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Distributed for National University of Singapore Press

Boundaries and Beyond

China’s Maritime Southeast in Late Imperial Times

Using the concept of boundaries, both physical and cultural, to explain the development of China’s maritime southeast and its interactions across maritime East Asia and the broader Asian Seas, this book offers a new way of understanding Chinese history in the late Imperial period. Ng Chin-keong examines social boundaries between “us” and “them;” challenges to rigid demarcations posed by the state; movements of people, goods, and ideas across borders and among cultures; and the line between tradition and innovation. The result is a novel way of understanding China’s relations with neighboring territories and people as well as the nature of tradition in China and its persistence in the face of changing circumstances.

568 pages | 3 maps | 6 x 9 | © 2017

Asian Studies: East Asia

History: Asian History

Political Science: Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, and International Relations

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“Ng brings a rich range of experiences and resources to a discussion of Chinese maritime consciousness along the coastal region of Southeast China. In this collection of his scholarly pieces we shall be able to dissect the distinctiveness of his point of view. . . . Ng’s summary and analyses on the historical patterns of maritime development in China is nuanced and grounded in excellent textual scholarship.”

Journal of World History

 “Throughout his career, Chin-keong has been a bold crosser of borders, focusing on geographical boundaries, approaching them through one discipline after another, and cutting across the supposed dividing line between the domestic and the foreign.’ He demonstrated his remarkable versatility as a scholar in his classic book, Trade and Society: The Amoy Network on the China Coast, 16831735, which explored agriculture, cities, migration, and commerce. His new book deepens his research on these topics but also ventures farther afield, pursuing the history of diplomacy, technology, and culture.”

Sherman Cochran, Cornell University

“Chin-keong brings together the work of forty years of meticulous research on the manifold activities of the coastal Fujian and Guangdong peoples during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Since the publication of his classic study, Trade and Society: The Amoy Network on the China Coast, 1683–1735, he has been pursuing deeper historical questions behind their trading achievements. Here he deals with many vital questions that help us understand the nature of maritime China, and puts his answers in a longer perspective. With China once again fully engaged with the ocean, this volume makes compelling reading.”

Wang Gungwu, East Asian Institute

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