1The word Yunnan (south of clouds) implies that the Chinese considered the place remote. Geographic factors such as jungles, mountains, and rivers, reinforced by a very diverse biological environment that hosted many diseases, constituted natural barriers between China proper and Yunnan. All these elements, nevertheless, could not deter the ambitious invaders from the Central Plain that eventually managed to overcome these natural barriers and bring about the subjugation of Yunnan's historically non-Chinese peoples.

2Indeed, these early military conquests, which began around the second century BCE, initiated and provided a basis for the Chinese incorporation of Yunnan. Until the Mongol invasion in the mid-thirteenth century, however, none of the Chinese conquests were able to hold Yunnan for long, although at times Chinese forces were able to occupy parts of it temporarily. The Mongols, considered to be barbarians by the Chinese, finally brought Yunnan to China proper, and began to incorporate it economically, culturally, and ethnically.

3This chapter focuses on the first step towards "assimilation," namely military efforts. It attempts to answer the following questions: Why or under what circumstances did the Chinese decide to conquer Yunnan, especially after great losses, and what forces or factors eventually made Yunnan fail to maintain its autonomy, thus opening the door for Chinese incorporation? Arguing that the subjugation of Yunnan by China cannot be explained within that binary relationship, I will historicize foreign military conquests of Yunnan from the third century BCE to the fourteenth century by reframing them in the context of transnational, cross-boundary, or cross-regional interactions that encompassed parts of East Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia.1 I will use global to refer to this context in order to ground our perspective in the pre-1500 period. Second, by examining cross-regional military interactions, this chapter will illustrate how Central Asian frontiers (the Great Wall frontiers) closely interacted with the Southwestern frontier sandwiched by China, mainland Southeast Asia, and Tibet. I argue that to understand the transformation of Yunnan from a non-Chinese entity to a part of China, a simple national or regional approach is insufficient to write a history for dynamic frontier areas such as Yunnan.

Yunnan and the Making of the Qin Empire

4Yunnan's strategic role in Chinese politics was evident as early as the Warring States period when the Qin state attempted to expand and incorporate other states. This period witnessed frequent wars between the Qin and other states in the lands later called China. The Chu Kingdom was the only one in South China in the way of Qin's expansion. The Chu state, located in the middle of the Yangzi River region, was a giant kingdom with a sophisticated culture that later greatly contributed to the splendor of the Chinese civilization. Chu's influence on neighboring regimes reached as far south as Guangdong, as far east as the Yue kingdoms, and as far west as Sichuan, Guizhou, and Yunnan. Also, Chu at times participated in interstate politics, especially during the fourth century BCE when it was probably stronger than any other state. In fact, the king of Chu was said to have once inquired about the Zhou ding, a three-legged pot that symbolized the legitimacy of Zhou lordship. The act of wending (asking about ding), considered rude and overconfident, suggested an ambition to replace the existing ruler or, by implication, to unify China.

5A powerful Chu polity posed a serious challenge to Qin's unifying project. By the late fourth century BCE the Qin had conquered the Ba Kingdom and the Shu Kingdom, which were located around modern-day Sichuan and Chongqing. But Qin's efforts did not stop there. Zhang Ruo, governor (taishou) of the Shu Prefecture, further subjugated the Southwestern Barbarians in Zuo and other areas south of the Jinsha River in 285 BCE, and established an administrative hierarchical unit.2 For the sake of communication and ultimate control, Li Bing, who was well known for his construction of the Dujiangyan, a giant dam near Chengdu that still exists, built a road to the Zuo area.3 Chang An, another Qin official, extended this road, named Wuchi Dao (five-foot road), which was probably the earliest official road of the Southwestern Silk Road.4

6Qin's expansion constituted a severe threat to Chu, because Chu had originally held much influence over these areas. It is said that the Ba and Shu kingdoms were built by Chu's descendants.5 Some scholars even believe that Chu was the starting point of the Southwest Silk Road.6 The arrival of the Qin power drove Chu to launch new strikes into these areas. A major strategic military move of Chu was the campaign of Zhuang Qiao over the Dian Kingdom in central Yunnan. In 279 BCE Zhuang Qiao, a Chu general, passed through Guizhou, and ended his long march into the Dian Lake region.7 Zhuang Qiao took over the Dian Kingdom, and called himself the king of Dian (dianwang).8 But he and his soldiers had to stay there, as the Qin army had blocked their way home. Zhuang's descendants continued to rule the Dian Kingdom until the Han conquest about 150 years later.

7The southern expansion of Qin was a crucial step for its unification project. It claimed that "taking the Shu kingdom means taking Chu; and if Chu is taken, All-Under-Heaven is unified" (de shu ze de chu, chu wang ze tianxia bingyi).9 Zhuang Qiao's campaign was aimed at threatening Qin's Sichuan in order to contain the Qin's military advance into the Chu area. It was under such circumstances that Yunnan was brought into the multistate struggle. Though Chu's goal was not fulfilled, Yunnan's geographical importance for the unification of China into an imperial state was revealed for the first time. The relationship between Yunnan and the emerging Chinese empire established a pattern for Yunnan's involvement in Chinese history. Yunnan appeared in Chinese history mostly when China either faced an external or internal emergency.

Western Han China's "Rediscovery" of Yunnan

8The struggle among the Western Han, the Southern Yue, and the Xiongnu was the second historical event that brought part of Yunnan under Han China's authority. The collapse of the Qin Empire in 207 BCE left Yunnan unattended until the reign of Wudi (140 BCE–87 BCE) in the Western Han Dynasty. At first the Western Han paid no attention to Yunnan, as it initially lacked information about the so-called Southwestern Barbarians in Yunnan.10 Furthermore, the Han Dynasty was busy reviving the dilapidated economy and trying its best to keep peace with the Xiongnu in the north. The Han court began to notice the Southwestern Barbarians when it attempted to take over the Southern Yue Kingdom (nanyue), which was centered in modern Guangdong. The Qin Empire previously set up three commanderies in southern coastal areas, including modern Guangdong, Guangxi, and northern Vietnam. Zhao Tuo, an officer of the Nanhai (South Sea) Commandery, proclaimed himself martial king of the Southern Yue (nanyue wuwang) after the collapse of the Qin Empire. The Southern Yue had a close relationship with the Yelang Kingdom (centered in modern Guizhou), with the Zangke River serving as a convenient transportation route between them.

9While the Han court pursued the heqin policy with the Xiongnu, it recognized Zhao Tuo as the king of Southern Yue (nanyue wang), realizing peace on both the northern and southern frontiers at the same time.11 By the time Emperor Wudi ascended the throne, the Han had become prosperous, and the young, ambitious emperor made up his mind to resolve the Xiongnu problem and those of other neighboring regimes which threatened, or had the capacity to threaten, his empire. The Southern Yue became the major target in the south.

10After visiting the Southern Yue, Tang Meng, the Han envoy, suggested that troops be transported in ships along the Zangke River to attack the Southern Yue.12 The emperor approved this plan. It was recorded that, having brought with him many gifts, Tang Meng led troops and "persuaded" the king of Yelang to become a subject of the Han court. The Han thereupon established the Jianwei Commandery in the region. To prepare for the upcoming campaign against the Southern Yue, the Han court mobilized thousands of local people to repair the Bo Road and extend it to the Zangke River. Almost at the same time, Emperor Wudi dispatched Sima Xiangru to "persuade" the Qiong and Zuo peoples to accept Chinese rule. The Qiong and Zuo peoples were labeled Western Barbarians, while the Yelang people were known as Southern Barbarians.13 Their submission paved the way for the Han's southern campaign and a military campaign to take over the Southern Yue seemed the most likely prospect.

11Unexpectedly, in 126 BCE, Emperor Wudi decided to give up the Western Barbarians altogether and keep only two counties in the Southern Barbarian area, a retreat from previous initiatives.14 As a result, the first stage of Han efforts only reached the marginal area of modern Yunnan. The Han did not create direct contacts with the Dian Kingdom in central Yunnan, let alone the Kunming tribe in the Dali area of western Yunnan. The Han Dynasty abandoned its campaign because of the enormous expense of road building. Numerous local people were conscripted into this program, and it also demanded a great deal of money and materials.15 While the Han were rich enough to complete such an undertaking, local complaints and resistance caused the Han court to reconsider, since its control over the Southwestern Barbarians was new and tenuous. The decisive reason for the abandonment of the campaign however was not local, but the Xiongnu threat from the north. When the extent of this threat became clear, Emperor Wudi, ambitious as he was, knew it was too dangerous to fight two wars at the same time and decided to give full attention to resolving the Xiongnu issue (zhuanli shi xiongnu).16

12In 138 BCE, he dispatched the well-known Zhang Qian mission, aimed at allying the Yuezhi people, who had been driven away by the Xiongnu from the Hexi Corridor to the Western Region. This mission foreshadowed a change in Han policy regarding the Xiongnu. Soon after, Emperor Wudi ended the heqin policy and clashes between the Han and the Xiongnu increased and intensified. The Han Dynasty was in a defensive position until 127 BCE, when its army retrieved the He'nan area, which had been under Xiongnu control for over seventy years, since the fall of the Qin. This victory boosted the Han's confidence, and reversing the defensive posture, Emperor Wudi planned a long-distance campaign. It was in the following year (126 BCE) that the Han strategically retreated from the south, to pave way for its northern advance. The activity on the southern frontier effected the situation in its northern counterpart. Whereas the Han campaign in the north had temporarily created a lull in the south, the Xiongnu issue led to Han China's march to the southwestern frontiers.

13When Zhang Qian returned home, he told Emperor Wudi that India was southeast of Bactria and not far from the Shu area and that Shu products had reached Daxia (Bactria) through India. Hence in 122 BCE, Emperor Wudi dispatched four envoys to locate the road from the Shu through India to Daxia, an alternative route to Central Asia. One envoy was well treated by the king of Dian, but its journey further on was blocked by the Kunming people in the Erhai region. The Han envoy learned that some 1,000 or more li to the west there was a state called Dianyue whose people rode elephants and where merchants from Shu sometimes secretly went to trade. It is in this way that the Han court, while searching for a route to Central Asia, made contact with the kingdom of Dian for the first time.17 Obviously, the Han exploration of the territory of the Southwestern Barbarians was not primarily to find wealth, but to aid in military strategy: to locate an alternative route to Central Asia and complete a siege to attack the right side of the Xiongnu.18 Sima Qian's writings confirmed that "in order to seek the road to Daxia, the Han court started to communicate with the Dian Kingdom. In the beginning, the Han court attempted to pave the way to the Southwestern Barbarians. It cost a great deal and the road could not be smoothed, so it was cancelled. When Zhang Qian said that this road might connect Daxia, however, the Han resumed handling the Southwestern Barbarians."19

14To gain access to Central Asia through Yunnan, Emperor Wudi planned an expedition against the Southwestern Barbarians. The man-made Lake Kunming (Kunmingchi) was dug in 120 BCE in Chang'an for military-training purposes and modeled after Lake Erhai.20 But again the climax of the Sino-Xiongnu War in the following years distracted Han China from the Southwestern Barbarians. Two large-scale long-distance campaigns against the Xiongnu were launched between 122 BCE and 119 BCE, and the war proceeded to Han China's advantage. Military conflicts moved from Han China's frontiers to the Western Region after the Western Han had taken the Hexi Corridor, and the Xiongnu fled northward. Though the war continued, the Xiongnu were greatly weakened and unable to launch further large-scale invasions. Indeed, military disadvantage led to and enhanced internal tensions. Finally, the Xiongnu people were divided into two groups and no longer remained a threat to China.

15When the northern frontier was stabilized, the Han court turned back to the south. In 112 BCE, the Han's southern campaign to "pacify" the Southern Yue subjugated the Southern and Western Barbarians, resulting in the establishment of Yuexi and Shenli commanderies.21 In 109 BCE, the Han conquered the Laojin and Mimo peoples.22 Under enormous military pressure, the king of Dian surrendered. His territory was placed under the new commandery of Yizhou.23 By the end of the second century BCE, Han China had reached central Yunnan and part of west Yunnan, thus dividing the Southwestern Barbarian area into the four commanderies of Jianwei, Zangke, Yuexi, and Yizhou.

16The power struggles among Han China, the Southern Yue, and the Xiongnu people vividly illustrate how Central Asian frontiers and the Southwestern frontier mutually influenced one another. Indeed, it was because of Han China's expansion into Central Asia and into South China that the Middle Kingdom first noticed and then conquered Yunnan.

alt textMap 3.1 Yunnan in the Western Han Period (Late Second Century BCE)

The Southern Expedition by Zhuge Liang

17In the early third century, three kingdoms emerged and took the place of the Eastern Han Dynasty. The Shu-Han Kingdom established by Liu Bei was based on modern Sichuan; the Wu Kingdom controlled South China; and the Wei Kingdom dominated North China. Since the Wei Kingdom was relatively powerful, the Shu and the Wu at times allied against the northern pressure, while they fought one another in the south when the northern threat was temporarily in check.

18The Southwestern Barbarian area was labeled Nanzhong (or Ningzhou) from the third century until the sixth century. Although Nanzhong was at least nominally under the authority of the Shu, native chieftains (yishuai) and large clans (daxing) took advantage of the central chaos and became real rulers. The Yizhou Commandery was controlled by Yong Kai; Zhu Bao ruled Zangke and Gao Dingyuan took over Yuexi,24 while Yongchang was under Lü Kai, who was still loyal to the Shu-Han court.25 Jiaozhi (Annam) was headed by Shi Xie, who was nominally under the Wu authority. Through Shi Xie, Yong Kai exchanged missions with the Wu.26 Yong attempted to use the Wu to consolidate his semi-independence, while the Wu saw it as an opportunity to expand its influence into Nanzhong, thus threatening the rear base of Shu. In addition to the control of Nanzhong, the Wu would also gain access to some valuable resources, such as horses, that were not available in the Wu Kingdom.

19The threat of native chieftains in Nanzhong became the primary concern of Zhuge Liang, prime minister (chengxiang) of the Shu. As the Shu's effective decision maker, he devised Shu's national strategy to ally with the Wu and launch a northern expedition. To this end, the Shu needed to keep peaceful relationships with western and Southwestern peoples to consolidate their periphery and avoid fighting two wars. However, the rebellion in Nanzhong not only jeopardized this strategy but also provided a good opportunity for Wei and Wu. Pacifying Nanzhong therefore became a priority.

20In 225, the Shu-Wu alliance, Zhuge launched a southern expedition (nanzheng), during which he transcended the limits of military power, by implementing a policy of "peaceful comfort" (hefu) in order to win the support of the local leaders and their peoples.27 While he mercilessly destroyed and killed the formidable rebels, he gave local leaders the opportunity to side with the Shu. The classic example of this strategy was his treatment of Meng Huo, a native chieftain who, it was said, was captured by Zhuge seven times and released seven times.28 By first asserting his power and then displaying kindness and a sense of justice, Zhuge won the submission of Meng Huo and other local elites. In this way Nanzhong was pacified.

21Nanzhong was not only crucial to the Shu's national strategy but also served as a material base for Zhuge's six northern expeditions. Horses, gold, silver, furs, and other local products, as well as taxes, were all important materials for military campaigns. Furthermore, native forces, which were recruited into Shu's army, fought in those expeditions.29 The role of Nanzhong in the Three Kingdoms period somewhat repeated its significance in the Qin-Chu interaction, as contending rivals all sought to hold Yunnan for their expansion projects.

alt textMap 3.2 Yunnan in the Three Kingdoms Period (220–265)

Romance of the Three Kingdoms: Nanzhao, Tang China, and Tubo

22A string of events led to the changing relationship between Nanzhong and Chinese states. In 263, Wei conquered Shu. Two years later Wei was replaced by Jin. In 279, Jin conquered the Wu regime and unified China. From then on, Nanzhong remained mainly under the control of native chieftains (yishuai) and large clans (daxing). The native chieftains and large clans emerged at the end of the Eastern Han. By the mid-fourth century, the Cuan family controlled Nanzhong.30 Under the Cuans, there were many autonomous native chieftains and clans. In 589, the Sui Dynasty united China, and the Cuans submitted a tributary mission. But the brutality of Sui officials and soldiers caused local rebellions. In 597 and 602, the Sui launched two campaigns against the Cuans,31 and Cuan Wan, the chief of the clan, was executed while his sons were settled in Chang'an, the Sui capital.32 As a result, Cuan power was decisively destroyed, which in turn facilitated the rise of other local chiefs and large clans.

23The short-lived Sui Dynasty did not establish its own authority in the region, as it eventually gave up on Nanzhong, resulting in Yunnan's very limited communication with China (yu zhongguo jue).33 Before the rise and dominance of the Nanzhao Kingdom around Yunnan in the eighth century, many local tribes, clans, and other groups sprang up. Around Lake Erhai, namely, the Dali area, there emerged six zhao: Mengxi, Yuexi, Langqiong, Dengdan, Shilang, and Mengshe. Zhao was an indigenous non-Chinese language term meaning "king" or "kingdom." Among the six regimes Mengshe was located south of the other five; therefore given the new, larger context, it was called Nanzhao (Southern Kingdom).34 Besides the six regimes, there were other short-lived small local powers. Around the Dian Lake were Xicuan (Western Cuan) and Dongcuan (Eastern Cuan). In addition, many other peoples and polities existed, such as the so-called Jinchi (Gold Teeth), Heichi (Black Teeth), Puzi, Moxie, Jiu, and so on.35 It was Nanzhao that finally subjected the others and competed with the powerful empires such as Tang China and Tubo. The belligerence of Nanzhao was noticed by its Arab contemporaries.36

24As soon as the Tang Dynasty replaced the Sui, it attempted to extend its suzerainty to the southwest.37 The Tang Empire's strategy was to sponsor and ally native chieftains. The first move of Tang China was to release the Cuan hostage (Cuan Wan's son) and appoint him as the prefect (cishi) of Kunzhou (Kunming) and send diplomats to "comfort and persuade" other local chieftains.38 The case of Cuan resulted in the expected effect. Many native leaders sent their tributary missions to the Tang court or promised their submissions, and were consequently rewarded with imperial titles and gifts.

25Tang China's second move was to gradually set up frontier administrative units in Yunnan. In 618, the frontier commandery of Nanning was established. This was later replaced by the Yaozhou Military Governorship (Yaozhou dudufu) in 664.39 As Yaozhou was very close to the Lake Erhai area, it symbolized the Tang's achievements and foreshadowed its plan to bring western Yunnan under direct administration. By the mid-seventh century, Tang China had established over 36 departments (zhou) and 137 counties (xian) in the Southwest,40 most of which were merely nominal. The establishments of Xizhou dudufu in 618 (Xichang, Sichuan), Rongzhou dudufu in 632 (Yibin, Sichuan), Annam Protectorate in 679, and Qianzhou dudufu (Pengshui, Sichuan) completed an encirclement of Yunnan.

26Tang China's final strategy was to launch an expedition in 648 against ethnic peoples in the Lake Erhai area.41 This expedition was, to some extent, a response to the proposal by Liu Boying, a military governor. Liu pointed out that although the local peoples were sometimes submissive, they sometimes rebelled. Hence he thought an expedition against them was necessary. However, if the above reason for a long-distance campaign was a direct and immediate response to a local situation, Liu indeed repeated Zhang Qian's suggestion to the Han court centuries before by stating that by taking action, communication between China and India (Tianzhu) through the Lake Erhai area could be established.42 Again, the critical geographical location of Yunnan inspired political actions on the part of the Chinese. While wealth and trade probably were important reasons for Tang China's interest, military consideration should not be overlooked, since the early Tang was expanding into Central Asia. From Zhang Qian to Liu Boying and beyond, the Chinese always envisaged the connection between the Southwestern and Central Asian frontiers and its (possible) significance, and whenever possible, they would make efforts to open the road between Yunnan and India to Central Asia.

27Obviously Tang China would have put much energy into reducing local autonomy and enhancing its authority in the southwest had the Tubo Empire not arisen and threatened the Tang frontiers from northwest to southwest. Similar to what happened during the Han period, Central Asian power-struggles determined Tang China's Southwestern frontier policy. The only difference was that at this time Nanzhao, a Yunnan-based regime, played a very active and dynamic role in international politics.

28That history is narrated from the point of view of the storyteller. Scholars of China tended in the past to use Chinese sources on Nanzhao to describe how the Nanzhao rulers admired Tang China, and how Tang China influenced and made use of Nanzhao to contain Tibetan invasions. Hence, a nationalist story has been invented to illustrate how local peoples (ethnic minorities) loved Chinese culture. While the Nanzhao people left little information to illuminate their early history, fortunately, Tibetan sources provide us with another side of their story, showing a cultural, marital, and military alliance between Nanzhao and Tubo, in which Tubo dominated.43 Tibetan sources found in the Dunhuang Caves recorded that Vdus-srong-mang-po-rje (Khri-vdus-srong-btsan), king of Tibet (676–704), led an expedition to the Erhai Lake region and died there; therefore his son probably married a princess of Nanzhao.44 An inscribed Tibetan tablet found in Lijiang revealed the submission of a Nanzhao prince or king to Tubo before the mid-eighth century.45 This relationship is confirmed by a source in the Tibetan chronicles found in the Dunhuang Caves stating that Nanzhao (Vjang) was under Tibet's administration.46 Such a close relationship might have accounted for that fact that Tubo did not intervene in Nanzhao's campaigns against other local regimes even though those regimes too were Tibet's vassals.47

29Although both Tibetan and Chinese sources agree that Nanzhao was passive and dominated by its powerful neighbor, they otherwise largely contradict each other. Examining the two sides, one wonders why Nanzhao would ally itself with Tang China at one time, Tubo at another time, and for a time with both powers. I attempt to consider the points of view of both Tubo and Tang China while weeding out their nationalist biases by constructing a Nanzhao-based reading of the events. A close reading and comparison of sources yields a dynamic and insightful Nanzhao that deftly took advantage of its neighbors and diverse international circumstances to serve its primary interests. As the triangular aspect of the area's history is complicated, I would like to provide a concise introduction.

30In the beginning, Nanzhao gained the support of Tang China and secured the disengagement of the Tubo Empire from its unification project; then, when relations between Tang China and Nanzhao broke down because Nanzhao occupied Eastern Cuan, Nanzhao turned against Tang China, allied with Tubo, and even assisted in Tubo's war against Tang China from Central Asia to the Southwestern frontier. Furthermore, when Tang China was busy dealing with the Tubo-Nanzhao threat, Nanzhao no longer faced northern pressure, and proceeded to expand into mainland Southeast Asia. Moreover, as Tang China managed to stabilize its frontiers and tried to win the support of Nanzhao, Nanzhao decided to desert Tubo that requested enormous materials and military reinforces from Nanzhao. Nanzhao eventually attacked and defeated Tubo. When Tubo was finally exhausted, Nanzhao started to plunder Sichuan, Tang China's rich base, and Annam, Tang China's relatively isolated frontier. By the end of the ninth century, all the three kingdoms had collapsed.

Before the Romance: Nanzhao's Unification of Five Zhao

31The expansion of Nanzhao started with its incorporation of the other five zhao, namely, Mengxi, Yuexi, Langqiong, Dengdan, and Shilang. By the second half of the seventh century, the power of Nanzhao was impressive and provokes two main questions: What forces accounted for the quick growth of Nanzhao power? And, why did Tang China and Tibet support Nanzhao? Chinese scholars have typically sought economic productivity to explain internal development,48 while Backus emphasizes geographic location.49 It was probably trade that brought wealth and power to Nanzhao, since Nanzhao was located in the furthest south and controlled the Southwest Silk Road that mainly passed through the Erhai area. Geographical location also helped Nanzhao check Tibetan influence, and that was why Nanzhao was indeed chosen among many local regimes by Tang China to contain Tibetan expansion.

32On the other hand, favorable location was certainly not the whole story. The other five zhao were all located around the Dali plain, and so the distance would not have made much difference had the Tibetans invaded. Therefore, we have to consider other factors, such as the Nanzhao rulers and their political strategy. Chinese scholars listed the loyalty of Nanzhao to Tang China as the critical reason, if not the only reason, for Tang China's support,50 but Nanzhao's contacts with Tubo were frequently recorded in the Tibetan chronicles from the late seventh century onward.51 Clearly Nanzhao was playing games with the two powerful neighbors; it managed to please both of them, winning Tang China's support and Tubo's non-involvement in its unification project.

33Employing this strategy, by the 730s Nanzhao had succeeded in bringing the Erhai Lake–area under its authority.52 In 738, the Tang granted the Nanzhao ruler Pi-luo-ge the title of Yunnan wang (prince of Yunnan), as he then ruled the western portion of modern Yunnan. Soon after, he turned his attention to eastern Yunnan, which, to a large degree, led to the breakup of the Nanzhao-Tang alliance.

Struggle for the Eastern Cuan

34Both the Tang and Nanzhao were interested in the Cuan area, located in present-day eastern Yunnan. The area sealed the Tang's connections with the Annam Protectorate. The consolidation of the Annam-Sichuan connection would not only stabilize Tang's southwest frontier but also complete the encirclement of Yunnan. Furthermore, the control of the Cuan would allow Tang China to keep Nanzhao in check, contain the Tibetan threat, and probably support Tang China's counterattack at the same time. And, surely, Nanzhao sought control over the Cuan's lucrative salt production. Pi-luo-ge demonstrated his wisdom by taking advantage of both Tang China and the Cuans, and finally incorporating eastern Yunnan.

35Among a series of activities against the Cuan, Tang China's army took over the strategic town of Anning in the 740s. To the Cuans, an active Tang presence was disastrous. The Cuans not only lost their salt profits but also for the first time faced taxes and labor levies. Naturally, the Cuans rebelled, took back the Anning Fortress, and destroyed it. The Tang court then followed the conventional wisdom of pitting barbarian against barbarian, and Pi-luo-ge was asked to intervene on its behalf.53 At the same time, a widow of a Cuan ruler reportedly asked Pi-luo-ge to intervene after her husband was killed in the chaos.54 Pi-luo-ge took advantage of this situation, played one side against the other, and finally dispatched an army. By so doing, Nanzhao established its authority over the Cuans. In 748, Ge-luo-feng, Pi-luo-ge's son, resettled over 200,000 families from Eastern Cuan to Yongchang. As a result, the Cuan area was depopulated and weakened. By the 750s, Nanzhao had taken eastern Yunnan into its empire and had become a potential rival to Tang China. The following period inevitably saw conflicts between Tang China and Nanzhao.

36The clash seems to have been the result of both local interests and court politics.55 Zhang Qiantuo, governor of Yaozhou, reportedly made excessive demands on Ge-luo-feng, and it is said that he even insulted the latter's wife.56 Ge-luo-feng appealed to the Tang court, but his petitions failed, which forced him to seek force. In 750, Nanzhao attacked and captured Yaozhou. The following year saw a Tang campaign led by Xianyu Zhongtong, the regional commander of Jiannan (Sichuan). Ge-luo-feng probably regarded the previous incident as personal and apparently sought peace. He wrote to Xianyu that "large Tibetan armies are now present on the frontiers. If you do not accept my proposal, I have to turn my allegiance to Tibet, and Yunnan will no longer belong to the Tang."57 Xianyu Zhongtong detained the Nanzhao envoys and turned down the appeal, but his expedition became a disaster.

37On hearing the negative response, Nanzhao immediately turned to Tubo. Tubo rejoiced to see the conflict between Nanzhao and the Tang. With the exchange of envoys, their alliance was formally established. Tubo and Nanzhao agreed to be "fraternal states" (xiongdi zhiguo); Ge-luo-feng was given the titles zanpuzhong (younger brother) and dongdi (eastern emperor). Hence, Tubo managed to establish its nominal authority over Nanzhao.

38Tang China did not give up after one failure. In 753, another expedition was prepared, but this was also defeated by Nanzhao.58 In 754, the Tang organized an army of more than 100,000 troops that advanced to the Dali plain, resulting in only another slaughter. It is said that few Tang soldiers survived, and even Li Mi, the Tang general, drowned himself.59 This campaign was the Tang's last major military project in the southwest. Indeed, this campaign had an adverse effect on Tang China and hastened the weakening of central authority over local military governors. The Tang court had lost some of its best soldiers just before the An Lushan Rebellion in the following year that exhausted the Tang Empire. Consequently, Tang China no longer had the ability or desire to deal with an aggressive Nanzhao.

The Nanzhao-Tubo Alliance

39As Tang China was unable to handle Nanzhao, Nanzhao started its unprecedented expansion in all directions during the second half of the eighth century.60 By 794, when Nanzhao and Tang China had resumed their previous alliance, Nanzhao had, in the north, reached the north bank of the Jinsha River; in the east it was in control of the Cuan area, and in the south and southwest it had expanded and reached today's Burma, imposing a tributary system upon local peoples.

40The growing power of Nanzhao became the reason for increased tensions with Tubo as their alliance was not equal. Although Tubo supported Nanzhao's war against Tang China, and bestowed honorable titles on the Nanzhao rulers, Nanzhao paid a heavy price to win this support. Tubo demanded all kinds of materials and levies, and the Nanzhao army was summoned to join Tubo's battles in Central Asia.61 Nanzhao was of great importance for the prolonged conflict between Tibet and China.62

41To contain Nanzhao, Tubo held several strategic fortresses on Nanzhao's northwestern frontier. The most famous was the Iron Bridge that probably was the first iron suspension bridge in the world. A military fort (shenchuan dudu) was established there by Tubo as a potential threat to the Dali plain, the center of Nanzhao. Additionally, the remaining rulers of the five zhao were kept around the fort, another potential threat to Nanzhao.63 All the containment and exploitation of Nanzhao provoked many complaints and eventually the decision was made to sever ties with Tubo.

42The alliance between Nanzhao and Tubo was, to a large degree, a response to Tang China. Likewise, the dissolution of this alliance could be largely attributed to the subsequent friendly attitude and invitations of the Tang Empire. Through its alliance with Nanzhao before the 750s, Tang China was able to concentrate on the struggle in the northwest and the west. However, after the 750s, the situation changed dramatically. Allying with Nanzhao, Tibetan cavalry challenged Tang China's long frontiers from the southwest to the northwest. As a result, Tubo managed to extend its frontiers to the suburbs of Chang'an. In 763, the Tibetan army captured Chang'an; the Nanzhao army was probably involved in this battle.64

43Eventually, Tang China managed to stop Tubo's incursions. In 779, the Tang army achieved a significant victory over the Tibetan-Nanzhao alliance in Sichuan. This success resulted in some major changes among the three empires. First, the Tang and Tubo gradually entered a relatively peaceful period. Conflicts on the frontiers decreased; negotiations were resumed, resulting in the 783 treaty of border demarcation. Second, the loss in this war increased Nanzhao-Tibetan tensions. Yi-mou-xun, the Nanzhao ruler, moved the capital to Dali City, farther from Tubo than it had been, a sign of his concern and cautiousness.65 Finally, Tubo retracted designated titles, such as designating Yi-mou-xun the ridongwang, or "king of the region east of the sun,"66 degrading an already unequal relationship. As a result, mistrust and conflicts increased.

44alt textMap 3.3 Nanzhao and Its World The situation had transcended borders to such an extent that the Tang court was compelled to consider a new frontier strategy. Li Pi, a Tang minister, suggested to the emperor that an alliance among the Tang, Uyghur, Turks (Tujue), Nanzhao, India (Tianzhu), and Arabs (Dashi) against Tubo be established, a similar plan to what Emperor Wudi had designed to manage the Xiongnu.67 With such an alliance, Tang China could complete encirclement and Tubo would become so distracted that it would no longer be able to concentrate on China. Li Pi pointed out that the most crucial of these allies were the Uyghur and Nanzhao, likening an alliance with Nanzhao to cutting off Tubo's right arm. Li's suggestion was again a case of "using barbarians against barbarians" and a new version of Han China's proposal for allying with the Yuezhi against the Xiongnu.

45The cooperation between the Uyghur and Tang China was soon completed when the Tang court agreed to have a princess marry the Uighur Khan. But it took longer to resume the Tang-Nanzhao alliance. The major figure who completed this project was Wei Gao. Wei was appointed as the governor of Jiannan in 785 and remained so until his death in 805. During his two decades as the commander on the Sichuan frontier, Wei Gao adeptly exploited local forces to contain, and on many occasions defeat, Tibetan invasions. Consequently, the Sichuan frontier was stabilized. More important, Wei Gao successfully implemented the Tang strategy by feeding the tension and mistrust between Nanzhao and Tubo and finally establishing an alignment with Nanzhao.

46Facing the increasing Tibetan threat, the Nanzhao ruler was also thinking of resuming the Tang-Nanzhao cooperation. Zheng Hui, a captured Tang official who had become a prime minister (qingpingguan) of Nanzhao, proposed to ally with Tang China. He enhanced his argument by emphasizing the heavy demands made by Tubo, and earlier friendly treatment by Tang China.68 Zheng Hui was Yi-mou-xun's tutor and advisor and his words were thus very influential. In 793, Yi-mou-xun finally decided to accept Tang China's friendship. Considering Tubo's control of and influence on local peoples, Yi-mou-xun sent three envoys through different routes to Chang'an to make sure his intention was transmitted to the Tang court. One went through Sichuan, one passed through Guizhou, and the last took a route through Annam. In 794, Yi-mou-xun received the Tang envoy, and the Nanzhao-Tang alliance was reestablished.69

47At that time, Tubo, which had recently lost numerous soldiers in battle with the Uyghur, demanded that Nanzhao provide 10,000 soldiers. Yi-mou-xun agreed to send 5,000 men as reinforcements. But a large Nanzhao army followed the reinforcements and they launched a sudden and violent attack on the Tubo forces. Taken by surprise, the Tibetans were badly defeated. The Iron Bridge was taken over by Nanzhao, and Tibet's access to the Dali plain was blocked.70 In the following years, with the crucial support of Nanzhao, the Tang army won one victory after another on the western and Southwestern frontiers. Military losses, internal political turmoil, and natural disasters made Tubo unable to handle Tang China and its allies. By the end of the eighth century, Tubo was no longer a major threat to either the Tang Dynasty or Nanzhao.

Nanzhao's Expansion

48The victory of 794 signaled another stage of Nanzhao's expansion. Nanzhao immediately occupied the Tibetan-Nanzhao frontiers and moved the descendants of the five former regimes to the Yongchang area. Simultaneously, Nanzhao likely tightened its suzerainty of the Pyu polity because Xun-ge-quan, the son of Yi-mou-xun, assigned himself a new title, biaoxin, "the king of Pyu."71 Such authority over Pyu can be discerned by the 802 Nanzhao tributary mission to the Tang court. This mission included Pyu musicians and dancers.72 The Pyu seemed not to be a direct vassal of Tang China but of Nanzhao.

49The first two decades of the ninth century were the honeymoon period of the Tang-Nanzhao relationship. Each year official embassies were exchanged. Tang China even established a school in Chengdu for the Nanzhao royal youth. This project lasted almost half a century, and a large number of Nanzhao youth supposedly received a Chinese education.73 Other sources confirm the special role of Nanzhao in the Tang court. The Tang suspended its court when the deaths of Nanzhao rulers were reported in 808 and 816.74 A Japanese monk noticed that Nanzhao was ranked first of the five foreign embassies to the Tang court in 839, ahead of Japan and others.75

50In 829, Nanzhao suddenly plundered Sichuan. The Nanzhao army took over Qiongzhou, Rongzhou, and Suizhou, and entered Chengdu. When it retreated, hundreds of Sichuan people, including skilled artisans, were taken to Yunnan.76 The 829 invasion was just the beginning of Nanzhao's expansion and subsequent Tang-Nanzhao clashes that lasted for several decades.77 In 832, the Nanzhao army captured the capital of the Pyu kingdom in modern upper Burma, and over 3,000 Pyu people were moved to Zhidong.78 Three years later, Nanzhao launched an expedition and destroyed the kingdom of Michen in modern lower Burma. Two to three thousand local captives were moved to the Lishui River in northwest Yunnan to pan for gold.79 Nanzhao also attacked the Khmer peoples of Zhenla.80 In addition, Nanzhao invaded the Kunlun Kingdom and Nüwangguo (Queen Kingdom), but was defeated on both occasions.81 Generally speaking, Nanzhao was then the most powerful kingdom in mainland Southeast Asia, and played an extremely active role in multistate interactions.

51Meanwhile, Nanzhao no longer continued the tributary relationship with Tang China. Shi-long, the new ruler of Nanzhao, adopted his own title rather than honoring the order the Chinese had established, proclaiming himself emperor (huangdi) and renaming his country Dali Kingdom, suggesting that Nanzhao refused to accept China's nominal suzerainty.82 Nanzhao then further expanded into modern Guizhou, Guangxi, and Annam. In 859, Nanzhao captured Bozhou (Zunyi), and this event exacerbated the Nanzhao-Tang clashes. When the Tang governor of Annam took Bozhou back in the following year, Nanzhao, with the help of native peoples, occupied Hanoi as the Tang army moved to Bozhou. When the Tang forces returned, Nanzhao troops retreated from Hanoi but attacked and plundered Yongzhou (Guangxi). Nanzhao's swift use of guerrilla warfare brought about tremendous hardship for the Tang defense. In the winter of 862, Nanzhao, allying with local groups, led an army of over 50,000 men to invade Annam. It is reported that the Tang forces lost over 150,000 soldiers (either killed or captured by Nanzhao) in the two Annam battles.83 Rather than simply plundering Annam, this time Nanzhao decided to put it under its control. Over 20,000 soldiers were left to defend Hanoi.84 Nanzhao's decision was probably made in consideration of the profit of the South Sea Trade.

52In 864, Gao Pian, an experienced general, was assigned by the Tang court to be governor of Annam. It was he who finally retook Annam and consolidated this frontier. The autumn of 866 saw Tang victory in Hanoi and soon all of the Nanzhao forces were driven away.85 But Tang China had lost its ability to attack Nanzhao, because a decade-long war had resulted in economic disaster and popular unrest along these frontiers. While Nanzhao was being defeated in Annam, it still occasionally attacked Sichuan. In 869, Shi-long invaded Sichuan. After several engagements Shi-long retreated, probably because he had acquired enough trophies.86 In 874, Nanzhao attacked Sichuan again. The Tang court then moved Gao Pian from Annam to Sichuan, and Gao did in fact manage to revive what had seemed to be a hopeless situation.87

53In 876, Tang China and Nanzhao exchanged missions; in the following year Shi-long died and his son Long-shun ascended the throne. Negotiations continued even as Nanzhao insisted on an equal status of brotherhood and requested a marriage alliance that stirred debate in the Tang court.88 In 880, when Tang China faced the Huang Chao rebellion, Emperor Xizong decided to accept Nanzhao's requests. Nonetheless, the marriage was postponed again and again by the Tang court.89 Nanzhao at the time was also weakened by the long-term war.90 In 902, Zheng Maisi, a descendant of Zheng Hui, murdered the infant king of Nanzhao, and established a short-lived regime. Nanzhao, a once-powerful empire, disappeared. Several years later, the Tang Dynasty was replaced by many kingdoms. By the early tenth century, the three major players in the regional stage, Tubo, Nanzhao, and Tang China, had all collapsed.

54What has intrigued imperial and modern scholars is to what extent Nanzhao contributed to the fall of the Tang Empire. Imperial historians noticed the connection among Nanzhao, military revolts, and the fall of the Tang Empire. In 862, some soldiers from Xuzhou, a city by the Grand Canal, were dispatched as reinforcements in the war against Nanzhao. Two years later, 3,000 of them were stationed in Guizhou (Guilin, Guangxi). They were originally supposed to serve for only three years, but their return was postponed in 868 when they had already served for six years. This time, dissatisfaction and protests developed into rebellion. Under the leadership of Pang Xun, these soldiers left their posts and marched back to their hometowns.91 Many peasants joined this long march. No sooner had Tang China suppressed the uprising than Huang Chao started his large peasant rebellion, which practically ended the Tang Empire.

55Based on this record, some scholars argued that it was the Nanzhao invasion that forced the Tang to reinstall northern soldiers and repeatedly extend their service term, thus Nanzhao contributed to the Pang Xun rebellion that in turn ignited the Huang Chao rebellion. Song historians conclude, "The Tang was ended by Huang Chao, but the disaster originated in Guilin" (Tang wang yu huang chao, er huo jiyu guilin).92 Chen Yinke, a well-known scholar on Tang China, has demonstrated the interplay between foreign peoples (waizu) and internal administration (neizheng) by citing the Nanzhao case and the above statement by Song historians;93 Xia Guangnan has stated that Nanzhao was the most important reason for Tang China's collapse;94 Backus thinks that the conclusion in XTS was exaggerated and distorted, but his comments are problematic. On the one hand he points out that "it is true that the Nanzhao invasion of the south greatly exacerbated T'ang troubles . . . " and that "the Nanzhao kingdom did contribute a great deal to the dynasty's decline." Yet, on the other hand, he concludes that, "even indirectly, Nanzhao did not cause the fall of the T'ang."95 In conclusion, it is reasonable to say that, since Nanzhao had caused the Tang's decline96 and had indirectly caused the Pang Xun rebellion, it was one of the factors that led to the fall of the Tang.

Rereading Medieval Nanzhao

56The role of Nanzhao in Southeast Asia should also not be forgotten. Gordon Luce, the prominent scholar of Burmese studies, points out that Nanzhao's attack on and rule of the Pyu in upper Burma was extremely important to the subsequent formation of the Burmese kingdoms. The vacuum created by Nanzhao when it destroyed the Pyu provided the "proto-Burmans" with a golden opportunity to build their own kingdom.97 Many Chinese sources recorded the military clashes between Nanzhao and other Southeast Asian regimes and confirmed the influence of Nanzhao on the aforementioned region. Indeed, the complicated interactions among these Southeast Asian polities and peoples are far from being understood. For example, one may ask to what degree Nanzhao's clash with Tang China in Annam contributed to the independence of Da Viet in the tenth century.

57 The above discussions suggest the possibility of a transregional or global historiographic approach to reading medieval Nanzhao. The close and frequent interactions among the three regimes, or the interaction between the Central Asian frontier and the Southwestern frontier indeed crossed many boundaries, imagined or real, through Central Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. Studies of any one of the three kingdoms should be put into their international/global context. Furthermore, these studies might reveal new dimensions if we consider Nanzhao, Tubo, Tang China, other Central Asia regimes, and probably the Arabic and Indian states as one world, since their military, political, commercial, and cultural interactions were much more intensive than what most people had imagined.

58A typical example is the case of music. In 794 during the reception of Tang envoys, Yi-mou-xun presented Central Asian musicians and dancers who had been gifts from the Tang court. Eight years later, Nanzhao presented Chang'an people with Pyu music, dance, and songs. Bai Juyi, the famous poet, wrote several poems, exclusively describing the impressive Pyu performance.98 This single case is certainly in itself not strong enough a proof; indeed many other interactions among these areas have been underestimated or overlooked. Certainly we need to ponder the nature and frequency of interactions that might have created a world-system consisting of Tang China, Nanzhao, Tubo, and other Central Asian regimes, and beyond,, while the frequency of interactions in the so-called medieval world is sufficient to disqualify any national or regional approach, and instead demands a cross-regional or global approach. In this sense, national and area studies have contributed to our ignorance of Nanzhao.

Dali and Song: Not Enemies nor Subjects

59The first four decades after the end of the Nanzhao Empire saw a series of short-lived regimes until 937, when the Dali Kingdom (937–1253) was established by Duan Siping.99 The Dali Kingdom was contemporary with the Song Dynasty (960–1279), just as Nanzhao paralleled Tang China. Generally speaking, Dali inherited Nanzhao's territory. But the Dali rulers were not as belligerent as those of Nanzhao, perhaps because they wanted to avoid the violence and loss of life incurred by military campaigns, as they were pious converts to Buddhism.100 The relationship between Dali and Song China was restricted and not as complicated as during the Nanzhao time.101 Song China's restraint was produced by historical lessons and practical considerations. The image of Nanzhao as a troublemaker was still vivid in people's minds, and the Song rulers had compared the risks and rewards of a campaign against Yunnan. When a Song general pacified Sichuan and asked for permission to take Yunnan, Zhao Kuangyin, the founding emperor of the Song, ordered him to stop. A legend that romanticized Zhao's decision was frequently repeated in Chinese historical records: Zhao used a jade axe to demarcate a boundary line along the Dadu River on his imperial map.102 This symbolized that the Song court did not have any intention of taking steps to put Yunnan under its rule.

60Enormous pressure from the northern frontier indeed served as a more critical key to understanding the Song's attitude to Dali. The Song Dynasty was not as strong militarily as the Tang Dynasty, and its first concern was the Central Asian kingdoms. Northern kingdoms such as those of the Xixia, the Liao, the Jin, and the Mongols all pressured Song China to such a degree that the Song was forced to give up Sinocentric principles and adopt a pragmatic attitude to deal with foreign peoples. Similar to what happened in the Han period when Emperor Wudi gave up his southwestern advance in order to concentrate on his northern campaign, the Song state developed a defensive policy on its southwest border, because it could not afford two dangerous frontiers or two wars at the same time. Once more we see that the Great Wall frontier and the Southwestern frontier were closely linked and interacted with each other. Thus the international policy of the Song was to close the Southwestern frontier, and isolate Dali, while paying primary attention to the northern frontiers. After all, the political and economic center of the Northern Song (960–1127) was in the Yellow River region.

61Such a policy was not without its challenges. First, historically Yunnan and Sichuan had experienced frequent exchanges, officially or not. Second, the Dali Kingdom showed a lot of interest in developing a relationship with Song China. On hearing the news that Sichuan was conquered by the Song in 965, the Dali ruler ordered its Jianchang (Xichang, Sichuan) official to send a letter of congratulation. Three years later, Dali again requested the Song court to establish relations.103 Following these requests, in 982, the Song decided to provide big boats on the Dadu River for the Dali tribute missions.104 Dali continued to dispatch tribute missions in 985, 989, 991, 997, 999, 1005, 1008, and 1038.105 At the same time, the Song court refused many tribute missions. Why did Dali desire to establish an official relationship with the Song? Perhaps history had also made the Dali rulers more wary of its predecessor. The belligerence of Nanzhao not only troubled the Tang Empire, it also weakened local peoples. By contrast, a peaceful frontier would have benefited the stability and prosperity of Dali, as Yunnan and Sichuan mutually depended on their harmonious relationship to carry on local trade. Many of Yunnan nomadic tribes or those engaged in husbandry, in particular, relied on agricultural products from Sichuan.

62The eagerness of Dali to develop the Sino-Dali relationship sharply contrasted with the restrained attitude of the Song Empire, which was illustrated by the diplomatic exchanges of 989. That year, the Dali ruler again asked for an imperial title, but the Song court, while encouraging Dali to tenderly rule its own people, refused the request under the pretext that the Song was facing a drought and northern troubles.106 This refusal did not seem to discourage the Dali court, since their missions kept arriving at the Song court. Finally, in 1115, the Song court accepted Dali's request, and a Dali embassy reached Kaifeng in 1117. Duan Heyu, the king of Dali Kingdom, was granted many titles, including king of Dali Kingdom (daliguowang).107 As a result, a formal political relationship was established.

63Political upgrading was not always enough to encourage growth in trade. When some people suggested that markets be established south of the Dadu River, the Song court asked Sichuan officials to investigate the possibility.108 Perhaps because local officials did not want any trouble, they opposed the suggestion by citing Zhao Kuangyin's demarcation. They argued that the isolationist policy had brought peace to Sichuan for over 150 years and that the establishment of markets would open the gate and bring troubles to China.109 Under the increasing pressure from the north, the Song's concern grew as well. Hence, Dali's demand for increasing trade was overcome by the Song's concerns about security.

alt textMap 3.4 The Dali Kingdom and the Northern Song

64In 1127, the Jin Kingdom captured Kaifeng, capital of the Northern Song, and the remaining Song rulers escaped to Jiangnan and started the Southern Song Dynasty, with Hangzhou as its capital. Having been driven from the Yellow River to the Yangzi River, the Song state was not sure whether the Jin cavalry could be checked. Terrified Song rulers further indulged their skepticism of Dali, and again attempted to reduce China's connections with Dali.

65In 1136, Duan Heyu dispatched a mission to the Southern Song, with the intention of continuing their previous relationship. Among many tribute gifts were elephants, which symbolized subordination in the eyes of Chinese court officials. Interestingly, Zhao Gou, the first emperor of the Southern Song, accepted all other gifts but elephants, which meant that he did not want Dali to keep a tributary relationship.110 The Song's attitude was best revealed by a statement of Zhu Zhen, a scholar of the imperial academy. Zhu pointed out that simultaneously keeping Dali "neither as enemy nor as subject was the best of all measures to handle the barbarians" (yu kou bu neng, yu chen bu de, zuide yurong shangce).111 However, military demand instead drove Song China to open its gates to Dali, because the Dali Kingdom cultivated a local animal that Song China did not produce but badly desired, that is, the warhorse.

Song Trading in Warhorses

66The Song's battles against the Xixia, the Liao, the Jin, and the Mongols required a large number of warhorses. Because the Song territory did not breed enough of them, they traded a large number of warhorses from nomadic peoples. During the Northern Song, warhorses could be obtained from northwestern frontiers, and a small number might be from tribute missions. For example, horses were always a major gift from Dali. In 1136, while the Song court refused elephants, it gladly accepted horses. But the loss of the Central Plain meant the loss of access to northwestern horses. Jiangnan did not breed horses that were badly demanded by the ongoing wars.112 Fortunately, the Dali Kingdom was famous for excellent horses, and the Song state was left without any choice but to trade with Dali. Transregional struggles, on the one hand, encouraged the Song Dynasty to restrict its connections with Yunnan, and, on the other hand, pushed the Song Dynasty to trade with Yunnan.

67Horses from Dali were traded to the Northern Song, through both private and official trade channels, although the majority of warhorses in the Northern Song came from northwestern peoples. In Lizhou (Hanyuan, Sichuan), a horse market that supplied warhorses to the Song was established at Tongshanzhai. In addition, sometimes the Northern Song was forced to expand its horse trade with Yunnan when the northwestern supply was blocked. For example, in 1074, the Song court publicly enlisted volunteers to enter Dali to purchase horses. Yang Zuo, a Sichuan local and Jinshi degree holder, sold his family assets, crossed mountains deep into the Dali territory, and asked local peoples to drive the horses to trade. On hearing the news, local peoples drove a large number of horses to the Sichuan fortresses. Interestingly, local officials refused to trade, claiming that there was no such person named "Yang Zuo."113

68Unlike during the Northern Song, the horse trade in the Southern Song was a crucial matter, and a bureaucratic system was even installed to meet the demand for horses while reducing the risks of the frontier trade. Although there were two debates on the horse issue in the Song court in 1133 and 1136,114 the desire for warhorses pushed the Song court to take the risk of opening its door to the Dali Kingdom. A new administrative unit was set up in Yongzhou (Nanning, Guangxi), namely, Horse Trade Office (maima tijusi), which was designed exclusively to purchase horses from the Dali Kingdom. Many suggestions and regulations for horse trading were raised and discussed in the court.115 Local officials were warned to keep a close eye on the trade. Soldiers were stationed in markets in case of any trouble. And more revealing is the fact that it was Yongzhou in today's Guangxi rather than Sichuan that was chosen to open official markets. This is probably because Sichuan was too close to the north and it confronted Dali face to face, while in Guangxi and Guizhou many local ethnic peoples could form a buffer zone if any conflicts occurred. Furthermore, horse markets were restricted to a few fixed places, and horse trading was not allowed anywhere else. In 1240, Meng Gong, governor of Sichuan, refused to open official markets in Sichuan on the account that since the Guangxi-Dali trade existed, trade through Sichuan was not necessary.116

69Since the Dali horses were the only supply available for the Song cavalry, it is fair to conclude that the Dali horses played a crucial role in prolonging the Song's existence for more than 150 years after the loss of the Yellow River plain. It may be argued that the Dali Kingdom had, to a large degree, shaped the power struggle between the Central Asian kingdoms and the Jiangnan-based Song Dynasty. But the role of Dali in those struggles was far more than just its provision of horses. The political exclusion policy of Song China indeed not only resulted in the loss of a potential ally during its war against the Jin and later the Mongols but also, to some extent, left the Mongols a vacuum to fill in order to complete the siege of the Southern Song.

The Mongol Conquest of Dali

70The beginning of the thirteenth century witnessed dramatic changes in Central Asian political struggles. In 1234, the Mongol-Song alliance ended the Jin Dynasty. While the Song court achieved the revenge for its former humiliation,117 it did not expect that the Mongol's cavalry would, without a break, turn heads of horses to the south and in 1235 the Mongol-Song war broke out. The Mongols, however, did not expect such a stubborn resistance from the Southern Song Dynasty. Bloody battles made the frontline swing along the Yangzi River. Noticing that frontal assaults did not make much progress and the warfare was at a stalemate, Mongke, the Mongol Khan, decided to dispatch the Mongol cavalry in order to pacify the Dali Kingdom so that a siege of the Southern Song could be completed.118 In 1253, Khubilai Khan led a long-distance expedition, his army crossing the Tibetan Plateau and arriving in Dali.119 Within a year, the Dali Kingdom was destroyed, and the Duan family surrendered.

71The Mongols typically incorporated local armies accustomed to the local climate and topography, and so recruited the Duans to not only conquer Yunnan and China but also Burma and Annam. Uriyangkhadai, the Mongol general who took charge of Yunnan, led an allied army to attack Annam in 1257, and the Tran Dynasty of Annam surrendered in the next spring. More important, the occupation of Yunnan provided the Mongols with a base and access to the rear of the Southern Song.

72alt textMap 3.5 The Dali Kingdom and the Southern Song Once Uriyangkhadai succeeded in pacifying local resistance in Yunnan, Mongke started a full-scale war. In 1258, Mongke himself arrived at the Sichuan battlefield while Khubilai and Taghachar, another Mongolian prince, led their armies to attack the middle and lower Yangzi. In conjunction, Uriyangkhadai led his forces to invade the Song territory from Yunnan, expecting to join Khubilai's forces. Although the sudden death of Mongke alleviated the triple assault, the siege of the Song had already begun. Twenty years later, the Mongols conquered all of China. Some imperial scholars criticized the strategic mistake made by the Song court. Ni Tui, a Qing scholar, pointed out that the Song Dynasty should not have pursued the isolationist policy against the Dali Kingdom, lest an alliance be established between Dali and the Song Dynasty for latter's self defense.120 This was also why Zhu Yuanzhang, the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), decided to conquer Yunnan after he had driven the Mongols out of Beijing.

73In conclusion, from the tenth to the thirteenth century, power struggles within eastern Eurasia led to military conflicts that eventually led to Yunnan's subjugation to the Chinese Empire. Yunnan itself also had a great effect on this dramatically changing region, for the Great Wall frontier and the Southwestern frontier interacted closely. Such interactions among these kingdoms and areas hardly fit within the categories of national history or regional history. Until a global or world-system perspective has been introduced, Yunnan's global role cannot be given an appropriate evaluation.

The Ming's Military Victory over Yunnan

74In 1368, the Mongols retreated to the Mongol grasslands, but kept control of Yunnan. Beijing was left to the Ming Dynasty. No sooner had Zhu Yuanzhang ascended the Ming throne, he dispatched his envoys to Yunnan in an attempt to persuade the Mongols to surrender it. Five embassies were sent in 1369, 1370, 1372, 1374, and 1375. Several of these envoys were killed so Zhu resorted to force.

75Chinese states in the past had rarely extended their administration into Yunnan effectively, so why did the Ming decide to conquer Yunnan, a land riddled with mountains, jungles, diseases, and different peoples, where thousands of Chinese soldiers had already perished? At least one reason is the prevalence of neo-Confucianism that instilled in Song emperors its Sinocentric ideology that compelled them to spread their power and values. Perhaps underlying the ideology was the pragmatic reality that although the Ming Empire had driven the Mongols out of the Central Plain, the Mongols still occupied their grasslands as well as Yunnan and could launch southern expeditions at any time. If the Mongols attacked Ming China both from the north and from the southwest, the Ming court would have battles on two fronts. Therefore, the 1370s Ming Dynasty was confronted with a similar situation to the Southern Song, who had faced the Mongols both from the north and from the southwest after Khubilai Khan occupied Dali. The familiarity of the situation pushed the Ming ruler to launch a campaign against Yunnan in order to avoid the fate of the Southern Song.

76In 1383, Zhu Yuanzhang dispatched Fu Youde, Lan Yu, and Mu Ying to lead an expedition of over 300,000 soldiers. Soon the Ming army defeated the Mongol force, and occupied Kunming and eastern Yunnan. However, the Duan family had been semi-autonomous in the Dali area under the Yuan Dynasty and thought this was a good opportunity to resume its former independent status. When Fu Youde wrote to ask the Duans to surrender, Duan Shi, the chief of the Duans, cited historical experience to legitimatize his claim for autonomy. He argued that the Dali area was a foreign kingdom during the Tang Dynasty, and had been outside the boundary demarcated by the jade axe during the Song period; furthermore, this region and its population were too small to be a prefecture of China, so it was not beneficial for the Ming force to come, and neither was there any loss if the Ming state gave up its military campaign. Duan Shi suggested that the Ming court follow the Tang and Song mode of management to rebuild a type of tribute relationship.121 Fu ignored this advice and repeated his request. Annoyed, Duan threatened the Ming generals in his second letter. He emphasized that the geographic and biological advantages for the military defense of Dali were so great that the Ming were likely to repeat the disaster of previous Chinese expeditions.122 An irritated Fu detained the Duan envoys. Duan Shi then wrote a third, more arrogant letter. When Fu realized that a peaceful solution was impossible, he launched an attack. Although the Duan power was eventually destroyed, rebellions led by local chieftains were not suppressed until a decade later.

77alt textMap 3.6 Yunnan in the Ming Empire The Ming expedition not only inherited the central control established by the Yuan, it also furthered and consolidated it. The Yuan Dynasty started a certain central administration system, but the Duan clan remained autonomous and controlled the Dali area. Since the Ming period, neither in the Dali area nor in the Dian Lake region has there been such a large and powerful regime. In conclusion, despite local rebellions from time to time, the Ming-Qing states began to focus on and put their efforts toward the fundamental goal of incorporating Yunnan into China economically and culturally. In so doing, they aimed to make Yunnan a permanent part of China.


78The military subjugation of Yunnan to China came out of transregional interactions and power struggles. Geopolitical location made Yunnan significant, and sometimes crucial, to power struggles in the Asian continent.

79It is revealing to connect cross-regional trade with the political/military interactions among the discussed areas. First, the extant trade routes were utilized by these military campaigns; second, cross-regional trade sometimes proved to be one of the motives for some clashes (for example, the competition between Nanzhao and Tang China in the Cuan area and Annam); third, while trade mainly was southern-oriented as much as northern-oriented, military interactions were more northern-associated; in addition, political/military projects sometimes facilitated trade. For example, Chinese governments repaired or expanded trade routes. Finally, both trade and military campaigns crossed modern boundaries, which demand a cross-regional approach.

80Global forces facilitated Yunnan's military submission to China. What was left for the Chinese empire was to incorporate this area and its peoples, thus making it truly part of China. The following chapters examine how Chinese institutions clashed with native regimes, and eventually took root in Yunnan, hence making a Chinese Yunnan.


Note 1: The word "China" or "Chinese" used by scholar is very tricky. Was the Chu Kingdom Chinese, for example? We must remember that "China" or Chineseness has been a historical process. Therefore, the Qin's unification project could be seen as an international movement instead of a Chinese internal conflict. Yunnan's connection with South Asia or the Indian Ocean was amazing. See Bin Yang, "Silver, Horses, and Cowries: Yunnan in a Global Perspective," Journal of World History 15, no. 3 (September 2004), 281-322. back

Note 2: HYGZ, juan 3, in YNSLCK 1: 265. back

Note 3: HYGZ, juan 3, in YNSLCK 1: 265. back

Note 4: SJ, juan 116, in YNSLCK 1: 4. back

Note 5: Deng Tingliang, "Chuyi Ruba Wangshu Shuo" (On the descendants of Chu entering the Ba and ruling the Shu), in Zhang Zhengming, ed., Chushi Luncong (Collected works on the Chu history) (Wuhan: Hubei Renmin Chubanshe, 1984). back

Note 6: Zhu Junming, "Chu Xiang Gu Yun-Gui Kaijiang Shiji Gouchen" (An examination of the Chu's exploitation of ancient Yunnan and Guizhou), in Zhang Zhengming, ed., Chushi Luncong (Essays on the Chu history) (Wuhan: Hubei Renmin Chubanshe, 1984), 195-214. back

Note 7: A few scholars insist that Zhuang Qiao actually was Dao Zhi ("Rebel Zhi"), the famous rebel in the Chu. See Ma Yao 1991. back

Note 8: For historical sources of Zhuang Qiao, see SJ 116, in YNSLCK 1: 4; HYGZ, juan 4, in YNSLCK 1: 251. back

Note 9: HYGZ, juan 3, in YNSLCK 1: 265. back

Note 10: Charles Backus was overly optimistic when he concluded that "the Han court was content with a non-interventionist policy toward Yunnan and even granted an official seal to the King of Tien [Dian], symbolizing that peaceful relationship." He seems to have overlooked military campaigns launched by the Han against many kingdoms around South and Southwest China. Charles Backus, Nanzhao and Tang's Southwestern Frontier (London: Cambridge University Press, 1981). back

Note 11: Heqin, literally meaning "peace marriage," referred refers to a marriage alliance in which the Chinese emperors married off a Han princess. Under the heqin policy, the Han court paid annual tribute to the Xiongnu people, presenting grain, wine, silk, and iron, and marrying a Han princess to the Xiongnu Chanyu. back

Note 12: SJ, juan 116, in YNSLCK 1: 5. back

Note 13: SJ, juan 116, in YNSLCK 1: 5. Readers should bear in mind that there was no Yunnan at the time. Ethnic people lived around modern Yunnan were called "barbarians" by the Chinese. back

Note 14: SJ, juan 116, in YNSLCK 1: 5. back

Note 15: SJ, juan 116, in YNSLCK 1: 5. back

Note 16: SJ, juan 116, in YNSLCK 1: 5. back

Note 17: SJ, juan 123, in YNSLCK 1: 11. back

Note 18: Japanese scholars have noticed the close relationship between China's Central Asian policy and its advance into the Southwest; see Yoshimi Fujisawa, "Biruma Unnan ruto to tozai bunka no koryu" (The Burma-Yunnan transportation route and East-West cultural contacts: the cultural origins of Nanzhao), Iwate Shigaku Kenkyu 25 (1953): 10-21. It is interesting that a Tang source states that the Kunming regime and the Xiongnu reportedly were brotherly states (xiongdiguo). See Tang Hui Yao, juan 98, in YNSLCK 1: 460. back

Note 19: SJ, juan 123, in YNSLCK 1: 11. back

Note 20: SJ, juan 30, in YNSLCK 1: 13. back

Note 21: SJ, juan 116, in YNSLCK 1: 5-6; SJ, juan 123, in YNSLCK 1: 11. back

Note 22: SJ, juan 116, in YNSLCK 1: 6. back

Note 23: SJ, juan 116, in YNSLCK 1: 6. back

Note 24: S GZ, juan 3, in YNSLCK 1: 107-108. back

Note 25: SGZ, juan 13, in YNSLCK 1: 106. back

Note 26: SGZ, juan 4, in YNSLCK 1: 124; SGZ, juan 13, in YNSLCK 1: 106. back

Note 27: ZZTJ, juan 70, in YNSLCK 1: 614; Taiping Yulan, juan 720, in YNSLCK 2: 289. back

Note 28: HYGZ, juan 4, in YNSLCK 1: 253; ZZTJ, juan 70, in YNSLCK 1: 614. back

Note 29: HYGZ, juan 4, in YNSLCK 1: 254; ZZTJ, juan 70, in YNSLCK 1: 614. back

Note 30: For discussions of the Cuans, see Yuan Shuwu, "Cuan Shijia" (The Cuan clan) and "Cuan hou zhi Dian" (Post-Cuan Yunnan), in YNSLCK 1: 338-349; Fang Guoyu, Fang Guoyu Wenji (Works of Fang Guoyu) (2001) 2: 35; and Backus 1981, 7-8. back

Note 31: For the Sui expeditions, see Backus 1981; Fang Guoyu 2001, 2: 1-9. The Sui's military advance in the Southwest was not an exception. At the same time, the Sui moved to almost all its frontiers. Campaigns against Korea and Linyi (Champa, located in southern and central Vietnam) were launched as well. back

Note 32: ZZTJ, juan 188, in YNSLCK 1: 624. back

Note 33: Taiping Yulan, juan 791, in. YNSLCK 1: 334. back

Note 34: Some sources state that there were eight regimes. For the six or eight regimes, see Fan Chuo Man Shu, in YNSLCK 2: 22-31; Fan Guoyu 2001, 2: 25-31. back

Note 35: For these peoples, see You Zhong, Yunnan Minzushi (History of Yunnan ethnic groups) (Kunming: Yunnan University Press, 1994); Fang Guoyu 2001, 2: 10-35, 36-41, 42-79. back

Note 36: Mu Genglai, Wen Jiang, and Huang Zhuohan, trans., Zhongguoyindu Jianwenlu (Travel accounts of China and India) (Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju, 2001), 14. back

Note 37: For Tang China's foreign strategy and relations, see, for example, Pan Yihong, "Son of Heaven and Heavenly Qaghan: Sui-Tang China and Its Neighbors," dissertation, Western Washington University, 1997. back

Note 38: Xin Tang Shu, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 403; Tong Dian, juan 187, in YNSLCK 1: 451; Tang Hui Yao, juan 98, in YNSLCK 1: 460. back

Note 39: Jiu Tang Shu (Old history of the Tang Dynasty), juan 4, in YNSLCK 1: 351; Tang Hui Yao, juan 73, in YNSLCK 1: 457-458. back

Note 40: Fang Guoyu, Zhongguo Xi'nan Lishi Dili Kaoshi (Historical and geographical examinations of Southwest China) (Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju, 1987), Vol. 1, 265. back

Note 41: XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 406-407. back

Note 42: XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 406-407; ZZTJ, juan 199, in YNSLCK 1: 626. back

Note 43: Chen Nan, "Tubo yu Nanzhao ji Erhezhuman Guanxi Congkao" (Studies of the relationship between Tibet, Nanzhao, and the Erhai barbarians), in Zangshi Congkao (Studies of Tibetan history) (Beijing: Minzu Chubanshe, 1998), 110-148; Ruey Yih-Fu, "Tangdai Nanzhao yu Tubo" (The relations between Nanzhao and Tubo in the Tang Period), in China: The Nation and Some Aspects of its Culture: A Collection of Selected Essays with Anthropological Approaches, Vol. 1 (Taibei: Yen Wen), 353-370. back

Note 44: Chen Nan, 116-120. For Tibet's expedition and influence in the Dali area, also see Fang Guoyu 2001, 2: 149-156. back

Note 45: Wang Rao, "Yunnan Lijiang Tubobei Shidu Zaji" (Notes on an old Tibetan inscription tablet found in Lijiang, Yunnan), Tang Yanjiu (Studies on the Tang Dynasty) (Beijing: Beijing University Press 2001), Vol. 7, 421-427. back

Note 46: Chen Nan, 116-120. back

Note 47: This relationship is suggested in Man Shu and XTS. See Man Shu, in YNSLCK 2: 23-4; XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 401-402. back

Note 48: You Zhong 1994, 130; Wang Zhonghan, Zhongguo Minzushi (History of Chinese ethnic groups) (Beijing: Zhongguo Shehuikexue Chubanshe, 1994), 375. back

Note 49: Backus, 57. back

Note 50: Ma Yao 1991, 83-84; You Zhong 1994, 130. back

Note 51: Chen Nan; Backus 70. back

Note 52: See Wang Jilin; Backus; and Fang Guoyu 2001, 2: 104-118. back

Note 53: Man Shu, in YNSLCK 2: 32; XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1:403-404. back

Note 54: For the detail of Nanzhao-Cuan-Tang conflict, see Fan Chuo Man Shu, in YNSLCK 2: 32-33; XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 403-404; Wang Jilin 191-196; and Backus 61-67. back

Note 55: See Backus 64; 69. Yang Guozhong, the brother of Concubine Yang attempted to utilize the Southwestern campaign to enhance his voice in the court. Madame Yang was the favorite wife of the emperor. back

Note 56: JTS, juan 197, in YNSLCK 1: 374; XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 389. back

Note 57: JTS, juan 197, in YNSCLK 1: 374; XTS, juan 216, in YNSLCK 1: 6; juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 389-390. back

Note 58: "Nanzhao Dehuabei," in YNSLCK 2: 380. back

Note 59: JTS, juan 197, in YNSCLK 1: 374; XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 390; "Nanzhao Dehuabei," in YNSLCK 2: 380. back

Note 60: For the expansion of Nanzhao, see Man Shu, in YNSLCK 1: 78-83. back

Note 61: ZZTJ, juan 233, juan 234, in YNSLCK 1: 633-635; Backus 82; Christopher I. Beckwith, The Tibetan Empire in Central Asia: A History of the Struggle for Great Power among Tibetans, Turks, Arabs, and Chinese during the Early Middle Ages (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987), 141. ZZTJ (juan 234) states that Tibet asked for a reinforcement of 10,000 from Nanzhao, as it lost greatly in the war against the Uighurs. This implies that Nanzhao force had been dispatched to fight in Central Asia. back

Note 62: Beckwith, 141. back

Note 63: Yi-mou-xun listed all these factors in his letter to the Tang. See XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 389-391. back

Note 64: Beckwith 141. back

Note 65: XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 390. back

Note 66: XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 390. back

Note 67: ZZTJ, juan 233, in YNSLCK 1: 633. back

Note 68: XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 390. back

Note 69: XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 391. back

Note 70: Ibid. back

Note 71: XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 394. back

Note 72: Tang Huiyao, juan 100, in YNSLCK 1: 465; ZZTJ, juan 236, in YNSLCK 1: 636. back

Note 73: ZZTJ, juan 249, in YNSLCK 1: 640-641. back

Note 74: Ce Fu Yuan Gui, juan 976, in YNSLCK 2: 301. back

Note 75: Edwin O. Reischauer, trans., Ennin's Diary: The Record of a Pilgrimage to China in Search of Law (New York: Ronald Press, 1955), 90. back

Note 76: XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 394-395, ZZTJ, juan 244, in YNSLCK 1:638. About 4,000 to 5,000 people were returned by Nanzhao. See ZZTJ, juan 244, in YNSLCK 1: 639. back

Note 77: For the clash between Tang China and Nanzhao in the early ninth century, see Fang Guoyu 2001, 2: 291-316. back

Note 78: Man Shu, in YNSLCK 2: 80. back

Note 79: Ibid., 79. back

Note 80: Ibid., 82. back

Note 81: Ibid., 80-82. back

Note 82: XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 395-396; ZZTJ, juan 249 in YNSLCK 1: 641. This was different from the later Dali Kingdom. The two li were different characters. back

Note 83: For these battles, see ZZTJ, juan 249-250, in YNSLCK 1: 641-643; XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 395. This number of 150,000 probably is exaggerated. Fan Chuo survived the second attack, and left us Man Shu. back

Note 84: ZZTJ, juan 250, in YNSLCK 1: 643. back

Note 85: XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 396; ZZTJ, juan 250, in YNSLCK 1: 645. back

Note 86: For the 869 invasion, see XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 396-398; ZZTJ, juan 249, 252, in YNSLCK 1: 646-649. back

Note 87: For the 874 invasion, see XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 398-400; ZZTJ, juan 252, in YNSLCK 1: 649-650. back

Note 88: XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 399-400; ZZTJ, juan 252-253, in YNSLCK 1: 651-653. back

Note 89: XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 401; ZZTJ, juan 253, 255, in YNSLCK 1: 653-654. For the marriage negotiation, see Fang Guoyu 2001, 2: 317-323. back

Note 90: XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 398. back

Note 91: XTS, juan 148, in YNSLCK 1: 445-456; "Xi'nanyi Benmo," in YNSLCK 1: 682. back

Note 92: XTS, juan 222, in YNSLCK 1: 402. back

Note 93: Chen Yinke, Tangdai Zhengzhi Zhidushi Shulungao (A draft of the political system of the Tang Dynasty) (Shanghai: Shanghai Guji Chubanshe, 1999), 155. back

Note 94: Xia Guangnan, Yuandai Yunnan Shidi Congkao (Studies on Yunnan history and geography in the Yuan Dynasty) (Taibei: Zhonghua Shuju, 1968), 61. back

Note 95: Backus, 145. back

Note 96: Gao Lishi, an influential eunuch, warned Emperor Xuanzong that the repeated losses of Tang soldiers in Yunnan would leave the Tang a defenseless situation against other frontiers generals. His words were ignored, but later they turned out be true. Generals in northern frontiers represented by An Lushan held paramount military power. An rebelled soon, and forced Xuanzong to abdicate himself and flee to Sichuan, since the Tang court did not have a state army strong enough to defend against the rebels. Hence, Tang's losses in Yunnan definitely increased its inability to handle internal crisis. See XTS, 206/5860. back

Note 97: G. H. Luce, "Old Kyaukse and the Coming of the Burmans," Journal of Burma Research Society 42 (1959): 76-80. back

Note 98: For Bai Juyi's poems about Nanzhao and Pyu, see YNSLCK 2: 142-145. back

Note 99: Those regimes included Dachangh, established by the Zhengs (902–928), Datianxing by the Zhaos (928–929), and Dayining by the Yangs (929–936). For this period, see Fang Guoyu 2001 2: 325-357. back

Note 100: Eight of the twenty-two emperors of the Dali Kingdom retired to be monks, living out their last years in monasteries. Fang Guoyu 2001, 2: 537. back

Note 101: For the Song-Dali communications, see Fang Guoyu 2001, 2: 451-469. back

Note 102: Li Jing, Yunnan Zhilue, in YNSLCK 3: 126; Nanzhao Yeshi (Wild history of Nanzhao), in YNSLCK 4: 784. back

Note 103: Zhidao Yunnan Lu, in YNSLCK 1: 177. back

Note 104: Song Huiyao Jigao, juan 192, in YNSLCK 1: 518-519, juan 198, in YNSLCK 1: 522. back

Note 105: Li You, Songchao Shishi (Facts of the Song Dynasty), cited from Fang Guoyu, 2: 452. back

Note 106: You Zhong 1994, 254. back

Note 107: Song Shi, juan 488, in YNSLCK 1: 478. back

Note 108: Song Shi, juan 353, in YNSLCK 1: 505. back

Note 109: Song Shi, juan 353, in YNSLCK 1: 505. Local officials also cited the case of Nanzhao to support the isolation policy, see Song Shi, juan 347, in YNSLCK 1: 504-505. back

Note 110: Jianyan Yilai Xinian Yaolu, juan 105, in YNSLCK 2: 214; You Zhong 1994, 256. back

Note 111: Jianyan Yilai Xinian Yaolu, juan 105, in YNSLCK 2: 214 back

Note 112: The Song government had tried to breed horses in the mid-Yangzi region, but the result was rather disappointing. Only about twenty horses were born over a decade and none of them was suitable for military purposes. See Song Shi, juan 198, in YNSLCK 1: 500. back

Note 113: Xu Zizhitongjian Changbian, juan 267, in YNSLCK, 2: 244-248. back

Note 114: Song Shi, juan 488, 5835-5836. back

Note 115: Song Huiyao Jigao, juan 183, in YNSLCK 1:516; juan 197, in YNSLCK 1:521. back

Note 116: Song Shi, juan 412, in YNSLCK 1: 505. back

Note 117: Two emperors of the Northern Song were captured by the Jin. back

Note 118: Yuan Shi (History of the Yuan Dynasty), juan 149, in YNSLCK 2: 587; Han Rulin, ed., Yuanchao Shi (History of the Yuan Dynasty) (Beijing: Renmin Chubanshe, 1982), Vol. 1, 183; Herbert Franke and Denis Twitchett, 405. Guo Baoyu indeed suggested this idea to Chinggis Khan. The defense of the Song along the Yangzi River was quite successful, considering the fact that Mongke himself died in the frontal attack in Sichuan in 1259 when the encirclement had been already completed. back

Note 119: Interestingly, the long march of the Mongols was basically repeated by the Red Army in the twentieth century, only in the opposite direction. For the Mongol conquest of the Dali Kingdom, see, for example, Yuan Shi, 121, in YNSLCK 2: 545-547. back

Note 120: Ni Tui (Qing), Dianyun Linianzhuan (A chronicle of Yunnan), annotated by Li Yan (Kunming: Yunnan Daxue Chubanshe, 1992), 184. back

Note 121: For the exchanges of letters, see YNSLCK 4: 549-552. back

Note 122: Ibid. back