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Anxi, Xiamen, And The Fujian-Singapore Tea Trade

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Chapter Summary

The Chinese merchants played a significant role in the economic advancement of Singapore as a British colony. Free trade created an opportunity for the Chinese to escape abject poverty, civil unrest, banditry and wars between China and the European powers and Japan. A network with Xiamen as its centre appeared by the early eighteenth century, which traded in various commodities with the colonies and kingdoms in Southeast Asia. Asia had much more private trading with Fujian merchants moving into new areas in Southeast Asia opened up by Western colonialism. Over time, a 'Fujian trade diaspora' emerged. More important, Anxi has a historical link with Singapore because of the numbers who had migrated out of the county. Leaving Anxi County did not mean a severance of ties with the land of the migrants' birth. When it comes to the tea trade, China had three principal tea markets - neixiao, waixiao and qiaoxiao.

Keywords: 'qiaoxiao' trade; Anxi migrants; Fujian-Singapore tea trade; Singapore Chinese society; Xiamen



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