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Melaka, Singapore, Riau, and Lingga: Chinese Sea Routes and the Terms / Names guanchang 官厰 and guanyu 官嶼 (15th Century) article

Roderich Ptak

Journal of Asian History, Jahrgang 57 (2023), Ausgabe 1-2, Seite 185 - 227

In early Ming times, trade and traffic between China and the ports around the Indian Ocean were mostly by way of the Melaka Strait. Much has been written on the history of Melaka and other polities adjacent to that strait, while we know less about the labyrinth of islands, reefs, and channels to the east of it, i.e., the area extending from modern Singapore “down” to Bangka. The present article tries to link the current discussion on the so-called Melaka guanchang and the possible role of the islands in front of that polity to Chinese navigation through the complex island world south of Singapore. This involves a re-examination of certain toponyms and information drawn from various texts and the “Zheng He map”. It also involves the terms / names guanchang and guanyu, questions related to logistics, and some important suggestions regarding sailing courses offered by Lin Woling and other scholars.

Keywords: Zheng He; Melaka, Lingga and Riau Islands; Chinese Navigation and sea straits; terms/ names guanchang and guanyu

Zhongguo haiyu shi 中国海域史, 5 vols., ed. by Zhang Haipeng 张海鹏. Volumes not numbered, but each with different subtitles and different authors/editors: Zonglun juan 总论卷, by Wang Hongbin 王宏斌. [4] + 8 + 524 pages. Bohai juan 渤海卷, by Zhu Yafei 朱亚非 and Liu Dake 刘大可 (eds.). [2] + 8 + 346 pages. Huanghai juan 黄海卷, by Dang Mingde 党明德 and Qu Jinliang 曲金良 (eds.). [2] + 6 + 266 pages. Donghai juan 东海卷, by Xie Bizhen 谢必震 and Wu Weiwei 吴巍巍 (eds.). [2] + 8 + 406 pages. Nanhai juan 南海卷, by Li Jinming 李金明 (ed.). [4] + 6 + 260 pages. Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 2020. ISBN 978-7-5235-9756-7 (hardback) book-review

Roderich Ptak

Journal of Asian History, Jahrgang 55 (2021), Ausgabe 2, Seite 334 - 341

En el archipiélago de la Especiería: España y Molucas en los siglos XVI y XVII. Edited by Javier Serrano Avilés and Jorge Mojarro. Coordinator of illustrations: María Prada González. Advisor, history: Antonio C. Campo López. Historical Cartography: Thomas Suárez. [Madrid]: Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID) and Desperta Ferro Ediciones, 2020. xxx + 354 pages. ISBN 978-84-122212-2-0 (hardback) book-review

Roderich Ptak

Journal of Asian History, Jahrgang 55 (2021), Ausgabe 2, Seite 341 - 348

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Issue 1-2 / 2023