© 2017

Embassies to China

Diplomacy and Cultural Encounters Before the Opium Wars


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Michael Keevak
    Pages 1-11
  3. Michael Keevak
    Pages 13-37
  4. Michael Keevak
    Pages 39-63
  5. Michael Keevak
    Pages 65-89
  6. Michael Keevak
    Pages 91-117
  7. Michael Keevak
    Pages 119-141
  8. Michael Keevak
    Pages 143-158
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 159-162

About this book


This text is a timely and wide-ranging study providing essential background to the development of global modernity through the European encounter with China. Considering differing notions of peace, empire, trade, religion, and diplomacy as touchstones in the relations between China and Europe on mutuality, the book examines five encounters with France, Portugal, Holland, the pope, and Russia between 1248 and 1720, and reflects on concepts that the West took for granted but which did not successfully cross over into the Chinese world. This cutting edge text provides key insights into the cultural and political conflict which lay at the heart of early Chinese-European relations, as the West's understanding of the truth and appropriateness of its cultural norms was confronted by China's norms and beliefs.


Embassies to premodern China Comparative history of China and the West Premodern Chinese-European relations Empire and colonialism Free trade agreements Christianity in China Sino-Russian trade relations Early modern Asian studies China History from 1500 to 1750 Chinese rites and ceremonies

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.National Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

About the authors

Michael Keevak is Professor of Foreign Languages at National Taiwan University, where he has taught since 1993. He is the author of four books, the most recent of which is Becoming Yellow: A Short History of Racial Thinking (2011), winner of the Academia Sinica Book Award in Humanities and Social Sciences in 2013.

Bibliographic information