Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Southeast Asia
(1,988 words)

The subcontinent Southeast Asia, on the territory of which ten modern states have been formed since World War II, consisted of only two parts in the traditional perception of the middle kingdom: the continental part (with today's countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar/Burma) and a maritime part, which was simply called nanyang (lit. "Southern Ocean"). While the continental arena became a field of activity for Mandarin policy already under the Han dynasty, maritime Southeast Asia only entered China's focus through three subsequent conditio…

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Weggel, Oskar, “Southeast Asia”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 22 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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