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Regionalization in the Tianxia?

Zhang, F. (2009) Regionalization in the Tianxia? In: Kavalski, E., (ed.) China and the Global Politics of Regionalization. Ashgate, Farnham, England, pp. 19-32.

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    In the traditional Chinese worldview there was no conception of «region." Instead, the distinctive concept used by the Chinese was Tianxia, or the surrounding world. Tianxia has been commonly translated into English as "all under heaven." Such literal translation is problematic, for in practice, Chinese rulers, by claiming to be "overlords of the Tianxia," did not intend to lay their suzerainty over the entire known world (Gan 2003, 508). Rather, their Tianxia was more circumscribed, generally referring to the Chinese empire and the adjacent areas with which the Chinese interacted-roughly corresponding to what we today know as Northeast and Southeast Asia and parts of Central Asia.

    Publication Type: Book Chapter
    Publisher: Ashgate
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