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Chinese traditional recognition of the ocean and the meaning of the ban on the ocean

Jun-Tae Lee 1

1경희대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Since the modernization era, the East Asian countries including China have been requested to draw up newly recognition of the ocean corresponding to expansion of the colonial power by the Western countries. Traditionally, China has different recognition of the ocean in which Chinese people regard the ocean as an extended border from the mainland. Yet, Chinese people seem to have their own marine culture which is equivalent to that of Western world. In fact, China has had advanced skill of shipbuilding and invented compass in the Tang dynasty. However, during the Ming and Ching dynasty, China strictly kept the ban on the ocean for governmental control of the sea, which had negative influence on modern Chinese history in terms of social and cultural development. Although there has been Chinese own historical marine culture which might be positively or negatively evaluated, China has failed to draw up very modern style of marine culture because of the ban on the ocean in the Ming and Ching dynasty. In particular, the Ming and Ching dynasty’s the ban on the ocean might be recognized as a historical obstacle to preparing new era of international marine culture. To look into the social and political reason for keeping the ban on the ocean during the Ming and Ching dynasty may help us to better understand the current Chinese people’s recognition of the sea and Chinese government policy orientation towards the ocean.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.