Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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(1,558 words)

Shipping has existed in China since antiquity. It has its own history, which is, however, difficult to trace in its individual aspects and seeming contradictions. Our knowledge about civil shipping up to the last centuries of the 1st millennium is limited, and it is extraordinarily difficult to piece together the development of the merchant marine and fisheries in its entirety. The important nautical innovations achieved up to the Song era, and even until to the beginning of the Ming era, stand …

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Calanca, Paola, “Shipping”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 29 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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