The Acapulco Trade
The Chinese were essential for the prosperity of the commercial city of Manila. Each year, ran a fleet of Chinese junks in the harbor of the city, laden with porcelain, silk, lacquer and enamels, paintings, furniture and various exotica from Persia, India, Siam and Indonesia.
The Spanish people eager to buy these goods to be smuggled into re-export to Mexico.
The famous "Manila Galleon" (Galleone) transported the lading and brought in exchange as "payment" Mexican silver back. Filled with treasures - the multi-million Peso of worth - set sail for the first 2000-ton vessel, the dream of any English buccaneer, annually gone back and forth between Manila and Acapulco (1572-1815).
The Manila galleon lay the groundwork for wealth and power of the city, enabling a comfortable life in luxury, but was also the reason ensure that the Spaniards neglected the remaining trade, agriculture and industrial.