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.
|Title of host publication||The Tongking Gulf Through History|
|Editors||Nola Cooke, Li Tana and James A.Anderson|
|Place of Publication||Philadelphia|
|Publisher||University of Pennsylvania Press|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|