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Edited by Vermeer

The history of China's Southeast coast has unusual features. For many centuries, overseas trade and migration, internal and external warfare, strong religious beliefs and receptiveness to foreign influences characterized this society of fiercely independent traders, fishermen and mountain farmers. The protracted struggle of Cheng Ch'eng- kung and the Southern Ming against the Ch'ing dynasty precipitated Fukien into a crisis, from which many chose to escape by emigration to the Philippines and Taiwan. Recovery was slow. ; The fourteen Western and Chinese contributors to this study focus on internal economic and social developments, overseas and religious change. From the rich Chinese and European source materials, a picture emerges of great regional diversity.
Local interests and values were confronted by the central government's orthodox rule, and Western influences of Jesuits and traders. The Fukienese reaction to them produces fascinating insights into Chinese society, and a truly local history which may qualify our ideas on the Chinese Empire. REA sinologists, social and economic historians.