Finnish Maritime Interaction with China in the 18th Century
As COVID-19 disrupted maritime trade with China, the world was again reminded of the importance of shipping in global commerce. The roots of Nordic maritime trade relations with Asia go back centuries, and this history reveals interesting details about early Finnish interaction with China. For example, the Swedish East India Company’s 18th century trade voyages produced the first-ever Finnish academic dissertation on China, which was defended by Cadet Israel Reinius in Turku in 1749. In this episode, Dr. Erja Kettunen-Matilainen from the University of Turku introduces us to this fascinating but somewhat less known historical aspect of Finnish relations with China.
Dr. Erja Kettunen-Matilainen is a Senior Research Fellow in Economic Geography and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Marketing and International Business at the University of Turku. She has written about Cadet Israel Reinius and Finland’s first China-related dissertation from 1749 as well as the participation of Finns in the Swedish East India Company’s trade voyages in the 18th century (in Finnish).
Ari-Joonas Pitkänen is a Doctoral Researcher at the Centre for East Asian Studies, University of Turku.