A Short History of China and Southeast Asia: Tribute, Trade and Influence

By Martin Stuart-Fox | Go to book overview

4
MONGOL
EXPANSIONISM

Chinese attention during the Southern Song was always directed north, and with good reason. The Song policy of using the Mongols to oppose the Jurchen ended in disaster, however, when the Mongols swept into northern China. By 1236 Mongol armies were ready to thrust south of the Yangze, though it was not until the accession to power of Khubilai Khan in 1260 that the Mongol conquest of the Southern Song was pressed to its conclusion. Six years earlier, the kingdom of Dali, successor to Nanzhao in the region of Yunnan, had fallen to the Mongols and been incorporated within the Chinese empire. Hangzhou was captured in 1276, and Canton, whence the Song court had fled, succumbed the following year. Two years later, destruction of what remained of the Song fleet gave the Mongols total control over an expanded Chinese empire.

This was not the end of Mongol expansionism. The next target was Southeast Asia. The incorporation of Yunnan into the empire provided a base for operations against mainland Southeast Asian kingdoms. Burma and Vietnam both suffered invasions that were Mongol

-52-

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A Short History of China and Southeast Asia: Tribute, Trade and Influence
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Preface and Acknowledgements vii
  • Abbreviations x
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - The Chinese View of the World 9
  • 3 - Early Relations 23
  • 4 - Mongol Expansionism 52
  • 5 - Sea Power, Tribute and Trade 73
  • 6 - Enter the Europeans 95
  • 7 - The Changing World Order 128
  • 8 - Communism and the Cold War 150
  • 9 - Fresh Beginnings 193
  • 10 - Future Directions 224
  • Notes 246
  • Suggested Reading 258
  • Index 265
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