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In: China's Encounters on the South and Southwest


Srivijaya, a supposed thalassocracy based on the island of Sumatra, is believed by scholars to have played a central role in the trade and politics of Southeast Asia from roughly the seventh to fourteenth centuries. Much of the evidence for Srivijaya’s history comes from Chinese sources, and in this two-part article we demonstrate that some of the Chinese sources that have been employed for writing the history of “Srivijaya” are about Cambodia, that is, Angkor. More specifically, scholars have argued that a kingdom referred to in Chinese sources as “Sanfoqi” was “Srivijaya,” and in this paper we examine the information about Sanfoqi in the fourteenth century in the Ming shilu against information in the Cambodian and Siamese chronicles to demonstrate that Sanfoqi was Angkor. In the process, we develop an entirely new history of the final days of that once powerful polity.

In: China and Asia
In: China and Asia