Rama I was the founder of the Siamese (Thai) Chakri Dynasty, the dynasty which continues to reign in Thailand today. He took the throne in 1782. A man of partially Chinese descent, he was the son-in-law of the founder of the previous dynasty, Taksin, who was the son of Guangdong merchant Zheng Yung and a Siamese mother.
In contrast to the Confucian and Chinese-influenced kingdoms in Korea, Vietnam, Ryukyu, and elsewhere, the king was seen as a bodhisattva, and as chakravartin, a universal monarch not as explicated in a Confucian cosmology, but rather in a Hindu/Brahminist one.
Despite this, rituals and protocols at the Chakri court came to be influenced by Chinese examples, and Siam regularly sent tribute to Qing Dynasty China, the Chinese Confucian worldview not being seen as too problematic nor as a challenge to Siam's heavily Indic-influenced political culture.
- Mark Mancall, "The Ch'ing Tribute System: An Interpretive Essay," in John K. Fairbank (ed.) The Chinese World Order, Harvard University Press (1968), 68.
- Craig Lockard, “‘The Sea Common to All’: Maritime Frontiers, Port Cities, and Chinese Traders in the Southeast Asian Age of Commerce, Ca. 1400–1750.” Journal of World History 21, no. 2 (2010): 244.