Why Did China Traditionally Downplay Southeast Asia?:A Historical Reflection on the 21st century Maritime Silk Road
- 2019年 
【中文摘要】将“差序格局”的社会学理论拓展至古代中国外交体系的分析中，从安全、文化、经贸与地理等四大维度可以更好地解释:为什么古代中国不重视与东南亚地区的关系？从安全维度来看，中原王朝的威胁主要来自北面和西面的游牧民族，东南亚并非古代中国主要的安全威胁。从文化维度来看，东南亚除越南外，与中华文化的亲缘性较弱，受印度文明和伊斯兰文明的影响更多。东南亚与古代中国在经贸维度上也有较明显的不对称性，前者对后者的依赖更深。在地理维度上，中原的农耕王朝缺乏向沿海地区拓展的积极性，而且东南亚距离古代中国的政治中心长期较远。在当前“一带一路”的建设过程中，中国不重视东南亚的传统所带来的问题和挑战值得认真思考。应综合历史与现实情况,务实稳妥地在东南亚推动21世纪海上丝绸之路的发展，从而充分发挥好东南亚在新时代中国对外开放战略中的重要作用。 【Abstract】 Based on a theoretical extension of the “differential mode of association” to the account of ancient China's diplomatic system，a better explanation of the reason “why China traditionally downplayed Southeast Asia” may be achieved from four aspects：security，culture，economy and trade，and geography. Firstly，compared with the nomadic areas in northern and western China，Southeast Asia was not the major security threat to ancient China.Secondly，except for the Vietnam area，there were limited cultural connections between China and Southeast Asia， and the latter was more influenced by Hindu and Islamic cultures than Chinese culture. Thirdly，as for the dimension of economy and trade，Southeast Asia relatively relied on China，not the other way around. Last but not least，geographically speaking，ancient China lacked interest in exploring coastal areas due to its dependency on land and farming，and Southeast Asia was also far away from most Chinese emperors. In China's effort to promote the Belt and Road Initiative，this paper argues for more attention to problems and challenges which have arisen from China's tradition of downplaying Southeast Asia. China must attach much more importance to the similarities and differences between historical traditions and the current situation，and become pragmatic and prudent when pushing forward the 21st century Maritime Silk Road. If China does this，Southeast Asia will play an active and positive role in China's opening-up strategy in the new era.