U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-01-2013, 01:00 AM
 
1,037 posts, read 966,620 times
Reputation: 616

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by lentzr View Post
I understand that from the fall of Rome to the age of Discovery, China was the most technologically advanced country in the world. Their ships were far superior in construction, durability, technology, etc. than European ships. But from the unification of China in the early-200's BC until European became the dominant powers, China did not sail around the world setting up colonies and expanding their empire. Why not? Why did not China simply not take over the rest of East Asia and Southeast Asia, at the least? Was it due to the fact that often the rest of Asia simply paid tribute to China as the dominant power? Please do not argue that Chinese are by nature more peaceful than Europeans...I heard this argument before from my Chinese professor and China has a history at least as brutal as that in the West with civil wars, famines and massacres, just like the rest of the world. So why did not China simply expand its power beyond its borders? Is it as simple, as they had everything they already needed, or am I missing something else?
Maybe because China had the problems with the nomads that disturbed the borders of China and even had occupied a half of the country?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-01-2013, 01:27 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
85,939 posts, read 79,137,238 times
Reputation: 88192
Quote:
Originally Posted by r33219 View Post
Because they were CIVILIZED. Their mission was to trade with other cultures, whom they viewed as equals, and then leave, not conquer. Europeans were/are barbarians. They have spread disease, colonialism, rape, genocide and racism globally. So, yes, they were more violent than the Chinese. You need to listen to your Chinese professor.
This. The Chinese overseas explorations were trade missions, not missions of conquest.

Also it's important to be aware of the fact that China for a good part of its history was dominated by other peoples. China was part of the Mongol Empire, then it was part of an expanded Manchuria. In fact, twice it came under the Manchus, but the first time they called themselves Jurchens. When they adopted Buddhism, they renamed themselves Manchus, after the Buddha Manjushri. So it was China that was colonized by its neighbors for some of its history.

"Jin Dynasty" (Jurchen/Manchus) 1115-1234 AD
Mongol Empire & "Yuan Dynasty" 1234-1368 AD

"Qing Dynasty" (Manchus) 1644-1912 AD

Northern China (Manchuria + part of Mongolia) was also part of the "Liao Dynasty", a kingdom run by the Khitans, a Mongol tribe, from 907 AD until the Jurchens took over. The Liao (Khitans) made what was China proper at that time (in the south: Song Dynasty) a tributary state.

So China wasn't in a position to expand or colonize other countries while it was itself dominated by others. The Ming period, between the Yuan (Mongol) Dynasty and the Qing (Manchus) was when China was free of outside domination, and began to explore overseas and trade with other lands.

Last edited by Ruth4Truth; 07-01-2013 at 02:03 AM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2013, 10:38 AM
 
2 posts, read 4,917 times
Reputation: 10
And when China was in position to colonize the world, roughly during the 15th Century, the Emperor stopped all contacts and expansion and submerged China in a centralized state ruled by the famous Chinese Bureaucracy. It seems that the same thing has happened many times...

The ruler becomes terrorized by the centripetal forces of anarchy and separatism..and imposes despotic governments.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2013, 01:26 PM
 
31,371 posts, read 33,511,114 times
Reputation: 14922
I would suggest that China pursued an external imperial policy is because like the U.S. it had more than enough land and resources that gave them no reason to seek out what they already had close to home. Necessity is the mother of all things.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2013, 02:16 PM
 
14,781 posts, read 37,921,582 times
Reputation: 14476
Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
I would suggest that China pursued an external imperial policy is because like the U.S. it had more than enough land and resources that gave them no reason to seek out what they already had close to home. Necessity is the mother of all things.
...which is pretty much the conclusion reached on the first couple of pages. The Europeans are pretty much the only group to actively colonize the world, despite not being the only one with the ability. The reason seems to primarily rest on the fact that Europe was a crowded place and as nations sought leverage over each other they looked to gain externally it. Nations like China and India had no such need.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2013, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Shaw.
2,226 posts, read 3,330,870 times
Reputation: 817
I was reading Robert Kaplan's book "The Revenge of Geography" and he goes into that a bit. China had a vulnerable northern border to land invasions. China was exploring the seas until the first Mongol invasion. After that, China turned inward with only a regional focus. The maritime European nations, on the other hand, were often protected. Portugal had mountains and Spain as a barrier. Spain had the Pyrenees. England had the Channel. France would have been vulnerable to Germany, but it was a divided state at the time. These maritime states had the luxury of expanding outward once the Muslim threat had been expelled (in the case of Spain) or when they saw what lucrative opportunities awaited (in the case of everyone else).
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2013, 11:21 AM
 
9,247 posts, read 7,867,282 times
Reputation: 4606
Actually they did. There are many people of Chinese descent all over Indochina, on Borneo, Sumatra, and New Guinea, and the Phillipines.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2013, 01:27 PM
 
1,030 posts, read 1,606,986 times
Reputation: 2599
Quote:
And when China was in position to colonize the world, roughly during the 15th Century, the Emperor stopped all contacts and expansion and submerged China in a centralized state ruled by the famous Chinese Bureaucracy. It seems that the same thing has happened many times...
China had a massive bureaucracy that started back before the common era. It became increasingly difficult to get government approval for new ideas or ventures. Their great inventions were all from the 12th century or before. Their styles of dress and architecture changed little from that era.
Later dynasties just slipped into the prevailing bureaucratic stream, and China flowed along as it always had.
In the Chinese mindset, they had achieved perfection. There was no need to rock the boat.
Expansionism and colonization go hand in hand with need. A people or a government may feel the need to move onward, or expand, or conquer. They feel they need land, or riches, or slaves, or safer borders.
The Chinese obviously felt no need for any of those things.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top