Tang China in Multi-Polar Asia: A History of Diplomacy and War (The World of East Asia)

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9780824836443: Tang China in Multi-Polar Asia: A History of Diplomacy and War (The World of East Asia)

Using a synthetic narrative approach, this ambitious work uses the lens of multipolarity to analyze Tang China’s (618–907) relations with Turkestan; the Korean states of Koguryŏ, Silla, and Paekche; the state of Parhae in Manchuria; and the Nanzhao and Tibetan kingdoms. Without any one entity able to dominate Asia’s geopolitical landscape, the author argues that relations among these countries were quite fluid and dynamic―an interpretation that departs markedly from the prevalent view of China fixed at the center of a widespread “tribute system.”

To cope with external affairs in a tumultuous world, Tang China employed a dual management system that allowed both central and local officials to conduct foreign affairs. The court authorized Tang local administrators to receive foreign visitors, forward their diplomatic letters to the capital, and manage contact with outsiders whose territories bordered on China. Not limited to handling routine matters, local officials used their knowledge of border situations to influence the court’s foreign policy. Some even took the liberty of acting without the court’s authorization when an emergency occurred, thus adding another layer to multipolarity in the region’s geopolitics.

The book also sheds new light on the ideological foundation of Tang China’s foreign policy. Appropriateness, efficacy, expedience, and mutual self-interest guided the court’s actions abroad. Although officials often used “virtue” and “righteousness” in policy discussions and announcements, these terms were not abstract universal principles but justifications for the pursuit of self-interest by those involved. Detailed philological studies reveal that in the realm of international politics, “virtue” and “righteousness” were in fact viewed as pragmatic and utilitarian in nature.

Comprehensive and authoritative, Tang China in Multi-Polar Asia is a major work on Tang foreign relations that will reconceptualize our understanding of the complexities of diplomacy and war in imperial China.

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About the Author:

Wang Zhenping is associate professor at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Review:

Wang Zhenping s new monograph provides us with a comprehensive and very useful study of Tang foreign relations on multiple frontiers. Given its thoroughness (in conjunction with the exceptional level of detail of the six-page table of contents), specialists of the Tang will find it to be a must-have reference. Historians of other Chinese dynasties interested in foreign relations will also find this book to be a very handy one-stop overview of foreign relations during the Tang.-- "Journal of Chinese Military History"

Based on exacting scholarship on the primary sources the book provides detailed accounts of the relations between the Tang and their neighbours, as well as an excellent analysis of the internal processes that influenced foreign policy and strategic decisions.-- "Journal of Chinese Studies"

Wang Zhenping's new monograph provides us with a comprehensive and very useful study of Tang foreign relations on multiple frontiers. Given its thoroughness (in conjunction with the exceptional level of detail of the six-page table of contents), specialists of the Tang will find it to be a must-have reference. Historians of other Chinese dynasties interested in foreign relations will also find this book to be a very handy one-stop overview of foreign relations during the Tang.-- "Journal of Chinese Military History"

His treatment of the institutions and processes of Tang external relations is the most thorough I have seen anywhere. His detailed account of the Tang empire's seventh-century interventions in the Korean peninsula, drawing on Chinese, Korean, and Japanese sources, is also first rate, and his chapter on the northern nomads brilliantly exposes the extent to which the military fortunes of the Tang founders and their various rivals in the 610s and 620s depended upon the favor of the Eastern Turks. This book is essential reading for students of Tang China and China's premodern foreign relations.-- "Monumenta Serica"

The book has many strong points. The author is clearly familiar with the relevant primary sources as well as the major scholarly works in the field, particularly those published in Chinese, Japanese, and English.-- "T'oung Pao"

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Wang Zhenping
Editore: University of Hawai i Press, United States (2013)
ISBN 10: 0824836448 ISBN 13: 9780824836443
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Descrizione libro University of Hawai i Press, United States, 2013. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Using a synthetic narrative approach, this ambitious work uses the lens of multipolarity to analyse Tang China s (618-907) relations with Turkestan; the Korean states of Kogury, Silla, and Paekche; the state of Parhae in Manchuria; and the Nanzhao and Tibetan kingdoms. Without any one entity able to dominate Asia s geopolitical landscape, the author argues that relations among these countries were quite fluid and dynamic--an interpretation that departs markedly from the prevalent view of China fixed at the center of a widespread tribute system. To cope with external affairs in a tumultuous world, Tang China employed a dual management system that allowed both central and local officials to conduct foreign affairs. The court authorised Tang local administrators to receive foreign visitors, forward their diplomatic letters to the capital, and manage contact with outsiders whose territories bordered on China. Not limited to handling routine matters, local officials used their knowledge of border situations to influence the court s foreign policy. Some even took the liberty of acting without the court s authorisation when an emergency occurred, thus adding another layer to multipolarity in the region s geopolitics. The book also sheds new light on the ideological foundation of Tang China s foreign policy. Appropriateness, efficacy, expedience, and mutual self-interest guided the court s actions abroad. Although officials often used virtue and righteousness in policy discussions and announcements, these terms were not abstract universal principles but justifications for the pursuit of self-interest by those involved. Detailed philological studies reveal that in the realm of international politics, virtue and righteousness were in fact viewed as pragmatic and utilitarian in nature. Comprehensive and authoritative, Tang China in Multi-Polar Asia is a major work on Tang foreign relations that will reconceptualise our understanding of the complexities of diplomacy and war in imperial China. Codice libro della libreria AAN9780824836443

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Wang Zhenping
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ISBN 10: 0824836448 ISBN 13: 9780824836443
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Descrizione libro University of Hawai i Press, United States, 2013. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Using a synthetic narrative approach, this ambitious work uses the lens of multipolarity to analyse Tang China s (618-907) relations with Turkestan; the Korean states of Kogury, Silla, and Paekche; the state of Parhae in Manchuria; and the Nanzhao and Tibetan kingdoms. Without any one entity able to dominate Asia s geopolitical landscape, the author argues that relations among these countries were quite fluid and dynamic--an interpretation that departs markedly from the prevalent view of China fixed at the center of a widespread tribute system. To cope with external affairs in a tumultuous world, Tang China employed a dual management system that allowed both central and local officials to conduct foreign affairs. The court authorised Tang local administrators to receive foreign visitors, forward their diplomatic letters to the capital, and manage contact with outsiders whose territories bordered on China. Not limited to handling routine matters, local officials used their knowledge of border situations to influence the court s foreign policy. Some even took the liberty of acting without the court s authorisation when an emergency occurred, thus adding another layer to multipolarity in the region s geopolitics. The book also sheds new light on the ideological foundation of Tang China s foreign policy. Appropriateness, efficacy, expedience, and mutual self-interest guided the court s actions abroad. Although officials often used virtue and righteousness in policy discussions and announcements, these terms were not abstract universal principles but justifications for the pursuit of self-interest by those involved. Detailed philological studies reveal that in the realm of international politics, virtue and righteousness were in fact viewed as pragmatic and utilitarian in nature. Comprehensive and authoritative, Tang China in Multi-Polar Asia is a major work on Tang foreign relations that will reconceptualise our understanding of the complexities of diplomacy and war in imperial China. Codice libro della libreria AAN9780824836443

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