The Tribute Trade System and Modem Asia*
In examining post-19th-century Asian economic history, the capitalism-industrialization framework has generally been used, with the degree of "modernization" being determined according to the degree of industrialization. The chapter provides that official letters should be exchanged between the Russian Senate and the Ch'ing Colonial Office. The central ideal of Sinocentrism was that of the unitary benevolence and dignity of the imperial institution and its ultimate extension to "all under Heaven". China and the Asian tribute trade system responded to Western countries and the imposed treaties from within the system. Hence it is difficult to define modern Asia clearly according to the change from the tribute system to the treaty system. It has long been the practice to analyze modern Asia from the viewpoint of nations and international relationships. The history of relations between China and Siam provides an interesting example of how Asian countries viewed Western countries and utilized them for Asian purposes.