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Web of Proceedings - Francis Academic Press

Etiquette and Order: the Tributary System in the Qing Dynasty

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DOI: 10.25236/iceesr.2020.061


Peng Gao

Corresponding Author

Peng Gao


Following the traditions of the Ming Dynasty, the Qing Dynasty built a tributary system to seek its own security and border stability. This system of maintaining the traditional order in East Asia and linking various vassals gradually became normalization during its operation, which established a special agency responsible for the ministry of minority affairs and the Ministry of Rites to manage the northwest vassals and the southeast vassals and their tributary activities. The Qing tributary system had distinctive features, and established clear rights and obligations and hierarchical order between the Central Dynasty and the vassals around the Qing Dynasty. With the decline of power in the late Qing Dynasty, the tributary system gradually disintegrated, but its historical practice still has implications for the present.


Qing dynasty, Tributary system, Central dynasty, Vassal state, Tianxia worldview