Amid the Clouds and Mist: China's Colonization of Guizhou, by John E. Herman

By John E. Herman

In 1200, what's now southwest China--Guizhou, Yunnan, and the southern part of Sichuan was once domestic to an collection of strikingly diversified cultures and governed by means of a mess of political entities. by means of 1750, China's army, political, sociocultural, and financial associations have been firmly in command of the quarter, and lots of of the area's cultures have been quickly turning into extinct. One objective of this e-book is to envision how China's 3 overdue imperial dynasties--the Yuan, Ming, and Qing--conquered, colonized, and assumed keep an eye on of the southwest. one other target is to spotlight the indigenous reaction to China's colonization of the southwest, really that of the Nasu Yi humans of western Guizhou and jap Yunnan, the one crew to depart an intensive written list.

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The death of Pilege in 748 did not ease tensions in the southwest. His son and successor, Ge Luofeng, was even less flattered by the presump­ tuous Tang title king of Yunnan. In an attempt to limit Tang influence in the southwest, Ge Luofeng convinced several influential Nasu Yi leaders to spurn Tang overtures. Tang China responded by launching two large military campaigns against Nanzhao, one in 75 1 and another in 754. The stated aim of both campaigns was to punish Nanzhao and its allies and, it was hoped, to "turn the barbarians" to the Tang cause in its fight against Tibet.

859-73 )' When Tang en­ voys arrived in N anzhao, they were met with contempt by Shilong, the king of Nanzhao. Shilong demanded the Tang envoys first offer their condolences to him out of respect for his recently deceased father, Feng­ yu. 44 To punish the Tang for its impropriety, Shilong ordered his finest troops to strike deep into China. Nanzhao forces attacked the Qian­ zhong circuit, pushing as far north as the town of Bozhou (modem Zunyi). The rapid thrust into Qianzhong exposed the fragile nature of the Tang defense network, four dependent kingdoms, seven Zangge clans, and countless haltered-and-bridled prefectures.

7 To the west are the Wumeng Moun­ tains, the southern extreme of the vast Kunlun Mountains and the east­ ern edge of the Yunnan plateau. The highest peaks in the Wumeng Mountains average 2,700 meters, with Lu Jia Daying Mountain, located just west of the city of Weining, reaching 2,854 meters in elevation. To the north is another formidable geographic barrier, the Dalou Moun­ tains. This mountain range originates amid the northern extension of the Wumeng Mountains in Yunnan and runs in a northeast direction across northern Guizhou.

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