History Without Borders: The Making of an Asian World Region, 1000-1800

Hong Kong University Press
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Astride the historical maritime silk routes linking India to China, premodern East and Southeast Asia can be viewed as a global region in the making over a long period. Intense Asian commerce in spices, silks, and ceramics placed the region in the forefront of global economic history prior to the age of imperialism. Alongside the correlated silver trade among Japanese, Europeans, Muslims, and others, China's age-old tributary trade networks provided the essential stability and continuity enabling a brilliant age of commerce. Though national perspectives stubbornly dominate the writing of Asian history, even powerful state-centric narratives have to be re-examined with respect to shifting identities and contested boundaries. This book situates itself in a new genre of writing on borderland zones between nations, especially prior to the emergence of the modern nation-state. It highlights the role of civilization that developed along with global trade in rare and everyday Asian commodities, raising a range of questions regarding unequal development, intraregional knowledge advances, the origins of globalization, and the emergence of new Asian hybridities beyond and within the conventional boundaries of the nation-state. Chapters range over the intra-Asian trade in silver and ceramics, the Chinese junk trade, the rise of European trading companies as well as diasporic communities including the historic Japan-towns of Southeast Asia, and many types of technology exchanges. While some readers will be drawn to thematic elements, this book can be read as the narrative history of the making of a coherent East-Southeast Asian world long before the modem period.
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About the author

Geoffrey C. Gunn is a graduate of Melbourne, Queensland, and Monash universities. He has published a number of dedicated country studies on East-Southeast Asia (Brunei, Laos, Macau, East Timor), which have been translated into Portuguese, Indonesian, and Chinese. He is also the author of a world history text, First Globalization: The Eurasian Exchange, 1500-1800. He has taught in universities in North Africa, Australia, and Southeast Asia, and currently teaches international relations in the Faculty of Economics, Nagasaki University, Japan.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Hong Kong University Press
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Published on
Aug 1, 2011
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Pages
444
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ISBN
9789888083343
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Asia / China
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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This book is a bold affirmation of the Asian "miracle" of development, an explanation of the reasons for its success, and a review of its implications. As McCord reminds us, understanding why and how these nations have propelled themselves so far, so fast, is a key to anticipating the destiny of much of the rest of the world.

Despite their interest, analysts have been confounded in attempts to explain Asian development-without resources and colonies, without internal violence, and broadly distributing wealth as they have grown. Existing theories of development offer little guidance. Even explanations that look to the special circumstances of Asian countries have their weaknesses. McCord considers some of these ideas, so as to draw from them common themes. These so-called explanations have ranged from the "culture" argument, which he generally discounts, to the more persuasive arguments positing that Asian social structures have enabled them to avoid some of the problems in the West, while wise political policies have fueled economic development Reviewing all of these explanations, McCord identifies a common group of socioeconomic values and policies shared by most of these nations. And these, he shows, tell us much.

"The Dawn of the Pacific Century "convincingly makes the case for a genuinely Asian model of development-one that must be understood, on its own terms, without reference to either Adam Smith or Karl Marx. McCord's is an optimistic vision. He acknowledges some very real perils that may lay ahead for these nations, but believes they will be overcome. On the critical question of whether the Asian model is applicable to other parts of the developing world McCord answers "Yes, if...," and outlines what non-Asian nations must do to achieve their own successes.

Engagingly written, displaying a commanding knowledge of a broad range of literature, and informed by deep personal experience in Asia and other parts of the world, "The Dawn of the Pacific Century "challenges conventional thinking. It should find a broad professional social science readership. In addition, those general readers who wish to learn from and understand the Asian challenge will find this book a good beginning.

China's spectacular economic growth over the past two decades has dramatically depleted the country's natural resources and produced skyrocketing rates of pollution. Environmental degradation in China has also contributed to significant public health problems, mass migration, economic loss, and social unrest. In The River Runs Black, Elizabeth C. Economy examines China's growing environmental crisis and its implications for the country's future development.

Drawing on historical research, case studies, and interviews with officials, scholars, and activists in China, Economy traces the economic and political roots of China's environmental challenge and the evolution of the leadership's response. She argues that China's current approach to environmental protection mirrors the one embraced for economic development: devolving authority to local officials, opening the door to private actors, and inviting participation from the international community, while retaining only weak central control.

The result has been a patchwork of environmental protection in which a few wealthy regions with strong leaders and international ties improve their local environments, while most of the country continues to deteriorate, sometimes suffering irrevocable damage. Economy compares China's response with the experience of other societies and sketches out several possible futures for the country.

This second edition of The River Runs Black is updated with information about events between 2005 and 2009, covering China's tumultuous transformation of its economy and its landscape as it deals with the political implications of this behavior as viewed by an international community ever more concerned about climate change and dwindling energy resources.

It has intrigued many that, unlike Hong Kong, Macau avoided direct Japanese wartime occupation albeit being caught up in the vortex of the wider global conflict. Geoffrey Gunn and an international group of contributors come together in Wartime Macau: Under the Japanese Shadow to investigate how Macau escaped the fate of direct Japanese invasion and occupation. Exploring the broader diplomatic and strategic issues during that era, this volume reveals that the occupation of Macau was not in Japan’s best interest because the Portuguese administration in Macau posed no threat to Japan’s control over the China coast and acted as a listening post to monitor Allied activities.

Drawing upon archival materials in English, Japanese, Portuguese, and other languages, the contributors explain how, under the high duress of Japanese military agencies, the Portuguese administration coped with a tripling of its population and issues such as currency, food supply, disease, and survival. This volume presents contrasting views on wartime governance and shows how the different levels of Macau society survived the war.

“Wartime Macau deals with a fascinating and woefully understudied topic. The essays collected here show that there was no singular experience of World War II in Macau; how one experienced the war depended on a complex calculus of ethnicity, class, and connections. And yet, taken together, these experiences shaped the trajectory of the city’s political and social development for decades to come.”
—Cathryn H. Clayton, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

“This book represents a real breakthrough. Previous English-language accounts of Macau during the World War II have focused largely on the activities of the British in this neutral ‘Casablanca’. Drawing extensively on Portuguese, Japanese, and local Macanese sources, Geoffrey Gunn and his team have assembled a far broader picture, revealing the dilemmas and choices of Portugal’s beleaguered colonial government and placing Macau in a geopolitical context that stretched from the Azores to Australia.”
—Philip Snow, author of The Fall of Hong Kong
One of the U.S. government's leading China experts reveals the hidden strategy fueling that country's rise – and how Americans have been seduced into helping China overtake us as the world's leading superpower.

For more than forty years, the United States has played an indispensable role helping the Chinese government build a booming economy, develop its scientific and military capabilities, and take its place on the world stage, in the belief that China's rise will bring us cooperation, diplomacy, and free trade. But what if the "China Dream" is to replace us, just as America replaced the British Empire, without firing a shot?

Based on interviews with Chinese defectors and newly declassified, previously undisclosed national security documents, The Hundred-Year Marathon reveals China's secret strategy to supplant the United States as the world's dominant power, and to do so by 2049, the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic. Michael Pillsbury, a fluent Mandarin speaker who has served in senior national security positions in the U.S. government since the days of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, draws on his decades of contact with the "hawks" in China's military and intelligence agencies and translates their documents, speeches, and books to show how the teachings of traditional Chinese statecraft underpin their actions. He offers an inside look at how the Chinese really view America and its leaders – as barbarians who will be the architects of their own demise.
Pillsbury also explains how the U.S. government has helped – sometimes unwittingly and sometimes deliberately – to make this "China Dream" come true, and he calls for the United States to implement a new, more competitive strategy toward China as it really is, and not as we might wish it to be. The Hundred-Year Marathon is a wake-up call as we face the greatest national security challenge of the twenty-first century.

This book offers the first detailed English-language examination of the Great Vietnamese Famine of 1945, which left at least a million dead, and links it persuasively to the largely unexpected Viet Minh seizure of power only months later. Drawing on extensive research in French archives, Geoffrey C. Gunn offers an important new interpretation of Japanese–Vichy French wartime economic exploitation of Vietnam’s agricultural potential. He analyzes successes and failures of French colonial rice programs and policies from the early 1900s to 1945, drawing clear connections between colonialism and agrarian unrest in the 1930s and the rise of the Viet Minh in the 1940s. Gunn asks whether the famine signaled a loss of the French administration’s “mandate of heaven,” or whether the overall dire human condition was the determining factor in facilitating communist victory in August 1945.

In the broader sweep of Vietnamese history, including the rise of the communist party, the picture that emerges is not only one of local victimhood at the hands of outsiders—French and, in turn, Japanese— but the enormous agency on the part of the Vietnamese themselves to achieve moral victory over injustice against all odds, no matter how controversial, tragic, and contested the outcome. As the author clearly demonstrates, colonial-era development strategies and contests also had their postwar sequels in the “American war,” just as land, land reform, and subsistence-sustainable development issues persist into the present.
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