Sino-Dutch conflicts

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Sino-Dutch conflicts
Surrender of Zeelandia.jpg
A Dutch illustration of the surrender of Zeelandia on Formosa to China in 1662
Date 1620s-1662
Location Fujian, Amoy, Penghu, Liaoluo Bay, Kinmen, Tainan, Taiwan
Result Ming Loyalists victory
Ming Dynasty
Ming Loyalists
VOC-Amsterdam.svg Dutch East India Company
Chinese pirates
Commanders and leaders
Shang Zhouzuo (Shang Chou-tso)
Nan Juyi (Nan Chü-i)
General Wang Mengxiong
Zheng Zhilong
Zheng Chenggong (Koxinga)
VOC-Amsterdam.svg Cornelis Reijersen
VOC-Amsterdam.svg Christian Francs (POW)
VOC-Amsterdam.svg Marten Sonck
VOC-Amsterdam.svg Hans Putmans
VOC-Amsterdam.svg Frederick Coyett
Liu Xiang
Li Guozhu

The Sino–Dutch conflicts (Chinese: 明荷战争; pinyin: Mínghé zhànzhēng) were a series of conflicts between the Ming dynasty of China and the Dutch East India Company over trade and land throughout the 1620s, 1630s and 1662. The Dutch were attempting to compel China to accede to their trade demands, but the Chinese defeated the Dutch forces.

Sino-Dutch conflicts


The Dutch East India Company used their military power in the attempt to force China to open up a port in Fujian to their trade. They demanded that China expel the Portuguese from Macau. (The Dutch were fighting in the Dutch–Portuguese War at the time.) The Dutch raided Chinese shipping after 1618 and took junks hostage to coerce China into meeting their demands. All these actions were unsuccessful.[1][2][3]

The Dutch were defeated by the Portuguese at the Battle of Macau in 1622. That same year, the Dutch seized Penghu (the Pescadores Islands), built a fort there, and continued to demand that China open up ports in Fujian to Dutch trade. China refused, with the Chinese Governor of Fujian (Fukien) Shang Zhouzuo (Shang Chou-tso) demanding that the Dutch withdraw from the Pescadores to Formosa (Taiwan), where the Chinese would permit them to engage in trade. This led to a war between the Dutch and China between 1622-1624 which ended with the Chinese being successful in making the Dutch withdraw to Taiwan and abandoning the Pescadores.[4][5] The Dutch threatened that China would face Dutch raids on Chinese ports and shipping unless the Chinese allowed trading on Penghu and that China not trade with Manila but only with the Dutch in Batavia and Siam and Cambodia. However, the Dutch found out that unlike smaller Southeast Asian Kingdoms, China could not be bullied or intimidated by them. After Shang ordered them to withdraw to Taiwan on September 19 of 1622, the Dutch raided Amoy on October and November.[6] The Dutch intended to "induce the Chinese to trade by force or from fear" by raiding Fujian and Chinese shipping from the Pescadores.[7] Long artillery batteries were erected at Amoy in March 1622 by Colonel Li Kung-hwa as a defence against the Dutch.[8]

On the Dutch attempt in 1623 to force China to open up a port, five Dutch ships were sent to Liu-ao and the mission ended in failure for the Dutch, with a number of Dutch sailors taken prisoner and one of their ships lost. In response to the Dutch using captured Chinese for forced labor and strengthening their garrison in Penghu with five more ships in addition to the six already there, the new Governor of Fujian Nan Juyi (Nan Chü-yi) was permitted by China to begin preparations to attack the Dutch forces in July 1623. A Dutch raid was defeated by the Chinese at Amoy on October 1623, with the Chinese taking the Dutch commander Christian Francs prisoner and burning one of the four Dutch ships. Yu Zigao began an offensive on February 1624 with warships and troops against the Dutch in Penghu with the intent of expelling them.[9] The Chinese offensive reached the Dutch fort on July 30, 1624, with 5,000 Chinese troops (or 10,000) and 40-50 warships under Yu and General Wang Mengxiong surrounding the fort commanded by Marten Sonck, and the Dutch were forced to sue for peace on August 3 and folded before the Chinese demands, withdrawing from Penghu to Taiwan. The Dutch admitted that their attempt at military force to coerce China into trading with them had failed with their defeat in Penghu. At the Chinese victory celebrations over the "red-haired barbarians" as the Dutch were called by the Chinese, Nan Juyi paraded twelve Dutch soldiers who were captured before the Emperor in Beijing.[10][11][12][13] The Dutch were astonished that their violence did not intimidate the Chinese and at the subsequent Chinese attack on their fort in Penghu since they had thought them timid and from their experience in Southeast Asia had regarded them as a "faint-hearted troupe".[14]


After the Dutch defeat and expulsion from the Pescadores in the 1622-1624, they were totally driven off China's coast. The pirates Liu Xiang and Li Guozhu also joined the Dutch, and for a time it seemed the Dutch were would triumph being the head of a new pirate coalition that operated off the coast of China, with at least 41 pirate junks and 450 Chinese soldiers.[15] However they were decisively defeated by Chinese forces under Admiral Zheng Zhilong at the Battle of Liaoluo Bay in 1633 and then in 1662 they were defeated and driven off Taiwan at the Siege of Fort Zeelandia by Chinese forces under Zheng Chenggong (Koxinga).[16][17][18][19]


See also



  1. ^ Cooper (1979), p. 658.
  2. ^ Freeman (2003), p. 132.
  3. ^ Thomson (1996), p. 39.
  4. ^ Covell 1998, p. 70.
  5. ^ Wright 1908, p. 817.
  6. ^ ed. Twitchett & Mote 1998, p. 368.
  7. ^ Shepherd 1993, p. 49.
  8. ^ Hughes 1872. p. 25.
  9. ^ ed. Goodrich 1976, p. 1086.
  10. ^ ed. Goodrich 1976, p. 1087.
  11. ^ ed. Twitchett & Mote 1998, p. 369.
  12. ^ Deng 1999, p. 191.
  13. ^ Parker 1917, p. 92.
  14. ^ ed. Idema 1981, p. 93.
  15. ^ Andrade 2004, p. 438.
  16. ^ Blussé, Leonard (1 January 1989). "Pioneers or cattle for the slaughterhouse? A rejoinder to A.R.T. Kemasang". Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia. 145 (2): 357. doi:10.1163/22134379-90003260. 
  17. ^ Wills (2010), p. 71.
  18. ^ Cook 2007, p. 362.
  19. ^ Li (李) 2006, p. 122.


  • Cook, Harold John (2007). Matters of Exchange: Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300134924. 
  • Cooper, J. P., ed. (1979). The Decline of Spain and the Thirty Years War, 1609-59. Volume 4 of The New Cambridge Modern History (reprint ed.). CUP Archive. ISBN 0521297133. 
  • Covell, Ralph R. (1998). Pentecost of the Hills in Taiwan: The Christian Faith Among the Original Inhabitants (illustrated ed.). Hope Publishing House. ISBN 0932727905. 
  • Deng, Gang (1999). Maritime Sector, Institutions, and Sea Power of Premodern China (illustrated ed.). Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0313307121. ISSN 0084-9235. 
  • Freeman, Donald B. (2003). Straits of Malacca: Gateway or Gauntlet?. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. ISBN 077357087X. 
  • Goodrich, Luther Carrington; 房, 兆楹, eds. (1976). Dictionary of Ming Biography, 1368-1644, Volume 2. Association for Asian Studies. Ming Biographical History Project Committee (illustrated ed.). Columbia University Press. ISBN 023103833X. Retrieved May 25, 2017. 
  • Hughes, George (1872). Amoy and the Surrounding Districts: Compiled from Chinese and Other Records. De Souza & Company. 
  • Idema, Wilt Lukas, ed. (1981). Leyden Studies in Sinology: Papers Presented at the Conference Held in Celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Sinological Institute of Leyden University, December 8-12, 1980. Volume 15 of Sinica Leidensia. Contributor Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden. Sinologisch instituut (illustrated ed.). BRILL. ISBN 9004065296. 
  • Li (李), Qingxin (庆新) (2006). Maritime Silk Road (海上丝绸之路英). Translated by William W. Wang. 五洲传播出版社. ISBN 7508509323. 
  • Parker, Edward Harper, ed. (1917). China, Her History, Diplomacy, and Commerce: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day (2 ed.). J. Murray. 
  • Shepherd, John Robert (1993). Statecraft and Political Economy on the Taiwan Frontier, 1600-1800 (illustrated ed.). Stanford University Press. ISBN 0804720665. 
  • Thomson, Janice E. (1996). Mercenaries, Pirates, and Sovereigns: State-Building and Extraterritorial Violence in Early Modern Europe (reprint ed.). Princeton University Press. ISBN 140082124X. 
  • Twitchett, Denis C.; Mote, Frederick W., eds. (1998). The Cambridge History of China: Volume 8, The Ming Dynasty, Part 2; Parts 1368-1644. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521243335. 
  • Wills, John E. (2010). China and Maritime Europe, 1500–1800: Trade, Settlement, Diplomacy, and Missions. Contributors: John Cranmer-Byng, Willard J. Peterson, Jr, John W. Witek. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521432603. OL 24524224M. 
  • Wright, Arnold (1908). Cartwright, H. A., ed. Twentieth century impressions of Hongkong, Shanghai, and other treaty ports of China: their history, people, commerce, industries, and resources, Volume 1. Lloyds Greater Britain publishing company. 
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