600th Anniversary Malaysia - China Relationship
(21 July 2005)
Click on covers above to enlarge.
This year marks the 600th year of Admiral Zheng He's
first expedition to Malacca. Up till today, Malaysia regards China
as a major trading and business partner and bilateral economic
cooperation remains the cornerstone of Malaysia - China policy.
Evidence of early trade can be found in the form of tin coins used
extensively by merchants. Later, imports and exports of Islamic
ceramics and Nyonya ware in the 16th and 18th centuries respectively
revealed that the connection between the countries had gone beyond
economic and diplomatic relations - it has encroached into our
custom and way of life.
As we commemorate the Malaysia - China relationship
that had spanned over six centuries, we become more appreciative of
the importance of working closely to promote economic growth and
political stability in the region. This anniversary marks a new
level of friendship between the two nations. As we move into
the 21st century, this relationship is pertinent especially in the
face of challenges in the global environment.
Between 1405 and 1433, Admiral Zheng He commanded a
fleet of 62 treasure ships and more than 100 other vessels to
Malacca and 30 other countries in the South China Sea, Indian Ocean,
Arabian and Mediterranean Sea. The ships carried crews of sailors,
officers, translators, warriors, pilots, medicinal experts and
craftsmen. Merchant ships also brought with them silk, porcelain
ware, tea and gun powder for trading in exchange for local spices
and other goods such as glassware, oils, textile cotton and fruits
from South and West Asia.
The Emperor of China's Royal Seal to the Sultan
China and Malacca enjoyed good diplomatic relations
when in 1411, Parameswara led a contingent of 540 envoys to China,
in which during the visit, an edict was promulgated appointing
Parameswara as the king of Malacca and granted an inscription for
the sate mountain (country).
A Royal Seal from the Emperor of China was presented
to the Sultan of Melaka in recognition of the importance of
diplomatic relationship between the two kingdoms. In the following
years between 1414 and 1434, other Malacca Sultan also visited
Trading in Malacca
During the 15th century, Malacca developed to become
the most important commercial center in Southeast Asia. Malacca's
location and sound government attracted merchants from China, India
and Middle East who recognized its potential as an independent port
where trade goods could be exchanged.
Nyonya ware was first produced during the late 18th
century. These were specially made on consignment for the
Straits-born Chinese of Malacca. Nyonya ware is distinguished by
their bright color combinations of pink, yellow, dark blue and
green. The designs generally found on the ware are fish, phoenixes,
flowers such as roses and chrysanthemum and other favored animals.
These highly treasured wares were produced in Juangxi and Guangdong
province of China. They come in different shapes and sizes but were
mainly dining sets, tea sets, vases and other such items.
Besides barter trading, coins and other money were
extensively used in 15th century Malacca. Early Chinese merchants
introduced tin animal money in the form of rooster, tortoise, fish
and crocodile. During Zheng He's trade missions to Malacca, copper
coins were issued and used by most merchants, but were subsequently
replaced with tin which were mined and minted in Malacca.
|Date of Issue
||21 July 2005
||30 sen (2 designs), 50 sen, RM1
||30mm X 40mm
||100mm X 70mm
|Stamp Size in
||30mm X 40mm