Pirate Market in China in the Early Modern Era
China was one of the nations, which were disturbed with piracy in medieval and early modern period. There was a time in China also that can be dubbed as “golden era of piracy” (different from western golden era). Raiding was on heights during this period, and the number of raiders reached 7000.
But, this was not the only reason why the Qing dynasty of China was disturbed with these raiders in the pirate boots. The problematic thing was at the pirates had their own market, in which the products were sold at the cheaper rates as compared to the mainstream market. This black marketing gained huge popularity among the common men also. A number of people would like to purchase the stolen goods from these markets, as they would give them the financial benefit.
These pirate markets would act as the shadow economy. They were giving the tough competition to the legitimate markets. Therefore, they were becoming the troubles for the mainstream economy. The raiders had the strongholds on the commercial and political hubs, such as Canton, Chaozhou, Macao, Amoy, and Fuzhou. Moreover, many of these raiders had their tax bureaus to collect the ransom and tribute payments for conspiring with soldiers, officials on their payrolls, and yamen underlings. This was the clear evidence how piracy was deeply penetrated in the maritime society of China.
So, the piracy had become the popular culture in this nation, and a number of people adopted this occupation without any hesitation. Some of the male pirates of China were Cai Qian, Zheng Yi and his adopted son Cheung Po Tsai etc. On the other hand, some famous female pirates of China were Cai Qian Ma and Ching Shi (wife of Zheng Yi).
The male pirate grab of these raiders were different from the western pirates, but there was no difference in their intents. These dresses have become the fashion trends in the western world, whereas no or very less craze can be seen about these dresses in China.
Piracy can be still witnessed in some limited parts of the world today. It is arduous to judge whether there will be a time or not when these freebooters will be non-existent.


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