Chinese characters in the Spanish court: the Manila petition of 1598 to Philip II

John N. Crossley, Anthony Wah Cheung Lun

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Most information concerning relations between Spain and China in the context of the early colonial Philippines comes from Spanish sources. In this paper we present a contribution from the Chinese. Soon after the Spaniards started settling Manila, the number of Chinese there started increasing rapidly. Relations between Chinese and Spanish were always fraught and the only protectors the Chinese had were the Dominican priests who ministered to them. In desperation they wrote a letter in Chinese to King Philip II, which was "translated" into Spanish. We do not know of any other letter document conceived in Chinese being sent to a king in this period. We present the powerful letter in English translation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-744
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Royal Asiatic Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Chinese in Manila
  • Miguel Benavides
  • Sangleys
  • Spanish Philippines

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