List of recipients of tribute from China

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Chinese state entities have paid tribute to a number states and confederations throughout history. China also had a strong Confucian tradition, which believed that showing virtue and giving things/gifts/tribute would civilize "Barbarians". Many of them involved silk and tea, and during the Ming Dynasty, China's input of silver increased due to trade with Spanish merchants in Manila, so they could pay them off with silver.

  • Xiongnu in 200 BCE-138 BCE: the Xiongnu repulsed the invading army of the Han Dynasty, advanced into the territory of China, and besieged its capital. The Chinese Emperor recognised the Great Wall as the border of the two states and was obliged to pay annual tribute (silk, liquor, rice) to the Xiongnu.[1][2]
  • Turkic Kaganate: The Qi and Zhou Dynasties of China surrendered to the Turks in 570 and began paying tribute.[3] Note that the Qi and Zhou dynasties were only small parts of China proper which had fragmented into several states. The Qi and Zhou dynasties had a hybrid Sino-Turkic leadership.
  • Uigur Kaganate: Successful campaigns of the Uigur Kaganate led to a peace with the Tang Dynasty which paid tribute in silk and grain for 12 years from 766.[4]
  • Tibet: in 763 Tibetan troops briefly captured Chang'an, the Chinese capital, during the reign of Emperor Daizong for 15 days, and received tribute. The agreement specified the tribute item—50 thousand rolls of silk.[5][6][7][8] Another source says they originally approached Chang'an, and received the tribute, but when the Chinese failed to pay it due to a new emperor coming to the throne, they captured Chang'an, during the An Lushan rebellion.[9]
  • Khitan 1005-1118 after Khitan's victory over the Song Dynasty invasion[10][11]
  • Jurchen: In 1142, after a disastrous defeat, the Song dynasty agreed to be a vassal state of Jurchen and pay annual tribute.[12]

Further reading[edit]

  • Shar Tuuji. 16th century.
  • Luvsandanzan. Altan Tobchi. 17th century.
  • Sagan Secen. Erdeniin Tobchi. 17th century.
  • ?. Ming Shi-lu. 17th century.
  • Council Secretary of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. Copyright @ 2003 Singapore Press Holdings.


  1. ^ "Xiongnu-- En el invierno del 200 adC". Dimelo. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
  2. ^ "Dallas MsCurley-Juedixi, Entertainment of War in Early China". Project Muse. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
  3. ^ Dr., Prof. Ts. Gantulga, Dr. T. Jambaldorj, Dr., Prof. S. Tsolmon, Dr., Prof. J. Zaanhuu, T. Altanceceg, S. Sodnam (2005). History of Mongolia II. Ulaanbaatar. 
  4. ^ "Chronological table of history of Siberia and Mongolia". Historical Server of Central Asia. Retrieved 2007-10-09. 
  5. ^ A Corpus of Early Tibetan Inscriptions. H. E. Richardson. Royal Asiatic Society (1985), pp. 1–25. ISBN 0-947593-00-4.
  6. ^ Tibetan Civilization. R. A. Stein. 1962. 1st English edition 1972. Stanford University Press, p. 65. ISBN 0-8047-0806-1 (cloth); ISBN 0-8047-0901-7 (pbk).
  7. ^ Beckwith, Christopher I (1987). The Tibetan Empire in Central Asia. A History of the Struggle for Great Power among Tibetans, Turks, Arabs, and Chinese during the Early Middle Ages Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02469-3
  8. ^ "What are the major events of Tibetan history (timeline)?". Stason. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  9. ^ Tibet Past and Present By Charles Bell, Charles Alfred Bell
  10. ^ F.W. Mote (1999). Imperial China, 900-1800. Harvard University Press. pp. 68–71, 123–124. ISBN 0-674-01212-7. 
  11. ^ Tao, Jing-shen (1988). Two Sons of Heaven: Studies in Sung-Liao Relations. University of Arizona Press. ISBN 0-8165-1051-2. 
  12. ^ A short History of the Chinese, By L. Carrington Goodrich p.169
  13. ^ Laird, Thomas (2006). The Story of Tibet: Conversations with the Dalai Lama, p. 141. Grove Press, N.Y. ISBN 978-0-8021-1827-1.
  14. ^ Luvsandanzan (17th century). Алтан товч (Altan Tobchi). Mongolia.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  15. ^ Dai Qing Tai-Ju Gao-Hoangdi Shi-lu. (History of the Great Qing Tai-Ju Emperor). Tokio.