Speaker: Professor Zhenping Wang (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
* Open to the public. All are welcome.
Tang China existed in a multi-polar world, where power was unevenly distributed among such countries as the Turks and the Uighurs in the north and northwest, the Korean states of Koguryŏ, Silla, and Paekche, the state of Parhae in Manchuria in the northeast, the Nanzhao Kingdom in the southwest, and the Tibetan Kingdom in the west. These countries competed against one another, forged an alliance against a third party, or worked independently toward different goals in the attempt to augment their respective powers. Without any one country permanently able to dominate the geopolitical landscape, the relations among these countries were dynamic. This concept of multi-polarity departs markedly from the interpretation that squares international relations with a China-centered “tributary system,” and aims at shedding new light on the complexity of diplomacy and war in pre-modern Asia.
About the speaker: Zhenping Wang is an associate professor at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University. His book publications include: Han-Tang Zhong Ri guanxi lun (China-Japan Relations during the Han-Tang Period. Taibei: Wenjin Chubanshe, 1997), Ambassadors from the Islands of Immortals: China-Japan relations during the Han-Tang period (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2005), and Tang China in multi-polar: A history of diplomacy and war (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2013).