China Among Equals: The Middle Kingdom and Its Neighbors, 10th-14th Centuries
University of California Press, 1983 - History - 419 pages
Scholars have long accepted China's own view of its traditional foreign relations: that China devised its own world order and maintained it from the second century B.C. to the nineteenth century. China ruled out equality with any nation: foreign rulers and their envoys were treated as subordinates or inferiors, required to send periodic tribute embassies to the Chinese emperor. The Chinese court was otherwise uninterested in foreign lands. Its principal interests were to maintain peace with what it perceived to be barbarian neighbors and to coax or coerce them into admitting China's superiority and accepting the Chinese emperor as the Son of Heaven.
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