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In Ming China, why did European traders pay for Chinese silks and porcelains in gold or silver instead of exchanging trade goods?

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The Europeans paid the Chinese in gold or silver because there wasn't anything else that the Europeans had that the Chinese wanted. The Europeans could not give the Chinese their wool or linen because the Chinese had silk. Nor could they give the Chinese their spices from their colonies because the Chinese had no need of them: they had either their own established trade routes for those spices, didn't use them, or were growing them.

Also, the European citizens were fascinated with everything Oriental. They deemed Chinese silks, porcelain, and other Chinese goods exotic luxuries, creating a huge demand and driving the price up for these things in Europe. The Chinese people, however, didn't want anything from Europeans, who they considered either backward or too foreign...

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