(Cambridge University Press, 2016)
Studies of Sino-Viet relations have traditionally focused on Chinese aggression and Vietnamese resistance, or have assumed out-of-date ideas about Sinicization and the tributary system. They have limited themselves to national historical traditions, doing little to reach beyond the border. Ming China and Vietnam, by contrast, relies on sources and viewpoints from both sides of the border, for a truly transnational history of Sino-Viet relations. Kathlene Baldanza offers a detailed examination of geopolitical and cultural relations between Ming China (1368–1644) and Dai Viet, the state that would go on to become Vietnam. She highlights the internal debates and external alliances that characterized their diplomatic and military relations in the pre-modern period, showing especially that Vietnamese patronage of East Asian classical culture posed an ideological threat to Chinese states. Baldanza presents an analysis of seven linked biographies of Chinese and Vietnamese border-crossers whose lives illustrate the entangled histories of those countries.