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Sino-Sulu trade in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

Warren, J.F.ORCID: 0000-0003-0055-6730 (1977) Sino-Sulu trade in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Philippine Studies, 25 (1). pp. 50-79.

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Sulu appears in Chinese sources as early as the Yuan dynasty ( 1268- 1368) and a lengthy account of a tributary mission in 14 17 from Sulu to the celestial court is recorded in the Ming Annals. Little appears then to have been written about the Sulu chain of islands for several hundred years until the beginning of the eighteenth century, which witnessed an earnest renewal of diplomatic activity and trade between China and the Sultanate. The Ching Annals refer to five separate tribute-bearing missions dispatched by the Sultans of Sulu in the years between 1727 and 1763. The envoys of these missions, which were spaced approximately a decade apart, spent several years in China before returning to Sulu on one of the great junks voyaging to the "tributary lands" bordering the South China Sea with renewed friendship and wealth in gifts.' The large number of references to Sulu in the Ch'ing Annals reflect the desire of the Sultans to extend their personal authority and wealth, and to strengthen the State's influence in a politically fragmented region through Chinese recognition and commerce.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Ateneo de Manila University
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