paekche, Silla, Imna, Kara, Jinhan, and Mohan, Great General who maintains Peace in the East, King of Wa.” The Liu Song ruler responded by granting all but one of the requested titles – Paekche is conspicuously absent from the list of titles granted, most likely because Paekche was already a tributary of the Liu Song.14 Even as he describes Wa as a vassal on the outer borders of the Liu Song, Wu also boasted of his pacification of fifty-five lands of “hairy people” and sixty-six lands of “various barbarians.” As Duthie puts it, Wu thus created and requested recognition for a “fiction within a fiction” – the idea there was a separate Wa-centered “all under heaven” under the umbrella of the Liu Song empire.15 The Wa example demonstrates that participation in tributary relationships with continental empires did not prevent smaller states in East Asia from pursuing their own imperial ambitions.16 13

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Wu is thought to correspond to both “Wakatakiru” in the Inariyama sword inscription and to the ruler generally known by the posthumous name of Yūryaku, who appears as Ōhatsuse Wakatakeru in the Nihon shoki and Kojiki. The title granted was: “Commissioner Bearing Credentials, Inspector General of the Various Military Affairs in the Six Lands of Wa, Silla, Imna, Kara, Chinhan, and Mohan, Great General who maintains Peace in the East, King of Wa.” Wa rulers had reportedly sent embassies to the Liu Song court in 438 and 451 as well, and in both cases they had requested confirmation of a similar string of titles. In 438, the only title granted was “Great General who maintains Peace in the East, King of Wa.” In 451, titles were granted for Japan, Kaya, Silla, Imna, Chinhan, and Mohan, with Kaya a substitution for Paekche. See Best 2006, 73–75. For a full translation of the 478 memorial and analysis of its implications in the emergence of Yamato imperial imaginary, see Duthie 2014, 33–39. Duthie 2014, 32. This is only one example of such a claim, which were by no means limited to Yamato. The famous 414 CE Kwanggaet’o stele made the dubious claim the Paekche and Silla had long been paying tribute to Koguryŏ. Best 2006, 84–87.

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By the mid-sixth century, the pattern of alliances on the Korean peninsula had shifted again. Simultaneous threats from Koguryŏ, which continued to put pressure on the northern border, and from Silla, which was beginning to expand into the Imna region, caused the Paekche ruler King Muryǒng (r. 501–523 CE) to resume diplomatic contact with the Yamato court in 504 CE.17 The Nihon shoki records a flurry of embassies between Paekche and Yamato throughout the sixth century.18 The goal of many of these embassies was to gain support in resisting Silla’s efforts to expand into Imna while also fending off Koguryŏ to the north. Silla successfully moved to take territory from both Paekche and Koguryŏ early in the sixth century, pursued their advantage in the 530s and 540s by taking further territory from Paekche, and by 562 CE had conquered Imna and fended off an attempted Yamato–Paekche retaliation.19 By the end of the sixth century, the alliance between Silla and Paekche had completely deteriorated, as had the last of the Northern and Southern dynasties. The Rise of the Sui The rise of the Sui brought an end to a period of division and instability in China, but the consolidation of power into the hands of a single continental empire also disrupted the diplomatic order that had structured East Asia for several hundred years. Paekche, Silla, Koguryŏ, and Yamato no longer had a choice of continental empires to engage in tributary and investiture relations, and each pursued intense diplomatic contact with the Sui as they maneuvered for support in their ongoing conflicts with each other. Koguryŏ sent multiple tribute embassies to the Sui in the 590s and received investiture, Silla received investiture from the Sui in 594 CE and sent tribute envoys in 596 CE, while Paekche first established formal diplomatic contact with the Sui in 598 CE and Yamato sent its first envoys in 600 CE.20 Even as they sent envoys with tribute to the Sui court, each of these realms was also acutely aware of the threat that the Sui posed and sought ways to balance nominal submission to the Sui with other alliances. One way that all three Korean peninsula states sought to balance the Sui was engaging in what Duthie has called “imperializing” diplomacy with Yamato, sending envoys with tribute and requesting recognition and military 17 18

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Nihon shoki, trans. Aston (1972), 1:406. After the 504 embassy that reopened diplomatic relations, embassies are recorded in 505, 512, 513, 531, 540, 543, 545, 546, 547, 552, 553, 555, 561, and 575. See Best (2006, 110–128) for an overview of Paekche–Yamato relations in this period. On Silla’s taking territory from Paekche and Koguryŏ, see Samguk sagi, trans. Shultz and Kang (2013, 121–122, 123–126). On Silla’s conquest of Imna and defense of the territory, see Samguk sagi, trans. Best (2006, 338). Best (2006, 158–159) notes that Paekche was in contact with the Sui before this point, and that they were likely relying on a positive 589 CE interaction between their king and Emperor Wen (r. 581–604 CE), founder of the Sui.

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support.21 There are no records of Yamato envoys to continental empires between the Wu memorial of 478 CE and the first envoy to the Sui in 600 CE, recorded in the Suishu (Book of Sui, c. 636). Given Yamato’s apparent lack of contact with the continent, it is possible that the Korean peninsula states sought to position Yamato as an “empire” that could help balance the Sui. It was in this context that the Yamato ruler sent an embassy to the Sui emperor to proclaim Yamato’s imperial status in 607 CE, with a famous letter that opened with the phrase: “The son of heaven where the sun rises writes to the son of heaven where the sun sets.”22 The classic Sinic imperial order certainly did not allow for the possibility of two sons of heaven, and the Suishu records the annoyance of the Sui ruler at receiving this message. Nevertheless, the Sui reportedly accepted Yamato’s envoy and sent envoys of their own to Yamato the following year. Lee Sungshi recently argued, on somewhat shaky grounds, that Yamato’s message to the Sui court was crafted by Koguryŏ advisors at the Yamato court. Whether or not this is the case, Lee is much more persuasive in arguing that the Sui tolerated the irritating Yamato message primarily because they were concerned about the possibility of a Yamato–Koguryŏ alliance.23 In spite of their ongoing diplomatic relationship, tension between the Sui empire and Koguryŏ was a constant in this period. Because the Sui rulers presented themselves as the successors to the Han dynasty, they saw their claim to the territory of the former Han commanderies – seized by Koguryŏ in the fourth century – as a matter of course.24 Koguryŏ rulers were not passive in the face of this looming threat. In 598 CE, Koguryŏ invaded Sui territory, and its rulers were consequently stripped of the titles they had received from the Sui, but when they apologized for the incursion the Sui reinstated the titles. This nominal tribute and investiture relationship was upset again when the Sui discovered that Koguryŏ had been working to find allies to limit their expansion. The Suishu records a 607 CE meeting between the Sui emperor and the khan of the Eastern Turks during which the Sui emperor was informed that Koguryŏ had been making secret overtures to the Eastern Turks. Lee Sungshi has translated the Suishu record of this meeting as follows: At the tent of Qimin Khan, there happened to be an envoy from Koguryŏ who attempted to conspire with the Turks. The Qimin Khan did not dare hide him and brought the Koguryŏ envoy to [the] Yang Emperor of the Sui Dynasty.25

According to the Sui records, Emperor Yang responded to this incident by demanding that Koguryŏ formally submit to Sui authority, which the Koguryŏ ruler refused to do. 21 22 23

Duthie 2014, 55. Duthie (2014, 40–45) includes a translation of the full passage, as well as relevant passages of the differing Suishu and Nihon shoki accounts of this interaction. S. Lee 2007, 119–151. 24 Xiong 2006, 214–216. 25 S. Lee 2007, 131.

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Following this episode, other states in the region began to use their tributary missions to exploit the conflict between the Sui and Koguryŏ to their own advantages by drawing the Sui into the region to distract and weaken Koguryŏ. In 607 CE, Paekche sent envoys asking the Sui to punish Koguryŏ for incursions into Paekche territory. Silla, which had its own conflict with Koguryŏ in 604 CE, sent a similar request to the Sui in 608 CE. These requests, combined with the Sui belief in their claim to Koguryŏ’s territory and fear that Koguryŏ was plotting to weaken their realm led the Sui emperor to take action. He ordered a large force to attack Koguryŏ in 609 CE. The first attack ended in failure when late summer rains made it impossible for the Sui troops to advance further. A subsequent major attack in 613 CE was again unsuccessful, and the Sui ruler’s excessive use of resources for this campaign led to major rebellions in his own realm. In spite of these defeats and the mounting resistance to them in the Sui empire, the ruler ordered another major campaign in 614 CE. The Sui troops had some successes in this campaign, and they managed to reach the Koguryŏ capital, where they extracted a promise of submission from the Koguryŏ ruler. That promise was never fulfilled, and Emperor Yang’s call for another massive campaign against Koguryŏ went unanswered. His extreme expenditures on projects such as the Grand Canal and also on the costly and unsuccessful campaigns in Koguryŏ had turned the people of the realm against him. By 618 CE he had been murdered and the Sui dynasty had collapsed. Although the fall of the Sui removed the immediate threat from Koguryŏ’s borders, the impact of the unification of the Northern and Southern dynasties had reshaped the dynamics of the region, and the new relationships and strategies that had formed would continue to play out during the following Tang dynasty. The First East Asian World War When the Tang dynasty was established in 618 CE, it worked to distinguish itself from the Sui in a number of ways but also largely inherited Sui tributary relations in East Asia. All of the Korean peninsula states were quick to send envoys with tribute and to receive investiture from the Tang. Even as they recognized the potential threat that the Tang posed to their status as independent states, each of these states also attempted to use tributary status with the Tang to gain the upper hand in their ongoing conflicts with peninsular rivals. One of the immediate questions facing the new Tang ruler was how he would handle relations with Koguryŏ. The collapse of the Sui after repeated disastrous campaigns against Koguryŏ would have been an unavoidable reality for Tang leaders, and Tang official histories suggest that the first emperor was not inclined to go on the offensive in Koguryŏ. Instead, he sent envoys with gifts of Daoist texts and engaged in exchanges of prisoners of war that normalized

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relations between the two realms. But, as Zhenping Wang describes in his analysis of Tang foreign policy during this period, the records indicate that Tang ministers cautioned the ruler against this approach. In 624 CE, when the emperor planned to send an investiture envoy to Koguryŏ with a conciliatory message, one of his ministers argued not only that Koguryŏ occupied territory that had belonged to the former Han commanderies, but also that Koguryŏ’s existence on the Tang borders was an untenable threat to the Tang position in the region that would eventually have to be addressed.26 The next several decades would be marked by escalating tension between Koguryŏ and the Tang empire. Much as they had done during the Sui dynasty, the other states in the region sought to use the tension between the Tang empire and Koguryŏ to their advantage. Efforts to draw the Tang into the conflicts on the Korean peninsula began early – in 626 CE both Paekche and Silla sent envoys to the Tang complaining that Koguryŏ was preventing them from sending tribute and asking the Tang ruler to take action. While this conflict was resolved with a Tang-facilitated apology letter from Koguryŏ, it marked the emergence of a pattern in which Paekche and Silla both regularly sought to involve the Tang in disputes in the region. Following the accession of the new Tang ruler Taizong (r. 626–649 CE) in 626 CE, the Tang succeeded in subduing the Eastern Turks. This shift was significant in that it freed the Tang to devote greater attention and resources to the Korean peninsula. The official histories also portray Taizong as having had a strong personal interest in retaking territory held by Koguryŏ, and describe envoys he sent to gather information about the realm and its fortifications in 631 CE. But even with Taizong’s more aggressive attitude toward Koguryŏ, it would take over a decade, a major internal crisis in Koguryŏ, and repeated requests from Silla to convince the Tang to attack. In 642 CE, the ruler of Koguryŏ and over 100 members of his court were murdered in a bloody coup d’état orchestrated by a regional chieftain named Yŏn Kaesomun. Kaesomun then seized control of the realm and installed the king’s younger brother as a puppet ruler.27 News of the coup quickly reached the Tang court, where Taizong reportedly declared the overthrow of the Koguryŏ king – who had spent time at the Tang court – intolerable. But even with this sign of upheaval and weakness in Koguryŏ’s leadership, Taizong was persuaded to proceed with relative caution. The Tang sent an envoy to the king’s funeral but also granted recognition to the new ruler installed by Yŏn Kaesomun.28 26 27

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Z. Wang 2013, 56. For a full account of the coup as described in the Jiu Tangshu (Old Book of Tang) and Xin Tangshu (New Book of Tang) see Z. Wang 2013, 57–58. The coup is also recorded in the Nihon shoki, which describes envoys reporting the death of the king and 180 courtiers. Nihon shoki, trans. Aston (1972), 2:172. Z. Wang (2013, 56–80) gives a much more detailed recounting of the events of these wars.

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Through the upheaval in Koguryŏ, Silla had continued to appeal to the Tang for support in resisting Paekche and Koguryŏ military incursions, and in 643 CE the Taizong ordered Koguryŏ to cease attacks on Silla. The order was likely both a real test of how the new leaders in Koguryŏ would respond to Tang influence and a pretext for taking steps toward an invasion. When Kaesomun defied the order, the Tang began preparations to invade Koguryŏ, ordering Paekche, Silla, and other tributaries to provide support. Taizong also made the highly unusual announcement that he would personally lead the campaign. The scale of the conflict was significant, with a reported 60,000 troops traveling to Koguryŏ over land, and further forces sent by sea. Silla is said to have sent 50,000 troops to join the Tang forces in 645 CE, but Paekche broke with the Tang and sent troops and weapons to support Koguryŏ. While the Tang were able to secure several major victories over Koguryŏ troops, reportedly killing as many as 20,000 and capturing 30,000 more in a battle, they were ultimately unable to break the resistance of the city of Anshi. Taizong eventually returned to his capital in 646 CE, having suffered the loss of thousands of soldiers during the return journey through the winter cold. Immediately following the Tang return to their capital, Koguryŏ sent envoys to apologize for the conflict and attempt to reinstate the tributary relationship. The Tang dynastic histories report that Taizong rejected these overtures and accused Koguryŏ of sending letters that failed to follow proper diplomatic protocols and treating Tang ambassadors poorly.29 This episode marks a rare instance in which the Tang rejected tribute outright, and the decision to do so was a strong signal that the Tang intended to continue its war on Koguryŏ. Meanwhile, the pattern of alliances in the region had shifted. Up until 645 CE, the Tang had accepted tribute from Paekche and sent envoys to confer the title of “king” to a series of its rulers, but when Paekche failed to send military support for the Tang campaign in Koguryŏ and instead used the conflict as an opportunity to seize territory from Silla, the Tang stance changed. Silla continued to position itself as a loyal tributary in need of protection from the Tang, and sent envoys imploring the Tang to punish Paekche for its actions. Paekche stopped sending tributary missions to the Tang in 645 CE and instead shifted focus toward its relationships with Yamato and Koguryŏ. As a result, when the Tang began preparing another force to return to Koguryŏ in 647 CE, their new strategy centered on defeating Paekche first and using it as a base from which to launch one part of a pincer movement that would allow them to defeat Koguryŏ. The Tang sent small groups of troops to the Korean peninsula in 647 CE with the goal of disrupting agriculture in Koguryŏ and weakening it in advance of a much larger invasion the following year. However, this campaign was abandoned when Taizong died in 649 CE. By this point, a clear set of 29

The Jiu Tangshu and Xin Tangshu are both cited in Z. Wang 2013, 67.

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alliances had emerged, with Koguryŏ, Yamato, and Paekche on one side, and Silla and the Tang on the other. When Gaozong (r. 649–683 CE) took the Tang throne, he received and accepted congratulatory envoys from all three Korean peninsula kingdoms, reportedly urging them all to be peaceful with each other. But conflict and competition among the Korean kingdoms continued over the next decade, and as Silla faced significant military threats from Koguryŏ and Paekche on both its northern and western boundaries, it continued to appeal to the Tang for aid. As in earlier periods, many of these requests for support were framed as complaints that Koguryŏ was preventing Silla from sending tribute to the Tang, a key strategy for persuading the Tang that taking action against Koguryŏ was in their own interest. Planning for the final phase of the conflict began after 655 CE, when an envoy from Silla traveled to the Tang court and reported that Koguryŏ and Paekche had again seized territory from them. Gaozong responded by ordering preparations for another major campaign against Koguryŏ and Paekche. Once again, the Tang strategy would be to begin by attacking Paekche in order to use it as a launching pad for a later attack against Koguryŏ. In 660 CE, the Tang reportedly sent 120,000 soldiers and 1,900 ships to attack Paekche. Working with the Silla forces, the Tang troops were able to destroy Paekche and capture the king in a matter of months. While it seemed that Paekche had been destroyed as an independent state, the Yamato court mounted a counterattack designed to restore the ruling house. A Paekche prince who had been sent to Yamato as a hostage before the war was equipped for battle and sent back to the peninsula with a Yamato naval force of 400 ships. Yamato’s foray into the conflicts on the Korean peninsula ended in complete disaster. In short order, the entire Yamato fleet was destroyed at the 663 CE Battle of the Paek River, a major blow to Yamato and the end of any real hopes of restoring the Paekche royalty. The remaining Yamato troops retreated, and Tang and Silla forces turned their attention to Koguryŏ. In spite of the combined efforts of the Tang and Silla forces, fighting in Koguryŏ dragged on inconclusively for years. Early campaigns inflicted significant losses on Koguryŏ forces but failed to capture the capital or to break Koguryŏ resistance. As Zhenping Wang notes in his account of the war, it was ultimately a second major internal upheaval that brought about Koguryŏ’s defeat.30 After the death of Yŏn Kaesomun in 666 CE, Koguryŏ courtiers split their support among his sons. The brothers initially attempted to rule jointly, but the Tang records indicate that the elder brother became convinced that his younger brothers were conspiring against him and fled. He sent overtures to the Tang, offering his submission in return for protection. The Tang 30

Z. Wang 2013, 80–81.

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were quick to seize this opportunity, which gave the Tang–Silla forces the opening they needed to finally destroy Koguryŏ and capture its king in 668 CE. At this point, both Paekche and Koguryŏ had been reconfigured into territories directly ruled by the Tang. With the decisive defeat of its rivals on the Korean peninsula, Silla immediately pivoted toward efforts to consolidate its control of the area and to expel the Tang forces. Although it had by this point pursued a strategy of outward subservience and loyalty to the Tang for decades, the Samguk sagi records suggest that Silla leaders had long recognized that the Tang were both a potential threat and a potential ally. When the Tang failed to fulfill earlier promises about returning territory to Silla, Silla rulers took action. In 668 CE, Silla sent envoys to Yamato to reopen contact, which had ceased in 655 CE. They followed with a mission bringing tribute in 669 CE, and Yamato responded by sending an envoy to Silla in 670 CE. The flurry of diplomatic contact between Yamato and Silla continued as Silla began to support groups in Koguryŏ and Paekche that resisted and rebelled against the Tang. By this point, the Tang were relying on a seriously overextended military to maintain their hold on the region, so Silla’s strategy of encouraging constant resistance took a toll. As the Tibetans had become an increasingly urgent problem on the western frontier, the Tang had to divert attention and resources away from the northeast, and by 679 CE the Tang had abandoned the peninsula, allowing Silla to consolidate its control over the territory. Over the course of the 680s, Tang–Silla relations would gradually improve, and Silla would once again send regular envoys bearing tribute to the Tang court and receiving investiture from the Tang ruler.31 As a result of the shock of its defeat, Yamato rulers embarked on a major campaign of centralization that would see it adopt new law codes, create a system of realmwide defenses, and eventually a new conception of its rulers as fully divine sovereigns at the center of their own “all under heaven.” Yamato also resumed contact with the Tang after the conflict, sending envoys throughout the seventh and eighth centuries, before eventually cutting off diplomatic contact in the late ninth century.32 Conclusion The East Asia that emerged out of these decades of warfare looked significantly different than the one that had existed for the 400 years of the Northern and Southern dynasties. Where there had been multiple competing “centers,” there was now one unified Tang dynasty, which would survive until 907 CE. Silla 31 32

Z. Wang (2013, 84) notes that Silla sent twenty-five envoys to the Tang between 686 and 886 CE. The last Yamato envoys to go to the Tang left in 838 CE, and a final envoy planned for 894 CE was ultimately canceled.

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consolidated its control and endured as the dominant force on the Korean peninsula until 935 CE, but the unification of the Korean peninsula that it had accomplished would last for nearly 1300 years. Yamato’s massive defeat at the hands of the Tang and Silla forces and the waves of refugees and returning prisoners of war that came to Yamato in the subsequent years catalyzed the process of centralization and state formation that had begun in the early seventh century.33 The state that emerged at this time has gone through many significant changes, but arguably some elements of the centralized structure and realm created at this time would endure for hundreds of years. Beyond the simple longevity of some of the political forms that emerged out of this period of warfare in East Asia, examining the dynamics of tributary relations during this period allows new insight into how they became a fundamental structure of East Asian interstate interaction. While the basic framework for tributary–empire interactions was established during the Han dynasty, it was during the following period of disunion and competing centers that the majority of the East Asian polities began to participate in tributary relations. Diplomatic interactions structured around tribute and investiture became critical for both smaller states and aspiring empires, which mutually relied on these relationships to define and legitimize their rule. The idealized tributary relationship demanded that all parties participate in the fiction that there was only one center and that all subject states were unfailingly loyal to this center, but in reality, smaller states sent tribute to multiple centers while also pursuing their own imperial ambitions by structuring their interactions with neighboring states according to the same hierarchical rules. During the period of dynamic change brought about by the rise of the Sui and Tang, tributary relationships remained critical, as each of the smaller states sought the support of the new singular center. Ultimately, it was Silla that was able to most effectively use its status as a tributary to draw the Tang into a conflict on the Korean peninsula. Of course, the Silla strategy worked not only because the Tang had interests of their own in the region, but also because their attention was ultimately drawn away from the region by challenges on their western border. With the Tang threat minimized, Silla and Yamato were once again able to use tributary relations to maintain relatively stable economic and diplomatic interactions across the region.

33

Batten 1986, 199–219. For more on the emergence of a centralized government in Yamato see Piggott 1997.

5

The Founding of the Korean Chosŏn Dynasty, 1392 Ji-Young Lee

In a Korean film set in 1375, Musa: The Warrior, there is a scene where a Ming Chinese official orders the arrest of Koryŏ Korean envoys arriving in the Ming on a diplomatic mission. The Ming official shouts, “After murdering our diplomatic envoy, Koryŏ has continued to dispatch spies in secrecy. Now they send their military in the name of so-called diplomatic relations.”1 This scene portrays the tumultuous Koryŏ–Ming relationship after the Ming empire’s founding, which replaced the Yuan empire in China in 1368. The film offers a glimpse at the backdrop against which a new state Chosŏn came into being in Korea in 1392, at the height of Koryŏ–Ming military tensions. Albeit indirectly, the Yuan–Ming transition in China in 1368 provided an impetus for the Koryŏ–Chosŏn transition in Korea in 1392. In 1388, the Ming, having suppressed the remaining Mongol forces of the predecessor Yuan empire led by Naghachu in the Liaodong region, declared its plans to lay claim on the northeastern quadrant of the Korean peninsula – the territory that Koryŏ king Kongmin had recovered from the Yuan empire in 1356.2 Koryŏ Korea responded by sending top generals Yi Sŏng-gye and Cho Min-su along with 40,000 forces to attack the Ming.3 At the Sino-Korean border, however, Yi Sŏng-gye turned the army back on Wiwha Island in the Yalu River and headed back to the Koryŏ capital. He dethroned incumbent Koryŏ king U and founded a new dynasty four years later in 1392. Scholars have long viewed the founding of Chosŏn Korea as the beginning of its policy of sadae toward the Ming empire. Literally translated as “serving 1 2

3

Musa: The Warrior. Directed by Kim Sung-su, South Korea: CJ Entertainment, 2001. KSC, vol. 33, 1388 (U 14). In this chapter, KSC refers to Koryŏ-sa chŏryo [Abridged essence of Koryŏ history], comp. and trans. Han’guk kojŏn Pŏnyŏgwŏn (1968), which I accessed through the DB Korean Classics (http://db.itkc.or.kr/dir/item?itemId=BT#/dir/list?itemId=BT&gubun= book). KSC vol. 28, 1369 (KM 18), for example, indicates Koryŏ-sa chŏryo, vol. 28, the year 1369, which was the eighteenth year of the reign of the Koryŏ king Kongmin. See KSC, vol. 33, 1388 (U 14), which states that the Koryŏ forces numbered 38,830 soldiers and 11,600 aides.

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the great,” the principle of sadae is often linked to Chosŏn’s reputation for having been a model tributary of the Ming empire.4 Yi Sŏng-gye had opposed the Koryŏ king U and commander-in-chief Ch’oe Yŏng’s plans for taking military action against the Ming in 1388. His famous dictum, “Four Reasons Why We Should Not Invade the Ming,” argued against the Liaodong campaign, “because it was wrong for a small state to go against a great state.”5 When Yi Sŏng-gye was enthroned as the new king of Chosŏn on July 17, 1392, the very next day he sent an envoy to the Ming capital and received Ming recognition of his new state. Throughout his reign, the new king made tremendous efforts to secure the Ming emperor Hongwu’s investiture – an imperial seal and edict – even after the latter’s refusals. Consider, however, that by 1397 Chosŏn Korea was preparing for yet another campaign in Liaodong against the Ming, with Yi Sŏng-gye’s approval. The plan did not materialize, but how do we make sense of Chosŏn Korea’s behavior of adopting a policy of sadae on the one hand and planning for a military campaign on the other? In this chapter, I argue that the key to understanding Chosŏn Korea’s seemingly contradictory behavior toward the Ming lies in Yi Sŏng-gye’s efforts to legitimate his rule and consolidate domestic authority as a new king, in the process of constructing a new political order after toppling a nearly 500year-old Koryŏ Korea. Contrary to the popular narrative, the sadae was a guiding principle of Chosŏn Korea’s dealings with the Ming empire, but did not dictate the specifics of foreign policy behavior, at least in the early Chosŏn period. From Chosŏn Korea’s perspective, participating in the tribute practice of receiving investiture from the Chinese emperor – that is, upholding the sadae principle – was a means by which it sought to construct a new ruler identity, in the form of external validation. The episode of Chosŏn Korea’s founding is, thus, a story of how Chosŏn’s domestic order building is intertwined with the process of Ming’s international order building by way of tribute practices of investiture and gift-exchanges. The idea that Chosŏn Korea was a model tributary may be accurate, in the sense that Chosŏn was a solid participant of a Ming-centered hierarchical international order, as evidenced by more frequent and regularized interactions with the Ming than other actors through tribute practices. However, until Chosŏn–Ming relations reached that point of equilibrium and stability, the contentious Koryŏ–Ming relations continued into Chosŏn–Ming relations until 1398, the year the Ming founder Hongwu died before the Ming fell into a civil war. This was also the year that Yi Sŏng-gye’s reign ended in Chosŏn without having received investiture from Hongwu. More broadly, the purpose of this chapter is to examine the dramatic way in which Chosŏn Korea was founded in 1392 in relation to the Ming empire, with 4

For a good discussion, see Clark 1998.

5

KSC, vol. 33, 1388 (U 14).

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an eye toward a deeper understanding of the nature and workings of what is known as the tribute system.6 This chapter’s focus on the founding of Chosŏn Korea and early Chosŏn–Ming relations provides a good analytical window into the workings of the tribute system at times of conflicting interests between China and its neighboring powers. The Chinese-centered hierarchical order in early modern East Asia did not rest on imperial China’s preponderant military and economic power over others only. Rather, the making of Chinese hegemony had more to do with the taken-for-granted, repeated performances of giftexchange and investiture practices of the tribute system, which resulted in establishing the Chinese-centered view of the world derived from the Chinese Confucian culture as the international norm. This “symbolic domination” of the Chinese emperor’s ruler identity above that of other “barbarian” kings in the collective belief of contemporaries could have actual political consequences in the neighboring powers.7 By the late fourteenth century, the Ming emperor’s seal and edict were the socially determined tokens of kingly authority in Chosŏn Korea that distinguished a legitimate ruler from other actors who were vying for power but not entitled to rule. Once the Chinese Confucian worldview was taken for granted as determining what was legitimate and socially acceptable, that constrained the foreign policy choices that Chosŏn could make due to domestic consequences. Not surprisingly, those symbols of legitimacy mattered a great deal to Yi Sŏnggye, especially because of the manner in which he came onto the throne – via a coup. The chapter demonstrates that the dichotomy in the literature that sets the tribute system up as an antithesis of war and violence does not hold, and that the investiture ritual could become a form of negative soft power held by the Ming.8 At the heart of their diplomatic rupture and tensions were Chosŏn Korea’s and the Ming empire’s rivalries over the Liaodong region, located strategically at the border area, where the remaining Mongol forces, Koreans, and the Jurchens resided. From the perspective of the Ming empire, to the extent that foreign rulers needed its investiture for reasons of their own domestic politics, tribute practices could be used as a tool of coercion and as political leverage, as much as they were a mechanism of peace and stability. In the remainder of the chapter, I first examine historical details surrounding Koryŏ Korea’s military campaigns in the Liaodong region and a path to Chosŏn’s founding. Second, I address the question of Chosŏn’s sadae policy 6

7

Much of the chapter’s discussions, especially on the tribute system that focuses on symbolic domination, legitimation, signaling and coercion, draw from my earlier works. See J.-Y. Lee 2013; J.-Y. Lee 2016a; J.-Y. Lee 2016b. On symbolic domination, Bourdieu 1997, 159–197. 8 J.-Y. Lee 2013.

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vis-à-vis the Ming and examine the idea that Chosŏn was a model tributary. Third, I show how the Ming empire was able to use the investiture ritual as a means to control Chosŏn’s behavior when their interests collided over the Liaodong region. In the fourth section, I present my argument that sheds light on the role of investiture in the process of building a new domestic order within Chosŏn Korea, focusing on domestic actors and balances of power among them. I conclude the chapter with some thoughts on what the founding of Chosŏn Korea tells international relations scholars about hierarchy in general. Military Campaigns and the Path to Chosŏn’s Founding The founding of Chosŏn Korea in 1392 and the puzzling behavior that ensued vis-à-vis the Ming empire should be placed in the broader historical context of East Asian international relations in the late fourteenth century, where two kinds of international order – one centered on the declining Yuan empire (1279–1368) (the Northern Yuan, 1368–1635) and the other on the rising Ming empire (1368–1644) – formed overlapping centers of international authority. Geographically, Korea was situated in the middle of Ming– Northern Yuan strategic rivalries in terms of the China–Manchuria (Liaodong region)–Korea triangle in Northeast Asia.9 The establishment of the Ming empire in 1368 marked a significant turning point in East Asian history where the Yuan empire’s imperialism transitioned into a hegemonic mode of international order. The Yuan’s exploitation of Koryŏ Korea had been notorious, as the Mongol rulers “regarded everything and everyone in a conquered nation as absolute chattels.”10 Tribute practices during the Yuan period were instruments of economic exploitation and of physical, as opposed to symbolic, domination. Koryŏ king Kongmin (r. 1351–1374), witnessing the decline of the Yuan power by the mid-fourteenth century, sent troops and recovered the northeastern quadrant of the Korean peninsula that had been ruled under the Yuan Ssangsŏng Commandery in 1356.11 In 1368, the Ming forces drove the Yuan away from the capital. The Yuan requested Koryŏ Korea to send troops to help “restore Yuan,” but Kongmin refused.12 When the Ming founder Hongwu sent his envoy to Koryŏ to announce its founding in 1368, Kongmin took immediate action and severed its tributary relations with the Yuan empire. He sent 9 10 11 12

P. Yun 1998. Herthorn 1963, 70. Similarly, Kim Han-gyu explains the dynamics in his book. See Kim Hangyu 1999, 507–521. For the number of forces, see KSC vol. 29, 1370 (KM 19). KSC, vol. 28, 1369 (KM 18); KSC, vol. 29, 1370 (KM 19). For a detailed description of the circumstances, see Kim Yŏng-su 2006, 332–333.

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a tribute-bearing diplomatic mission to the Ming capital and received Hongwu’s investiture as king of Koryŏ, pronouncing Koryŏ’s status as a Ming tributary.13 Hoping that the Ming would take attacks as directed against the Mongols, around the same time in 1370, Kongmin sent armed forces led by Koryŏ general Yi Sŏng-gye to the Liaodong region, the northern border area adjacent to the Ming, and recaptured the Tongnyŏng Administration lost to the Yuan empire.14 While being aware of the risk it was taking vis-à-vis the Ming, Koryŏ Korea did not back down even after a warning from the Ming.15 Hongwu grew increasingly suspicious of Koryŏ’s intentions in the Liaodong region, while Koryŏ felt fearful of a possible invasion by the Ming. Hongwu sought to reassure Koryŏ, stating, “I hear that your country harbors many doubts [about the Ming]. Under Heaven, there is China and there are foreign countries. Koryŏ is a foreign country . . . In the past, a Sui emperor made the mistake of waging troops and subsequently was mocked. This is something that I detest the most.”16 Koryŏ–Ming relations continued to deteriorate, however. Several Koryŏ envoys sent to the Ming did not make it back home. After the murder of Kongmin by his own eunuch, a new Koryŏ ruler could not secure investiture from Hongwu.17 Hongwu tried to limit the number of Koryŏ’s Ming tributary missions to once every three years, banning Koryŏ envoys from entering the Ming territory for fear that these envoys were collecting intelligence about the Ming.18 Amid the fear of impending Ming invasions, King U now turned to receive investiture from the Northern Yuan. These in turn fueled further suspicions on the part of Hongwu who feared Koryŏ might cooperate with its adversary, the Northern Yuan, against the Ming.19 Hongwu’s investiture of U as king of Koryŏ, which came ten years after U’s enthronement, was made possible only when Koryŏ paid large sums of tribute to the Ming empire.20

13 15 16

17 18

19 20

KSC, vol. 28, 1369 (KM 18). 14 KSC, vol. 29, 1370 (KM 19). Kim Yŏng-su 2006, 337–339. Hongwu’s remarks recorded in Koryŏ-sa in the year 1372, the twenty first year of the reign of the Koryŏ king Kongmin, quoted in Kim Yŏng-su 2006, 342 (author’s translation from Korean). See also Yun Sŏng-ik 2007, 120. The Ming released them in 1377, the fifth year of the reign of U, which marked a brief détente before the 1388 campaign. KSC, vol. 33, 1388 (U 14). KSC, vol. 31, 1379 (U 5) records that the Ming warned Koryŏ of its relations with the Northern Yuan urging it to avoid “regrettable” behavior. See also TS, July 28, 1393, available at http://sillok.history.go.kr/id/kaa_10207028_002. In this chapter, TS refers to T’aejo Sillok [Annals of the Chosŏn Dynasty during the reign of T’aejo], comp. and trans. Kuksa P’yŏnch’an Wiwŏnhoe, which I access through their digital archive (http://sillok .history.go.kr/main/main.do). For example, see KSC, vol. 31, 1379 (U 5). KSC, vol. 32, 1385 (U 11). Koryŏ paid a large sum of goods, including horses, as tributes.

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Internally, Kongmin’s Ming policy and the military campaign were both designed to remove the pro-Yuan faction within Koryŏ – the relatives of the Koryŏ-born Yuan empress Ki and other powerful families who benefited from their association with the Yuan empire – and to embark on political reforms of strengthening his kingly authority, which had been debilitated by the Yuan rule.21 It is for this reason – domestic power politics – that in 1370 calling itself a Ming tributary did not prevent Koryŏ Korea from sending armed forces to the Liaodong region, knowing that such action would possibly risk a military confrontation with Ming. In the same vein, in dealing with Hongwu, Koryŏ Korea, after having become a Ming tributary state two years after the Ming’s founding, actually switched back to becoming a tributary of the Northern Yuan, only to make great endeavors to restore the relationship with the Ming to no avail. In other words, Koryŏ kings sought to receive investiture but switched sides between the Ming and the Northern Yuan to manage external relations, but within the boundaries of serving their domestic political interests of creating and maintaining authority against opponents. By 1387, the Ming military prevailed over the Mongol chieftain Naghachu in the Liaodong region in Manchuria. In 1388, it subsequently announced plans to lay claim on the formerly Yuan-controlled area in the northeastern quadrant of the Korean peninsula, the same area Koryŏ king Kongmin recaptured in 1356.22 Koryŏ king U and his top aides and generals debated how to respond to this challenge. Despite serious reservations on the part of a majority of officials, Ch’oe Yŏng and U prevailed over Yi Sŏng-gye and his supporters and decided to strike at the Ming. As 40,000 Koryŏ military forces were marching toward the Sino-Korean border, led by Yi Sŏng-gye and Cho Min-su,23 this became the defining moment that marked the end of Koryŏ as a long-lived dynasty in Korea. Upon reaching Wi-wha Island at the border, Yi Sŏng-gye turned the army back to the Koryŏ capital and dethroned U. In 1392, a new dynasty was founded in Korea. Once back in the capital, Yi Sŏng-gye restored the use of the Ming-era name Hongwu and Ming attire, an unmistakable gesture signaling a pro-Ming policy.24 In the four years between the 1388 campaign and the founding of Chosŏn Korea, efforts for reforming a corrupt Koryŏ society took the form of power struggles between moderates such as Yi Saek and progressives including Yi Sŏng-gye, Cho Jun, and Chŏng To-jŏn,25 while they sought to manipulate the symbolic power of the Ming emperor in ways that promoted their position

21 23 24 25

Park Won-ho 2005, 66; Kim Yŏng-su 2006, chapter 2. 22 KSC, vol. 33, 1388 (U 14). See KSC, vol. 33, 1388 (U 14). Kim Yŏng-su 2006, 565; KSC, vol. 33, 1388 (U 14) records that the Ming was to send its army to confront the Koryŏ forces but stopped, as a Koryŏ envoy explained the situation. Kim Han-gyu 1999; Kim Tang-taek 2011, 407–445.

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within Koryŏ.26 The day after Yi Sŏng-gye was officially enthroned, his envoy left for the Ming capital in pursuit of Hongwu’s recognition of the new state.27 Hongwu responded to the request positively. Yi Sŏng-gye sent Chŏng To-jŏn as an envoy to express appreciation to Hongwu. At the request of those who founded a new dynasty in Korea, the name Chosŏn was selected by the Ming, one of the earliest acts considered as Chosŏn’s sadae toward the Ming. However, within the span of forty years of the Ming founder Hongwu’s reign, Korea either embarked on or prepared for a military campaign in the Liaodong region three times vis-à-vis the Ming, while fully being aware of a danger of going to war with the Ming. By 1397, Yi Sŏng-gye approved military exercises designed for a campaign in the Liaodong region against the Ming, which was spearheaded by his most trusted aides and the founding fathers Chŏng To-jŏn and Nam Ŭn. Upon its establishment, Chosŏn embarked on various measures to strengthen its military capabilities as early as 1393, including military reforms, the production of maps, and military exercises.28 An entry in August 1398 of the Chosŏn Wangjo Sillok, the annals of the Chosŏn dynasty, records the names of those Chosŏn officials to be penalized for their negligence of military training. Chosŏn Korea was clearly aware that its campaign in Liaodong would mean that it would confront the Ming militarily.29 The idea that a newly founded Chosŏn would strike at the Ming still appears to be reckless. The number of men that Chosŏn Korea could enlist would have been 200,000,30 whereas the Ming empire could call on more than 500,000 men, based on the number the second Ming emperor Jianwen mobilized a year later in a civil war against his uncle.31 The question is, why did Chosŏn Korea come to plan a military attack on the Ming, and why did the plan come to an end abruptly in 1398? The Question of Sadae and Chosŏn as a Model Tributary The new state Chosŏn adopted the sadae kyorin (“serving the great, neighborly relations”) as its guiding principle for foreign relations. Chŏng To-jŏn, a neoConfucian scholar and first chief state councilor of Chosŏn who was also in charge of the military, envisioned relations with the Ming on the basis of the Confucian notion of propriety and proper conduct, li. Chŏng’s ideas can be traced back to ancient Chinese Confucian theorist Mencius’s (4 BCE) sadae: “A man who serves a small state as the great power is one who enjoys Heaven’s Reason; A man who serves a great power as the small state is one who shows deference to Heaven’s Reason. He who enjoys Heaven’s Reason will protect the world; He who shows deference to Heaven’s Reason will protect his 26 29

See Park Won-ho 2005, 87–90. 27 KSC, vol. 33, 1388 (U 14). 28 Ryu 1999, 13. Park Won-ho 2002, 97. 30 Park Won-ho 2002, 98. 31 Park Won-ho 2002, 99.

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state.”32 A renowned Confucian scholar Zhu Xi of the Southern Song (1126–1271) commented on sadae: “Heaven is li. It is naturally li that a great state cares for a small state and a small state serves a great state.”33 However, the popularized image of “sadaejuŭi (sadae-ism) Chosŏn,” one that is associated with Chosŏn’s “loyalty” toward the declining Ming in the late sixteenth century – refusing to end tributary relations even in the face of the looming national security threats from the stronger Manchus – was not the kind of sadae that Chŏng To-jŏn had in mind in the early Chosŏn period. In fact, historians have argued that Chosŏn’s ideologue-like, rigid interpretation of the sadae is only a post-Imjin War (1592–1598) phenomenon.34 According to Yu Kŭn-ho, the sadae was “neither the heart-felt willingness toward the China-centered ideology (K. hwa-i; C. hua-i), nor the binding treaty forcefully imposed by China.”35 At its heart, the sadae was a principle of managing relations between the two states with asymmetrical power, helping them to find an equilibrium in their bilateral relations where a less powerful actor would not threaten the interests of the great power, while the great power would respect noninterference in and autonomy of the less powerful actor. Historically, the equilibrium in stable Korea–China relations – a convergence of interests between the two – did not look identical depending on the strategic environment they were under. Under the multistate system until the domination of Northeast Asia by the Mongols in the thirteenth century, Koryŏ Korea’s sadae policy rested on the logic of power politics, changing sides in terms of who it would send tribute to and receive investiture from, forming short-term alignments in the Northeast Asian theatre.36 Koryŏ received the title wang (king) not just from the Song, but from the Liao and the Jin, depending on the shifting power distribution at that time. Understanding the sadae principle in this way, early Chosŏn Korea’s behavior of planning a military campaign is not necessarily outside the boundaries of the thinkable. When we take a deeper historical look at the origins and interactive developments of actual expressions of the sadae as a philosophical principle, the tribute system can then be better defined more broadly as a bundle of diplomatic practices involving tribute and investiture, emerging from the “cultural grammar” or “cultural script” of Confucian cosmology. When we think about a tribute system, historian John K. Fairbank’s famous model of the “Chinese world order” is the first thing that comes to mind. He argued that the Chinese empire was governed by a set of ideas and practices developed by the rulers of China over many centuries, focusing mainly on the periods of stability and 32 33 34 36

Mencius quoted in Yi Ik-ju 2005, 198–199 (author’s translation from Korean). Zhu Xi, cited in Park Hong-kyu 2004, 12 (author’s translation from Korean). Kye 2009; Yi Ik-ju 2005, 198–214; Yu 2004; P. Yun 1998. 35 Yu 2004, 25. Sim Chae-sŏk 2002; P. Yun 1998.

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peace.37 The tribute system during the Ming period, in particular, has been considered as contributing to Asia’s long peace.38 Scholars have viewed the kind of tributary relations that existed between Chosŏn Korea and the Ming empire as showing evidence of this line of argument. It is true that Chosŏn Korea’s relations with the Ming presented something akin to the “most likely case” of how the tribute system functioned and how stability might be achieved despite power asymmetry between the two states participating in tribute practices. From the early fifteenth century, for nearly two hundred years Chosŏn–Ming relations exemplified perhaps the most stable patterns of bilateral relations within the tribute system framework in East Asia. With the exception of Yi Song-gye, the first T’aejo (r. 1392–1398) and the Injo (r. 1623–1649), Chosŏn kings received investiture - i.e., the title of king (K. kuwang; C. guiwang) from the Ming emperors without much difficulty. The overall stable patterns of hierarchical relations continued beyond the demise of the Ming empire in 1644 and even into the Qing empire.39 Investiture (K. ch’aekpong; C. cefeng) refers to “a public and symbolic act by which a person conferred a property, office, or right on another person by means of a material symbol.”40 Underlying this equilibrium of Chosŏn–Ming bilateral stability was the social understanding of authority relations embedded in tribute practices. Participants of the tribute practices shared an understanding of what it meant to pay tribute and to receive investiture. If A sent tribute to B (as opposed to receiving one), it signified A’s acknowledgment of B’s position as being superior to that of A; what followed was B’s granting of an official title upon A (as opposed to receiving a title) with its rank below B. This meant that B recognized A as a member of the hierarchical system that it occupied.41 These regularized interactions in the form of tribute practices were conducive to reproducing stability in Chosŏn–Ming relations, as they helped manage expectations toward the other. Tribute practices, especially investiture ritual, worked as a signaling mechanism. First, their performances were expected to be regular and precise. When such expectations for regularity and precision were not met, investiture ritual functioned as a litmus test, revealing information about the state of bilateral ties. Note that investiture was, in essence, “an action wrapped in a web of symbolism.”42 Its performance, therefore, allowed Chosŏn and the Ming to hold strategic ambiguity when they communicated their power relations and pursued their own interests. Taken together, their

37 38 39 41 42

Fairbank 1942, 129–149; Fairbank 1968; Fairbank 1969, 449–463. For detailed discussion, see J.-Y. Lee 2016a, 56–78. For detailed discussion, see J.-Y. Lee 2016a. 40 Parisse 2000, 732. J.-Y. Lee 2016a, 47–49. See also Sim Chae-sŏk 2002; Kim Han-gyu 1999; Kim Han-gyu 2011. Kertzer 1988, 9.

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repeated participation in investiture practice sent signals to each other that they were committed to the status quo, reproducing a reality of international hierarchy.43 Investiture as a Means for Coercion With the repetition of such interactions over a long period of time, what we witness in late Chosŏn–Ming relations is that such acts of symbolic obeisance designed to manage asymmetrical power relations with China externally became a tool of internal power struggles within Chosŏn. Tribute practices were not “mere symbolic acts” when their incentive structure created constituencies in domestic politics, especially among those Confucian scholar bureaucrats who would have liked to create the reality in that image of universal morality of Neo-Confucianism. As Chosŏn kings and their Confucian scholar bureaucrats engaged in a form of symbolic politics vis-à-vis the Ming, they manipulated external recognition from the Ming emperor in ways that strengthened their positions against domestic opponents. This in return gave the Ming emperor leverage to use investiture as a means to serve its interest vis-à-vis Chosŏn. Precisely because those contemporaries in Chosŏn took for granted investiture as being integral to domestic legitimation, Chosŏn kings’ hands could be tied and they were expected to pursue a Ming policy in a certain way. The politics of transforming Koryŏ general Yi Sŏng-gye into a new king necessitated the Ming emperor’s naming of him as king of Chosŏn. Chosŏn–Ming relations exemplify that under the condition that domestic legitimation was tied to investiture, the tribute system could be as much a tool of coercion as it was a mechanism for bilateral stability. We arrive at a much more varied picture of the tribute system that encompasses coercion, diplomatic ruptures, and the use of force as well as peaceful engagement, when we examine its workings from the perspective of Koryŏ/Chosŏn as well as the Ming/Qing over time. Throughout the Ming period, the Ming founder Hongwu’s pronouncement of the Ming’s intention of noninterference in other states’ internal affairs guided its relations with Chosŏn.44 Compared to the Yuan’s relations with Koryŏ, where the practice of investiture was not nominal but was used to control and/or replace the incumbent king, the Ming tended not to use the investiture to extract resources or compliance forcefully from Chosŏn. Historian Kye Seung-bum shows that even when the Ming requested Chosŏn troops for its own campaigns against the Mongols or the Jurchens, it did not make the investiture conditional upon Chosŏn’s compliance with its requests.45 43 44

For a detailed discussion, see J.-Y. Lee 2013. See Park Won-ho 2005; Kim Yŏng-su 2006.

45

Kye 2009.

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However, there were two important exceptions at the beginning and at the end of Chosŏn–Ming relations, when the Ming manipulated the investiture practice to its advantage while seeking to control Chosŏn’s behavior. In early Chosŏn– Ming relations, despite having recognized the founding of Chosŏn immediately, Hongwu refused to grant investiture to the Chosŏn founder Yi Sŏng-gye over a dispute in the Liaodong region. It was only after Hongwu’s death that amid a civil war in the Ming, the second Ming emperor was willing to grant the second king, Chŏngjong, the title of king of Chosŏn. Hongwu’s coercive measures were veiled and justified with Confucian propriety or past precedent but had more to do with the Ming’s efforts to consolidate its position in a strategic border area.46 The Ming’s interest in the Liaodong region is expressed in the phrase referring to the logic of “lips and teeth” or sunmang ch’ihan (“if you lose your lips, your teeth will get cold”), referring to China’s strategic interest in the northeast of the Korean peninsula. A Ming official Lu Kun’s memorial states, “Chosŏn Korea is geographically located under our arm to the East. Pyongyang is adjacent to the Yalu River to the West.”47 From his days as a Koryŏ general, Yi Sŏng-gye, too, was fully aware of the strategic importance of the Liaodong region and wanted to consolidate governance on the northeastern border near the Tuman River.48 Chosŏn–Ming relations during much of the reigns of the Ming and Chosŏn founders Hongwu and T’aejo Yi Sŏng-gye were a virtual repetition of tensions captured in the scene in the film mentioned at the top of this chapter. In response to Yi Sŏng-gye’s request for Ming recognition in July 1392, Hongwu’s reply kept a friendly tone, declaring the Ming’s intention of maintaining noninterference in Chosŏn’s internal affairs as long as there were no problems in the border areas.49 Chosŏn returned the imperial seal the Ming had given to Koryŏ king Kongmin, requesting a new seal. The diplomatic row began shortly thereafter. In May 1393, Hongwu criticized Chosŏn for luring the Jurchens into the Chosŏn territory and that Chosŏn bribed generals in Liaodong to drive a wedge between Liaodong and the Ming.50 In its letter of June 1393, Chosŏn sought to explain that it was a misunderstanding on the part of the Ming.51 Chosŏn envoys en route to the Ming capital were prohibited from passing through the Liaodong region to travel to the Ming capital. Then in September 1393, the Ming ordered Chosŏn to make only one embassy in 46

47 48 49 50 51

On this point, the Korean historical scholarship suggests many insights. See Park Won-ho 2002; Kim Gyong-rok 2000, 1–54; Kim Yŏng-su 2006; J.-H. Lee 2006, 1–24; Clark 1998, 272–300; Larsen 2013, 233–257; J.-Y. Lee 2013, 309–336. Lu Kun, quoted in Han 1999, 32 (author’s translation from Korean). Chong 2017a, 133–181. TS, November 27, 1392. http://sillok.history.go.kr/id/kaa_10111027_001 TS, May 23, 1393. http://sillok.history.go.kr/id/kaa_10205023_001; for the details of the diplomatic row that lasted until 1398, Chong 2017b and Park 2002. TS, June 1, 1393. http://sillok.history.go.kr/id/kaa_10206001_001

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three years – which was almost equivalent to the severing of diplomatic relations.52 Hongwu, threatening that the Ming could invade at any moment, blamed Chosŏn for harboring territorial ambitions toward the Liaodong region and warned it not to create a problem at the border. The Ming insisted that Chosŏn should send the letter writers to the Ming. Further, Hongwu demanded either the first or second son of Yi Sŏng-gye should visit the Ming capital as part of a tributary mission, a rare practice in the Ming’s foreign relations. What is intriguing about the interactions is Yi Sŏng-gye’s reactions. In response to all of these forceful demands from the Ming, Yi Sŏng-gye sought to accommodate and even sent his son Yi Pang-wŏn. Only then did the Ming allow him and his party to pass through the Liaodong region. Once Yi’s son came back to Chosŏn, relations with the Ming seemed to recover from the crisis. Yi Sŏng-gye sent back those who crossed the border from the Liaodong back to the Ming.53 It was at this point that Yi Sŏng-gye requested an imperial seal and edict again, expressing the desire that Hongwu grant him investiture as king of Chosŏn. To Yi Sŏng-gye’s dismay, Hongwu refused, stating that the king was “very mean and cunning.” He further blamed Chosŏn that the letter requesting investiture contained rude and derogatory characters in it and demanded that all of those who wrote the letter should be sent to the Ming.54 Hongwu repeatedly told Chosŏn that they should send him Chŏng To-jŏn, who Hongwu said had written the state letters and believed was behind Chosŏn’s ambitions in the Liaodong region.55 Chosŏn sought to reduce the tensions by saying that the languages of the two countries were different and that the level of scholarship in Chosŏn was less advanced than that of the Ming.56 In other words, Yi Sŏng-gye made tremendous efforts and concessions and endeavored to receive investiture from Hongwu. Then in 1396, Hongwu again demanded Chŏng To-jŏn should appear before him in the Ming court, while threatening that he would kill all of the Chosŏn envoys held in the Ming capital. Hongwu even demanded that Chosŏn should send the wives and children of those envoys held in the Ming. By 1398, the Chosŏn court turned increasingly hardline. Officials such as Pyŏn Jung-nyang argued that Chosŏn should not send the families of the envoys to the Ming.57 It is against this backdrop that in T’aejo Sillok we begin to see entries that discuss a plan to attack the Ming. But more interestingly, even while Chŏng To-jŏn was preparing for a possible campaign, Chosŏn still sought to receive investiture from Hongwu. By 1397, those Chosŏn envoys held in the Ming were killed. Then in December 1397, the 52 53 55 56 57

TS, September 2, 1393. http://sillok.history.go.kr/id/kaa_10209002_001; Chong 2017b, 147. Chong 2017b, 149. 54 TS, March 29, 1396. http://sillok.history.go.kr/id/kaa_10503029_003 TS, April 17, 1397. http://sillok.history.go.kr/id/kaa_10604017_001 TS, December 28, 1397. http://sillok.history.go.kr/id/kaa_10612028_001 TS, May 3, 1398. http://sillok.history.go.kr/id/kaa_10705103_001

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state letter to the Ming still tried to convey the sadae and explain how it was not Chosŏn’s intention to include insulting and frivolous words in its letters to the Ming. The question is: Why did Chosŏn continue to seek investiture from the Ming, even while it decided to prepare for a military campaign? Why did the imperial seal and edict matter so much to Yi Sŏng-gye? Chosŏn’s Power Struggles and Domestic Legitimation It is worth mulling over the nature of Hongwu’s power vis-à-vis Chosŏn during this diplomatic row on the issue of granting and receiving the title king of Chosŏn. Yi Sŏng-gye’s accommodating behavior may be explained by his fear of the Ming’s superior material capabilities, both military and economic. Hongwu did make the threat of using force vis-à-vis Chosŏn, and throughout his reign there were rumors of a possible Ming invasion of Korea. By a logical extension of this line of argument, Chosŏn might have prepared for a campaign in Liaodong in order to take a preventive military action while trying to appease the Ming. However, the fear of Ming power was not the primary reason for Yi Sŏng-gye’s continued efforts to receive investiture from Hongwu. Yi Sŏng-gye knew too well that Chosŏn could not sustain a military campaign to victory against the Ming even if it were to take preventive action and be victorious at the beginning of such an attack. After all, that was in part why he turned the army back in 1388.58 It is possible that Chosŏn would have wanted to prepare itself to defend against an impending invasion from the Ming, while seeking Hongwu’s investiture as a way of confirming that the Ming would not take military action against Chosŏn. However, the T’aejo Sillok clearly states that Chosŏn was preparing for “an attack on Liaodong (攻遼),”59 and this was not in response to any impending invasion on the part of the Ming. A second line of argument focuses on Chŏng To-jŏn, who Hongwu repeatedly demanded should show up in the Ming court, and Chŏng’s ambitions in the Liaodong region. Together with Yi Sŏng-gye, Chŏng To-jŏn was one of the most prominent political figures in the process of founding Chosŏn and was in fact in charge of overall military reforms and the preparations for a Liaodong campaign. If we take the T’aejo Sillok and Chŏngjong Sillok records at face value and accept the views of Chŏng To-jŏn’s political opponents such as Cho Jun, the preparations were driven by Chŏng’s personal desire to avoid Hongwu’s wrath. However, this argument may explain why Chŏng was preparing for an attack on the Ming, but not why Chosŏn persistently sought to receive Hongwu’s seal and edict. Historians have convincingly countered this 58 59

KSC, vol. 33, 1388 (U 14). It has already been decided that we attack Liaodong (攻遼之擧, 今已定矣) TS, August 9, 1398. http://sillok.history.go.kr/id/kaa_10708009_001

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“Chŏng To-jŏn’s personal vengeance” argument and paid greater attention to his role as someone who sought to more broadly build a new nation. Park Hong-kyu, for example, shows that Chŏng To-jŏn, through preparations for a Liaodong campaign, aimed to abolish the private armies that powerful individuals held and create a centralized Chosŏn military.60 If earlier research examined the role of Chŏng To-jŏn closely, more recent scholarship rightly points out that it is necessary to place greater emphasis on Yi Sŏng-gye, the king himself. Lee Kyu-chul, for example, shows that Chosŏn embarked on several expeditions against Jurchen that could bring itself in direct conflict with the Ming in the fifteenth century. Looking at the debates leading up to those expeditions, Lee demonstrates that in most cases, despite having faced opposition from their officials, it was the Chosŏn kings themselves who advocated such military campaigns more actively than others. For Chosŏn kings, the sadae was not an absolute value to uphold, and kingly authority or power was more important than the sadae.61 Rather than the fear of a Ming invasion of Chosŏn, Yi Sŏng-gye was motivated primarily by domestic political concerns, amid intense internal power struggles surrounding the founding of Chosŏn. When we look back at 1388, when Yi Sŏng-gye led the Koryŏ army, which comprised of mostly his own private forces, before turning them back and dethroning the incumbent Koryŏ king U, his expedition was a result of the checks and balances on the part of the then top Koryŏ general Ch’oe Yŏng against Yi Sŏng-gye’s growing influence. Yi Sŏng-gye had opposed the 1388 Liaodong campaign, probably knowing that that campaign was not going to be successful and that it would lead to his and his troops’ demise. Ch’oe Yŏng’s goal was to create many casualties among Yi Sŏng-gye’s army.62 Between the 1388 military campaign and the 1392 founding of Chosŏn, Yi Sŏng-gye removed Ch’oe Yŏng from the Koryŏ political scene for attacking the Ming and his close associates for various reasons; then he removed Cho Min-su, Mun Ik-chŏm, Yi Saek, and Kwŏn Kŭn for opposing the proposed land reforms.63 Once Chosŏn was founded, fifty-six individuals who had opposed the founding were punished on the grounds that they were plotting a rebellion.64 But some of them were brought back to Chosŏn politics and even appointed as founding contributors. Historian Kim Tang-taek concludes that even those who joined Yi Sŏng-gye in turning the army back on Wi-wha Island in 1388 were removed from politics if they were considered too powerful and influential.65 Consider a situation where several actors contend for office or rulership. An external validation from the office of a higher authority – such as investiture 60 62 64

Park Hong-kyu 2004, 7–31. 61 Lee Kyu-chul 2013. Kim Tang-taek 2005; Kim Yŏng-su 2006, 559, n. 7. Ryu 1999, 4. 65 Kim Tang-taek 2011.

63

Kim Tang-taek 2011, 407–445.

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from Hongwu – to one actor among these contenders can carry critical political significance, especially in times of power struggle. As opposed to a one-way projection of Ming military power, it was the symbolic power embedded in the Ming emperor’s investiture – the power to grant legitimacy to Yi Sŏng-gye that could have helped him undermine opponents. In the beginning, Yi Sŏng-gye was eager to receive the title king of Chosŏn from Hongwu, due to the symbolism of such external validation of his authority in the eyes of his domestic audience. The investiture from the Chinese emperor was considered integral in the domestic realm of Chosŏn as a “collective process of social validation,” especially in terms of political order formation processes.66 Such was the power of the Ming empire – and it was on this “symbolic domination” that the Chinese-centered hegemony and hierarchical order in early modern East Asia rested. In the words of Morris Zelditch, “the stability of authority depends not on each individual’s sense of propriety but on a collective process of social validation.”67 Hongwu, as the holder of the mandate of the Son of Heaven, was the one who could grant the legitimate identity to Yi Sŏng-gye if he named him as king of Chosŏn.68 With regard to this line of domestic politics argument, Chong Da-ham provides at least two important insights. One is that Chosŏn’s Liaodong campaign preparations should be understood in the larger historical context that Chosŏn was in the process of building a new governance structure in the northeastern border areas, particularly surrounding today’s Hamgyŏng-do and Tuman River. He notes that it was no coincidence that in the midst of preparations of a Liaodong campaign, Yi Sŏng-gye dispatched Chŏng To-jŏn to establish administrative units and build castles in these areas to incorporate them as part of Chosŏn territory. He further argues that the Liaodong campaign preparations had to do with Yi Sŏng-gye’s plans for succession. The timing of the actual campaign preparations was immediately after Yi Sŏng-gye realized that Hongwu was not going to grant him investiture. With the ongoing diplomatic row, once it became clear that the Ming was not going to grant him the title king of Chosŏn, Yi Sŏng-gye then turned to considering a military option as the best possible way forward.69 Yi Sŏng-gye continued to seek investiture in part because he wanted to ensure that Yi Pang-sŏk would be appointed as crown prince to be his successor, with the support of Chŏng To-jŏn. This plan was going to work, however, only with the Ming emperor’s investiture. Without the investiture, it created room for other princes to challenge Yi Pang-sŏk and Chŏng To-jŏn. As a matter of fact, this was exactly what happened. In August 1398 – the same month in which Chŏng Tojŏn punished those officials who had been negligent of the military training in 66 68

Zelditch 2001, 6. 67 Zelditch 2001, 6. On the logic of official naming, Bourdieu 1991.

69

Chong 2017a, 133–181.

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preparation for the Liaodong campaign – Yi Pang-wŏn, with the help of those who had been punished, waged the “Strife of Princes” and removed Yi Pang-sŏk, Chŏng To-jŏn, and Nam Ŭn.70 They felt threatened by Chŏng To-jŏn’s attempt at disbanding their private armies. But after Yi Pang-wŏn became the third king of Chosŏn, he abolished private armies and centralized the military.71 With the “Strife of Princes,” the plan to attack the Ming ended in 1398. Conclusion Chosŏn’s reputation as a “model tributary” is in large part attributed to the principle of sadae, which is known to have guided its hierarchical relations with the Ming. A deeper look at the politics surrounding the founding of Chosŏn Korea in 1392 shows that the workings of the tribute system were closely tied to Chosŏn rulers’ efforts to consolidate domestic authority vis-à-vis their own opponents. During the process of building a new political order after a coup, Yi Sŏng-gye’s desire to receive investiture – the sanction from the Ming emperor as the ultimate holder of Confucian moral authority – gave Hongwu political leverage to control Chosŏn’s behavior. Early Chosŏn–Ming relations demonstrate that domestic legitimation is a mechanism through which cultural and symbolic resources become a tool for power politics.

70

TS, August 26, 1398. http://sillok.history.go.kr/id/kaa_10708026_001

71

Ryu 1999, 1–29.

6

The Ming Invasion of Vietnam, 1407–1427 James A. Anderson

Introduction In a recent journal article on territorial disputes of the South China Sea, Carl Thayer concluded “Vietnam seeks to cooperate and struggle with China by acknowledging its primacy in the expectation that China will respect Vietnam’s autonomy.”1 This pattern in Sino-Vietnamese relations seems to repeat throughout history from at least the mid-tenth century when local leaders in the Red River Delta pushed back against the military force of a northern regime. A closer look at the political situation faced by Ngô Quyền (吳權, 897–944) was much more complex, and after his brief reign, the Red River Delta declined into an anarchic period of fighting, which ended only when the strongest and best-connected military leader Đinh Bộ Lĩnh (丁部領, 924–979) defeated his rivals and reached out in 971 to his northern neighbor, the increasingly powerful Song empire. Đinh Bộ Lĩnh and his son’s assassinations by a political rival prompted local Song officials to call for a general invasion, which was ultimately thwarted by Vietnamese defenders in 980. From this short narrative we can see how difficult maintaining equilibrium in the SinoVietnamese relationship has been when interstate relations reacted swiftly to local political currents. In this chapter we examine one such pivotal event, the early fifteenth-century Ming invasion of Vietnam, which was closely related to a rivalry between feuding elite factions occupying the Vietnamese political landscape. As David C. Kang notes, the single most significant conflict between Vietnam and China in the last 600 years was the Ming invasion of the Đại Viê ̣t kingdom,2 and the radical reforms of Vietnamese leader Hồ Quý Ly (胡季 犛, c. 1350–1410) were the catalyst for this conflict, which at the local level may be better understood as an interregional rivalry that drew on “Great Power” backing for support. In 1400 Hồ Quý Ly usurped the Vietnamese throne from the declining Trần leadership. The Ming soon provided a massive military response. The Ming occupation of Vietnam would last 1

Thayer 2016, 217.

2

D. C. Kang 2010, 99.

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only two decades, but this period continues to have an influence on the modernday relationship between the Peoples Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. This chapter draws connections between Hồ Quý Ly’s radical reforms, the massive Ming military response, and Sino-Vietnamese relations today. Following the rise of Hồ Quý Ly and his usurpation of power that brought an end to the Trần dynasty (陳, 1225–1400), the Ming court’s decision to invade Vietnam was based on a number of factors, most of which are connected with the personal rule of the Yongle emperor (永樂, r. 1402–1424). First, the Yongle emperor’s understanding of Confucian rule included a desire to create a moral world order for all subjects, remaining true to the precepts outlined in his father’s court’s influential treatise the Veritable Records (Taizu shilu 太祖實錄), which the Yongle emperor ordered revised twice during his reign.3 Secondly, the Yongle emperor wished to outshine his father’s rule, and overshadow his own usurpation of the throne from his young nephew the Jianwen emperor (建文, r. 1377–1402), by seizing control of the territory sought by their Mongol predecessors, including the Đại Việt kingdom. Edward Dreyer has argued that Yongle attempted to “live up to both the Chinese and the Mongol versions of the imperial ideal.”4 This effort is best expressed as de (德, “power/virtue”) through military might, even if such expressions of power beyond the territorial boundaries of the Ming state had been prohibited on paper by Yongle’s father the Hongwu Emperor (洪武, r. 1368–1398). Finally, the Ming court under the Yongle emperor had originally intended just to restore the Trần ruler to the throne, but early military success drove Yongle to demand more from this aggressive campaign. I would contend that this final factor played the most influential role in the manner with which this episode unfolded. The Ming was pulled into a regional rivalry, about which it had a very vague understanding. Ming support was then offered to the weakest party in the conflict, the remaining Trần leadership, out of a generalized Ming concern for the recreation of a “proper” order of succession. With the greater military capability, the Ming was able to upset Hồ Quý Ly and his family’s regime, but without a detailed understanding of the regional forces that brought Hồ Quý Ly to power, the Ming was unable to collaborate with the right regional rival to maintain a lasting presence through a direct occupation of the Đại Việt kingdom. The Conflict During the Trần dynasty, the territorial integrity of Vietnam was successful defended against the expanding Yuan empire (元, 1279–1368), stemming the 3 4

Rabasa et al. 2012, 29. Whitmore 1977, 51. Dreyer 1982, 178. Cited in S. H. Tsai 2001, 81. See also Baldanza 2016, 58.

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tide of Mongol conquest in Southeast Asia. In 1286, following two previous unsuccessful invasions attempts, Khubilai Khan (r. 1260–1294) was preparing for another invasion attempt on Japan, but he immediately organized a second expedition against Vietnam. Khubilai assembled an invasion force of 300,000 men and 500 war junks. He chose a royal family defector Trần Ích Tắc (陳益稷, 1254–1329) to replace Trần Nhân Tông (陳仁宗, 1258–1308) as king of An Nam (安南 “Pacified South”). The Yuan army captured the capital Thăng Long, but Trần forces cut off the Mongols’ supply lines. In 1288 the Yuan army confronted the Trần defenders at the Bạch Đằng River, where, traditional sources note, Trần Hưng Đạo (陳興道, c. 1232–1300) used the earlier Vietnamese warlord Ngô Quyền’s famous iron-tipped stake defense for a second remarkable success.5 The Yuan forces were completely defeated. Soon thereafter Trần Nhân Tông sent a delegation to Beijing to present tribute and request vassal status, after “begging forgiveness” for having driven off the Mongol invaders. Hardly mollified by this behavior, the Mongols initially planned another attack, but with the death of Khubilai Khan in 1294, this plan was never realized. After Chengzong (成宗, Temür Öljeytü Qan, r. 1294–1307) came to the throne, the Yuan court implemented the conciliatory policy of “great forgiveness, far and near” (大肆赦宥,無問遠近), while the Vietnamese court adopted a matching policy of “great forgiveness” (寬宥) regarding its northern neighbor.6 The Đại Viê ̣t kingdom subsequently continued to act as a tributary vassal throughout the Yuan dynasty, Yuan–Đại Viê ̣t relations remained stable, and the existing border between the states remained firm. The Trần dynasty in a real sense ended with the death in 1394 of the former ruler Trần Nghệ Tông (陳藝宗, r. 1370–1373), who had been administering the throne through sons and grandsons for more than two decades. With Nghệ Tông’s death, a trusted regent Lê Quý Ly (黎季犛), prior to changing his surname to Hồ, soon took over the administration of the kingdom. In 1398, while China was in the turmoil of a brief civil war, Quý Ly ordered the execution of the second-to-last ruler and the de-deposition of the last ruler (his son-in-law). In 1400 Quý Ly usurped the throne, and one year later he turned the throne over to his own son Hồ Hán Thương (胡漢蒼, ?–?). Lê Quý Ly immediately adopted the surname Hồ, and, claiming to be descended from the legendary Chinese emperor Yu (禹) of the Xia dynasty (夏, c. 2070 BCE– 1600 BCE), he founded the Hồ dynasty (胡, 1400–1407).7 Hồ Quý Ly in 1397 moved his capital out of the Red River Delta, and his new citadel, the “Western Capital” (Tây Đô 西都), was constructed to the south of the Trân heartland in 5 6 7

Lê 2000, 147. Song Lian 1976, 4650. Cited in Huang Fei 2010, 96. For a detailed description of these events, see J. A. Anderson 2014, 106–134. Baldanza 2016, 62.

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the modern-day Vĩnh Lộc district in Thanh Hóa province, which was away from the Trân’s center of popular support.8 This overt rejection of the Red River elite clans that had facilitated Trân rule boosted his Thanh Hóa base in this period of power consolidation, but his lopsided support would be Hồ Quý Ly’s undoing when he sought to mobilize the entire region against a determined Ming assault. Hồ Quý Ly’s efforts to rule Vietnam should remind us of the short reign of Wang Mang 王莽 and the Xin dynasty (新, “New,” 9 CE–23 CE) at the end of the Western Han dynasty (202 BCE–9 CE), in that Hồ Quý Ly took Vietnam in a very different direction from his predecessors.9 While still in the service of the Trần dynasty, he seized land from the local feudal aristocracy and leased the plots to commoners.10 Responding to a plot by Trân clan members to undermine his consolidation of power, Hồ Quý Ly ordered 370 Trân princes, generals, and high officials executed to wipe out any remaining Trân resistance. Hồ Quý Ly promoted Nôm (喃) as the official language to dilute the influence of classical Chinese at court.11 He criticized Confucian thought, and leaned toward Legalism in its place. Hồ Quý Ly organized mass mobilizations of his subjects to reconstruct irrigation systems, cultivate new lands, and to colonize lands that had recently been seized from Champa (modern-day central Vietnam) in the 1402 invasion. He had a road constructed from the former Cham region around modern-day Huế to the Tây Đô citadel to promote communication across his expanded realm, and to take advantage of the trade entering the former Cham territory. Hồ Quý Ly enriched his administration further by participating in the regional maritime trade network that connected the island emporium of Vân Đồn (雲屯) to the ports of Champa, Angkor, Melaka, and the Indian Ocean.12 In the midst of his series of radical reforms, Hồ Quý Ly and his regime also angered the recently established Ming (1368–1644) court, which had begun making increasingly onerous demands of Hồ Quý Ly during a series of diplomatic exchanges that heightened tensions between the two parties.13 Adding to the tension was an effort by the remaining Trần dynasts to appeal to their tributary overlord, the Ming. A former slave of the ruling family fled to Beijing to the court of the third Ming ruler, the Yongle emperor, and claimed to be the son of the late former ruler Trần Nghệ Tông. The Ming court chose to send this pretender back to Vietnam with a Chinese escort of 5,000 soldiers. In early 1406 the entourage was massacred at the border under the orders of Hồ Quý Ly.14 As Kenneth Swope and Kate Baldanza have noted, this massacre 8 10 13

9 K. W. Taylor 2014, 168. Personal communication with C. Michele Thompson, 1995. O’Harrow 1979, 160. 11 O’Harrow 1979, 161. 12 Nguyễn 2014, 220–221. K. W. Taylor 2014, 178. 14 Whitmore 1977, 52.

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prompted the Ming to charge the usurper with twenty great crimes and assemble a punitive expedition.15 The military response by the Ming court was swift. From autumn 1406 until spring 1407, a force of 215,000 Ming troops attacked Vietnam with the goal of restoring the Trần family to the throne. Champa, having faced an unsuccessful invasion in 1403 by 200,000 soldiers from Hồ Quý Ly’s army during the leader’s brief reign,16 sent a small contingent of troops that allied themselves with the Ming forces. The Ming general in charge, Zhang Fu (張輔, 1375–1449), simultaneously warned the populace that Hồ Quý Ly was a usurper and searched for a potential new heir to the throne.17 However, once the troops entered Vietnamese territory, their goal changed to regional domination, and Zhang Fu claimed that no members of the Trần family were still alive. Immediately both Hồ and Trần clan members and their supporters fought back against the Chinese army. As Swope notes, the larger Ming force advanced on several fronts and defeated Vietnamese defenses without great difficulty. The Ming troops forced Hồ Quý Ly first to flee Tây Đô and then to abandon the “Eastern Capital” (Đông Kinh東京, or modern-day Hanoi). Swope notes the Ming army employed firearms and new tactics to fend off Hồ Quý Ly’s elephant cavalry.18 These tactics had been adopted during Ming campaigns in modern-day Yunnan,19 where the Mongols had earlier conquered and absorbed the Dali kingdom but had not quite managed to quell the spirit of political autonomy among its local inhabitants. By July 1407, the Ming forces had all the Vietnamese territory under their control, and the region, now renamed Jiaozhi (交趾) after the Han period colonial commandery, was brought under total domination by the Chinese invaders.20 Hồ Quý Ly, his son, and their administration were shipped off to the Chinese hinterland, where they were forced to serve as common soldiers in the Ming army. Swope notes that at least 17,000 captives were taken back to China following the Ming invasion, and that some of these captives including Hồ Nguyên Trừng (胡元澄, c. 1374–c. 1446), Hồ Quý Ly’s son, were employed as firearms experts. These captive experts were employed in the Ming ministry of works, and their descendants served the Ming until 1489.21 Swope, Sun Laichen, and other scholars make the crucial point that military innovations made in Vietnam as early as Hồ Quý Ly’s administration would have lasting effects on military technology and strategy practiced throughout the Ming empire, and most of East Asia, for many decades.22 15 16 19 20 22

The crimes as listed in the Ming shilu are enumerated and discussed in Zheng 1998, 50–52. See Swope 2014a, 160–161, Baldanza 2016, 64–65. Sun 2006, 99. 17 Zhang Tingyu et al. 1965, 24:83. 18 Swope 2014a, 161. Swope 2014a, 161. See also Swope 2011b, 112–140; and Brose 2014, 135–155. Whitmore 1977, 53. 21 Sun 2006, 91–92; Li Bin 1995, 156. Swope 2014a, 164; Sun 2006, 91–92.

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Keith Taylor has also offered regional division as a primary reason for Hồ Quý Ly’s inability to secure the loyalty of the majority of the Đại Viê ̣t officialdom in thwarting the Ming advance. As Taylor writes, while the Trần were from the Hồng (Red) River plain, Hồ Quý Ly was from Thanh Nghệ, and he built a new capital in Thanh Hóa. His inability to gain the loyalty of Đông Kinh was a prominent factor in his failure to overcome the Ming invasion of 1406/7, in which he abandoned most of Đông Kinh and attempted to defend the southern bank of the Hồng River.23

The resident elite families of the Red River Delta had accepted neither Hồ Quý Ly’s usurpation of the Trần throne, nor had they quietly tolerated his seizure of aristocratic lands and reordering of land tenure in their home region. Referring to the elite families of Đông Kinh, Taylor notes that, according to Ming records, “in 1407 . . . over 1,100 local men of prominence declared their allegiance to Ming and requested that their lands be incorporated into the empire. Ming records indicate that over 9,000 local men subsequently made the journey to the Ming capital to be confirmed as officials in the provincial administration.”24 Later Vietnamese historians would emphasize that the local populace, with an emphasis on the rural peasantry, was unified in its opposition to Ming aggression in this period.25 In fact, the Red River Delta remained much more open to collaboration with Ming forces than did the Thanh Nghệ region to its south, which produced both Hồ Quý Ly’s family and the leadership core of the successful rebellion launched by Lê Lợi (黎利, 1385–1433). By the end of 1407 Ming forces had occupied most of the Đại Viê ̣t kingdom, although sporadic uprisings were not put down until 1414. As John Whitmore notes, the Ming occupying army consisted of about 87,000 troops scattered in thirty-nine citadels throughout northern Vietnam, but clustered in the Red River Delta area.26 The Ming court made the mistake of sending second-rate officials down to fill special posts in colonial Vietnamese administration, among them individuals who had failed at the Ming imperial exams or had been exiled to southern China for a variety of offenses.27 The Ming also shipped current editions of the Confucian classical canon and instructors to train a new cadre of local officials to be knowledgeable in Ming imperial ideology. Learned Buddhist monks were dispatched as teachers for the same reason.28 Leading Vietnamese families also provided many of the most able officials to serve in Ming occupation government.29 These families faced harsh judgment in official Vietnamese historical accounts once the Chinese were driven out of Vietnam. Many Ming administrators treated the occupation as an occasion for economic exploitation, which did not win them popular approval, 23 24 27

K. W. Taylor 1998, 955. See also Woodside 1963, 12–21; Whitmore 1985, 91–116. K. W. Taylor 1998, 955–956. 25 Nguyên 1995, 124. 26 Whitmore 1985, 112. K. W. Taylor 2014, 178. 28 K. W. Taylor 2014, 178. 29 Whitmore 1977, 64–65.

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nor did the purging of a corpus of pre-fifteenth-century Vietnamese books in a Ming-administered censorship campaign to weed out “heterodox” texts. Once an initial three-year period of light taxation had concluded, the taxes and levies imposed on trade and monopolized commodities, such as salt, were later described by Vietnamese historians as a heavy burden on the populace.30 Keith Taylor argues that this dire description of Ming occupation had been enhanced in Vietnamese literature produced in the post-occupation period, but a general popular dissatisfaction with the colonial arrangement seems clear. The effort to end the Ming occupation required a spark, which appeared in the form of a minor official Lê Lợi, who hailed from Hồ Quý Ly’s home region. During the final effort to reestablish a Trần state with the uprising of Trần Quý Khoách (陳季撗, c. 1409–1414), Lê Lợi, a member of the landed elite from Thanh Hóa, held the position of general of the imperial insignia (金吾將軍), nominally in charge of the imperial bodyguard. After surrendering to the Ming and serving a period of imprisonment, Lê Lợi was reconfirmed by the Ming administration in his minor official position of tutor (輔導) for Mt. Khả Lam (可藍) in Lạng Sơn.31 Lê Lợi soon thereafter led the local resistance through a strategy of attacking the Chinese garrisons and supply lines and gradually wearing down Ming resolve. Lê Lợi’s forces also employed firearms, copied in rebel-built arsenals from Ming weapons used against Hồ Quý Ly’s army.32 Swope notes that the production of firearms may have started during Hồ Quý Ly’s reign to prepare for a possible Ming invasion.33 In 1418, during the Tet lunar festival, Lê Lợi proclaimed himself “Bình Định Vương” (平定王, “Pacification King”), and launched a widespread revolt.34 Ming collaborators among the Vietnamese officialdom were treated without mercy. The rebels relied on the strategy mapped out by the scholar and tactician Nguyễn Trãi (阮 廌, 1380–1442): “feign friendship on the outside. forge weapons, subscribe money, and kill elephants, to build up an army on the inside.”35 Nguyễn Trãi was a great admirer of Hồ Quý Ly, having placed first in the palace exams during Hồ Quý Ly’s first year on the throne.36 In 1425 Lê Lợi had taken Hồ Quý Ly’s capital at Tây Đô.37 In 1428, Lê Lợi’s supporters had established a new court in Thăng Long, now the “Eastern Capital,” and Vietnamese sources record that at this time the Ming court had recognized Lê Lợi as the legitimate ruler of a new dynasty. A Nguyễn period court chronicle notes that the frontier was “restored” to its old location in this year as well.38 Keith Taylor contends as a challenge to conventional wisdom that the end of Ming rule was primarily a Ming decision, which calls into question that main premise of the Vietnamese nationalist narrative of resistance to foreign 30 33 34 37

K. W. Taylor 2014, 178. 31 O’Harrow 1979, 164. 32 Swope 2014a, 162. Swope 2014a, 162; Whitmore 1985, 84; and Lo 1970, 171. Zhang Tingyu et al. 1965, 24:97. 35 Hodgkin 1981, 58. 36 O’Harrow 1979, 162. Cœdès 1983, 207. 38 Phan 1960, 12:7–8. Cited in Xiao and Huang 1993, 235.

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occupation that endures until today.39 If we look at the occupation as purely a Ming creation, we need also to look again at the origins of the conflict that produced the occupation. The Yongle emperor’s initial effort to dissolve the boundary between Vietnam and China with this direct annexation reflected the different personalities of the first two Ming rulers. Zhu Yuanzhang (朱元璋, 1328–1398), the Hongwu emperor (洪武, r. 1368–1398), founder of the Ming dynasty and father to the Yongle emperor, was cautious in frontier affairs, and admonished his subjects not to disturb China’s neighbors. As written in the “Ancestral Admonitions” (Huang Ming Zu Xun皇眀祖訓) the Ming court specifically should not invade Vietnam, among other neighbors of China.40 Peace-seeking and impartial China was to remain a moral example for others to emulate, emphasizing the ceremonial aspects of tribute relations. The Hongwu emperor had restricted coastal contact to avoid problems with Japanese Wakō piracy. Mongol raids still posed a real threat to Ming stability along the northern and northwestern frontiers. The Hongwu emperor’s problem was that he required all subsequent rulers to follow his example, and this policy had a strong effect on foreign relations during this dynasty following the unusual reign of Yongle. In contrast, the Yongle emperor couldn’t avoid the turmoil on China’s border. Pursuing an increasingly expansionist policy, he seemed more interested in military and economic (trade-related) gains in his foreign policy measures. When the Yongle emperor died, the Hongxi emperor in 1424 and then the Xuande emperor in 1425 followed Yongle’s policy. However, by 1427, court advisors recommended abandoning the occupation attempt, quoting Hongwu’s own opposition. The Chinese courts’ dilemma was such: Vietnam had once been part of China and so should be able to be civilized; however, Chinese officials had come to the agreement that local Vietnamese would not accept this civilizing mission.41 Reviving tributary relations provided a more practical solution, and this issue was ultimately left undecided. Modern Vietnamese historians have had a different reading of events.42 It is generally accepted in Vietnamese scholarship that the founders of the Latter Lê dynasty (Hậu Lê 後黎, 1428–1788) saw essential differences between Vietnamese and Chinese cultures suddenly as plain as the mountains and rivers that divided the two regions. I would agree with Liam Kelley that the new leadership at Đông Kinh regarded its mandate to rule as a validated intellectual and moral order shared by northern and southern regimes alike. Even if proclamations of the early Lê presented Chinese and Vietnamese political pasts as clearly separated, common values such as those expressed through the performance of tributary protocol, for example, held the two regions 39 42

K. W. Taylor 2014, 180. 40 D. C. Kang 2010, 98. 41 Tarling 1999, 150. Recent scholarship has been quite critical of this modern reading of Lê period views. Kelley 2005, 19–20.

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together in a special bond. As Nguyễn Trãi declared in his well-known 1428 statement of victory “The Great Declaration of the Wu’s (China’s) Pacification” (Bình Ngô Đại Cáo 平吳大誥): Mountains and rivers have demarcated the border [of our country]. The customs of the North [China] and the South [Vietnam] are also different. We find [in antiquity] that the Triê ̣u, the Đinh, the Lý, and Trần [dynasties] built our country. Alongside the Han, Tang Song, and Yuan [dynasties], the rulers [of our dynasties] ruled as emperors over their own part [of the world represented by the North and the South].43

However, we must also consider the dissenting view within Vietnam’s leadership that the officialdom’s closer relationship with the Ming led to compromises deemed unacceptable for some. As Keith Taylor wrote of the author of the 1428 declaration, Nguyễn Trãi’s ultimate isolation and elimination – he was accused of regicide and executed in 1442 – was surely facilitated by his having been alienated from both his regional compatriots in Đông Kinh, from whom he turned to serve the interests of Thanh Nghệ, and the ascendant powers of Thanh Nghệ, who disliked his self-righteous preachments about good government and his efforts to enroll Đông Kinh people into government service.44

The successors of Hồ Quý Ly’s administration continued to battle with the ancient regime of the Red River Delta even after direct control by the Ming invaders had ended. This regional tension would continue into the late imperial period, and arguably, through to the present day. Border negotiations continued after the Ming invasion in what was a particularly active phase in Sino-Vietnamese relations. In 1527, shortly after the establishment of the Mạc dynasty (莫, 1527–1592; –1677) in the northern region of the Đại Viê ̣t kingdom, the Ming emperor sent a battalion of troops, calling for the capture of Mạc Đăng Dung (莫登庸, 1483-1541), the dynastic founder. Mạc Đăng Dung immediately decided to seek Ming support for his rule, and he rushed a mission to Beijing to gain recognition. The Ming court showed little interest in fully abandoning tributary links with the Lê, but Mạc Đăng Dung persisted. In 1540, sources note that he and his assistants crawled barefoot to the frontier camp of a Ming delegation as a sign of submission, offering records of his administration in five frontier prefectures near Lang Son in exchange for peace at the border. The Ming court finally recognized this frontier region as the “Annam Protectorate Colonial Secretariat” (Annandu Tongshisi 安南都统使司) and him as a local magistrate. Formally, then, the border had shifted with the inclusion of this territory into the Ming empire. However, in 1530 Mạc Đăng Dung had already abdicated to his son and took the title Thái thượng hoàng (太上皇, “Ruler Emeritus”), so his 43

Wolters and Reynolds 2008, 209.

44

K. W. Taylor 1998, 956.

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son continued to rule as “king” of the Đại Viê ̣t kingdom, while Mạc Đăng Dung himself served as a Ming frontier administrator.45 Despite protests from the Lê court, the Ming court decided that the Mạc and the Lê should continue to rule Vietnam as covassals of the Ming empire. Thus, began the period of South and Northern Courts (Nam Bắc Triều, 1533–1592). Exiled Lê leaders found support from Nguyễn Kim (阮淦, 1476–1545) and his son-in-law Trịnh Kiểm (鄭 檢, 1503–1570), members of powerful Thanh Hóa clans that hoped to take all of Vietnam from the Mạc. In 1532 the Lê set up a court-in-exile in Laos. In 1540, the Lê rulers moved back to Thanh Hóa and began to actively resist Mạc claims to national control. Nguyễn Kim was murdered during this same year, but the struggle continued. It took the Lê court forty-seven years before it was able to drive the Mạc out of the capital at Thâng Long in 1592. Even at this point, the Mạc lingered in the northern border region until 1677, and the territorial struggle between the now rival Nguyễn and Trịnh clans through the Tây Sơn rebellion (西山, 1771–1802) eclipsed any political relevance the Mạc continued to muster. The Tây Sơn rebellion exploded in 1771, and its leaders were three brothers, the second eldest of which was Nguyễn Huệ (阮惠, 1753–1792), later known to his rebel followers as Emperor Quang Trung (光中). This rebel band of brothers, despite using their mother’s surname, claimed the Trần dynasty usurper Hồ Quý Ly as a direct descendent, and they traced their family’s origins to Nghệ An (乂安), which shared a cultural and linguistic bond with neighboring Thanh Hóa, the home region of the rebellious Hồ Quý Ly. A reappraisal of Hồ Quý Ly’s achievement in his brief reign started as soon as the Lê founders had consolidated their rule. Lê Lợi had complained that “the trivial and demanding policies of the Hồ gave rise to popular resentment and rebellion. The Ming waited for their chance, and used this treatment to poison our people.”46 Later, the leading Vietnamese court chroniclers Ngô Sĩ Liên (吳 士連, 1400–1497), Ngô Thì Sĩ (吳時仕, 1726–1780), Lê Quý Đôn (黎貴惇, 1726–1784), and Phan Huy Chú (潘輝注, 1782–1840) all wrote critically of Hồ Quý Ly’s usurpation of the Trần throne, because the traditional interpretations of these events was that Hồ Quý Ly’s behavior likened the Vietnamese ruler to the Ming Yongle emperor, who had also seized the throne by ousting his infant nephew, the Jianwen emperor Zhu Yunwen (朱允炆, 1377–1402). Modern Vietnamese historians have rehabilitated Hồ Quý Ly’s image by labelling him a radical reformer, maligned by his conservative Vietnamese detractors and derailed by the expansionist Ming. Arguing that Hồ Quý Ly’s efforts were a logical step in state-building efforts of the Đại Viê ̣t, John Whitmore wrote that “Quý Ly’s regime overcame the critical dangers of decentralization and foreign invasion and acted against growing local autonomy.”47 His efforts, although 45

Goodrich and Fang 1976, 2:1033.

46

Baldanza 2016, 81.

47

Whitmore 1985, 129.

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fueled by regional rivalries, managed to launch a military response by the neighboring Ming that swept away the Đông Kinh elite and their power base long enough for the Thanh Hóa elite under Lê Lợi to become a unified political force that would borrow heavily from the Chinese model while stressing essential cultural differences on both sides of the frontier. Cooperating with and struggling against Chinese authorities continued through periods of peace and war for leaders of numerous Vietnamese political movements through the early nineteenth century and again in the post–World War II period. Such patterns of adaption and resistance continue to express themselves in SinoVietnamese relations in the modern era.

7

Ming Grand Strategy during the Great East Asian War, 1592–1598 Kenneth M. Swope

This chapter will consider the grand strategic implications and ramifications of what was probably the largest military conflict in the world in the sixteenth century. Known as the Imjin War, the Rescue of Korea, the Eastern Expedition, the Glorious Conquest of Korea, the Japanese Calamity of 1592, or the Great East Asian War depending upon one’s perspective, this conflict remains shockingly unknown in the West despite its scope and importance for East Asian history and international relations. Indeed, films, novels, and comic books are still regularly produced in the belligerent nations, each offering their own unique takes on the war and its heroes and villains. For the purposes of the present forum this war is fascinating in that it pitted a rising power against an established hegemon whereby the former was clearly trying to supplant the latter in the region. On the one hand this event can be viewed as a failure to deter on the part of the Ming, but it can also been seen as a failure of deterrence itself, as the Japanese challenger, Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536–1598), willfully ignored the warnings of the Koreans prior to the war and based his assessments of Ming military capabilities upon misreadings of scattered pirate campaigns conducted some thirty years earlier. He was clearly unaware that the Ming was in the midst of a military revival under Emperor Wanli (r. 1573–1620), who was more than willing to flex his military muscles in order to maintain Ming hegemony in Asia and prop up his own rule by using military affairs and officials to counterbalance the influence of civil official factions in government. In fact, from the Chinese perception, this war was also considered one of the so-called Three Great Punitive Campaigns of the Wanli emperor (Wanli san da zheng).1 These campaigns marked the climax of military reforms initiated in the 1570s that were designed to “make the borders strong and the army fearsome once again.”2 1 2

On the Three Great Campaigns, see Swope 2001; Swope 2009, 13–40. On Wanli’s interest in military affairs, see Swope 2008. See Fan 1993, 227.

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Before considering the broader strategic importance of the Great East Asian War and how it has been interpreted by modern historians and international relations scholars, a brief summary of the course of the conflict is in order. The most common designation for this conflict, the Imjin War, comes from the Korean pronunciation of the Chinese designation for the year 1592. As indicated at the start of the chapter it is also known as the Japanese invasion of Korea, Hideyoshi’s invasion of Korea, the Campaigns of 1592 and 1597 (in Japan); the Rescue of Korea, the Eastern Expedition (in China); and the First Great East Asian War. This war was one of the seminal events in East Asian history and was the largest conflict in the world in the sixteenth century in terms of the numbers of soldiers involved. While the contemporary War of the Spanish Armada featured approximately 50,000 combatants, this war featured in excess of 300,000. The war was masterminded by the Japanese warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who set his sights on Korea after unifying the islands of Japan in 1590. Hideyoshi’s actual motives for the invasion remain unclear and will be considered at greater length herein. Some writers argue that he was a simple megalomaniac who desired dominion over the entire world as he knew it. Others argue that he needed an outlet to exhaust the military power and energy of potential rivals or that he sought new lands with which to reward his vassals. Another possibility is that he sought to create a new type of trade-based empire based on the Asian mainland to replace the Chinese tributary system of foreign relations. Most likely, it was some combination of all these motives. In any event, the Japanese started sending out diplomatic missions to the Korean kingdom of Chosôn (1392–1910) in the late 1580s. Hideyoshi initially desired to secure Korean assistance in attacking Ming China (1368–1644), which was the main objective of his conquests. He then planned on attacking India after China was subdued. Though the Koreans exchanged ambassadors with the Japanese, they refused to join Hideyoshi’s enterprise, having been loyal tributary vassals of the Ming since their kingdom’s foundation. Moreover, different factions of the Korean government presented the king with widely divergent assessments of the Japanese threat. Much to his later detriment, King Sônjo (r. 1567–1608) ignored the warnings of those who feared an impending Japanese attack so few concrete military preparations were made. Assembling an initial invasion force of over 150,000, with nearly as many as reserves, the Japanese landed at Pusan on May 23, 1592. Though Hideyoshi himself did not lead his men (nor did he ever go to Korea), his experienced troops quickly captured Pusan and drove north in multiple columns toward the capital city of Seoul. In addition to their vastly greater experience, honed by decades of civil war and better training, the Japanese held a major technological advantage in the early stages of the war in the form of handheld arquebus guns, which are popularly believed to have been introduced to Japan in 1543 by Portuguese traders, but may also have entered Japan via China. With these

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weapons in the hands of infantry troops, the invaders decimated the ill-prepared Korean defenders and many key cities and fortresses fell without a fight. The Korean commander Sin Ip decided to try to catch the Japanese in a trap at the valley of Ch’ungju, along the route to Seoul, where he believed his flailwielding cavalry could encircle and smash the largely infantry-based Japanese forces. Ignoring the warnings of his fellow commander Yi Il and refusing to garrison the easily defensible pass of Choryông nearby, Sin found his forces surrounded and annihilated by the Japanese, his units forced into a nearby river where the commander himself drowned. The Japanese then set forth for Seoul, where they arrived barely two weeks after their initial landing. In the meantime the king and his court had fled north, heading for Kaesong initially, but later moving onto Pyongyang before eventually stopping at the town of Ûiju on the Chinese border. The commander detailed to defend Seoul threw his weapons into the Han River and fled, allowing the Japanese to take the city uncontested. After some debate, the Japanese decided to divide their armies again, with one of the invasion’s two main commanders, Katō Kiyomasa (1562–1611), heading northeast to secure that region and the other, Konishi Yukinaga (1558–1600), going in pursuit of the Korean monarch. Though briefly stalemated at the Imjin River north of Seoul, the Japanese put increasing pressure on the Korean king, forcing him to keep fleeing north. The Koreans had already dispatched messengers to seek military aid from the Chinese, but the commanders and soldiers who normally would have been stationed along the Yalu River border with China were then helping suppress a troop mutiny in northwest China. In the meantime, Katō’s forces managed to subdue most of the northwest and captured two Korean princes, who had fled there is search of refuge. He even launched a quick strike into Manchuria, skirmishing with the Jurchen tribespeople who dwelled there. A small Ming relief column was ambushed and decimated at Pyongyang in late summer of 1592. Nonetheless, the Japanese fearful that they had overextended their lines and wary of a larger Ming counterforce, agreed to a fifty-day truce with the Chinese negotiator Shen Weijing in the autumn of 1592. The Japanese were also hampered by the rise of Korean resistance on land and sea. On land the resistance was spearheaded by local Confucian officials (yangban), who led groups of irregulars called the ûibyong, or “righteous soldiers.” These fighters were subsequently joined by bands of monksoldiers, who were promised the restoration of lost rights and privileges by the king in exchange for their assistance. Throughout the war these groups played integral support, harassment and transportation roles. At sea the Korean navy benefited from the inspired leadership of a military commander named Yi Sunsin (1545–1598), who deployed a revolutionary new boat known as the turtleship, which was an early form of ironclad. Along with more traditional vessels, which were also superior to Japanese models, the turtleships enabled

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Yi to cut Japanese supply lines and prevented them from seizing control of the resource-rich southwestern provinces. This grassroots and seaborne resistance, along with the onset of winter, contributed to Japan’s inability to extend its early conquests. The Ming counterforce of about 45,000 attacked Pyongyang in February of 1593. Deploying an array of powerful cannons, the Ming armies under General Li Rusong (1549–1598) captured the city after a single day of fighting and utterly overwhelmed the Japanese with their superior firepower. From this point on, the technological advantages the Japanese had enjoyed to that point in the war would be gone and they would be loathe to engage the allied forces in large set-piece battles, preferring sieges and skirmishes. Aided by the Koreans, the Ming forces quickly recaptured Kaesong and continued to pursue the Japanese back toward Seoul. But Li Rusong belittled intelligence offered by his allies and was overeager in his pursuit of the enemy. As a result he plunged ahead without his artillery train and found himself ambushed by the enemy near the postal station of Pyôkchegwan, just north of Seoul. The general would have been slain had a subordinate officer not used his own body as a human shield to save his commander. This defeat caused the Ming forces to temporarily pull back to Seoul, but a subsequent commando raid that burned Japanese grain stores at the capital convinced them to open negotiations with the Chinese. The peace talks dragged on for more than four years marred by distrust, misunderstandings, and outright lies on the part of all parties. During the initial phases of the talks a huge Japanese force under the command of Katō Kiyomasa massacred the entire population of the Korean city of Chinju, supposedly in retaliation for a defeat the Japanese had suffered there the previous year. Moreover, the Japanese never withdrew completely from Korea but rather established a fortified string of outposts along the eastern and southern coasts of the peninsula. While thus entrenched they enjoyed sports such as tiger hunting and kickball. They even hosted European priests who ministered to Japanese converts and were most likely the first Westerners in Korea. While the available primary source records are contradictory and unclear, it seems that both Katō and Konishi intrigued for the purposes of gaining what they believed their lord desired. In the case of the former, he argued for a permanent Japanese presence on the peninsula. The latter, who was entrusted with managing talks with the Chinese, angled for some type of trade relationship within the framework of the Ming tributary system. Hideyoshi himself never went to Korea to inspect the scene or direct affairs despite multiple intimations to his lords concerning his intentions to travel to the front. Indeed, he seemed content to let matters drag on without a resolution as he attended to domestic affairs, most notably securing the realm for his beloved infant son.

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For their part, the Ming withdrew most of their troops and decided to let the peace talks play out, although there were vigorous debates in the Ming court over the judiciousness of such an approach. The Koreans largely protested the continued Japanese occupation of their kingdom, but could not force the Chinese to launch a full-scale effort to dislodge the enemy even though one Ming precondition for peace was the complete withdrawal of all Japanese forces. After a farcical series of events, the Ming envoys finally gained an audience with Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the autumn of 1596. Although the envoys attempted to continue to pull the wool over Hideyoshi’s eyes so as to obtain some kind of lasting peace, when he realized that none of his demands were going to be met, he decided to launch another full-scale invasion of the peninsula in 1597. The second Japanese assault came from the south by sea rather than via Pusan, which the Japanese still held. They were greatly helped by the fact that Yi Sunsin had fallen victim to factionalism and intrigue the previous year and was no longer in command of the Korean navy. Wiping out much of the Korean fleet, the Japanese quickly advanced on the Korean city of Namwôn, which they captured after a brief, but bitter battle. The second invasion was, if anything, more ferocious than the first, as an angry and humiliated Hideyoshi had ordered his commanders to sever the noses of their war victims and ship them back to Japan for rewards. After their victory at Namwôn, the Japanese were poised to once again strike at Seoul, but this time the allies were better prepared. The Ming commander Yang Hao sent several divisions south to intercept the Japanese and they were turned back in a fierce battle near the town of Chiksan, where the Ming units featured the use of bulletproof armor that stymied Japanese arquebuses. This allied victory stemmed the Japanese advance and they retreated to their fortified bastions along the coasts. At the same time, Yi Sunsin was restored to his command and won a series of surprising triumphs at sea, which effectively cut Japanese transport and supply lines again. Over the next year the allies would mount a series of attacks on Japanese positions in an effort to drive them off the peninsula.3 The first and most extensive of these efforts was a siege of Ulsan castle in southeast Korea. Lasting a couple of weeks, the allied forces under Yang Hao drove Japanese units under Katō Kiyomasa deeper into his fortress as snow and freezing rain hampered attacker and defender alike. Just as the defenders were reduced to starvation and near capitulation, a relief column arrived, led by Konishi Yukinaga. Fearing he was about to be flanked, Yang Hao fled the field. Called a “defeat snatched from the jaws of victory,” this battle resulted in many charges being leveled against Yang Hao and temporarily derailed allied 3

For more on the sieges of the second phase of the war, see Swope 2006.

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offensive operations. Nevertheless, by this point most of Hideyoshi’s commanders had lost the stomach for the fight and he began demobilizing his units. By the time he died the following autumn, only a third of his original commanders remained in Korea. The final allied offensives, which combined land and sea operations, were launched in the autumn of 1598. After several early victories, a freak explosion thwarted an allied assault on the fortress of Sachôn, though Japanese claims that they took 38,000 noses in this battle are certainly exaggerated. A subsequent battle for the fortress of Sunchôn was likewise not completely successful. Nonetheless, the allies managed to score an impressive naval victory in the ensuing Battle of Noryang Straits, which marked the end of the war. In this battle hundreds of Japanese ships were sunk and thousands of Japanese soldiers were killed or captured. Unfortunately for the Koreans, however, Yi Sunsin was killed in battle as he rushed to the aid of his ally, the Chinese commander Chen Lin. The end result of the war was devastating for Korea, with perhaps 20 percent of its populace dead and its agriculture and infrastructure devastated. Many Korean buildings and treasures were destroyed or looted. Tens of thousands of Koreans were carried back to Japan as slaves. Some later contributed to the spread of new pottery forms and intellectual trends there. Some authors argue that the costs of the war hastened the collapse of the Ming and abetted the rise of the Jurchens under Nurhaci (1559–1626), but such claims are difficult to prove. For their part, the Japanese withdrew their challenge to the Chinese tributary order and the course of East Asian diplomatic and commercial relations would continue along traditional lines until the nineteenth century. Hideyoshi’s arrangements for his heir also quickly unraveled as rival factions battled for supremacy at Sekigahara in 1600, both ostensibly supporting the late overlord’s young son. The forces allied with Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542–1616) would win this momentous battle, eventually liquidating the house of Toyotomi in 1615. In addition to its inherent significance for the comparative study of war and diplomacy in the early modern world, the Great East Asian War is salient to the discussion of grand strategy. Like many aspects of imperial Chinese history, the study of grand strategy remains in its infancy. While it is somewhat taken for granted that great Western empires such as Rome, Byzantium, and the Spanish empire of the early modern era conceived and executed long-term grand strategies, until recently far less attention was devoted toward China in this respect, despite the well-known existence of an extensive corpus of strategic texts, the most famous of which is of course, Sunzi’s Art of War.4 Fortunately, however, this state of affairs is finally being rectified, and in the past two 4

See, for example, Luttwak 2011; Luttwak 2016; Parker 2000. On the Chinese strategic texts and their traditions, see Sawyer 1993.

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decades a number of stimulating works have been published that deal with grand strategy in imperial China, most notably the Ming dynasty.5 Simply put, grand strategy is the coordination of all elements of national power (economic, political, and military) to accomplish national goals, primarily security against external threats.6 In the case of the Ming, while the specific means of pursuing its national goals varied extensively in accordance with the aims of interests of its emperors and competing factions of officials, the overall Ming approach to maintaining regional hegemony lay in the concept of “Manifesting Awe” (wei 威) to deter its potential enemies from attacking the empire itself and threatening its allies and tributaries. But when the power and prestige of the empire was directly challenged, as in the aforementioned Japanese invasion of Korea (1592–1598), the Ming would respond with force calibrated to meet the threat. The Ming strategy of Manifesting Awe involved a complex interplay of military, cultural, and diplomatic facets. In the most brutal sense, Ming hegemony was grounded in its vast army and superior military technology. From its inception in the fourteenth century the Ming, as the first of the early modern “Gunpowder Empires,” was a military superpower, and it continued to be the primary exporter of firearms technology across East and South Asia until the early sixteenth century.7 The early Ming rulers in particular frequently used military force and the threat of force to impose their will upon their neighbors. On the cultural front, Ming wares and products flooded Asian and world markets. They were so desirable that neighboring states such as Vietnam often produced faux Ming knock-offs for their own trade partners. The right to conduct lucrative trade, both official and unofficial, was a key carrot of the Ming tributary order. It would later become a sticking point in the negotiations between the Ming and Hideyoshi over Japan’s status following hostilities in Korea. On the diplomatic side, Ming rulers invested their neighbors, including many Central Asian leaders, with titles and other symbols of authority. This granted these rulers a certain degree of prestige, accorded them trading benefits and, as seen in the case of Korea, could offer them military protection from the Ming. Taken together this tripartite system, as demonstrated by David C. Kang,8 was remarkably successful at preventing major conflicts between the participating entities, even if the Ming was generally fighting along one or more of its frontiers on a small scale. Therefore, the Ming serves as a useful model for strategic studies for a number of reasons. First, the Ming state represents the maturation of the imperial system first created during the Qin (220–206 BC). Even though the Qing (1644–1912) made many alterations to the Ming imperial structure, 5 6 7 8

The first work of note in English was Johnston 1995. Also see Swope 2015. See Johnston 1995, 36; F. Zhang 2015, 15. For the longer story of firearms in China in general and the Ming in particular, see Andrade 2017. D. C. Kang 2010.

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especially in the area of checks on the leadership manifested in the creation of a Manchu Grand Council, it retained the basic Ming governmental structure and many of its policies. Additionally, there are voluminous surviving primary records from the Ming that allow historians and political scientists to get inside the political debates, issues, and policymaking of the era. Furthermore, the Ming operated in a distinctly Sinocentric context, meaning that its worldview and guiding principles were not strongly affected by other worldviews or diplomatic traditions and practices. This is not to argue that the Ming tributary system was not malleable or that the Ming were xenophobic, but rather that it provides a fascinating window for studying alternative diplomatic and strategic paradigms that can inform our understanding of other systems, places, and practices. Most germane to the present discussion are the numerous reevaluations of the Chinese tributary system that have been put forth by a number of scholars, most of them political scientists or international relations specialists, in the past few years. The goal of such works has been twofold. First, they have sought to bring China into the broader discussion of power politics around the globe, by both examining its historical situation and examining past behavior as a means of better understanding the contemporary situation. Along these lines, the comparative uniqueness of China’s tributary system has been highlighted as a useful contrast to predominant political science models based on the Westphalian notion of a balance of power among relatively evenly matched states in an anarchic system.9 Moreover, claims have been made that this explicitly hierarchical order was in fact better at maintaining regional stability than the anarchic model of the West.10 Furthermore, recent scholarship has significantly expanded our understanding of the inherent malleability of the tributary system, which though hegemonic in theory, in fact offered a range of options for participants at all levels of the hierarchy to legitimize their respective rules and maximize the benefits derived from the system. And despite how it is sometimes depicted in official texts, the tributary system was by no means monolithic, nor was it the only means by which international relations were conducted in East Asia and regional order was maintained. China’s neighbors were well aware of the possibilities and the limitations inherent in the tributary order, and recent scholars have stressed this in their works, even as they build upon foundations laid by scholars such as David C. Kang. In addition to Feng Zhang, who correctly emphasizes the importance of individual agency in modifying tributary institutions, notable in this respect is the recent work of Ji-Young Lee, who argues that “Chinese hegemony was accepted by other actors based on a combination of domestic 9 10

See, most notably, D. C. Kang 2010; F. Zhang 2015; J.-Y. Lee 2016. See D. C. Kang 2010, 1–24.

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political needs and Chinese ideological and symbolic resonance.”11 In other words, the symbolic power of China could in fact be deployed by lesser states in the hierarchy for their own ends and was often in the backdrop of domestic power struggles. Feng Zhang also modifies Kang’s argument somewhat in contending that Ming hegemony was incomplete, while admitting that the tributary system was nonetheless “a distinct international society with its own rules, norms, and institutions.”12 Yet this system also allowed for what Feng calls “expressive hierarchy,” which is a strategy of simultaneous integration and differentiation whereby China created a system of bilateral relations with its neighbors that were hierarchical and differentiated between one another, reflecting each state’s relative inclusivity within the Confucian-derived international order.13 Interestingly enough, one of the big sticking points in the later negotiations between the Ming and Japan over the settlement of the war in Korea concerned the subsequent status of Japan within the tributary system. And one of the possible reasons for Hideyoshi’s decision to launch a second costly offensive in 1597 was the discovery that he was ranked no higher than the Chosôn king, Sônjo, in the Ming’s conceptualization of his status as “King of Japan,” which was granted to him by Emperor Wanli’s decree, albeit without the right to engage in potentially lucrative tribute trade. Thus, Japan’s position vis-à-vis China was certainly inferior, and with respect to Korea, it was at best as an equal. This was simply unacceptable in both symbolic and material terms for the overlord of Japan, who was eager to cement his status and ensure the transmission of rule to his heir. Indeed, as suggested earlier in the essay, the motives behind Hideyoshi’s decision to invade the Asian mainland remain complex and contested by scholars. A minority of Japanese scholars have maintained that all Hideyoshi desired was the resumption of tributary trade with China, which had been curtailed after an incident in the Chinese port of Ningbo in 1549. Hideyoshi was, after all, quite cognizant of the value of foreign trade in helping him to maintain his preeminent, though precarious, military position in Japan, an insight he gained from his former master Oda Nobunaga (1534– 1582). It is certainly plausible that he envisioned creating a new East Asian trade order with Japan at the apex. Some of the demands he would later present to the Ming suggest the importance of trade to Hideyoshi’s designs. Additionally, Hideyoshi may have viewed the war and the creation of new trading opportunities as a means toward solving domestic economic problems by linking the broader Asian trade then going to China to Japanese ports such as Osaka.14 11 14

J.-Y. Lee 2016, 5. 12 F. Zhang 2015, 34. 13 F. Zhang 2015, 34–35. Swope 2009, 63. This section of the chapter is derived from my 2009 monograph.

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However, while Hideyoshi clearly appreciated the relationship between political hegemony and lucrative foreign trade, he was much less cognizant of the basis of China’s regional hegemony. As Etsuko Hae-jin Kang observes, Hideyoshi, “failed to perceive that other Asian states had a thoroughly dissimilar ideological and political makeup [than Japan] and, more importantly, he lacked insight into the foundations of the Chinese world order which was based on the concepts of Confucianism.”15 Hideyoshi simply presumed he could export the Japanese imperial model wholesale across Asia, while adding his own trade orientation to the mix. In addition to economic motives, Hideyoshi’s rather unstable control of the Japanese islands led him to crave recognition from foreign rulers so as to further legitimate his own hegemony. After all, he lacked the bloodline to become shogun, the supreme military ruler of Japan. So he had instead taken titles from the imperial court, most notably those of regent (kanpaku) and retired regent (taikō). But further conquests might help him overcome these shortcomings and cement his status as one of Japan’s great rulers for posterity. For there could be no greater achievement than conquering China. Hideyoshi’s bombastic letters to his neighboring rulers and to the Europeans (he asked the Spanish in the Philippines to supply him with ships) speak both to his desire for validation and his supreme confidence in his own ability and destiny. He frequently talked of his desire to extend the peace Japan enjoyed to East Asia more broadly, while also noting his unprecedented achievement in bringing said peace to Japan. With respect to maintaining his own domestic authority, another reputed motive was the desire to weaken potential challengers by forcing them to expend their resources, including, of course, their soldiers, in the conquest of the continent. Such a plan could serve Hideyoshi’s ends regardless of whether or not the war was successful. If Japan won, these vassals could be rewarded with lands on the continent, thereby removing them from threatening Hideyoshi at home. If they were killed in battle then they could obviously pose no further threat to Hideyoshi. The fact that Hideyoshi did seek to extend Japan’s institutional structure to Korea to administer conquered lands lends at least some credence to this theory. The power of any feudal lord was tied to his ability to reward his vassals. With lands running out in Japan and a seemingly inexhaustible supply on the mainland, such a strategy made sense. Likewise, the invasion served as a way to keep his warlords occupied overseas while he consolidated his control at home, hopefully solidifying matters so that he could ensure the rule for his heir, who was but a child.16 15 16

E. H. Kang 1997, 85. Before his son was born, Hideyoshi had designated his nephew as his heir. He was later removed on likely spurious charges.

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Still another motive offered for the invasion of the mainland was a desire to remove the Christian daimyo from Japan as part of his overarching goal to excise Christianity from the islands owing to fears of European meddling in Japanese affairs. While it is true that many prominent Christian daimyo served in Korea, this was at best a corollary motivation since some of these men were in fact quite loyal to Hideyoshi personally. It is worth noting that the first recorded Western Europeans to visit Korea were in fact Jesuit priests who accompanied the Japanese armies. In exchange the first Korean known to visit Europe was the product of this conflict as well, returning to Italy with some of the aforementioned priests. Finally, some scholars have emphasized the ideological undertones of Hideyoshi’s invasion, finding elements of later Japanese hypernationalism. In this formulation Hideyoshi considered it his responsibility to maintain proper hierarchies within the East Asian cultural sphere and this meant making the notion of the Divine Land (shinkoku) synonymous with Japan. This included extending Japan’s customs and peace to the rest of the world. Thus, one Japanese scholar remarked that Hideyoshi’s campaign “was intended to bring mukuri kukuri (demons and monsters) within the framework of general peace and make them tributaries of the divine nation.”17 Therefore, while acknowledging its domestic components and allowing for the vagaries of individual personalities, I would argue that Hideyoshi’s invasion of Korea can be largely understood against the backdrop of the tributary system as he posed the greatest direct challenge to the system in its mature phase prior to the nineteenth century. His understanding of the wealth enjoyed by the Ming as a result of its being at the apex of the tributary system and thereby, global trade flows in Asia, was one of the major reasons for his decision to invade the Asian mainland.18 Hideyoshi sought to supplant the Ming at the apex of the tributary system, and he envisioned creating a tradebased empire centered in China that might have borne many similarities to the burgeoning trade empires of Europe at the time. But his challenge was successfully thwarted by the Sino-Korean allies, and the primacy of the tributary system was preserved. And it was apparently still perceived as viable enough that it was adopted by the Manchu Qing conquerors of the Ming, whose forebears had been Ming vassals themselves.19 Such observations make the tributary system a natural subject for comparative study. Returning to the subject of strategic culture, much has also been made of China’s supposedly distinctive strategic culture. Drawing upon the definition 17 18 19

See Nakura 1976. On the ideological backdrop to Hideyoshi’s invasion in Japan, see Ooms 1985. Swope 2009, 63–66. On the Qing adoption of the tributary system and its use as a mechanism for establishing their hegemony in Northeast Asia, see J.-Y. Lee 2016, 135–167.

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offered by Iain Johnston, strategic culture “is an integrated system of symbols that acts to establish pervasive and long-lasting grand strategic preferences by formulating concepts of the role and efficacy of military force in interstate political affairs, and by clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the strategic preferences seem uniquely realistic and efficacious.”20 As indicated previously, Ming China provides an excellent environment for testing such theories because of the extent of its written tradition, not to mention the conscious repeated invocations of precedent and historical lessons by officials and policymakers. Ming emperors all received extensive instruction in history, and proper understanding of the reasons for past decisions as well as the perceived ramifications of such decisions informed the policymaking process. As for China’s strategic culture itself, scholars have offered a variety of overlapping definitions while simultaneously highlighting different aspects of Chinese culture that supposedly shaped its grand strategy over the centuries. For example, following the lead of Iain Johnston, Andrew Scobell concludes that China “has a dualistic strategic culture. The two main strands are a Confucian–Mencian one that is conflict averse and defensive minded; and a Realpolitik one which favors military solutions and is offensive oriented. Both strands are operative and both influence and combine in dialectic fashion to form a ‘Chinese Cult of Defense.’”21 For his part, Johnston concludes that the aggressive strand of Chinese strategic culture has tended to dominate, though at times his use of examples from the Ming to prove this point is problematic. Nevertheless, the advantage of such an interpretation of Chinese strategic culture is that it allows for the incorporation of different intellectual and strategic traditions and considers their respective impact upon policymaking and decisions for war. On the negative side however, perhaps too much influence is placed upon the textual basis and rationale for policies and more significantly, actual military actions. While one does find many references to strategic texts and Confucian philosophy in the dynastic histories and records or court debates, in fact, these tend to come from court-bound literati. Actual military commanders seem much less bound by textual authority and conventions and much more interested in actual results. Additionally, as David Robinson has recently demonstrated, the Ming emperors were far more immersed in military culture than has heretofore been recognized, and they often viewed military affairs, including interventions in disputes among tributaries, as an arena for the exercising of their own prerogatives.22 Interestingly enough, while the interpretation of Chinese strategic culture offered by Johnston and Scobell has not necessarily gained a tremendous 20

Johnston 1995, 36.

21

Scobell 2002, 3–5.

22

See D. M. Robinson 2013; Swope 2008.

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amount of traction among political scientists and international theorists more broadly, it has provoked some interesting, even defensive, responses from other (usually Chinese) scholars working on East Asian international relations. Feng Huiyun, for example, challenges Johnston’s assertion that Chinese strategic culture “exhibits an aggressive and expansionist preference.”23 Feng Huiyun operates from the premise that Confucian thought as it emerged toward the end of the Warring States period (c. 474–221 BC) assumed predominance in the creation of China’s strategic culture. She contends that Confucianism “reflected the people’s general aspiration for peace” and was domestically focused. Therefore, “the Chinese way of expansion of the Chinese order was through cultural rather than military means and the final goal was not territorial or political rule over other states.”24 She continues by contending that “the unique part of Chinese Confucian thought is that . . . it relies on virtue and self-cultivation of leaders/rulers to maintain peace and prestige rather than resorting to force for obedience in handling inter-state relations.”25 While acknowledging that many scholars have contested this idealized notion of Confucianism’s pervasive influence over state policy, Feng nonetheless asserts that the constraining influences of Confucianism, with its emphasis upon nonviolence, defensiveness, and righteous war, have created a Chinese strategic culture that has been primarily defensive since the Warring States era. Feng Huiyun takes this one step further, maintaining that, “in over 2,000 years of feudal rule the feudal empires of China seldom displayed aggressive intentions towards other countries nor made any attempts at expansion despite the capability to do so.”26 Beyond the rather dated references to “feudal” China, such rosy interpretations of China’s military past would certainly be surprising to the ancestors of many of China’s fifty-six recognized “national minority” groups today, whose forced assimilation into the empire resembles that of their counterparts all over the globe. But Feng takes her argument even further and claims that “In China’s 5,000 years of history, there were only two large-scale military expansionist movements carried out by the nomadic minorities of Mongolian and Manchurian people.”27 In making such statements Feng is not only seeing traditional Chinese military culture through an overwhelmingly positive lens, but is also evincing a remarkable degree of Han Chinese chauvinism. She further points to the Great Wall as the ultimate symbol of Chinese defensiveness and pacifism, a popular interpretation that has been most famously problematized by Arthur Waldron in his classic study of the policy decisions that resulted in the huge expansion of the Wall during the Ming dynasty.28 And even more interesting is the fact that while Feng decries Johnston for positing the dominance of an aggressive, realpolitik streak in 23 27

Feng 2007, 17. Feng 2007, 26.

24 28

Feng 2007, 20. 25 Feng 2007, 25. See Waldron 1990.

26

Feng 2007, 26.

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Chinese strategic culture that extends throughout Chinese history, she does the same in arguing for her own virtuous, defensive-oriented, Confucian model. Taking a middle position, Yuan-kang Wang has attempted to modify Johnston’s conceptualization of Chinese strategic behavior. Adopting a much longer temporal framework, Wang argues that Chinese states from the Song dynasty (960–1279) onwards have operated in accordance with their relative power vis-à-vis their enemies. When powerful, Chinese states adopted an aggressive, expansionist grand strategy. When they were weak, Chinese states adopted defensive or accommodationist strategies. But in general he contends that states are in fact “primed for offense,” so we should reasonably expect offensive actions whenever the opportunity presents itself.29 Nevertheless, Wang cautions against rejecting the influence of Confucian acculturation and Confucian influence upon the creation of Chinese strategic culture and grand strategy.30 Indeed, there were times when Confucianism exerted an ameliorating influence upon strategic behavior, especially with respect to quelling domestic revolts. But in general, the anarchic nature of international systems pushed China toward aggressive realpolitik behavior in the interest of survival, at least to Wang.31 In other words, power considerations and capabilities trump variables such as culture or ideology. Feng Zhang adopts elements of the interpretations of Johnston and Wang, but argues that Confucianism is an ideological variable in the strategy of expressive hierarchy, but it plays only a noncausal role in the strategy of instrumental hierarchy.32 So it informed conceptualizations of international relations and expectations of “civilized behavior” and discourse, but that did not necessarily translate into consistently pacifistic approaches to security dilemmas. Moreover, Feng criticizes scholars such as Wang and Johnston for ignoring distinctively Chinese cultural frameworks and simply classifying imperial China as a realpolitik state. Instead, Feng argues, one must emphasize the specifically Chinese aspects of grand strategy and how they impacted both Chinese practices and the East Asian international order.33 Yet another variation on these interpretations is the idea of ritual integration, or ritual hegemony. This thesis posits the notion that what China really sought was symbolic, ritual domination over other polities, not direct political or military control. So neighboring states were integrated through investing them with patents of authority that rested on their mutual acceptance of Confucian hierarchical principles.34 It is worth noting that this variation is supported to an extent by David C. Kang’s findings concerning the comparatively lower level of effectiveness of the tributary system in ameliorating 29 31 34

Yuan-kang Wang 2010, 21–23. Yuan-kang Wang 2010, 185. F. Zhang 2015, 43.

30 32

Yuan-kang Wang 2010, 24–27. F. Zhang 2015, 44. 33 F. Zhang 2015, 44.

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grievances between and among the Mongols and other Central Asian polities, which were less Confucianized.35 While this survey has been brief, it illustrates how imperial China in general and the Ming dynasty in particular have become fertile ground for political scientists and international relations scholars in recent years. It is worth adding that virtually all the works examined herein even while focusing their discussions on premodern or early modern history, explicitly consider the contemporary implications of their findings. Ji-Young Lee, for example, while admitting that some of her findings are specific to the time and place she is studying, suggests that they may be used as a guide to the types of questions scholars may wish to ask and the types of signs to look for as security dynamics in Asia change. In other words, the states in question have an ever-changing sense of their own historical past and relations with one another as well as an understanding of how to operate within a hegemonic international system, currently represented by the United States, even as its regional power relative to China declines.36 And her model is useful in the sense that she considers the domestic audience for international actions, an observation that seems particularly relevant in light of the recent provocative activities of the People’s Republic of China in asserting its power in East and Southeast Asia by virtue of the so-called Nine-Dash Line and the construction of artificial islands to demarcate China’s territory and sphere of influence. In fact such actions might be viewed as modern efforts by China to “Manifest Awe.” While Feng Zhang characterizes the early Ming in particular as an era of “incomplete hegemony,” in fact I think it is more useful to examine the totality of the Ming as an ever-evolving implementation of the strategy of Manifesting Awe.37 From its inception the Ming rulers consistently sought to assert China’s predominance in Asia by a combination of military threats, trade arrangements, and symbolic investitures of authority. It is important to realize that these efforts were multifaceted, nuanced, and intertwined, and understood as such by the Ming’s neighbors. Recent studies on the Zheng He expeditions, for example, have emphasized their military implications, while also highlighting their importance for extending and normalizing the tributary system.38 One scholar has even referred to the latter efforts as “proto-imperialism.”39 From the Ming perspective they were simply establishing their strategic lines of defense. These could be maintained through allies and vassal states or, less commonly, through outright military conquest and annexation, as in the case of Annam.40 35 37 38 40

See D. C. Kang 2010, 141–149. 36 J.-Y. Lee 2016, 177–186. On Zhang’s notions of incomplete hegemony, see F. Zhang 2015, 154–156. On the concept of Manifesting Awe and its application throughout the Ming period, see Swope 2015. See, most notably, Dreyer 2007. 39 See Wade 2006. For a recent consideration of the Ming intervention in Annam, see Swope 2016a. Also see Baldanza 2016.

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Along these lines, it must be remembered that the tributary system had important military dimensions. China’s vassal states were considered to be under the Ming’s defense umbrella and could petition the Ming court for military assistance in instances of either domestic or foreign military challenges. It is worth noting that the two major international wars that the Ming engaged in prior to the war with the Jin/Qing both involved defense of tributary vassals. The Ming also cooperated with the kingdom of Chosôn in battling Jurchen groups, and frequently intervened in steppe clashes that involved vassal princes or chieftains invested by the Ming. Likewise, the steady Ming expansion to the southwest was supposedly occasioned at least some of the time by recalcitrant local chieftains (tusi) who were shirking their tributary responsibilities to the Ming court. So beyond its obvious diplomatic and economic dimensions, which have been amply studied, one must not discount the military dimensions of the Chinese tributary system when making comparisons to international systems elsewhere. Concerning the war under consideration here, drawing a parallel with recent scholarship, one might characterize this situation as emblematic of “Thucydides Trap,” whereby a rising power challenges the dominant hegemonic power.41 As noted earlier and commented upon by other scholars such as Arano Yasunori and Ji-Young Lee, Hideyoshi explicitly sought to create a new “Japanocentric world order” to displace China in the East Asian hierarchy.42 This vision included not only the military conquest of Korea and China, but also many of the south sea realms, including Taiwan and the Philippines, and even India. Hideyoshi grounded his vision in his belief in the superiority of Japan and Japanese culture as embodied in the divinity of its rulers and by extension, himself, as he often referred to himself as a “Child of the Sun.”43 Interestingly, however, while Hideyoshi was clearly challenging Ming hegemony and while his proposed new order might have more explicitly embraced foreign trade, he was essentially accepting the validity of Chinese practices and recognizing the utility of the symbolic domination offered by being at the apex of the tributary order. He simply wanted to put himself, and by extension Japan, at the top of this order. Moreover, as Ji-Young Lee stresses and others, including myself, have also noted, Hideyoshi was also sensitive to domestic political and military concerns.44 He craved recognition and fame at home and abroad and sought such recognition as crucial to maintaining his patrimony. He was a social upstart and was quite sensitive to his common background, which meant that legally he had no claim to the exalted military title of shogun. This was a major factor in his choice to link himself to the imperial house in Japan and accept 41 43

See Allison 2017. J.-Y. Lee 2016, 107.

42

See the discussion in J.-Y. Lee 2016, 104–113. J.-Y. Lee 2016, 115.

44

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numerous titles and accolades from the Japanese emperor. He was effectively borrowing the symbolic capital of the throne while also looking to cement his status through concrete accomplishments. There could be no more impressive accomplishment than the conquest of Asia. Such an act would furthermore serve as a means of rewarding loyal vassals and/or exhausting the military strength of potential challengers as they fought their way across the continent. In any case, Hideyoshi was gravely mistaken in his predictions and his assessments of the Ming and their willingness and ability to fight. For one, he disregarded the strategic importance Ming China attached to Chosŏn Korea. Ming officials, as well as the Wanli emperor, repeatedly referred to Korea as “the lips to China’s teeth” and regarded Korea as China’s respectful child in the tribute system of foreign relations that had been followed since the dynasty’s founding. Additionally, as things turned out, the main military force that normally would have been posted in Liaodong, along the Korean border, was in the process of quelling a mutiny in northwest China, which is why the initial Ming response was less vigorous than it otherwise might have been. Hideyoshi’s intelligence concerning Ming military capabilities was also dated and flawed. Under Emperor Wanli the Ming had embarked upon a program of military rejuvenation that culminated in the successful prosecution of the aforementioned three major military campaigns simultaneously, one of which was this very war in Korea. The Ming had also put the Mongol tribes of the steppe back on the defensive and managed, at least until the early seventeenth century, to keep the Jurchen tribes of the northeast divided and at each other’s throats. The Ming armies also enjoyed the services of a number of gifted and experienced commanders, many of whom had the personal backing of the emperor. Puzzlingly, Hideyoshi, who was normally known as a meticulous planner, based his assessment of Ming military capabilities upon his understanding of the Japanese pirate (Wokou/Wakō) raids of the 1560s, and concluded that they could never stand up to his own seasoned troops. He had, however, acquired a bit of knowledge about Korea’s military capabilities, and his projections in this area were more realistic, at least with respect to the early stages of the war. And the sheer size of the force he amassed, which totaled half a million including reserves, suggests that he had some sense of the enormous task that lay before him, even if he discounted the military potential of the Ming. In fact the Koreans had asked for assistance from the Ming as soon as the Japanese landed. By the time the Japanese were advancing north from Seoul a Ming official from Liaodong sent a report to the Ministry of War stating, “The Japanese bandits have reached the Taedong River so the Korean monarch and his ministers wish to escape and I fear the king and his soldiers will enter Liaodong. To prevent them would not be benevolent, but to receive them will

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be to invite trouble.”45 Thus we can clearly see the Ming dilemma. On the one hand the defense of Korea was part of the Ming’s tributary obligations toward its vassal. It was also in its strategic interest. But owing to pressing military obligations on other frontiers, including a troop mutiny that had necessitated the redeployment of Ming forces that normally would have been stationed in Liaodong, the Ming were not in a position to send a large force, hence the small relief column mentioned earlier, which the Japanese handily destroyed. On the other hand, neither could Korea be readily abandoned, both for reasons of friendship and prestige. Nonetheless, there were still doves at court who argued against intervention in Korea, using the example of the Ming incursion into Vietnam in the early fifteenth century (which had resulted in a disastrous twenty-year failed annexation) as a cautionary tale.46 Still others invoked the failed Sui–Tang dynasty incursions into Korea. Their opponents argued that this situation was far different. First of all, Korea was friendly and the Koreans had welcomed the Ming. Second Korea was much closer to China than Vietnam. Therefore, a large army could be easily supplied by land and sea, and supplies could reach the front in just a few days. Additionally, there was the obvious fact that Korea was much more strategically important to China by virtue of its proximity to Beijing than Vietnam.47 Therefore, after a series of spirited debates at court, the Ming emperor Wanli decided to intervene militarily in Korea. His decision was predicated on three major (interrelated) factors. First, and perhaps foremost, it was in the Ming’s strategic interest to confine the war to the Korean peninsula. As some noted at the time, Korea was the “lips that protected China’s teeth” and keeping the Japanese tied down there limited the damage to China itself. Second, there were many officials in China, not to mention the emperor himself, who seemed to harbor genuine feelings of friendship and tributary responsibility toward Korea. To be sure such sentiments were at times patronizing and self-serving, but neither were they false. After all, the neighbors had enjoyed good relations to mutual benefit for two centuries. It would hardly do to turn their backs on Korea when help was needed. Finally, on a personal level Wanli, often stymied by officials at home when it came to asserting the imperial will, saw the war in Korea as a way to maintain Ming primacy in East Asia and thereby bolster his own prestige, at least internationally.48 In this sense Wanli’s actions reinforce Ji-Young Lee’s conclusions concerning the tributary system’s importance in domestic politics in Korea and Japan. Wanli clearly had domestic politics in mind when considering his actions in Korea. More generally, a forceful and 45 47 48

Zheng Liangsheng 1987, 2:478. 46 See Swope 2016a. On the Ming debates, see Song Yingchang 1986, 1:9–10. For a longer discussion of the Ming debates concerning the intervention in Korea, see Swope 2013.

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effective Ming response to the Japanese challenge could be used by the Chinese to reinforce their position at the top of the international hierarchy in Asia. It is perhaps most instructive to see Wanli’s position through his own decree, issued to the Koreans upon his decision to send military aid. The emperor notes, For generations you have been our Eastern neighbor and you have always been docile and obedient. Your gentry take pleasure in learning and culture. I heard that your nearby land had been invaded and was being plundered by the rapacious Japanese villains and that your capital city has been looted and Pyongyang has been occupied, forcing your people to scatter near and far and I was deeply disturbed. And now Your Majesty has fled for the Western coast and is seeking refuge among the rustics. You must now focus your attention to the task at hand and strengthen your resolve. For, as soon as I heard the news yesterday, I ordered the border officials to begin mobilizing troops to come to your aid. I will also dispatch a high civil and a high military official to act in concert. They will assemble 70,000 crack troops from the various defense commands around Liaoyang, which will be sent forth to assist you in chastising the [Japanese] bandits, and in conjunction with your own country’s men, they will catch the enemy in a vise and annihilate them. Furthermore, I have issued imperial commands to the tributary kings of the myriad states in all directions so that they too can assist in helping with this nasty business. I have also issued an order to the various coastal garrisons of the southeast and promulgated an edict to countries such as Siam and Ryukyu to assemble an army of 100,000 to join us in attacking Japan and driving them from their nests . . . Now Your Highness must focus upon maintaining what your ancestors have bequeathed to you. How can you just lightly cast it all away? Now you must exert all your energy in the business of saving your state and restoring its prestige, and you should order all your civil and military officials and ordinary people to likewise exert themselves to the utmost. For if Your Majesty’s mind is open and you rectify your past transgressions, then you will be able to recover the territory that you have lost. The masses will face this calamity out of filiality to their father, and the ministers of your country, recognizing your righteousness, will certainly all look up to you. Your Majesty will thereby regain the respect you once had.49

Wanli’s desire to retain sovereign supremacy in East Asia can be seen through Wanli’s behavior over the next several years and in his communications with King Sônjo of Chosôn. In these exchanges Wanli alternately exhorts and berates the Korean monarch, urging him to both rectify his personal behavior and rally his beleaguered populace. Yet he also promises to send myriad troops to overwhelm the rapacious Japanese invaders and promises to send contributions from China’s other tributary vassals. In fact, while some of the other tributaries, including both the Jurchens under Nurgaci and the Thai leader at Ayudhya offered to send troops to aid the Ming or even attack Japan, such offers were refused. It seems that the Ming thought accepting such assistance would undermine their own prestige or diminish their awesomeness in the eyes of other potential threats to their supremacy. Interesting enough, 49

Sin 1980, 1:238–239.

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Korean aid would be accepted some twenty-seven years later when the Ming mounted its first major offensive campaign against Nurgaci. By this point, however, Ming military power had declined significantly and Wanli was nearly on his deathbed, worn down by decades of illness and factional strife. While the war was poorly managed by both sides and fraught with diplomatic gaffes and misunderstandings, in the end the Japanese were forced to withdraw from Korea without realizing any of Hideyoshi’s war aims, while the Ming embarked upon a massive suppression campaign of an uprising in distant Sichuan province, which marked the completion of the Three Great Campaigns of the Wanli emperor. From a larger strategic standpoint, the war preserved Ming China’s preeminent position in the East Asian world. In their eyes at least, and notwithstanding the contributions of Korea’s own forces, China had successfully defended its tributary from a formidable enemy and prevailed in a distant war under harsh conditions. The logistical achievements alone are noteworthy. Battles were waged on both land and at sea and included sieges, classic infantry confrontations, and guerrilla-style warfare. The Chinese proved particularly adept at using their great cannon to devastating effect in setpiece battles, forcing the Japanese to change their tactics. As the war dragged on, the Japanese preferred to avoid head-on clashes with superior Ming firepower, relying upon stoutly reinforced castles and ambushes. Responding to these new tactical situations, the Ming increasingly rotated troops from southern China to the front because they had more experience using the tactics pioneered by the famous Ming general, Qi Jiguang (1528–1588), in combatting Japanese raiders in the 1560s.50 Qi’s most popular training manuals were also translated into Korean and their tactics and training methods adopted by the Koreans for their own military. Furthermore, contrary to what many scholars claim, this writer is not inclined to believe that the war drained Ming military and economic resources to their breaking point. If that had been the case, how could the Ming have assembled a force of over 200,000 men to deal with the Yang Yinglong Miao uprising so soon after on the heels of the war in Korea? And how was the Ming state able to last over four more decades, fighting virtually the entire time? These activities showed that the dynasty was still very cognizant of its strategic defense interests and eager to maintain its military primacy. But factionalism at virtually all levels of the administrative hierarchy, exacerbated by natural disasters caused in part by unprecedented climate change, undermined the effectiveness of the government and sapped the political will of Wanli and his successors.51 In any case, the Ming court remained wary of Japanese intentions for the rest of the dynasty’s existence, and troops were stationed 50 51

For a recent assessment of Qi’s accomplishments and influence, see Y. H. Teddy Sim 2017. On these issues relative to the decline and fall of the Ming, see Swope 2014b.

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for several years thereafter in Korea to ensure against another invasion, an invasion which would not come for another 300 years. Nonetheless, what is perhaps most remarkable about the aftermath of this conflict is how soon things returned to a relative state of normality. Hideyoshi’s successor, Tokugawa Ieyasu, could credibly claim to have had little to do with the war itself since he had remained in Japan for its duration. Though the Kingdom of Ryukyu was trampled underfoot by the Shimazu clan and forced into tributary relations with the Tokugawa, the overall state of affairs was pretty peaceful. Korea and Japan restored relations as equals barely a decade after the cessation of hostilities.52 The tributary system was reconstructed under overarching Qing hegemony with microcosms existing between the Tokugawa and their neighbors and with Chosŏn assuming a preeminent place under the Qing despite their ongoing closet Ming loyalties.53 It is true that Japan remained officially outside the Qing order, but neither did it challenge their hegemony during the era of Tokugawa rule. And the ongoing importance of Korea to Chinese grand strategy would be underscored by the willingness of the Qing to fight the Empire of Japan in 1895 over influence in Korea. Of course China would lose this war and the geostrategic landscape of Northeast Asia would be altered dramatically for the next half-century. Thus, as should be obvious from the preceding discussion, contemporary international relations scholars and political scientists can certainly benefit from examining the domestic ramifications of the Great East Asian War of 1592–1598 for all three belligerents, not to mention its important place in the annals of East Asian military and diplomatic history. For this war marked the most serious challenge to Chinese hegemony in East Asia over a 500-year period and for better or worse, the ability of the Sino-Korean allies to stymie the Japanese invasion, preserved the tributary system for another 250 years. Even then it is worth noting that several of the wars fought by the Qing in the nineteenth century involved retaining their primacy within the tributary system and in East Asia. Likewise, consider the major military operations of the People’s Republic. Interventions in Korea and Vietnam, clashes in the Himalayas, and the desire to establish a line of coastal defense by means of both military power and the ensconcing of friendly allies – all would be familiar to Ming policymakers.

52 53

On the restoration of relations between Japan and Korea after the war, see J. B. Lewis 2003. On Tokugawa foreign relations and the tributary order, see Toby 1984.

8

The Qing Unification, 1618–1683 Pamela Kyle Crossley

Over a long period in the seventeenth century, the Qing conquest regime reunified historical China, adding Manchuria, Taiwan, Mongolia, Tibet, and Xinjiang. The result was a territorial regime as well as economic transformations that created the foundation of modern China. It is a habit of historians to think of the initiation of Qing rule in China as a transition from the former Ming dynasty (1368–1644) to the new dynasty. This chapter suggests that the process is better understood as a period of fragmented rule beginning in the later sixteenth century, followed by a long, complex and uncertain reunification of territories of historical China – a reunification not completed until 1683. When viewed from this perspective, the history challenges our habits of “event” construction, and also suggests that the best chronological theater for the fragmentation and reunification processes is not found along the northern borders – where the narratives often focus – but in the southwest, particularly the province of Yunnan. The Event Paradigm of the Ming–Qing Transition Assumptions that Qing as a border regime rose up against Ming, took advantage of massive rural uprisings caused by Ming “decline,” and overthrew Ming without seriously rewriting the structure of the state, were exemplified in the ubiquitously influential work of John King Fairbank, who attributed the success of the Qing to their ability to assimilate and perpetuate Ming institutions of domestic administration and foreign relations.1 A striking feature of this narrative of the Ming to Qing transition is the assumption of a large power differential, which drives a schema of a weak in situ entity being pierced and subdued by an external invading force. This overarching narrative of dynastic transition within a “late imperial” political continuity owes a good deal to traditional Qing historiography, which incorporated the Chinese imperial paradigm of each successive dynasty appropriating the “mandate of Heaven” directly from a legitimate predecessor. It was 1

X. D. Lin 2012.

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not the only narrative sponsored by the Qing court,2 but it was important that it be represented in at least some of the imperial historiography.3 The right to rule was seen as progressing through a defined chain of dynasties, and an understanding of dynastic succession as a distinct event was fundamental to many imperial representations of legitimate rule.4 It found its way into foundational American historiography of Qing, and for decades after World War II controlled most English-language narratives of the seventeenth century. The facts highlighted in this narrative were significant. The predecessor state of Qing – the Aisin or Jin khanate (1616–1635) – was a Ming border regime, and as of 1618 was in a declared war against Ming for control of Liaodong province (closely corresponding to present-day Liaoning province of China). In 1644 the Qing empire (1636–1912) entered Beijing and began campaigns that would culminate in the conquest of China – and afterward Taiwan, Mongolia, Tibet, and Xinjiang. The problems with the high points of the narrative are that it seriously understates the disunion of China from the late sixteenth century on, displaces the locus of early Qing imperial power from eastern Mongolia to Liaodong and southern Manchuria, and creates an illusory chronology in which 1644 becomes an origination point for the Qing and encapsulates an entire narrative of decades of conflict and political transformation. Even the most traditional narratives do not neglect to mention that the dynasty that Qing pushed aside at Beijing in 1644 was not the Ming – it was the rebel dynasty of Shun that had overthrown Ming two months earlier.5 Nevertheless, it is common to write of the Ming–Shun displacement as occurring within the context of continuing Ming territorial integrity. This contrasts to the fact that Qing conquest of former Ming territories was itself a series of campaigns and negotiations that concluded only in 1683, the date at which the unity that the Chinese territories had known in the late sixteenth century was restored. Between about 1580 and 1683, the territories of historical China were in various degrees of fragmentation and, as a consequence, unconquerable as a unit. Below, we explore the time and space of disunity in the late Ming, with focus on four venues: Mongolia; Liaodong and southern Manchuria; Shaanxi and Sichuan provinces; and Yunnan province. The last of these, Yunnan, in many ways best represents the chronological shape of the Ming–Qing transition outside the notion of an “event.” The multidimensionality of the Qing conquest of China and the reunification of historical China in the process is clear in its outlines. During the Wanli period (1573–1620), the Tumet Mongols appropriated the northern edge of Shanxi and 2 3 4

Crossley 1999, 221–270. Crossley 1999; Mittag 2012, Crossley 2012, and Ong 2012; Brokaw and Busch 2018. Robinson 2016. 5 Wakeman 1985; Struve 1993.

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Shaanxi provinces. Subsequently the Chahar khaghanate under Ligdan seized control of trade entrepôts in northern Liaodong province, and the rising Jurchen federation under Nurgaci (1559–1626) demanded a border agreement in 1609–1610 that marked the disintegration of nominal Ming hegemony over Northeast Asia that had stood since Yongle (1402–1424) times. In the 1630s Ming lost effective control over growing portions of Shaanxi and Sichuan provinces, while the Aisin khanate (in 1636 transformed into the Qing empire) forced the submission of Chosŏn Korea, which detached the Korean court and military from Ming alliance and accelerated Qing progress in western Liaodong, approaching the Great Wall. Put crudely, in 1450 the Ming empire occupied about 6.5 million square kilometers (Figure 8.1). By 1600 Ming had lost effective control over about one-twelfth of that, by 1630 they had lost about one-ninth of that, and by about 1640 they had lost nearly one-third (Figure 8.2). Equally important, the Qing conquest of Beijing and its environs in north China led not to less fragmentation within the Chinese territories, but to more. Ming loyalist regimes were set up along the south China coast and the southwest highlands, while the Zheng family rebel dynasty from their base in Taiwan interfered with the Fujian coast. To continue the same crude quantification, by 1646 the Qing may have controlled at most about one-fifth of the former Ming territories.

Figure 8.1 Areas under Ming governance, c. 1500

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Figure 8.2 Territories controlled by the Ming empire, Tumet and Oyirod federations, rebel territories in Shaanxi and Shanxi (Li Zicheng), and rebel territories in Sichuan (Zhang Xianzhong), c. 1640

What the history shows is weakening of Ming power over its last century and the devolution of power to rival or emergent power centers – to the Tumet Mongols, to the Oyirods (later, Junghars, who were moving into Gansu from the area of modern Xinjiang), to the Chahar khaghanate, to the Aisin khanate and the Qing empire, to the rebel regimes of Li Zicheng and Zhang Xianzhong, and to Europeans – the Portuguese from time to time attempted to seize bits of the Chinese mainland from their perch in Macao, while Spanish and Dutch forces (struggling against pirate federations for domination of Taiwan) impinged upon Chinese sea travel east and south. The Qing conquest in its complete arc reunited all these areas before making its remarkable additions of Taiwan, Mongolia, Tibet, and Xinjiang. In effect it was the end of a longstanding multidimensional conflict over Ming territory, reuniting the historical domain of China and creating a new empire – not a dynastic transition within a continuing empire, nor displacement of one empire by another. Mongolia and the Devolution of Power in North China In 1368 the Ming dynasty began with the defeat of the last of the Mongol rulers of the Yuan empire in China (1272–1368), and the dispersal of the former Yuan

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Mongol population, with some remaining in China and many returning to Mongolia. The largest identifiable group to withdraw north from China were the “six tümen,” as they were called in the Chinese records. These federations considered themselves the continuation of the Yuan empire, and in some records referred to themselves as the “Northern Yuan.” The Six Tümen faced geographical and political competition from Mongolian-speaking groups with distinct histories from the former Yuan population.6 Through the early fourteenth century various uneasy coalitions in eastern Mongolia, some affiliated with the Kirghiz Turks, and some with the descendants of Chinggis (the Chinggisids, who had brought the federations north from China) attempted to fend off both Ming pressure from the south and increasingly aggressive incursions from the Oyirod Mongols in the west. In the midfifteenth century the Oyirods centralized Mongolia. But the political and cultural independence of eastern Mongolia was reasserted with the establishment of Dayan (1470–1543) as the (Chinggisid) Great Khan in 1475, and by the end of the fifteenth century the eastern Chakhar federation was consolidated. Ming attempted to manipulate the alliances among the Mongols and undermine unity when possible with bribes and promises of favorable military intervention. The by-product was the accumulation of leaders in Mongolia who gradually became united in their shared experiences of betrayal by the Ming. The Oyirods claimed repeatedly that the eastern Chinggisid regimes were in the pay of the Ming, and attacks from the west were frequently directed against both the Chinggisids and the Ming. In 1449 Oyirods attacked the region about Beijing and seized the Ming emperor. At the end of the fifteenth century Oyirod ambitions in the east subsided, and Mongolia was in a fairly stable division, east and west. The Oyirods tightened their control over Gansu province and lands of the lingering Chaghatay khanate that Ming had attempted to control in Turkestan. The Tumet Mongols, who were descended from populations that had long inhabited the interface between north China and Mongolia, were a division within the eastern Chinggisid federation, though from the fifteenth century they showed increasing independence. Their leader in the mid-sixteenth century, Altan Khaghan (1507–1582) is credited with the recovery of Chinggisid lands from the Oyirods, and he established a powerful, populous, and centralized regime at Köke khota (Huhhot), virtually at the Great Wall. Part of Altan’s career was dedicated to invading China, which occurred repeatedly from 1529 to his sustained attack on Beijing in 1550. From the 1560s Altan moved to consolidate his authority over all Mongolia by enlisting the legitimating partnership of the Dalai Lama (Songnam Gyatso, 1543–1588, the first known, 6

For an overview and further citations to the history of Mongolia in this era, Serruys 1987; Moses and Halkovic 1985; Crossley 2006.

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though later called the “third” assuming that the first two were occulted). The Ming considered Altan’s amity valuable enough that they enfeoffed him as the Shunyi wang (“Prince of Discipline and Righteousness”) in 1571, giving his capital the Chinese designation of Guihua, and granting to Altan and his representative extraordinary patents for horse trade and special honors at Beijing. The Dalai Lama took up residence at Huhhot in 1577.7 Altan extended Tumet power – and informal domain – to northern Gansu, Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces of China, and he occupied parts of Liaodong. The infrastructure established by Altan Khaghan was eventually coopted by Lighdan Khaghan (1588–1634), who fought from his base west of Huhhot to capture the Tumet capital in 1631. By that time Lighdan found himself in an impossible situation, fighting both rebellious eastern Mongol federations who resented his tribute demands and the Jurchens of the Aisin khanate in Liaodong, who were cutting into the ostensibly Ming province of Liaodong that had been under pressure from Altan’s Tumet successors.8 This competition between the Aisin khanate and Lighdan for quasi-Ming, quasi-Tumet territories had a transformative effect upon both the Aisin and the Ming. Lighdan had been hired by the Ming to attempt to protect China’s northeastern front against the Aisin khanate, receiving an annual payment that eventually topped 80,000 ounces of silver a year. When Lighdan died in 1634, his wealth, his troops, his insignia of office (inherited from Chinggis), and most of his aristocracy were absorbed by the Aisin khanate. They provided the ideological and material infrastructure of Aisin’s transformation, between 1634 and 1636, into the Qing empire. Ming had inadvertently strengthened the Aisin khanate and deepened their own territorial losses. In 1643 Qing finally controlled all of Liaodong province. Manchuria, Korea, and the Devolution of Power in Liaodong In the early fifteenth century, the Mongol–Jurchen lands east and north of the Ming province of Liaodong were on paper divided into “commandaries” that loosely corresponded to the hegemonic parameters of extended family commercial organizations whose powers were drawn from trade monopolies in the towns at the Liaodong borders with eastern Mongolia and southern Manchuria. Competition over control of border markets was often intense. Several of these organizations were extending their powers into northern Korea by the midfifteenth century, resulting in the centralization and strengthening of some federations as well as complicating alliances with Ming border officials, including military commanders of high rank. By the late sixteenth century, war among the Jurchen organizations was continuous. Nurgaci emerged as 7

Jankowiak 1992.

8

Swope 2005, 30–31.

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leader of his federation – at the time usually called “Tong” – in 1582, the same year he took a contingent of his followers to Korea to fight in Ming service against the Japanese.9 By 1587 Nurgaci was well-connected in the Ming border administration, well armed, well informed on military technology, and dominant over what is now southern Jilin province, where he established a capital city for himself. In 1609 he traveled to Beijing to be recognized as regional hegemon at the Ming court, and struck an apparent agreement that made his boundary with the Ming arguable, if not enforceable. In 1616 he declared a state – the Aisin khanate – and in 1618 declared war on the Ming for refusing to honor the terms of his various agreements with Ming border officers, as well as claims that Ming agents had conspired in the deaths of his father and grandfather. The war required rapid centralization and stratification in Nurgaci’s state and military organizations, laying the foundations not only for the Eight Banners but also a bureaucratized aristocracy that efficiently accommodated apostates from Mongolia, China, and Korea. With the strength of recruits from the Ming army and bureaucracy, as well as seizures of Ming weapons, Nurgaci took the provincial capital in 1621 and by 1625 was governing a very substantial population of Chinese-speaking farmers, merchants, and literati. The western half of Liaodong, leading to the Great Wall, was still held by Ming defenders, sometimes supplied or reinforced from Korea. Nurgaci died in 1626 and was succeeded by his son Hong Taiji, who decided to weaken the Ming ties with Korea – and if possible subjugate Korea himself – as a means of creating a southern front for further Aisin advancement in Liaodong. He made an excursion into Korea in 1627 but did not achieve his goals. His military energies were from 1632 to 1634 directed against Lighdan’s khaghanate of eastern Mongolia, and after the defeat he absorbed the imperial titles as well as control over the remaining populations of the former Mongolian empire. From 1634 to 1636, inspired and empowered by his defeat of Lighdan and absorption of the Chinggisid rulership, Hong Taiji effected many changes in the khanate in order to increase his personal power and give him more efficient bureaucratic control over revenues and troop deployment. In 1636 he declared himself emperor of a new entity, the Qing empire, and mounted a massive assault on Korea that resulted in forced submission of the Chosŏn king Injo (Yi Jong, 1595–1649). By the time of his death in 1643, Hong Taiji had secured Qing control over all of Liaodong province, eastern Mongolia, and Manchuria.10 The scale of Qing as a conquest state before 1644 is something normally elided in the event paradigm of the Ming–Qing transition. Aisin–Qing material force – soldiers, horses, fortifications, weapons, and wealth to operate them 9

Crossley 1999, 84–109.

10

Yuanchong Wang 2018.

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all – was not initially derived from the conversion of Ming resources primarily.11 Horses and tribute were rendered by Mongolian populations from 1607 on, and the defeat of Lighdan in 1634 brought an enormous increase in Aisin wealth and military resources, a good deal of which was indirectly derived from Ming payments. The huge Qing expeditionary force into Korea in 1636 was precipitated not only by strategic concerns (Korea as a staging point for Ming defense forces in western Liaodong) but also as a means of preempting the high financial demands on Korea from Ming (as high as 100,000 ounces of silver at a time) and redirecting the money into the Qing coffers. By the time that Qing forces were invited into Beijing in June of 1644, the new Qing empire controlled eastern Mongolia, all of Liaodong, and all of Manchuria as far as the Amur River; Qing exercised financial as well as military hegemony in Korea, and enlarged their cattle herds and dependent populations with occasional raids into northern China. Devolution of Power in Sichuan and Shaanxi The reign period of the Wanli emperor (1588–1620) in China is generally seen as the critical period in the “decline” of the Ming empire. It was certainly a period of political volatility and disruption of some management of Ming administration – among them, coordination of defense in the Liaodong – but arguments that it was a period of economic or even military decline are very difficult to validate. Through the sixteenth century, Ming had managed to negotiate complex issues relating to fluctuations in specie values, tax reform to accommodate price and yield changes, rising urban populations, emergence and distribution of new specializations in manufacturing activity, and the emergence of new trade dimensions relating to not only the expansion of piracy networks along the Chinese coasts but also the arrival of new trade partners from the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal. Ming financial managers did not think that theirs was a particularly difficult one though they did note that a century before the state had begun spending well beyond its means (particularly on its enormous military) with concomitant shifting of taxes and commodity payments from goods or cash to various kinds of credit accounting.12 In the immediate aftermath of the Wanli period, factors converged that may have presented overwhelming topical challenges to a government afflicted by marked but not fatal degrees of disorganization and corruption. The Dutch were learning how to make their own porcelain, threatening a signal Ming import. But urban investments, stimulated by previous and continuing influx of silver 11 12

Swope 2014b. Brook 2010; Dardess 2012; von Glahn 2016; D. M. Robinson 2008. On the military effects see Swope 2013b.

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reaped from foreign trade, attracted capital toward the cities, reducing the rural investments of land-owning families. Climactic conditions altered, decreasing yields and threatening subsistence farmers. In 1628–1629 very severe droughts and persisting low temperatures afflicted Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces, and recurred in 1634 through 1640, accompanied by official reports of cannibalism. In these late years, smallpox and accompanying epidemics ravaged the countryside, despite the ability of doctors in the cities to mitigate the disease. The Ming government did not provide an efficient response in grain or cash distribution. The rural rebel army that by 1633 was led by Li Zicheng (1606–1645) arose in northern Shaanxi province had not less than 30,000 soldiers, and coordinated with local rebels to stage attacks on government offices in Henan, Shaanxi, and Shanxi provinces. Through the 1630s Li struggled to maintain a consistent base of operations against Ming forces sent to dispel the rebellion, and became more successful at maintaining a base as the worsening of the droughts brought more and more soldiers and civilians supporters into his operation, allowing him to expand into Henan in 1639.13 Ming literati, including a few officials, joined his campaign and aided in the development of a kind of rebel state propaganda. From time to time Li allied his forces with another rebel captain, Zhang Xianzhong (1605–1647), who sustained his expansive campaigns in Shaaanxi and Henan by periodically surrendering to the Ming and offering to aid them in the suppression of the widening swathe of rural uprisings in central China.14 Zhang managed to wrest stable control of parts of Hubei province from the Ming and declared himself “King of the West” (Xiwang). In 1641 Li’s armies killed a high-ranking Ming prince and confiscated his estate, and by 1643 Li had the title “Prince of the New Discipline” (Xinshun wang), and established his capital at Xi’an in southern Shaanxi province. From here he coordinated the huge army of more than 300,000 that descended on Beijing in April of 1644 and expelled the Ming imperial family from the palaces, later declaring his new dynasty of Shun (Discipline). Zhang established a splinter state in Shaanxi rather than join his forces with Li. Casualties (both civilian and military) in the great uprisings of Li and Zhang were frequently reported in the hundreds of thousands.15 From 1628 to 1644 (and in the territories controlled by Zhang, a few years after), Ming control in Shaanxi, Sichuan, and parts of Shanxi, Hubei, and Henan was attenuated, while millions of ounces of silver were diverted from the Ming treasury. The ejection of the Ming imperial family from Beijing caused the Ming defenses to be dispersed among a set of pretender regimes headed by Ming princes – at 13 14 15

des Forges 2003. See Tu Lien-chê 1943. The only comprehensive history in English of the Zhang Xianzhong rebellion and its place in the fragmentation of the Ming is Swope 2018. Tong 1992.

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Yangzhou, Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Kuizhou, Wuchang, Fuzhou, Guilin, Zhaoqing, Xiamen, Jieyang, and Guangzhou. The Ming general Wu Sangui (1612–1678), a native of Liaodong, turned to the Qing empire for help in recapturing Beijing for the Ming – now a ghost regime with a claim to only what historians often call the “Southern Ming,” much less than half of the fifteenth-century Ming territories, concentrated in southern China, coastal China, and southern Yunnan–Guizhou. Li took a force of 200,000 to confront the Qing armies at the Shanhai Gate in the Great Wall, where he was defeated; he fled to Shaanxi, where Qing forces captured and executed him. The Chronological Frame of Qing Unification: Yunnan While narratives of the Ming–Qing transition normally concentrate on events in northern China, Yunnan is actually a good location for seeing the true chronological shape of the multiple military transitions of the seventeenth century. Though Yunnan was long known to states based in China due to its abundant copper and silver sources, it was not governed from a state based in China until the Mongols destroyed the native Dali state there in 1253 and then governed Yunnan from their Yuan empire in China. Nominally Yunnan was under Chinese governance for the entire Ming period, but Yunnan is one of those regions that underscores the irrelevance of modern ideas of “sovereignty” before the nineteenth century. The history of Ming occupation of Yunnan was marked by institutions of indirect rule, setting some of the conditions that allow Yunnan to so effectively frame the actual progress of Ming recession and Qing ingress during the seventeenth century. Under the Yuan Mongol regime, Yunnan was a military outpost of Mongol princes, governed by Central Asian financial and military officers. The Ming invasion of Yunnan of the 1370s was intended to destroy any Mongol resistance, though Mongols in fairly large numbers remained in Yunnan and served the Ming after the province’s submission. From inception, Ming operations in Yunnan were self-funding and reporting was indirect. The province was turned over to Mu Ying (1345– 1392) – an adopted son of the Ming founder Zhu Yuanzhang – and subsequently the Mu family established a virtual duchy in Yunnan.16 In 1413 the portion of Yunnan in which aboriginal populations predominated was split off as Guizhou province, and both Guizhou and a portion of Yunnan were administered through the “local headman” (tusi) system, under which traditional leaders – or reliable leaders who could substitute for the traditional leaders – were given discretion to administer native lands, so long as taxes and tribute were rendered and rebellions did not occur. The Ming military forces in 16

L. K. Shin 2006; Sun 2003; B. Yang 2004. For the seventeenth century Qing ingress into Yunnan, Guizhou, and Guangxi, see Giersch 2006, Herman 2018.

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Yunnan were reliant for support upon family members to farm the land and sew the uniforms. But the indirect and self-reliant aspects of Yunnan administration in the Ming appear to be have been stabilizing. Ming Yunnan was one of the least expensive and least troubled of the empire’s provinces. These qualities, as well as the relative remoteness of Yunnan, may have made it attractive as the base of the Ming resister regime of Zhu Youlang (1638–1662), who was the child figurehead of a remnant Ming court there between 1644 and 1659, after which he fled to Burma.17 Wu Sangui,18 the Liaodongese native Ming general who recruited the Manchus to destroy Li Zicheng’s Shun dynasty and subsequently joined the Qing conquest, was commissioned by the Qing to eradicate the Ming regime in Yunnan and occupy the province. The Qing conquest of north China as far south as the Yangtze River Delta was relatively rapid and efficient. But at the Yangtze River basin the conquest forces slowed, and the Qing managers (regents for the boy emperor Fulin, 1638–1661) decided that plans for bringing all the former Ming territories under direct control were impractical. Local government throughout Shaanxi, Shanxi, and Sichuan – all territories affected by decades of disorder and misrule under the Li and Zhang rebel regimes – needed reconstruction and restaffing from the ground up, which wore down Qing organizational resources. More important, some south of the Yangtze were still organized and motivated to resist the Qing advance. Conflicts increased steeply in length and violence, the terrain became more challenging to Qing cavalry and heavy artillery, and distances from the command center made communications unreliable or irrelevant. Wu was the most prominent of a number of Chinese-speaking Liaodong natives whom the Qing appointed to command occupation regimes in southern China, which made them the leading lights of the so-called hanjun (Chinesemartial) banners.19 They worked on the same general pattern as the Mu Ying regime of the Ming had operated. Wu Sangui – who had been a high-ranking military commander under the Ming – took his legacy army into Yunnan and was permitted by the Qing to run his own government, collect his own taxes, and make his own laws, so long as he brought the province under nominal Qing rule. Other generals were set up with similar privileges in Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang, and eventually in Sichuan. How they should be designated was a problem, but Qing bureaucrats and historians settled upon fan, a Chinese word for a subordinate, contiguous regime. In English it is often translated as “feudatory.”20 In Wu’s case, he found that Yunnan’s relative remoteness from the political center – and its relative political independence – combined with profits from its 17 20

J. C. Yang 1943; Struve 1993; Wakeman 1985. Wakeman 1985; Dai 2009.

18

Fang 1943.

19

Crossley 1999.

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copper and silver mines, the wealth of its agriculture and fishing, and its lucrative trade routes with Tibet and Burma to offer the resources for a very powerful base of his own. The Qing managers in Beijing found the situation allowed them to concentrate their resources on the construction of civil government and military occupation through north China and in Manchuria, the latter of which was under direct economic and military command from Beijing, and was under constant, if low-grade, threat both from Russian vanguard forces and from Korean military commanders eager to exploit Qing focus on north China. Through the 1660s, Wu prospered and built his provincial regime while the Qing imperial court busied themselves with building a massive occupation state. In the early 1670s things changed. Fulin had died in 1661, and his very young son Xuanye became the emperor of the Kangxi period (1662–1722). Xuanye was a prodigious student of the emperorship, and in his teens became a ruthless political fighter. In 1667 he received a request from Wu Sangui for approval of Wu’s retirement and succession by his son Wu Yingxiong. The request seems to have piqued Xuanye’s curiosity, and he warily investigated the development of the separate powers and territories of the southern occupation regimes. Xuanye’s response to Wu’s first request to bequeath his local rulership to his son was to deny it, but in 1674 Wu asked again, soon after a similar request arrived at Beijing from Wu’s counterpart in Guangdong, Shang Kexi (1604–1676). Xuanye realized that as long as the southern proxy governments were in place, the conquest was stalled.21 He determined to dissolve the fan and have the governors sent back to their home province of Liaodong. The response of Wu and his colleagues was to rise in rebellion. Wu adopted as his battle cry a demand to “restore the Ming,” and years into the fighting renounced the Qing and proclaimed his own state of Zhou. Becoming the base of a southern bloc fighting the Qing put huge strain on Yunnan. Wu’s 200,000 full-time military force dwarfed the relatively small armies of Shang Kexi and Geng Jingzhong (d. 1682), and he was forced to distribute his troops across southern China. The rebel governors were joined by the pirate king Zheng Jing (1642–1681) and his son Zheng Chenggong (1624– 1662), who from their base in Taiwan had earlier defended one of the Ming remnant courts. They declared their own kingdom of Dongning ferried supplies to shore to be carried on to the rebel forts. Southern forces may have totaled 400,000 troops, with the advantage of defending provisioned fortifications. The troops the Qing court hastily sent in 1673 to punish the rebels were too few and too poorly supplied. When they were handily defeated, noblemen among the eastern Mongols who chafed under Qing domination rose in rebellion, forcing 21

See also Spence 1988.

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the Qing to open a northern front and creating even more fragmentation among the troops they could deploy. It was not until the late 1670s that the Qing were able to deploy a large force – somewhere between 500,000 and 900,000 – southward. They were armed with light mortars that could be dismantled and carried up the steep hillsides of the southern terrain, produced in mass by Jesuit engineers under unfriendly pressure from Xuanye.22 Wu Sangui died in 1678, Shang Kexin’s successor Shang Zhixin died in 1680, and Geng Jingzhong died in 1682. By 1683 the land engagements were ended. Xuanye ordered the clean-up campaigns extended to Taiwan. The Zheng family regime was destroyed and for the first time Taiwan became governed from a state based in China. Within four years, Xuanye was ready to launch his campaigns of conquest into central Mongolia, which had been out of reach as long as the conquest of southern China was unresolved. Assumptions of Force and Event Perception in the Transition The image of Qing military power has many sources. One is a romanticization by some historians of an “Altaic” culture that prized martial skills and dedication to superiors above what are evidently more civil values. The Qing Eight Banner Armies – whose history in some form or other can be traced to at least as early as 1595 – were after all the earliest and most honored institutions of Qing sociomilitary control, used to define every male adult as a military slave, and his family as dependents of the military companies in which they were enrolled. But the historical and linguistic bases for assuming an “Altaic” tradition are weak. The immediate sources of military slavery and political hierarchy among the Jurchens, later the Manchus, are fairly easily traced to Ming military institutions (in which many of the Jurchens, including Nurgaci himself, served) and to long-standing Turkic and Mongol traditions that had influenced Manchuria since at least the eleventh century (the time of the Kitan Liao conquests of the area). They were not the predetermined cultural attributes of some distant, deep structural connection.23 In their origins the Eight Banners were small and exclusive – they were the bodyguards of Nurgaci and his sons. By the time of the declaration of the khanate in 1616, however, Nurgaci was using the banner structure to govern his entire population; for the Qing period the population descended from Nurgaci’s adherents would be administered de jure (but hardly de facto) by the Eight Banners bureaucracies. But the Eight Banners were themselves not institutions of uniform military discipline. They were always afflicted by desertion, internal rivalry, and disobedience by bannermen who thought they were ill-treated. In 22

Waley-Cohen 1993, 1531.

23

See also Crossley 1999; Elliott 2001.

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times of conflicts between the collegial princes, such as between 1626 and 1631, the banners were the source of internal threats within the regime. Perhaps more important, after the Aisin/Qing conquest of Liaodong province between 1621 and 1643 the Eight Banners were also a shrinking component of the Qing conquest forces. Even within the Banners, the incorporation of companies of bondservants – the necessary men for managing military logistics and weaponry, administering aristocratic and imperial households, and general bookkeeping – had swelled their ranks to over half of the total Banner population; the majority of the bondservants were Sinophone men of Chinese, Korean, or Jurchen descent. The ostensibly fearsome Eight Banners force was by 1644 composed of a very large contingent of managers, translators, technicians, artillerymen, accountants, and cooks. Not surprisingly, when the Qing forces crossed into China, they left about half of the Bannermen behind – not merely to guard and police the home territories, but to manage the imperial estates. Finally, the total Banner troop complement in 1644 could hardly have risen much above 200,000 individuals. Qing conquest power rested not with the Eight Banners but with the ability to recruit infantry and to appropriate weapons from the Ming forces. This had been their tactics since the beginning of the war against Ming in 1618, and the system of rewards for Ming deserters had created a Chinese-speaking, Ming-educated elite among the Qing forces that was prominent from the 1630s on. For a short time these recruits were incorporated into the Chinese-martial banners. As a result, the Chinesemartial banners of the 1640s inflated dramatically in size, significantly outnumbering the Manchu forces. As of 1644 the massive numbers of apostates swelling the Qing armies created a new land force, the Green Standard Army, which was without the ostensible indentured status of the Eight Banners, but was organized as a professional, salaried force along the lines of the Ming armies. This new force was the foundation of the Qing conquest of northern China between 1644 and 1646, but neither its size nor the ability of the Qing commanders to control it was sufficient to allow a Qing conquest of all of China to occur. In 1644 the Qing controlled Manchuria and eastern Mongolia. Li Zicheng’s Shun dynasty still existed, though based at Xi’an instead of Beijing. Zhang Xianzhong’s Xi dynasty was based at Chengdu and controlled most of Sichuan province. The Southern Ming dynasty of Zhu Yousong was based at Nanjing. The Tumet Mongols held Gansu/Ningxia, and the Oyirod Mongols dominated Tibet, which Ming had never controlled directly. The eradication of Xi occurred late in the year, and the Southern Ming was driven further south to Hangzhou. Other Southern Ming regimes grew up as the Qing moved south – at Guangzhou, Zhaoping, Guilin, and Kuizhou.

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Even after the capture of Beijing and the eradication of the Shun dynasty, the Qing could not muster the power to directly occupy the territory they gained south of the Yangtze. By the time Wu declared his Zhou dynasty in 1673, the remnant Ming courts had inspired the creation of the new regime headed by Zheng Chenggong, in Taiwan. The Qing conducted the exhausting war – in terms of finances and of military resources – against these secessionist regimes. Literally forty years after the Qing conquered Beijing, they eradicated the last of the regional dynasties and kingdoms that had begun the process of splitting China to pieces in the 1630s. Within only a few years following, the Qing began the wars against the Mongol federations that eliminated the forces that had begun seizing Ming territory in the 1580s, and in the 1750s they finally destroyed the khanates that controlled eastern Turkestan. As a series of developments in space (more than time), the Qing unification of historical China in 1683 more resembles the Mongol Yuan unification of historical China in 1279 than it resembles, say, the transition from Sui to Tang, or even from Yuan to Ming. The Mongols first seized part of north China in 1215, and then by slow succession fought for the Yangtze basin, and eventually completed the progression by securing Guangxi and Yunnan, wiping out Song resistance. Geographically this strongly adumbrated the staging in the Qing unification, which took about the same period of time – from the capture of the Liaodong capital of Shenyang to the eradication of the Three Feudatories, about sixty-five years. These two conquest processes show the same trajectory of reunification of historical China after a period of fragmentation and multistate struggle, followed by a steep increase in the size of the empire eventually ruled from China – to nearly 14 million square kilometers in the case of Yuan, and to about 13 million square kilometers in the case of Qing. That, however, is where the similarities stopped. Yuan remained an empire in which power was distributed to the aristocracy, and fragmentation from within was always a danger after Khubilai’s death in 1295. Qing rulers continued to consolidate and centralize power well into the eighteenth century, as a by-product destroying the aristocracy as a destabilizing or devolutionary force. To construe the Qing unification of China as an “event” associated with the transition from Ming to Qing would conjure a powerful entity overwhelming a weak one. Yet the actual time structure of the transition suggests something else – that when two contiguous land empires clash, the ability of one to convert the other’s power to its own uses is the essence of conquest. This sounds selfevident, but what it suggests is that the Qing gained control over formerly Ming territory not by assimilating or rejecting Ming institutions or methods, but by converting them to their own uses – and that areas already lost by the Ming were more difficult to conquer because their resources were depleted or their

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infrastructure impaired. If anything, it means that Ming had the greater power at the beginning of the conflict in 1618, which is undoubtedly true. It also suggests that even as of 1643 Ming still had the greater power – larger armies, more hardware, more wealth to back up their military enterprises. But Qing conquest techniques converted this power to their own purposes. Though there was no Qing invasion of Ming China, there was a story line of an emerging conquest power, beginning in 1587, in which recruitment, technological assimilation, and the strategic application of scarce military power had first amalgamated control over the mixed populations of southern Manchuria, followed by a two-decade scrabble to secure control of Liaodong, which led to strategically acute campaigns to intimidate the Chosŏn court, smash and absorb the weakened and unpopular Chahar khanate, and occasionally raid Shandong province for supplies. Even after the opportunity to enter China and ally with Wu Sangui (who was born in Liaodong before the area fell to Nurgaci), the Qing nevertheless needed forty years to subdue all the rebel kingdoms and resistance regimes that had rooted themselves in the countryside – a chronology that I would suggest is better delineated by the establishment and demise of the provincial regime of Wu Sangui than by any other regional narrative. Progress against the areas where Ming had already lost control – Shaanxi, Sichuan, and Henan – was slower than the conquest of Hebei, Anhui, and Shandong provinces that Ming held even after April of 1644, because these rebel kingdoms were poorly organized, economically depressed, and militarily chaotic. Unlike the Ming imperial government, they were not more powerful than Qing, and offered fewer resources for conversion to conquest and occupation. Qing military power for conquest of China, and especially for their campaigns in Mongolia, came from Ming military power. Cavalry were important in most Qing campaigns, but victories depended upon infantry, cannon, and supplies, all of which increased hugely for Qing once they entered Ming-held territory. It appears that the Qing had several attributes that made this possible, which they demonstrated from an early point in Nurgaci’s career to at least the middle of the eighteenth century. First was the ability to create a reliable and persuasive reward structure, for persons of all ranks from slaves to aristocrats. Second was construction and protection of a reputation for incorruptibility and predictability. Third was curiosity displayed by the Qing elites about all matters – strategic, financial, technological, cultural, and personal – along with a determination to make practical use of any advantages that curiosity revealed. Fourth was a steady centralization of the command structure, as Nurgaci, Hong Taiji, and Xuanye all stridently opposed factional competition among the bureaucrats or soldiers – an attribute violently manifested in Xuanye’s determination to destroy the fragmenting influence of the southern

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proxy governments. These characteristics appear to have been among the factors that created an acquiescence toward Qing rule. They were not in themselves power or even components of power, but were part of the credible projection of power that made the transition to Qing occupation acceptable to the majority population and to the contemporary states of Eastern Eurasia that might have resisted or even thwarted the Qing transmutation of Ming power into their own.

Part III

Contact: East and West

9

The Zheng State and the Fall of Dutch Formosa, 1662 Tonio Andrade

Introduction In 1624, the Dutch East India Company established a colony on the island of Taiwan. Although initially intended to serve as a port from which to engage in the rich China trade, it soon blossomed into one of the company’s largest and most profitable land colonies. Beyond the busy harbors of its capital, Zeelandia, there stretched miles of fertile fields, which produced tons of fine sugar and excellent rice. It was, wrote Dutch traveler Wouter Schouten, an “earthly paradise,”1 “one of the most beautiful pearls in the crown” of the company’s empire.2 The Taiwan colony was just one of a string of lucrative colonies for the company, which was on the ascendancy in the seventeenth century, outcompeting the British and capturing Spanish and Portuguese colonies throughout Asia. Yet in 1662 the colony was captured by a Chinese maritime state run by the Zheng family. This chapter examines the history of the Zheng–Dutch relationship between 1624 and 1662. The Zheng family’s fortunes had been closely tied to the Dutch colony of Taiwan ever since the Zheng patriarch, Zheng Zhilong, served as a translator and then a privateer under the Dutch flag in the 1620s. In 1627, he was recruited by the Ming dynasty and made a transition from pirate to “patrolling admiral.” This allowed him to build a legitimate maritime organization, which monopolized trade on the Chinese coast. The Zheng organization was relatively independent of imperial control, raising revenue on oceangoing trade: most Chinese ships that engaged in sea trade had to fly the Zheng flag. In addition, the Zheng built their own private militia. It was, in a sense, a semi-state within an increasingly decentralized Ming empire. In 1644, however, Ming Beijing fell and the Manchu Qing empire occupied the Forbidden City, setting off a series of wars in China. The Zheng family 1

Schouten 2003, 165.

2

Schouten 2003, 171.

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became Ming loyalists, fighting to reestablish the old regime and place an imperial scion on the dragon throne. By the early 1650s, as other Ming loyalist structures collapsed, the Zheng family became the main hope for a Ming restoration. Zheng Zhilong’s successor, Zheng Chenggong, set up a true independent Southern Ming state, which was based in Xiamen City, just across the Taiwan Strait from the Dutch colony. When that state was threatened by Manchu forces in 1661, he launched an invasion of Taiwan. The invasion turned into a bitter and rather more protracted war than he’d expected, which finally ended in 1662, when the Dutch surrendered their main fortress to him. How do we understand this history in the context of international relations? First, we must keep in mind that the Dutch East India Company, the most powerful maritime structure of Europe, was able to establish its commercial empire in East Asia largely because East Asian states were less interested in extending control over maritime spaces and overseas ports than were European states. In a sense, Taiwan was susceptible to Dutch East India Company control because no other state in the region – not China, not Japan, not Korea – was consistently interested in colonizing it. Why? One reason may be that none of those governments gained a significant amount of its revenue from overseas trade. But it may also be useful to ask why we might consider maritime power projection as a normative phenomenon when in fact it may have been relatively unusual, associated rather with the Mediterranean and North Atlantic than with other parts of the world.3 In any case, the situation changed when the Zheng state emerged in the 1650s. It was an anomaly in East Asia: a Chinese state oriented toward seaborne commerce and naval power. It flourished in the warlike period of the mid-1600s, capturing Taiwan from the Dutch and establishing a maritime state there. As the Manchu Qing consolidated their control over China, however, the Zheng state itself became imperiled. It, too, fell, and the Qing dynasty reluctantly incorporated Taiwan into its territory. In the Great Qing Peace that followed, East Asian states once again eschewed maritime power projection, and this chapter ends with some speculations about maritime patterns within East Asian international relations. Taiwan and the Dutch East India Company The Dutch East India Company didn’t originally intend to create a land colony on Taiwan. From the company’s establishment in 1602, its leadership was primarily interested in creating trading entrepôts, and in East Asia the 3

See Andrade 2015, 52–68.

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great prize was China. The Middle Country’s massive trade, fueled by a tremendous thirst for silver, attracted traders from all over. Indeed, evidence suggests that China was a “silver sink,” the destination for most of the silver produced in the massive new silver mines that came online in the sixteenth century, including the famous mines of Spanish Potosí, in the Andes.4 Indeed, some scholars suggest that China’s demand for silver underlay major developments in Europe’s economy, and even the phenomenon of European colonialism itself: “There would not have been a Spanish Empire in the absence of the transformation of the Chinese society to a silver base, nor would there have been the same sort of ‘Price Revolution’ (i.e. inflation) around the globe in the early modern period.”5 There were fortunes to be made selling silver in China, and not just silver from Europe or the New World. Japan’s productive silver mines were also a great source, and since direct trade between Japan and China was forbidden by Ming authorities, the Dutch wanted to horn their way into the Sino-Japanese silk-for-silver trade. The problem was that the Portuguese were already firmly ensconced, working closely with Japanese and southern Chinese from their base in Macau. The Dutch first tried capturing Macau, but after failing, they began building a base in the Penghu (澎湖) Islands, in the Taiwan Strait.6 They intended the base to serve as a sort of Dutch Macau, a place from which to intervene in the Sino-Japanese silk-for-silver trade. Unfortunately for them, Ming authorities ordered the Dutch to withdraw, and when the Dutch refused, Chinese troops began massing on the islands. Dutch sources indicate that the Ming officials they dealt with suggested Taiwan as an alternate site for a base.7 This is not corroborated in Chinese sources.8 4

5

6 7

8

Why was China’s demand for silver so great? Part of the reason was the collapse of China’s paper money system, which occurred even as China’s economy grew rapidly. Together the two factors caused China’s silver demand to increase. In any case, increasing demand caused the price of silver to rise precipitously. China’s gold-to-silver exchange ratio increased from 1:10 in 1346 to 1:4 in 1375. Similarly, one unit of silver was worth twice as much rice and almost three times as much silk during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) than it had been during the early Yuan dynasty (1271–1368). The role of silver in China is the subject of much research. See von Glahn 1996. See also Atwell 1998, 376–416; Flynn and Giráldez 1995a, 429–448; Flynn 1991; Murray 1994, 91–144. Flynn and Giráldez 1995a, 429. See also Flynn and Giráldez 2002, 391–427; Flynn and Giraldez 1997; Fisher 1989, 883–902; Flynn 1982, 139–147. For an argument about the Price Revolution that incorporates the money velocity and population increase variables, see Goldstone 1991, 176–181. See also Flynn 1984, 361–382. Wills 1974; Blussé 1973, 28–44. Generale Missiven, de Charpentier, de Houtman, Dedel and Specx 1623, 124–126. Cheng Shaogang has transcribed and translated into Chinese the Generale Missiven having to do with Taiwan. See Cheng 1995. The dissertation has been published in Taiwan without the Dutch transcriptions. See Cheng 2000. Officials reported to Beijing that they compelled the Dutch to “raze their fortress and retreat” (拆 城遁徙). Fujianese provincial governor (巡撫) Nan Juyi (南居益), cited in Yang Yanjie 2000, 33.

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In any case, the Dutch moved their operations to Taiwan, building a fortress on a thin peninsula jutting out into the Taiwan Strait. The fortress became Fort Zeelandia, and the siting of it there was not accidental. This area was already used as a trading center for Chinese and Japanese traders, who met there clandestinely. Taiwan was also a base for other smuggling groups, and for the multiethnic pirate bands who roved the seas of China. The establishment of Dutch rule in Taiwan wasn’t easy, largely because the hinterlands around Taiwan were home to many Austronesian peoples, who lived in fiercely competitive fortified villages. These towns and villages were balanced against each other in shifting alliances, and the Dutch were drawn into this world of warfare almost willy-nilly.9 They became, in a sense, “the mightiest village,” sought after as an ally. Eventually, in the 1630s, the Dutch created a sort of pax batavia, or Dutch peace, controlling the nearest villages and intimidating those farther away. This allowed the Dutch to begin bringing in Chinese colonists to create rice farms and sugar plantations.10 The Dutch policy of encouraging Chinese migration was a highly deliberate one, accompanied by concrete incentives, such as free land, freedom from taxation, and subventions for agricultural development. The colony thus grew rapidly, until by the late 1640s it was one of the most profitable colonies in the Dutch empire, its sugar sold not just in China and Japan – the main markets – but even in Europe itself. Yet it was also in the 1640s that the situation that had enabled the Dutch to establish a colony in Taiwan abruptly changed: the Ming dynasty fell, and the Manchu Qing established their capital in Beijing. China was soon wracked by dynastic warfare, and those wars brought new attention by Chinese governments to the seas and the Taiwan Strait. Zheng Chenggong and Chinese Maritime History The man who would come to dominate Chinese overseas trade – and who would eventually capture Taiwan from the Dutch – was Zheng Chenggong. The Zheng family hailed from the province of Fujian, which lies in southeastern China, on the Taiwan Strait, and whose people were hardy sailors and wily merchants. The ports of southern Fujian province were bustling international ports, where Chinese officials oversaw a dynamic and very valuable foreign trade sector. In the 1500s and 1600s, traders from this region dominated overseas trade in East and Southeast Asia, carrying far more in volume and value than any other group, including the Dutch, the English, the Spanish, and the Portuguese (Figure 9.1). 9

See Andrade 2001.

10

See Andrade 2008, 23–99.

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Figure 9.1 Taiwan and the Chinese coast

Indeed, these Chinese traders were far more significant economically than Europeans. Authors of all stripes greatly overplay the importance of Europe to world trade in the so-called Renaissance or Age of Discovery. One will frequently read that in the 1400s, 1500s, and 1600s one or another European city – Venice or Amsterdam or London – was “the global hub of commerce.”11 Such claims are simply wrong. World trade was centered on Asia, and China was then – as now – Asia’s most influential economy. 11

Examples abound. See J. Bell 2007, 19, and Greenspan 2007, 180.

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The Zheng family’s rise to power helps us paint some of the contours of this world, an age of globalization avant la lettre. Zheng Zhilong was born into a minor scholarly family on the fringes of China’s elite, and which had some trading ties. He was a boisterous young man, not inclined to the brush and ink essential to success in imperial China. He got into fights and trouble with the law and eventually fled to the Portuguese colony of Macau, one of hundreds of places where his people, the Fujianese, had created trading settlements. There he gave up scholarship and began learning the ropes of foreign trade with a maternal uncle. He met Catholic priests, learned some Portuguese, and was baptized. Although he never became a doctrinaire Christian – his statues of the Virgin Mary stood next to images of traditional Chinese gods – his knowledge of Portuguese served him well. He left Macau and began sailing the seas, following Chinese routes around the far-flung Chinese trading networks. For a while he based himself in Japan, marrying a Japanese woman and fathering a son, the far more famous Zheng Chenggong. Leaving his new wife and baby, he moved to the newly established Dutch colony of Taiwan, where the Dutch hired him as a translator, but he preferred to devote himself full time to more independent pursuits, such as pillage. In the 1620s, the Dutch let him conduct piracy under their flag, and he gradually became the leader of a fast-growing organization of Chinese piratemerchants, people who made most of their money on trade but who were also willing to capture rivals’ ships. By adapting designs and techniques picked up from the Dutch and other Europeans, he created a powerful fleet of Chinese junks inspired by European designs and armed with European-style cannons. He thus combined the best of both worlds. European military techniques gave him an advantage in warfare against fellow Chinese; Chinese trading contacts gave him an advantage in commerce vis-à-vis the Dutch and Portuguese. In 1628 the Chinese government offered him a chance to go legit. He accepted, becoming the Patrolling Admiral of the Coast. In effect, his pirates became the Ming dynasty’s navy. He built a huge mansion on the Chinese coast, with a special canal so that he could board a ship right at his doorway. By the mid-1630s, his family flag flew over most of the thousands of Chinese vessels that sailed throughout East and Southeast Asia. They carried more in volume and value than those of the European empires in the region. Indeed, evidence suggests that by the 1640s, when the Dutch East India Company was nearing the height of its powers, the Zheng commercial organization had annual revenues that equaled or exceeded those of both the Dutch and English East India Companies.12 Given that the Dutch East India Company has been

12

See Andrade 2011, 52–53; Hang 2011, 87 and 222. See also Hang 2016.

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determined to be the company with the largest market capitalization in history, this is an important fact.13 Thus, the Zheng family rose to prominence in a China that was far more open and dynamic than the image of the Middle Country most of us still carry around in our heads. Yet this revisionist understanding of traditional China still leaves important questions unresolved. If Chinese traders were able to outcompete Europeans and dominate trade in East and Southeast Asia, why did western Europeans and not the Chinese create the huge trading empires that stretched around the world after 1500? Why did Europeans take over large parts of India, Southeast Asia, and eventually Africa, rather than an Asian power such as China? East Asian States and the Maritime Realm During the 1600s, the Dutch republic was one-hundredth the size of China and one-tenth the size of Japan in land area, and a similarly small proportion in terms of population. Each of these Asian giants had riches that the Dutch – although they were forming the wealthiest and most prosperous society in Europe – could only dream about. Yet in 1624 the Dutch managed to create a prosperous colony right under the noses of these two behemoths: the colony of Taiwan. The fact that a few hundred Dutchmen in a dozen or so ships managed to create a colony 12,000 miles away from the fatherland seems incredible, and one can similarly marvel at other colonies in the area, such as the Spanish Philippines or the Portuguese Spice Islands. As a result it is easy to understand why people have tended to overestimate Europeans’ power and influence. Taiwan was certainly known to Chinese and Japanese. Hundreds of merchants, fishermen, and pirates from both countries visited the island, whose aboriginal headhunting peoples had many things to trade, including gold, venison, and deer hides. The important distinction, however, is that the Chinese and Japanese traders who ventured to Taiwan were on their own. Western European governments often supported or sponsored overseas colonization; Chinese and Japanese regimes did not. In those days, Chinese and Japanese merchants were allowed by their governments to go abroad. They just didn’t have the governmental support necessary to set up formal colonies. In fact, when the Dutch arrived in the Far East, Chinese officials actually encouraged them to move to Taiwan, since it was deemed far enough away to keep the “red haired barbarians” out of China itself. Why were China and Japan uninterested in overseas colonization? Or, conversely, what impelled western European governments to sponsor ventures 13

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so far from their own shores? This is one of the most important questions in world history, especially when we are confronted with the legacy of Zheng He, whose voyages dwarfed anything the Dutch or any other Europeans mustered until the nineteenth century. Zheng He is often portrayed as a “Chinese Christopher Columbus” whose voyages prefigure the later European voyages of discovery. But in fact Zheng He had very different aims from European explorers. His fleets were sailing to the known world, using routes that Chinese sailors had been plying for centuries. He didn’t establish colonies, and although he and his crews and passengers did engage in trade, commerce was not their main purpose, and the expeditions weren’t designed to create and protect new routes. Instead, the purpose of Zheng He’s voyages was to project the newly established Ming dynasty’s glory abroad and bring a stream of ambassadors – including kings of foreign lands – to the Chinese capital to greet the emperor. These ambassadors helped legitimate the emperor as the son of heaven, the ruler of Tianxia, literally “All Under Heaven.” China was not unique in the world in considering itself the center of creation, but in those days at least it was unique in its power to enforce that image. During the Ming dynasty, China was the largest, richest, and most populous country in the world. The Zheng He voyages were the work of one ambitious and spendthrift emperor who had reasons to try to prove his legitimacy (he was a usurper). When he died, they ceased.14 Western European countries on the other hand faced very different challenges. Whereas Asian countries had traded with each other for millennia across the heart of the world economy – the Indian Ocean – Europeans were cut off. When eventually the Portuguese managed to find a way around Africa, a process that took generations, they erupted onto the scene, much like Vikings, raiding a peaceful trading system. In the Mediterranean and in the seas of Northern Europe, it was considered normal for a state to project its power across the seas, using naval power to enforce trade routes and even establish armed outposts, a tradition that went back to the Greeks and Romans. In Asia, such behavior appears to have been strange. The wealthy ports that ringed the Indian Ocean were very trade-oriented, but in the early modern period, their attitude toward international commerce was based on principles much more modern than Europeans’: to wit, that the seas should be open to all, that the merchandise should be taxed upon departure or arrival, but that generally commerce should be allowed to proceed peaceably. To set up armed colonies in an enemy’s territory or attack an enemy’s shipping was occasionally resorted 14

One expedition was carried out after this emperor’s death, by his grandson the Xuande emperor (宣德, r. 1426–1436), but thereafter all such expeditions ceased.

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to, but Asian rulers generally found it more expedient to lure traders to their ports with low tariffs or preferential policies. The Portuguese with their blazing cannons caught established powers off guard, founding an attenuated but durable sea empire. Portugal’s successors, the Spanish, the English, and the Dutch, played by similar rules. Occasionally, however, there arose exceptions to the rule: Asian governments that did exercise sea violence. One of the most important was the Zheng family empire itself. The Zheng State and the Ming–Qing Wars In the 1650s, the Zheng state found itself transformed from an apolitical trading organization to a government-in-exile. The key event occurred in 1644, when the Manchu Qing established their capital in Beijing. The Zheng family declared its support for the old dynasty, the Ming, dedicating itself to restoring the Ming to the dragon throne. Zheng Zhilong, the former pirate, was not fully invested in the struggle. But his son and successor, Zheng Chenggong, took up the cause with fanaticism. Born in Japan, the younger Zheng moved to China and was a pursuing a promising path as a young scholar. Unlike his father, he was a strong student, versed in the classics and able to write the classical-style poetry that was so important to official advancement. In quiet times, he might have passed China’s difficult examinations and devoted himself to public service as a scholar official. But in these times of tumult, he chose a different route. He burned his scholar’s robes and took up arms, vowing to restore the Ming. He established a new capital in the coastal city of Xiamen, which he renamed the Ming Memorial Prefecture, and staffed his new government with scholars and officials. He also strengthened his navy and built a powerful army, with companies of African slaves and battalions of frightening tiger guards (knights who wore helmets with tiger’s faces painted on them). Soon, he had become the Qing dynasty’s most fearsome adversary, winning a string of victories in southern China. Then he plotted his master stroke: to capture Nanjing, the old Ming capital, and one of China’s most important cities. His attack failed. In 1659 his army was routed by Qing forces and retreated to southern China. Beset on all sides by Manchus, Zheng realized that the tides of war had turned. Around this time, an envoy from the Dutch reached his court, a Chinese man named He Bin. Although employed by the Dutch East India Company, He Bin secretly gave Zheng a map of Taiwan and encouraged him to invade the colony, saying that the Dutch were weak and the island was rich and fertile. Zheng called his generals together and announced his

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decision: he would invade Taiwan and use the Dutch colony as a base to continue the fight against the Qing. He prepared his invasion carefully, keeping his plans secret to take the Dutch by surprise. It worked. A Dutch fleet that had been sent with reinforcements to Taiwan departed just before the invasion, taking valuable supplies and troops. When Dutch sentries saw 300 Chinese ships bearing down on Taiwan, their masts like a vast mobile forest, it was already too late. They couldn’t prevent Zheng’s 20,000 battlehardened troops from landing on Taiwan. Just five days later, Zheng had captured most of Taiwan. The Dutch retreated to their main fortress, surrounded by Chinese troops. To this point, the lesson of the case seems clear. Zheng Chenggong was not just a clever brigand. Since the days when his father had sailed his way to leadership of a huge pirate band, the Zheng family had built a trading empire and founded a state. Indeed, Zheng Chenggong was head of a government that claimed the right to rule over all of China. It was a government unusual in modern Chinese history. Whereas Chinese governments were traditionally oriented toward the land, with the seas being conceived as boundaries, Zheng’s government was much more like western European governments, with the seas being viewed as a strategic resource. In fact, Zheng’s conception was much more like that of contemporary China, where seas are considered not just conduits of trade but also corridors of power. Thus, one answer to the question of how Zheng Chenggong captured Taiwan from the Dutch East India Company is simple: his Chinese state actually wanted to, whereas traditional East Asian states did not. As a corollary, we can suggest that Europeans had a free hand in Asia insofar as Asian governments let them, or were at least indifferent to controlling the seas. Yet Zheng Chenggong, despite an overwhelming numerical advantage – 20,000 Chinese troops versus 1,200 European ones – nearly failed to capture Taiwan from the Dutch. The 1661–1662 War for Taiwan If the Dutch had adopted a slightly different strategy, they might have held Taiwan and forced Zheng to retreat to China. How did the Dutch carry out this stunning feat? We must credit their bravery and resourcefulness, but the main reason is technological, and this challenges some orthodox understandings of global history. Members of the Global History school, in their quest to answer the question of why Europeans and not Asians came to rule the world during the modern period, have recently argued that European technological and economic supremacy occurred late in time: the late 1700s. It was industrialization rather than

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the Renaissance that ushered in an age of true European dominance. Moreover, global historians have tended to view industrialization itself as an accident of history, unlinked to any cultural or scientific context.15 But Zheng Chenggong’s difficulty capturing Taiwan, despite such overwhelming odds, suggests that we must revisit global history’s dominant narratives. How did a thousand or so sick, hungry, and often drunk European soldiers hold off such a powerful Asian invasion force 12,000 miles from home? The answer is that the Dutch had two basic technological advantages versus Zheng’s Chinese troops. First, the main Dutch fortress was built according to Italian renaissance designs, with geometrical projecting walls. In Europe these fortresses had been known for a couple of centuries and were proliferating wildly. Zheng’s men did not understand how to capture one. For nine months they warily encircled the Dutch, trying one tack after another and failing each time. Ultimately they were able to capture the fortress thanks to a stroke of luck. A German sergeant defected to the Zheng side and helped the warlord build effective counterfortifications. The second Dutch advantage was a naval one. Dutch ships, with their rows of broadside cannon, were more effective in most naval battles than Chinese junks. The Zheng family found ways to copy European designs, which gave them a lead over other Chinese pirate-organizations, but for reasons still undetermined, the Zheng seem to have stopped making these hybrid ships, with the result that on the open seas the Dutch had the better of most naval battles, each European warship being able to cope with a dozen or more war junks. Equally important was the advantage of European navigation techniques. The Hollanders’ adeptness at sailing against prevailing monsoon winds gave them a significant advantage, allowing them to send for reinforcements, much to Zheng’s surprise and consternation. So the case of Zheng’s victory against the Dutch shows us that the current standard narrative of world history – that there was no significant technological advantage until industrialization – is incorrect.16 At least in terms of military 15

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I am oversimplifying the argument a bit, for the sake of brevity. Other factors than industrialization are also considered to be important, most importantly the vast ecological resources afforded by Europeans’ dominance of the New World. But the point is that world historians have generally argued that European dominance and superiority occur late in history, as can be found in some of the most prominent and successful authors in world history, including Kenneth Pomeranz, Bin Wong, the late Andre Gunder Frank, and Victor Lieberman, as well as in the great textbooks, such as Jerry Bentley’s excellent Comparisons and Encounters. See Pomeranz 2000; Frank 1998, 463–546; V. Lieberman 2003; R. B. Wong 2000. It is important to make clear that world history is a very dynamic and diverse field, and there are scholars who are also challenging what I refer to as the “standard narrative” of world history. Jack Goldstone, for example, is refocusing on the role of science in the “rise of the west,” Patricia Seed is working on the science of navigation, and David Ringrose is busy examining European expansion in global context. Goldstone 2002, 323–389. For an example of Patricia Seed’s intriguing work, see Seed 2001. See also Ringrose 2001.

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matters, which is what the Zheng case turns upon, the Dutch had key technological advantages. Yet the Zheng matched the Dutch in other aspects of military power, aspects commonly associated with the famous European military revolution. The Zheng guns were every bit as good as those of the Dutch, especially the cannons, which the Zheng had in abundance. The Dutch were also known for the famous musketry countermarch technique, which their leaders developed in the late 1500s and which transformed infantry warfare in Europe, radiating outward from the low countries as other armies adopted it, translating Dutch military manuals and hiring Dutch drill instructors. Historians have argued that this technique provided a decisive military edge in warfare against nonEuropeans, but recent work has shown that countermarch-style techniques were an ancient heritage of Chinese warfare and were adapted to gunpowder warfare quite early on in China – centuries before appearing in the West. Zheng Chenggong’s disciplined troops easily triumphed over the Dutch East India Company troops they encountered, shocking overconfident Dutch commanders. Zheng forces eventually defeated the Dutch, forcing their surrender in February 1662, after a grueling nine-month siege, in which both sides – but especially the Chinese – suffered disease and starvation. Zheng Chenggong himself died soon thereafter, but his heirs ruled Taiwan for two decades, turning Taiwan into a flourishing agricultural colony and a trading center. Conclusions and Epilogues Historians have offered many explanations for the success of European colonialism, from superior economic structures, to better seamanship, to superior military technology and organization. But the case of Taiwan supports a different sort of explanation: European colonization was due less to superior technology or economic institutions than to state support. Whereas a number of western European states were interested in fostering or condoning overseas conquest, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese political leaders generally refrained from overseas adventures and provided little support to the many East Asian subjects who took to the seas. Indeed, at times all three of these states actively discouraged overseas trade and adventurism, a striking contrast to the norms of western Europe. Why were Asian states less inclined to become involved in overseas adventurism than European states? One reason may be that they were less dependent upon maritime trade for state revenues, but this raises a second question: why? Oceanic trade can provide massive revenues even to states that are focused on agricultural taxes.

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So perhaps there’s another deeper reason for East Asia’s divergence from Europe in this respect: the frequency of warfare. Europe was famously warlike, its territory divided into multiple states competing over the longue durée. This European state system model, in which multiple states compete in an anarchic space, has long been seen to be in some sense normative. Yet recently, international relations scholars, largely inspired by David C. Kang, have suggested that this European model of international relations – the so-called Westphalian model – might not be as natural or normative as it has long been seen, or that it is at the very least an unsuitable paradigm for understanding international relations in other areas of the world. He has argued that East Asia, thanks to its Sinocentric state system, was more stable than the European Westphalian system, seeing fewer war events. This is a salutary scholarly development, but although it may be true that periods of lower-frequency warfare were longer in East Asia than in western Europe, I believe that periods of warfare in East Asia, when they occurred, were unusually convulsive and violent, and they lasted much longer than has been appreciated. I have argued elsewhere that those periods of warfare – particularly the periods 1350–1449, 1592–1680, and 1839–1946 – were key junctures in the history of East Asia, and in world history more generally.17 It also seems that during such periods, East Asian states were far more inclined to support overseas conquest and foster overseas trade. When they did achieve internal unity, the East Asian international system stabilized, and its states tended to clamp down on overseas commerce and adventurism. The case of Taiwan is instructive: the fate of Europeans’ colonies on the island were subject to changing international orders in East Asia. In the late 1500s, while Japan was beset by internal warfare during its Warring States period, Japanese ships raged through the seas, and Japanese colonists settled in many areas of East and Southeast Asia. The Europeans who arrived in East and Southeast Asia in the early modern period faced significant competition from the Japanese, especially in Taiwan. But the Dutch attempted to colonize Taiwan at a propitious time, in the 1620s, just as Japan’s new rulers were consolidating their control over the Japanese archipelago. By 1635, the new shogunate had largely forced the lords of Japan to withdraw from the seas, to the point that Japanese subjects were forbidden from sailing abroad. This provided an opportunity for the Dutch on Taiwan, who were thus able to establish their colony. The colony flourished, becoming one of the largest and most lucrative holdings of the Dutch empire, helped by a sort of modus vivendi established with the Ming empire of China, which allowed limited licensed trade but which 17

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made clear to its seagoing subjects that they could expect no support from the Ming government. This situation changed abruptly after 1644, when China erupted into the early Qing wars. The Southern Ming state led by the Zheng family drew its income from the seas, income that it desperately needed for its fight against the increasingly powerful Qing. To ensure its access to that income – and to obtain an overseas base – it came into conflict with the Dutch, and this is why it invaded Taiwan. But as the Qing established their control, the situation changed again. The Qing cut off all overseas trade, establishing a draconian “Coastal Evacuation Policy,” in which they sought with considerable success to depopulate China’s coasts in an effort to starve the Zheng regime in Taiwan of revenue. Finally, in 1683, it sent a fleet to capture Taiwan. The fleet was commanded by one of Zheng Chenggong’s former admirals, Shi Lang, and it quickly forced the Zheng organization to surrender. Yet the Qing emperor and many of his advisors did not want to keep Taiwan. It was, the emperor said, “no bigger than a ball of mud. We gain nothing by possessing it, and it would be no loss if we did not acquire it.”18 There were even proposals to return Taiwan to the Dutch. Ultimately, Shi Lang and others persuaded the emperor and his advisors to change their minds. Taiwan was incorporated into the Great Qing Empire as a prefecture, appended to Fujian province. The Qing opened up foreign trade again, but they, like the Ming, were largely oriented toward continental affairs. Taiwan was ruled by colonial intermediaries and rarely considered of vital strategic importance to Beijing. Indeed, it seems likely that if the Dutch had held onto Taiwan past 1662, it wouldn’t have been incorporated into the Qing empire. The effects on great power rivalries in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are difficult to imagine. Perhaps the British would have had a different relationship with China, capturing Taiwan from the Dutch as they captured other possessions during the Anglo-Dutch wars of the eighteenth century. With Taiwan as their possession, they might not have demanded the colony of Hong Kong. Perhaps the Opium Wars themselves would have played out differently. In any case, during the first century and a half of Qing rule, as the Qing achieved unquestioned hegemony in East Asia, the seas were relatively calm, and the Qing focused little on expanding their maritime power. They were content to allow Europeans to trade in their ports, confining them, after 1757, to the port of Guangzhou. In the mid-1800s, however, as the British, Americans, French, and, later, Japanese, increased their maritime activities, the Qing began to get serious about maritime power projection, although they were unable to 18

Teng 2004, 34.

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defend themselves against the increasingly severe depredations of their competitors. This is a mistake that the current leadership in China is determined to avoid. Today, Beijing sees the control of maritime space to be a key strategic objective, which is one reason why Taiwan is considered a core part of China’s territory. Indeed, one of the first prototypes of its aircraft carrier program was nicknamed the Shi Lang, after the former Zheng admiral who helped the Qing capture Taiwan.

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The Opium Wars of 1839–1860 Richard S. Horowitz

In the middle of the nineteenth century, there were two major conflicts between Britain and the Qing empire. The first, far better known to a Western audience, was the Opium War (1839–1842). The second, variously described as the Second Opium War and the Arrow War lasted from 1856 to 1860 and involved both Britain and France in a war against the Qing empire. But while Western scholars rarely consider them together, it makes sense to view them as stages of the same conflict. Both wars were about two core issues. The first involved establishing a system of trade beneficial to Great Britain, including low tariffs, minimal government interference, and the legalization of opium exports to China. The second was creating a new framework for diplomacy between Britain and the Qing empire. This system was based on European diplomatic practice and resolved British sensitivity over of the ritual forms and language used in Qing diplomacy that were associated with the tribute system. The Opium War started when the Qing government, concerned about the social and economic consequences of the opium trade, initiated a crackdown, cutting off opium imports, and confiscating opium from merchants, both Chinese and foreign. When the British government decided to pursue military means to resolve the conflict, they had a clear sense of the trade concessions that they wanted. But while they were dissatisfied with the diplomatic status quo, they had only a general idea of what they wanted in its place. They quickly found results of the treaties ending the first war were unsatisfactory in reshaping diplomatic relations. By the mid-1850s, British diplomats wanted to establish conditions similar to those governing relations with the Ottoman empire. While they continued to press for further trade concessions, the biggest differences with the Qing were over diplomatic arrangements and protocols. The British, who had long rejected the hierarchical tribute system, were highly sensitive to any implication that the Qing Throne, or its officials, regarded them as less than equal. Moreover, they wanted a permanent resident minister (an ambassador in current usage), resident in Beijing. Periodic visits to the capital, also a feature of the tribute system, were not an acceptable solution. Their answer was to make European diplomatic practice and European international law the new framework for relations between Britain and the Qing empire. 164

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Britain was able to succeed in the Opium Wars due to superior technology, better organization, and better intelligence about the other side than their Qing counterparts. The Qing also suffered from weak leadership and an administrative structure that was ill-suited to the needs of the time. The Qing bureaucratic monarchy tended to spread power out among many officials, and was dependent for coordination on an active and decisive emperor able to establish effective priorities and give direction to the many civil and military officials who reported to him. But neither the Daoguang emperor (r. 1821–1850) nor the Xianfeng emperor (r. 1851–1862) was really up to the task, and neither empowered his key advisory committee, the Grand Council, with the responsibility to take on such a role. In contrast to the great emperors who had made the Qing empire into an Asian superpower, both were incurious about the new threat they faced. Both discouraged contact by officials with Westerners, which made it difficult to acquire the information they needed, or establish the relationships that might have helped to avoid conflict. Wary of incurring the wrath of the throne, senior officials in the 1840s and 1850s were reluctant to report bad news or suggest necessary changes of policy. Both emperors, isolated in their palaces in Beijing, failed to understand the superiority of British firepower for far too long, or accept the futility of seeking military rather negotiated solutions. The result was two lopsided wars which cost thousands of lives and millions of taels, and for which the Qing empire gained no benefit. In contrast, the Tokugawa regime in Japan made similar concessions without the cost of war. While there was outrage from political elites about this, this fury was channeled into a strong interest in learning foreign methods and technology. The Canton System and the Background to the Opium War The Opium Wars are conventionally viewed as the “opening” of China to the outside world, or even its “awakening.” But several decades of scholarship on the Qing dynasty have shown otherwise. The Qing empire, from its beginning, was deeply involved in the world around it as other chapters in this book have shown. Western Europeans (and later Americans) represented a peculiar problem to the Qing, however. Dutch and British merchants appeared in South China in the 1600s seeking trade, and later merchants from other countries began to appear as well (see Chapters 3 and 9). Over time Qing officials developed a mode of dealing with them that worked remarkably well for almost a century. Western Europeans were reluctant to participate in what has come to be called “the tribute system,” the British in particular objecting to the ritual elements of that system, in which foreign representatives kowtowed to the emperor. They wanted diplomatic relationships along European lines – in which sovereign

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states were understood to be equals, at least in the highly ritualized world of diplomatic practice.1 The Qing in turn saw little necessity for an ongoing political/diplomatic relationship with governments that were far away and seemed interested only in trade and missionary activity. In their eyes, trade was welcome, proselytizing foreign religions was not. Furthermore, the Qing were concerned about foreigners bringing disorder to Chinese port cities. Nonetheless, a profitable trade gradually emerged in Canton (Guangzhou). When a British captain, James Flint, tried to trade at Zhoushan (Chusan) in 1757, the Qianlong emperor moved to restrict trade to Guangzhou, which Europeans called Canton and was already the dominant port. The Canton System, as it was called, created a highly structured framework for trade. Foreign ships stopped first at Macao to get a “chop” from local officials and to hire a local pilot, before proceeding upriver to anchor at Whampoa. Merchants then proceeded a further 16 km to Canton to do business. Foreign merchants were required to do business with the members of an approved guild of foreign trade merchants, known as the Cohong (gonghang in Mandarin). They were restricted to living in a small waterfront district where some thirteen “factories” (places of business that also had living quarters) were built on narrow lots, and a few surrounding streets. Foreign merchants were supposed to remain in Canton only during the trading season, from September to late spring, and return to Macao when the trading season ended. Foreign women were required to stay in Macao. Foreign merchants were expressly forbidden from directly petitioning local officials; any concerns they had were to be communicated to the Qing government through the Hong merchants.2 In the eighteenth century, the Hong monopoly was paralleled with European mercantilist arrangements. The major European traders were the British East India Company and the Dutch East India Company. Both were chartered joint stock companies that had been granted monopolies of Asian trade to their home countries, and long functioned as the leading edge of European mercantile imperialism in Asia. While Europeans sometimes grumbled about the restrictions they faced, the Canton trade flourished, and as the decades passed, there was a steady increase in the number of foreign ships docking at Canton.3 From the perspective of Qing officials, the Canton system had several advantages. First, it allowed control. Canton was located about 50 km upriver from the mouth of the Pearl River. Its location made it relatively easy for Qing officials to monitor the ships coming to trade, and when they believed it 1 2 3

For the older view of the “tribute system,” see the essays in Fairbank 1968. Recent scholarship shows that Qing tributary relations were actually quite flexible, e.g., Wills 2012. The following account draws heavily on Van Dyke 2005. The classic account of the British East India Company’s trade is Morse 1926. Carroll 2010.

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was warranted, to shut off trade. The licensed Cohong merchants served as guarantors for the foreigners, and while some of the regulations were loosely enforced, the Hong merchants knew that they were accountable if foreigners got up to mischief. Second, the system insured that the trade was duly taxed – the Hong merchants worked closely with the Canton superintendent of customs (the “Hoppo”) and the revenues were directly paid to support the operations of the imperial household. Officials often looked to the Hong merchants for additional revenues, and there were ample opportunities for official graft. Qing officials sometimes had to bail out insolvent Hong merchants and repay funds owed to foreigners. Nevertheless, the benefits of the monopoly from the government’s perspective were worth it. Overall, far from limiting commerce with Europeans, the volume of the Canton trade expanded steadily, and brought large trade surpluses to China, bringing in large volumes of silver helping to expand the money supply and feed the expansion of China’s economy. Where tribute relationships combined trade with political exchange, the Canton system created a kind of frontier trading center, facilitating trade while avoiding the complexities of political and social relationships with foreigners who showed little interest in abiding by Qing expectations. By the late eighteenth century, the British were frustrated by a number of aspects of the Canton system. First, the British wanted access to Qing officials and opportunities for diplomatic negotiations to resolve issues and make adjustments to the existing system of trade. In their eyes, the refusal of Qing officials to meet with British representatives on the basis of equality was haughty and disrespectful. Second, the British were frustrated by their ongoing trade deficit. Britain’s vast imports of tea were not matched by similar Chinese interest in British goods. Third, the British wanted to have more ports open to trade and more freedom to travel and trade within those ports. Finally, the British badly wanted their nationals to be subject to their own legal system (what is called extraterritoriality) not the Qing legal system, which after a major incident in 1784 they had concluded was barbaric. In 1793–1794, the British government attempted to confront these concerns by sending a lavish embassy lead by Lord Macartney, in an attempt to open up political relations with Beijing. The Qianlong emperor received Macartney and contrary to a body of older scholarship responded flexibly to the British insistence on avoiding the ceremonial aspects of the tribute system. But Macartney’s requests – including an island off the coast – were viewed as aggressive, and there were also concerns about possible links between the British and the Gurkhas who had recently invaded Tibet. Qianlong informed the British envoy that he had no interest in changing the relationship with Great Britain, and the embassy was hustled out of the country under armed guard. In 1816 the British sent another embassy led by Lord Amherst. But the Qing side

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insisted on following the tribute framework, and the British refused, and the mission came to a quick end.4 The Opium Trade and the Canton System British diplomacy failed to shake up the Canton system, but the rise of the trade in opium began to undermine it, often in surprising ways. British ships began to bring opium to China in the mid-1770s and by the 1790s about 4,000 chests were being imported per year (each chest weighed about 65 kg). But after 1820 opium imports rose dramatically, to over 16,000 chests, and more than doubling again in the following decade. The trade in opium was illegal in Qing China. It had first banned in 1729 by the Yongzheng emperor. From 1796 on edicts and regulations reinforcing the ban were frequent but ineffectual. On the British side, opium helped private traders gain an increasingly prominent role, and lead to the end of the British East India Company’s monopoly on trade (the Dutch East India Company was dissolved in 1799). On the Chinese side, the drug trade not only created an addiction problem, but fed government corruption, and by the 1830s contributed a monetary crisis that affected the entire country.5 The opium trade arrived at the time when the Qing empire was showing signs of trouble. The decades after the passing of the Qianlong emperor in 1799 were not good ones. A growing population created new pressures for land and resources, while local government was understaffed and poorly funded. Fueled by government corruption and incompetence, there were major sectarian and ethnic uprisings. On the southeast coast, piracy was also a major problem. While the Jiaqing emperor and his officials were able to put down rebellions and suppress piracy, they weren’t able to root out the underlying causes.6 Opium combined with these ills to create a three-part problem: a social problem that generated widespread concern, a problem of government corruption, and a currency problem. Qing officials were concerned about these issues from the start. Opium sales had been banned in the 1730s by the Yongzheng emperor, and there were several efforts to reassert the ban. The problem, they found (as have many governments since) is that while making the trade and consumption of addictive drugs illegal is easy, actually stamping out the trade is hard. By the 1830s there were troubling reports of opium addiction among soldiers and officials were making their way to the throne. It was an open secret that Qing officials in Guangdong province would tolerate the trade – if paid 4 5 6

Harrison 2017; Mosca 2013. For opium import data see M. Lin 2006. For a summary of anti-opium edicts see H. Chang 1964, 219–221. Mann Jones and Kuhn 1978 remains a good introduction.

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substantial bribes. This was part of a broader Qing problem in the early nineteenth century: systemic corruption. Government officials were overstretched and badly underpaid, and even honest officials stretched the rules to keep local government treasuries afloat. By the 1820s, the opium trade had become an issue of concern, not only among officials, but also intellectuals concerned about public policy (generally referred to as “statecraft” or jingshi thinkers). In addition to these issues of corruption and the obvious social costs of addiction, the much larger problem related to the shift in the balance of trade and its impacts on the monetary system. Qing China operated on a bimetallic system of currency. Small everyday items were bought and sold for copper cash that was minted by the government. But large expenses, including taxes, were paid in silver – either coins (largely Spanish dollars) or ingots. The exchange rate between copper and silver fluctuated with the market. Up until 1820, the Canton trade had generated substantial surpluses for the Qing empire. Foreign merchants brought in substantial amounts of silver to pay the difference between the value of Chinese exports in tea and other goods, and the value of foreign goods sold in China. But in the 1820s, China was on the deficit side – the value of imports outstripping the value of exports. This coincided with a shortage of silver in China. This “silver famine” was apparent in the rising cost of silver relative to copper – exchange rates rising from around a 1,000 copper coins per tael to 1,300 in the mid-1820s. The rising cost of silver caused widespread hardship. For ordinary farmers who largely lived on copper, the increased cost of silver effectively raised the cost of their taxes. The perception that there was a direct link between the opium trade and the silver shortage fueled much of the debate over policies. In the years before war broke out, proponents of legalization hoped to focus resources on ways to replace the export of silver with a barter system for goods.7 The riches of the opium trade also destabilized the British side of the Canton trade. Because the trade was illicit, the East India Company wanted to keep an appearance of distance from it lest Qing officials shut them out in the event of a crackdown. Opium was produced in India and sold at auction in Calcutta under the supervision of the East India Company. But chests of the drug were shipped from India to China by “country traders”: private merchants operating between Asian ports, and therefore not subject to the East India Company’s legal monopoly on trade between Britain and Asia. Opium traders made deals in Canton, but the drug itself was smuggled through other locations – usually islands off the coast – and paid for in cash. The money was then used to buy 7

M. Lin 2006 is the major work on the currency issue. She argues that it was a fall in global silver production (particularly in Latin America) that caused the currency problem in China rather than the opium trade.

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bills of exchange from the East India Company, which in turn used the silver to buy tea and other exports. The East India Company largely accepted the Canton system and worked comfortably with the Hong merchants. But the private traders were deeply frustrated by the limitations placed on them – both by the East India Company and the Qing government. These merchants, such the heads of Jardine Matheson which would soon to be the leading British trading company in East Asia, began lobbying parliament vigorously for an end to the East India Company’s monopoly on the China trade. Other British mercantile interests, believing that the end of the monopoly would open up new opportunities for exports, joined the fray. After years of debate and discussion, in 1833, Parliament complied. Beginning in the 1834 trading season the monopoly of the East India Company importing Chinese goods to Britain ended, and the private traders jumped in.8 By the mid-1830s, the two key forces were in place that would lead to war. British traders were furiously pressing for changes in the structure of British trade with China, and they now had an appointed British government official whose role was to promote their business interests. Meanwhile Qing officials were increasingly convinced that something needed to be done to stem the illeffects of opium imports. The End of the Monopoly and the Rise of Anglo-Chinese Conflict The end of the East India Company monopoly had broad effects. Prior to 1834, both sides had similar mercantilist arrangements with legally appointed merchants controlling the trade and making considerable profits. Both sides likewise had a stake in maintaining the stability of the system. Now this had changed. The non-Company merchants, advocates of free trade who were used to going around formal trading arrangement in the process of smuggling opium, very much wanted to be able to trade with whomever they wanted. And this desire to transform the China trade almost immediately played out in a political conflict called the Napier Affair. Up until the end of its monopoly, the East India Company, through a Select Committee, had been the overseer of British trade in Canton. The Committee dealt with the Hong merchants to resolve problems and concerns, both for the Company and private merchants. With the Honourable Company’s control over the Canton trade at an end, the British government established a government position, chief superintendent of trade, and appointed William, the Ninth Lord Napier, to the role. 8

Greenberg 1969.

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In the instructions he received from Lord Palmerston, the British foreign secretary, Napier was to “watch over and protect the interests of Our subjects resident at or resorting to the Empire of China for the purposes of trade.” He was to provide advice to merchants, and to “protect them in the peaceable prosecution of all lawful enterprises in which they may be engaged.” But he was to emphasize to Britons in China “the duty of conforming to the laws and usages of the Chinese Empire” as long as they were fairly applied. Palmerston warned the new appointee to “observe all possible moderation; and . . . . Abstain from all unnecessary use of menacing language” and avoid appealing for military intervention unless absolutely necessary. In short, Napier was to proceed cautiously and avoid upsetting the status quo.9 But Napier had no diplomatic experience and, influenced by some of the more belligerent private merchants, ignored instructions and tried to force immediate changes. On arrival at Macao in July, 1834, he proceeded to Canton without the required passport. Settled in the British factory, he immediately attempted to bypass the Hong merchants and sent a letter directly to the governor-general. He was incensed when Qing officials insisted he follow existing regulations, lashing out in public proclamations. After showing considerable patience with Napier’s inflammatory behavior, in early September the governor-general Lu Kun shut down trade and stopped merchants from going to the British factory. Napier ordered the two frigates under his command to sail past the Boca Tigris, the large fortified island near the entrance of the Pearl River, hoping to intimidate the Chinese into compliance with his wishes. Cannon fire was exchanged with the forts; two British sailors (and likely some Chinese soldiers) were killed in the action. The frigates with great difficulty made their way to Whampoa, the anchorage where the tea ships anchored, 16 km downstream from Canton. There the Chinese resourcefully used booms and sank boats to trap the frigates. In September Napier fell ill. With pressure growing from some merchants anxious to restart trade, he decided to leave Canton. Governor Lu insisted that foreign warships leave Qing waters before allowing the hapless superintendent to leave and trade to resume. Napier died shortly after he reached Macao at the end of September. Appeals by some merchants for a military response to avenge Napier’s death fell on deaf ears in London.10 The Napier Affair in important ways prefigured the war that was to follow five years later. It showed a fundamental difference in the way each side wanted the relationship to work: Qing officials understood the Canton trade to be a mercantile relationship, not a political or diplomatic one, and saw no reason to change that. For Napier and bellicose merchants such as William Jardine and 9 10

Parliament, Great Britain 1840, 3–5. Documents are in Parliament, Great Britain 1840. See also H. Chang 1964 and Fay 1975.

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Hugh Hamilton Lindsay who stood behind him, establishing a diplomatic relationship in the manner that they were accustomed in Europe was an essential part of restructuring the British relationship with China. The relative ease with which Lu Kun had dealt with Napier, first by cutting off trade and isolating the British factory, then trapping the two British frigates, lead Qing officials such as Lin Zexu to be overconfident about their ability to manage the British in the event of conflict. After Napier’s failure, the merchants who had supported his effort engaged in a sustained campaign to convince British decision-makers to take a more aggressive attitude toward China. An important element of this was to argue that the conflict was not only about commerce but a question of honor. They did this in part by focusing on the term most often used by Qing officials to designate foreigners from the west, yi. The handful of Britons with a degree of Chinese literacy were at odds over how to translate the term. Some believed it was denigrating and translated it as “barbarian,” others insisted it was a respectful term that might be translated as “stranger” or “foreigner.” The more aggressive British merchants in China fastened onto the translation “barbarian.” According to these critics this was emblematic of the Chinese, who were blinded by a sense of superiority. They were unable to see the value of “civilized” European practices, such as the Westphalian system of diplomacy, emerging industrial technologies, and the benefits of free trade. War was necessary both to avenge Britain’s honor and to bring China out of its self-imposed isolation. This narrative was formulated before the war came to be embedded in the way in which the war was described in contemporary documents and memoirs. Until recent decades, most historians, especially outside of China, accepted this view.11 As British merchants favoring war were pursuing their case, the status quo was under fire on the Chinese side as well. By the mid-1830s, two sets of concerns put the opium issue onto the political agenda: first, incidents in the early 1830s in which Qing military were found to be ineffective in fighting internal rebellions, apparently in part because they were suffering from opium addiction, raised concerns about the social costs of opium in China. Second, the rising cost of silver relative to copper was a growing concern. In 1836, a memorial to the throne by a relatively minor Beijing official named Xu Naiji argued that ending the ban on the trade, and instead bartering tea for opium could avoid the outflow of silver and would be a more effective policy. But the emperor was persuaded by the critics of the opium trade that this solution would make matters worse, and the argument for legalization came to an end. British merchants, who had been electrified by the possibility of a legalized drug trade for a few months in 1836, were deeply disappointed. 11

On the translation issue see Liu 2004, Basu 2014. Chen 2017 asserts that the question of honor was important, and takes a somewhat different position on the translation of yi.

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In 1838 court discussions of how to deal with opium began to move in new directions. In June 1838, Huang Juezi, a director of the court of state ceremonial, submitted a memorial proposing a different approach: to attack demand for opium by instituting harsh penalties on opium users, including capital punishment for repeat offenders. After further debate the Daoguang emperor finally came down firmly on the side of a crackdown. At the end of December 1838, he issued a new, much stricter law on the distribution and consumption of opium and appointed Lin Zexu as imperial commissioner to lead the crackdown in south China.12 The Turn to War By the beginning of 1839, the fuel for conflict was in place. British merchants had been building a case for military intervention since Lord Napier’s demise. Their effort to characterize Qing treatment of British merchants and representations of Britons as disrespectful offered politicians a way to frame the conflict as something other than support for opium smuggling. On the Qing side, after years of discussion, there was now political commitment to confront the opium issue. But it took a miscalculation by an overly confident Qing official in Lin Zexu, and a surprising and still unexplained decision by the top British government representative, Charles Elliot, to set war in motion. On March 10, 1839, Lin Zexu arrived in Canton confident. He was an experienced and competent official, with a reputation for probity, and with strong links to the statecraft thinkers. During the two-month journey from Beijing, he dispatched orders to Guangdong officials, and by the time he arrived, implementation of new opium regulations was already underway. Lin cracked down hard on Chinese opium traders and smokers. More than 1,600 people were charged with opium offences; some 43,000 opium pipes and 28,000 catties of opium were reportedly confiscated by Qing authorities. Lin ordered the arrest of dozens of known dealers and smugglers, and promoted medical interventions thought to assist addicts. The impact of these measures, in the short term at least, was dramatic; the opium trade in the Pearl River delta was at a standstill.13 But Lin believed that the opium problem could not be dealt with if the supply was not cut off, and in Canton the predominant source was British imports from India. While he had been warned against the dangers of a conflict with the British, and understood that Qing naval vessels would be no match for the powerful British warships in the open sea, Lin remained confident that he could manage the situation. Like other Qing officials of the time, he also believed that Chinese exports such as tea, and oddly rhubarb (valued as a laxative), were 12

H. Chang 1964 and Polachek 1992.

13

H. Chang 1964, 128–129.

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essential to the British. Cutting off trade would quickly bring them to their senses. A foreign government, located so far away, surely wouldn’t want to pursue war over opium.14 Shortly after his arrival, Lin demanded through the Hong merchants that the foreign merchants turn over their opium stocks, and threatened to arrest and charge several of them to sign a pledge that they would not smuggle opium. The merchant community was divided about how to respond. At this point the British government representative in the area chose to intervene. Charles Elliot was now in Napier’s old role as the British government’s superintendent of trade, and he hurried to Canton “determined to resist sudden aggression on British life and British property at all hazards.” Elliot, who just a few months earlier deplored the opium trade, now declared Lancelot Dent, one of the merchants under Chinese pressure, to be “one of our most respected merchants at Canton,” and placed him under his personal protection.15 Lin, furious at Elliot’s interference, cut off all trade on March 24 and ordered all Chinese servants to leave the factories. Lin imposed a blockade on the factories, preventing local suppliers from delivering goods, until all the opium in the hands of foreign merchants was turned over to him to be destroyed. For three long days, Elliot and the other foreign traders withstood the discomfort of life without servants. On March 27 Elliot folded. He ordered the British merchants to turn over their opium, and informed Lin that they would turn over 20,283 chests of the drug. Elliot never fully explained his thinking. But as Hsin-pao Chang argues, in taking responsibility for the surrender of the opium, the superintendent was taking pressure off the British merchants and putting a politically fraught issue in the lap of the British government. The south China opium market had been at a standstill for months, and merchants were stuck with massive supplies of opium that they could not sell. Elliot’s intervention meant that British merchants could now seek compensation from the British government.16 For Lin, Elliot’s decision to turn over the opium appeared to be a major victory. He reported in a memorial to the throne (together with Guangdong and Guangxi governor-general Deng Dingchen and Guangdong governor Yiliang) that the British had been “seized by doubt, fear and consternation, meanwhile making repentance.” If one reads through the moralistic Qing government rhetoric, Lin believed they had crumbled under pressure, and acceded to his demands. He followed this by composing and having translated into English a letter to Queen Victoria hoping the youthful British monarch could be convinced by moral suasion to accept the end of the opium trade. By the end May of 1839 the promised opium had been turned over. Commissioner Lin composed a prayer to the god of the sea, and with a meticulously organized 14

Mao 2016, 86–88.

15

Parliament, Great Britain, 1840, 356.

16

H. Chang 1964, 165–167.

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force of 500 laborers and sixty officials, proceeded to destroy the opium by pounding it with salt and lime, and then dissolving it in water before releasing the solution into the sea.17 But Lin had miscalculated. While trapped in Canton, Elliot’s reports to Palmerston outlined a case for war: that the Chinese government, by detaining the merchants in Canton, had acted coercively and the case of Dent had made clear the necessity of exempting Britons from the cruelty of Chinese courts. Opium smugglers would surely violently disrupt the China coast in response to the opium ban. He urged Palmerston that what would be best for all involved (including the Chinese) “will be a prompt and powerful interference of Her Majesty’s Government for the just vindication of all wrongs, and the effectual prevention of crime and wretchedness by [bringing about a] permanent settlement.”18 It was not until August 29, that Palmerston received the reports of what had occurred in Canton the previous spring. The foreign secretary was convinced by William Jardine, just back from China, and proposed that a small fleet could blockade the China coast. Palmerston got approval to proceed, and so a limited expeditionary force was to be sent from India in late spring, conveniently avoiding disruption to the Canton trade, which closed in March and reopened in September. In February Palmerston framed the goals for the war – and did it in a fundamentally contradictory manner. First he drafted a letter addressed to the “Minister of the Emperor” and asserted that China had “committed violent outrages against the British Residents at Canton, who were living peaceably in that City, trusting to the good faith of the Chinese Government; and that those same Chinese officers, forgetting the respect which was due to the British Superintendent in his Character of Agent of the British Crown, have treated that Superintendent also with violence and indignity.” He rejected the legitimacy of the campaign against opium and made the following demands: 1. Full compensation for the confiscated opium. 2. “Satisfaction” for the insult to Superintendent Elliot and agreement that in the future the superintendent would be treated “in a manner consistent with the usages of civilized Nations, and with the respect due to the Dignity of the British Crown.” 3. That one or more islands off the coast of China serve as a base for Britain’s trade in China. 4. That the Qing government make good any debts owed by the Hong merchants to British merchants. 5. That the Qing government agree to pay Britain for the cost of sending an expeditionary force to China. 17 18

Kuo 1935, 240; H. Chang 1964, 173–174 Lovell 2015, 67–68; Parliament, Great Britain, 1840, 374.

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Finally Palmerston announced that the British military and naval forces had been sent to China to “act in support of these demands.”19 But these demands to the Qing government did not fully state the commercial and diplomatic concessions he expected. A letter, also dated February 20, 1840, addressed the two plenipotentiaries, Superintendent Charles Elliot and his cousin Admiral George Elliot (who was sent to assist). Palmerston insisted on several other points: that China open several ports to British residence and trade; merchants should be free to trade with whoever they want (i.e., the abolition of the Cohong monopoly); there must be a fixed and published tax rate on imports and exports (customs duties); that the British government could appoint superintendents of trade or consuls to the ports, and they would be able to meet and communicate with Qing officials; and that Britons would be granted extraterritoriality in China. Curiously, Palmerston left the issue of opium half open: the Chinese could ban the importation of goods, and if they were smuggled in, they could confiscated. But “in no case shall the Persons of British Subjects be molested on account of the importation or the exportation of goods.” In other words, China could not try to arrest, attack, or detain Britons engaging in illegal trade.20 Even while Palmerston was framing the goals of military action in political and diplomatic terms, the Whig government’s support for war in China was stirring a raucous debate in British political circles. Critics deplored the British government’s support of opium interests – and it was at this time the moniker “Opium War” was coined. In April of 1840, the Tories brought a vote of no confidence against the government for its mishandling of China. After a long debate, the government survived, but just barely, and the war proceeded.21 The British Sail North While Palmerston and the Cabinet had decided on war by early November of 1839, the effects of that decision would not appear in China until the beginning of June 1840. Meanwhile, in the second half of 1839, having left Canton, Charles Elliot maintained the limited forces available to him in a tense face-off with Qing naval units. Lin refused to allow merchants to trade until they signed a bond promising not to trade opium, and Elliot refused to allow British merchants to sign it. Forced out of Macao, Britons occupied Hong Kong Island, making it a base of operations. There were two major skirmishes between British warships and Qing military units – the first battles of the war. In both cases Qing forces fought bravely but were overwhelmed by British firepower. But Lin Zexu’s reports to the throne did not give a clear sense of how badly the battles had gone. It would take several more months before it was 19

Morse 1910, 621–626.

20

Morse 1910, 626–630.

21

Lovell 2015, 95–108.

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clear to the Daoguang emperor and his ministers that it was the government of Great Britain, and not a piratical group of British merchants, that was causing all the trouble. In spring 1840, a large British expeditionary force assembled in Singapore, with at least twenty warships including three ships of the line, and dozens of transports to carry troops from Europe, South Africa, and India. But in the summer of 1840, the British made a surprising move. Instead of confronting Commissioner Lin and the authorities in Canton, they sailed north and seized control of Zhoushan Island, near the great port of Ningbo. From there ships were sent to several ports on the coast attempting to deliver a letter from Palmerston to “The Minister of the Emperor of China.” The British were trying to short circuit a frustrating pattern in Canton of endless discussion, often over the forms of communication, and force the emperor to confront the reality of British demands. The expedition north to Tianjin and the show of force that this involved brought about an opportunity for diplomacy. The governor-general of Zhili, Qishan, forwarded Palmerston’s letter to Daoguang, and was able to convince the Elliots to accept a shift in locale to Canton. In the autumn of 1840, there was a de facto cease fire, and in December and January Charles Elliot (his cousin having resigned in ill-health) reconvened in Canton and undertook a tragically doomed effort to find an agreement. By late January, Elliot and Qishan reached a verbal agreement on a proposal from Elliot: a $6 million payment to Britain, the cession of Hong Kong to Britain, diplomatic intercourse to be direct and on an equal basis, and a resumption of trade at Canton, beginning after the Chinese New Year. It was a decent compromise, and the British pulled out of Zhoushan (which was a disease trap for British troops) as an indication of good faith. But neither government liked the work of its negotiator, and no formal agreement was signed. To Daoguang, the cession of Hong Kong was intolerable, and Qishan was sacked and charged with misconduct. The throne quite simply did not understand the military realities of the moment. When word of Qishan’s ouster reached Elliot, he now pursued the capture of Canton, and having surrounded it, traded the preservation of the city for the reopening of trade. Meanwhile, when the terms Elliot and Qishan had apparently agreed to reached London, a furious Palmerston sacked Elliot for making the foreign secretary’s public demands, rather than his private ones, the basis of the peace negotiations. Sir Henry Pottinger was dispatched to China to prosecute the war and get an agreement more to Palmerston’s liking, arriving in August of 1841. Pottinger promptly headed north. The British seized control of Xiamen, in Fujian, reoccupied Dinghai in the Zhoushan islands, and then seized the key port of Ningbo. The following March, a Qing effort to eject the British from Ningbo failed miserably, and then the British proceeded to take Zhapu and

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Zhenjiang, with horrific casualties. Finally convinced that further resistance would be disastrous, in July Daoguang appointed Yilibu and Qiying – high officials and imperial kinsmen – to negotiate the peace. At the end of August, the Treaty of Nanking was signed bringing the conflict to an end.22 While the Qing government had hundreds of thousands of troops under arms, and vastly outnumbered the British, they had several disadvantages. They were spread in small garrisons among the provinces where they played a constabulary role, and were positioned to suppress the internal rebellions that had become increasingly common in the preceding years. Redeploying units was slow and expensive. Membership in the hereditary banner and Green Standard armies was largely by connection rather than ability, and units were often short of men, sometimes because officers padded the rolls with fake names to bring in extra income. By European standards, Qing soldiers were poorly armed, using matchlock smoothbore muskets that had been phased out in Europe at the end the seventeenth century. Qing cannon were likewise based on earlier European designs. Since the departure of the Jesuits, and the limited engagement of Qing troops with capable competitors, artillery had fallen on hard times.23 The British by contrast had relatively small numbers of men. But their land forces were well armed with rifle and smoothbore muskets with fixed bayonets, and some used the percussion caps, a new technology which made them more reliable, as well as advanced artillery using explosive shells. Thanks to the efficiency of the Royal Navy, the British could move their troops around remarkably quickly. Moreover, the British brought with them in 1840 a new weapon: the steamboat. Where the placement of Canton upstream had enabled the Qing forces to limit and trap Napier’s sailing vessels, steamships enabled the British to move upriver with ease, both in Canton and later further north.24 The British were far more effective in collecting intelligence as well. While both sides suffered from a lack of capable linguists able to understand the language of the other side, the British were considerably better off. The small corps of translators cultivated by the East India Company, private merchants, and missionary groups provided reasonably accurate translations of Qing documentation. Prior to Commissioner Lin’s arrival, there had been no similar effort to collect information about the British. The Qing collection of information remained within private networks, and Lin’s successors did not continue his efforts in this regard.25 Finally, a key dynamic in the war was the personality of the Daoguang emperor – a ruler who was conservative in his orientation. Whereas his grandfather, Qianlong, could be flexible and pressed for information about Qing 22 24

The preceding narrative draws on Lovell 2015 and Fay 1975. Headrick 1981, 43–54. 25 Chen 2017, 61–102; Mosca 2013.

23

Mao 2016, 27–42.

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threats, Daoguang tended to fall into passive continuation of existing precedents. He would either lavishly praise or harshly punish his leading officials. They in turn tended to feed him what he wanted to hear. Far too often, officials either massaged the truth or straight out lied about what had happened to protect themselves. As a result it took far too long for the Qing leadership to understand the futility of continuing the war.26 A Failed Peace The Opium War ended on August 29, 1842, with a more or less complete capitulation to British demands. The Treaty of Nanking, signed by Sir Henry Pottinger and the Qing appointees Qiying and Yilibu, ceded Hong Kong to Great Britain, opened the five ports for residence and trade (Canton, Xiamen/ Amoy, Fuzhou, Ningbo, and Shanghai), defined patterns of diplomatic address and communication, and agreed that China would pay $21 million of indemnities to Britain for destroyed opium, reparations for the detention of Britons, and to offset the costs to Britain necessitated by the war. A second treaty, the Treaty of Bogue, signed on October 8, 1843, included detailed regulations for trade, ended the Cohong monopoly on foreign trade, and incorporated an acknowledgment of extraterritoriality for Britons. It also included a most favored nation clause, so that any subsequent concessions to other countries would apply to Britain. Britain got, in short, everything that its merchants wanted, aside from formal legalization of opium imports. But one of the lessons of the war for the Qing empire was that any crackdown on opium imports was impossible. For the next eighteen years trade in opium was formally illegal but generally accepted, with the trade carried on in “hulks” anchored offshore. By 1856, opium imports were more than double the level that they had reached in 1838, and they dwarfed all other maritime imports in value. The opium monopoly constituted the second biggest source of revenue for the British colonial government in India.27 But the peace created at the end of the first war was a tense one. The treaty ports were duly opened, but responses varied dramatically by locale. Shanghai – something of an afterthought at the time of the war – proved the most accommodating to foreigners, and by 1850 was emerging as the new center of foreign life on the China coast. In other ports, the foreigners were greeted less enthusiastically. In Canton, which had been at the center of so much of the earlier conflict, there was strong resistance from both local elites and officials, and foreigners continued to be excluded from the walled city. For the British government, there was a growing frustration that while the war had produced major changes to the conduct of trade and the lives of 26

Mao 2016, 146–148.

27

J. Y. Wong 1998, 399–406.

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foreigners on the coast, it had not brought the political changes they desired. The Qing government continued to assign the governor-general of Guangdong and Guangxi to be its primary interlocutor with foreign governments, and the officials appointed to that role showed little flexibility in dealing with British diplomats. While several Qing officials and intellectuals – such as Fujian governor Xu Jiyu and the intellectual Wei Yuan – showed engagement with the problem posed by the foreign presence, Daoguang never really faced the question of why his forces had been so badly defeated. There was no serious inquiry into the problems Qing forces faced, the gaps in technology and organization, or even the problem of endemic misrepresentation of the truth by officials reporting to the throne during the war. Several prominent officials including Lin and Qishan were punished for failing to defeat the British, but in the absence of a strong imperial endorsement for discussion of the problems and the need for change, little of substance happened.28 In 1850, Daoguang died. His successor, the nineteen-year-old Xianfeng emperor, was immediately confronted by a major crisis as the Christianinfluenced Taiping rebellion exploded out of rural Guangdong and Guangxi, spilled into the Yangtze valley, and seized control of Nanjing, which became the center of their regime and which they called the heavenly capital. For more than a decade the Taipings controlled large portions of central China and threatened the very existence of the Qing dynasty. Qing regular troops proved no more effective against these rebels than they had against the British. Other rebellions varying in size also began to sprout across the empire. Over time the Qing polity showed both resilience and ingenuity in dealing with internal rebellions. Civil officials jumped into military roles recruiting, training, and equipping new armies and imposing new taxes to pay the bills. But there was no similar flexibility in dealing with the British and other Western powers. In fact, Xianfeng rejected even the modestly accommodating diplomacy of the late Daoguang years and encouraged a harder line. In 1853 when Sir John Bowring, the governor of Hong Kong and the British plenipotentiary to the Qing empire, and US diplomat Robert McLane traveled to north China to request a revision of the treaties, they were bluntly refused. The Arrow Incident and the Renewal of Military Conflict The Second Opium War, or the Arrow War as it is often described in English, was a complex four-year conflict. It was primarily prosecuted by the British government against the Qing empire, but France was an active ally of Great Britain. Russia and the United States, while both noncombatants, were deeply 28

Mao 2016, 490–497.

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interested parties, who took advantage of the war to renegotiate their own treaties with the Qing empire. Like the earlier conflict, the British were concerned about both expanded trade opportunities and transforming the diplomatic institutions. But whereas in the first war trade was the primary focus, now the issues of diplomacy were the primary area of contention. The war began with a minor incident manufactured by the acting British consul in Canton, Harry Parkes. On October 8, 1856, Chinese naval forces boarded what was said to be a British lorcha, Arrow, lying at anchor on the river, suspecting that it was engaged in smuggling. Parkes claimed that Qing officers “regardless of the remonstrances of her master, an Englishman, seized, bound and carried off twelve of the Chinese crew, and hauled down the English colours that were then flying.” Parkes insisted that this represented a grave insult to Britain’s honor. Almost everything about Parkes’s claim was dubious: the ship was Chinese owned but had been registered in Hong Kong under a false British owner to avoid Chinese law. The Hong Kong registration had expired prior to the incident, and the claim that there was a flag flying was disputed.29 Regardless of the flimsiness of his case, the hotheaded Parkes spun this into a major crisis. He rejected Governor-General Ye Mingchen’s clumsy efforts to mollify him, ignored embarrassing evidence that the Arrow was in fact involved in fencing goods seized by pirates, and asked Sir John Bowring to request the British navy bombard Canton in retaliation. Bowring, concealing the fact that the Arrow’s registration had expired, convinced Rear Admiral Sir Michael Seymour to do so. On October 23, even after Ye had returned all of the arrested crewmen to British custody, Royal Navy ships bombarded the Barrier Forts 8 km downriver. Seymour then opened fire on Canton, targeting Governor-General Ye’s residence, causing considerable destruction in the city. Unsatisfied with the return of the arrested sailors, Bowring now insisted that Ye open up Canton to foreigners. But Ye refused to concede, and a standoff followed. The British force of 300 or so marines, while well-armed, was too small to capture and control the Guangdong capital. Bowring appealed to London for an expeditionary force to teach the Chinese a lesson. Meanwhile, as 1856 grew to a close and into the spring of 1857, there was enough popular resistance in Canton to keep the British nervous. Thanks to steamships it now took just two months for the news to reach London. Lord Palmerston, now prime minister, and his government decided to support the direction that Bowring was pointing: to a new war in China. 29

J. Y. Wong 1998, 43–142. The following paragraphs on the origins of the war draw on this source.

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The response of the political elite to Bowring’s efforts to make war with China was not positive. The prominent minister of parliament Richard Cobden, a friend of Bowring for decades, was appalled by what the Hong Kong governor was trying to do and authored a resolution that stated that the government had not provided the necessary evidence to support military action. In the debate that followed, Bowring’s actions were harshly criticized for going well beyond the bounds of necessity. Palmerston responded by wrapping himself in the flag: Ye Mingchen, he insisted was “one of the most savage barbarians that ever disgraced a nation. He has been guilty of every crime which can degrade and debase human nature.” Palmerston accused Cobden and the antiwar group of asserting that “Everything that was English was wrong, and everything that was hostile to England was right.”30 Nevertheless Cobden’s motion passed. Palmerston called a quick election, held in late March, believing that the voting public would support his position. After a campaign of blatant jingoism, Palmerston won. His plans for China proceeded. The singular absurdity of the Arrow incident as a casus belli has made it a focus of attention. But in the end, this flimsy incident wasn’t the cause of the war, it was an excuse. The real issues that lead the British government to war were familiar ones: a drive to expand trading opportunities for British merchants and to transform the framework of diplomacy. The trade concessions they wanted included legalizing opium, greater freedom to travel in China, and standardizing taxes on imports and exports to China at a low level. Diplomatically, the British wanted to break out of the system in which the governor-general of Guangdong and Guanxi was their primary interlocutor, and have at least some diplomatic access to the Court in Beijing.31 Sir John Bowring was the key figure in driving Britain to war. In 1855, he scored his greatest diplomatic success in forcing King Mongkut of Siam to accept the sort of treaty he hoped for in China.32 The Hong Kong governor was now convinced that only military force could bring the changes that were necessary: “the time has come to hold strong language and to support that language by stronger demonstrations” he wrote to US politician Robert McLane. With military force “a few months would open the Yang-tse-kiang, locate us in Peking – make the whole of the coasts accessible.” He assigned his protégé Harry Parkes to Canton a few months later.33 The Second Opium War Following his success in the “Chinese election” of 1857, Palmerston proceeded with his plans for an expeditionary force to China. He decided new leadership 30

Palmerston 1857.

31

Morse 1910, 672–673.

32

Horowitz 2004.

33

Bowring 1855.

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was needed, so he appointed James Bruce, the Eighth Earl of Elgin, to lead the British effort. Bowring remained governor of Hong Kong until 1860 but was stripped of his diplomatic responsibilities. France, which had joined with Britain in the Crimean conflict, now decided to join the British, demanding satisfaction for the death of a French Catholic missionary in Qing custody in Guangxi province. The United States and Russia chose to stay out of the military conflict but closely followed developments.34 The war that followed was drawn out for reasons that need not detain us here. But a complex series of negotiations lead to the signing of the Treaty of Tianjin in June 1858, with both the United States and Russia joining in parallel treaties. The new treaties increased the number of treaty ports open to trade and allowed foreign ships to navigate the Yangtze river. Trade regulations quietly set an import duty on opium, effectively legalizing it. Foreigners with a passport from their consul could travel inland, but not reside or do business. Catholic and Protestant missionary work was made legal, and a manipulation of the French treaty by an interpreter led to foreign missionaries being allowed to reside wherever they wanted. Finally, the British and French would be able to send envoys to reside in Beijing. This should have ended the war, but a year later, when ratifications were to be exchanged, and British and French representatives were to proceed to Beijing, the British envoy Frederick Bruce (Elgin’s younger brother) ignored the directions of Qing commanders and attempted to force his way up the Baihe (Bai River). Qing forces opened fire, sinking four British gunboats, badly damaging others, and forcing the British and French into an embarrassed retreat. With this first Qing victory the war was reignited. But finally in the summer of 1860, Elgin returned at the head of a large Anglo-French expeditionary force. In an amphibious landing they attacked and seized the Dagu forts from the poorly protected land side, and then captured Tianjin. The Anglo-French army advanced to Beijing, defeating Qing forces in several battles along the way. With the defenseless capital descending into chaos and looting, the Xianfeng emperor fled to Rehe, leaving behind a Peace Commission of three officials, his younger brother Yixin (Prince Gong), Guiliang, and Wenxiang. The Peace Commission handled the situation skillfully, initiating negotiations and quickly reaching an agreement while avoiding the occupation of the walled city by foreign troops. The result was the Conventions of Beijing, which affirmed the Treaties of Tianjin and added a large indemnity and other concessions. But before it was signed, in an effort to punish Xianfeng, British and French troops systematically looted and then burned the Old Summer Palace, northwest of the walled city.

34

The following account draws on J. Y. Wong 1998 and Banno 1964.

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While Xianfeng remained in Rehe until his death a year later, the Peace Commission took on a leadership role that no Qing official had done in twenty years of conflict with Britain. In a famous memorial, the three commissioners called for a fundamental rethinking of Qing strategy. The peace commissioners asserted that developing a peaceful relationship with the foreign powers and focusing on suppressing rebellion made far more sense. They also insisted that a new structure was necessary to manage relations with Western powers. A new foreign ministry, known as the Zongli Yamen, was created in 1861 in Beijing, in time to receive the new resident ministers who arrived to set up legations that spring. With Prince Gong and the Manchu statesman Wenxiang in charge, the Zongli Yamen transformed the Qing relationship with Britain and other Western powers, beginning the great revival known as the Tongzhi restoration, and the self-strengthening movement, the first stage of China’s move to modernization.35 For a decade, a degree of cooperation prevailed. The Qing leadership focused on reasserting domestic control and found the improved relations with foreigners invaluable. A foreign officered maritime customs inspectorate became a permanent part of the Qing administrative system in the early 1860s. Under Inspector General Robert Hart (a former British consular official) it served as a revenue generator for a state in desperate need of funds and as an honest broker to resolve trade disputes; and provided information and technical advice to the Qing government. Both modern weaponry and rising customs revenues from foreign trade were invaluable in defeating the massive domestic rebellions that afflicted the empire. The British were confident that their interests lay in the revival of the dynasty and were generally satisfied with the new diplomatic arrangements.36 If British goals in the Second Opium War were fairly transparent, the same cannot be said for the Qing empire. Xianfeng did not want to make any concessions until they were forced. Ye Mingchen, the man who was supposed to deal with the British, seemed almost paralyzed, recognizing the futility of his position, yet unable to offer any compromise – perhaps realizing that to do so would get him in trouble with the throne. But by the time of the Tianjin negotiations, it was apparent to officials with actual administrative responsibility that there was no reasonable alternative to coming to a peace deal. For those who were dealing with the Taiping and other rebellions – settling conflicts that could not be won – to focus on those that could be won must have made sense. But the Tianjin Treaty generated opposition. A group of officials – mostly in Beijing at the Hanlin Academy, the Censorate, and the Board of Rites – pressed the emperor on to continue resistance, believing that with correct leadership 35

Banno 1964, 202–218; M. C. Wright 1957.

36

Smith et al. 1991.

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and driven by the will of the people Qing forces could overcome superior technology and defeat the British and French. Interestingly the concession that most rankled opponents of the Tianjin Treaty was the resident minister clause, allowing British and French governments to send diplomats to reside in Beijing. While senior officials repeatedly insisted that this was a necessary compromise, not terribly different from the presence of Jesuits in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, or the Russian Ecclesiastical mission, which served as a de facto diplomatic role, Xianfeng repeatedly tried to avoid it. Critics of the resident minister worried that it would damage the dignity of the Qing state and disrupt state ceremonies. Other objections were practical: that the presence of legations would lead to the breakdown of the tribute system; foreign representatives would attempt to spy on the Qing government; and foreign representatives would inappropriately try to influence government policies.37 In fact, the British did see representation in Beijing as a way to influence the Qing and bring about political change. As US envoy William Reed skeptically suggested this was an attempt to replicate the growing British influence in the Ottoman empire, and a resident minister would facilitate “invigoration of the central authority of this disorganized empire as England thinks she has effected in Turkey.”38 Conclusion The settlements that ended the Second Opium War – the Treaty of Tianjin and the Conventions of Beijing – established the core of what became known as the “treaty system” that structured China’s relations with foreign powers until World War II. This included treaty ports in which foreigners could freely reside and trade, and effectively govern themselves (the number grew steadily over time); import and export tariffs fixed at a low level by treaty; extraterritoriality; freedom to travel widely within China; and missionaries being allowed to reside wherever they pleased. Britain had also obtained Hong Kong as a base for both commercial and naval operations in East Asia. But the conflicts were not simply about trade, they were also about systems of diplomacy. Not only did the Tianjin Treaty provide for resident ministers, but the British also inserted clauses about the language to be used in referring to foreigners (yi was banned) and the ways in which representatives of the two governments were to address each other. In practice, once the foreign diplomats were lodged in Beijing in the spring of 1861, the Qing empire was integrated into the Westphalian system of diplomacy. Within a few years, W. A. P. Martin, a former US missionary employed by the Zongli Yamen, was translating works on international law and diplomatic practice into Chinese for distribution to 37

Banno 1964, 18–26.

38

Reed 1858.

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officials around the country. Within a decade Chinese diplomats, including some trained in European languages, were going abroad; and by the mid-1870s there were resident Qing diplomats in Europe and the United States. As Qing critics of the Treaty of Tianjin feared, over the next few decades the tribute system faded out. Faithful tributaries were either swallowed up by foreign empires (such as the French in Vietnam and the Japanese in the Ryukyu Islands) or in the case of Korea substantive relations were redefined in European-style treaties. The fuzzy suzerain relationships of the tribute system had no place in the modern world of sovereign states claiming territorial sovereignty.39 The treaty system that the Opium Wars created was multilateral. While Britain had done virtually all of the fighting, the other powers quickly obtained the same concessions (except of course for Hong Kong). The mix of free trade and legal privilege suited others countries as well and created a broad interest in maintaining the system to protect foreign merchants, missionaries, and the financial institutions to which the Qing state, and its successor the Republic of China, was indebted. In 1899 fearing that Britain’s commitment to free trade was faltering, and exclusive concessions to other powers would shut out American business, US Secretary of State John Hay pursued the diplomacy of the open-door notes (at the suggestion of Alfred Hippisley, a Briton employed in the Chinese customs) and made the “open door” for trade a foundation of US–China policy. In the decade after Yuan Shikai’s demise in 1916, when the power of the Beijing government disintegrated and warlordism prevailed, foreign powers enforced continued observance of the treaty system. But there were economic, political, and psychological costs to all of this, and the costs were borne by the Chinese. The treaties were unequal because they were not reciprocal: Chinese had none of the privileges in Britain or France or the United States that foreign nationals had in China. It would be decades – as imported opium began to be replaced by domestic – before Britain would allow China to launch its own antidrug campaigns and confront the social problem of addiction. Thanks to extraterritoriality, foreigners lived among Chinese but could do so with virtual legal impunity as foreign consular courts often showed little interest in punishing crimes committed by their nationals against Chinese, while crimes by Chinese against foreigners became fodder for diplomatic disputes and demands for compensation. Chinese officials found their authority delimited and their legitimacy undermined. While there probably was never a sign that said “Dogs and Chinese Not Admitted” in the Shanghai public garden, as the often repeated story suggests, the emotion behind the myth was genuine: the treaty system made Chinese second-class citizens in their own country.40 39

Horowitz 2004, 479–481.

40

Bickers and Wasserstrom 1995.

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In the early decades of the twenty-first century, what the Chinese Communist Party has branded the “century of humiliation” following the Opium War has become a staple in patriotic education. This narrative legitimizes the rule of the Chinese Communist Party, which brought humiliation to an end and has made China strong. In the eyes of Chinese statesmen, there are also lessons to be learned. The sensitivity about sovereignty and a deep dislike of foreigners interfering in what they consider to be China’s internal affairs is only the most obvious. Not surprisingly, a view of this history also tends to generate skepticism about the good intentions of a Western-led international system. As China emerges as a global power and begins to reshape the international order, the lessons of defeat in the Opium Wars will not be forgotten.41

41

Kaufman 2010; Lovell 2015, 340–359.

11

Matthew Perry in Japan, 1852–1854 Alexis Dudden

Matthew Perry’s July 8, 1853, arrival off the coast of Uraga just south of the Japanese capital at Edo (today’s Tokyo) marked the United States’ first significant use of “shock and awe” tactics in international relations. The squadron of four ships – including the navy’s first steam-powered warship, USS Mississippi, and the steam frigate USS Susquehanna – under Perry’s command lay at anchor belching their black smoke and with a formidable array of cannons aimed at the shore. Gunners stood at their stations, and Perry ordered seventy-three blank shots fired to demonstrate the potential of the devastating power at his command. This moment would have profound consequences for Japanese and world history – it would ultimately impress on Japanese officials the need to reorient their nation’s geography to modern advantage. At the time of Perry’s arrival, for nearly two centuries Japanese leaders had attempted to isolate Japanese from the rest of the world, using the country’s island nature to keep the outside world at bay and Japanese at home. Some international trade and diplomatic relations had occurred, but for all intents and purposes the law was straightforward: Japanese were allowed to leave Japan for whatever reasons they wished; return meant their execution. Perry’s was not the first attempt to establish diplomatic and trading relations with “closed Japan,” as Herman Melville famously described the country in Moby Dick, yet Perry was determined like none before to succeed at all costs. As countless small Japanese ships came out from shore to try to drive the American vessels away, Perry hoisted the signal flag: “No communication with shore; allow none from shore.” He had learned from Nicholas Biddle’s mistakes, whose failure in 1847 to prevent the Japanese from boarding his US Navy ship only compounded his failure to convey the authority necessary to obtain communication with representatives of Japan’s ruler, the Tokugawa shogun. When locals again similarly tried to swarm Perry’s ships, American sailors used bayonets and pikes to drive them off and tossed back lines hurled on the decks. The logbook records that a few Japanese even tried to shinny up the anchor lines, yet they, too, were driven back into the water. As has been depicted in numerous plays, musicals, and movies, eventually a small boat appeared carrying several men in uniform, one of whom declared 188

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in his only English: “I can speak Dutch.” Fortuitously for the future course of that afternoon and world history, Matthew Perry’s entourage included a Dutchspeaking interpreter. What followed was diplomatic dexterity on Perry’s part as well as a series of bold decisions made by local Japanese authorities who were abundantly aware of the differential in their shore guns and the guns aimed at their town. Yet, it was not only the guns and the “black ships” (as they have come to be called) that would “open” Japan. Rather, decades of internal turmoil would find their release with Matthew Perry’s arrival and the subsequent trade treaties between Japan and foreign nations that at once allowed foreigners to live and work in Japan and also enabled Japanese society to build itself into an industrial power with a constitutionally grounded system of governance – the first in Asia. The following pages examine this moment in detail because it remains a historical event whose trajectory continues to impact world events. The rest of the chapter then considers aspects of Japanese society’s response to its forced engagement with the world in the wake of Perry’s “shock” to its system – particularly in returning Japan to the sea and opening an era in which it became a great maritime power. I argue that flexible US diplomacy succeeded and dovetailed with internal Japanese forces. The results would swiftly transform the country by the end of the nineteenth century into the only Asian nation not to be colonized but to become a colonizer in its own right. In short, this moment of “opening” would generate a highly complex reaction within Japan: at once leaders would come to fashion a new nation according to Westphalian norms to advance the nation internationally (beginning with simple gestures such as standing and shaking hands with representatives of foreign countries instead of bowing on the floor); simultaneously, they would strengthen the nation within by defining a racially exclusive notion of ethnicity that while not unique to Japan in its methods would ultimately define Japanese as superior to those in areas it would colonize; and, finally, leaders would understand from Perry’s arrival the critical component of naval capability in the mix. July 8, 1853, 17:00, Uraga. President Fillmore’s Letter to the Emperor of Japan Much has been written about the moment of contact between Matthew Perry and Japanese officials. What is important to think about is both what the United States hoped to accomplish and how it achieved those goals. Whether true or not, Perry repeatedly wrote and claimed to others that he had no desire to use force, and both Secretary of State Edward Everett and President Millard Fillmore ordered: “Make no use of force except in the last resort if attacked.” Several failed attempts to open diplomatic relations with Japan and the United

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States had taken place in the 1830s and 1840s, but in the wake of the First Opium War in China (1839–1842; see Chapter 10) with Britain gaining substantially more concessions there than other nations, the US government decided not to fall further behind in Asia and this time to act with far greater purpose. Since Marco Polo’s travels in the fourteenth century, “closed Japan” had long captured the imagination of entrepreneurs and adventurers with lovely if false tales of streets lined with gold and so on. Now, American commercial interests – especially New England’s powerful whaling lobby – prevailed on the US Congress to fund the Perry expedition to Japan in what would be the United States’ most expensive overseas mission yet taken. At the same time, foreign knowledge of Japan at the time was far less than Japanese knowledge of the world: the Americans did not know, among other things, that the shogun – not the emperor – actually governed the country; whereas the Japanese understood that China was falling to British conquest, which appeared very similar to American overtures, and that Japan’s weapons were far inferior to foreign ones. As whaling ships increased in the seas around Japan, stories of American seamen stranded on Japan’s shores and taken hostage – all released – would routinely make newspaper headlines and fuel notions of a “heathen” and “godless” land (on several occasions, stranded Americans were forced to walk on paintings of Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary before their release to Dutch officials in the southern port of Nagasaki). A key feature of President Fillmore’s letter that Perry was charged with delivering included: Many of our ships pass every year from California to China; and great members of our people pursue the whale fishery near the shores of Japan. It sometimes happens that one of our ships is wrecked on your Imperial Majesty’s shores. In all such cases we ask and expect, that our unfortunate people should be treated with kindness, and that their property should be protected, till we can send a vessel and bring them away. We are very much in earnest about this.

Whaling firms would also find common interest with other businesses in the US president’s request for permission to obtain coal and other provisions such as fresh water and food at designated Japanese ports to ease trans-Pacific crossings – all of which, as prominent US politicians such as William Seward and Daniel Webster would understand it, were a logical extension of the United States’ Manifest Destiny, moving from within today’s forty-eight contiguous states to the purchase of Alaska, involvement in the Hawaiian Islands, expansion into Central and Latin America, and across the Pacific Ocean to the Hawaiian Islands, Guam, China, Japan, and the Philippines. And there was Matthew Perry himself, hero of the Mexican–American War (1846–1848), and so personally determined to achieve the privilege of “opening” Japan that he fired William Aulick from his command even though Aulick

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was already in Guangzhou, China, preparing the ships for sail. To maximize his chances of success, Perry made a trial run en route to mainland Japan in the Ryukyu Kingdom (commonly called Okinawa). This moment proved more violent than his later endeavors near the capital at Edo, including among other indiscretions at the royal palace in Shuri the first recorded instances of American servicemen raping Okinawan women. From the Ryukyu visit, though, Perry learned how to convey the level of standing and power that he wanted to display. On the evening of July 8, 1853, when a local official from Uraga and his Dutch-speaking interpreter boarded the Susquehanna to begin negotiations with Perry, Perry hid himself in his own cabin, speaking from behind closed doors to his interpreter in order to convey information and show his prestige. The gambit worked. Opposite from Nicholas Biddle’s disastrous moment in 1847 of brushing off a minor Japanese official who body slammed him aboard his own ship, Perry became known instantly among the Japanese as the “Lord of the Forbidden Interior.” The “Lord of the Forbidden Interior” was clear: despite countless entreaties from the Japanese official, Perry would not sail south to Nagasaki to be received through the Dutch outpost there, nor would he tolerate the Japanese boats that still surrounded his ship. The local official managed to disperse the little boats, yet he could not provide Perry with information about how or whether the letter from the US president would be received. Guards stood watch all night on the ships, and along the shore Japanese manned their few battle stations, keeping beacon fires lit lest the Americans try to invade. At dawn the following day, squads of Japanese soldiers marched up and down the beach, and two larger boats rowed out to Perry’s ship, bearing a man who claimed to be the regional governor. In truth, Kayama Eizaemon was just the local police chief, yet Perry was also not the highest ranking US naval officer as he had claimed to the Japanese. Creative deception on both sides worked, however, because the Americans believed they should display President Fillmore’s gold-sealed vellum-printed letter housed in a stunning rosewood box to this official. The Americans showed the letter and insisted it be delivered on land. The Japanese said fine, please sail to Nagasaki, and from there the letter would be sent to the emperor (never mind that the emperor was not running Japan at the time). The “Lord of the Forbidden Interior” refused. The Japanese said it would take four days to go to Edo and back. Perry gave them three. While this conversation took place, Perry ordered four surveying boats – fully armed – to cruise the bay, take soundings, and map it. The Americans had, after all, spent 30,000 dollars (roughly one million dollars today) to purchase a German map of Japan from the Dutch, which despite depicting the country’s land features extremely well did not help much with navigation.

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After two days, Perry sent the Mississippi closer to shore to press his case. The police chief disguised as a governor rowed out to ask why, and Perry responded that he needed a larger anchorage in case he had to summon more ships (never mind that nearly the entire Far East Squadron was with Perry at the time). He also transferred a letter and white flag saying that if the use of force were necessary the Americans would destroy Japan, and here was the flag for Japan’s surrender. The following day – Day Three – Kayama returned to Perry’s ship with the news that a shogunal official would receive the gilded letter from President Fillmore on land and then take it to Nagasaki, at which point it would be sent somehow to the emperor. Perry did not budge and sent the famous written response, which his interpreter explained: “He has a letter from the President of the United States to deliver to the Emperor of Japan, or to his secretary of foreign affairs, and he will deliver the original to none other. If this friendly letter of the President to the Emperor is not received and duly replied to, he will consider his country insulted, and he will not hold himself accountable for the consequences.” Given how little the American delegation actually knew about how Japanese politics worked – beginning with the fact that the shogun ran the country not the emperor – the local official realized that playing the emperor game as they were doing with Perry was not in his country’s interests, and by that afternoon he returned to Perry’s ship with the news that a suitably credentialed government official would receive the letter on land on July 14. Thus began Japan’s formal engagement with the modern world. After nearly a year at sea with this purpose at hand, Wells Williams, chief interpreter for the mission, recorded in his diary the mood among the American sailors: “The squadron was full of bustle, getting arms burnished, boats ready, steam up, men dressed and making all the preparations necessary to go ashore and be prepared for any alternative.” The Japanese asked Perry to move his ships a little to the southwest to the beach at Kurihama (present day Yokosuka and not coincidentally home port of the US Seventh Fleet). Again, the two steamships, roaring with their black smoke, put the full power of their cannons on display to the shore, and soon the Americans would be able to see what had caused tremendous noise throughout the night: overnight Japanese carpenters had built a special reception hall flanked by two smaller prefabricated buildings (the wooden beams still had the construction plans visible on them). Moreover – and in one of the more enduring scenes from this moment – about 5,000 Japanese soldiers, with many on horseback and carrying sixteenthcentury guns and contemporary swords, positioned themselves behind nearly a mile of blue and white horizontally striped curtains strung up along the shoreline. In short, both sides were prepared for multiple contingencies. Flanked by 250 armed marines, Perry rowed to shore in full dress despite the heat of the midsummer morning, and, though doubtful, some have recorded

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that in addition to pistols Perry also armed himself with knives in his boots and hat. Noticeably, this moment of “shock and awe” seems less to do with potential violence – although the Americans were fully prepared to annihilate this Japanese town and its people – and more to do with the vanity of the lead negotiators on both sides. As will be discussed later, domestic turmoil in Japan was at such a tipping point that Perry’s arrival would simply be the catalyst for changes already in the making within Japan. For several decades, the Japanese government in Edo had been in debate over how best to deal with the increasing number of foreigners showing up along the country’s shores, and Perry, by pure historical chance, became the first person successfully to press the issue from without (and not a Russian or British naval captain, for example). Perry wanted this achievement to crown his career and also to promote his own son’s interests (Oliver Hazard Perry, though technically not credentialed nor of age for certain positions, was along for the ride and soon would be named to high diplomatic posts in China). For their parts, two Japanese officials sat in utter silence on elegant red carpets throughout the entire ceremony – neither well-credentialed nor in any way disposed to open Japan to the “hairy barbarians” as foreigners were known. After the American naval band finished “Hail, Columbia,” Toda Ujiyoshi, a fifty-year-old samurai in direct service of the shogun (hatamoto/bannerman), and sixty-five-year-old Ido Hiromichi allowed President Fillmore’s letter to be placed in a splendid red and gilt lacquer box placed in the center of the room. While in Edo, shogunal advisors had decided that receiving the US president’s letter would not infringe on Japanese sovereignty, yet they had little plan for what would come next. Through interpreters, Ido conveyed the government’s position (which was essentially what the Tokugawa government had been practicing with other foreigners – especially the Russians – since roughly the turn of the nineteenth century): “As the letter has been received, you can depart.” Perry did not like this. He said he would return the following spring. The officials wanted to know whether he would bring his ships. He said he would bring many more ships, and after he returned to the Susquehanna that day, he ordered the squadron to sail north – not south toward China as he had stated at the end of the ceremony, but toward Edo itself. Again, the police chief disguised as a governor rowed out and came aboard the departing Susquehanna (clearly Perry had conveyed the precise level of determination so at least the local officials realized he was not bluffing). Perry impressed upon Kayama that when he returned the following year his larger fleet would need better anchorage, and he intended to survey Edo Bay for that purpose (in 1845 American whaling captain Mercator Cooper had actually done this when he repatriated fifteen stranded Japanese sailors, but the Japanese government did not know this). Naming his spot in Edo Bay “American Anchorage,” Perry’s “black ships” finally departed Japan for China on July 17, 1853, and Wells

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Williams observed: “(This) day to be noted in the history of Japan, one on which the key was put into the lock and a beginning made to do away with the long seclusion of this nation, for I incline to think that the reception of such a letter in such a public manner involves its consideration if not its acceptance.” Japan in Transformation: Tokugawa in Decline The significance of this moment in Asia’s international history lies in the fact that the decisions Japanese leaders made about the course of their country in the aftermath of Perry’s arrival would cause radical changes to Japanese society that made Japan the only Asian nation not to be colonized by other powers but to become a colonizing nation itself. This is not a moral judgment. It is a fact, and the choices Japanese leaders made then remain elemental to the modern Japanese state. Countless studies in Japanese and English have mulled the question: what made Japan so different from other Asian countries? Some of these have racialized overtones: how did “they” do it when the “rest” did not? To avoid this line of thinking, it is interesting to note that the most consistent point of agreement among more than a century’s worth of analysis – especially studies that interrogate and compare feudal systems and their collapse around the world – is that there was nothing particularly unique to the Japanese aristocracy’s repression of its peasantry through the mid-nineteenth century nor were its autocratic forms unusual. Different from contemporaneous, early modern aristocracies, however, and special to Japan was that this system – especially the ruling Tokugawa family – lasted too long. Put simply, the Tokugawas and ruling clans far outlasted their European counterparts. Their claim to rule had long failed to be economically sustainable. There is no single reason why this happened, yet it is clear that the Tokugawa shoguns took advantage of Japan’s geography to block trade and intercourse with the world in ways that suited their interests alone and in ways that European monarchs would not. By the early nineteenth century, politically astute and interested samurai throughout the country – especially younger ones – voiced discontent with the Tokugawa system. This was a system of political, social, and economic control known as “The Great Peace Under Heaven” that was established in 1603, following several large-scale battles that would end centuries of interclan warfare with the victorious Tokugawa Ieyasu on top as shogun. Brilliantly, Ieyasu created a rigid hierarchy of families and professions all under a NeoConfucian world order that circularly defined Tokugawa rule as benevolent and virtuous because it was benevolent and virtuous. Lowest in this order was the merchant class, which, in this definition, could not be virtuous because it handled money (by converting into cash the rice allowance annually granted to leading families and their retainers).

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Three generations into the system, however, by the 1630s, the shogun and his advisers went further: they determined that external knowledge and influences could be detrimental to their survival and essentially shut off the country from international trade. Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Dutch merchants could exchange with Japanese merchants in the south at Nagasaki but far removed from the shogun’s palace in Edo. As a result, the domestic economy became dominated by the merchants to the extent that within a century of the foundation of the system, merchants – at the bottom in the social hierarchy – were beginning to purchase aristocratic titles from samurai families or marrying into them. In short those defined as lacking “virtue” increasingly bought their way into it. Alternatively, some merchants and their advisors/scholars in Osaka in particular determined to define themselves as “virtuous” and began to comment on shogunal rule (sometimes at the cost of the scholars’ lives). (Notably, Osaka saw the appearance of the world’s first futures market and was a city on a greater scale than Paris by 1800 in terms of population and mercantile activity.) In short, on the one hand, for the most part, the Tokugawa shoguns displayed considerable acumen for controlling their population to the extent that they ensured their own rule until 1868. Yet, on the other hand, their near paranoiac determination to refuse to engage with the outside world sealed their own fate. Knowledge of the foreign world would creep in through the window in Nagasaki, and shoguns and their key officials had rudimentary understandings of European and American life by the time Matthew Perry arrived – far more than Americans, for example, had of Japanese. Meanwhile, the merchants undergirding all aspects of life within understood profit and capital accumulation as well as Europe’s Father of Capitalism Adam Smith, if not better. Tokugawa-era Japanese merchants did not see the need to include an “invisible hand” to explain how one made a profit. Yet, in the mix, the Tokugawa family and its supporters were essentially at the behest of the families with deep connections to the enriched merchant families (who themselves benefited greatly from the extreme form of protectionism that their closed country afforded their products). Sometimes protest of Tokugawa rigidities took the form of public display of maps of the country to show inherent points of weakness should foreigners invade (including the map which formed the basis for the German appropriation of it and Matthew Perry’s subsequent purchase through Dutch offices; its author was placed under house arrest). Other forms were manifestos explaining that the ruling classes were human, too – as in not divine kings – or that the ruling classes needed to prepare the country for the outside world lest it lay itself prone to indefensible attack from without. Disagreement with the Tokugawa mandate remained punishable by death, yet articulate and increasingly published critique dovetailed with long-standing and expanding peasant

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rice riots and general unrest. Even before the official US missions to Japan commenced, the Tokugawa government addressed growing malaise with what are known as the “Tempo Reforms” (1841–1843), which only added further restrictions on individual movement within the country and also on the ability to organize into political groups. Shogunal authorities reinforced police control and issued lengthy lists of prohibitions against purchasing certain commodities all with the goal of shoring up their rule while denying the reality of a world changing around Japan. Most historians consider these few years – just a decade before Perry’s arrival – as the end of the Tokugawa grip on power precisely because the measures decreed were so excessive that they almost guaranteed the system’s doom. The effect on Japanese society, broadly speaking, was not only to generate further antipathy among the peasants (who had always suffered under the shogun’s excessive tax demands) but also to propel angry and aware samurai to begin to organize themselves for action – regardless of the costs – all before Matthew Perry rode ashore with his demands. Thus, in the mid-nineteenth century, although Japanese leaders would find themselves late arrivals on the world stage vis-à-vis the historical transition from a feudal state into a modern nation – late compared to the French and Americans, for example, but not to the Russians or the Chinese – conditions existed in Japan that made leaders emerging from Matthew Perry’s “shock” to the country eager for change and equally eager to avoid being conquered by foreigners as they were aware was happening in neighboring China. The “Opening” Unfolds In the wake of Matthew Perry’s return landing on March 8, 1854 – as promised the summer before and this time with three steamships and a shore party doubled in size to nearly 500 armed US sailors and soldiers – important choices confronted Japanese officials. Although the samurai still ruling the country had not yet begun consciously to study how to build a nation, that is precisely what some began to do. Notably, groups of young samurai focused on the key features necessary for building a modern form of government: industry, military, and education. And, in the decades following Matthew Perry’s “shock and awe,” Japanese leaders transformed their country in ways that would blend together these critical elements to found the first nation in Asia. Eventually, they would call the entity “Great Japan,” to mirror “Great Britain,” all of which came about through great social upheaval. When Perry returned to Japan in 1854, he was again prepared for battle, yet his charge was now for trade. The gifts he brought with him were an additional if not more powerful means to impress his hosts. US manufacturers had donated elaborate presents, famously including the latest models of Colt

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pistols, rifles, and ammunition, a complete telegraph, and the most popular object of all: a quarter-size steam train from Norris & Brothers in Philadelphia (an engine, one car, the coal tender, and nearly 120 m of track). Although the Americans did not know it, several of these objects would dovetail with Japanese policy planning already underway: in 1850, the Saga clan in southern Japan began to build the country’s first furnace able to make cannons (this clan opposed the shogun, and they were profoundly aware by geographical proximity to China of the need to modernize their defenses despite the shogunal ban). In the wake of Perry’s first arrival, similar furnaces began to spring up in regions north of Edo. Also in southern Japan, regional lords ordered the construction of shipyards that could mount cannons on ships (shipbuilding was not new to Japan; the Tokugawa government’s stringent laws first destroyed the country’s oceanworthy ships in the seventeenth century and continued to proscribe ship size until its collapse in 1868; the Choshu lord in the south was among the most prominent to begin to disobey). Perceived military need spurred these early efforts to industrialize. It was not only those opposed to the shogun who recognized the need for technological advancement coincident with Matthew Perry’s arrival: in 1855 the Tokugawa government itself began building an iron foundry, and shortly thereafter it built a steamboat, and with French assistance (since other powerful nations rushed in on the heels of the Americans) established the Yokosuka Iron Foundry and Dockyards in 1865. The 1868 overthrow of the Tokugawa system and foundation of the Meiji era (1868–1912) was a top-down revolution, literally a “reweaving” of Japanese society from within that abolished all Tokugawa-era hierarchies and restored the emperor to the position of ruling the country. In the first several years of governance, the emperor and his advisors would radically transform the country, including among other things renaming Edo to Tokyo (“Eastern Capital,” ensuring “Kyoto” would henceforth be history), and renaming the country by abolishing “The Great Peace Under Heaven” and aristocratic family control of the country’s land and self-consciously emulate the greatest power of the day (Great Britain) by becoming “The Empire of Great Japan.” Meiji leaders, moreover, negated the aristocracy/military equivalency (what the samurai had been) by creating in 1873 a modern conscript army and navy. They established a central bank, a postal system, and, most famously, the railroad. Of perhaps greatest importance, Meiji leaders centralized social, political, and economic control around the emperor, defining him in Japan’s 1889 constitution as an “inviolable” supreme leader to whom subjects – not citizens – owed absolute loyalty (a profoundly Confucian element in a modern constitution that revealed its structural incompatibility during the 1930s and 1940s). In what historians call the bakumatsu (the end of shogunal rule), both the Tokugawa regime in its death throes and the emerging Meiji government would

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commence the industrialization of Japan through strategic, heavy industry – the exact opposite path of European capital accumulation, which began with light industry, especially textiles. The social ramifications of this decision could not have been starker, and it is significant historically that the processes that would bring about these changes happened even before samurai opposing the shogun overthrew the government. In short, nothing is inevitable until it happens. Perry’s return visit resulted in the 1854 Treaty of Kanagawa (named for the area near the mouth of Edo Bay in which he moored) and was Japan’s first diplomatic endeavor to open the country in limited ways to trading with countries other than China, Korea, and Holland; America was primary, yet Britain, France, and Russia were soon to follow because most appealing to all was the understanding that stranded sailors could be rescued from Japanese shores and that certain fixed points of entry would offer coal and provisions to ships. Championed as a hero upon his return to the United States in January 1855, the historical significance for Japanese of Matthew Perry’s accomplishment would be realized in the decades to come. The Treaty of Kanagawa stipulated that a US consul would reside on Japanese soil, and President Franklin Pierce appointed New York businessman and ship owner, Townsend Harris, the first diplomat to the post. Harris faced an entirely different reception from Perry because his was demonstrably a peaceful mission – the opposite of “shock and awe.” Taking up residence in a dilapidated Buddhist temple about 160 km south of the capital in the town of Shimoda, numerous conditions on both sides worked against Harris. On top of being blatantly marginalized by those in power in Edo (and think here about the possibility of an American representative living in Pyongyang), soon after his arrival Harris rather unwittingly ordered the slaughter of cattle on temple grounds to the horror of locals. That said, the locals had already determined to dislike Harris even before his unthinking action, and together with officials of all ranks the Japanese ignored all of Harris’s requests for meetings or assistance. Meanwhile, Washington became preoccupied with domestic matters such as the collapse of the Whig Party and southern state discontent. In the meantime, a series of wildly violent typhoons ransacked the area in which Harris lived, convincing many that whatever benefits the Perry “moment” might have had for Japan at the time, the gods were now displeased with the changes afoot. Finally, well over a year after his arrival in Japan, the shogun granted Townsend Harris an audience in Edo, not a little ironically on December 7, 1857 (Pearl Harbor Day, 1941). Harris stood throughout the meeting rather than kneeling and bowing on the floor, at once surprising the shogun and succeeding in his own form of diplomatic “shock and awe” (no weapons involved). Realizing he would make little if any progress from his post in distant Shimoda, Harris remained in Edo for over half a year, among other things

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explaining to the shogun’s advisers how to levy import and export taxes at ports where US vessels would call. Also, he worked with them to produce the first in a series of official trade agreements between a newly modernizing Japan and distant, industrialized lands. On July 29, 1858, the Treaty of Amity and Commerce was signed on board the sidewheel steamer USS Powhatan. Even more than the document Perry secured, Harris’s treaty would forever change Japan: diplomats would be exchanged between the countries; foreigners could live in the treaty ports and had the right to lease land and build residential and commercial structures in designated areas; also, foreigners would not be subject to Japanese laws, defining them via prevailing colonial systems of extraterritoriality as inferior to the laws of the outside world. Japan Responds: The Maritime Dimension For Japanese officials, the challenges were enormous. Looked at historically, the largest issue involved transforming Japan into a place that would shed the obvious “unequal” measures inherent to these conditions, primarily the belief that Japan was not as civilized as its treaty partners were. Practically speaking, however, the largest hurdle was immediate: on ratifying the treaty in March 1859, the shogun’s advisers committed Japan to sending a delegation to the United States, a trans-Pacific voyage not undertaken by Japanese sailors since Hasekura Tsunenaga’s mission to Mexico in 1613. Japanese officials understood the high stakes. Failure to make this voyage would reveal weakness and thus lay bare the country to foreign attack. This particular mission – but also the wider effect of the opening to the United States – very quickly put a premium on Japan identifying and developing its naval capabilities (something that China, by way of comparison, did not begin until too late). All of this brings us to the importance in the mix of someone who might not have been important at all if the Tokugawa shoguns had been less determined to try to block the foreign world from their island country. In particular, it was illegal for Japanese who left the country to return, which made a young ship’s hand far more critical to the moment than he might have been by any predictive measure. To say that all Japanese know about John Manjiro (as Nakahama Manjiro would become known) is an overstatement. That said, ever since public schooling began in Japan over 100 years ago Manjiro has been a national hero in the curriculum: Johnny Tremain, Abraham Lincoln, and Neil Armstrong all rolled into one (save between 1941 and 1945 when Japanese children would be forbidden to learn anything in their textbooks about anything good that had ever taken place between Japan and the United States). Manjiro’s mastery of the English language is the stuff of legend as are his cinematic exploits, including being the first Japanese person to reach the California gold rush (1849), as well as being the first commoner to

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return to Japan from abroad and be granted samurai rank because his knowledge proved of such use to the country. Less integrated into the great narrative, however, is the significance of Manjiro’s understanding of Japan’s maritime nature and particularly what changes the country’s leaders needed to make to maximize its potential. In 1841, at age fourteen Manjiro found himself and four others trapped in their tiny fishing boat during a storm off Shikoku Island in central Japan and dragged far to the southeast onto Torishima (a tiny island due south of Tokyo). Fortunately for Manjiro, six months later William Whitfield sailed his whaling ship, the John Howland, from New Bedford, Massachusetts, to hunt the Japan grounds; en route he discovered Manjiro and the others. Four of the five Japanese who survived the ordeal stayed on in Hawaii when Whitfield stopped there for provisions, but John Manjiro returned to Massachusetts with the captain and mastered English. In 1851, he finally made it back to Japan, where his skills proved invaluable first to the shogun and then subsequently to officials in the Meiji government during their ongoing treaty negotiations with foreigners such as Perry and Harris among other things. Manjiro’s father had died when he was nine, and, although he wanted to return to Japan to his mother after Whitfield rescued him, he knew that the laws forbidding his return might mean his execution (when he eventually made it home he saw the “lost at sea” marker his mother had placed in the local cemetery; today, there is a large and expensive family tomb in Tokyo). For all his fame and legend, however, Manjiro’s endeavors to engage Japan with modern navigational learning are not so well remembered, nor is the key, related role that his efforts played in practical and intellectual ways in helping launch Japan’s first navy, critical in the years following Matthew Perry’s arrival. This is at once surprising and not. To begin, even though Manjiro would ultimately achieve samurai rank, he was born a commoner. In a word, it would have been more than difficult at the time to credit such military and intellectual prowess to someone so lowborn (in the thinking of the day). Moreover, the mathematics, astronomy, and skills involved in the knowledge that Manjiro introduced are difficult and not nearly as swashbucklingly romantic as other parts of his story. That said, without the navigational techniques that Manjiro made legible to the handful of samurai selected as Japan’s early naval cadets, state planners would have been even more impeded in creating and building their forces as well as modernizing Japan’s eventual fleet, all of which proved critical to the creation of the modern nation. Looked at differently – and keeping Japan’s island nature at the center of things – the protagonists of Japan’s transformation in 1868 (the year the new Meiji government was launched) were as successful as they were in no small part because they relied on their country’s maritime nature as an overarching guide: Japanese people would again go out into the world to engage with it and

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its ideas and return to Japan with what they learned to debate for use at home. The new nation would eventually have ships of its own to take them abroad as well as a navy to guard its shores, and intensely practical reasons involving decisions that Japanese leaders made shaped the nation’s course: Japanese traveled overseas again aided significantly by the modern navigational techniques that John Manjiro brought home with him and which the government put to use (even though it was still classified as “barbarian knowledge”). In Fairhaven, Massachusetts, Manjiro attended several schools, eventually settling at Bartlett Academy where he studied the most advanced navigational theories of the day. Important for their use in Japan, Manjiro’s studies included geometry, trigonometry, geography, astronomy, all of which would mesh with what Tokugawa officials in Nagasaki were learning from the Dutch traders there. Thus, such subjects would find informed reception. The navigational techniques that Manjiro mastered in Fairhaven combined all of these skills in ways that were at once cutting edge and intensely useful and even surpassed what the Dutch offered. However, he carried these to Japan on the eve of revolution and just as the American treaties came into effect. Among his studies was Nathaniel Bowditch’s The New American Practical Navigator: Being an Epitome of Navigation, which is commonly referred to as “the sailor’s bible.” The book first appeared in 1802 and has been in print ever since. It remains onboard US Navy ships and countless others, even with the development of GPS techniques. It instructed all sorts of necessary things that young sailors hoping to make their fortunes aboard a New England whaling ship needed to know: how to measure tonnage and casks of whale oil; how to make surveys, read tides and currents; and how to use a sextant. Students often began to tackle this book in earnest at around age fifteen, and among its hundreds of pages of geometrical and algebraic equations, young navigators learned also how to find longitude “by a meridian altitude of the moon” and “by the altitude of the pole star,” as well as how “to find the time at sea by a planet’s altitude.” Most studies of modern Japan emphasize the significance of political thinkers such as Locke, Mill, and Rousseau, whose ideas would transform the country into a modern nation; they also stress the importance of modern military strategists such as Clausewitz and Lafayette in the mix. The intensely utilitarian nature of Nathaniel Bowditch’s work, however – as well as John Manjiro’s complete translation – likely made it appear less of a branded set of ideas and more like a dictionary, as if Japanese naturally boarded ships in the 1860s and resumed sailing the high seas. Things could not have been more different, however, especially since the Tokugawa regime had so diligently prevented Japanese from heading out on large ships into the seas that surrounded them for so long. Thus, although cartography, astronomy, and geometry had already gained traction in Japanese thought through scholars studying with Dutch traders, important fundamentals such as how to combine

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all of these things together and use them in order to get safely across the Pacific Ocean, for example, remained at bay. Once employed in the shogun’s service, Manjiro received a commission to translate the Bowditch in its entirety into Japanese (at his own suggestion), an act which coupled with his English interpretation skills made him invaluable to the state (and something unthinkable in Manjiro’s world at the time of his birth as a poor fisherman’s son). More broadly, Manjiro’s translation of the Bowditch would prove nothing short of key to strengthening Japan against the maritime powers threatening it from without, and the text’s inclusion in the curriculum of Japan’s first naval academies was instrumental – initially in Nagasaki (1855– 1859); then at the Tsukiji Naval Academy in Tokyo – yet it would take time for students there such as the future admiral and founding member of the Imperial Navy Enomoto Takeaki to make its fundamentals their own. In the meantime, Manjiro’s abilities manifested themselves critically at various turns, especially so in 1860 when he facilitated Japan’s ability to make good on the country’s obligation to return a visit to the United States to ratify the treaty that Townsend Harris had accomplished. After all, that 1858 agreement stipulated that Japanese delegates would go to the United States for a signing there, meaning that they would have to cross the Pacific, and, as mentioned, failure to do so would reveal potentially devastating strategic weaknesses to the outside world. Looked at broadly, beginning with the United States, the international treaties that the Tokugawa government agreed to in the 1850s established the presence of permanent foreigner settlements. These newcomers challenged long-standing social norms, while the gunships that enforced their privileges from offshore at once undermined the Tokugawa shogun’s hold on rule by urging competing factions to align with one group of foreigners against another – or against them altogether – and by making clear to all concerned with the future that what political scientists call “power projection” meant that Japan would need similar warships to secure its integrity, lest it collapse into disarray (as was happening in China). The best example of this was the Iwakura Mission (1871–1873), which remains the best government-sponsored study abroad trip ever and one that would have profound practical implications for the future course of Japan. In its final years, the Tokugawa regime had dispatched several missions to the United States and Europe, yet they paled in scope and effect to the Iwakura grand tour. Over 100 Japanese traveled for over two years on an itinerary that reads like an amplified version of Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days (which not by complete chance was published in 1873): the United States, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Holland, Russia, Germany, Prussia, Denmark, Sweden, Bavaria, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Egypt, what is now Yemen, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon), Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and China, before heading home. Government leaders, journalists, scholars, students, and industrialists

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together toured these places to consider ideas and objects that would be useful in building a new Japan – all at government expense. Many already were famous, such as Ito Hirobumi (1841–1909), who was so integral to creating the Japanese nation that for decades history books referred to him as the “George Washington of Japan.” Tsuda Umeko (1864–1929) was only six years old when she departed Japan on the mission, and she remained in the United States until she was eighteen and returned to Japan for several years before beginning Bryn Mawr College. She based that experience and model on her creation of the first college for women in Japan (which bears her name today) in addition to being a tireless advocate of girls’ and women’s education and equality in society. In the mix, Japan’s first modern arms race was on, and essential to any of the study abroad missions was the acquisition of ships. Immediately following Matthew Perry’s first visit in 1853 the shogun ordered two oceangoing ships for Japanese use for the first time in nearly 250 years. Within a few years the Kanko Maru and the Kanrin Maru arrived, both secured from Holland via contacts in Nagasaki. The 1860 voyage of the Kanrin Maru from Uraga Bay (where Matthew Perry initially arrived) to San Francisco marked the first Pacific crossing by a Japanese ship in 250 years, and also Japan’s first modern diplomatic foray. A number of sources credit the Dutch captains who brought the new ships to Japan with teaching navigation to the Japanese. This is true in terms of establishing basic curricula at the naval schools; examined a little more closely, however, it is clear that without John Manjiro this historically crucial ocean voyage among other things would likely have been far more difficult if not a wholescale failure (in no small part because the shogun’s rigid social order still held for the Japanese men on board even if the highest-ranking members could not sail or read charts). In a word, Manjiro’s combined skills turned numerous potential hazards into victories for Japan. Many of the men who would emerge for historians as the biggest names of the era were part of the entourage, including Katsu Kaishu and Fukuzawa Yukichi. As chief cadet at the newly formed Nagasaki Naval Academy, Katsu Kaishu was captain of the Kanrin Maru for its nascent Pacific crossing. Of minor samurai background, however, he would serve under the direction of Admiral Kimura Yoshitake. A US naval engineer and inventor, John M. Brooke, joined this ship while a second ship under full American command and crew, the Powhatan, carried most of the Japanese delegates, including the mission’s three chief envoys, Shinmi Masaoki, Muragaki Norimasa, and Oguri Tadamasa. Again, although not the most famous nor certainly not the highest in prestige, Manjiro was critical to making the voyage possible. Not only would he take control of the ship on occasion when others of greater rank and more prestigious birth lacked his oceangoing experience – something that might likely have been impossible on land – but he was also able to convey Kimura

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and Katsu’s good intentions and collegiality to Brooke (who appears in his own journal writings to have been on the verge of calling off the trip entirely out of frustration with the men’s lack of ability and seasickness among other things). Within weeks, the Kanrin Maru was set for San Francisco, where the Japanese envoys would embark on their famous and much-praised journey across the United States: “Not like the Chinese at all . . .” went a famous saying at the time. In Closing The 1868 Meiji Ishin literally “rewove” Japanese society and witnessed the overthrow of the Tokugawa shogunate and restored the emperor to complete and authoritarian control. Under the rallying cry, “Revere the Emperor! Expel the Barbarian!” anti-shogunal forces renamed Edo as Tokyo, brought the adolescent emperor there from his impoverished seclusion in Kyoto, placed him in the former shogun’s palace, and endowed him with “inviolable” privileges to rule their emerging nation-state – itself an entirely new political experiment in parliamentary and constitutional government modeled on a combination of European nations and the United States. At the time, China also had numerous foreign advisors (some of whom had great fondness for China and Chinese people and wanted the country to thrive) and also numerous political thinkers aware that they, too, needed to act boldly lest China be completely torn apart by outside pressures. Foremost among them was Li Hongzhang who, watching changes within Japan, advocated in the 1870s among other things for China to build several iron-clad ships to defend the coasts. Unfortunately for most Chinese people, however, their ruling family was even more self-interested than Japan’s Tokugawas. And, although no single person is ever responsible for the success or failure of a system of government – or a society for that matter – a woman known as Empress Dowager Cixi who effectively ruled the Qing dynasty to its death in 1861–1908 stands out for making extremely bad decisions at most critical historical junctures (at least as far as the survival of her country was concerned). During an era when countless young Chinese (and Japanese, Koreans, and Vietnamese) would endeavor to learn as much as they could about the world beyond what was long familiar in order to strengthen their countries, Cixi focused on lavish projects that glorified only an imaginary past and benefited only herself and her inner circle. To be sure, the artistic remains of her spending choices are truly beautiful. Yet, when foreign and domestic advisors at the time insisted that the government prepare Chinese soldiers for modern warfare, she and her advisors redirected the allocated funds to these lovely objects. In one of the most notorious examples in modern Asian history, when Japanese and Chinese troops initially engaged in combat in 1894 – at a moment that many

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historians measure as Japan’s foray into the transnational colonizing politics of the day – like their Japanese counterparts, Chinese troops were dressed in modern uniforms and equipped with then-modern weapons yet they had only one round of ammunition because the Empress Dowager had used the rest of the money designated for military modernization on her most important pet project: reconstruction of the resplendent Summer Palace where eunuchs towed her around a moat on a marble barge. Today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, at the time it cost the Qing dynasty control of their country. Equally important to consider, some currently maintain that changes begun in Japan with the Meiji era are definitional to a “correct” interpretation of the Japanese spirit and call now for a second Ishin to revitalize the nation (there is even a recently established political party by this name). Details of this view include the reinsertion of the emperor to a position of political power (the post– World War II constitution names the emperor as a “symbol of the State”), a lifting of the constitutional ban prohibiting Japanese forces from fighting overseas, and also a redefinition of religious organizations to allow their participation in public affairs among other things. Other Japanese, for their part, see in the historical Meiji moment the establishment of conditions that laid the groundwork for the rise of fascism and the utter destruction of their country during World War II’s devastating toll on the homeland. They would uphold the ban on sending troops overseas while allowing Japan to have a standing military to protect the nation if attacked and keep the emperor defined as is (and maybe reallow female emperors to the throne – something done away with in the Meiji moment). In this context, therefore, when considering the truly remarkable changes that swept through Japan during the second half of the nineteenth century, it is equally critical to understand that the changes engendered tremendous social dislocation and came at great costs to the majority of Japanese. In short, the results of the political, social, and economic dislocations in the wake of Matthew Perry’s “shock and awe” to Japan’s system are in no way evened out today, and the contemporary political use of the nation’s modern transformations have become one of the root causes of the so-called history wars that infect Asian international relations between the current government in Tokyo and the areas formerly under Japanese colonial rule until 1945. Groups favoring historical understanding of the grandeur of the successes for Japan of this moment use language such as “Take Japan Back” or “Make Japan Great Again.” Yet for all the exciting and positive changes those moments brought to Japanese society – such as public education for all, railroads, and the right for some to vote – divisions over how to understand the world that arrived in Japanese ports in the wake of Matthew Perry’s uninvited arrival are as deep today as they were then.

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Philippine National Independence, 1898–1904 Andrew Yeo

Scholars often point to war and great power conflict as major ruptures marking important turning points in history. It is no surprise, then, that students of US foreign policy and diplomatic history often treat the Spanish–American War in 1898 as a key juncture signifying US power in Asia. Commodore George Dewey’s decisive naval victory at the Battle of Manila Bay in May 1898 cleared any doubts about America’s role in the Pacific, and solidified the United States’ position as an imperial nation at the turn of the twentieth century. Often missing in this historiography, however, are the voices and actions of the people most affected (and afflicted) by great power conflict. Filipino revolutionaries were important actors in the Spanish–American War. Unfortunately, their narratives are often lost in favor of macro-historical treatments of US expansionism in the late nineteenth century. Consequently, the Philippine struggle for national self-determination remains peripheral to the study of Asian international relations during this period. To address this lacuna, I turn the spotlight on the Philippines independence movement and the transnational spread of liberal ideas. Where and how did ideas of national self-determination emerge in the Philippines? Drawing on arguments found in international relations, I explore the transnational diffusion of norms and liberal ideas among Philippine intellectuals, principally formed in Europe, but transported to the Philippines during the 1880s. In essence, this chapter explains how the diffusion of liberal ideas culminated in the declaration of independence from Spain, only to be followed shortly thereafter by US military occupation and the Philippine–American War from 1899 to 1902. The central “event” highlighted in this chapter is therefore not the Spanish– American War or the Philippine–American War, but instead the declaration of Philippine independence on June 12, 1898. The reading of the “Act of the Proclamation of Independence of the Filipino People,” accompanied with the unveiling of the new Philippine national flag, and a performance of the national anthem, took place almost a full six months prior to the end of the Spanish– American War. The focus on independence rather than war is thus a reminder that great power conflict intersected with (or was juxtaposed within) a much longer struggle for Philippine independence. 206

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Ironically, Philippine efforts at self-rule remained unpersuasive to US policymakers. Americans, including William Howard Taft, the governor-general of the Philippines, believed that their “little brown brothers” needed close guidance “to develop anything resembling Anglo-Saxon political principles and skills.”1 Such sentiments, however, ignored reality on the ground. Shortly after their declared independence, Filipino leaders managed to form a legislative body, hold elections, and draft a new constitution. This all took place before the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898, which officially ended the Spanish–American conflict and ceded the Philippines to the United States. Despite US intentions to colonize the Philippines, Filipino political leaders ratified their own constitution on January 21, 1899, marking the birth of the first Republic of the Philippines. Of course, the existence of both a Philippine nationalist government and a US occupying force was untenable. Three weeks later, fighting would ensue between US forces and Philippine guerillas, drawing the United States into its “first Vietnam” over the issue of national self-determination. In exploring the steps that led to Philippine independence, and its immediate and long-term aftermath, I organize this chapter into five sections. In the first section, I provide some historical context behind the rise of the Philippine intellectual class in mid- to late-nineteenth-century Europe. These ilustrados would lay the ground work for reform and eventual revolution. In the second section, I draw on concepts from international relations to demonstrate how the ilustrados functioned as carriers of ideas, agents of change, and norms entrepreneurs. Their writings, speeches, and actions played a key role in spreading ideas of liberal political reform and Philippine nationalism in their homeland. The third section explores the transition from the reform movement to revolution in the 1890s. Here I emphasize the transnational linkages between the ilustrados and their impact on younger revolutionaries such as Andrés Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo. I also highlight the institutionalization of liberal–nationalist ideas through the Biak-na-Bato and the Malolos constitutions. The establishment of the first Philippine republic should have demonstrated to both Spain and the United States the capacity for Filipino selfgovernment. The fourth section discusses the consequences and aftermath of the Philippine declaration of independence: the Philippine–American War and further colonial rule at the cost of hundreds of thousands of Philippine lives. The fifth section concludes by discussing how the Philippine independence movement and ensuing war represented an early example of the colonial struggles that would roil Asia in the twentieth century as newly emergent nationalist elites sought to dispel colonial powers.2 1 2

Quoted in Miller 1982, 134. I thank the editors for suggesting making the connection to other nationalist movements in Asia.

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The Rise of the Ilustrados Early State–Society Relations in Colonial Philippines The Spanish imperial footprint in the Philippines remained relatively light outside of Manila, the capital city. Unlike the colonies in the Americas, Spanish conquistadors who arrived in the Philippines in the late sixteenth century found few natural resources to extract. Hence, there was little need for mass exploitation of indigenous labor in the absence of mining or hacienda agriculture.3 Instead, the Philippines, and more precisely Manila, developed as a center for “galleon trade.” Chinese traders sold goods in Manila in exchange for Mexican silver, and then resold them across Asia and eventually Europe.4 Very few Spaniards left the entrepôt of Manila. To offset the shortage of civilian officials in the Philippines, Madrid therefore relied on the Catholic Church and its friars to administer its colony. Although the governor-general in the Philippines wielded immense executive power, including command of the colonial army, in practice secular rulers carried little authority over the friars who relied on local knowledge and influence to retain power in the provinces. A large percentage of the population did convert to Catholicism. However, only 5 percent of the local population spoke Spanish by the end of the nineteenth century.5 Conversion took place in the local language, and there was no concerted effort to educate Filipinos through Spanish language. Consequently, there was no widespread intelligentsia in the Philippines until perhaps the mid-nineteenth century.6 Education institutions, mostly run by the Church, were woefully underdeveloped. The Philippine colony, which consisted of over 7,000 islands, also lacked a common language. The unavailability of print, language barriers, and a poor education system help explain why “the great nationalist upheaval that rocked the Americas between 1810 and 1840 had no counterpart in the archipelago until the 1880s.”7 Liberalism and Education in Spain To understand the timing of the Philippine nationalist movement in the latter half of the nineteenth century, one needs to understand the political context of nineteenth-century Spain. Spain itself was under the throes of political and social change leading to periods of instability and violence. The first republican government established in 1812 only lasted two years before King Fernando VII and his 3 4 7

However, Patricio Abinales and Donna Amoroso (2017, 60) mention that hundreds of thousands of people were “uprooted and resettled” leading to the destruction of the indigenous economy. B. R. Anderson 1998, 194. 5 B. R. Anderson 1998, 195. 6 B. R. Anderson 1998, 196. B. R. Anderson 1998, 197.

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Carlist supporters reestablished traditional authority in 1814. Despite conservative rule, a new liberal constitution appeared in 1837. The next three decades were marked by military revolts, bringing both moderate and progressive governments to power. This liberal period eroded the power of the Church, resulting in the secularization of most religious orders in mid-nineteenthcentury Spain. Rising anti-Catholic attitudes in Spain during the mid-nineteenth century carried repercussions for state–society relations in the Philippines. The ability of the friars to continue their religious work in the Philippines depended on “their secular usefulness to the Liberal governments” as colonial administrators.8 Thus, the friars were expected to act as representatives of Spain and “uphold the authority of the mother country.”9 However, the friars’ antipathy toward liberal Spain and its secularization led them to stymie progressive ideas. The Church’s rejection of liberalism would eventually put the friars in increasing conflict with the rising tide of Philippine nationalism.10 Although the religious orders in the Philippines suppressed liberal reforms from Spain, the secular clergy (i.e., Filipino priests) and Filipino elites challenged the authority of the friars. Filipino soldiers led a mutiny in Cavite in 1872. Spanish authorities used the mutiny as a pretext to arrest Filipinos suspected of harboring liberal attitudes. Three Filipino priests were executed for allegedly supporting the mutiny and spreading anti-state propaganda. Nevertheless, the Cavite mutiny foreshadowed further native unrest. The primary site of social conflict during the second half of the nineteenth century was in higher education.11 As Benedict Anderson argues, “A serious education was not easy to acquire in the colony, where the Church was violently opposed to any inroads of liberalism from Madrid and controlled most local schools.”12 With opportunities for higher education blocked in Spain, Filipinos began seeking greater opportunities abroad. The rising demand for education coincided with the opening of the Suez Canal in 1868 and the rising wealth of mestizos (particularly Chinese mestizos). What began as a trickle of young, relatively well-to-do mestizos to Europe turned into a steady flow by the 1880s. The ilustrados (enlightened ones), the first true intelligentsia in the Philippines, emerged from this early wave of migration to Europe.13 Many young Filipinos in Spain studied medicine and law. Several, including the famed José Rizal, left for Spain as their own families were targeted and victimized for participating in anti-friar activities. Forming their own exile community, the Filipinos corresponded with one other using Spanish. 8 11 13

9 Schumacher 1997, 3. Schumacher 1997, 3. 10 Schumacher 1997, 3. Abinales and Amoroso 2017, 104. 12 B. R. Anderson 1998, 198. Majul 1974, 2; Schumacher 1997, 17; B. R. Anderson 1998, 198.

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As carriers of ideas14 and norms entrepreneurs,15 the role of the ilustrados cannot be understated when explaining the transnational diffusion of reformist, and later revolutionary, ideas. These ideas would lay the groundwork for national self-determination and the future conflict with the United States over Philippine independence. In describing the emergence of this new intellectual class, Anderson writes the following: [They] began a cultural assault on benighted clericalism and, later, on Spanish political domination. No less significant was the fact that, going to the same schools, reading the same books, writing for the same journals, and marrying each other’s sisters and cousins, they inaugurated the self-conscious consolidation of a pan-Philippine . . . mestizo stratum, where their elders had formed dispersed clusters of provincial caciques. It was these people who, at the very end of the century, began calling themselves “Filipinos,” a term which up till then had designated only Spanish creoles.16

What the ilustrados experienced in Spain, and in Europe more generally, profoundly shaped their thinking. The most valuable education the ilustrados received was not in the universities, but “in seeing the relative backwardness of Spain in relation to its European peers.”17 Spain’s education system was something left to be desired, and the universities and intellectual life were “far behind those of the rest of Europe.”18 As John Schumacher argues: The experience of freely discussing all ideas, of attacking or rejecting institutions of Church or State, of proclaiming the dogmas of liberty and progress would prove a heady stimulus to their aspirations. On the other hand, many of them would be appalled to observe the grave defects of Spanish political, social, and intellectual life at hand. Accustomed to having the mother-country held up to them as the ideal, they were saddened to learn that their idol had feet of clay when they saw how far more progressive the other countries of Europe were. The indifference of official Spain to Philippine affairs would add to their disillusionment. Noting the achievements of other countries and recognizing their own native qualities as in many respects superior to what they saw in Spain, some Filipinos began to think on what they could make of the Philippines themselves.19

The Propaganda Movement In Europe, the ilustrados grew more confident in setting a course of action for social and political reforms in their home country. José Rizal, the most famed ilustrado, was himself conscious of an emerging intelligentsia class to which he belonged. Writing in the 1880s, Rizal wrote that the ilustrados were in “constant communication with the rest of the Islands, and if today, it constitutes only 14 17

Philpott 2001. 15 Keck and Sikkink 1998. 16 B. R. Anderson 1998, 198. Abinales and Amoroso 2017, 105. 18 Schumacher 1997, 20. 19 Schumacher 1997, 20.

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the brains of the country, in a few years, it will constitute its whole nervous system and will manifest its existence in all the acts of the country.”20 Rizal completed his medical studies in Spain, but he also travelled and wrote extensively in places such as Germany, Great Britain, Italy, and France between 1882 and 1892. Benedict Anderson explains the significance of Rizal’s travels throughout Europe. It was only through the “spectre of comparison” that Rizal could see the backwardness of Spain relative to other European countries. As Anderson writes, “This put [Rizal] in a position generally not available to colonial Indians and Vietnamese . . . that of being able to ridicule the metropolis from the same high ground from which, for generations, the metropolis had ridiculed the natives.”21 The incompetence of Spanish rule and the hypocrisy of the Church provided fuel for Rizal’s writings, particularly his novels Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) and El Fililbusterismo (The Subversive). Reflecting the transnational nature of his writings and their impact, the novels were written in Spanish, published in Germany, and smuggled into the Philippines where the works were translated into local language and circulated surreptitiously.22 From Europe, the ilustrados published their ideas in newspapers, books, and pamphlets in what became known as the Propaganda movement. In addition to Rizal, key leaders of the movement involved lawyers, journalists, and doctors, including Marcelo del Pilar, Graciano Lopez-Jaena, and Mariano Ponce. They demanded equal political rights for Filipinos. The movement also addressed “administrative reform, eradication of corruption in the government, recognition of Filipino rights as loyal Spaniards, extension of Spanish laws to the Philippines, curtailment of the excessive power of the friars in the life of the country, and assertion of the dignity of the Filipino.”23 Taken collectively, the writings of the ilustrados produced “a greater social and political awareness among Filipinos.”24 Gregorio Sancianco’s book, El progresso de Filipinas (The progress of the Philippines), published in 1881, coincided with the first signs of collective action among the diaspora in Spain. In his book, Sancianco wrote, “If then, the Philippines is considered part of the Spanish nation and is therefore a Spanish province and not a tributary colony; if her sons are born Spanish just as are those of the Peninsula; if finally, recognizing in the Peninsula the rights of citizenship, one must equally recognize it in the Filipinos.”25 It is important to note that the Propaganda movement did not call for independence from Spain. Its focus was limited to political reforms and the demand for equal rights under the Spanish monarch.26 In the late 1880s, the Propaganda movement became closely associated with the biweekly La Solidaridad (Solidarity), founded in Barcelona by Graciano 20 22 24

Quoted in Majul 1960, 125. 21 B. R. Anderson 1998, 229. Abinales and Amoroso 2017, 108. 23 Abinales and Amoroso 2017, 106; Majul 1974, 2. Majul 1974, 2. 25 Quoted in Schumacher 1997, 23. 26 Majul 1974, 2.

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Lopez-Jaena, Marcelo del Pilar, Mariano Ponce, and others. The exile community had published earlier newspapers, such as the Circulo Hispano-Filipino (Hispano-Filipino Circular) in 1882 and España en Filipinas (Spain in the Philippines). However, the former lasted only two issues due to lack of funding, and the Chinese mestizos saw the latter as insufficient in advancing greater demands for reform against Spanish authorities.27 The first issue of La Solidaridad was published on February 15, 1889, as an eight-page issue. It included an editorial that stated the newspaper’s aims: “To combat all reaction and all backward steps; to applaud and accept every liberal idea and to defend progress; in a word, to be a propagandist first and foremost of all democratic ideals, hoping that these may reign in all nations here and beyond the seas.”28 The publication included news items relevant to the exile community and short stories, but its main articles articulated the grievances of the propagandists including the lack of representation in parliament, equality of rights, censorship, education, and the corruption of the friars. La Solidaridad targeted a European audience, particularly Spanish liberals who might take up the cause of reformers. However, as argued in the next paragraph, its readership reached the Philippines and played an important role in disseminating liberal ideas to Filipinos in a period where local print was strictly censored. La Solidaridad remained in continuous print for two years. By the end of 1890, however, differences in leadership and direction produced divisions among members. Most notably, these differences were represented by the organization’s two principle members: Del Pilar and Rizal. For Rizal, the effectiveness of the Propaganda movement had reached its limit; the idea of Filipino nationhood needed to be spread directly to the people. At the core of Rizal’s dissatisfaction was the movement’s failure to persuade Madrid to institute real change in their treatment of Filipinos. As Onofre D. Corpuz states, “The propaganda of La Solidaridad was doomed to fail because its message was primarily directed to the Spaniards, who would not listen.”29 Expressing disillusionment with the reform movement, Rizal wrote in one of his last letter’s from Europe, “I shall not write one more word for La Solidaridad. It seems to me it is in vain.”30 To bring reformist ideas, or more importantly the notion of Philippine national identity back home, leading ilustrados such as Rizal and Lopez-Jaena therefore returned to Manila in the early 1890s.31 27

28 31

Corpuz 1989, 199. Tensions existed within the Filipino exile community over race between “native Filipinos” (i.e., the non-Spaniards, including Chinese mestizos) and the Spanish mestizos and creoles. On this point, see Corpuz 1989, 200. Quoted in Corpuz 1989, 201. 29 Corpuz 2007, 227. 30 Quoted in Quibuyen 1999, 33. La Solidaridad and the reform movement in Spain would eventually whither as the group faced increasing financial difficulties, defections, and counterpropaganda from critics in Spain. See Abinales and Amoroso 2017, 109.

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The impact of the Propagandist movement remained equally limited in the Philippines as in Europe. Beyond Spanish repression and censorship, additional barriers including language (newspapers and documents were printed in Spanish) and geographic distance made it difficult for ordinary Filipinos to connect with the reformist movement. The 1890s would bring a close to the reformist phase of the Philippine nationalist movement. The propagandists in Europe were ultimately unsuccessful in bringing about policy change. However, this important group of transnational actors sowed the seeds of independence and national self-determination. Living in self-exile, their absence from the Philippines helped them develop a greater self-awareness of their distinct national character. In Europe, they were drawn to ideas of liberty and progress that were transmitted back to the Philippines.32 Although they wrote for a Spanish audience, their writings were also “enthusiastically read and reinterpreted by unintended audiences” in the Philippines. This included less privileged students in Manila, peasant leaders disgruntled with oppressive Catholic friars, and local elites.33 The Propaganda movement of the 1880s also helped radicalize other ilustrados and younger Filipinos. It contributed, if not inspired, the political education of the next generation of nationalist leaders including Andrés Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo, two figures who ultimately transformed the reform movement into a revolution a decade later. Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere, banned in the Philippines but read clandestinely, was arguably the most influential piece of writing in shaping Philippine nationalism. The novel forged an “intellectual relationship” between enlightened propagandists in Europe and disgruntled Filipinos in Manila unable to effectively mobilize.34 Its words helped readers imagine the Philippines as its own society and nation.35 More broadly, the plight of Filipinos in the colonies was transmitted through publications printed overseas. Books, newspapers, and pamphlets helped transmit liberal and national ideas from Europe to the Philippines. For instance, Andrés Bonifacio translated parts of Noli Me Tangere into Tagalog. He also owned a copy of Rizal’s novel, El Filibusterismo, and three volumes of La Solidaridad. As Onofre Corpuz argues, “The truth of the matter is that the ideas of revolution were no more the monopoly of the men in Manila than ideas of reform were the exclusive property of the ilustrados abroad.”36 In describing the shift from reformism to radicalism to revolution, Corpuz writes: As the decade of the propaganda began (1880) Bonifacio was a young seventeen, Mabini sixteen, Aguinaldo eleven, and Emilio Jacinto a boy at five. They did not 32 35

Cortes et al. 2000, 127. 33 Abinales and Amoroso 2017, 109–110. B. R. Anderson 1998, 230. 36 Corpuz 2007, 234.

34

Corpuz 2007, 230.

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experience the reformisms of the Propaganda but would inherit the fruit of its failure . . . they grew into manhood during the decade 1881–1890 learning from their elders, their political awareness being awakened or influenced by the latter.37

From Reform to Revolution The Katipunan Writing from Brussels in May 1891, José Rizal wrote to his colleagues that he was taking a temporary leave from the Propaganda movement to earn money before waging a “stronger crusade” back in Manila.38 Rizal had become embroiled in a political contest for leadership earlier that year with Marcelo del Pilar. His disillusionment with La Solidaridad and political infighting likely contributed to his decision to leave Madrid. Rizal’s final letter from Europe in October 1891 indicated a more radical shift in his thinking, and his frustration of living away from his homeland. Rizal briefly left for Hong Kong to practice medicine before returning to Manila in June 1892 to form La Liga Filipina. Established just eight days after his arrival, Rizal intended to use La Liga as a platform to build and encourage moral and political principles for Filipinos. These principles would become the basis for national unity.39 Self-reformation was key for La Liga in preparation for eventual independence from Spain.40 Unfortunately, La Liga only lasted for four days, ending with the arrest of Rizal on July 6, 1892. On the day of Rizal’s arrest, Andrés Bonifacio, who attended the inaugural La Liga meeting, established the Katipunan.41 The Katipunan operated as a secret, revolutionary society with the goal of uniting and bringing independence to the Philippines. In contrast to the Propaganda movement, the Katipunan derived its membership from the lower, non-ilustrado class. As Patricio Abinales and Donna Amoroso argue, it was a “change from Rizal’s Spanish to Bonifacio’s Tagalog” with a “movement shift from elite reformism to lower-class radicalism.”42 The aspirations of the Katipunan “were virtually identical to those stated by Rizal and the propagandists.” However, the leaders of the Katipunan believed that the political, moral, and social transformation of the Philippines would only come with the overthrow of Spanish rule.43 Due to its secret nature, the Katipunan grew at a snail’s pace its first two years. After adopting an organizational model and recruitment system similar 37 39 40 41 42

Corpuz 2007, 229. 38 Quoted in Corpuz 2007, 245; Quibuyen 1999. Filipino political theorist Cesar Majul (1974, 19) writes, “Rizal viewed man primarily as a moral being and society therefore as a system of moral relations.” Cortes et al. 2000, 132. Katipunan means “association” in Tagalog and is short for Kataastaasan Kagalanggalang Katipunan ngmgs Anak ng Bayan. Abinales and Amoroso 2017, 110. 43 Cortes et al. 2000, 135.

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to Rizal’s network of provincial and local councils for La Liga, membership grew more rapidly. The circulation of the Katipunan’s first newspaper in March 1896, the Kalayaan, also helped the rebels spread their ideas more widely. That same month, Emilio Aguinaldo, six year younger than Bonifacio, joined the Katipunan. As the Katipunan’s activity expanded, it was only a matter of time before the Spanish authorities discovered the underground movement. Colonial administrators suspected the existence of a secret society, and the organization was eventually outed by a friar on August 19, 1896. Colonial police gained access to meeting notes, publications, receipts, and most importantly, the membership list. Members were hunted down. Some were imprisoned and tortured. The authorities also rounded up many prominent Filipinos in Manila, mistakenly believing that the Katipunan’s source of support lay with the elite. Fortunately for the revolution, key leaders, including Bonifacio and Aguinaldo, managed to escape. A series of rebellions ensued, which transpired into a revolutionary movement. Although Bonifacio is often hailed as the “Father of the Revolution,” it was Aguinaldo’s military successes which helped push him past Bonifacio to lead the Philippine revolution against Spain.44 For Aguinaldo, the Katipunan was incapable of sustaining a revolution. He instead advocated the establishment of a revolutionary government built along republican lines.45 At the Trejeros Convention held on March 22, 1897, Philippine delegates agreed to form a supreme council to replace the Katipunan. The council elected Aguinaldo as president, and Bonifacio was given the position of director of the interior.46 Bonifacio presided over the election, but he declared the results invalid and refused to submit to Aguinaldo’s leadership. With political rivalries intensifying, Bonifacio was eventually arrested under charges of sedition and court-martialed. He was sentenced to death and executed by his fellow Filipino revolutionaries on May 10, 1897.47 By the end of May 1897, Aguinialdo’s stronghold in Cavite had fallen to the Spanish. Aguinaldo retreated to Biak-na-Bato in Bulacan province where he set up his revolutionary government and called for guerilla warfare. More germane to the ideas in this chapter, Aguinaldo established the Biak-na-Bato constitution. The constitution, “declared the separation of the Philippines from Spain, presented a bill of rights, and established a government along republican lines.”48 The Biak-na-Bato assembly elected leaders into the supreme council, again choosing Aguinaldo as president. 44 47 48

Corpuz 2007, 258. 45 Majul 1974, 4. 46 Majul 1974, 5. As Cortes et al. (2000, 160) explains, Bonifacio was ultimately killed by fellow Filipinos within his own secret society in a power struggle, and not by the colonial enemy. Majul 1974, 5.

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Although Aguinaldo and his associates did not establish the Philippine Republic until over a year later, some Philippine scholars have referred to the Biak-na-Bato government as “the first republican government for the Philippines.”49 The administrative provisions in the Biak-na-Bato constitution were apparently drawn from the Cuban constitution of Jimaguayu, but there was “no parallel to the four articles pertaining to the bill of rights.”50 The infusion of liberal ideas into the Biak-na-Bato constitution was instead a manifestation of earlier demands made by the ilustrados against the Spanish government. Guerilla warfare made it difficult for the Spanish government to completely stamp out the Philippine insurrection. Meanwhile, Aguinaldo became increasingly concerned with the Spanish regime’s recruitment and arming of local volunteers to apprehend the revolutionaries. A truce was therefore in order and signed between Aguinaldo and Spanish governor-general Fernando Primo de Rivera on December 14, 1897. The truce, known as the Pact of Biak-na-Bato, was designated to last for three years until September 1900. In exchange for political reforms, including the secularization of parishes, the Philippine revolutionaries were required to surrender their arms. Moreover, Philippine leaders, including Aguinaldo, agreed to their exile in Hong Kong. The Spanish government agreed to finance their living expenses during exile, which was to be covered in three installments. Aguinaldo and nineteen of his compatriots left for Hong Kong at the end of 1897. Although the fighting subsided, neither the regime nor the revolutionaries fully kept their end of the bargain. Rebellions continued to erupt in different parts of the country.51 Spanish–American War As the Spanish entered a truce with the Filipinos, war loomed on the horizon between the United States and Spain. Aguinaldo and other exiled Filipinos came into contact with US officials at the consulate in Hong Kong.52 The assistant secretary of the navy, Theodore Roosevelt, had already dispatched Commodore George Dewey to Hong Kong in November 1897 should war break out between the United States and Spain. With Spain withholding payment to the exiled revolutionaries, and with encouragement from US officials, the “Hong Kong junta” invalidated their truce with the Spanish. Aguinaldo planned to return to the Philippines to organize an army and resume the revolution.53 The United States declared war against Spain on April 21, 1898, and on May 1, Commodore George Dewey entered Manila Bay, quickly 49 52 53

Cortes et al. 2000, 162. 50 Majul 1974, 5n6. 51 Majul 1974, 164. Aguinaldo 1899, 6. Majul 1974, 7; As mentioned previously, the Biak-na-Bato Pact did not cease hostilities. By early 1897, guerilla warfare had resumed with rebel attacks taking place in the provinces. See Corpuz 2007, 325–327.

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overpowering the Spanish fleet. Ending his exile, Aguinaldo returned to the Philippines a month after the Battle of Manila on May 19, 1898, and declared Philippine independence on June 12. US hostilities against Spain opened an opportunity for Aguinaldo to align himself with the Americans. However, the decision to side with the United States was neither self-evident nor automatic. First, the Spanish colonial regime cobbled together a last-ditch effort to coopt Filipinos in their looming battle against the greater American threat. Spain faced a no-win situation if forced to fight US invaders and Filipino rebels simultaneously. Promising reforms they had previously denied to the ilustrados, the colonial authorities quickly assembled a Filipino militia and a consultative assembly in hopes of winning native support against the Americans. Volunteer officers in the Filipino militia would carry “assimilated ranks” in the Spanish Army.54 A month after the US declaration of war, the colonial regime managed to enlist 12,000–14,000 Filipinos.55 The consultative assembly addressed many of the earlier goals of the reform movement a decade earlier. The Spanish regime appointed eighteen men to the consultative assembly, mostly of the ilustrados class, which included propagandists in Europe and former members of the Katipunan. Pedro Paterno, the Filipino lawyer who brokered the truce between Aguinaldo and the Spanish government, and a leading member of the consultative assembly, announced that the Spanish would permit reforms “based on Spanish sovereignty, Filipino autonomy, and representation in the Cortes.”56 In effect, Spain was prepared to grant Filipinos an autonomous government. If on the one hand the Spanish were offering the chance for real reforms, on the other hand, it was unclear what a US victory might bring for Filipinos. Much has been made about an oral exchange between Aguinaldo and the newly promoted Admiral Dewey onboard the US flagship Olympia. The United States had already provided Filipinos supplies, ammunition, and transportation to resume their fight against Spain. However, Aguinaldo expressed to Dewey his fear that a US victory without Philippine independence might result in a potential war between the two sides. For weeks, Aguinaldo had sought a written guarantee from the United States ensuring Philippine independence. Spencer Pratt, a diplomat stationed in Singapore, relayed Dewey’s alleged remarks to Aguinaldo that a written agreement was unnecessary. The words of Dewey “were sacred” and “the government of North America was a most honorable, just, and powerful one.”57 Later, on board the Olympia, Dewey stated to Aguinaldo that Philippine independence would be guaranteed by “the honorable word of the Americans,” which was more efficient than written documents.58 As such, Americans and Filipinos should treat one another as 54 57

Corpuz 2007, 327. 55 Corpuz 2007, 330. 56 Corpuz 2007, 330. Cortes et al. 2000, 168. 58 Aguinaldo 1899, 10.

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allies and friends.59 There is no reason to believe that Dewey was insincere, and at the time, the admiral may not have anticipated US colonization of the entire archipelago.60 However, Dewey did not speak for the White House, which had already shifted its position toward annexation after the Battle of Manila in August 1898. The Spanish surrender was a theatrical farce, and it excluded Filipinos from any role they might play in gaining their independence. Following the siege on Manila, US and Spanish military commanders negotiated the process of Spain’s surrender in advance. To uphold Spanish honor, Dewey would conduct a “token bombardment” on two Spanish fortifications in Manila on August 13. Dewey’s flagship would then send a prearranged signal, at which point the Spanish would raise a white flag of surrender to sign a truce.61 Filipino representatives had no part in this discussion. In fact, the US military commander ordered Aguinaldo not to enter Manila until US troops secured the city.62 As James Blout, a US Army officer involved in the conflict noted, the Filipinos fought with the United States on the faith of a “gentleman’s agreement,” regarding independence, only to have that agreement repudiated once US victory was in sight.63 Blout writes, The bitterness that lies away down in the secret recesses of the hearts of the Filipino people today has its source at this point. They had a “gentleman’s agreement,” as it were, with us, not in writing, made at a time when the thought of a colony had never entered our minds. They fought a common cause with us on the faith of that agreement.64

The First Republic of the Philippines and US Imperialism Spain surrendered on August 13, 1898. The following day, the US military proclaimed its occupation of the Philippines, issued in English, Spanish, and Tagalog.65 General Wesley Merritt requested that Emilio Aguinaldo withdraw Philippine troops from the areas outlying Manila to avoid potential conflict. Aguinaldo complied, still holding onto a faint hope that Admiral Dewey would honor their oral agreement. Thus when Dewey ordered the seizure of all Filipino ships in Manila Bay, anger and disappointment permeated across the Filipino leadership. Rather than break into immediate hostilities, Aguinaldo advised caution and moderation. A peace treaty between Spain and the United States had yet to be 59 60

61 64

Cortes et al. 2000, 171; Wolff 1960, 66–69. Dewey had not received any orders from Washington DC and looked to guidance on the US Navy’s war plans, which made no reference to occupation of the Philippines beyond Manila. See Karnow 1989, 114. Karnow 1989, 124. 62 Cortes et al. 2000, 187. 63 Blount 1913, 128–129. Blount 1913, 129. 65 Corpuz 2007, 429.

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signed, and the Americans might still be persuaded of Philippine national selfdetermination. The revolutionary government moved ahead with plans for selfrule through the establishment of a representative assembly “to strengthen their cause in the eyes of the international community and vis-à-vis the United States” with the thinking that the US leaders might “be faithful to their own much-professed Jeffersonian principles.”66 La Independencia, the newspaper of the new Philippine government launched in October 1898 (and shut down a few weeks later by the US military government) stated in its first issue “Governing all Luzon, we wish to show all nations that we are capable of governing ourselves.”67 Aguinaldo moved the de facto Republic of the Philippines to Malolos on September 10, and on September 15 provided his inaugural speech to open the National Assembly (referred to as the Malolos Congress). The Treaty of Paris, which formally ceded Spanish control of the Philippines to the United States, was signed on December 10, 1898. In the meantime, Aguinaldo and other leaders continued to expand governing structures for an independent Philippine republic. On January 23, 1899, Filipino leaders unveiled the Malolos constitution, formally establishing the Republic of the Philippines (referred to as the Malolos Republic). Aguinaldo was sworn in as president. The new constitution established a representative form of government, separation of church and state, and a strong, single chamber legislative house vis-à-vis the executive and judicial branches.68 It also added a long list of individual rights. As mentioned in the introduction, the “event” of Philippine independence took place on June 12, 1898, in Biak-na-Bato. However, the existence of the first Philippine republic should give readers pause in considering how the ilustrados played a pivotal role in spreading liberal ideas two decades earlier, ultimately leading to this watershed moment. Rosario Mendoza Cortes and her collaborators draw out the connections linking the Propaganda movement to the newly established Maololos government in early 1899.69 The authors write, “The Propaganda, as a campaign for rights, and the Revolution, as a struggle for liberty, were part of the lives of the men in the Malolos Congress.” The constitution itself included the title, “The Filipino and their national and individual rights.”70 Even with the specter of war with the Americans looming, Aguinaldo believed the time had come to lay down their arms and live under a constitutional law in harmony with other nations. As Aguinaldo proclaimed, “We are no longer insurgents, we are no longer revolutionists . . . We are from now on Republicans, that is to say, men of law able to fraternize with all other nations, with mutual respect and affection.”71 66 68 71

Cortes et al. 2000, 191. 67 Quoted in Wildman 1901, 164. Abinales and Amoroso 2017, 115. 69 Cortes et al. 2000. Quoted in Cortes et al. 2000, 206.

70

Cortes et al. 2000, 206.

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Aftermath: War and Colonial Rule During the second half of 1898, the actions of Filipino leaders in Malolos reflected a nation ready to move forward with self-rule, even as US troops took control of Manila and proceeded with military occupation to other regions. If President William McKinley remained indecisive about the United States’ role in the Philippines at the conclusion of the Spanish–American War, in the weeks prior to ratification of the Treaty of Paris, the imperialists at home had won him over.72 Two weeks after signing the Treaty of Paris, McKinley issued a proclamation ordering the extension of US sovereignty across the entire Philippines. Parts of the text of McKinley’s “benevolent assimilation” address is worth quoting at length, especially when juxtaposed with the brutal character of the Philippine–American war that would ensue just a few weeks later: the authority of the United States is to be exerted for the security of the persons and property of the people of the Islands and for the confirmation of all their private rights and relations. It will be the duty of the commander of the forces of occupation to announce and proclaim in the most public manner that we come not as invaders or conquerors but as friends, to protect the natives in their homes, in their employments, and in their personal and religious rights. All persons who, either by active aid or by honest submission, co-operate with the Government of the United States to give effect to these beneficent purposes will receive the reward of its support and protection . . . Finally, it should be the earnest and paramount aim of the military administration to win the confidence, respect, and affection of the inhabitants of the Philippines by assuring to them in every possible way that full measure of individual rights and liberties which is the heritage of free peoples, and by proving to them that the mission of the United States is one of benevolent assimilation, substituting the mild sway of justice and right for arbitrary rule. In the fulfillment of this high mission, supporting the temperate administration of affairs for the greatest good of the governed, there must be sedulously maintained the strong arm of authority to repress disturbance and to overcome all obstacles to the bestowal of the blessings of good and stable government upon the people of the Philippine Islands under the free flag of the United States.73

General Elwell Otis, the US governor-general of the Philippines, feared that Aguinaldo would interpret McKinley’s proclamation as a direct challenge to Philippine independence. He therefore delayed publishing the proclamation until January 4, 1899. As Otis confessed, “there were certain words and expressions such as ‘sovereignty,’ ‘right of cession’ and those which directed immediate occupation . . . though most admirably employed . . . might be advantageously used by the Tagalog war party to incite widespread hostilities among the natives.”74 To avoid conflict, General Otis altered McKinley’s original proclamation. Among several unauthorized edits, Otis erased mention of “American sovereignty over the Philippines.”75 However, some members of 72 75

Karnow 1989, 125–38. Miller 1982, 60.

73

McKinley 1898.

74

Quoted in Miller 1982, 52.

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the Filipino government had already seen copies of the original proclamation. They rejected McKinley’s words as a sign of temporary appeasement until the United States could impose a much more oppressive form of colonial control akin to Spanish rule. Relations worsened between the two countries with tensions extending between the Philippine and US armies. A skirmish on the evening of February 4, 1899, escalated into a firefight. In Washington DC, Congress did not have the required two-thirds majority to ratify the Treaty of Paris ahead of the February 6 vote. However, reports of violence allegedly instigated by Filipinos against US soldiers helped tip the scales in favor of ratification by one vote past the two-thirds majority (57 in favor, 27 against). Some scholars speculate that the Americans had contrived the outbreak of war.76 Aguinaldo had shown relative restraint up to this point, hoping to persuade the US Senate that the Philippines were capable of self-governance. However, the duplicity of American actions – beginning with Admiral Dewey’s oral agreement to respect Philippine sovereignty, to General Otis’s alteration of McKinley’s proclamation – had reached a boiling point. The firefight between the two militaries on February 4 would mark the beginning of a three-year war lasting until 1902. Historians have referred to the Philippine–American War as America’s “first Vietnam war” due to its brutality and tactics.77 Unable to match the superior firepower of the US military, the Philippine army and their supporters resorted to guerilla tactics. Unfortunately for Filipinos, whatever sense of Christian duty compelled the Americans to civilize their Philippine brethren, it did not prevent the US military from resorting to brutal violence. The US military pursued a “depopulation campaign” to weed out nationalist sympathizers in rural areas. As the US governor of Abra province described, “Whole villages had been burned, storehouses and crops had been destroyed, and the entire province was as devoid of food products as was the valley of Shenandoah after Sheridan’s raid during the Civil War.”78 Additionally, the US military established concentration camps, corralling villagers to eliminate support for Philippine resistance. The use of torture was common. The practice of modern-day waterboarding – then referred to as a “water-cure” – was used against Filipinos to extract information.79 According to one estimate, approximately 22,000 Philippine soldiers and 500,000 civilians were killed during the three-year war on Luzon and Visayan Islands, and 100,000 Muslims in Mindanao.80 In comparison, 4,234 US soldiers died, and 2,818 were wounded. Aguinaldo was eventually captured in March 1901. Leadership was also divided as a group of moderate nationalists had become more amenable to 76 77 78 80

Miller 1982, 59; Schirmer and Shalom 1987, 10; Cortes et al. 2000, 212. Abinales and Amoroso 2017, 117; Shaw and Francia 2002, 156 n20. Quoted in Schirmer and Shalom 1987, 16. 79 Jones 2012, 1–2; Cortes 2000 et al., 256–259. Abinales and Amoroso 2017, 117.

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collaborate with the Americans and form a government under a US protectorate. By 1902, guerilla resistance had mostly dissipated. It is ironic, that the United States, while waging a bloody campaign to eliminate Philippine resistance, continuously evoked liberal ideas and principles in support of colonization. For instance, Secretary of State Elihu Root drafted a commission to establish a civil government in the Philippines. This commission was designed “not for our satisfaction . . . but for the happiness, peace, and prosperity of the people of the Philippine Islands” and that “the principles of government which they should establish and maintain in the Philippines were those which had been made as the basis of the American system . . . essential to the rule of law, the maintenance of individual freedom, and the preservation of liberty and law.”81 Eventually, the administration of Philippine affairs would fall under the jurisdiction of the US Bureau of Insular Affairs (BIA). The BIA carried the task of administrating colonial policies while simultaneously reconciling colonization with “American republican and democratic traditions.”82 Although the United States eventually permitted autonomous governance, legally speaking Philippine independence would not happen until after World War II in 1946. Conclusion June 12, the date marking Aguinaldo’s declaration of independence from Spain (and regardless of the fact that the country was (re)colonized by the United States six months later), is still celebrated today as Independence Day in the Philippines. It is therefore appropriate to pinpoint Philippine independence as a significant event in Philippine history. Fueled by the transnational spread of liberal ideas from Europe to the Philippine colony, this event marked a high point in the Philippine movement for national independence. Unfortunately, it was not the culmination of a two-decade-long process of national selfdetermination. Nationalist mobilization and war did not produce a free and independent Philippine republic. Although one might view US colonial rule as the new stable equilibrium, the push for Philippine independence, albeit through largely institutional means, persisted well into the first half of the twentieth century.83 Beyond the Philippines, the declaration of independence and its aftermath carries important insights for historical international relations in Asia. The focus in this chapter has been on individual agents of change, most notably the ilustrados and their revolutionary successors, with the latter generation 81 83

Quoted in Cortes et al. 2000, 247. 82 Cruz 1974, vii. Philippine elites, who remained codependent on US power, navigated a long-term transition to independence by negotiating with the United States and through legislative and electoral means.

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drawing inspiration from the writings of the former. This does not imply that other political factors and structural conditions – including political upheaval in Spain, and US economic expansion and imperialism – were less important. However, it highlights two important facts. First, nationalist movements often carried an international dimension, either through the transnational spread of ideational or material support or by virtue of being situated within the politics of larger great power competition. Second, the anti-colonial struggle in the Philippines was an early indicator of the challenges that would confront similar movements of national self-determination in colonial Asia in the twentieth century. The Indian movement against the British was already in motion during the time of Philippine independence, but other anti-colonial struggles including Koreans in colonial Japan and the Vietnamese in colonial Indochina (France) would exhibit similar characteristics with the Philippine independence movement. Newly emergent national elites would borrow or gravitate toward a particular set of ideologies (i.e., republicanism, communism, Christianity, etc.) to frame their nationalist discourse. But as the Philippine independence movement suggests, intellect and reason (or ideational power), while effective in mobilizing the masses, were mostly insufficient in persuading colonial powers to relinquish their colonies. Thus violence, if not outright war, became a common repertoire among twentieth-century nationalist independence movements. In the West, it is often forgotten that the first US experience with guerilla tactics and jungle warfare against a nationalist movement in Southeast Asia took place almost seventy years prior to the Vietnam War. Unlike Vietnam, however, the Philippine combatants were a group of nationalists who aspired to adopt the same liberal, republican form of self-rule as espoused by their American colonizers. The irony of the Philippine declaration of independence and the United States’ response should not be lost on international relations scholars, and is therefore worth highlighting as one of twelve important events in Asian history.

13

The Sino-Japanese War, 1894–1895 Seo-Hyun Park

Introduction The Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895)1 is conventionally described as the “clash of two orders,” with Qing China and Chosŏn Korea representing the old order and Meiji Japan representing the new.2 It was the culmination of more than a decade-old rivalry between China and Japan over the Korean peninsula. The immediate trigger for the outbreak of violence was Chinese military intervention in Korea in the spring of 1894. At the prodding of the Qing envoy in Hansŏng (Seoul), Yuan Shikai, the Korean court requested military assistance from the Qing in order to quell the peasant rebellions that had spread into a Donghak (Eastern Learning) movement. Japan sent its own troops to Korea, claiming that the Qing had violated the terms of the 1885 Tianjin Convention, in which the two sides had agreed to mutually withdraw their military forces from the Korean peninsula and to notify each other in case of any future troops dispatch. Even after a ceasefire was brokered between the Korean government and the rebels, and ignoring protests from the Qing and Western powers, Japanese troops remained in Seoul. On July 17, 1894, Japan successfully negotiated and signed the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Commerce and Navigation, which replaced the existing unequal treaty Japan had signed under duress. Perhaps emboldened by this newly acquired status, the Japanese government maneuvered to install a pro-Japanese government in Korea.3 One of the first steps taken by this new Korean government was to expel the Beiyang (Northern) Army of Qing China from Korean territory. Japan and China declared war against one another on August 1, 1894. To the surprise of many observers, including many in Japan, the Japanese forces defeated the Chinese in successive battles on land and sea, first in the battle of Pyongyang on the Korean peninsula and the naval battle in the Yellow Sea in September 1894. Japan continued to win battles in Port Arthur (Lushun) in November 1894 and in Weihaiwei in February 1895. With its capital Beijing under threat, the Qing conceded defeat and signed the Treaty of Shimonoseki 1 2

The Sino-Japanese War is also known as the Jiawu zhanzheng (甲午戰爭), Nissin sensō (日清戦 争), and Ch’ŏng-il jŏnjaeng (淸日戰爭) in China, Japan, and Korea respectively. S. C. M. Paine 2003. 3 Mitani 2011, xiv.

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on April 17, 1895. The terms of the treaty dictated that China recognize the complete independence of Korea, pay Japan 200 million taels in war indemnities, and cede control of the Liaodong peninsula, Taiwan, and the Penghu Islands to Japan. In addition, the Qing government opened four more treaty ports, gave railroad concession rights to Japan, and granted unilateral extraterritorial privileges to Japanese nationals in various industry and manufacturing sectors in northeast China. Leading explanations for the Sino-Japanese War using international relations theory adopt some version of the “rise of Japan” narrative. The focus of these studies is to explain the outbreak of war in 1894 as a result of the disruption in the systemic status quo or as an early warning signal toward Japan’s expansionism. In the following, I examine two distinct theoretical frameworks, which identify as the key causes of war between Qing China and Meiji Japan: heightened threat perceptions owing to the changing military and economic balance of power between the two sides; and the rise of the military as an organization in Japan. While theories of power transition or military expansionism driven by pathological civil–military relations offer plausible explanations for the Japanese decision to go to war, neither account fully captures the broader strategic context of late-nineteenth-century East Asia. First, it is important to note that the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895 occurred in an environment of prevailing institutional uncertainty and repeated failures of negotiated outcomes both before and after the war. Much of this was owing to the fact that East Asian governments were attempting to adjust to the breakdown of existing diplomatic institutions while simultaneously managing the new rules of the game in “international society.” Rather than treating the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895 as a purely bilateral interstate conflict, moreover, I argue that the war is better understood as part of a series of actual and potential diplomatic and military crises involving not only China and Japan, but also Britain, France, Germany, the United States, and, in particular, Russia. Finally, the significance of the Sino-Japanese War then lies with not only its immediate outcome of establishing Japan’s new status in Korea and in the region, but also its long-term consequences for East Asian international relations – that is, intensified strategic competition among the Western powers – and now, Japan – over not just economic privileges in treaty ports but control over territories in East Asia. Existing Accounts of the Sino-Japanese War Using International Relations Theory The Rise of Japan and Decline of China In a recent article, Andrew Greve and Jack Levy argue that the Sino-Japanese War was the result of Japan’s status dissatisfaction following the Meiji

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restoration and its successful modernization allowing it to reach power parity with China.4 By extension, an arms race – then war – between China and Japan was an inevitable outcome produced by such disruption in the existing status quo. In a similar vein, S. C. M. Paine has referred to the Sino-Japanese War as a pivotal turning point in which the world witnessed a “reversal in the Far Eastern balance of power.”5 These perspectives tend to overestimate the strict dichotomy between an “old/Asian” China versus a “new/Western” Japan. By doing so, they reproduce the common misconception that the Sino-Japanese War was a war waged by a strong, modern Japan against a weak, backward China. This dichotomous portrayal is misleading on several accounts. For starters, both Japan and China underwent significant military reforms prior to the 1890s. In a well-documented case of Western learning and rapid modernization, the Meiji government modeled its military after the French, Germans, and the British in the 1870s and 1880s.6 What is less acknowledged is the fact that under Li Hongzhang’s (1823–1901) leadership, the Beiyang army and fleet had undergone modernizing reforms since the early 1860s, which is a decade earlier than Japan’s military modernization. In fact, historians have recently argued that the warships built at Jiangnan Arsenal in the 1870s and the 1880s were among the most technologically advanced in Asia.7 Li also hired foreign military instructors, established the Tianjin Academy for military education in the 1880s, and sent military officers abroad for further training.8 This modernized army also tested its mettle against internal revolts in China in the 1860s and 1870s. After 1881, Chinese forces also engaged in several battles against France in Tonkin (Vietnam), eventually culminating in the Sino-French War of 1884–1885.9 Photographic and pictorial evidence from journalistic accounts of the Sino-Japanese War also appear to corroborate the view that it was a “war that took place between two east Asian countries that had modernized their armies for decades under Western influence . . .. Both Chinese and Japanese war pictures conveyed an ordered advancement of their modern military troops.”10 Qing China lost the war against Japan, then, not because of reasons “technical or technological – it was political.”11 While Japanese military modernization occurred under a newly consolidated revolutionary government, the Qing court faced greater opposition to and costs for wide-scale reforms due to the presence of hundreds of thousands of soldiers in long-standing armies since the seventeenth century.12 A second and related political barrier was the lack of a cohesive war plan in China, owing to the absence of a centralized military command. The Qing court was internally divided on how to deal with Japanese, 4 6 8 11

5 Greve and Levy 2018. S. C. M. Paine 2003; 2017. 7 Drea 2009, 23–69; Lone 2000, 5–20. Andrade 2017, 274–276; Yue 1999, 16–24. 9 Fröhlich 2014, 230–231. Fröhlich 2014, 216. 10 Fröhlich 2014, 234. Andrade 2017, 274. 12 Andrade 2017, 275–276.

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Russian, and other encroachments into the Korean peninsula. While reformists such as Li Hongzhang sought to avoid conflict and buy time for selfstrengthening efforts, others called for active military defense against Western and Japanese threats to Chinese interests. The Chinese armies were spread thin, however, having been deployed for “frontier defense” in Central Asia since 1875. But the Qing court had one notable advantage – that is, the explicit and implicit backing of many Western powers, who had commercial and strategic interests in China. By waging war against China, Japan risked diplomatic isolation at best and Western intervention at worst.13 This is why, on the eve of the Sino-Japanese War, Li Hongzhang continued to rely on diplomacy and delayed deployment of troops from his sizeable Beiyang Fleet. The war itself was not a full-scale war between two fully mobilized nation-states. It was a limited war, fought between the Japanese army and navy on the one hand, and Qing China’s regional force on the other. According to one description: China fielded only a regional force, and officials outside the northeast were in varying degrees either uninvolved or actively distanced themselves from the war. Also, while Japan employed about 174,000 troops on the battlefield, roughly 60 per cent of the nearly one million Chinese soldiers were untrained conscripts. In addition, the Chinese government did not want war and looked for the earliest possible truce.14

In other words, domestic political factors, rather than inherent technological advantages or a clear overwhelming economic and military power imbalance favoring one side over the other, played critical roles in determining the Chinese and Japanese path toward war. The Rise of the Japanese Army and Japan’s Path Toward Imperialism Another dominant narrative of the Sino-Japanese War involves the rise of the military in Japanese politics, leading the country on a path toward imperialism and overexpansion.15 Japan’s victory in the war had the effect of elevating the status of the military in Japanese society and led to cultural distancing from and denigration of the Chinese in the Japanese mass media.16 From this view, the Sino-Japanese War is the beginning of a linear path toward Japan’s increasingly aggressive foreign policy, led by the military, that culminates in the colonization of Taiwan, Korea, and northeast China as well as successive wars against Western imperial powers. 13 15 16

Larsen 2008, 57–71; Andrade 2017, 285–286. 14 Lone 2000, 29. Snyder 1991, 112–152; Tsuzuki 2000; Beasley 1987; Hackett 1971; Conroy 1960. Dower 2008; D. Keene 1971.

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Yet, the reality was far more complicated. In the decade leading up to the Sino-Japanese War, the Japanese military suffered from internal divisions, opposition from civilian politicians, and the threat of military intervention from those Western powers with economic and strategic interests in Asia. In fact, both Qing China and Meiji Japan, despite frequent clashes over the Korean peninsula in the 1870s and 1880s, were careful to pursue diplomatic solutions, eventually culminating in the Tianjin Convention of 1885. It is also important to note that during the war itself, the Japanese army showed limited aims. The Japanese army lacked sufficient planning for not only the type of war that was to be fought on the Asian continent but also the settlement of the war in its aftermath. Even with a more centralized organization, compared to the Qing, the Japanese army showed a lack of preparedness, evident in its hiring of 153,000 civilian contractors, laborers, rickshaw men, and coolies to sustain its war machine; long delays in supply lines because of poor quality maps and lack of knowledge of terrain; soldiers, desperate for food, being forced to forage and steal; and epidemic outbreaks and a shortage of field hospitals, military doctors, and even opiates.17 Yamagata Aritomo, commander of the First Army during the war, reportedly declared just prior to the outbreak of hostilities that Japan’s chance of victory was “too small.”18 When Yamagata was unexpectedly recalled to Tokyo in December 1894, a division of Japanese soldiers was left stranded without food and adequate winter clothing in Haicheng (in northeast China), surrounded by 20,000 Chinese forces. Japan’s overall military successes were in spite of this lack of, rather than because of, a coordinated war effort by the Japanese military. Even while engaging in coercive diplomacy, Japanese leaders were careful to signal limited expansionist aims in China – particularly to Western diplomats in the region. The Japanese army and Prime Minister Itō Hirobumi deliberately avoided a strategy of a direct assault against Beijing and rather opted to gradually move northward up the Korean peninsula, and later, to open a second front in Taiwan (even further away from Beijing) as a hedge.19 In other words, we should not overstate the significance of Japanese participation in the Sino-Japanese War in support of the view that military modernization led to an unfettered and inevitable path toward imperialism. While it is important to note that the military gained newfound status and support within Japanese politics following its unexpected victory over the Beiyang Fleet, what the military wanted before, during, and after the war was not that much different from their civilian counterparts. In the decades surrounding the Sino-Japanese War, Japanese leaders were united in their quest for overturning the unequal treaties they had signed with Western powers and establishing themselves as economically and militarily competitive Westphalian sovereign states. 17

Drea 2009, 84–85.

18

Lone 2000, 28.

19

Lone 2000, 36–39; Mitani 2011, xiv–xv.

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The “rise of Japan” narratives of the Sino-Japanese War overlook the broader underlying causal context of the war. Nor do they capture the true significance of the war in terms of the enormous transformations it necessitated in East Asian international relations. Focusing exclusively on either the Sino-Japanese competition for regional hegemony or Japanese military modernization assumes that bilateral diplomatic conflict and domestic institutional priorities were developing in a vacuum. Both of these explanations leave out or underemphasize an entire contingent of important characters and conditions – that is, the Western powers and imperial competition within the region. As Yamagata Aritomo remarked, in 1893, on the eve of war against China, “Neither China nor Korea is our enemy: it is Britain, France, Russia.”20 Japanese, Chinese, and Korean foreign policies before, during, and after the Sino-Japanese War were the result of their shifting views of the West and one another at the level of domestic and regional politics. The Sino-Japanese War did not end “traditional” East Asia; it was already transitioning via extraterritoriality in treaty ports, foreign missionaries, and internal rebellion. Thus, by the 1890s, and especially after 1895, the region was no longer a contained system, but rather “open.”21 Why Did War Erupt in 1894? In order to understand the underlying and immediate causes of the SinoJapanese War, we need to first and foremost recognize the fact that it was not an isolated incident in late-nineteenth-century East Asia. It came on the heels of numerous diplomatic and/or militarized crises, big and small, and was also followed by a series of bilateral and multilateral conflict. Here, I identify two major causes of prolonged conflict in the East Asian region in the nineteenth century: the uncertainty of rules within an institutional and strategic environment of legal pluralism; and the presence of multiple strategic competitors who were bilaterally and multilaterally rewriting the rules of the game. First, Japan and China both began to recognize that their future strategic interests would be affected by their respective position in Korea and their externally recognized status in the regional and international order. Second, Japan and China were not only competing with one another, but against Western powers, who simultaneously had a stake in maintaining the existing treaty port system but did not want to risk costly military action. War became a more viable option by 1894, when it became clear that Japanese merchants continued to be shut out of Chinese-dominated Korean treaty ports, even after a bilateral agreement in 1885 stating Japanese and Chinese commitment to recognizing Korea’s status as an independent nation. The Donghak rebellion, to the Japanese leaders, was 20

Lone 1994, 25.

21

Katzenstein and Shiraishi 1997; Osterhammel 1986.

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further evidence of domestic instability in Korea inviting Chinese and Russian intervention – and likely irrevocable loss of Japan’s influence on the Korean peninsula. Breakdown of Legal Pluralism According to rationalist theories of war, wars result from uncertainty about one another’s future intentions (i.e., lack of information) or perceived costs of early concessions, especially if they can negatively affect a country’s future bargaining position or lock in permanent advantages (i.e., commitment problems).22 The outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War was not simply a breakdown of bargaining between two adversaries under conditions of rapidly shifting military power, but involved multiple, more powerful countries who could affect their future bargaining power. A prewar concession would have affected not only their economic and strategic interests in Korea, but their ability to deal with Western powers. This was especially detrimental to Japan, whose two major foreign policy goals at the time were to overturn the unequal treaties it had signed with the West and to check the southern advancement of Russia. Thus, for the Japanese, codifying the “independent” status of Korea, both to protect Japan’s economic and strategic interests against Chinese dominance and to prevent the further spread of economic imperialism via a Western-led multilateral treaty port system, was critical to any negotiated outcomes. Defining and declaring sovereign independence, however, was complicated by Japan’s and Korea’s ambiguous status within the treaty port system that had been established since the Opium Wars. Whereas China had largely been able to manage and contain the influence of Western powers within its treaty ports, Japan adopted a different course of domestic legal reforms in the hopes of convincing Western treaty powers to abolish extraterritoriality and consular jurisdiction in Japan.23 In the decades leading up to the 1894–1895 war, however, “the legally pluralistic Qing Empire clashed with the increasingly centralistic Japanese state, which had abolished most remnants of government-sanctioned legal pluralism and tolerated little or no foreign interference in its legal system, even when only foreigners were concerned.”24 For almost thirty years, the Chinese and Japanese had been involved in complex extraterritorial disputes, until “the Treaty of Shimonoseki marked the shift from a bilateral to a unilateral extraterritorial regime, which made it possible for Japan to join the ranks of the Western treaty powers. Now the Japanese were . . . able to share all the privileges the other treaty powers had gained through the most-favored-nation arrangements.”25 22 23

Fearon 1995; Powell 2006. I thank Scott Wolford for suggesting this framing. Kayaoglu 2010, 100–101. 24 Cassel 2012, 149–150. 25 Cassel 2012, 160.

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Leading up to the war, Japan and China continued to battle over extraterritoriality and the uncertain rules of the game. As Pär Cassel notes, extraterritoriality itself was “a practice, which evolved and took shape in contact with a legally pluralistic environment.” The administration and enforcement of foreign jurisdiction continued to be contested in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in a “context of competing institutions and legal orders.”26 Crucial in this new transitional environment was the performance of competing rules in front of Western audiences. In the 1880s, Qing China began unprecedented interventions into Korean politics and aggressively enforced the ritual protocols expected of a tributary state, including demands of a public display of fealty to the Qing court by the Korean king. In spring 1890, following the death of the Great Queen Dowager Cho, the Qing court insisted that the Chosŏn king publicly perform the kyoyŏng rite in which he would greet the Qing embassy outside the walls of Seoul and kowtow to the imperial letter of condolence.27 Legal pluralism, moreover, allowed convenient and varied interpretations of diplomatic agreements, further frustrating Japanese leaders and causing them to abandon negotiations with Qing representatives in 1894. It should be noted that the Sino-Japanese War was not the first time Japan had tried to negotiate an acceptable outcome with the Chinese. The Treaty of Ganghwa (1876) to open Korea had been mediated by the Chinese, and Japan and China had attempted to avoid military escalation over Korea in 1882, 1884, and finally in the 1885 Tianjin Convention. But the Japanese grew increasingly frustrated and skeptical of these agreements. In the Imo military revolt of 1882, members of the traditional Korean army, demanding fair pay and opportunities as in the Japanese-trained army, attacked the Royal Palace and the Japanese legation. The Chinese sent 4,500 soldiers to Korea, and the Japanese responded with four warships and a battalion of armed soldiers. At the insistence of Japan, an agreement was reached with the signing of the Jemulpo (Incheon) Treaty on August 30, 1882, stipulating that Korea pay war reparations to Japan, consent to the deployment of Japanese troops to protect their legation in Seoul, and dispatch an apology mission to Tokyo. But the Japanese learned, to their dismay, that the Chinese also signed a trade agreement with Korea in 1882, leading to a rapid increase in the number of Chinese merchants and the volume of trade between the two countries.28 A coup led by mostly Japanese-educated (or inspired) Korean reformers in December 1884 led to another round of military clashes between Japan and China. The coup was short-lived, and the coup leaders were executed or exiled. Conservatives in the Korean court soon returned to power with the assistance of the new Chinese resident-general Yuan Shikai, and his 1,500 Chinese troops, 26 28

Cassel 2012, 8. 27 Van Lieu 2009, 84–85. Hamashita 2001, 72–77; Joo 2011, 125–131; Larsen 2008, 68–70.

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sent to Korea by Li Hongzhang. On April 18, 1885, Li and Itō Hirobumi met in Tianjin to sign an agreement, whereby both sides promised to pull their expeditionary forces out of Korea in four months; King Kojong of Korea would be advised to hire military instructors from a third party (neither Japanese nor Chinese); and neither country would send troops to Korea without prior notification of the other. For the Japanese, this was an attempt to diminish China’s exclusive influence over Korea, but the Chinese continued to increase their economic and political influence over Korea, with the appointment of Yuan Shikai as resident-general of Korean affairs (1885–1894).29 By 1894, Japan recognized the fragility of the 1885 Tianjin Convention and also its inability to deter Chinese attempts at gaining influence in Korea. As stated previously, negotiations between Japan and China were complicated even further by the fact that they were operating in different institutional environments: China as a firmly entrenched and privileged actor in the treaty port system; Japan navigating its precarious position as a disadvantaged newcomer to the rapidly expanding system of nation-states. Unlike the other Western powers, Japanese commercial and strategic interests were incompatible with the old order, in which China and the Western powers had vested interests. As a latecomer to the preexisting environment of legal pluralism, Japan was confronted at once with Chinese defense and utilization of dualistic legal interpretations and Western reluctance to treat Japan as an equal nationstate. In 1894, Japan was not only responding to a militarily weak China, but participating as a newly created modern nation-state in the international system. Russia on Their Minds Japan and China were not the only two external powers interested in expanding their influence on the Korean peninsula. Japan was increasingly fearful of a Russian invasion of Korea and did not believe China could protect its former tributary state.30 Pro-Russian reformers emerged in Korean politics as well, some of whom were disappointed with the lack of Japanese support for previous reform attempts. Others were suspicious of Japanese intentions in Korea and sought Russia (and the United States) as potential allies in counterbalancing Japan and China. Korean neutrality proposals had been floated by various representatives and foreign policy advisors from France, Germany, Russia, Britain, and to a lesser extent the United States, since 1882.31 The threat of Russia loomed large in Japanese strategic thinking, especially with the commencement of the building of the Trans-Siberian Railway (1891– 1897). Russia was identified as a long-term threat, and Korea was identified as 29

Conroy 1960, 154–156; Beasley 2000.

30

Jin 2016, 43–44.

31

Jin 2016, 128–131.

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a likely battleground.32 What differentiated Russia from the other Western powers was their geographical proximity to Japan. Russian plans for constructing a Trans-Siberian Railway added urgency to existing Japanese security concerns about checking Russian power in Korea and in northeast China. From Japan’s perspective, any concessions to China in 1894 could mean additional opportunities for Russia to exploit its already increasing influence over Korea and Manchuria as well as the expansion of Chinese dominance over Korea. From the Russian perspective, Korea was useful as a balancing mechanism against Japan. The Russian government provided military instructors to the Korean court in exchange for the lease of Port Lazarev (Yŏnghǔng, near Wŏnsan). In response, the British occupied Port Hamilton (Kŏmundo) near the southern coast of Korea. Ernest Satow, the British envoy to Japan (1895– 1900) and China (1900–1906), stated: “Whatever the ostensible reason for going to war with China may have been, there can be little doubt that the main object was to anticipate the completion of the Siberian Railway and to prevent Russia’s gaining free access to the Pacific Ocean.”33 The significance of the Sino-Japanese War lies in more than its utility as a case study in specific theories of conflict and war. It was in many ways symptomatic of the distress and crisis that had built up in the existing regional order and led to enormous consequences for institutional change in the domestic and international systems, the politics of nation-state-building, and state socialization.34 In the next section, I illustrate how one of the most important consequences of the Sino-Japanese War is ironically that it does not end conflict. Indeed, repeated crises (domestic and international), attempts at crisis management via alliances, treaties, and diplomacy, and breakdown of agreements intensified existing rivalries and escalated military confrontation. Such uncertainty and institutional disruption heightened domestic perceptions of threat throughout East Asia and shifted the domestic political environment as well as shaping the possible courses of action for leaders.35 32 34 35

Auslin 2005, 17–19. 33 Giffard 1994, 17. Buzan and Lawson 2015; Duara 1999; Zarakol 2011. Ja Ian Chong and Todd H. Hall (2014, 9) similarly highlight the role of systemic and domestic political pressures in a period of repeated crises and uncertainty. Contesting the often assumed parallels between the German–Anglo rivalry prior to World War I and the contemporary China– US relationship, they write: “World War I is not just an instance of war between a rising power and an established one; it is also an example of how great power relations can break down in an era of dense and dynamic political, strategic, and economic ties. Examining specific sources of strain and fragility in that system can help to identify the potential hazards that may emerge in coming years.” Specifically, Chong and Hall “highlight three major complications that contributed to the outbreak of World War I: security commitments, domestic political pressures, and repeated crises.”

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Consequences of the Sino-Japanese War China Strikes Back, and So Do Others In 1895, Japan did not immediately “usurp” China as leader of Asia or rebalance the regional order. Rather, a period of power vacuum and open competition for spheres of influence commenced as the “perception of Chinese weakness led to far more aggressive intrusions by the foreign powers in China.”36 The Japanese military expanded, but so did China’s, Russia’s and those of other major powers. Japan became the nth player, not the only or even the most powerful player, in the new regional arms race and military competition. Western imperialism began in earnest after 1895. Japan’s arrival at the scene added urgency and accelerated military competition among the Western powers in northeast China and Korea. Edward J. Drea writes: Japan’s victory had exposed China’s military weakness, which the western powers were quick to exploit, placing the empire in danger of dismemberment. In January 1898 Germany secured a ninety-nine-year lease on the Shandong Peninsula as a settlement for the murder of two German missionaries. Two months later Russia negotiated a long-term agreement with the Chinese court for a leasehold on the Liaodong Peninsula between Dairen and Port Arthur (where Russian warships had been anchored since the previous December). Great Britain reacted by extracting concessions in April for a naval base at Weihaiwei. France carved out a sphere of influence in southern China, and Japan sought railroad concessions in Fujian opposite its Taiwan colony.37

Despite efforts to assuage the suspicions and fears of Western powers, Japan’s victory in the Sino-Japanese War alarmed those seeking influence in China. In what is referred to as the Triple (or Tripartite) Intervention, Russia, France, and Germany forced Japan to back off some of its war gains – specifically, to return the Liaodong peninsula to China – six days after the signing of the Treaty of Shimonoseki to end the war.38 Such Western intervention in the settlement of the war between Qing China and Japan led to a significant increase in Japanese perception of threat. It “shocked the Japanese public, who were still elated by the outcome of the war, and made it painfully clear that Japan, though a regional power to be reckoned with, remained at the mercy of the West.”39 Following the Sino-Japanese War, Japan continued to accommodate Western powers and avoid confrontation with China and Russia in Korea. At various times, Japan considered allying with the Qing, Britain, and Russia. In addition, Japan helped train and modernize the Chinese army after 1897, while avoiding too close of an “alliance” with China and backing down on diplomatic conflict 36 39

S. C. M. Paine 2003, 4. Drea 2009, 90.

37

Drea 2009, 97.

38

S. C. M. Paine 2003, 304–306.

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over Japanese immigration to Hawaii for fear of Western military intervention. Even as the Japanese army and navy continued to expand throughout the next decade, as they sought to increase their influence in Korea and Taiwan, Japanese leaders initially stayed the course on their diplomacy-first strategy of accommodating the Western powers and remained cautious of provoking them – in particular, Russia and Britain. During Japan’s participation in the multinational military intervention in China during the Boxer rebellion (1900), and leading up to the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), the priority of Japanese leaders was to continue to signal nonrevisionist intentions and to avoid diplomatic isolation.40 At the same time, Japan continued to expand its military and security apparatus (both domestic and overseas) as it occupied Taiwan and extended its influence in Korea. As Japan monitored and shied away from confrontation with Western powers, it continued to engage in military campaigns, with the help of intermediaries and other nonstate actors such as legal advisors, mercenaries, bandits, and local chieftains, against indigenous peoples and other islanders in Taiwan and rural insurgents in Korea.41 Between 1895 and 1902, Japan was involved in a military campaign to subjugate Taiwan. Even though Li Hongzhang had ordered Chinese forces in Taiwan not to resist, local guerrilla groups continued to fight against the Japanese occupiers. In fact, the number of Japanese casualties in Taiwan during this period, estimated at 8,322, was only slightly less than that in the 1894–1895 war.42 Japan also continued to confront Russian influence in Korea and Manchuria. While even key military leaders, such as Yamagata Aritomo, had supported diplomatic solutions on Korea prior to the Sino-Japanese War, the Triple Intervention and increasing hostility toward Japanese intervention in Korean politics led to heavy-handed tactics on the part of the Japanese, including the murder of the Korean queen by Japanese assassins in October 1895. As a result, King Kojong fled from his palace to the Russian legation, which led to the increasing influence of Russia at the expense of the Japanese, an outcome the latter had precisely tried to prevent by going to war against the Chinese in 1894–1895. Subsequently, in its bid to secure territorial spheres of influence rather than protecting commercial activities, Japan formed an alliance with Britain (1902), entered into the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), made Korea its protectorate after defeating the Russians in 1905, and eventually annexed Korea (1910). As Kirk W. Larsen argues, “a Westphalian order of sovereign and equal nationstates” in nineteenth-century East Asia was a fiction,43 40 42

Lone 2000, 41–87; Drea 2009, 92–100. 41 Barclay 2018; Uchida 2014. Tsuzuki 2000, 131. 43 Larsen 2013, 250.

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The reality was that, like most nations of the time, Korea was being ushered into an international order of imperialism . . .. Despite all the talk of treaties, legations, and the family of nations, the new powers with which Korea was engaging were not interested in supporting Korean independence. Rather, they sought either equal access to the unequal privileges of informal imperialism or the more direct exclusive assertion of special privilege, up to and including the formal direct annexation of Korean territory.44

The Global Status Hierarchy and Imperial Nationalism in East Asia A key consequence of Japan’s victory in the Sino-Japanese War was that it became a stakeholder in the Westphalian territorial model of organizing nation-states. Japan was able to renegotiate its unequal treaties, and gained international prestige and standing. Yet, the Triple Intervention also confirmed the existence of a global status hierarchy, and Japan’s (and East Asia’s) place in it. And this global hierarchy had military, legal, economic, and racial dimensions.45 With the spread of social Darwinist thought, furthermore, to East Asian international relations, “Japanese leaders often felt compelled by geostrategic considerations to extend or consolidate territorial sovereignty in order to protect Japan’s flanks, under time pressure and with finite resources.”46 During the Sino-Japanese War, both Japan and China engaged in the battle over “civilization” – with the dual aim of demonstrating advanced culture and power to external (Western) observers and of mobilizing popular support for the purpose of internal state-building. For example, Japanese leaders were not only determined to showcase the military efficiency and discipline of their army during the Sino-Japanese War, but also to impress upon Western observers their advanced “civilization.”47 Japanese wartime propaganda, photos, and illustrated magazines all emphasized the modernity of Japanese ships and uniforms as well as their civilized behavior. Recent research shows that a common theme in pictures of the Sino-Japanese War are “[c]oncepts of 44 45

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Larsen 2013, 250. Buzan and Lawson 2015; Shimazu 1998, 95–96; E. Keene 2014. On the role of race in interstate conflict and cooperation – specifically, in threat perceptions and propensity toward militarized conflict against “others,” see Búzás 2013, 583. He argues: “Racial difference predisposes state toward discord, but it does not make interracial cooperation impossible. When more than two racially different agents interact, one is more likely to cooperate with the less threatening racial other . . .. Although racial difference did not prevent the German–Japanese alliance, it caused friction between the allies, decreased popular support for the alliance, and contributed to making it a ‘hollow alliance’ that involved little cooperation.” Social Darwinism was prevalent among groups of journalists in the late nineteenth century and motivated military and political decisions big and small, including war and imperialism. J. I. Chong and Hall 2014, 16–17; Ringmar 2006; Price 2004; Barclay 2018, 17. Lone 2000, 30.

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international law, including the conclusion of war treaties or the idea of the humanitarian treatment of the wounded that spread globally following the agreement of the Geneva Convention in 1864.”48 A recurring motif is the friendly care of Japanese soldiers toward Chinese children, and a number of publications emphasized Japan’s respect for international law throughout their war against China.49 Yet, fiscal constraints continued to plague the military after 1895. So did internal dissent within the Japanese military (between the army and navy, and within the army) and discord between the army and the civilian leadership.50 Even as domestic threat perceptions heightened in Japan in the late nineteenth century, the preferences of the Japanese military or government were rarely unified nor fixed.51 They varied according to the domestic and international political context; “a national consensus on how to deal with a usually hostile and always chaotic international environment was never sustained and only very rarely achieved since 1853.”52 While there might not have been a clear consensus on strategic direction either among military or political leaders around the time of the Sino-Japanese War, winning the war in 1895 created certain opportunities and constraints for various positions on the future of Japanese foreign policy. For example, antiRussian sentiments increased in the Japanese Diet and among the public, especially after the Triple Intervention, and emboldened those who sought more aggressive measures in Korea.53 At the same time, victory in war added legitimacy to Japan’s state-building efforts and helped to create a mobilized national citizenry.54 In particular, the war vindicated the rapid Westernizing reforms undertaken by the Meiji government because it delivered two tangible outcomes for the Japanese public to see: treaty revision and military victory. Despite the enormous public pressure to do otherwise, the government had long eschewed foreign conflicts so that Japan could proceed with necessary domestic reforms. Success in war gave value to the years of patient nation-building . . .. 48 50 51

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Frölich 2014, 242. 49 Frölich 2014, 243–247; Howland 2008; Howland 2007. Mitani 2011, xvi–xvii. Steven Ward (2013, 631–637) argues that it is after 1931 that perceptions of status immobility in a Western-dominated racial and status hierarchy drive Japan toward increasing revisionism via two mechanisms: rise of ultranationalist and militarist groups and the shifting political (and rhetorical) balance of power in the favor of revisionism away from the moderates who were unable to legitimate staying the course following the League of Nations’s open condemnation of the Mukden incident. Barnhart 1995, 2. 53 Duus 1995, 120; S. C. M. Paine 2003, 315–316. In China as well, the Sino-Japanese War helped nation-building efforts. There was a sense of optimism within Chinese society due to the reporting of the Self-Strengthening movement and advancements in railways, telegraph, and steamships. While most Chinese-language newspapers were foreign-owned in the second half of the nineteenth century, after the Sino-Japanese War “groups of Chinese intellectuals, shocked by China’s defeat, started to set up their own newspapers to promote their new ideas for China” (W. Tsai 2014, 150–151).

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Although the war did not completely overcome divisions within the government, the national unity created by shared foreign policy goals during the hostilities had helped to ease the split. After the war, cabinet ministers were more inclined to create meaningful alliances with political parties, while the latter muted some of their criticism of the cabinet and supported arms appropriations.55

As J. Samuel Barkin and Bruce Cronin argue, the “distinguishing feature of modern nationalism is the claim that nations should be politically selfdetermining and that group sentiment (national solidarity) should serve as the sole criterion in defining the nation. The nation-state is accordingly legitimated to the extent that it represents the political aspirations of a particular nation.”56 While both Japanese and Western historiography tends to take for granted the creation of a strong, unified nation-state immediately following the Meiji restoration, both Sheldon Garon and Naoko Shimazu show how state power and national unity was not automatically created via a top-down state-building process but rather negotiated between the central government and diverse societal interests.57 Conscription, war commemoration, and war monuments between 1894 and 1945 helped create a national citizenry in Japan.

55 57

S. C. M. Paine 2003, 298. 56 Barkin and Cronin 1994, 111. S. C. M. Paine 2003; Nish 1985; Garon 1997, and Shimazu 2009.

14

The Death of Eastphalia, 1874 Saeyoung Park

Few have interrogated the seeming inevitability of the Westphalian or modern system of international relations.1 This is a puzzling research gap as the architecture of international relations that became globalized at the turn of the twentieth century constrains the range of international relations encounters, processes, and policy options possible today. The particular contours of our international relations system powerfully shape the “rules of the game,” thereby limiting the possible choices from which we choose our futures. Hence, “uncovering the processes by which the international order had been formed in the past” is an “indispensable tool for reforming it in the future” (Armitage and Pitts 2017, 2). Undoubtedly, the question of Westphalian origins, of how our modern system of international relations became a naturalized reality is one of central importance.2 The starting point of enquiry for this project is to question our Westphalian reality historically. It locates the birth of the modern international relations system in the death and erasure of its last viable alternative – the East Asian tributary system, which I call Eastphalia.3 In order to better understand the nineteenth-century systemic shift from the so-called East Asian tributary system (Fairbank 1968; Wills 1984; D. C. Kang 2010) to a Westphalian international system (Krasner 2001; Beaulac 2004; Hinsley 1986; Schmidt 2011), this 1 2

3

In this chapter, East Asian name order is: last name, first name. The chronology of Chosŏn Korea (1396–1910) can be divided into Chosŏn 1396–1897, Great Han empire 1897–1910. On normalization and how standardization limits and defines what is legible, normative, or aberrant thereby serving as a source of research error, see Foucault 1995; Lampland and Star 2009. The Westphalian international system is a construct as much as the “tribute system,” “modernity,” “the Sinocentered world order,” “tradition.” As a category of analysis, these concepts possess histories to which we should be attentive. To the frequent enquiry of “why that matters”: historiographical checks ensure that your variable is not “plural in singular disguise.” While acknowledging their problematic nature, I use these constructions – “Westphalia” or “Eastphalia” – my preferred tongue-in-cheek term for the pre-1870 East Asian int’l system sometimes referred to as the E. Asian tribute system. Neither term refers to the Westphalia and Eastphalia extant in Germany today. Scholarship on Westphalia is substantive. Stéphan Beaulac (2000, 162; 2004) argues that crediting Westphalia “for the birth of our state system” is “a mere legal reification.”

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chapter examines a case plucked from the leading edge of this transformation: the 1875 Un’yō crisis between Japan and Korea. In 1875, the Japanese ship Un’yō fired upon Chosŏn Korean shore batteries and destroyed a fort at Yŏngjong. Seen as historically insignificant, whatever importance this incident holds arises from its classification as an instance of “gunboat diplomacy” that led to the 1876 Kanghwa Treaty – otherwise known as the first unequal treaty exercised by Japan.4 After this moment, no East Asian country could claim to lie outside of a Western-derived system of international relations with its accompanying conceits and sociolegal protocols. The Un’yō clash takes place at a time of epistemological confusion and flux in regional relations. The terminology of international relations such as “unequal treaty,” as well as protocols governing the identification of ships, registration of naval markings, in other words, the conceptual and bureaucratic protocol that serves as the architecture of contemporary international relations – this was just coming into being in this part of the world.5 In fact, what twentieth- and twenty-first-century scholars often miss is that small, relatively unknown encounters like the Un’yō constitute the moments of productive friction that generated the meaning of categories such as sovereignty and dependency, thereby creating consensus on the sociolegal markers that would later demarcate international relations status (e.g., “independence”). As I see it, the Un’yō case is one of many intellectual “pivots” – recalibrations through which both Japan and Korea exercise agency, determining the direction of what we may call the transition to the Westphalian system. Empires make themselves felt through systems of knowledge, protocols, and paperwork that are not built overnight. They also have to learn how to exercise power. Like many other systemic changes, East Asia’s induction into the Westphalian international relations is most legible retrospectively. The kind of “systems encounter” of interest to this article comprises a collision between two constitutive sets of interlinked conceptual and legal regimes, institutional apparatuses, and bureaucratic protocol.6 Often moving at a glacial pace, such systemic changes are not easily visible to a human eye in the midst of unfolding 4

5 6

Japanese attempts to secure extraterritorial privileges with the 1871 Sino-Japan Regulations of Amity (中日修好條規) were unsuccessful (Cassel 2011, 103–7; Zachmann 2009, 14) and their first favorable unequal treaty is the 1876 Japan–Korea Regulations of Amity (日朝修好條規, also: Treaty of Kanghwa). By 1871, Japan was party to sixteen unfavorable treaties (Auslin 2004, 211). Gunboat diplomacy, “unequal treaty” – these terms are not and were not distinct theoretical typologies. By their legal nature, contestation is inherent to a treaty and so “unequal treaty” describes an outcome, not a separate technique of power. On nineteenth-century changes in migration bureaucracy, passports, and border controls, see McKeown 2011. Several complementary approaches exist. Mark Ravina offers a “world cultures” framework against the simplistic rubric of Westernization vs. Easternization (Ravina 2005; 2017). Seo-Hyun Park’s exploration of the “changing definitions of sovereignty” in Korean–Japanese relations (S.H. Park 2013) is helpful.

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events, partly because our capacities for observation are not calibrated to appreciate changes that occur at such speeds – no more than we can notice the sun aging. As such, the presence of systemic change is most visible through a longue durée lens and within the historical record as moments of surprise and irritation, or in complaints about disappointing or nonsensical behavior, or in a counterparty’s failure to meet diplomatic expectations formed by centuries of precedent and history. So, against scholarly precedent in brushing off latenineteenth-century East Asian complaints of aberrant Japanese international conduct as the “traditional” Korean love of etiquette or as Chinese critiques of a new “modern” Japan, I consider these frustrated instances of misrecognition as the fricative encounter of two different systems of knowledge and power (Tsing 2005). I have specifically chosen a confrontation between two East Asian neighbors with a long history of relations, rather than one between an Eastern and a Western entity, in order to reveal the Westphalian transition as a systemic harmonization. Such an approach not only rejects a triumphant modernist narrative of the so-called West and Western values over the East or a historically ignorant one where maritime militarization produced an overwhelming “Western dominance” as “vast, ancient, and previously isolated civilizations came into regular contact with the rest of the world” (Sharman 2019, 2). We do not and will never know exactly when Eastphalia died, but the moment of its demise loosely mirrors the modern–premodern divide that governs the professional knowledge of East Asia – as well as the transition from states to nation-states in the region. Dating the induction into Westphalia is inevitably fraught as dates are poor instruments to mark historical realities that are processes and not moments. Students of this region are already familiar with conventional, simplistic “before and after” makeover snapshots of the nineteenth-century transformation of East Asia: the before is associated with the plight of “traditional” empires and kingdoms facing imperial (Western) aggression, the after with the rise of nationalism, nation-states, scientific education, gender liberation, republicanism, and the familiar trappings of what we may consider to be the modern world, or more truthfully, the world that we live in. Whatever this date may be, the induction into Westphalia marks a critical stage of global convergence that drew East Asia firmly into the universe that we live in now, one governed by Westphalian norms and procedures. This article casually dates this moment as 1875 with the Un’yō incident. Although any nineteenth-century date after the First Opium War could probably do just as ably, I have chosen 1875 because of the visible sociolegal markers that evidence this change, and also because I see the Westphalian transformation as one that occurs most materially at the level of procedure, bureaucracy, protocol, and paperwork. After the Un’yō incident, there were no remaining East Asian countries that continued to resist contractual treaties,

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ambassadorial and consular exchanges, or in other words, the apparatus of international diplomacy that constitutes an imperial arsenal of domination. For the Westphalian transformation was indeed, and most clearly, an imperial one,7 where the law, and not the gunboat, deserves the most credit for imperial successes.8 When British warships departed after the First Opium War, in their place stood no massive occupying force, but an occupying regime of law. It would be through new legal renegotiations that imperial Japan would finally liberate itself from its own unequal treaties (Auslin, 2004). Another reason to study Japan’s role in the death of the tributary system is to highlight its role in mediating and translating Eastphalia to the West – and by extension, to modern scholars. Much of what the West learned about the East, and of what constitutes the first phase of Western professional knowledge about East Asia, is heavily derived from Japanese sources and perspectives.9 A close reading of the Un’yō talks reveals how Japanese diplomats quietly and persistently collected information, asking questions shaped by new Westphalian metrics – questions that puzzled and made little sense to Koreans or Chinese at the time, but that would ultimately lead to ill-fitting but powerful reevaluations of tribute relations within an entirely different system. Regardless of centuries of real sovereign history and power, many East Asian counterparties in this exercise found their sovereignty rewritten, and were faced with the need to defend authority on terms that they had previously never had to meet. This chapter first describes the Un’yō incident, before examining the discussions between Korea and Japan in the following year, which concluded with the 1876 Treaty of Kanghwa. These fricative diplomatic encounters with their moments of frustration, miscommunication, and puzzlement illustrate the banal and quiet ways in which worlds of meaning are built and destroyed. 7

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The meanings of empire are historically specific. Qing China was a different empire from eighteenth- to nineteenth-century Britain. Decontextualized definitions of imperialism as mere predatory expansionism is sloppy, allowing one to draw false equivalences between imperial Rome, imperial Tang, and imperial Britain without considering their distinctive logics of empire. Social Darwinistic ideas of national-cum-racial competition buttress nineteenth-century Western empires (Burton 2003, 1–26; 2015). The politics of difference in late imperial China lack zerosum hierarchies of race/ethnicity. Anthony Pagden offers a useful differentiation of empire (Pagden 1995). “Law” serves as shorthand for a “regime of law,” meaning the discourses, norms, statutes, institutional, state, and private practices that evince and materialize the “law” (Ruskola 2013; Cassel 2011). Sensitive to the circumscribing power of new ideas and protocols, sociolegal methodology is useful in tracking epistemological changes into new ontological realities. Further, as a mediating arena between theory and social reality, the law is the filter through which almost all legitimate modern state violence must first proceed, whether we speak of memos that pave the way for torture, of the dispossession of peoples, or of the forcible remaking of states. On the enduring influence of Japanese-language scholarship and Naito Konan (Kyoto school), see Fogel 1984, on Shiratori Kurakichi’s (Tokyo school) influence on Korean history, see Pai 2000.

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Inevitability and the Un’yō Incident What little historians have written about the Un’yō incident of 1875 can be summed up in a few sentences.10 In September, the Japanese warship Un’yō (雲揚) commanded by Inoue Yoshika set sail for Chosŏn Korea ostensibly to survey the coastline from the southwest of the peninsula to the Gulf of Liaodong.11 As far as we know, the Korean authorities were not notified of the Un’yō’s mission. Japanese sources suggest that the Un’yō anchored near the southern portion of Kanghwa Island at the mouth of the Han River, which cuts through Seoul. A small boat flying a Japanese flag proceeded from the Un’yō toward the coast in search of fresh water. Chosŏn shore batteries fired upon the unknown vessel. The Un’yō then destroyed the Korean batteries then retreated. Another small boat was lowered with about thirty soldiers, which landed on a small island south of Kanghwa called Yŏngjong. A skirmish ensued, resulting in thirty-five Korean casualties. The Japanese forces looted and set fire to the town. Afterwards, the Un’yō returned to Japan.12 The Korean accounts generally agree with the details in the previous paragraph except for a few key differences. From their perspective, Kanghwa Island had always been a strategically sensitive place, as it stood between the capital and maritime visitors as the “gate to the sea” (haemun).13 For much of Chosŏn history, there had been a military presence at Kanghwa as it was one of several known safe havens for Korean monarchs in the case of crisis.14 The yellow flag flown by the smaller vessel from the Un’yō was not recognized as a national or Japanese identificatory marker by the coastal guards, but warning shots were fired. Prior to the Un’yō’s arrival, the French and the Americans had also engaged Korean defenses at Kanghwa in 1866 and 1871, respectively. The Korean documents suggest that warning shots did not cause damage or casualties, but that the Japanese retaliated anyway by destroying the town of Yŏngjong. Only much later did they know that they had fought with the Japanese navy. The possible gravity of the incidence was not immediately clear to the Korean central government. For unknown reasons, it seems that 10

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12 13 14

For what little scholarship exists on the Un’yō incident (운양호사건 雲揚號事件unyangho sakŏn) see Deuchler 1977, 23–25; Palais 1975, 258. For nineteenth-century regional relations see Conroy 1960; Duus 1995; Schmid 2002; Larsen 2008. This mission was supposed to produce a survey encompassing Chŏlla to Yingkou, in Liaodong bay. The Un’yō’s first known entry into Korean waters occurred earlier, in May 1875. Deuchler claims that it was there purportedly to “expedite negotiations with Korean officials” (1977, 23). Also see: Dai Nihon gaiko bunsho, vol. 8, no. 36, pp. 91–94. www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/annai/ho nsho/shiryo/archives/8.html Palais argues that this was not the only act of military aggression against Korea in 1874. Later in Oct. and Dec., there was a minor disturbance near Tongnae (southeast Korea) (1975, 258). Referring broadly to the Yŏngjong commandery. Kojong sillok (1875) 12/12/9/7:2. In the Manchu invasions (1626, 1637), Kanghwa Island and Namsan Fort served as royal safe havens and have historically served in that role over the Chosŏn period.

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Yi Mindŏk, the local military commander, failed to report the incident for another three or four days.15 The next year, Korea and Japan signed the Kanghwa Treaty. In English and East Asian language scholarship, the Un’yō crisis is regarded teleologically as one of several events that comprise Korea’s march to colonization. Hence, little attention has been devoted to the 1875 Un’yō clash as it has been understood retrospectively as a footnote in a series of events that undermined Chosŏn sovereignty. It is not my intention to challenge that perspective by arguing for its revised importance. Instead the Un’yō incident and its fallout allows us to ask different questions in this chapter, to interrogate the basics of empire building, and to observe the surprise, chaos, and frustration observed at the frontlines of systems-making – in other words, how a concatenation of small, and at the time seemingly unimportant, changes result in the collapse of entire worlds, such as the indigenous conceptual regime of international relations known as the tribute system. Eastphalia under Siege On relations between Japan and her East Asian neighbors in 1876, three points on the historical background, modes, and grounds of conflict are relevant to our discussion. First, Japanese relations with both China and Chosŏn Korea were at a low point. Despite their “equal” treaty with China in 1871, the Meiji seizure of the Ryukyu Islands in 1872 and the attempted conquest of Taiwan in 1874 were not confidence boosting. Further, in contrast to the pragmatic stability that had characterized Chosŏn–Tokugawa affairs since their early seventeenth-century post-Imjin War reconciliation, relations were tense between Chosŏn Korea and Meiji Japan prior to the Un’yō incident. Relations had not been repaired since the 1868 Meiji restoration despite numerous Japanese efforts, and even as the Un’yō set sail for the Chosŏn coast, the Meiji diplomat Moriyama Shigeru was preparing to leave Pusan, Korea, after another failed mission to renew diplomatic relations. Early post-restoration overtures to Korea via the daimyo of Tsushima had been unsurprisingly rebuked, as his “irregular” communiqués had been accompanied by his insistence that he would no longer use Korean seals of 15

There is the briefest of notes in the Kojong Veritable Records (Kojong sillok 1875, 12/12/8/ 22:1): 永宗僉使李敏德以“異樣船蘭芝島留碇”啓: The Yŏngjong commander (ch’ŏmsa) Yi Mindŏk has reported that a foreign or unfamiliar vessel has anchored at Nanchi Island (This Han River island no longer exists. As a twentieth-century garbage dump, it was cleaned up, the surrounding land reclaimed.) On the twenty-fifth day, there is a memorial discussing the receipt of a report from Yi reporting an attack. Yi identified a larger steam driven warship, but reports the number of Chosŏn casualties, injuries, and the identity of the enemy as unknown. Yi was dismissed from office on the twenty-fifth. http://sillok.history.go.kr

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authority.16 No Chosŏn acknowledgment was forthcoming in 1871 when the newly minted Japanese Foreign Office announced that it had taken charge of Korean affairs, a significant bureaucratic change. In June 1873, the prefect of Tongnae (in today’s Pusan) sharply rebuked Japanese officials over their request to close the Japan House. Hence, Moriyama Shigeru’s failure in 1874 to persuade Chosŏn Korea to resume relations was unremarkable given the cold reception to earlier overtures since 1867. And so, the Un’yō incident marks a turning point as the crisis resulted in the first successful faceto-face meeting between the Chosŏn central government and Japan since the institution of the latter’s new regime. Leaving one system for another is a process and not a moment. As an uneven and contested process it engenders alternating moments of resistance traceable in moments of critique, confusion, and positive gestures designed to affirm and support threatened positions. At times, Chinese and Korean officials would observe that the regions shared commonalities of diplomatic practice. Chen Qiyuan (1811–1881) reported a conversation with the acting Japanese consular official Kumashiro Encho. “He said to me: ‘In my country, we read Literary Sinitic books, write in the Literary Sinitic script, and practice [similar] rituals. We were originally one [big] family’” (Fogel 2009, 78).17 Such conversations marked the expectation of Japan’s neighbors that Japan could and was indeed equipped to properly perform the anticipated responses. From this perspective, Japan, given its centuries of experience consorting with its neighbors, could manifest itself ably within a shared system of diplomatic signification unlike those outside of Eastphalia. Yet Chinese and Korean nineteenth-century state records are rife with irritated reactions at what seemed to be moments of Japanese diplomatic amnesia as Japanese officials kept querying both parties about the nature of Qing–Chosŏn relations (Larsen 2008) and how each understood their centuries-old relationship. Importantly, these questions were doubly strange because they came from the Japanese. For Chinese and Korean officials, it was not surprising when the French, the Americans, or the British asked odd questions about Qing relations with Chosŏn or what the Qing or Chosŏn thought about certain titles or statuses. It was markedly strange when such questions came from their neighbor, with whom they had had intercourse for several centuries, because both sides knew in that moment of questioning that Japan already 16

17

Tsushima, a frontier island between Korea and Japan, has historically exploited its ambiguous status to benefit from Korean–Japanese commerce. Prior to Westphalia, Tsushima had an important function in mediating and rectifying the gap between Chosŏn and Tokugawa worldviews, and if necessary, through what modernists may consider to be diplomatic fraud; its refusal to continue playing this role by strategically employing both Korean and Japanese symbols of power was a sign that the flexibility of Eastphalia was coming to an end. I am using Fogel’s excellent translation here with a substitution of “Literary Sinitic” for “Chinese.”

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knew the answers, given its own familiarity with both parties. So why were they asking again? To make an informal comparison that highlights the sense of foreignness, it would be as if your decades-old neighbor came over to your house and started questioning you anew about your relationship with your spouse, even though they had known you for years. And so the Chosŏn sources are riven with an understandable sense of confusion as the Koreans observed the Japanese inducting themselves into a different textual and political community through a new political practice – part of which was constituted by asking questions about sovereignty and status. What the Koreans did not know, as we will see in the next section, was that there was a different cost possible to these questions. The second point is that most of the conflict that gave rise to the modern international system and the death of Eastphalia occurred in diplomatic negotiations. Despite the space that it occupies in historical accounts, military aggression was a flashy but minor midwife of the Westphalian transformation. That point is not meant to diminish the harm or the unpredictable yet powerful role that brute force can play, nor is it meant to endow any of the players with a moral aversion to warfare. Simply, the communicative power of legal and political conflict exceeds that of military aggression. While the simmering potential threat of force distantly undergirded negotiations, it is important to avoid retrojecting the belligerent and militarized Japan of the 1890s onto a far different country of the 1870s; both Japanese and Korean sources suggest that the Un’yō turned its aggression onto Yŏngjong because they were not able to overpower Korean shore defenses. When we recognize the disparity between military capacities and the powerful legacies of the unequal treaties, we can begin to see that neither Korea nor China were extraordinarily alarmed at the time and why, contrary to current nationalist scholarship and the indictments that would later be levied against the “traditional” officials who shepherded these agreements, such treaties made rational sense at the time. Further, that Japanese gains were made in the arena of bureaucracy, ritual, and protocol not only troubles narratives that conceive of causative intersections between military violence, nation-building, and structural change; it also highlights the real power gleaned from cultural disenfranchisement or the politicization and creation of “traditional” and “backward” categories – forms of aggression that disenfranchised and empowered the gradual induction of this region into Westphalia. The invention of tradition occurs concomitantly with and in relation to the construction of modernity, and hence, Westphalia and Eastphalia are mutually reconstituted through the characterization of East Asian relations as “tributary,” “traditional,” “unequal,” and the resulting legal regimes that arise out of conflicts of ritual and protocol not only erase Eastphalian alternatives but also create Westphalia. Systemic destruction requires a different kind of war and violence than just guns.

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Why does protocol matter? Tracing the differences in protocol matters in three ways: (a) methodologically, it marks moments of conflict between Eastphalia and Westphalia; (b) debates over ritual are debates over power and serve as a primary arena of interstate conflict; (c) new norms and metrics of power can be created through conflicts. Protocol also matters because it is what makes diplomacy work on the ground. In this light, what has been variously referred to as “etiquette” or “ritual” constitutes a landscape of signification that allows communication to occur based on some shared foundation that is comprised of a common code or symbolic language. The architecture of international relations – across different societies and ways of life – requires some shared protocol, which is embedded in a larger tradition that is born of precedent, law, past practice, standardization, and textual knowledge. Note that the necessity for protocol and its productive significance is what has allowed students of international relations to claim that there is such a thing as a system of East Asian international relations called a “tribute system” although no East Asian actor in the premodern past ever used the terms “Chinese world order” or “tribute system.” Reading ritual as power and appreciating its capacity to empower – and not seeing it merely as a reflection of power – is what allows us to see the significance of Korean and Chinese irritation over Japanese questions concerning Chinese–Korean relations. The third point is that sovereignty, and the metrics which render that constructed reality legible, constitutes the point of greatest conceptual difference between Westphalian and Eastphalian praxis. The fact that a concept is constructed – and in particular, that it is a historically specific product – does not mean that it lacks purchase or ontological materiality. As “the sovereignty of a state in theory is a necessary condition of its membership of the international system in practice” (Hinsley 1986, 41), the recognition of Westphalian sovereignty is a self-reifying boundary that separates those who can speak for themselves from those who require others to speak for them on the international stage. Since sovereignty, like liberty, is a concept that materializes itself in relation to its possible absence, we can therefore also understand Western nineteenth-century “innovative” extraterritorial practice as the ideological axis of exploitation around which the modern international system coheres. Encounters where sovereignty is recognized as well as those where it is stripped away are central to the reproduction of Westphalian order, as the following examples suggest. Unyō Talks: Slippages On January 30, 1876, the Korean official Sin Hŏn was appointed as the chief negotiator (taegwan) for talks on the Un’yō clash as well as on Japanese– Korean relations. The discussions were preceded by weeks of procedural

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negotiations. Three rounds of face-to-face meetings in February would eventually lead to a signed treaty. Both sides opened by voicing a commitment to the idea of a positive restoration (復) in their affairs, with Count Kuroda Kiyotaka framing his mission as a return to more peaceful times (復修舊好). kuroda: Our two countries have sent us (lit. high officials) here to work on important matters, and in order to restore good relations. sin: Today, we restore the friendly relations that we have enjoyed for the past three hundred years. “With sincere words, we can cultivate harmony (講信修睦),”18 and indeed produce accord between our countries.

However, this polite opening betrays a gap in understanding, it obscures a conflict present on one of the multiple symbolic registers in play that is not readily visible to modern eyes. In this exchange, Sin Hŏn is quoting from the Liji, or the Book of Rites – a foundational East Asian work guiding diplomatic process and performance that was part of the canon that constituted a “good education” in early modern East Asia. Not only is the seasoned diplomat Sin Hŏn gesturing to larger ties of education and class in claiming a shared faith in the power of diplomatic agency by quoting the Book of Rites, he is also wittily flattering Kuroda as a man of “talent, virtue, and ability.” Sin is actually offering a compliment while expressing common desire for peace. A scholar-official in pre-1900 East Asia would probably have possessed almost scriptural familiarity with the Liji. In particular, government officials whose state careers required over a decade of study to master the Confucian canon and statecraft texts to pass their civil service exams were especially adept at reflexively weaving in allusions to these texts in their public and private discourse. In descriptions of their encounter, such references are notably absent in Kuroda’s statements, situating the latter in a different political and textual space. As a taegwan, or chief diplomatic (lit. reception) officer, Sin performs social expectations of his role by manifesting his knowledge of the classics and proper protocol but his Japanese counterpart refuses to engage him on the same conceptual plane. After a few exchanges to determine their respective positions and differences concerning the Un’yō incident, Kuroda abruptly switches to questions about Sin’s title. At first, these enquiries about Sin’s capacities seem out of place in a discussion about determining the facts of the Un’yō clash as well as the question of future reparations. kuroda asks: [We] are high officials from two countries that are meeting face to face in order to come to a resolution on these matters. Do you have the authority to make decisions? 18

A fuller quote with preceding characters from the Liji Liyun禮運: 選賢與能,講信修睦, “They chose men of talents, virtue, and ability; their words were sincere, and what they cultivated was harmony.” Trans. James Legge

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sin replies: You were sent here from afar and so cannot report and consult [immediately with higher authorities] and that is the reason why you have the title “chŏnkwŏn”(全權), but in our country we do not use the title of chŏnkwŏn when operating domestically. Also, we are in the vicinity of the capital.

It is tempting to read Kuroda’s questions about Sin’s title as provocative and pointless needling. But is it? Indeed, most scholars that have written on nineteenth-century East Asian relations have so far been dismissive of debates over protocol, or worse, characterized the focus on diplomatic ritual as another sign that Chosŏn had lost touch with changing times. However, when thinking of this question in the comparative context of intense Meiji efforts to determine Chosŏn status (Meiji–Qing missions), Kuroda’s question has a purpose and meaning that may not have been intelligible to Sin, or merely legible as irritating poking. Kuroda’s question, “Do you have the authority to make decisions?” seems to make no sense from our modern Westphalian international relations perspective, as the idea that two ambassadors or representatives of countries can gather and speak for each nation’s interests and thereby make agreements or enter into contracts (treaties as one type) seems to be a self-evident capacity. While embassies and envoys have existed for millennia around the world, the standardization of the ability of a third person, in this case, an ambassador plenipotentiary to represent and physically embody sovereignty, and the idea that that person could have that power merely by appointment (rather than through rank or blood) and that such a capacity could be communicated via occupational title and by credentialing paperwork is a practice that materializes with Westphalia. That diplomats were not merely representatives and that they actually possessed, albeit temporarily, plein pouvoir and were projections of sovereignty that could exercise sovereign power in proxy – all of this emerged quite late in Europe around the eighteenth century,19 and was only standardized with the Vienna réglement of 1815 (Callières 1983; Fassbender and Peters 2012, 828–829). Before the rise of nation-states, envoys worked more like brokers and agents, and did not constitute a standardized, controlled displacement of sovereign power. Arguably, sovereign power under states lacks easy venues for temporary relocation as it rests – as it did in many monarchies – in the divine body of the monarch. The ability to refract and project sovereignty in diplomatic bodies was also key to making real the fiction of Westphalian egalitarianism. In the diplomatic corps, in that arena of international relations where ambassadors plentipotentiary had access to the monarch, and where nations dealt with each other on an equal footing through a diplomatic 19

The late eighteenth century is also when the first global financial crisis involving Asia, North America, and Europe occurs.

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architecture founded on sovereign equity, Westphalian principles operated the closest to their ideals. The principles of modern international relations dictate that the ambassador plentipotentiary’s access to a monarch would be egalitarian not because of the ambassador’s quotidian identity, but because for that encounter, they embody their nation, and should therefore be treated as an equal by the receiving monarch – despite, perhaps, a lack of royal blood or rank that may ‘naturally’ afford them such privileges in the local system of meaning.20 Answering the question literally, Sin counters by noting that their titles are different. Kuroda’s title was a Japanese translingual translation of the Western equivalent of “ambassador plenipotentiary,” and is equated to the characters全 權in Literary Sinitic. The characters in the title chŏnkwan (C. quanquan) means “all powers” or “total sovereignty,” a title and a concept that was invented through translation and does not have a local equivalent. In such small ways, the intellectual architecture of Westphalian international relations crept into East Asian foreign affairs. Un’yō Talks: Kanghwa Treaty as Contract The following analysis connects the contents of the 1876 Treaty of Amity, otherwise known as the Kanghwa Treaty, with the making of nation-states and the destruction of the Eastphalia state system.21 In its simplest form, a treaty can be understood as a contract, and a contract can be an instrument of ontological change in its power to name, categorize, and demarcate parties, their respective relations and demarcate temporal horizons. Contracts can also be political documents with transformative epistemological capacities; this power manifests itself most clearly in circumscribing debate or in implicitly or explicitly fixing the range of options open to both parties. In other words, to contest or revise an “unequal treaty” requires a party to operate within the treaty’s legal regime, within the universe of signification, history, and argument that comes with that treaty because a revision is an act that requires some recognition from the counterparty. So once you’re the signatory to a contract, you’re bound not only to its terms but also to its metrics; attempts to go “outside” that document – perhaps in order to revise it – are trapped within the intellectual universe produced by the contract in order to 20 21

And it is that context where we can see why the kowtow (ketou) miscommunication occurred and was actually being contested in the Macartney Mission (Hevia 1995). For reasons of space, the discussion is limited to paper I and III; my genealogy of “unequal treaty,” as a relatively late-nineteenth to twentieth-century invention whose construction obscures the recent vintage of the Westphalian system is not included here. Prior to 1839, E. Asian countries did execute what we may call treaties today, but within a different intellectual universe; for an example see the 1636 concord between the Qing and Chosŏn Korea.

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remain legible.22 One could, of course, ignore the contract and hope that it goes away. But the logical world of the contract is not destroyed, it remains intact despite one party’s attempts to pretend it is not so. Prior to the Un’yō incident, Japan and the West were involved in the diplomatic exercise of determining whether Chosŏn was a sovereign state or a dependency of Qing China according to Westphalian terms. This would determine whether Japan would have separate relations with Chosŏn Korea or would have to negotiate with Qing China on any issues that may arise concerning Korea. Importantly this categorization had far less to do with the actual realities and self-governing capacity of the parties involved, as Chosŏn Korea and others in Eastphalia had enjoyed autonomy over their affairs for centuries. However, according to Westphalian norms, Chosŏn’s tributary relations and the tribute system overall translated to diminished sovereignty for most parties involved, with the exception of China. The egalitarian conceit of Westphalia, where the national community is manifested by state engagement on an equal plane with unequal results is one that is diametrically opposed to a heterarchical international relations system that is hierarchical in rhetoric but egalitarian in practice. Eastphalia made little sense and was not recognizable from a Westphalian perspective because sovereign autonomy within hierarchical relations is not possible within the theoretical conceptualization of the Westphalian system. This section reads the Kanghwa treaty as a fricative moment in the Westphalian– Eastphalian encounter, and primarily focuses on two seemingly innocuous clauses, Article I and III. This chapter’s reading of the text illustrates how Korean sovereignty is reconstituted, albeit imperfectly, within Westphalian terms. Article I The first clause of the Korean–Japanese Treaty of Amity (better known as the 1876 Treaty of Kanghwa) seems strange in light of our retrospective knowledge of Japanese colonization (1910–1945) and that imperial Japanese ambitions for Korea materialize shortly after the 1868 Meiji restoration (Conroy 1960). Article I states: “Korea, being an independent state, enjoys the same sovereign rights as does Japan. In order to prove the sincerity of friendship existing between the two nations, their intercourse shall henceforward be 22

For a fascinating example of the circumscribing effects of power on (even) a discourse of resistance, see Thomas Pegelow-Kaplan’s The Language of Nazi Genocide, which describes the discursive dilemma faced by local Germans who sought exemptions for Jewish friends, partners, and colleagues whose appeals to authority mimicked the discriminatory language and categories of the state in order to be legible to power. On intellectual history of the Kanghwa Treaty, see Yi T’aejin (2005).

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carried on in terms of equality and courtesy, each avoiding the giving of offense by arrogance or manifestations of suspicion,”23 and at first it does seem out of place as it affirms the independence and sovereignty of Chosŏn Korea in an “unequal treaty.” Examining the Westphalian construction of sovereignty in the Kanghwa Treaty from a sociolegal perspective resolves the seeming contradiction between the liberal rhetoric of sovereignty and the actual aim to diminish sovereign power in practice. Standing,24 or the capacity to act and exercise selfdetermination, and sovereignty are interdependent covariates in the Westphalian system. Briefly: contractual agreements, including state treaties or individual bills of sale require that the actors entering the contract possess sufficient agency. Hence, for Korea to enter into this unequal treaty as an autonomous actor – and not Qing China on behalf of Korea – Japan would have to recognize its Westphalian independence. Arguably, the seemingly contradictory Kanghwa Treaty is an example of how a country can gain Westphalian sovereignty while losing real sovereign power in reality. Article III The treaty was offered in two scripts, in Literary Sinitic (classical Chinese) and in Japanese kanbun. It would be the first agreement between Chosŏn Korea and another state where a script other than Literary Sinitic, the “Latin” of the region, would be used. A nineteenth-century English translation for this paper states: “All official communications addressed by the Government of Japan to that of Korea shall be written in the Japanese language, and for a period of ten years from the present date they shall be accompanied by a Chinese translation. The Government of Korea will use the Chinese language.” This translation is incorrect. From the Literary Sinitic, a more accurate translation would be: Henceforth, regarding the official communication (kongmun) between the two countries: Japan will use the language of their country; for a period of ten years from now, there shall be a Literary Sinitic (hanmun) version. The Government of Korea will use their real language (jinmun).25 23 24 25

The English version is from the uncredited translation from “Treaty of Kanghwa with Japan and Regulations, Etc (1876–1881).” 1895. I have made minor orthographic edits for clarity. The meaning of “standing” in this chapter and its associations with agency and majority are related to usage in liberal political theory and not to legal notions of locus standi. Emphasis mine. Kongmun: 公文; Hanmun: 漢文; jinmun: 真文. Jinmun can be translated literally as “real,” “true,” or “authentic” script. It is not a common term in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or in Literary Sinitic, and is still a matter of some contemplation for this author. Literary Sinitic doesn’t offer a stylistic prohibition against word repetition as in English, so it is least likely that “jinmun” refers to Hanmun (as the old translation incorrectly assumes). It’s referring

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The difference between the former and the latter, let’s call them Version A or B, hinges on what you think two words, hanmun and jinmun, might mean. Neither of these words literally mean “Chinese,” if we take “Chinese” to mean “the language of the country we call China.” Hanmun refers to a written script that much like Latin became a shared mode of communication that facilitated business, state, and cultural intercourse within the Sinic sphere. Indeed, a few millennia ago, the script originated somewhere in the territory that today falls under PRC control, and although grammatically and orthographically different (post-PRC simplification) to written Chinese today, a twenty-first-century person mistakenly thinking of Hanmun as the same as “Chinese” is not entirely without merit. However, I am taking a position – which is not contradictory to a position that sees Hanmun as related to contemporary Chinese today – that writing in Hanmun did not make someone Han Chinese or Qing Chinese in the nineteenth century any more than speaking in English might make a Dutch person more American today. In fact, a claim that a premodern person (particularly a non-Western one) was somehow more susceptible than a contemporary person to cultural transformation, or would have been more “Chinese” because they used millennia-old characters invented before China came into existence – this line of thinking is suspect without rigorous reasoning. Before the rise of nation-states and before Westphalia, the idea that Hanmun, like all scripts, had to monopolistically “belong” to a body-politic, and that language and identity were so tightly braided that writing in Hanmun could possibly even make a Korean less than Korean would have been strange.26 From the perspective of multilingual and multiscript states, or East Asian states prior to the Westphalia, writing in a particular script did not bear the fraught marriage of national culture and national identity that it could in the twentieth century (Y. Lee 2010; Ko and Koh 2014). The idea that a script, and by extension, a culture, has a national identity and that its usage could bind one’s political allegiances is a fairly new one in world history. It also coincides with the making of nation-states. One way of describing the “engine” of the nation state is that its capacity to empower itself, to “speak” for a people

26

to a third script named for its character – an authentic language. The main takeaway is that (J. shinbun)/jinmun seems deliberately odd and ambiguous. This nineteenth-century problematic linkage between script and identity has been responsible for a twentieth-century nationalistic cultural and linguistic cleansing on the Korean peninsula that has disastrously cleaved most Koreans from much of Korean cultural products. One can find text written prior to 1970 (more definitively for pre-1900 material text) that is inaccessible without translation or specialized dictionaries for average Koreans. There is irony in the fact that postcolonial South and North Korea states have made true what colonizers could not – to make real via a nationalist linguistic cleansing the imperialist claims that the targets of colonialism were people without culture. On Korean vernacular and its relation to the “Sinographic” world see Ko and Koh 2014. See Pollock 2000, 591–625.

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requires it to maintain congruence of the following trifecta: national borders (political authority), with a national culture, and a national identity (often distinguished by a national language and history) have aterialized as meaningful categories and possibilities through instruments such as this treaty (D. A. Bell 2003).27 This chapter’s earlier analysis of the Un’yō talks showed how Westphalian terminology began to creep into Eastphalian protocol and processes. In the case of the treaty stipulations, we are seeing the ideational architecture of nationstates float further into Eastphalian spaces, with consequences that cross the domestic–international divide. The inclusion and the category-making of jinmun as “the actual or authentic language” and whatever that was, as not being Japanese or Chinese, and that such distinctions would have political impact and force – this was new. Prior to Westphalian induction, the coupling of national culture and power did not exist – that is, it was not believed that cultural participation in the Sinic sphere through the use of Literary Sinitic or through Confucian rites could produce political consequences diminishing sovereignty and agency. From the nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, the countries now known as Japan, the two Koreas, and China have all engaged in substantial language reforms in order to make themselves comprehensible as nation-states by making what was thought nations, unlike states, should have: a “guoyu.”28 The tensions in the Un’yō crisis were merely harbingers of change whose logic was unclear when the “choice” was first encountered, but would later be ubiquitous. Conclusion The case study at hand is of a familiar East Asian power quietly disrupting the world of its neighbor by using instruments whose capaciousness for harm was hazily visible at best. The difference and departure from past protocol would certainly have been noticeable – that’s the site of the tension that we see in the texts. But like an iceberg, much of the treaty’s attendant ideational architecture and interlocked structure of international relations and international law lay hidden from view. Having experienced their own unequal treaties, and having 27 28

The work on French linguistic homogenization as nation-state formation is useful. Also, see Hunt 2004. Guoyu, 國語or 국어, “national language,” often used interchangeably with “the language spoken in Taiwan” or “what is spoken in Korea” (han’guk mal, lit. Korean speech, trans. Korean; In North Korea, Chosŏn mal = Korean). Some examples of language changes and homogenization: gender pronouns 他 (he) 她 (she)were introduced into modern Chinese in the early twentieth century. The PRC has a simplified script, while Hong Kong and Taiwan use the presimplified “complex” characters. While the two Koreas claim to occupy positions at opposing ends of the political spectrum, both states have had similar disruptive campaigns to “purify” the national language and excise Japanese and Chinese elements.

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a new class of leaders whose political capital was derived from new nationmaking, Japan possessed far more familiarity and incentive to behave in certain ways. It is reasonable to ask: Would the relatively straightforward reading of Japan “mimicking” the West offer a better starting point to create a model to understand the encounter discussed in this chapter? I prefer not to use mimicry because its usage often seems nebulous and poorly defined in research save in two areas: critical theory (mimicry according to Jacques Lacan and colonial mimicry according to Homi Bhabha), and in biology, where one may observe evolutionary mimicry for the sake of predator evasion or species proliferation. These uses of mimicry seem quite dissimilar but share the following common denominators: that there is an “original” and a “mimic,” the mimic is a copy, often lesser than the original, and the valueadded in mimicking is as much drawn from looking like the original, as in doing the act that also happens to be a replication. There is a distinction between mimicry and modelling that is detectible in the slight negative inflection held by mimicry – unlike the replication one sees in children copying adult behavior that is conventionally thought of as testing or “learning” versus mimicry, which is a claim of an advantage gained by copying but failing to be the original. Mimicry may be an imperfect fit for the Un’yō crisis because the concept of mimicking presumes that intention and duplication are at crosspurposes, that the intention of the “mimicker” is not the same as the “original” actor. Japan’s calculus in using treaties of amity and friendship – in using the tools of international law – seems fairly similar to others that have sought to use them. It is trying them out because there is an advantage to be gained. Japan was already within Westphalia, so why would it not use the ideational instruments that came with it? Ultimately, what I am suggesting is that the research stress should be on the question of nineteenth-century standardization and why, and less on Westphalian standardization. The “West” is not static and is itself transformed. I see the Westphalian moment in East Asia as one of systemic harmonization. Harmonization, a term that I am borrowing from the study of global governance or regulatory law, entails more than the eventual dominance of one set of statutory interpretations over another (Drezner 2005; 2008). The term “harmonization” belies a highly contested terrain that is anything but harmonious, where able, bellicose agents on all sides fight to privilege their own systems of meaning. In this project, “harmonization” describes a process that begins with many alternatives, many possible systems, but that ends with a singular result. Hence, it captures a particular kind of structural transformation that is an act of erasure, where a competitive set of practices and meanings becomes extinct and is rendered retroactively unintelligible (Dreyfus 2009; Lear 2006). I am speaking of a specific kind of destruction as not all deaths produce unintelligibility. “Retroactive unintelligibility” describes the death of Eastphalia and constitutes

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a particular type of erasure where we cannot imagine a return to the past and we cannot imagine why we would have ever wanted to be in that state in the first place.29 It is caused by what Hubert Dreyfus calls a “cultural collapse” or “world collapse” with “culture” or “world” referring to a system of meaning. It is a thorough and peculiar form of destruction where the viability of the competitor world is retroactively nullified as well as annihilated. The erasure, caused by a retrojected nullification of significance, is why we cannot imagine returning to a system of non-nation-states in the wake of the Westphalian harmonization. It’s not simply that it’s impossible, it’s unimaginable – unavailable and invisible as an option in our political spectrum of choices.30 Using Dreyfus’s “rule of thumb” for the unintelligible – there is no nostalgia for Eastphalia, no desire for a return. The dearth of choices, or that certain alternatives to our world seem backward, incomprehensible, and inapplicable to our circumstances, therefore practically unimaginable – this state of being constitutes one way that the death of Eastphalia affects us today. In the Un’yō incident and its accompanying talks, what was harmonized, or written out, was a competing and flexible system of international relations that 29

30

“Imagination” is not meant conventionally as in “exercising a capacity to name a thing,” because clearly, we’re talking about it – about a world of states that preceded nation-states. “Imagination” here means what is intelligible, what can make sense, can be significant, and legible given a particular system of meanings. “Retroactive unimaginability” results from a “cultural collapse” or a collapse of a system of meanings that had rendered previous procedures and processes sensible and significant (having meaning). Dreyfus interprets Lear’s work on the impact of buffalo extinction (functionally extinct, down to a herd of ~100) on Crow Indians’ way of life as an example of world collapse. Rituals of adulthood, masculinity, economies of production, and capital accumulation based on the hunting and consumption of buffalo – in essence, an entire culture that had come to revolve around the buffalo – that world became unintelligible with buffalo extinction: it no longer made sense. Drawing on Dreyfus’s ideas of world-death allows a theoretical expansion regarding analyses of change and encounter beyond the limited, well-trodden tropes of rationality and irrationality, meritorious vs. hegemonic competition – it expands our toolkit in studying death and demise beyond the unhelpful binary of death as not alive, relevant, nor extant. Andrew Isenberg (2001) argues that the nineteenth-century destruction of the bison was part of the effort to cripple Native American populations through starvation and economic devastation. In systemic change, a cultural collapse is not adequately captured by the concept of “competition” – especially the presumed “competition on merit” that undergirds Westernization paradigms. Competition assumes that while the two competitors may not be equal, they somehow have equal standing to compete, e.g., they are both states or they are both sanctioned national representatives in the same Olympic marathon. In a competitive marathon, a loser is lesser after the race and the winner is the winner because one ran faster. At most, the loser’s present and future are impacted by the competition’s results. If the “marathon” were a case of world collapse, we would have to shoot the loser and retroactively destroy any trace of the viability of their competitiveness, as well as their standing to have been in that race or any race with the winner in the past. Cultural collapse or world-death is not mere extinction. Dreyfus describes nostalgia as an alternative ontological possibility in the aftermath of an extinction, where one can desire a past and can imagine a return, although it may be unavailable. However, retroactive unintelligibility or cultural collapse comprises a specific, rare, and retrojected erasure, an epistemological and ontological death.

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were comprised of bilateral relations within multiple hierarchical universes – a Sino-centered universe, and a Korea-centered universe, among others (Hevia 1995; Wills 2009). This heterarchical system, which I call “Eastphalia,” accommodated non-nation-state histories and imaginaries, and is one of the richest and enduring sets of case studies for those who are interested in how a world might have functioned (quite well!) without nation-states. It has at times, been narrowly equated with one of the constitutive elements of the early modern East Asian international system, otherwise known as a Sinocentric world order or the tribute system. It was one of the last viable alternatives to Westphalia. In terms of global history, the nineteenth-century Westphalian harmonization finally inducted the last part of the world that possessed alternative and viably competitive institutional, bureaucratic, and historical resources against the forces of empire. With New World settlements imperial expropriation did not always shield their expropriation with sociolegal instruments, the erasure of Eastphalia occurred through legal means.31 The centuries of trade and contact between the East and the West during which Westerners had been disciplined by Eastern laws and norms meant that it was infeasible to “discover” East Asia, to declare it “unsettled” or to deny the existence of states that already exercised sovereign authority. Instead, as Lydia Liu (2004) and Teemu Ruskola (2013) have described, existing East Asian forms of law and sovereignty were erased or rendered unintelligible, and as I show in the case of Korea, reconstituted within Westphalian terms. No one should mistake my interpretation of the Un’yō incident as a return to a “Western impact, Eastern response” framework that plagued the first generation of scholarship on East Asia (as well as some current books published by nonspecialists). The understandable disgust with the triumphalist assumption that “Eastern responses” were, at best, a mimicry of inherently superior Western and modern ideas sparked a call for Sinocentered or local-centric (e.g., Korea-centric, Japan-centric) scholarship in the 1990s (Cohen 1997). The localist turn privileging indigenous perspectives and dynamics was an important measure against the pervasive Eurocentrism that we associate with books on China that aren’t written with any Chinese-language sources. However, the X-centric turn against explanatory frameworks involving external transformative impetuses has resulted in a dearth of scholarship concerned with the kind of rare change that is engendered within international encounters, and in particular, the violence that accompanies such transformations. Imperial violence manifests itself in gunboats and also in new hierarchies of desirability that privilege “Western” or “modern” signifiers, which are in turn internalized by local populations in service of their own agendas. Imperialism is also what 31

See Pagden 1993; Pagden 1995.; Anghie 2005.

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led to the construction of a “traditional” East Asia.32 Unlike the familiar colonial violence of resource expropriation in the New World, this violence took the form of dislocating an entire region from its own past, in reappraising that history and its capacity to inform the future – to offer intelligible futures, to present a range of legible political options – as “backwards,” or “despotic,” after the Westphalian moment. What is at stake in reframing the Un’yō incident within a world systems analysis instead of imperialism (Wallerstein 1974; Frank 1998)? The two approaches are not mutually exclusive, but the choice of the former is a reflection of the failures of explanations that claim comparative technological superiority, military might, or even a superior rationality purportedly inherent to Western political ideas as causes for the East Asian transformation that does indeed occur at the turn of the twentieth century. Systems structure – their accompanying protocols and norms provide the plumbing through which state power, sovereignty, individual agency flows, expresses itself, and becomes recognizable by third parties, and no single party owns it. The Westphalian transition is a dialogic process that is never monopolized by the “West.” Certainly some countries can claim to be more impactful nodes than others in many systems. By way of example, while the United States today might be an important actor in global capitalism, it is circumscribed and shaped by the rules, governance, history, and multinodal dynamics of that system, and they cannot objectively claim unilateral control. Framing the Un’yō incident as a moment of structural transformation strips away the possibility that the Westphalian induction can be considered mere Westernization or modernization – at least no more than the historic US entry into global finance can be seen as British-ization. The framework of systemic harmonization thereby reduces “Westernization” and “modernization” to their rightful place as analytically incoherent, but powerful politicized tropes through which various historical actors have demarcated who was marginal and who was not at opportune times. Hence, the self-conscious articulation of twentieth-century East Asian nationalists should not be taken as unquestioned fact or as mere assent of superior “modern” values, but as political positioning designed to forward their own agendas. Despite years of critique, the positively valenced, intellectually incoherent yet powerful concepts of modernity and modernization continue to constrain innovative thinking. Often, we forget that modernity did not just make itself, its emergence also gave rise to a concomitant construction of a premodern, illiberal regressive and static past. It is not clear to me if we can ever cast off the 32

The making of a traditional East Asia is concomitant with the creation of “modern” nationstates – a shift heretofore generally perceived as a progressive, anti-colonial response to imperialism, but one whose liberal narratives this project unsettles.

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intellectual shackles of the false modern–premodern epistemic divide unless we appreciate how deeply it remains imbricated in the rise of Westphalia and the death of Eastphalia, a non-nation-state system in the late nineteenth century. The death of the tribute system was a result of imperialism, no doubt, but what we have missed before is that the liberal rhetoric of competition (national or otherwise) obscures a secondary, more powerful exclusionary practice whose effects are arguably longer lasting; in other words, what we call the modern era in East Asia is associated not just with the replacement of a state system with a nation-state system, it is also about the creation of a mimetic husk, of a static premodern past that never existed. This project has tried to make this selfinvested imperviousness an object of inquiry. Only by neutering modernization and our inherent tendency to imbue it with positive and liberal readings, and by objectively appreciating the illiberal formation of the modern, Westphalian international system can we begin to appreciate the impact of this error. The error does not simply affect our analysis of marginal countries or non-Western peoples, but also of the current international system within which we exist. Appreciating the violent dimensions of systemic change does not simply produce an ethical value-add to our study of international relations, it also allows us to excavate the spectrum of possibilities that are artificially closed off and rendered invisible in the present because we are the children of Westphalia, inculcated and indoctrinated in its claims of inevitable universality. An objective research agenda needs to account for the weight of that positionality. Not all world deaths leave visible ruins; some leave absences that have been carefully curated by the survivors.

Conclusion

15

East Asian History and International Relations Andrew J. Coe and Scott Wolford

Modern international relations theory purports to be universally applicable: it should tell us about politics among any group of states, in any era. However, as Haggard and Kang note in the Introduction, most modern international relations theory is inspired by observations of interstate politics only in the West of the Modern Era (after 1500, for which we adopt the anachronism of “Westphalia”), when scholars judge that a set of recognizably modern European states had formed. But the problem is even worse than that: large parts of international relations theory were developed based on the much shorter and narrower history of the US–Soviet competition in the Cold War and the period of US preeminence that followed it. Though the collection of quantitative empirical data has enabled scholars to test parts of international relations theory against most states’ relations since 1816,1 these data can tell us little about how well the theory does in earlier eras and in regions other than Europe. Modern international relations theory deems four variables to be the most important determinants of the character of interstate behavior. Realism and much of the bargaining theory of war emphasize the importance of the distribution of power among states.2 Liberalism focuses on the role of states’ regime types in shaping both preferences and behavior.3 Theories of international political economy privilege the interests of influential domestic actors within states in explaining patterns of exchange.4 Finally, constructivism concentrates on the development and promulgation of norms that govern states’ behavior and conceptualizations of their interests.5 The international system that evolved in East Asia from antiquity into the nineteenth century (what we call Historical East Asia, or simply HEA) differs from established views of Western systems on all four variables. With regard to the distribution of power, unipolarity was both far more pronounced and far more durable in HEA than in the West. China enjoyed a much greater 1 2 3

See Sarkees and Wayman 2010. On realism, see Waltz 1979; on bargaining and war, see Fearon 1995; Powell 2006. Moravcsik 1997. 4 Frieden et al. 2017. 5 Wendt 1999.

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preponderance of power over other states in the region than Great Britain, the United States, or any other state ever possessed, and this preponderance was rarely disturbed over the course of at least a thousand years. In contrast to the occasional flowering and eventual spread of democratic regimes in the West, the states of HEA were consistently ruled by highly autocratic regimes, typically dynastic monarchies that were not constrained by assemblies of nobles or elected representatives. The political economies of states in HEA were usually dominated by land rents, with interstate commerce playing a much smaller role than in the West. Finally, the prevailing norms in HEA explicitly endorsed hierarchy in foreign relations and Sinicization in domestic culture, in contrast to the sovereign equality and plural cultures of the West. These four key differences imply that HEA offers particularly fertile ground on which to test modern international relations theory’s claims to universality. If this theory can adequately explain the patterns of interstate behavior in HEA, then scholars can be more confident in applying it elsewhere with little modification. If it fails the test in some respects, then the history of East Asia provides the grist needed to refine the theory and expand its applicability, generating a new sense of what state systems have in common and where they differ. The events discussed in previous chapters speak to many international phenomena, and so can be used to examine a variety of modern international relations theory’s predictions. We cannot address the full array of relevant outcomes, so we organize our discussion around a select few phenomena: cooperation under hegemony, the enforcement of order, international norms, trade relations, changes in the balance of power, changes in polarity, and state formation. For each, we briefly outline the relevant theories in the study of international relations and the predictions they make. We then assess the extent to which each theory’s predictions are consistent with behavior in HEA. Where international relations theory comes up short – and we do find some shortcomings – we offer suggestions for how HEA can inspire new questions and further development in the theory of international relations. Cooperation under Hegemony Cooperation is a process of “mutual adjustment” in which states sacrifice the pursuit of some individual goals to achieve collectively desirable outcomes, such as freedom of the seas, low trade barriers, reduced arms burdens, and the avoidance of costly war.6 Yet cooperation is difficult to achieve when states are tempted to exploit each other.7 One solution to the collective action problem is for a uniquely capable actor to provide a public good, often in return for some 6

Keohane 1984, 13.

7

Olson 1965.

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private benefit. This informs hegemonic stability theory, which explains why the last two global hegemons, Great Britain and the United States, provided public goods such as freedom of the seas in return for special international rights and privileges.8 This ensures the stability of the global trading regime, where, so the argument goes, multilateral cooperation would have otherwise failed as it did in the leaderless years between the world wars.9 Since World War II, the United States has shouldered much of the burden of ensuring freedom of the seas, and its preferences shape communications and commercial standards even when military power is not clearly in play.10 It has also led the construction of multilateral institutions, including NATO and the UN Security Council, the GATT/WTO, and the IMF and World Bank, which reflect its preferences in areas of security, trade, and finance – even human rights. Cooperation under hegemony operated differently in HEA. Like the Westphalian hegemons described by hegemonic stability theory, China designed institutions and practices (including the practice and content of civil service exams) that reflected its preferences, but these entailed not the multilateral provision of public goods but many bilateral exchanges of private goods, accompanied occasionally by the active refusal to provide public goods (e.g., the Ming restrictions on maritime commerce).11 China offered military protection, economic aid, and political recognition to aligned states,12 just as multilateral institutions are designed to do under US hegemony. But China’s relationship with each Sinicized state was isolated from the others and unmediated by multilateral institutions. Tributary relationships, institutionalized through widely accepted social roles and practices,13 entailed bilateral exchanges of both legitimacy and trade goods. First, China granted legitimacy to local rulers through investiture, the acceptance of which recognized the ruling dynasty’s dominion of “all under heaven.” Second, the tribute trade was also lucrative, supported by large infusions of South American silver. Yet channeling trade through hub-and-spoke bilateral links ensured that domestic rulers beholden to landed elites retained control over the domestic distribution of the gains from trade. This led Chinese to label everyday traders, most of whom were Chinese, “Japanese pirates,”14 if only because they violated rules that ensured the political dominance of landed wealth. The contrast between US and Chinese hegemony is striking, all the more so because the former structured cooperation in a similar fashion both before and after the Cold War, when its nearest competitor (the Soviet Union) effectively abandoned superpower competition. Explaining why the two systems differ so dramatically in their relative provision of public goods should shed light on the workings of both systems. The “closed system” of HEA combined maritime 8 12

Ikenberry 2001. Swope chapter.

9 13

Kindleberger 1986. 10 Krasner 1991. Lee chapter. 14 von Glahn chapter.

11

von Glahn chapter.

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and landed interests,15 yet no maritime power – like Japan – managed to compete seriously with China, a continental empire based on the exploitation of land rents. China’s ability to dominate the market by regulating its consumption surely played a role in this, as tributary states sought alternative sources of investiture only when China itself was divided.16 As long as ruling “all under heaven” meant controlling exclusive access to the system’s largest, most centrally networked market, China could structure international cooperation to its advantage. David C. Kang highlights the cooperative success of this system, which compared to contemporary Europe saved enormous amounts of blood and treasure,17 even as it restricted other forms of cooperation more common in the Westphalian system. Even at its peak after the world wars, the United States has never enjoyed a comparable level of preponderance, though whether China’s privileged position derived from geography, the limited number of Sinicized states, or both, cannot be determined from the available evidence. Future inquiries might also ask how Korean–Japanese relations, for example, might have differed in a counterfactual multilateral system under a different form of Chinese hegemony.

Enforcement of Order All the traditional paradigms of international relations theory have concerned themselves with explaining the enforcement of international order, but they focus on different constituent elements of order. Realism asserts that order is dictated by the international distribution of power, and maintained by the stability of that distribution.18 Institutionalism theorizes that order is built through institutions that structure interactions in order to enable states to achieve gains from cooperation.19 Liberalism gives causal primacy to domestic interests and their aggregation into national interests by domestic politics, so that international order depends on the character of domestic order in relevant states.20 Finally, constructivism locates order in the creation and socialization of norms that govern how states engage with one another.21 All four constituents of order are readily observed in HEA. Interstate relations in HEA clearly took place in the shadow of China’s overwhelming, durable preponderance of power. The institution of the tribute system formalized rules of state behavior, adjudicated disputes, rewarded adherents, and punished deviants. The concentrated power of landed elites in most of the region’s states dictated their restrictive attitudes toward commerce and preference for similar autocracies abroad. Finally, many states in the region were governed by norms of Sinicization in domestic politics and hierarchy in 15 19

Lee chapter. 16 Kanagawa chapter. Keohane 1984. 20 Moravcsik 1997.

17 21

D. C. Kang 2010. 18 Waltz 1979. Finnemore and Sikkink 1998.

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interstate politics, a set of ideas that rationalized the system and, as we note in later sections, made the idea of returning to a unipolar system attractive even during periods of crisis at the center. More recent theories in international relations analyze the many individual tools for enforcing order implied by the larger paradigms: political recognition and its removal;22 the design of international institutions;23 the provision of aid or imposition of economic sanctions;24 and military protection or intervention.25 China made use of a similar toolkit for enforcing order. It bestowed or removed political recognition in the form of tributary investiture; it provided states with opportunities for commerce or excluded them from these; and it offered protection and sometimes intervened militarily in response to violations of the order. Like Great Britain and the United States, China attempted to install, assist, and maintain regimes that would uphold its preferred domestic and interstate norms. And it sought to discipline or eject those governments that would not, rather than just coexisting with or deterring them. Kang notes that external threats and power played little role among states in HEA relative to those in Europe,26 but “relative” is the key term here. Over the longue durée, China sometimes used force to compel obedience to the prevailing order, and other states in HEA clearly anticipated this possibility. Japan erected coastal defenses in fear of invasion by the early Tang dynasty,27 which itself invaded Korea to reverse a coup against a favored leader.28 This fear was also realized when the Yuan dynasty came to power and attempted to invade both Japan and Vietnam.29 The Song and Ming each invaded Vietnam in response to the local toppling of a favored government,30 and the Ming later encouraged and supported a coup in Koryŏ after its government attempted to retake territory from China.31 The persistence of the territorial dispute with Korea led the Ming to refuse investiture for the first Chosŏn king and support civil conflict (the “Strife of Princes”) that led to more obedient successors.32 Finally, Korea put down a coup led by modernizing reformers in the nineteenth century with assistance from the Qing, restoring traditional rule.33 China’s stable dominance meant that such interventions were infrequent, with a strategy of deterrence – “Manifesting Awe” in the Ming dynasty34 – sufficient to preserve order most of the time. However, even though actual use of force was 22 23 24 25 27 30 32 33

Kinne 2014. Koremenos et al. 2001. See also the other articles published in that issue of International Organization. On aid, see Bueno de Mesquita and Smith 2007. On sanctions, see Hufbauer et al. 2009. For protection, see Benson 2012. For intervention, see Regan 2000. 26 D. C. Kang 2010. Kang and Swope chapter. 28 Kanagawa chapter. 29 Anderson chapter. Anderson chapter. 31 Lee chapter. Lee chapter. On leadership change and war, see Wolford 2007; Wolford 2012. S.-H. Park chapter. 34 Swope chapter.

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rare, the overwhelming threat of military intervention was surely a fixture in the background of China’s relations with other states. Like later hegemons, China was also not typically predatory toward states whose regimes were in good standing, and perhaps as a result it could often count on the support of those regimes for its efforts to enforce order. When it moved to repel Japan’s invasion of Korea in the Imjin War, Vietnam and other clients were quick to offer material and diplomatic support.35 And just as with Great Britain and the United States, when China did deviate from the dictates of the prevailing order, other states resisted, sometimes violently. Toyotomi Hideyoshi launched the Imjin War in response to China’s refusal to grant Japan a tributary status consistent with its newly consolidated power.36 Vietnam repelled invasions from the newly risen Song and Yuan dynasties and violently resisted annexation by the Ming, and it engaged in diplomacy to convince the Yuan and Ming of the mutual benefits of restoring the tributary order.37 Korea moved to preempt seizure of some of its traditional territory by the new Ming dynasty, and when this failed and a new regime arose in Korea at Ming behest, its first king prepared to use force when the Ming subsequently refused to offer him investiture.38 Thus, both material power and legitimacy appear essential for maintaining the order and China’s supremacy within it. These similarities aside, the particular kind of order that pertained in HEA was distinct: its promotion of Sinicization of culture, autocracy in domestic politics, hierarchy in international politics, and strict regulation of commerce differ radically from the liberal culture, democratic politics, egalitarian international politics, and free commerce favored by the British and American hegemonies. Arguably, China was also more successful than Great Britain was or the United States has been in promoting its favored order, if longevity is accepted as a criterion. One possible explanation is China’s unusual degree of preponderance. China rarely faced a rival for dominance that might offer a competing vision of order, as the British faced with other European powers or the Americans did with the Soviet Union; and as we discuss in later sections, even China’s competitors strove to dominate the same order, not to replace it. To date, international relations theory has not produced a unified perspective on international order that integrates what we know about particular constituents of order (power, institutions, domestic interests, norms) with what we know about individual tools of order (recognition, sanctions, intervention). Comparing HEA to the West should help with developing such a perspective, allowing for variance in dimensions like the extent of hegemonic primacy and ideational bases of the system that are unavailable in a solely Westphalian context. In particular, it suggests that a hegemonic international order is stable when the dominant state’s predation is low enough to avoid generating a 35

Swope chapter.

36

Swope chapter.

37

Anderson chapter.

38

Lee chapter.

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balancing or disrupting coalition of other states, and the rewards of order are high enough for these states to collude with the hegemon to maintain it. This in turn makes the enforcement of order cheaper and easier for the hegemon, rendering it willing to pay the costs of doing it and to eschew predation.39 International Norms Norms tell states what is appropriate and inappropriate in international relations, how others are likely to respond to certain actions, how to interpret one another’s actions, and who responds to what actions and in what sequence. In game-theoretic terms, international norms are part of the common conjecture:40 the shared information that tells states what game they are playing, who else is playing it, and what others’ alternatives, preferences, and strategies are. Norms can also structure expectations and behavior after the material conditions that gave rise to them change, which makes their content still more valuable and norms themselves the stakes of intense political competition. Norms’ value and durability also explain why violations are occasionally punished by means up to and including force. However often it is violated by the states that give it legitimacy,41 the defining Westphalian norm is sovereign equality. Though hierarchies exist, they are viewed as purposive alienations of sovereignty, the product of negotiations between states that are de jure equals.42 By contrast, HEA’s normative structure developed around the de jure inequality of the tributary system, reinforced through recognized ritual and habitual practice.43 Different origins notwithstanding, in HEA we see similar systematic violations of norms even as their legitimacy goes unquestioned. States competed within boundaries defined by those norms, yet they also challenged and changed them, both in eras of Chinese dominance and when new norms irrupted into the region in the nineteenth century. The Un’yō incident saw Japan use Western diplomatic forms in its attempt to reassert ideas of a Meiji imperium in detaching Korea from the Qing;44 and Filipino revolutionaries adopted Western forms by trying to secure recognition (notably not investiture) from the United States after the latter seized the archipelago from Spain.45 Norms were also sticky; even when the mantle of “all under heaven” was contested between multiple Chinese dynasties, Korean kingdoms sent tribute to multiple sources, both in China and Japan.46 And when Japan invaded Korea in what became the Imjin War, the hope was to win the recognition afforded China – to supplant it, not to build a new normative system.47 Finally, violations were 39 40 44

Coe and Vaynman 2015 explain the stability of the nuclear nonproliferation regime in exactly this way. Morrow 2014. 41 Krasner 1999. 42 Lake 2009. 43 Lee chapter. Saeyoung Park chapter. 45 Yeo chapter. 46 Kanagawa chapter. 47 Swope chapter.

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often punished with war, from China’s ejection of Japanese forces from Korea after Hideyoshi’s invasion to the decades-long occupation of a Vietnam whose invested rulers were usurped by an unrecognized challenger.48 The content of norms may have been different across these two systems, but it is notable that they emerged, worked, and survived in much the same way: through a combination of power and practice,49 punctuated by instances of challenge and response.50 David C. Kang argues that HEA’s normative structure facilitated longer spells of peace between the Sinicized states than those enjoyed by states within the Westphalian system.51 International relations scholars should take this contrast seriously, because it raises several important questions. First, to what extent does a de jure hierarchical system like that of HEA depend on corresponding material disparities? In other words, how specific is HEA’s “Confucian peace” to the structural facts of overwhelming Chinese preponderance and a relatively small number of states?52 Or to the normative order? Kanagawa’s account of “East Asia’s First World War” suggests, in fact, that the normative standard of de jure hierarchy can fuel rather than suppress conflict when there is open competition for the top spot in that hierarchy.53 By contrast, a system with norms of sovereign equality might return to peace more easily when there is no major prize attached to being the hierarch. Incorporating observations of HEA into Westphalia-centered international relations scholarship can facilitate such comparisons, because both HEA and Westphalia have experienced periods of multi- and unipolarity, both under different normative systems. Second, to what extent does the strategic extension of normative structures, like recognition, affect observed rates of war across systems? Both systems experienced lengthy periods of peace among their core members, even if HEA’s spells were longer, but in neither case was recognition extended into regions of imperial competition or conquest. The European great power peace of the nineteenth century did not extend far beyond Europe itself – and even that “peace” saw multiple Russo-Ottoman wars, one of which (the Crimean War) drew in Britain and France. The period also saw numerous wars between European and Asian states, including both China and Japan, not recognized as part of the interstate system by either the states waging the wars or the dominant datasets in international relations scholarship. Likewise, China was in nearly continuous conflict on its western and northern frontiers with “barbarians,” a term applied to both nomadic steppe tribes, even those with whom treaties were concluded and borders demarcated,54 and, for no small period of time, the Russian empire.55 If normative systems systematically exclude 48 52

Anderson chapter. R. E. Kelley 2012.

49 53

See Morrow 2014. Kanagawa chapter.

50 54

See Slantchev 2005. 51 D. C. Kang 2010. Tackett 2017. 55 S. C. M. Paine 1996.

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political units in constant conflict with the in-group, then we should perhaps focus as much on the frontiers of normative systems as we do on their cores. Finally, the collision of normative systems, highlighted in Part III of the book by the Un’yō incident,56 the attempted Philippine revolution,57 and the Opium Wars,58 may help shed light on a number of important questions. First, scholarship typically focuses on how the Westphalian system supplanted (if incompletely) HEA’s hierarchical arrangement, but not how states or private actors (say, traders) in one system might strategically adopt the forms of another and what the consequences might be for war and peace. Japan’s strategic use of Westphalian norms to challenge a tributary system in which it was not favored may have something to say about challenges to the contemporary global order as the states that guarantee it enter the twilight of their global dominance – much like the Qing in the late nineteenth century. Second, the collision of HEA and Westphalian norms offers a unique chance to see two different common conjectures in conflict; game theorists should read Saeyoung Park’s account of the Un’yō incident with great interest,59 because it tells us that under some circumstances even the bedrock assumptions of Nash Equilibrium are too strong (i.e., that weaker solution concepts like rationalizability60 – which does not assume common knowledge of other players’ strategies – may be more useful). Power and ideas interact to explain outcomes in the strategic models analyzed by game theorists, yet most applications to international relations remain wedded to the Westphalian common conjecture. Without some grounds for comparison, this has limited both the game forms and informational environments available to international relations scholars, and opening up the divergent ideational box of HEA even as the basic workings of power remain constant can allow for a wider range of models on which to build a more general understanding of strategic interaction in international relations.

Trade Relations International relations theory contains two very different perspectives on the politics of interstate commerce. The first, which we will refer to as mercantilist theory, was inspired by the experience of European powers from the sixteenth through the nineteenth century. The second, international political economy, which we will call IPE theory, builds upon new theories developed in economics and was inspired mostly by the experience of the West in the twentieth century. 56 59

Saeyoung Park chapter. Saeyoung Park chapter.

57 60

Yeo chapter. 58 Horowitz chapter. Watson 2013, 67–77.

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The mercantilist theory views commerce as part of a zero-sum interstate competition. States try to increase exports and decrease imports by raising tariffs on goods coming from outside their empire, encouraging domestic production, and entering new markets abroad. The resulting current account surplus is used to pay for a more powerful military, which is then used to open or capture more markets, which in turn leads to more wealth. One state’s wealth and power thereby come mostly at the expense of others, and commerce is essential to gaining and maintaining power relative to other states. The disruptive consequences of trade for domestic politics are largely tolerated but sometimes mitigated by the granting of trading monopolies to specific actors loyal to the government. Revenue from taxing commerce fills government coffers, and in exchange the government gives merchants commercial and military protection. The IPE theory views commerce as inherently positive-sum: voluntary exchange should be mutually beneficial.61 In contrast to the mercantilist theory, restrictions on commerce are theorized to derive primarily from domestic rather than international politics: interest groups that would lose from freer commerce organize to seek protective restrictions on commerce from their government. These restrictions are bad for the country (and its trading partners) overall but good for the protected interest group. Because they are costly and designed to benefit particular interest groups, these restrictions tend to be narrow, focused on particular goods and services or particular factors of production. Superficially, the politics of trade in HEA look very different from what either theory would expect. States outright prohibited foreign commerce at times, and even when it was not prohibited it was tightly regulated and often suppressed.62 In some states and periods, trade could be conducted legally only by the government; at other times, trading privileges like those employed by early modern European governments were granted, but only to foreigners rather than locals. Despite its predominance, China did little to protect merchant enterprises, either commercially or especially militarily, to the extent that armed European merchants found easy prey when they began to compete for trade in the region.63 An obvious explanation for why the mercantilist model is not useful for HEA is that, unlike in imperial-era Europe, trade was not a viable way for states to gain power over their neighbors. China would remain dominant over Japan, Korea, and the rest, even if China closed itself completely to trade and the others sought maximum advantage from it, at least until the late nineteenth 61 62 63

For a collection of edited articles that develop the IPE theory, see Frieden et al 2017. See von Glahn chapter on Ming China, Andrade chapter and Horowitz chapter on Qing China, Dudden chapter on Tokugawa Japan. Andrade chapter.

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century. Thus, from the perspective of any government in HEA, trade could increase its power relative to other states, but only marginally. In these respects, the situation is similar to that within the contemporary West. Analogously to HEA, the dominance and protection of the United States, and warm relations among Westernized states, meant there was no intense military competition among these states. Consistent with the IPE theory, the benign international atmosphere leads states to view commerce as mostly a question of domestic, rather than interstate, winners and losers. Policies occasionally entrench and protect particular domestic interests at the cost of those domestic and foreign actors who would benefit from freer commerce, but they rarely have implications for the distribution of power and influence. And yet despite this surface resemblance of the international context in HEA to the one that inspired the IPE theory, that theory’s predictions also fail to fit the politics of HEA’s trade. Rather than narrow restrictions on otherwise fairly free commerce, HEA often witnessed broad restrictions or total bans on trade. It appears that in HEA, trade posed serious domestic political risks to the region’s governments, as it could lead to the rise of a class of wealthy, powerful merchants who might threaten the dominance of landed elites. This is why trading privileges were tightly controlled by the government and often afforded only to foreigners (and geographically isolated foreigners at that), whose increased wealth in principle posed no domestic threat. The lack of commercial or military protection naturally constrained the growth of the merchant class within these states and prevented it from becoming a serious threat. Restrictions on trade in HEA lapsed only when a state was internally riven, so that its government’s control over trade faltered, internal military competition was stimulated, and trade once again became an effective way to compete for (domestic) power. Civil conflict in late-sixteenth-century Japan enabled the rise of trade and of elites enriched by it, which then caused civil conflict in China64 and a Japanese invasion of the East Asian mainland.65 The collapse of the Ming enabled the rise of a trade-based state on China’s coast that also proceeded to fight for control of China.66 Freer trade lasted only until landed elites in the open state reunified, or until a foreign government intervened to restore landed elites to power. Extraordinary measures were then taken to reassert control over trade. The early Ming in China expelled merchants, attacked entrepôts, and executed smugglers,67 and the early Qing went so far as to depopulate China’s coasts,68 later imposing the restrictive Canton system on foreign trade.69 Early Tokugawa Japan banned oceangoing ships, restricted foreign trade to a single port and with only the Dutch, and prohibited subjects who went abroad from returning home.70 64 68

von Glahn chapter. Andrade chapter.

65 69

Swope chapter. Horowitz chapter.

66 70

Andrade chapter. Dudden chapter.

67

von Glahn chapter.

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The difference in restrictiveness toward trade between HEA and the contemporary West may be due to differences in their underlying political economy. The relatively static, agrarian economies of HEA gave rise to a stable coalition of domestic actors – landed elites – who would benefit from broadly restrictive policies, and the region’s autocratic governments enabled even such a small coalition to impose its favored policies. By contrast, the rapidly changing, diversified economies of the contemporary West make it difficult to identify stable sets of actors who would benefit from a broad restriction, and the West’s democratic governments make it hard for any small coalition to set policies that would seriously harm the rest of society. The broad restrictions on commerce in HEA were costly, and when they were particularly stringent, they could impose extreme costs on neighboring countries, especially those more economically or politically dependent on trade. This might help to explain the occurrence of the Imjin War, wherein a revolutionary Japanese leader whose political support was based on trade gambled on a massive invasion of the mainland with the declared aim of replacing the hegemon with one more inclined to free commerce. To date, most international relations theorizing about the politics of trade focuses either on its consequences for international security (the mercantilist theory) or on its consequences for domestic politics (the IPE theory). There is a need to develop an integrated theory that explains how the domestic and foreign effects of commerce interact to influence governments’ choices of both trade and security policies. HEA provides a rich array of cases and broad patterns that could be mined to develop and test such a theory. Changes in the Balance of Power International relations theory traditionally places great weight on the international distribution of power in explaining the character of interstate relations. Changes in the balance of power, especially between the most powerful states, can lead to upheavals in the international system. These upheavals are often preceded by intense competition in arms and alliances, are sometimes precipitated by large wars that draw in many states, and sometimes result in serious changes to the international order. Changes in the balance of power are theorized to derive from the aftermath of wars,71 differences in economic growth rates,72 and the spread of new military technology.73 Modern international relations theory based on bargaining models stipulates that these factors cause war whenever the shift in power they induce is large, likely, and swift enough.74 This body of theory was inspired by the results of “formative” wars such as the two world wars; ructions in the European balance of power caused 71

McDonald 2015.

72

Gilpin 1978.

73

Bas and Coe 2012.

74

Powell 2006.

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by competition over trade routes and colonies from the sixteenth century on; and the spread of firearms and, more recently, nuclear weapons. Each of these phenomena sometimes led to wars, as a declining power fought a rising power to try to preserve the status quo. HEA evinces all of these theorized causes of shifts in the balance of power. Large wars occurred, though rarely; states’ economies grew at different rates; and new military technologies arose and spread over time. However, these do not seem to have led to intense interstate competition over security: little in the way of arms races, alliance formation, proxy conflicts, or systemic war occurred. Major wars typically did not give rise to subsequent wars of opportunity – although China was fighting large border conflicts when the Imjin War began, there is no evidence that Hideyoshi was aware of this or that it motivated his invasion of Korea.75 There is also little of the fierce competition over trade routes or colonies that frequently upset Europe’s balance of power. Finally, there is no indication that new military technologies such as firearms – which were, after all, invented in HEA – led to wars to prevent their spread. The most obvious answer to why these factors led to war in Europe but not in HEA is the durable and overwhelming power of HEA’s hegemon relative to the rotating cast of barely dominant powers in Europe. These factors led to war in Europe because even the dominant power of the moment was never more than a single defeat in war, a single bad recession or loss of a valuable trade route, or a new military technology away from losing its position. These factors thus generated – or threatened to generate – shifts in the balance of power that were relatively large. By contrast, bad losses in border wars, deep economic contractions, and the spread of firearms still left China vastly more powerful than its closest rivals in HEA. The balance of power therefore never shifted by more than a marginal amount, making no accommodation necessary, and so no wars were fought to avoid changes in the balance of power. The massive pool of resources on which the Chinese government could draw ensured that, so long as its domestic rule was intact, little could threaten its dominance.76 The only serious shifts in power appear to have coincided not with interstate economic or political events but with civil conflict inside China. An incipient transition in dynasties, or a serious military contest for power within China, could temporarily undermine China’s dominance over other powerful actors in HEA, and the window of opportunity such civil conflict created was sometimes exploited by these other actors. Indeed, the correlation between dynastic transition in China and war and regime change elsewhere in HEA is remarkable. The transition from Sui to Tang in China coincides with a coup in Koryŏ and the replacement of the Sui-invested regime.77 As the Tang dynasty 75 77

Swope chapter; Swope 2009. Kanagawa chapter.

76

See also Gowa and Ramsay 2017.

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collapsed, Vietnam formed as an independent state, violently expelling Chinese forces from its territory,78 and the Korean Silla dynasty was conquered and overthrown by Koryŏ.79 The fall of the Yuan in China led Koryŏ to try to reclaim territory by force from China.80 The weakening of the subsequent Ming dynasty in China precipitated the overthrow of the Tran dynasty in Vietnam81 and enabled the rise of a new state within China, the Zheng port polity,82 at the same time that it facilitated an invasion and reunification of China by the Qing.83 Finally, the Opium Wars coincide with the rise of the Taiping rebellion against the Qing,84 and China’s subsequent weakening invited Japan to use force to assert control over Korea in the Sino-Japanese War.85 Only once China’s dominance was irrevocably lost, as evidenced by dramatic defeats at the hands of Britain, France, and Japan in those wars, did interstate politics in HEA begin to look more like Westphalian balance-of-power politics. The importance of domestic upsets to the international balance of power in HEA raises the question of whether domestically induced shifts in local or global balances of power may also have occurred in other systems. In more recent times, it is possible that the preoccupation of the Nixon administration with the Watergate investigation, or of the Clinton administration with impeachment proceedings, may have helped to precipitate conflicts such as the Arab–Israel War of 1973 or the Kosovo War of 1999. And the occurrence of wars in the Caucasus and Balkans just after the collapse of the Soviet Union was not coincidental. HEA therefore suggests a profitable addition to the repertoire of factors that are theorized to create large shifts in the balance of interstate power and thereby lead to preventive war. There is now strong evidence that the (anticipated) spread of nuclear weapons has led to such wars in the last several decades,86 but the preventive war / commitment problem theory has not really been tested across the last two centuries, for which the necessary data on wars is readily available.87 It should be feasible to gather data on instances of domestic upset in major powers, including changes of leaders and political institutions,88 to see if these are correlated with either aggression against those major powers or either aggression against or regime change in their client states. Changes in Polarity Modern international relations theory holds (at least implicitly) that changes in polarity, defined as the number of great powers in a system,89 can be violent or 78 82 85 87 89

Anderson chapter. 79 Kanagawa chapter. 80 Lee chapter. 81 Anderson chapter. von Glahn chapter; Andrade chapter. 83 Crossley chapter. 84 Horowitz chapter. S.-H. Park chapter. 86 Bas and Coe 2016; Debs and Monteiro 2014. But see S. R. Bell and Johnson 2015. 88 See, e.g., Wu and Wolford 2018. Waltz 1979.

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peaceful, intentional or accidental. The United States joined the great power club after the Spanish–American War, Japan after the First Sino-Japanese War, both wars the culmination of drives for regional hegemony. On the other hand, the world wars reduced the several great powers to two, and not because any belligerents intended to leave the club. The Soviet Union fell from the ranks peacefully when it collapsed, creating unipolarity by accident, and peaceful accessions in the future – by, for example, India or a united Europe – are also possible. International relations theory evinces less agreement on how long different polarities might last. Scholars assumed that unipolarity, when it emerged after Cold War bipolarity, would be short-lived.90 Yet at this writing unipolarity has endured three decades compared to bipolarity’s four – nothing to sniff at. The absence of balancing against the United States poses its own puzzle, leading to answers rooted in the unipole’s benign intent,91 its willingness to provide collective goods,92 and the difficulties of catching up militarily after the collapse of the last remaining competitor.93 By contrast, changes in polarity were extremely rare in HEA. The modal configuration over several centuries was overwhelming Chinese unipolarity in a system with dramatically fewer states. But changes did occur. In the seventh century CE, China’s division into competing kingdoms produced multipolarity, as two Chinese kingdoms competed with the Japanese Yamato kingdom for predominance in Korea.94 Likewise, the collapse of the Ming in the seventeenth century saw their territory overrun and their status atop HEA’s hierarchy usurped by the Qing, not because the latter won a revisionist interstate war but because the Ming state was fatally weakened by domestic unrest – a state failure that precipitated a series of wars culminating in the reunification of China and a return to unipolarity.95 Indeed, the collapse of the Ming and, much later, the Soviet Union represent two instances of state failure in great powers – often considered immune from such processes. Rare interruptions aside, Chinese unipolarity was the defining feature of HEA’s international politics. Succeeding dynasties preserved their positions through the provision of a combination of private goods (i.e., investiture, access to China’s market, and protection from China’s own overwhelming military power) and over time ostensibly more stable polarities routinely gave way to a resurgent unipolarity. How does this pattern comport with modern international relations theory? The first and most obvious divergence is the endurance of unipolarity. Kenneth Waltz calls two great powers “the smallest number possible in a self-help system,”96 yet Japan’s failed bid to topple the Ming in the Imjin War stands 90 92 95

Waltz 1997; Waltz 2000; Mearsheimer 2001. 91 Ikenberry 2001. Kydd 2005, 189–253. 93 Gowa and Ramsay 2017. 94 Kanagawa chapter. Crossley chapter. 96 Waltz 1979, 136.

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out for its rarity in HEA. Nominal incentives to balance notwithstanding, Japan would not try again for over 300 years. Even acknowledging the fact of unipolarity after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Waltz avers that “unipolarity appears to be the least stable of international configurations.”97 Second, it is not just that HEA’s unipolarity endured, but that when multipolarity or opportunities for it emerged, unipolarity eventually returned. East Asia’s First World War, which saw multiple Chinese dynasties competing with Japanese Yamato for the mantle of controlling All Under Heaven,98 ultimately resolved in unipolarity; likewise, the Ming–Qing transition did not see the emergence of any significant challenges to the notion of a region ruled by a single major power. One obvious source of these differences is the extent of China’s dominance; catching up to, much less overtaking, the dominant power was prohibitively costly. In the “closed system” of HEA,99 China controlled what H. J. Mackinder might have called the regional “heartland” – the largest landmass, market, and source of wealth – from which it could dominate others by denying access and, in the tributary system, political legitimacy.100 With this military and economic dominance also came normative dominance. Even when China split into multiple states, Korean kingdoms sought investiture from each in the expectation that one would, eventually, rule “all under heaven.”101 The legal fiction of HEA is sovereign inequality, in contrast to the Westphalian legal fiction of sovereign equality: both define shared expectations about the games being played, the payoffs associated with them, and other states’ strategies.102 Common knowledge that a single power should and would win the right to grant legitimacy to the leaders of tributary states structured competition between competing Chinese and Japanese dynasties, guiding their aims in ways that a system defined by sovereign equality would not.103 In this specific geopolitical configuration, anarchy appears to have been what states made of it – and they did not make enduring violent competition.104 States gave and sought tribute from higher- and lower-ranked entities, respectively, and they expected wars to rearrange but not fundamentally alter these relationships. If a favorable geographical position explains why China achieved unipolarity, then norms of sovereign inequality, reinforced by both time and ritual,105 might explain why HEA was never multipolar for very long. Only with the irruption of Westphalian legal norms and the rise of a modernizing Japan, hurried along by European victories on the Chinese periphery106 – that is, with the opening up of the formerly closed system – did Chinese unipolarity disappear into global multipolarity. 97 101 105

98 Waltz 1997, 915. Kanagawa chapter. Kanagawa chapter. 102 Morrow 2014. Lee chapter. 106 Dudden chapter.

99 103

Lee chapter. 100 Mackinder 2004. D. C. Kang 2010. 104 Wendt 1992.

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State Formation Traditional international relations theories take states, as well as their anarchical order, as given,107 which comes at the cost of accurate assessments of the relationships between anarchy and war,108 and between war and its consequences for the international system itself.109 When international relations theory considers the origins of the state at all, it adopts a traditional view of the Westphalian system as rooted in persistent violent conflict, which necessitated that rulers centralize authority, enhance revenue extraction, and demarcate borders. Comparisons to processes of state formation, as well as integration into the state system, in HEA promise to be fruitful, because the tributary system was not just another system of territorial states; it was an old system of territorial states, predating its Westphalian counterpart by centuries. To be sure, there were key similarities. States taxed their populations to support armies, though Kang and Swope in their chapter point to “emulation, not competition” in the development of these centralized, extractive, and armed political units.110 They note that states typically mobilized armed force against domestic competitors more so than foreign ones, yet whether the threats that armed organizations confront happen to be foreign or domestic, the desire to build centralized, bounded territorial entities to ease extraction and clarify who is whose subject is strikingly similar. Korea’s long and violent process of unification, for example, involved a mix of local and foreign forces,111 and in the tenth and eleventh centuries the Song dynasty embarked on a process of centralization and military adaptation aimed at reclaiming the “Sixteen Prefectures” lost to the Khitan Liao empire during the Jin dynasty.112 Nor was there in early modern Europe a consistently fine line to draw between states and nonstates as the sites and prizes of organized violence.113 States were a solution to problems of organized violence in both systems, though HEA and Europe differed in the rates at which states failed to deter threats of organized violence during and after the process of state formation.114 If state formation itself was similar, HEA and Westphalia differed more substantially in how states came to be accepted as members of the system. The former’s investiture was granted from an imperial center, while recognition in the Westphalian system is nominally multilateral, though any given case generally depends on the coordinating value of acceptance by the great powers.115 Failing to recognize this difference has consequences. The dominant dataset employed in modern international relations research, the Correlates of War data 107 108 111 114

Bull 1977; Waltz 1979; Moravcsik 1997; Wendt 1999. See Wagner 2007; M. Kim and Wolford 2014. Wagner 2007. 109 McDonald 2015. 110 Kang and Swope chapter. Kanagawa chapter. 112 Tackett 2017. 113 Wimmer and Min 2006; Wagner 2007. See, e.g., D. C. Kang 2010; D. C. Kang et al. 2016. 115 Coggins 2011.

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(COW), uses a roughly Westphalia-plus-Yalta operationalization for membership in the system from 1816. That is, a polity is recognized as a state if it has diplomatic missions from Britain and France or, after 1945, membership in the United Nations.116 Yet polities that do not meet these criteria waged war against and negotiated treaties with one another – the First and Second Opium Wars,117 to take but two significant examples – yet the COW dataset recognizes these as “extrastate” wars waged between a state and a nonstate entity. Indeed, China fails to enter the COW data as a member of the state system before the end of the Second Opium War, because up to that time it refused Western diplomatic institutions. The same goes for Japan, which invaded Korea in 1592, prompting Chinese intervention and eventually signing a treaty ratifying its defeat in 1598. China under the Manchus also negotiated treaties with European powers, including the Treaty of Nerchinsk with Russia in 1689.118 Scholars of international relations might gain from viewing Westphalian recognition as a variable, rather than a constant, since treating it as the latter arbitrarily (and nonrandomly) excludes some very statelike polities from consideration. If processes of state formation were basically similar, what else is at stake for international relations scholars in ignoring HEA? First, while it can be valuable to hold constant the international-legal system from which a sample of states is drawn, the reality of war and treatymaking across HEA and the West, as well as the similarity of conflict processes within them, suggests that it might be better to pool observations from both legal systems. From an inferential standpoint, we need more observations of the move from peace to war and back to peace, and HEA is a promising place to look. Second, comparing the behavior of states across the two systems, to say nothing of those operating at their junctures,119 can only help shed light on fundamental questions of international order. It may thus be time to revise how we think about state system membership, and this volume’s discussion of HEA offers some tentative steps forward. Kristian Gleditsch and Michael Ward propose an expanded list based on effective independence,120 and Tanisha Fazal adds to the COW system participation in a treaty with either Britain or France.121 Yet these fixes would still miss crucial interactions within non-Westphalian systems. No solution is perfect. For example, China and Japan disagreed, even before the encounter with Westphalian systems, about whether Korea was independent or a vassal even in the framework of HEA.122 Still, comparison of the processes of state formation and system membership holds out the promise of expanding the temporal and geographical scope of available data, introducing 116 119 122

Sarkees and Wayman 2010. 117 Horowitz chapter. 118 S. C. M. Paine 1996. Saeyoung Park chapter. 120 Gleditsch and Ward 1999. 121 Fazal 2004. Swope chapter.

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new dimensions of variation that might explain the patterns of war and peace and of exchange and diplomacy that make up international relations. Such comparisons can also raise other questions about both the bias in, and the endogenous nature of, observations in state systems. Why are there so few states in HEA compared to Westphalia, or why, given Chinese dominance, were there so many? And how does the formation of states differ both before and after China’s rise to dominance in the region? Finally, if HEA’s unipolarity can explain China’s peaceful relations with Sinicized states but not its wars on the steppe,123 we might ask why states did not form in the steppe despite apparent efficiencies (like the avoidance of frequent war with China) associated with state formation.

Concluding Remarks Modern international relations theory’s Eurocentric roots are a hindrance to understanding international relations writ large, from the ebb and flow of commerce to transitions between war and peace. This volume’s examination of HEA shows that meaningful variation exists among historical international systems in the number of states, the distribution of power among them, their normative-legal systems, and the patterns of commerce and violent conflict they experienced. This chapter represents our initial reactions to accounts of an international system that is unfamiliar to mainstream international relations scholars but that facilitates the kind of structured, careful comparison of institutions and behavior on which the social–scientific method is based. If we want to understand how power, ideas, and institutions shape politics, then we would be remiss to pay attention only to those configurations of power, ideas, and institutions that exist today. This volume opens up a variety of avenues for international relations scholars to do just that – not only to learn from history but also to place it in its proper context, as a basis for comparison to the workings of the contemporary international system and its possible futures.

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D. C. Kang 2010.

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Index

Abinales, Patricio, 208, 214 Aguinaldo, Emilio and Dewey, 218 declaration of independence from Spain, 222 and the illustrados, 207, 214 and the Katipunan, 215 and the Spanish surrender to the U.S., 219 truce signed with the Spanish government, 217 Aisin or Jin khanate (1616–1635) Liaodong province and, 134, 135, 142 Nurgaci’s establishment of, 135 Allan, Bentley, Srdjan Vucetic, and Ted Hopf, 20 Allison, Graham, 3 Amoros, Donna J., 208, 214 Anderson, Benedict, 209, 210, 211 Anderson. James A., 31 Andrade, Tonio, 6, 16, 41, 60 Armitage, David, 239 Barkin, J. Samuel, and Bruce Cronin, 238 Barnes, Gina L., 29 Beaulac, Stéphane, 239 bellicist theories of state formation. See military expansionism; power-transition theory Bentley, Jerry, 159 Berger, Thomas, 19 Best, Jonathan, 70, 73 Biddle, Nicholas, 188, 191 Bilgin, Pinar, 4 Blount, James, 218 Bonifacio, Andrés, 215 Bowring, Sir John Bowring Treaty of 1855 with King Mongkut of Siam, 41 British. See Great Britain Bungo Funai Chinatowns (Tōjinmachi) in, 51 Francis Xavier and, 53

maritime trade and foreign alliances centered in, 54, 55–56 Shimazu army’s sacking of, 61 weapons disseminated in Japan and, 60 Burma East Asian international order and, 34 East Asian regional interconnections and, 23, 43, 140 Buzan, Barry, 17 Buzan, Barry and Yongjin Zhang, 12 Búzás, Zoltán I., 236 investiture (K. ch‘aekpong, 91–96 Yi Sŏng-kye’s denied by Hongwu Canton System, 272 British frustration with, 167–168, 170 East India Company and, 169–170 framework for trade created by, 166 Hong merchants and, 166–167, 170, 171, 174, 175 opium trade and, 168 silver and, 64, 167, 169–170 Tokugawa shogunate’s confinement of traders as a model for, 64 trade facilitated by, 166–167 Cassel, Pär Kristoffer, 231 Central Asian steppe regional interconnections and, 23 Chang, Hsin-pao, 174 Chong, Da-ham, 95 Chong, Ja Ian, and Todd H. Hall, 233 Chosŏn Korea (1392–1910). See also Great East Asian War; Unyō incident Confucian vocabulary adapted by, 34 disadvantaged status in the treaty port system, 230, 232 founder. See Yi Sŏng-Kye language stipulations in the Treaty of Kanghwa and, 254 stability of, 37 the Sino-Japanese War and, 224

309

310

Index

Chosŏn Korea—and the Ming empire. See also Yi Sŏng-kye Jurchen groups as a common enemy, 123 King Sŏnjo (r.1567–1608), 109, 116, 126 Korea viewed as “the lips that protect China’s teeth”, 37 Liaodong region and, 91–96 military strengthening measures, 87 Musa The Warrior and, 81, 82, 91 sadae (“serving the great”) and, 81–82, 87–89, 94, 96 tributary relations, 32, 89–90 Coe, Andrew J. and Jane Vaynman, 269 Coe, Andrew J. and Scott Wolford, 8, 10, 11, 13, 18 constructivism traditional paradigms of international relations and, 263, 267 Cooley, Alexander and Daniel Nexon, 14 Correlates of War data (COW), 280 Cortes, Rosario Mendoza, Celestina Puyal Boncan, and Ricardo Trota José, 219 Crossley, Pamela Kyle, 33 Cumings, Bruce, 15 Đại Việt kingdom. See also Mạc dynasty (1527–92); Trần dynasty (1225–1400); Mạc dynasty (1527–92); Trần dynasty (1225–1400) Hồ Quý Ly’s state-building efforts and, 107 Ming dynasty and, 98, 100–101, 102–107 power struggles since the 1520s, 58–59 Yuan Empire and, 98–99 daimyo of Western Japan. See Hosokawa clan; Mōri clan; Oda Nobunaga; Ōtomo clan; Ōuchi clan; Shimazu clan Daoguang Emperor (r. 1821–1850) opium distribution and consumption and, 173 Opium War and, 165, 177 design of international institutions. See also tribute system centralized bureaucratic control and, 28–29 China’s civil service examination system and, 28, 248, 265 projection of sovereignty and, 250 as a tool for enforcing order, 267 Deuchler, Martina, 243 Dincecco, Mark and Yuhua Wang, 35 discourse of resistance the circumscribing effects of power and, 251 the language of the Kanghwa Treaty and, 245, 251 Drea, Edward J., 234 Dreyer, Edward L., 98

Dudden, Alexis, 16, 42 Dutch presence European and American penetration of East Asia and, 9, 25, 40–41, 166 maritime trade based in Taiwan and, 150–152, 155 Matthew Perry’s arrival in Japan, 189 Zheng-Dutch relationship. See Zheng clan Duthie, Torquil, 69, 72, 73 East Asian international relations. See also Eastphalia; Sinocentric order; tribute system dynastic transitions and, 29–37 four-phase periodization of, 24–25 and the global status hierarchy, 237, 278 hegemonic order of, 8, 10–11, 22, 115 periods of lower-frequency warfare and, 9, 161 Qin-Han unification establishment of, 22 rationalist bargaining of Westphalian system exercised by actors, 10 reordering of East Asian relations and, 276 Sino-Vietnamese relations and, 97–98, 106–107 Taiping rebellion and, 40 Western imperialism and, 5, 8, 14–17, 18, 259 Eastphalia. See also East Asian international relations; Sinocentric order as a construct, 239 Sinocentric world order defined as, 255 economic sanctions as a tool for enforcing order, 13, 267 Elliot, Charles, 173, 174, 175–177 Elliot, George, 176 event construction narratives about dynastic change and, 5, 23, 35, 36, 129, 130 narratives of the Ming-Qing transition and, 33, 135–136 Philippine independence and, 219, 223 research on East Asian state formation and, 26 extraterritoriality British trade with China and, 167, 176, 179, 186 ideology of the Westphalian system and, 15–16, 247 Sino-Japan Regulations of Amity and, 240 the end of “traditional” East Asia and, 229, 231 Treaty of Amity and Commerce and, 199 Treaty of Shimonoseki and, 225, 230

Index Fairbank, John K., 5, 89, 129 Fazal, Tanisha M., 280 Feng Huiyun, 120–121 Finnemore, Martha, 13 France colonial Indochina, 40, 41, 223 European and American penetration of East Asia and, 3, 16, 25, 207, 225, 229, 234 impact of Western imperialism and, 25 Second Opium War and, 164 Sino-French War, 226 Frank, Andre Gunder, 159 Fulin (Shunzhi-period emperor, 1638–1661), 139, 140 Garon, Sheldon, 238 Germany European and American penetration of East Asia and, 3, 16, 25, 41, 207, 225, 229, 234 Gleditsch, Kristian S. and Michael D. Ward, 280 Global History school Europeans’ dominance of the New World viewed by, 159 international relations of East Asian History viewed by, 5–6 Goldstone, Jack A., 159 Gotō, 51, 54 Great Britain. See also Elliot, Charles Britain-American hegemonic transition and, 3, 9 Canton System and, 167–168, 169–170 European and American penetration of East Asia and, 16, 25, 225, 229, 234 extraterritoriality and, 167, 176, 186 Lord Macartney, 168 Napier Affair and, 170–172 Opium Wars and, 164, 165 profit from the opium trade, 168 yi (barbarians) and, 172 Great East Asian War (1592–1598), 108–128 alternative names for, 108, 109 conflict summarized, 109–113 dynamics of East Asian international relations and, 32–33, 128, 278 realist theories challenged by, 38 Greve, Andrew Q., and Jack S. Levy, 226 Griffiths, Ryan, 20 Haggard, Stephan and David C. Kang, David C., 263 Hakata (modern Fukuoka) Chinatowns (Tōjinmachi) in, 51 demise of, 61 Japanese military and, 29

311 Kamiya Jutei (Hakata merchant) and, 51, 61 Ningbo merchants and shipping agents and, 47 silver and, 54, 60 Han dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE) centralized government of, 26 tribute system during, 67, 68–69 Hanscom, Christopher, 14 Henry, Todd, 15 Hideyoshi. See Toyotomi Hideyoshi Hirado Chinatowns (Tōjinmachi) in, 51 Francis Xavier and, 53 Portuguese traders in, 57 Wang Zhi and, 55 Hồ Quý Ly 胡季犛 Đại Viê ̣t state-building efforts and, 107 Sino-Vietnamese relations and, 97, 100, 106 usurpation of the Trần throne, 36, 99–100, 102, 106 Holland. See Dutch Presence Hong Taiji, 135, 144 Hong-kyu Park, 94 Hongwu Emperor (r. 1368–98) investiture of Yi Sŏng-kye denied by, 82, 91–96 maritime trade ban, 45 opposition to invading Vietnam, 104 tributary diplomacy formalized by, 49, 84–85 Yuan dynasty overthrown by, 36 Horowitz, Richard, 16, 42 Hosokawa clan Ōuchi clan and, 50 ilustrados (enlightened ones), 211, 212, 213, See also Rizal, José and the liberal ideas of the Biak na Bata, 216 rise of, 207 Imjin War (1592–1598). See Great East Asian War (1592–1598) international political economy (IPE). See Canton System; maritime trade; tribute system East Asian regional interconnections and, 23, 25, 43 restrictions on commerce in Historical East Asia and, 274 traditional paradigms of international relations and, 7–8, 18, 263, 267, 274 international relations theory. See also Ming dynasty (1368–1644)–and Vietnam; East Asian international relations; Eastphalia; event construction; military expansionism; Sinocentric order; tribute system

312

Index

international relations theory (cont.) agency of regional actors and, 7, 13, 115–116, 241, 242, 244, 258 balance of power. See Westphalian international system Eurocentrism of, 4, 263, 281 four determinants of interstate behavior, 263 Historical East Asia (HEA) and, 5, 7–8, 10, 12, 269, 281 ideational and constitutive factors of societies and cultures and, 10, 13–14, 39–40, 82–83 perspectives on commerce. See international political economy (IPE); mercantilist theory the “rise of Japan” narrative and, 227 traditional paradigms of. See constructivism; international political economy; liberalism; realist theory international relations theory—tools for enforcing order. See also design of international institutions; military protection or intervention; political recognition and its removal cooperation under hegemony compared, 266 economic sanctions and, 13, 267 investiture (K. ch‘aekpong, C. cefeng) authority relations in tribute practices and, 11, 32, 89–90 Chosŏn kings and, 89, 91–96 Koryŏ kings and, 85 multipolar order of China after the fall of the Han and, 68 negative soft power held by the Ming and, 83, 90–91, 92–96 Yi Sŏng-kye’s denied by Hongwu, 82 Japan. See also Bungo Funai; Gotō; Great East Asian War (1592–1598); Hakata (modern Fukuoka); Hirado; Sino-Japanese War; Tokugawa regime; Usuki as closed (sakoku), 25, 44, 188, 190, 195 daimyo of western Japan. See Hosokawa clan; Mōri clan; Ōtomo clan; Ōuchi clan; Shimazu clan disadvantaged status in the treaty port system, 230, 232 discord in the military after 1895, 237 East Asian international order and, 8, 10, 16, 28, 34, 277 European and American penetration of East Asia and, 235 Hội An used for Sino-Japanese trade, 58–59 Iwakura Mission (1871–1873) and, 202–203

John Manjiro (aka Nakahama Manjiro) and, 199–203 Nihon Shoki (Chronicles of Japan), 70, 73 Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), 42, 235 Sino-Japanese silk-for-silver trade and, 51, 151 Townsend Harris and, 198–199 Japanese pirates. See Wokou (“Japanese pirates” [Jap. Wakō]) Johnston, Iain Alistair strategic culture defined by, 118–121 Jurchen federation Chosŏn relations and, 34, 37 Ming hegemony over Northeast Asia, 134–135 Kamiya Jutei (Hakata merchant), 51, 61 Kanagawa, Nadia, 29, 39, 270 Kang, David C., 13, 39, 97, 115, 121, 161, 266, 267, 270 Kang, David C. and Alex Yu-Ting Lin, 4 Kang, David C. and Kenneth M. Swope, 9, 279 Kang, David C. and Stephan Haggard, 263 Kang, David C., Dat X. Nguyen, Ronan Tse-min Fu, 38 Kang, Etsuko Hae-jin, 117 Kanghwa Treaty. See Treaty of Kanghwa (1876) Kelley, Liam C., 31, 38 Kim Pu-sik (1075–1151 CE) Samguk sagi (Records of the Three Kingdoms), 69–70 Kim, Han-gyu, 37, 84 Kim, Tang-Taek, 94 Kingdom of Ryukyu. See Ryukyu Kingdom) Koguryŏ. See Korean peninsula Korea Guoyu, 國語or 국어 ”national language”, 254 Korean peninsula. See also Chŏson Korea; Koryŏ Korea; Liaodong; Sino-Japanese War East Asian international order and, 8, 10, 28, 34 East Asian regional interconnections and, 23, 25 European and American penetration of East Asia and, 229, 233 Korea viewed by the Ming as “the lips that protect China’s teeth”, 37, 91, 124, 125 pattern of alliances on, 70–73, 76–79 state formation on, 29 Tang dynasty (618–907) and, 29, 35, 36, 39, 67, 68, 75–80, 276

Index Koryŏ Korea (918–1392), 36 Kongmin (r. 1351–1374), 81, 84–85 Korean historical sourcesw compiled during, 69–70 Ming investiture of Koryŏ kings, 85, 91 Musa The Warrior and, 81, 82, 91 Northern Yuan and, 85, 86, 90 territory in the Korean peninsula and, 85–86, 91 Yi Sŏng-kye’s opposition to King U, 81–82, 86–87, 94 Kwan, Mei-Po, 33 Kye, Seung-bum, 90 Larsen, Kirk, 37, 236 Lê Lợi黎利 (1385–1433), 102, 103, 106–107 Lee, Gyu-cheol, 94 Lee, Ji-Young, 7, 11, 12, 14, 27, 32, 34, 116, 122, 123, 125 Lee, Kenneth, 37 Lee, Sunghsi, 74 Lewis, Mark Edward, 26, 69 Li Hongzhang, 204, 227, 232, 235 Li Zicheng (1606–1645), 132, 137–138, 139, 142 Liaodong Great East Asian War and, 125 late Ming and, 130, 134 leaders of the fan (feudatory) southern proxy governments and, 140, 144 Qing rule of China and, 130, 134 the Sino-Japanese War and, 225, 234 trade with the Jurchen, 134 the Unyō mission and, 243, 243 Yuan-Ming transition and, 81–82, 86–87, 91–96 liberalism China as a threat to contemporary Western liberal order, 20–21 concepts of modernity and modernization and, 258, 259 construction of sovereignty in the Kanghwa Treaty and, 252 Philippine independence and, 206, 210, 216, 219, 223 traditional paradigms of international relations and, 42, 263, 267 Lieberman, Victor, 6, 31, 159 Lin Zexu (Qing official), 173–175, 176, 177 Liu, Lydia, 257 Mạc dynasty (1527–92) Ming court and, 105–106 Nguygễn regime’s independence from, 59

313 Tonkin heartland in Northern Vietnam controlled by, 58 MacDonald, Paul and Joseph Parent, 3 MacKay, Joseph, 27 Mackinder, H. J., 278 Majul, Cesar, 214 Manchu Qing empire. See Qing dynasty Manchuria Qing rule of China and, 129, 130, 140 Manifesting Awe (wei 威), 114, 122, 268 Ming invasion of the Đại Việt kingdom and, 98 Perry as “Lord of the Forbidden Interior”, 191 Perry’s tactics of “shock and awe”, 188, 192–193 PRC’s “Nine-Dash Line” and, 122 maritime trade. See also Canton System; port polity paradigm; Wokou (“Japanese pirates” [Jap. Wakō]); Zheng clan economic transformation of China during the Song dynasty and, 46 Eurocentric views of East Asian commerce and, 44–45 European and East Asian international commerce compared, 156–157, 160–163 Hồ Quý Ly’s seizing of the ports of Champa, 100 Mongol conquest and, 47 Zheng state based in Xiamen and, 150, 162 Matsura domain capital of. See Hirado Matsuru Shigenobu, 56–57 Wang Zhi and, 55 Mearsheimer, John J., 3, 19 Melville, Herman, 188 mercantilist theory. See also maritime trade; Wokou (“Japanese pirates” [Jap. Wakō]) Eurocentricism of narratives of the “Age of Exploration”, 44–45 Historical East Asia as a source for an integrated theory explaining domestic and foreign effects and, 274 Nguygễn regime’s foreign trade strategy and, 58–59 Nobunaga’s fiscal policies and, 59–60 politics of interstate commerce and, 272 military expansionism. See also powertransition theory the distinctive logics of empire and, 242 Eurocentrism of its application to state formation, 4, 22, 161 Ming dynasty’s occupation of the Đại Việt kingdom and, 98, 102–107 seventeenth-century Yunnan and, 138–141 the Sino-Japanese War and, 225, 226, 228

314

Index

military protection or intervention pattern of alliances on the Korean peninsula and, 67, 70–73, 77–79 positioning in the international hierarchy in Asia and, 125–127 as a tool for enforcing order, 267 Zhang Xianzhong’s campaigns in Shaanxi and Henan, 137 Ming dynasty (1368–1644). See also Great East Asian War (1592–1598) emperors. See Hongwu; Wanli; Yongle institutional and organizational maturation of the imperial system, 34, 114 Korea and. See Chosŏn Korea—and the Ming empire Manifesting Awe (wei 威) and, 114, 122, 268 and the Ming-Qing transition, 33, 129–145 prohibition against private overseas trade rescinded by (1567), 57 Qi Jiguang’s military tactices, 57, 127 Sinocentric order of, 32, 115 territories controlled by, 131 tributary relations fused with trading privileges during, 45, 49–50, 114 tributary relations with the Koryŏ, 85 Ming dynasty (1368–1644)—and China’s “silver century”, 51, See also Wokou (“Japanese pirates”) collapse of China’s paper money system and, 151 Europe’s economy and, 150–152 Manila Bay and, 58 Sino-Japanese silk-for-silver trade and, 151 Ming dynasty (1368–1644)—and Vietnam Mạc and Lê courts and, 105–106 overthrow of the Tran dynasty and, 276 Zhang Fu 張輔 (1375–1449) and, 101 Mongol Yuan. See Yuan dynasty Mongolia. See also Yuan dynasty Altan Khaghan, 33, 133–134 chieftain Narhachu, 81–82, 86 East Asian international order and, 33–34 Khubilai Khan, 31, 47, 98–99 Oirots, 33 Oyirod Mongols, 130–133, 142 Qing rule of China and, 129, 130, 135–136, 143, 144–145 regional interconnections and, 43 Tumet Mongols, 132, 133, 142 Yuan dynasty and, 31 Mōri clan dominance of, 56–57 gunpowder weapons of, 60–61

Hideyoshi and, 61 Iwami mines and, 60, 62 Moriyasu, Ken, 29 Napier, Lord William, as Chief Superintendent of Trade for Britain, 170–172 Neumann, Iver, 21 Ngô Quyền 吳權 (897–944), 97, 99 Nguyễn Kim 阮淦 (1476–1545), 106 Nguygễn Huễ and the Tây Sơn Rebellion (1771–1802), 106 Nguygễn regime independent regime founded by, 58–59 rice cultivation adopted as an economic base by, 63 Zheng clan smugglers and, 63 Nguygễn Trãi (1380–1442), 103, 105 Nihon Shoki (Chronicles of Japan), 69 Nobunga. See Odo Nobunanga Nurgaci (1559–1626). See also Aisin or Jin khanate (1616–1635) Great East Asian War and, 113, 126, 134–135 Manchu Qing Eight Banners and, 135, 141–142, 144–145 Oda Nobunaga (1534–1582), 57 fiscal policies, 59–60 gunpowder weapons and, 61 Toyotomi Hideyoshi and, 61, 116 Ōmura Sumitada, 57 opium trade. See also Canton System British profit from, 168 Qing concern with the social and economic consequences of, 164, 170 Opium Wars (1839–1858), 182–187 causes summarized, 164–165 Daoguang Emperor and, 165, 177 East Asian international society challenged by, 8, 42, 186, 242, 271, 276, 280 establishment of a framework of diplomacy between Britain and the Qing Empire, 164 establishment of trade beneficial to Great Britain, 164 “Opium War” as a moniker, 176 Taiwan and, 162 US diplomatic relations with Japan and, 190 Xianfeng Emperor and, 165 Opium Wars—First Opium War (1839–1842), 164 negotiations between Lin Zexu and Charles Elliot and, 174–175 Opium Wars—First Opium War (1839–1842), negotiations between Lin Zexu and Charles Elliot and, 176

Index Opium Wars—Second Opium War (1856–1860), 164 Ōtomo clan capital of. See Bungo Funai gunpowder weapons of, 60 Sōrin (1530–87), 55–57, 61 Yoshiaki, 53–54, 56 Yoshinago, 55, 56 Ottoman empire British governing relations with, 164 Ōuchi clan Hosokawa clan and, 50 Mōri clan dominance over, 56–57, 61 Oyirod Mongols, 130–133, 142 Paekche. See Korean peninsula Pagden, Anthony, 242 Paine, S. C. M., 226 Palais, James, 243 Palmerston, Viscount Lord Napier and, 171 Palmerston, Viscount, military action in China supported by, 175–177 Park, Saeyong, 271 Park, Saeyoung, 17, 27 Park, Seo-Hyun, 7, 17, 19 Park, Won-ho, 85 patterns of exchange. See international political economy Peloponnesian War (431–404 BCE), 3, 4 Perry, Elizabeth, 20 Perry, Matthew changes in Japan’s system and, 196–198, 204–205 Dutch-speaking interpreter, 189 guise as “Lord of the Forbidden Interior”, 191 opening of Japan (1858), 42, 188–205 tactics of “shock and awe”, 188, 192–193 Treaty of Kanagawa (1854) and, 198 Peterson, Charles, 39 Peterson, Mark, 37 Philipine-American War (1888–1902) as America’s “first Vietnam war”, 221 Philippine-American War (1888–1902), 41 and McKinley’s “benevolent assimilation” address, 221 Philippine-American War (1888–1902), and liberal ideas evoked by the U.S, 222 Philippines. See also Philippine-American War; Spanish-American War Catholic Church as administrators for Spain, 211 European and American penetration of East Asia and, 41, 207

315 independence in 1898, 219, 223 Katipunan established by Andrés Bonifacio, 215 rise of the Philippine intellectual class. See ilustrados (enlightened ones) silver trade in Manila Bay and, 58, 208 Pines, Yuri, 9 Pinto, Fernão Mendes, 53, 60 piracy. See also Wokou (“Japanese pirates” [Jap. Wakō]) Jiaqing Emperor’s suppression of, 168 polarity absence of balancing against the United States and, 277 multipolarity of East Asia during the Northern and Southern dynasties, 67–68, 69 patterns of warfare and, 34–40 role of culture and, 10, 13, 28–29, 39–40 unipolarity in Historical East Asia, 8, 22, 79–80, 264, 278, 281 political recognition and its removal. See also investiture; tribute system Historical East Asia’s normative structure and, 271 as a tool for enforcing order, 267 as a variable rather than a constant, 280 Pomeranz, Kenneth, 159 port polity paradigm hegemonic Tokugawa political order and, 62 maritime trade in East Asia and, 45–46, 64 Nguygễn regime and, 58–59, 63 ports of Kyushu and, 51, 52, 55–56, 62 Ryukyu Kingdom and, 50 and the Zheng clan, 63, 149–163, 276 Portugal alliance with the Wokuo, 57 European and American penetration of East Asia and, 25, 40–41, 44, 156–157 Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier, 53, 55 Melaka and trading at Shuangyu Island, 51–53 Portugal—colony of Macao, 40, 41, 57–58, 61, 151 ZhengChenggong and, 154 Pottinger, Sir Henry, 177, 179 power-transition theory. See also event construction Britain-American hegemonic transition and, 3, 9 Chinese-led regional system as a challenge to, 19–21 Eurocentrism of, 4 the Sino-Japanese War and, 225

316

Index

Qi Jiguang (1528–88), 57, 127 Qianlong Emperor (r. 1735–96), 64 Canton System and, 166, 168 letter to Geroge III, 45 Qin-Han unification (221 BC–220 AD), 8–9, 22, 24, 27, 114–115 Chinese hegemony traced to (Phase 1 of East Asian history) historical East Asia traced to Qin, Yaqing, 14 Qing dynasty (1644–1911). See also Canton System; Opium Wars; Taiping rebellion as a conquest state before 1644, 135–136 emperors. See Daoguang Emperor; Fulin; Hong Taiji; Qianlong Emperor; Xianfeng Emperor; Xuanye; Yongzheng Emperor Empress Dowager Cixi, 204 European and American penetration of East Asia and, 163 Grand Council, 115 Jiaqing Emperor’s suppression of piracy, 168 multi-dimensionality of its reunification of China, 63–64, 143 private maritime trade during, 45 territories controlled by, 132 Treaty of Nerchinsk with Russia (1689), 280 tributary system preserved by, 118 Qing dynasty (1644–1911)—Eight Banners Green Standard Army and, 142 Liaodong province and, 139, 142 Nurgaci’s state and military organizations and, 135, 141–142, 144–145 Rawski, Evelyn, 6 realist theory, 21 Eurocentrism of, 3 fall of Koguryŏ and, 39 Great East Asian War (Imjin War) and, 38 traditional paradigms of international relations and, 263, 267 Ringrose, David, 159 Rizal, José, 209, 214, 215 Robinson, David, 119 Robinson, Michael and Gi-wook Shin, 15 Rosenthal, Jean-Laurent and R. Bin Wong, 35, 37 Rossabi, Morris, 6 Ruskola, Teemu, 257 Russia European and American penetration of East Asia and, 16, 41, 140, 193, 225, 227, 229, 230, 235, 237, 271 Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), 42, 235 Treaty of Nerchinsk with the Qing (1689), 280

Ryukyu Kingdom Confucian vocabulary adapted by, 34 demise of its political independence, 59, 128 East Asian international order and, 8, 10, 34 East Asian regional interconnections and, 23 Ryukyu Kingdom—and maritime trade in East Asia demise of, 50, 59 port polity paradigm and, 50 private coiners in, 59 Sadao, Nishijima, 69 Sancianco, Gregorio, 211 Schake, Kori, 3 Schouten, Wouter, 149 Schumacher, John, 210 Scobell, Andrew, 119 Seed, Patricia, 159 Shimazu clan gunpowder weapons of, 60 Kingdom of Ryukyu and, 59, 128 Shimazu, Naoku, 238 Shin, Gi-wook and Michael Robinson, 15 Shirk, Susan, 3 Siam British influence on, 41 East Asian international order and, 8, 10 East Asian regional interconnections and, 23, 43 silver Canton System and, 167, 169–170 Ming Dynasty and. See Ming dynasty (1368–1644)—and China’s “silver century Sinocentric order. See also East Asian international relations; Eastphalia; investiture; Ming dynasty; tribute system and core-periphery relations in premodern East Asia, 6 East Asian states and peoples and, 12 Eastphalia as a term for, 255 Great East Asian War of 1592–98 as a challenge to, 32–33, 128 Hongwu’s formalized system of tributary diplomacy and, 49, 84–85 incidence of war and, 10 international relations of historical East Asia and, 9, 17–18, 22–43 Ming and, 115 stability of compared with the Westphalian system, 115, 161 tributary system as a more accurate name for, 12 Western imperialism and, 5, 14–17, 18, 24, 259

Index Sino-Japanese War advanced “civilization” showcased in, 237 Chosŏn Korea as the old order and Meiji Japan as the new, 224 European and American penetration of East Asia and, 225, 227, 229, 236 Japan as a stakeholder in the Westphalian territorial model and, 229, 236, 277 Japanese foreign policy and, 238 military reforms in Japan and China and, 204 nation-building efforts in China and, 237 nation-building efforts in Japan and, 238 Treaty of Shimonoseki, 225, 230, 234 Skaff, Jonathan Karam, 33 Song dynasty (960–1279), 30 Sino-Japanese trade during, 46 sovereignty. See also political recognition and its removal investiture practice and, 11, 32 the Westphalian international system and, 16–17, 250, 252 Spain European and American penetration of East Asia and, 41, 207 Philippines and. See Philippines; SpanishAmerican War Spanish-American War and McKinley’s proclamation, 221 and regional hegemony, 277 Treaty of Paris (December 10, 1898), 207, 219, 220, 221 truce leading to Spanish surrender, 219 Spanish-American War and event construction, 206, See also Aguinaldo, Emilio and the voices and agency of Filipino revolutionaries, 206 Standen, Naomi, 23, 30 state formation. See also military expansionism; political recognition and its removal; port polity paradigm; power-transition theory; sovereignty Eurocentrism of bellicist theories of, 4, 22 fifth to tenth centuries AD in East Asia (Phase II), 24, 27–31 Westphalian and the History of East Asia compared, 281 Sugihara, Kaoru, 64 Sui-dynasty incursions into the Korean peninsula, 73–75, 85 Sui-Tang unification East Asian regional system and, 8, 24, 28 incursions into the Korean peninsula, 68, 125

317 Sun, Laichen, 101 Suzuki, Shogo, 17 Swope, Kenneth M., 6, 32, 37, 101, 103 Swope, Kenneth M. and David C. Kang, 9, 279 Taiping rebellion (1850–1864) reordering of East Asian relations and, 40, 276 Taiwan Dutch maritime trade based in, 150–152, 155 East Asian international order and, 8, 161–163 East Asian regional interconnections and, 23 Qing rule of China and, 63, 129, 130, 141, 161–163 Zheng clan’s defeat of the Dutch, 157–160 Tang dynasty (618–907) Gaozong (r. 649–683), 78 Korean peninsula and, 29, 35, 36, 39, 67, 68, 75–80, 276 state-formation in China and, 8, 24, 28–30 Taizong (r. 626–649), 76–78 Taylor, Keith W., 102, 103, 104, 105 Thayer, Carlyle A., 97 Thucydides, 3, 123 Tibet Altan Khaghan and, 33, 133 British invasion of, 167 East Asian international order and, 8, 10, 28, 34 East Asian regional interconnections and, 23 impact on Tang-Silla relations, 79 Qing rule of China and, 129, 130 trade and interconnectivity of, 23, 43, 140 Tumet Mongols and, 142 Yuan dynasty and, 31 Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542–1616), 62, 113, 128, 194 Tokugawa regime (1603–1867). See also Great East Asian War (1592–1598); Unyō (雲揚) incident “Great Peace Under Heaven” established by, 194–196, 197–198, 278 impact of international treaties agreed to, 202 international treaties agreed to, 165 kokudaka taxation system inaugurated by Nobunaga, 59 Meiji overthrow of (1868), 197–198 Nagasaki compounds created for Chinese and Dutch traders, 64 technological advancement during, 197 tributary order and, 128

318

Index

Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536–1598), 25, See also Great East Asian War (1592–1598) invasion of Korea (1592–98), 32, 108–128 Japan’s status in the tributary order and, 116–118, 123 Japanocentric world order envisioned by, 32–33, 123 Ming military strength underestimated by, 108, 124 Oda Nobunaga and, 61, 116 Tokugawa Ieyasu’s vanquishing of, 113 Trần dynasty (1225–1400), 105 Hồ Quý Ly’s usurpation of, 99–100, 102, 106 Lê Lợi and, 103 Yuan Empire and, 98–99 Treaty of Amity. See Treaty of Kanghwa (1876) Treaty of Kanagawa (1854), 198 Treaty of Kanghwa (1876) the Unyō incident and, 240, 242, 244 Treaty of Kanghwa (1876)–as contract, 251 Article I and Westphalian sovereignty, 252 Article III language stipulations, 254 treaty port system Japan’s and Korea’s ambiguous status and, 230, 232 tributary missions Korean relations with China and, 12, 81 trade controlled by, 11 Vietnamese relations with China and, 12 tribute system. See also tributary missions China-Inner Asian diplomatic relations and, 10, 33–34, 39, 122 Chosŏn-Ming relations and, 89–90 Confucian worldview and, 10, 13, 14, 40, 82–83 Han dynasty and, 67, 68–69 Heaven-sanctioned authority and, 68–69, 266, 278 investiture and. See investiture Japan’s status in, 116–118, 123 Japanese adaptation of, 29, 194–196 major conflicts prevented by, 114 malleability of, 30, 32–34, 115–116, 166, 167 Manifesting Awe (wei 威) and, 114, 122, 268 multipolarity of East Asia during the Northern and Southern dynasties and, 67–68, 69 as a name for the Sinocentric system, 12 Sino-Korean alliance. See Chosŏn Korea—and the Ming empire stability of compared with the Westphalian system, 115 Sui and Tang unipolarity and, 79–80

tributary relations fused with trading privileges during the Ming, 45, 49–50, 114 Western Europeans’ rejection of, 164, 166 Yamato court and, 70, 72–74, 79, 80 Yi Sŏng-kye’s interest in investiture as King of Chosŏn and, 82, 90, 91–96 Yuan period and, 84–85, 86 Trịnh Kiểm鄭 檢 (1503–1570), 106 Tumet Mongols Ming and, 133, 142 territories controlled by, 132 United States. See also Perry, Matthew; Philippine-American War; SpanishAmerican War absence of balancing against, 277 American and Chinese hegemony compared, 9, 19, 266 Britain-American hegemonic transition and, 3, 9 European and American penetration of East Asia and, 3, 16, 25, 41, 42, 207, 225, 229 Townsend Harris and, 198–199 Unyō (雲揚) incident agency of regional actors in determining the direction of the Westphalian system and, 241, 242, 244, 258 and relations between Chŏson Korea and Japan, 245, 250, 251 Sin Hŏn’s exchange with Kuroda, 250 summary of, 244 Usuki Chinatowns (Tōjinmachi) in, 51 Vaynman, Jane and Andrew J. Coe, 269 Vietnam. See also Đại Việt kingdom; Hồ Quý Ly; Mạc dynasty; Nguygễn regime; Trần dynasty centralization of authority of, 30–31 Champa kingdom and, 31, 38, 100, 101 domestic instability and regime contestation, 38 East Asian international order and, 8, 10, 34, 37 East Asian regional interconnections and, 23 French colony of Cochinchina and, 40, 41 historical international relations in Asia and, 221, 223 Hội An, 58–59 Sino-Vietnamese relations and, 97–98, 106, 276 Trinh rulers of Tonkin, 63

Index von Glahn, Richard economic relations in East Asia discussed by, 18, 25 might and wealth of the Sui-Tang empires discussed by, 28 Wade, Geoff, 44 Waltz, Kenneth N., 278 Wang Zhi, 53–56, 57, 60, 63 Wang, Yuan-kang, 121 Wang, Zhenping, 76, 78–79 Wanli reign period (r. 1572–1620) assessment of, 136 devolution of Ming power during, 127 military revival during his rule, 108, 124 Mongol tribes of the steppe and, 124 Three Great Campaigns (Wanli san da zheng), 108, 127 Wanli reign period (r. 1572–1620), military intervention in Korea, 125–127 Yang Yinglong Miao uprising, 127 Ward, Michael D. and Kristina S. Gleditsch, 280 Ward, Steven, 237 Westphalian international system balance-of-power lessons from Historical East Asia, 276 changes-in-polarity lessons from Historical East Asia, 281 concept of sovereignty and, 4, 16–17 as a construct, 239, 263 Correlates of War data (COW), 280 evolution of the East Asian international system and, 5, 14–17, 42 Japan as a stakeholder after the Sino-Japanese War, 229, 236 military protection as a tool of, 13 multipolar system of sovereign equality among states, 8, 22, 115, 161 shift away from the tributary system and, 11, 241 warfare in East Asian history as a challenge to, 34–40 Whitemore, John, 102, 106 Wigan, Karen, 30 Wills, John E., Jr., 29 Wokou (“Japanese pirates” [Jap. Wakō] 倭寇) appellation defined and seafarers identified with, 45, 48 Chinese mercantile expansion into the, 64 diffusion of gunpowder and, 60 global trade during the Ming and, 45–46, 54 Hideyoshi’s assessment of Ming military capabilities and, 124 Hu Zongxian’s diplomatic mission and, 56

319 Japanese envoys sent to the Ming court and, 56 Ming court’s reversal on overseas trade, 57–58 Qing dynasty and, 63 Ryukyu as a hub of maritime East Asia and, 59 Wang Zhi as a, 53–56, 57, 60, 63 Zheng Shungong’s meeting with Ōtomo Sōrin, 55 Zhu Wan and, 54 Wolford, Scott and Andrew J. Coe, 8 Womack, Brantly, 25, 32 Wong, R. Bin, 27, 159 Wong, R. Bin and Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 35, 37 Woodside, Alexander, 5, 6, 28 Wright, David, 33 Wu Sangui (1612–1678) fan (“feudatory”) government established in Yunnan by, 138, 139–141 Qing defeat of rebel kingdoms and resistance regimes and, 138, 139–141, 144 rebellion of the fan (feudatories), 140 Xianfeng Emperor, 165 Xinjiang Qing rule of China and, 129, 130 Xuanye (Kangxi period emperor 1662–1722), 140, 141, 145 reunification of China (1683), 63, 130, 162 Yamagata Aritomo, 228, 229 Yamaguchi Francis Xavier and, 53 Yamgata Aritomo, 235 Yasunori, Arano, 123 Yi Sŏng-kye Chosŏn established by, 82, 86 investiture as King of Chosŏn sought by, 82, 83, 90, 91–96 military action against the Ming and, 81–82, 86–87, 94 Yongle Emperor (r. 1402–1424) Ming court’s invasion of the Đại Việt kingdom and, 98, 100–101, 103–104 Yongzheng Emperor’s banning of opium, 168 Yuan dynasty collapse of, 32, 133 Koryŏ Korea and, 85, 86, 90 maritime trade during, 47 Tibet and, 31 Trần dynasty and, 98–99 tribute system during, 84–85, 86

320

Index

Yuan dynasty (cont.) unification of China (Phase III of the East Asian world), 24, 26, 30, 31–32, 143 Yuan Shikai, 36, 186 as Chinese Resident-General of Korean affairs, 224, 232 Yunnan Mongols and, 101, 143 reunification of China during the Qing, 129, 138–141 Wu Sangui’s fan (“feudatory”) government established in, 138, 139–141 Zarakol, Ayse, 13 Zelditch, Morris, 95 Zhang Xianzhong (1605–1647), 132, 137, 139, 142 Zhang Yongjin and Barry Buzan, 12 Zhang, Feng, 7, 8, 26, 32, 33, 115, 122

expressive hierarchy discussed by, 14, 116, 121 Zhao, Gang, 40 Zheng clan informal port polity established in coastal Fujian, 63, 149–163, 276 Taiwan captured from the Dutch by, 41, 149–163 vanquishing by the Qing (1683), 63, 162 Zheng Zhilong as translator and privateer under the Dutch flag, 149 Zheng clan—Zheng Chenggong (1624–1662) background of, 152–154, 157 Southern Ming state based in Xiamen, 63, 150, 157 Taiwan captured from the Dutch, 157–160 Wu Sangui’s rebellion supported by, 140 Zheng He expeditions, 44, 122, 156 Zhu Wan, 54 Zhu Yuanzhang. See Hongwu Emperor