For a long time, the idea of China as a culture and society which was voluntarily secluding itself from the rest of the world was dominant. But, in reality, China has always been part of the world, just as the world has always sought to penetrate China. The relationship between China and the world was, in the past, sometimes smooth, and at other times it was difficult, but nevertheless the bond remained alive. This collection presents an analysis of China from a global perspective within a broad temporal and spatial spectrum. It reveals the early relations established between the Roman Empire and China, the dynamics developed with the countries of the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia and Japan, and the gradual path of Europeans and Americans towards China. The book reviews the development of diplomatic relations, the signing of agreements and alliances, and the rise and resolution of conflicts. It also analyses the forging of economic relations, the establishment of commercial exchanges and the creation of companies, professional bodies and institutions of collaboration.