Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations, 600-1400
Relations between China and India underwent a dramatic transformation from Buddhist-dominated to commerce-centered exchanges in the seventh to fifteenth centuries. The unfolding of this transformation, its causes, and wider ramifications are examined in this masterful analysis of the changing patterns of interaction between the two most important cultural spheres in Asia. Tansen Sen offers a new perspective on Sino-Indian relations during the Tang dynasty (618-907), arguing that the period is notable not only for religious and diplomatic exchanges but also for the process through which China emerged as a center of Buddhist learning, practice, and pilgrimage. He proposes that changes in religious interactions were paralleled by changes in commercial exchanges. For most of the first millennium, trading activities between India and China were closely connected with and sustained through the transmission of Buddhist doctrines. In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, however, secular bulk and luxury goods replaced Buddhist ritual items. Moreover, policies to encourage foreign trade instituted by the Chinese government and the Indian kingdoms transformed the China-India trading circuit in
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activities Arab Asian Aśoka Beijing bodhisattva Brahmanical Buddha Buddhist community Buddhist doctrines Buddhist monks Buddhist texts Cambridge Central Asia Chapter Chen Chinese Buddhist Chinese clergy Chinese court Chinese monks Chola chubanshe commercial exchanges commodities cultural Delhi Dharma dhist diplomatic Dunhuang Early eighth century eleventh embassy Emperor Taizong empire Empress Wu envoys esoteric example fact Famen Monastery Fazang foreign gaoseng zhuan Harṣa History Imperial India India and China Indian monks Indian Ocean inscription Institute jing Jiu Tang shu Kanauj king kingdom Maitreya Ma˝juśrī markets Medieval merchants Middle India missions monastic Mount Wutai nese pilgrimage political ports Quanzhou region reported role routes Sanskrit seventh century silk Sino-Indian relations Sino-Indian trade Sogdian Song court Song period South Asia Śrīvijayan Studies Sutra T'ang Tang court Tang dynasty Tang rulers tenth century Tiantai Tibet Tibetan trans tribute University Press Wang Xuance Wu Zetian Xuanzang Yuan Zhonghua shuju Zizhi tongjian