Saturday, September 15, 2012

Philippines, Japan & China: Will History Repeat Itself?


The Philippines and Japan once contributed to the collapse of the last true Chinese Imperial Dynasty, the Ming Dynasty (the last Imperial Dynasty which ruled China, the Qing, was a Manchu dynasty, not a Chinese one).

"During the last years of Wanli's reign and those of his two successors, an economic crisis developed that was centered around a sudden widespread lack of the empire's chief medium of exchange: Silver...

Philip IV of Spain (ruled in 1621–65) began cracking down on illegal smuggling of silver from Mexico and Peru across the Pacific towards China, in favor of shipping American-mined silver directly from Spain to Manila...

In 1639, the new Tokugawa regime of Japan shut down most of its foreign trade with European powers, causing a halt of yet another source of silver coming into China...

These events occurring at roughly the same time caused a dramatic spike in the value of silver and made paying taxes nearly impossible for most provinces. People began hoarding precious silver as there was progressively less of it, forcing the ratio of the value of copper to silver into a steep decline...

In the 1630s, a string of one thousand copper coins was worth an ounce of silver; by 1640 this was reduced to the value of half an ounce; by 1643 it was worth roughly one-third of an ounce...

For peasants this was an economic disaster, since they paid taxes in silver while conducting local trade and selling their crops with copper coins..." (Wikipedia)

This time around, it is not about Silver... 

But about Islands, Shoals and Reefs... 

Will history repeat itself?



2 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this blog. I wish that more people would visit your blog.


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