Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations, 600-1400
Relations between China and India underwent a dramatic transformation from Buddhist-dominated to commerce-centered exchanges in the seventh to fifteenth centuries. The unfolding of this transformation, its causes, and wider ramifications are examined in this masterful analysis of the changing patterns of interaction between the two most important cultural spheres in Asia. Tansen Sen offers a new perspective on Sino-Indian relations during the Tang dynasty (618-907), arguing that the period is notable not only for religious and diplomatic exchanges but also for the process through which China emerged as a center of Buddhist learning, practice, and pilgrimage. He proposes that changes in religious interactions were paralleled by changes in commercial exchanges. For most of the first millennium, trading activities between India and China were closely connected with and sustained through the transmission of Buddhist doctrines. In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, however, secular bulk and luxury goods replaced Buddhist ritual items. Moreover, policies to encourage foreign trade instituted by the Chinese government and the Indian kingdoms transformed the China-India trading circuit in
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activities Arab Asian Beijing bodhisattva Brahmanical Buddha Buddhist community Buddhist doctrines Buddhist monks Buddhist texts Central Asia Chapter Chen Chinese Buddhist Chinese clergy Chinese court Chinese monks Chola commercial exchanges commodities Daoist Delhi Dharma dhist diplomatic Dunhuang early eighth century eleventh embassy Emperor Taizong Emperor Wen empire Empress Wu envoys esoteric example fact Famen Monastery Famen relic Fazang foreign gaoseng zhuan Harsa imperial India India and China Indian monks Indian Ocean inscription Institute interactions jing Kanauj Kashmir king kingdom Maitreya Manjusri markets Medieval merchants missions monastic Mount Wutai nese pilgrimage political ports Quanzhou region reign reported role routes Sanskrit seems seventh century silk Sino-Indian relations Sino-Indian trade Sogdian Song court South Asia Southeast Asia Srivijayan stupa Sutra Tang court Tang dynasty Tang period Tang rulers tenth century Tiantai Tibet Tibetan trans translation projects tribute University Press Wang Xuance Wu Zetian Xuanzang Yuan Zhonghua shuju Zizhi tongjian