China's historical grand strategy: defensive or offensive?


Max Demian

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Chinese =/= Han!

This so-called historian can't even get this basic fact right and keeps using the wrong term.
For the sake of the discussion here, the most authoritative viewpoint is that of the Song. The fact that modern China's interpretation considers Liao Chinese doesn't disprove the author's statements. You need to back up your statement with proof that the Song considered the Liao (and the Xi Xia) Chinese. I've posted numerous quotations of Song officials wherein they refer to the Liao as barbarians or a foreign nation. If you cannot provide evidence, then we will have to conclude that you are suffering from
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.

According to
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, the redefinition of what China is occurred during the Qing dynasty:

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of ethnic Han origin only used "Zhongguo" (中國; "Middle Kingdom") to explicitly refer to Han areas of their empire.
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The
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used Zhongguo to refer to only Han areas of the empire, excluding areas populated by ethnic minorities under Ming rule from being defined as part of Zhongguo.
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The
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rejected the earlier idea that only the Han people could be subjects of China and only Han lands could be considered as part of China. Instead, he redefined China as being multi-ethnic, saying in 1755 that "there exists a view of China (Zhongxia; 中夏), according to which non-Han peoples cannot become China's subjects and their lands cannot be integrated into the territory of China. This does not represent our dynasty's understanding of China, but is instead a view of the earlier
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, Tang,
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, and Ming dynasties."
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The Qianlong Emperor rejected the views of ethnic Han officials who claimed that Xinjiang was not part of China and that he should not annex it, putting forth the argument that China was multi-ethnic and did not just refer to Han areas.
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Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
For the sake of the discussion here, the most authoritative viewpoint is that of the Song. The fact that modern China's interpretation considers Liao Chinese doesn't disprove the author's statements. You need to back up your statement with proof that the Song considered the Liao (and the Xi Xia) Chinese. I've posted numerous quotations of Song officials wherein they refer to the Liao as barbarians or a foreign nation. If you cannot provide evidence, then we will have to conclude that you are suffering from
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
.

According to
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, the redefinition of what China is occurred during the Qing dynasty:

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
of ethnic Han origin only used "Zhongguo" (中國; "Middle Kingdom") to explicitly refer to Han areas of their empire.
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
The
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used Zhongguo to refer to only Han areas of the empire, excluding areas populated by ethnic minorities under Ming rule from being defined as part of Zhongguo.
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


The
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rejected the earlier idea that only the Han people could be subjects of China and only Han lands could be considered as part of China. Instead, he redefined China as being multi-ethnic, saying in 1755 that "there exists a view of China (Zhongxia; 中夏), according to which non-Han peoples cannot become China's subjects and their lands cannot be integrated into the territory of China. This does not represent our dynasty's understanding of China, but is instead a view of the earlier
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, Tang,
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, and Ming dynasties."
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The Qianlong Emperor rejected the views of ethnic Han officials who claimed that Xinjiang was not part of China and that he should not annex it, putting forth the argument that China was multi-ethnic and did not just refer to Han areas.
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WRONG the concept of Zhungguo is late but the Chinese has always has concept of Tianxia(
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:
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) all under heaven since Zhou dynasty. It is an ever larger ring just like a wave with the first ring is han area then come the periphery,then countries under influence of Chinese culture
The larger concept of tianxia is closely associated with
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and order in classical Chinese
philosophy, and has formed the basis for the
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of the Chinese people and nations influenced by them since at least the first millennium BC. Tianxia has been independently applied by other countries in the
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, including Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.


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Tianxia (
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:
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) is a
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term for an ancient
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concept that denoted either the entire geographical world or the metaphysical realm of mortals, and later became associated with political sovereignty. In
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, tianxia denoted the lands, space, and area divinely appointed to the Emperor by universal and well-defined principles of order. The center of this land was directly apportioned to the Imperial court, forming the center of a world view that centered on the Imperial court and went concentrically outward to major and minor officials and then the common citizens,
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, and finally ending with fringe "
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".

The center of this world view was not exclusionary in nature, and outer groups, such as ethnic minorities and foreign people, who accepted the mandate of the Chinese Emperor were themselves received and included into the Chinese tianxia. In classical Chinese political thought, the "Son of Heaven" (
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) (
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: 天子;
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: tiānzǐ;
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: t'ien1-tzu3), having received the
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(
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; tiānmìng; 'heaven decree'), would nominally be the ruler of the entire world. Although in practice there would be areas of the known world which were not under the control of the Emperor, in Chinese political theory the rulers of those areas derived their power from the Emperor.


Zhugguo is late concept in Qing dynasty
Zhongguo appeared in a formal international legal document for the first time during the Qing dynasty in the
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, 1689. The term was then used in communications with other states and in treaties. The Manchu rulers
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, and
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, a statecraft scholar, distinguished the new territories from Zhongguo, which he defined as the 17 provinces of "
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" plus the Manchu homelands in the Northeast. By the late 19th century the term had emerged as a common name for the whole country. The empire was sometimes referred to as Great Qing but increasingly as Zhongguo (see the discussion below).
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Last edited:

Max Demian

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  • #63
@Hendrik_2000 Please provide me evidence , from Song written records, that the Song considered the Liao Chinese?
 
Last edited:

solarz

Brigadier
@Hendrik_2000 Please provide me evidence , from Song written records, that the Song considered the Liao Chinese?
You're asking for written records of a concept that didn't even exist at the time? Did you even read @Hendrik_2000 's post?

Why does the Song need to consider Liao "Chinese" for them to be so? The concept of "China" simply meant the known civilized world. Obviously Song considered themselves the legitimate rulers of the "world", just as Liao, Xixia and Tubo all did so as well.
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
@Hendrik_2000 Please provide me evidence , from Song written records, that the Song considered the Liao Chinese?
They perfectly fit in definition of all under heaven when they submit to Tang dynasty and accept the suzerainty of Tang imperial power. Tang power rule indirectly thru this conquered people as long as they submit themselves to Tang power and adopt Chinese civilization. They were then given Chinese surname, title and Chinese princess or imperial maid as wife to the chief. This people are considered half Chinese so yes they are not 100% Chinese. But so what, some of the Chinese kingdom in the south like Chu(present day Hubei province) or Wu(present day Zhejiang) or Yue(present day Fujian) are considered half Chinese But they are the key component of Han or Chinese nation nevertheless.

There were eight tribes, namely the Xiwandan 悉萬丹, Hedahe 何大何, Fufuyu 伏弗郁, Yuling 羽陵, Rilian 日連, Piqie 匹挈, Li 黎 and Tuliuhan 吐六干 (or Tuliuyu 吐六于), all in Chinese transcription. The Khitan federation first presented tributes to the
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北燕 (409-436), which on her part invested the qagan ("khan") as Prince Guishan 歸善王.

During the
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北魏 (386-534) the Khitans regularly presented tributed to the Wei court in the shape of horses and animal skins. There was a regular border trade in Helong 和龍 (modern Chaoyang 朝陽) and Miyun 密雲. In 553 the Khitans were heavily defeated by the armies of the
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北齊 (550-577) and lost a large part of their population, and also many cattle. In 584 they declared their submission to the
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隋 (581-618). During the early years of the 7th century the family Dahe 大賀 wielded great power among the chieftains and unified the Khitan tribes in a federation that was able to raise 34,000 males as troops. During war all eight tribes joined together, yet for civilian activities like hunting, the tribes acted on their own. In 619

The
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唐 (618-907) court set up the prefecture of Liaozhou 遼州 which was to be indirectly administered by the Tang through the Khitan chieftains as quasi-state officials of the Tang. In 648 the
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(dudufu 都督府) of Songmo 松漠 was established, with 10 prefectures. Kuge Qagan 窟哥, highest leader of the Khitan federation, was appointed commander-in-chief (dudu 都督) and was allowed to bare the imperial surname Li 李.
he was furthermore given the title of District Baron of Wuji 無極縣男. His descendant Li Jinzhong 李盡忠 joined with a powerful chieftain, Sun Wangrong 孫歲榮, in rebellion against the Tang in 696. After his first victory at Yingzhou 營州 he adopted the title of Supreme Qagan 無上可汗. His sudden death and the takover by Sun Wanrong ended this short period of dominance.

The Tang sought for support by the
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and defeated the Khitans. The Khitans thereupon submitted to the Later Türkic empire for a decade or so, but in 716 again, the highest leader Li Shihuo 李失活 declared his submission to the Tang. He was appointed commander-in-chief of Songmu and given the title of Commandery Prince of Songmo 松漠郡王 and granted the title of great general of the insignia of the imperial encampment (xingzai jinwu da jiangjun 行在金吾大将军. He was also given a Chinese princess to his wife.
His successor Li Guozhe 李過折 was killed in 735 by a certain Nili 泥禮, and this was the end of the domination of the family Dahe. For defense measures the Chinese court set up the military commands of Fanyang 范陽 and Pinglu 平盧. Yet instead of protecting Tang China against the Khitans, the military commissioner An Lushan 安禄山 used these garrisons as a base for his rebellion against the Tang dynasty.

After the rebellion was ended, the Khitans again submitted to the Tang and presented tributes for a while, before the Khitans came under the sway of the
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回鹘 that dominated the western part of the the steppe in the late 8th century. In the mid-9th century the Uighurs were defeated, and the Khitans again became subject to the Tang dynasty. The federation was during that time led by the family Nian 輦 until 907 when the qaganship was taken over by Abaoji 阿保機 from the Yelü family 耶律. In 916 he united all Khitan tribes, proclaimed himself not only qagan, but also emperor (as Liao Taizu 遼太祖, r. 907-927), of the empire of the Qidan (Qidan guo 契丹國).

Abaoji had created an own script for the Khitan language, modeled on the Chinese script. He also had imitated the administrative structure of the Chinese empires, established a capital and adopted a reign title. After the destruction of the empire of
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渤海 in the east, he also adopted the dynastic name of Liao, according to the river in the heart of his empire. The Liao empire dominated the weak dynasties in China's north during the first half of the 10th century and was a match for the
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宋 (960-1279), founded in 960.
 

Max Demian

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Why does the Song need to consider Liao "Chinese" for them to be so? The concept of "China" simply meant the known civilized world. Obviously Song considered themselves the legitimate rulers of the "world", just as Liao, Xixia and Tubo all did so as well.
'
You should also add the Japanese to that list.

This whole side discussion got started because you claimed that Song wasn't trying to annex its opponents because they were all Chinese. Now you claim that "China" meant the known civilized world? Therefore, China couldn't declare war or annex any of its civilized neighbors, including Korea and Japan, because they too were China? If that sounds absurd, that's because it is. Historical records show that wars were declared, peace treaties were signed and territories were annexed. That's all that matters for the purpose of this thread.

To the old Confucian society of China it didn't matter if you were living within Chinese territories nor whether your indigenous culture was influenced by Han culture: you were still considered "non-Chinese". In the Veritable Records of Song, the Khitans/Liao are always referred to as foreigners and barbarians.
 

solarz

Brigadier
'
You should also add the Japanese to that list.

This whole side discussion got started because you claimed that Song wasn't trying to annex its opponents because they were all Chinese. Now you claim that "China" meant the known civilized world? Therefore, China couldn't declare war or annex any of its civilized neighbors, including Korea and Japan, because they too were China? If that sounds absurd, that's because it is. Historical records show that wars were declared, peace treaties were signed and territories were annexed. That's all that matters for the purpose of this thread.

To the old Confucian society of China it didn't matter if you were living within Chinese territories nor whether your indigenous culture was influenced by Han culture: you were still considered "non-Chinese". In the Veritable Records of Song, the Khitans/Liao are always referred to as foreigners and barbarians.
You're showing your ignorance here. Japan was a hermit island kingdom not on anybody's radar while Korea was a tributary state to both Song and Liao.
 

Max Demian

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You're showing your ignorance here. Japan was a hermit island kingdom not on anybody's radar while Korea was a tributary state to both Song and Liao.
I was drawing logical conclusions from your definition of "China". First you said that "China" meant the entire known civilized world, but now you are saying that this doesn't include Japan. OK!

Would you agree that the Ming dynasty invaded and occupied northern Vietnam in the 15th century? Or does that too qualify as non-aggression?
 

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