|Brokers and 'Guild' (huiguan 會館) organizations in China's maritime trade with her eastern neighbours during the Ming and Qing dynasties|
Schottenhammer, A. (2010). Brokers and 'Guild' (huiguan 會館) organizations in China's maritime trade with her eastern neighbours during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Crossroads 1-2: 99-150
In: Crossroads (Grossheirath) = Keuroseurodeu (Grossheirath): Studies on the History of Exchange Relations in the East Asian World. Ostasien-Verlag: Grossheirath-Gossenberg. ISSN 2190-8796, more
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What were the organizational structures of China’s maritime trade with its eastern neighbours, and what was the relationship between government trade control mechanism and private business that engaged in this sector of the market economy? How important were in particular organizations such as huiguan 會館 and yahang 牙行? The present article addresses these issues by documenting in detail the cases of China’s Ming and Qing period trade relations with the Ryūkyūs and the Sino-Japanese copper trade during the high Qing. The article analyzes the complex relatedness and competition between government-controlled organizations like the broker houses that were operated on the human resources outside the bureaucracy and private enterprises of business firms as well as native-place guilds. The public policy of control over maritime trade on the China coast was implemented not in a context of zero-sum game between the interest of the state and that of the private sector. Rather, the policy ended up creating a structure where interests of both sides were compromised but served. The result was a favourable business environment for both the Fujian and the Jiangnan market economy, witnessed even in the more restricted sector of maritime trade under Qing rule.