East Asian Reaction to European Presence Essay

548 Words 3 Pages
In the fifteenth century, Europeans started to seek “treasures” in Asia. Their goals were to search resources and markets and spread Christianity. They found spice and sugar in South Asia. At that time, South Asian countries were not strong enough to restrict European’s activities on their own land. However, when Europeans tried to enter East Asian, the East Asian countries such as China and Japan set strict rules to prevent their countries from European powers.
Chinese emperors strictly limited European merchants’ activities in China and did not want to corporate with them. In the seventeenth century, China was dominated by the Qing dynasty. Emperors of Qing dynasty closed all ports that previous dynasties opened except Macau and Guangzhou and “forbade even a plank from drifting to the sea.” When British merchants asked for more ports and brought a letter from their king. Qianlong emperor refused them directly. As shown in the Source from the Past, Emperor Qianlong wrote “But your ambassador has now put forward new requests which completely fail to recognize out throne’s principle to ‘treat strangers from afar with indulgence.’” In that source, Qianlong also pointed out that if British merchants tried to enter Zhejiang, Tianjin or other port, the local officials could use military force to overwhelm British ships and merchants. Qianlong emperor showed his negative attitude toward trades with foreign countries. He was afraid that foreign powers might alter the peace inside…