The 15th century was a period of intense interaction between Ming China and Southeast Asia. The period saw the Ming invade ÃÂaÃÂ£i ViÃÂªÃÂ£t, expand the scope of the Chinese polity by exploiting and then incorporating Tai polities of upland Southeast Asia, and launch a succession of hugely influential maritime armadas which travelled through Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. It is argued that these three aspects of Ming policy can be seen as differing types of Ming colonialism greatly affecting Southeast Asia during the 15th century and beyond. A chronological study of the policies relating to Southeast Asia of the successive Ming rulers is followed by a thematic overview of how the Ming policies actually affected Southeast Asia in the 15th century. This includes reference to effects in the political, economic and cultural topography of Southeast Asia The beginnings of a non-state-sponsored maritime trade between China and Southeast Asia is also investigated.
Ming, Southeast Asia, 15th century, Zheng He, Dai Viet, Tai, Malacca
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