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Asian CrossingsTravel Writing on China, Japan and Southeast Asia$
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Steve Clark and Paul Smethurst

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9789622099142

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622099142.001.0001

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Travel and Business: The First Colombian in China

Travel and Business: The First Colombian in China

(p.71) 4 Travel and Business: The First Colombian in China
Asian Crossings

Jacinto Fombona

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter examines Nicolás Tanco Armero as an exemplar of a Latin American cultural elite, simultaneously critical of and complicit in imperial exploitation. China is the key instance brandished by Tanco Armero in his arguments in favour of traveling. Tanco Armero's travel narrative dwells on details of Chinese culture, religion, laws, history, and the country's present situation. The origins of European presence, as well as the interplay between different Western empires in Chinese lands, are a matter of particular interest to the author. His world-view is an interesting mixture of mercantile liberalism and Christian redemption through progress. He also conveys the story of Catholic missionary priests who tell them of the Chinese laughing out loud at their explanations of religious “truths” and references to the soul.

Keywords:   Nicolás Tanco Armero, China, traveling, business, Chinese culture, religion, laws, history

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