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Haijin, Melaka, and the Cham/Việt Coast

In: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
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  • 1 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
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Abstract

This study examines 15th-century Melaka’s significant role as the primary intermediary eastern maritime port-of-trade between the Indian Ocean and China. It addresses the strategic South China Sea Jiaozhu Vietnam coastline passage to the Ming court’s newly designated southern China Guangzhou port. It replaced Quangzhou to the north as the preeminent port of China’s eastern Asia maritime trade. In 1371 the Ming China court restricted its foreign maritime trade beyond China. In response Chinese and multi-ethnic maritime diasporas based in Southeast Asia ports traveled the South China Sea to the Eastern and Western Indian Oceans and in doing so sustained a post-1400 substantive intermediary transit trade network that connected southern China, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and east-coast of Africa.

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