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Operational Efficiencies And The Decline Of The Chinese Junk Trade In The Eighteenth And Nineteenth Centuries: The Connection

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Chapter Summary

Although this study obviously involves some speculation, basic conclusions of the efficiencies of junks and western ships are possible thanks to the examination and comparison of the related data. These bits and pieces of disparate data and information about shipping from South China in the eighteenth and first years of the nineteenth century generate some conclusions, even if in some cases they need to be tentative. One of them is that there is evidence to show that Chinese junks were still able to compete effectively with foreign ships in the first half of the eighteenth century but they began to loose competitiveness in the latter half of the century. Another is that junks also lost comparative advantage when foreigners began stretching their sailing time windows in the late eighteenth century. It is common knowledge that junks lost out to foreign ships in the nineteenth century.

Keywords: chinese junk; Chinese sailors; efficiencies of junks; eighteenth century; nineteenth century



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