Travel and Business: The First Colombian in China

Jacinto Fombona

in Asian Crossings

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9789622099142
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206632 | DOI:
Travel and Business: The First Colombian in China

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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

Chapter.  6928 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature

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