The "International Relations" Of The Malay Peninsula From The Seventh To The Fourteenth Century
By Pamela Sodhy
Published in Akadmika No. 23, July 1983
As part of the Srivijayan empire from the seventh to the fourteenth century, Malaya experienced much diplomatic contact with other countries, expecially China and India. These contacts were mainly economic in nature because Srivijaya was a maritime empire based on trade. Political, military, and religious factors also influenced Malaya's diplomatic relations but they were usually subordinate to the economic reasons or closely related. Malaya's strategic location between India and China enhanced the importance of trade. Traders from the surrounding region congregated at Malayan ports which served as thriving emporia. Most oftheseports, as indicated by written sources and archaelogical finds, were situated on the East Coast of Malaya. The importance of trade to Malaya war also reflected in matters of national interest and in the domestic and external factors that influenced Malaya's international relations - all these revolved around commercial reasons.