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A View from the Sea: Perspectives on the Northern and Central Vietnamese Coast

  • Li Tana (a1)

This article challenges the perceived image of ‘traditional’ Vietnam by viewing the polity's early history from the sea. A trading zone existed in the Gulf of Tonkin area, stretching to Hainan Island and northern Champa by sea, and overland to Yunnan and Laos. Commerce and interactions of peoples in this area played a crucial part in state formation for Vietnam.

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This article has benefited from two international workshops: Southeast Asia in Maritime Perspective: The Sea as Centre, Center for Asian Studies, University of California at Irvine, 28–29 Feb. 2004; and Maritime Space in Traditional Chinese Sources, Institute of Sinology, Munich, 25–26 Feb. 2005. My thanks to Charles Wheeler and Roderich Ptak for providing me chances to present my rough ideas at the workshops for valuable feedback. Part of this article was published in Japanese in the journal Toyoshi Kenkyu, 63, 3 (2004); my thanks to Akinori Nakasuna for his translation and his careful checking of the original sources. Thanks also to Nola Cooke, Victor Lieberman, Bruce Lockhart and David Marr for their help and comments.
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Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 0022-4634
  • EISSN: 1474-0680
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-southeast-asian-studies
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