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From Frontier Policy to Foreign PolicyThe Question of India and the Transformation of Geopolitics in Qing China$
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Matthew Mosca

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804782241

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804782241.001.0001

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A Wealth of Indias

A Wealth of Indias

India in Qing Geographic Practice, 1644–1755

Chapter:
(p.25) One A Wealth of Indias
Source:
From Frontier Policy to Foreign Policy
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804782241.003.0002

This chapter explains that Chinese scholars were conditioned to treat place-names as the foundation of geographic analysis. It also focuses on the way geographic argument proceeded by proposing connections between bodies of evidence that were hard to commensurate, and the corresponding posture of skepticism that led geographic claims to be considered provisional, which is described as “geographic agnosticism.” Islam had brought new geographic concepts into China. The textual research methods that influenced the evaluation of foreign geography have led to what can be termed the kaozheng paradox of Chinese geography. Chinese geographic practice moved slowly from text-oriented geographic agnosticism toward a single, standardized worldview framed against a roughly agreed-upon cartographic background. Current events have offered no force for either the state or private scholars to organize intelligence gathering across multiple frontiers and build an integrated picture of the relationship between India and the Qing empire in a global context.

Keywords:   geographic analysis, geographic agnosticism, Islam, China, kaozheng paradox, foreign geography, Chinese geographic practice, Qing empire, India

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