ABSTRACT

After a brief review of Sino–Iberian relations in the sixteenth century, the chapter first addresses the situation of China at the time of Iberian expansion, a country affected by the development of a modern “world-system” that conditioned its future. Next, the plans for the conquest and settlement of Spain and Portugal in the Chinese world are analyzed. In parallel, the Portuguese and Spanish literature generated from these meetings is presented. The chapter ends with an explanation of the process in which the work of the Augustinian author Juan González de Mendoza was included, who, in 1581, had to bring a sumptuous list of gifts to the Wanli Emperor. Giving voice through the documentary sources to the protagonists from Manila, Macao, Mexico, and Madrid spoke out about what the Catholic Monarchy should do with China and if its relations with a gentile king should be based on the weapons of war or on the of peace, it is possible to understand the emergence of an elaborate and systematized knowledge about the Chinese Empire