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In order to find a probable explanation, the study of the economic history and the trading policies of China in the early modern period are very important to establish a relation with the present trading policies of the country and the causes for adoption of the same. The economic history of China ranges over the last two millennia. Although the Chinese economy was the largest for a major part of the history consisting of the pre-imperial, early imperial and the late imperial era, the wealth of the Chinese economy remained average due to the intermediate periods of prosperity and downfall. The late imperial period has been referred to as the early modern period that ranges from 1368-1911. This period was under the rule of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) followed by the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). Causes for adoption of China’s early modern period trading policies The collapse of the feudal system in China towards the end of imperial period led to the rise of merchant class in the early modern period in China. The rise of the merchant class led to the increase in trading. The introduction of paper money, technological advancements led to widespread economic transactions and the increase in trade. The state’s control over the Chinese economy diminished and this allowed the merchant class to engage into higher scale of investment in their zeal to attain higher profits. The Ming dynasty under Zhu Yuanzhang that ruled from 1368-1644 in the early modern period in China is considered to be the most prosperous periods and one of the Golden periods in the economy history of China. After leading the rebellion against the Mongol rule, Zhu Yuanzhang set up the Ming dynasty in the early modern period that encouraged the growth of private industries and replaced the state owned enterprises. The trade policies adopted by the Ming dynasty led to the increase in foreign trade supported by privatization policies. This led to increased trading between the East and the West. This resulted in the growth of Chinese economy and GDP due to the trade policies that were adopted. Trade contacts were developed initially with India and Africa with state regulations. Slowly and gradually, the restrictions on foreign trade were removed. The Europeans, Japanese importers started to pay for the Chinese goods in exchange of silver which helped in monetizing the Chinese economy (Stearns 68). The end of the Ming dynasty saw the rise of the Qing dynasty towards the end of the early modern period. The Qing dynasty believed that their country is rich with resources and there was no need of foreign trade. This brought about stagnancy in the economy. After the warfare ended, the prohibition on foreign trade was lifted in 1684. This led to massive increase in foreign trade mainly with the European countries. This trade policy led to the development of the economy which in turn raised domestic demands in the early modern period. The prosperity of the Chinese economy, the rise in domestic demand, increase in gross domestic product observed in the early modern period due to the trade policies of increasing foreign trade backed by privatization are the major causes that led to the adoption of those trade policies that prevailed in the early modern period. Conclusion The probable explanation for the adoption of trade policies of the early modern period of China has been the effective decision making of the government to bring back the Golden days in the Chinese economy. After the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, the trading policies have not been much effective due to the excessive control of the state. In order to modernize the economy and bring sustainable
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