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why china

The Chinese empire was huge. The Company wanted to buy silk and sell English goods direct to the millions of Chinese but the country was largely closed to foreigners.

In 1644 Manchu invaders from beyond the Great Wall captured Peking and established the Ch’ing dynasty (which would last until 1911).

The displaced Ming Emperor had a strong ally in the great pirate fleet commander Cheng Ch’eng-kung - the legendary Koxinga. Koxinga held out against the Chi’ng forces in the region around Amoy before transferring to Taiwan.

The war effort needed guns, which the English could supply, so in 1670 his son invited the East India Company to trade.

  chinese palaces & gardens    

Chinese Palaces & Gardens
Album of export paintings by Chinese artists, early 19th century
(click image to enlarge)

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