Saturday, August 9, 2014

MEMO: China's Modern Tributary System Invalidated

Date: June 16, 2014

Modern People's Republic of China (PRC) vs. Imperial China - Tributary System

Summary of Theory:

The PRC wants to return to Imperial China's tributary system but has little to offer in exchange for the allegiance of its subordinates.

Tributary System Under Imperial China:

Imperial China extended an umbrella of technological advancement, economic sophistication, and military protection around its subordinates.

Modern PRC Lacks Imperial China's Sophistication:

In addition to the spillover manufacturing jobs China's neighbors enjoy when Chinese wages rise, the PRC can offer its regional partners only trade and cash.

Western Influence:

Technology and security alliances are coming from the West.


It is unlikely the PRC will rise to the level of Imperial China's sophistication anytime soon.

Territorial Claims:

The PRC's land and maritime claims are perhaps invalidated if they are rooted in Imperial China's quid pro quo.

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