Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Chinese Enslaved the Africans in the 7th Century

Posted by w_thames_the_d on July 30, 2011


I knew that China is re-enslaving Africans, but didn’t know they had done it in the past as well.
excerpt from here:
“Yes, it seems Chinese indeed used black slaves probably from 7th century. See below.

“Beginning in the Tang dynasty, Arab traders brought a number of East African slaves to China. Although historians have studied the African slave trade extensively, particularly the export of West African slaves to the Americas after 1500, a much smaller body of research focuses on the premodern East African slave trade, and fewer sources still mention black slaves in China.

From the eighth to the fourteenth centuries; the Arabs controlled this vast slave trade, which stretched not only along the entire coast of East Africa and throughout the Arab world but as far east as China. Black slaves were just one of many commodities in the Arabs’ large-scale maritime trade with China, which peaked during the Tang and Song dynasty (960-1275).

The Jiu Tang shu 舊唐書 (Former Tang history) mentions that the Arabs sent delegates to the Chinese court in 651, marking the first recorded official contact between the Chinese government and the Arab caliphate. By the ninth century, a sizable community of Arabs lived in Guangzhou, and the local residents could have seen African slaves on trading ships and in Arab homes. Some wealthy Chinese people even owned African slaves, whom they used as doorkeepers.”quote via this link The Magical Kunlun and “Devil Slaves”: Chinese Perceptions of Dark-skinned People and Africa before 1500

12 Responses to “Chinese Enslaved the Africans in the 7th Century”

  1. gowron said

    And to think that the Chinese benefit from the aircon that Negro Americans invented. Where the African Americans invented many things as of late. China? just poops on the street……..

  2. Brewskie said

    Of course they did. China was sending massive treasure fleets to Africa in the 14th century. Some anthropologists, such as Jared Diamond, even believe she was on the verge of an industrial revolution then (I don’t know if that’s true or not).

    The “great stagnation” China experienced is one of the great mysteries of anthropology…

    • gowron said

      I’m talking about lately, CONTEMPORARY china.

    • abc said

      The “great stagnation” China experienced is one of the great mysteries of anthropology…

      China reached several peaks in the Han, Tang and Song Dynasties. It went downhill starting in the mid 1800s.
      After a run of a few centuries, it’s normal for civilizations to experience stagnation and possibly rejuvenate if the conditions are right. Some disappear into the dustbin of history. The lastest empire to stagnate and crumble is the once mighty USA.

      • wtdevflnt said

        Hello and long time no grumble, hope youre enjoying your stay in the land of plenty. Hmmm great stagnation in terms of economy yeah. they got caught in that inner city problem and couldn’t get off the pipe. I guess a nation full of junkies is not much good, except for opium sales.
        In terms of innovation, however, its been many many many many many a moon since they have done much…

      • Brewskie said

        Innovation lagged in China after the 14th century; Alexander Hamilton even once observed the China of the 19th century wasn’t much different than the China 500 years ago. Regardless, it took Western Europe – which had been spending a long, long, LONG time recovering from the Roman collapse – until the 19th century to catch up, and surpass China technologically.

        Empires stagnate, sure, but why China – which was the world’s leading power and leading innovator for many centuries – went into a multi-century slumber mystifies historians and anthropologists: as they observe, it’s like China simply stopped trying. Could you imagine the fate of the world if say, China sent it’s monster fleet to the Americas first?

        As for the US – don’t you mean the Comedy of Errors Empire? One innovation this fat- and drug-ladened land has proudly produced is fruity frack cocktails, derived from fracking water used in shale gas drilling operations. The best byproduct of this new phenomenon? Running faucets you can light a fire with! Check this out:

        Did that petroleum geologist really have to get a Master’s to learn how to drill around water aquifers?

      • wtdevflnt said

        Brew, was there a vid , couldn’t see it. “Re Could you imagine the fate of the world if say, China sent it’s monster fleet to the Americas first?”- if so then we too would be like China, ie China of the 14th century.
        Yeah they had some good things and around the Tang dynasty it sounded really good. The funny thing about living here is that oftentimes they will hide behind that. For instance you can say, how come Chinese don’t invent anymore and they say, but 800 years ago we were ahead of the west and you say ‘hey how come you dont innovate anymore’ and they say ‘ we invented paper’, etc.

  3. abc said

    Can research the numbers of black slaves that were bought to China during the Tang Dynasty? Did they suffer from lynchings and hangings there as in the US? The largest group of prisoners in the US are blacks. Are they suffering the same fate in China?

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