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The Silver Way: China, Spanish America and the Birth of Globalisation, 1565-1815


Peter Gordon and Juan José Morales


Roderico C. Atienza (Deputy Consul General of the Philippines in Hong Kong)


15 November 2017 (Wednesday)


6:30 - 8:00 pm


Special Collections, 1/F, Main Library, The University of Hong Kong




About the Authors


Peter Gordon is editor of the Asian Review of Books, publisher at Chameleon Press, co-founder of e-commerce firm and a regular contributor to such periodicals as the South China Morning Post, Caixin and The Diplomat. He was instrumental in the development of both the Hong Kong Kong International Literary Festival and the Man Asian Literary Prize. He is a graduate of Harvard University. 

Juan José Morales is a researcher of the early encounters between China and the West. A former president of the Spanish Chamber of Hong Kong, a law graduate of Universidad Complutense de Madrid, has a Master of International and Public Affairs from The University of Hong Kong and has also studied international relations at Peking University. His writing has appeared in the Asian Review of Books, Caixin and The Diplomat.


About the Book

Book cover of The Silver Way

In 1565, the navigator Andrés de Urdaneta discovered a sailing route across the Pacific which linked Asia and America. This led to a trading route, that of the Manila Galleon or Nao de China (China ships) that for 250 years served the exchange of Chinese silk and porcelain and other Asian goods for American silver. This ‘Ruta de la Plata’ or ‘Silver Way’ catalyzed economic and cultural exchange and ushered in the first era of globalisation, it laid the foundations for the first global currency (the 'real de a ocho' or Spanish dollar) and led to the rise of the first ‘world city’, Mexico. Peter Gordon and Juan José Morales question the conventional narrative about globalisation and discuss whether the past could teach us more about China today.