David C. Kang


On his book East Asia Before the West: Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute

Cover Interview of January 24, 2011

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“How East Asian relations worked in a long and lasting past.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“Emphasizing formal hierarchy and yet allowing considerable informal autonomy, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and China had considerable peace and stability in their relations with each other.  By contrast, the European “balance of power” system emphasized formal equality of nation-states, but entailed endemic conflict among states.”

On the second:

“China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam are still around in the twenty-first century—and they are recognizably the same states from five hundred years or even one thousand years ago.”