Jiaozhi (Giao Chi) in the Han Period Tongking Gulf

Tana Li

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter introduces early Jiaozhi, a territorial unit covering the present-day Red River plains, coastal Guangxi, and western Guangdong, and discusses its importance in the exchange system of the Gulf of Tongking and South China Sea nearly two millennia ago. Contrary to conventional scholarship, which has stressed political forces pushing from north to south that resulted in Chinese colonization of the Red River plain, this chapter examines early Jiaozhi in its own context, as a territorial expanse occupying the same horizontal line. It argues that, by eliminating the once powerful Nanyue (southern Yue) kingdom in 111 B.C.E., the Han dynasty established Jiaozhi's dominant trading position as both market and entrepôt for goods brought by land and sea. Jiaozhi's emergence as the jewel of the Han south highlights the importance of the Gulf of Tongking for the early maritime silk road, as well as revealing the mutual interdependence of the region of modern Guangxi and the Red River plain so long ago.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Tongking Gulf Through History
    Editors Nola Cooke, Li Tana and James A.Anderson
    Place of PublicationPhiladelphia
    PublisherUniversity of Pennsylvania Press
    ISBN (Print)9780812243369
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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