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Distributed for National University of Singapore Press

China as a Sea Power, 1127–1368

A Preliminary Survey of the Maritime Expansion and Naval Exploits of the Chinese People During the Southern Song and Yuan Periods

Edited by Bruce A. Elleman.

Distributed for National University of Singapore Press

China as a Sea Power, 1127–1368

A Preliminary Survey of the Maritime Expansion and Naval Exploits of the Chinese People During the Southern Song and Yuan Periods

Edited by Bruce A. Elleman.
Lo Jung-pang argues that during each of the three periods when imperial China embarked on maritime enterprises (the Qin and Han dynasties, the Sui and early Tang dynasties, and Song, Yuan, and early Ming dynasties), coastal states took the initiative at a time when China was divided, maritime trade and exploration subsequently peaked when China was strong and unified, and declined as Chinese power weakened. At such times, China's people became absorbed by internal affairs, and state policy focused on threats from the north and the west. These cycles of maritime activity, each lasting roughly five hundred years, corresponded with cycles of cohesion and division, strength and weakness, prosperity and impoverishment, expansion and contraction.

In the early 21st century, a strong and outward looking China is again building up its navy and seeking maritime dominance, with important implications for trade, diplomacy and naval affairs. Events will not necessarily follow the same course as in the past, but Lo Jung-pang's analysis suggests useful questions for the study of events as they unfold and decades to come.

450 pages | 6 x 9

Asian Studies: East Asia

History: Asian History, Discoveries and Exploration

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Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Figures
Foreword by Bruce A. Elleman
Preface by Lo Jung-pang
Editorial Note

Introduction by Geoff Wade


Chapter 1. China’s Rise as a Naval Power
The Early Thallasic States
The Qin and Han Period
Invasion of Min-Yue
The Medieval Thallasic States
Overseas Campaigns of the Sui
The Korean Wars of the Early Tang Period
The Wutai and Northern Song Period

Chapter 2. The Shift to the Sea
The Shift of Economic Centers
The Eruption of the Nomads
The Relocation of the Capital
Demographic Changes
Psychological, Cultural, and Intellectual Changes
A New and Expansive Spirit
The Push to the Sea

Chapter 3. The Foundation of Chinese Maritime Power
Absolutism and Centralization of Political Power
The Rise of the Merchant Class
Spirit of Adventure
Geographical Knowledge
Aids to Navigation
The Development of Ship Technology
Arms and Armament

Chapter 4. Creation of the Southern Song Navy
Building a New Song Navy
The Jurchen Threat
Naval Engagements in 1130
Growing Support for the Navy
The Office of Coastal Control
Expansion of the Navy
Charter of Merchant Ships, Recruiting, and Anti-Piracy Patrols

Chapter 5. The War of 1161 and the Expansion of the Navy
Building a Navy and the Sea Fight at Chenjiadao
The Battle of Caishi
The Song Program of Naval Expansion
Changes in Song Naval Organization
Naval Personnel and Weapons
Naval Use of Merchant Ships
The Song Navy at Maximum Strength

Chapter 6. Development of Maritime Trade
Economic Crisis and Foreign Trade
The Importance of Maritime Revenue
Promotion of Maritime Trade
The Impact of Foreign Merchants
Chinese Overseas Colonies
Development of Harbors
Trade and Development of the Navy

Chapter 7. The Emergence of the Yuan Navy: The Battle of Yaishan, 1279
The Mongol Invasion of China
The Yangzi Campaign, 1275
The Fall of the Song Capital at Hangzhou
Chinese Counter-Offensives
Operations off the Guangdong Coast
Both Sides Prepare for the Showdown
The Battle of Yaishan, 19 March 1279

Chapter 8. Yuan Campaigns in the Eastern Sea
Preparing Korea for the Maritime Invasion of Japan
The First Expedition against Japan, 1274
Preparations for the Second Invasion of Japan
The Eastern Fleet in Action
Arrival of the Southern Division
Preparation for the Third Invasion
Further Preparations for Invading Japan

Chapter 9. Yuan Naval Campaigns to the South
The Mongol Invasion of Southeast Asia
The Expedition against Champa, 1283
The Second Campaign against Annam, 1285
The Third Invasion of Annam
The Expedition against Java, 1293
Mongol Support for Foreign Trade
The Yuan Dynasty’s Overseas Trade Empire

Conclusions: The Collapse of the Yuan, Rise of the Ming, and China as a Sea Power
The Rise of Piracy
The Han Exodus out of Yuan China
The Rise of the Ming Dynasty
The Expeditions of Zheng He
The End of the Ming Expeditions
China as a Sea Power
Concluding Thoughts

Selected Bibliography

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