Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Near East
(1,227 words)

The first contacts between China and the Near East reach back to the 3rd century. At that time, Arab and other merchants from the region began trading with China via the Silk Road and the ocean routes. Early contacts were made during the Tang period, when Christianity, Judaism (Jews), and Islam spread to China. However, official relations between China and the countries in the Near East were not established until the 20th century.

1. China and Israel

During the first half of the 20th century, Shanghai was at th…

Cite this page
Friedrich, Stefan, “Near East”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 25 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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