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Ancient Chinese historical documents reveal that China has been on intimate terms with Southeast Asia at least since Qin dynasty. The relations between China and various ancient states expanded to the coast of India in Han dynasty during the time of Emperor Wudi of Han. It appears that Huangzhi, which is assumed to be located in Tamil Nadu, sent tributary missions to Han Court, while China dedicated eunuchs to sail for trading with varied lands. This is considered as the initial trading, which includes the arrival of tributary system. The tributary system became a significant custom when contacting, which China required all states to practice. Therefore, all states must accept China’s requirement by offering tributes to show their submissiveness in return of great economic benefits that China rewarded them without any political intervention. Such relationship offered mutual benefit. China showed that it had the authority over the surrounding states; however, those states gained the economic benefits from China. During Yuan dynasty when China attempted to expand political power, the tributary system was used to enforce all states to behave respectfully to Mongol court. Due to the economic benefit that came with the tributary system, several states submitted to Mongol without any resistance. This is the initial period of prosperity of tributary trade before it degenerates at the end of Qing dynasty.
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