The South China Sea has throughout history witnessed the primary economies of this littoral region exercising influence over smaller, outlying economies by binding the latter into co-dependent relationships, witnessed in such areas as the currency systems adopted by the smaller economies, which align them to the larger primary economies in the region, and in the ways in which products traded from one economy to another develop from being directionally exclusive and beneficial but noncrucial, to one where the economies are mutually dependant. This may be witnessed between China and the Malay region during the tenth to the fourteenth centuries. The period began with the Malay region's polities dispatching to China high-value commodities from the region and the Indian Ocean littoral, and receiving in return Chinese products that were largely re-exported to markets further afield. Within four centuries, the relationship became one comprising primarily of lowvalue products, characterised by a mutually dependent relationship in the provision of low-value commodities that were regularly consumed, and in high quantities. More importantly, a substantial degree of vertical economic integration between the two economies, with the Malay region supplying China with primary products, and China providing the former with manufactured goods, developed.
- South-East Asia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science