Friday, August 12, 2011

236. Chinese Civiliation and the United States

Virginia Review of Asian Studies, one of the best academic journals in the field of Asian studies in the world, published in its 2011 issue, Dr. Dave Wang's long article, Chinese Civilization and the United States: Tea, Ginseng, Porcelain Ware and Silk in Colonial America. I will quote in the following the opening paragraph of his article.

The connection between China and North America can be traced the inception of the American colonies in May of 1609. British colonists, sent by the Virginia Company landed on the north bank of a river they named James Fort (later to be renamed Jamestown), for they believed the river’s headwaters to be “the shortcut to China.” The choosing of Jamestown as the landing spot was not a chance decision, but was made in accordance with instruction given by the Virginia Company. Even the “decisive and stern leadership” of John Smith (1580-1631) was not given “the authority to override” the instruction from the Company, which believed that the James River could lead the colonists to “a shortcut to China.”