Impact of Trade on East Asia and South Asia

1 January 2017

East Asia and South Asia was similar in that it promoted economic development in both regions and transformed port cities of both regions into cosmopolitan centers, but differed in that it helped with the establishment of Buddhism in China while it helped with the establishment of Islam in India. The impact of trade on East Asia and South Asia was similar in that it promoted economic development in both regions.

In East Asia, the Grand Canal, a series of connected waterways, linked together north and south China. As northern and southern China traded rice and other food crops, the larger economy of China improved and grew. In South Asia, northern and southern India traded spices, metals, and specialized crops that were not available throughout India. As northern and southern India traded, the south prospered and experienced a surge in economic development.

Trade promoted economic development in both East Asia and South Asia because they both traded within their region and outside of it, obtaining profit and wealth, along with goods.

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The impact of trade on East Asia and South Asia was similar in that it transformed port cities of both regions into cosmopolitan centers. As China traded, Arab, Persian, and Malay merchants settled within its region. The merchants settled in port cities, such as Guangzhou and Quanzhou, which turned into cosmopolitan centers.

As India traded, Muslim, Jewish, and other merchants began to dwell within the subcontinent. The brokers became residents at port cities, such as Calicut, which developed into cosmopolitan societies. Trade transformed port cities in both East Asia and South Asia into cosmopolitan centers because they both had thriving commercial centers where merchants moved to in search of business opportunities.

The impact of trade on East Asia and South Asia differed in that it helped with the establishment of Buddhism in China while it helped with the establishment of Islam in India. Buddhism diffused into China along trade routes. Merchants set up Buddhist communities in China, such as Dunhuang, helping it gain a foothold in society. Islam spread into India as merchants traded and settled in the region. As they settled in cities, such as Cambay, they spread Islam into Indian society.

Trade helped with the establishment of Buddhism in China, but helped with Islam in India because Muslim merchants traveled to South Asia due to its trade centers and relative proximity, while Buddhist merchants traveled to East Asia in search of trade opportunities outside of India. From 600 to 1450 CE, the influence of trade on East Asia and South Asia was similar in that it encouraged economic growth in both areas and helped with the development of port cities into cosmopolitan centers in both regions, but differed in that it promoted the establishment of Buddhism in China while it promoted the establishment of Islam in India.

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