Ethnic Composition and Population
The total population in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomou s Region is 19.25 million. Being a multi-ethnic area, the Region is home to 47 ethnic groups . The non-Han population in Xinjiang totals 10.9696 million, in which the Uygurs add up to over 8.3456 million, or 43.35 % of the Region's total. TheyliveinmanyplacesinXinjiang,withKashi,HotanandAksusouthofTianshanand Hami and Turpan in the east as their most densely-populated dwelling places. The Uygur people are blessed with a long history and brilliant culture, which is captured in their colourful music and traditional handicrafts . Their love for singing and dancing suggests their outgoing mind and warm heart. The Uygur are the major groups believing in Islam. Apart from the Uygurs, there are 12 other ethnic groups who have been living in Xinjiang since long time ago. Together, they constitute the main ethnic groups in Xinjiang. The 12 groups are: Han, Kazakh, Hui, Mongol,Kirgiz,Xibe,Tajik,Uzbek,Manchu,Daur,TatarandRuss. Therearealso34other ethnic groups such as Dongxiang, Salar, Tibetan, Miao, Yi, Bouyi,and Korean. The Han people are scattered all over Xinjiang and add up to over 8.2804 million, about 43.02% of the Region's total. The Kazakh population is about 1.245 million , or 6.47 % of the Region's total, who live mainly in IIi Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, Muri Kazakh Auton omous County and Barkol Kazakh Autonomous County . The Hui people total 839,800 and live both north and south of the Tianshan Mountains; while Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture is where they concentrate the
most. The Mongols, totalling 149,900, live mainly in Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, Bortala Mongol Autonomous Prefecture and Hoboksar Mongol Autonomous County. The Kirgiz population is 158,800 and 80% of them live in Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture. The Tajik total 39,500, 60% of whom live in Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County. The Xibe peopletotal34,600,andthemajority ofthemliveinQapqal XibeAutonomousCounty,Huocheng County and Gongliu County. The Uzbek and Manchu population are 12,100 and 19,500 respectively and they live all over Xinjiang. The Daurs total 5,541 and live mainly in Tacheng and Huocheng. The Tatar population is 4,50 I. The Russ in Xinjiang add up to 8,935 and live in small communities both north and south of the Tianshan Mountains. The original Russ people came from the Tsarist Russia after the 18th century.

IV. Administrative Divisions
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region was founded on I October 1955. Under the Region thereareprefectures,autonomousprefecturesanddirectlycontrolledcities. Undertheprefec-ture level there are counties, autonomous counties, cities and districts under cities. Under the county level there are towns, townships and minority townships. The prefecture commission-er 's offices are agencies of the People's Government of the Autonomous Region exercising administration on the latter's behalf; while autonomous prefectures, directly controlled cities, and the two subordinate administrative levels all have their own people's congresses as well as their respective executive bodies, i.e., people's governments. The self-rule bodies in the Autono-mous Region, autonomous prefectures and autonomous counties also exercise their right to autonomy as stipulated in the Law of Regional Ethnic Autonomy in addition to the powers mandated by the Constitution of the People's Republic of China and other relevant laws.



In order to advance political, economic and cultural undertakings for all ethnic groups and achieve complete inter-ethnic group equality, in accordance with the Guideline of the People's Republic of China for the Implementation of Regional Ethnic Autonomy, and with the approval of the Political Council of the Central People 's Government, from 1953 to 1954, Xinjiang set up 5 autonomous prefectures and 6 autonomous counties, the former including IIi Kazakh Autono-mous Prefecture (administering 3 special prefectures), Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefec-ture(administering3counties),BortalaMongolAutonomous Prefecture(administering3counties), Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture (administering 3 counties), Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture (administering 4 counties). Over the past four decades and more, the number of autonomous prefectures and autonomous counties remains unchanged, yet the structure of the county-level administrative bodies under autonomous prefectures has undergone certain alterations. In order to strengthen and reinforce the capacity of autonomous localities and better resolve problems arising in the process of development, in 1958, Urumqi Special Commissioner's Office was called off, and Qitai and four other counties previously under its control were incorporated into Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture. In 1960, Korla Special Commissioner's Office was cancelled, Korla and four other counties formerly under its administration were put under Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture.
At present Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has 5 autonomous prefectures, 7 regions, 3
autonomous region-controlled cities, 9 region-controlled cities, 7 autonomous prefecture-
controlled cities, 62 counties, 6 autonomous counties, II districts under cities and 857 towns and
townships. Compared with days before the Autonomous Region was founded, the number of autonomous prefectures and autonomous counties remain s unchanged, but the number of both prefecturesandcounties hasdropped, theformerfrom10to7andthelatterfrom76to62. Inthe meantime, the number of cities and districts under cities have risen from 3 to 19 and from nil to II respectively.
The capital of Xinjiang Autonomous Region is Urumqi City.
Table: Administrative Divisions of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region
Admiruxtrativc Units Directly Under the Autonomous Region Seat of Administration Names of Subordinate Cou nties. Cities and Distri cts Under Cities
Urumqi City Tianshan District Tianshan Distr ict. Shaybak District. Xinshi District. Shuimogou District. Toutunhc District, Dabancheng District. Dongshan District. and Urumqi County 7 districts and I county
Kararnay City Kar am a y District Karama y Distri ct. Dushanzi Distri ct, Baiji antan District, and Urhc District 4 districts
Shihczi City Shihezi Cily
Karla City , Hejin g COUnlY. Hoxud County. Luntai
Bayi ngofin Mongol Autonomous Prefe ctu re Karla City Co unty. Yuli Co unty. Ruoqi ang Co unty . Qiem o County. Bohu Count }'. and Yanqi Hui Autonomous I city and 8 counties
Bcrt ala Mongol Autonomous Prefecture Bole Cily Bole City. Jinghe County and Wcnquan County I city and 2 co unties
A dmtnt srr att vc Un its
Directl y Under the Au-
tonomous Prefectu re
Kuytun City. Vining City,
H u o c h c n g Co u n t y .
IIi Kazakh Au- Vin ing Count y. Ni lka
to no mo u s Pre- County. Xinyuan County.
fectu rc (Scat of Gongl iu County. Tckes Vining City 2: cities and
Administrution: County. Zhaosu County. 8 counties
Vining City) and Qapqal Xihc Autono-
mous County
Tucheng Region Tacheng City Tachcng Ci ty, Usu City. Toli County, Emin County. Yumin County. Shawan County. Hoboksar Mongol Autonomous County 2 cities and 5 counties
Altay Region Allay Cily Altay City. Qinghc County. Fuyun Count y. Jeminay County. Fuhai County. Habahc County. and Burqin County I city and 6 counties
Changji Hui Autonomous Prefectur e Changji City Changji City, Miquan City. Fukang City. Qitai County. Jimsar County, Hutubi County. Manas County. and Muri Kazakh Autonomous County 3 cities and 5 counties
Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture Artux City ArlUX City, Akqi County. Wuqia County and Akto County I city and 3 counties
Hami Reg ion Hami Cily Hami City. Yiwu City. Barkol Kazakh Autonomous County I city and 2 counties
Turpan Region Turpan City Turpan City. Shanahan City and Toksuu County I city and 2 counties
Aksu Region Aksu City Aksu Ci ty. Kuqa County. Xayar County , Xinh c County, Wcnsu County. Baichen g County. wu shl County. Kalpin County, and Awat County I city and 8 counties
Kashi Region Kashi City Kashi City, Bachu I city and 11 counties
County, Jiashi County. Shufu County, Yengisar County,
Yopurga County. Markit County. Zcpu County. Shachc count ies
County. Yechcng County. and Taxkcrgan Tajik Au-
toncmous Count y
HOlan Region Holan City Hotan City. Horan County. Pishan Count y. Moyu County. Yutian County, Lop County. Qira County. and I city and 7 counties
Minfeng County

V. Boundary and Neighbours
Xinjiang borders on 8countries,which are,inanti-clockwiseorder, theRepublicof Mongolia, the Russian Federation , the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Republic of Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of India.
* Borders with the Republic ofMongolia
From 1982 to 1984, China and Mongolia jointly inspected their entire common boundary for the first time, signed the relevant protocol and drew the boundary map. In October 1989, the Treaty on the Boundary Regime and handling of the Border Issues Between the People's Repub-lic of China and the People's Republic of Mongolia was ratified by the two Governments and entered into force . That is the first boundary regime treaty China signed with its neighbouring countries.
With the approval of the two Governments, in 1993. four land ports were opened at the western sector of China-Mongolia boundary, which are, Laoyemiao in Hami Region, Ulastay in Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture, and Takeshken and Hongshanzun in Altay Region.
* Borders with the Russian Federation
Also known as the western sector of Sino-Russian boundary, the borderline between Xinjiang of China and Russia is located in the Altay Region in the north and runs about 55 kilometres. The two countries signed the agreement on the western sector in September 1994.
*Borders with the Republic ofKazakhstan
The boundary between China and Kazakhstan lies in the west of Xinjiang and has a length of over 1,700 kilometres from the converging point of China, Russia and Kazakhstan in the north to the joining part of China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in the south. The two Governments signed the boundary agreement in 1993.
Along the boundary, seven ports have obtained clearance from the two Governments for opening-up, among which four have now been officially opened for cargo flow. The four ports are Jeminay, Baketu, Alataw Pass and Korgas.
*Borders with the Republic ofKyrgyzstan
The boundary runs over 1,000 kilometres from the converging point of China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in the Tianshan Mountains in the north to the joining part of China, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in the south. With the approval of the two Governments, Turugart and Irkeshtan have been designated as open land ports along the border.
* Borders with the Republic ofTajikistan
The boundary between Xinjiang of China and Tajikistan is about 450 kilometres long.
*Borders with the Republic ofAfghanistan
The boundary is 92.45 kilometres long. A boundary treaty was signed between the Chinese and Afghan Governments between 1963 and 1965.
*Borders with the Islamic Republic ofPakistan
The boundary at this section totals 599.1 kilometres. A boundary treaty was signed be-tween the Chinese and Pakistani Governments in 1963. Khunjerab land port has been opened with the approval of the two Governments.
* Borders with the Republic ofIndia
The boundary at this section runs about 200 kilometres. Due to historical reasons, the boundary has not been officially delineated yet. The traditional customary line is now regarded as the dividing line.


Chapter One
Historical Development of the Multi-Ethnic Region
1. Primitive Population Migration and Cultural Exchanges
1.Archaeological Data and Primitive Residents in the Western Regions Today's Xinjiang Region in the northwest of China was called the Western Regions in history. That name first appeared in the history records during the Han Dynasty more than 2000 years ago. At that time, the Western Regions referred to areas west ofYumen Pass and Yang Pass. Later on, the entire northwest of the territories of Chinese dynasties of the Central Plains was generallydescribedastheWesternRegions. Despitedifferences oftheoutreachinhistorybooks ofdifferentdynasties,thecentralpartoftheWestern Regionshasalwaysbeen today'sCentral Asian region including Xinjiang of China . WhendidprimitivehumansintheWesternRegionsfirstappear? Archaeologicaldiscoveries and research in the 20th century have presented us a general picture about the historical source of thehumansinXinjiang. TherehavebeenreportsonPalaeolithicsitesthere,suchasPalaeolithic chipped stone implements of 20,000 to 10,000 years ago unearthed in the southwest of the old city of Jiaohe . TherearemorediscoveriesofNeolithicsitesinXinjiang. However,Neolithicstoneimple-ments were often found side by side with bronze or iron implements. The dates could be as early as the Mesolithic Age or as late as the Bronze Age or even early Iron Age. In places surrounding the Western Regions, including the Central Asia and South Siberia of the former Soviet Union, Gansu and Qinghai of China as well as some spots in India, their Neolithic sites were all more than 4,000 years old. Those places basically went into the Bronze Age afterwards. The Western Regions should not be a dramatic exception given its geographic location. All the above-mentioned information combined, we believe the Western Regions do have Stone Age sites dated 4,000yearsago. Therefore,ourstory ofthepre-historicalWesternRegionsshouldstartfrom then. Astoarchaeologicalconclusionsandrelateddescriptionsbeforethattime,theystillhave to be confirmed in future discoveries and research. The primitive residents in the Western Regions have long been an issue that tremendously intereststheacademiccircle. Overthepastdecade,thankstobotharchaeologicaldiscoveriesand ethnic and racial studies of historical human s in the Western Regions, we now have a rough idea about the source , distribution, migration, integration and development of the primitive residents in that area. Up to now, no site has been found in the Western Regions suggesting the evolution
of the anthropoid or apes , on which basis we may deduce that the primitive residents in the Western Regions came from the surrounding areas in different historical times . Despite the absence of a full-blown palaeo-anthropological explanation of the ancient racial and ethnic struc-ture in today's Xinjiang due to data inadequacy, it can be asserted for sure that the primitive residents in Xinjiang were composed of two branches, the western race and the eastern race, thanks to archaeological and anthropological' data in today's Khotan, Lop Nor, Hami and IIi.
2. Western Humans in the Western Regions
The western humans refer to the ancient Caucasoid race. There are two proofs pointing to their entry into ancient Xinjiang. One is the archeological and anthropological data in Central Asia, which is close to Xinjiang. Fossils of Homo Neanderthal in the Palaeolithic era were excavated from the rock cave at Queshka-Tash in Uzbekistan. Two skulls of pre-historic Euro-pean man with Cro-Magnon features were unearthed in eastern Kazakhstan , one of the Neolithic era and the other Bronze-Stone Age. In some other places narrow-faced skulls of the Neolithic age were found. All those skulls have a lot of things in common with the skulls unearthed from tombs in the Neolithic age in the Mediterranean areas. Conclusion can be drawn from those data that those primitive Europeans moved further east to the ancient Western Regions.
The second proof is the data in Xinjiang. Elements of the two types of primitive European people, the Neanderthal and the Cro-Magnon have also been found in the palaeo-anthropological data after the Bronze Age in Xinjiang. As pointed out by the famous Chinese palaeo-anthropolo-gist Mr. Han Kangxin, "At least by the end of the Bronze Age, European races with primitive features were already in the region near Lop Nor. It is still not possible to pin down from where and how they came to the heartland of Xinjiang, however, the anthropological features of the residents of the Gumugou (in the area of Lop Nor) Culture show that racially, they were closely linked with residents in South Siberia, Kazakhstan, Central Asia or even the lower reach of River Volga at the Bronze Age." "Elements of the European race with east Mediterranean features seemed to have come later, as they were found in the ancient tombs in Shanpula at Lop (in Khotan area), outskirts of Loulan at Lop Nor, and Alagou (south of the eastern part of the Tianshan Mountains). Such features were dominant in the first two places ."
Mr. Han gives a sketch on how the primitives around the Tarim Basin in ancient Xinjiang travelled : "People with elements of the Mediterranean race in Central Asia traversed the Pamirs and then divided into two groups. The First group moved further east along the southern edge of the Tarim Basin, arriving in Lop Nor, possibly forming an important pan of the residents in the State of Loulan during the Han Dynasty either by themselves or together with another primitive group with European racial elements who arrived earlier in that region. The other group moved eastward along the northern line of the Tarim Basin until they arrived at the eastern part of the Tianshan Mountains. In their infiltration process.jt is likely that they mixed more with local people than their southern-route counterparts."
As to the primitive population to the north of the Tianshan Mountains, Mr. Han states as follows : "In the hundreds of years around the beginning of Gregorian calendar, people living in the upper reach of River IIi (north of Tianshan Mountains) were the ancient Sak and Usun, who had another type of anthropological features, that is, the short-skulled Pamir-Fergan type, or otherwise known as the Central Asia Transoxiana type. Some of them had transitional features between the Transoxiana type and Andronov (European) type. On the whole, they were obvi-ously similar in physique to other Sak (excluding South Pamir Sak) and Usun people in Central
Asia,butquitedifferentfrom theafore-mentionedEuropeanand Mediterranean prirnitives."'
3. Eastern Humans in the Western Regions TheeasternhumansrefertotheMongoloidrace. Atpresent,datashowingthesourceand distribution of those people in ancient Xinjiang are still very sketchy, but the existing archaeo-logical and anthropological materials do point to a number of preliminary conclusions. First, the Mongoloid race already moved into ancient Xinjiang before the starting year of the Gregorian calendar. "Shortly before the Christian era, with the major racial movements at that time, features of the Mongoloid 'sedimented', to varying degrees, into the Transoxiana type (activeintoday'sCentralAsiaandnorthtothe Tianshan Mountains)thatwastaking shape then. '? Second, it is assumed on the basis of archaeological and anthropological data on Yablak TombinHami andTurkitombinLop Northat"possiblyatleastbeforetheChinese Han Dynasty, the western and eastern races moved into Xinjiang in the opposite direction. But in comparison, the westbound infiltration by the Mongoloid was rather fragmentary, unlike the active eastward-moving western-type humans."] Third,itisfound widelythatpeoplewithelementsoftheeasternandwesternracestended to stay in the same place (including the same tomb or tomb complex), as demonstrated by the ancienttombsinAlagou,YablakinHamiandlateron,LoulanandZhaosu(inIIiarea). Itisstill not clear whether those people were of a race-based master-slave relationship or members of the same family. From what has been discussed above, we can see that the primitive residents in ancient Xinjiang came from the neighbouring regions. People moved from east or west to Xinjiang along grassland (including thegrassland hidden deep in mountains),rivers and alluvialplainsand oases ontheverge ofthebasins. TheCaucasoidfromthewestspreadwiderintheWesternRegions, andtheygraduallymoved furtherintotheeastandarrivedintoday'sHami inEasternXinjiangby earlyIronAge. TheMongoloidfromtheeastmainlylivedintheeasternpart oftheWestern Regions, and they also moved westward as time passed by, arriving in today's IIi River valley by early Iron Age. Archaeological excavations and study show that those primitive residents of
Xinjiang coming from different directions met on their route of migration and mixed with each ' other ethnically.
4. Ancient Exchanges Between Civilizations What has been unearthed also reflects the aboriginal social and cultural customs of the early residents in the Western Regions, which were a combination of local features and their neigh-bours' way of life. In the middle of the Western Regions, local flavour was pretty strong, while
theborder areasweresubjecttobigger influence ofeithertheeastern orwesterncivilizations. It
canbededucedthattheprimitivepeople wentthroughaperiod ofstableintegrationanddevel-

I Han Kangxin, Ethno-a nthropological Research on Ancient Residents in Xinjiang, in Xinjiang Ancient
Bodies,XinjiangPeople' sPublishingHouse,February2002. pp214-223.
2 Kinsburg (pronunciation), Basic Palaeo-anthropological Issues in Central Asia Concerning Origin of
CentralAsian Peoples,inRussian-version Brief Report of the Research CentreonEthnology,IssueNo. 31, 1959.
3 Han Kangxin, pp214 -223.


opment after moving into the Western Regions, on which basis the unique civilization of the Western Regions came into being.
Human civilizations do not move along at the same pace in different regions. To the east of the Western Regions, the Central Plains along the Yellow River were advancing faster in their own civilization. Before 2000 BC, the Xia tribe in that area set up the first slave state in the history the Central Plains-the Xia Dynasty. At about the 15th century BC, the Shang Dynasty then ruling the Central Plains was at the peak of the slave society. In the 8'h century BC, the system enfeoffment was prevalent in both the western and eastern Zhou Dynasties. At the same time, the Western Regions were in transition to the class society. However, the ancient Transoxiana, which was to the west of the Western Regions, only gradually developed a class society between the lO'h and T" centuries Be. It came under the rule of the ancient Persia Kingdom in the 6th century BC. The mountai ns at the western edge of the Tarim Basin and the Pamirs restricted the eastward expansion of the ancient Persian Kingdom, which made it much easier for the Western Regions to interact with the east, including both the land-farming civilization on the Central Plains and the nomadic civilization on the northern grassland. As a result, the Western Regions has a long history of exchanges and communications with areas to its east. As time passed by, their interactions intensified, and more and more people from the east moved to the Western Regions and lived there. Such inter-civilization exchanges then formed a part of the increasingly inclusive ancient Chinese civilization.
It is universally recognized both at home and abroad that the earliest written record on the Western Regions was in Chinese and that no study on the Westem Regions (including the Central Asia) before the 6th century BC can be made without referring to the Chinese-language historical data. A lot of records of the geography, history and legends of the Western Regions can be found in those Chinese historical materials written during or around the Warring-States Period (465-221 BC), such as Book of Mountains and Seas, Chronicles on Bamboo, Biography of Mutianzi, Yi Zhou Book, and Da-Dai-Li-Ji, There are even more lengthy accounts in Records of History and Book of Han.
All those records share one feature in common, that is, the Western Regions were described as part of the Chinese civilization. For example, in records ofgeography, the landscape, moun-tains and rivers, mineral resources and other products of the Western Regions were always put side by side with the relevant items on the Central Plains. As recorded in Book of Mountains and Seas, the Kunlun Mountains and the Altun Mountains, which are located in the mid-south and southeast of the Western Regions respectively, were called as the Southern Mountains together with the Qilian Mountains west of the Yellow River in today's Gansu Province and the Qinling Mountains in today's Shaanxi Province. The Qinling were also called the End of the Southern Mountains, since they are the concluding part of the Southern Mountains. In the same book, it was also written that the Yellow River on the Central Plains had its origin from the Western Regions. According to the book, the Congling River (today's Kashgar and Yarkand Rivers) and Yutian River (today's Khotan River) converged into one (also known today as the Tarim River), which flowed into Youze (today's Lop Nur) and then went underground and ran through the Southern Mountains (today's Jishi Mountains in Qinghai), forming the source of the Yellow River. Although that assumption was mistaken and was gradually abandoned during the Tang Dynasty, it did reflect that ancient people in China thought the Western Regions and the Central Plains as a whole.
There are numerous records and legends about the interactions and friendly exchanges between the ancient Western Regions and the Central Plains . For example, it was recorded in Chronicles on Bamboo that in the 261h year of Dawu of Zhongzong's reign in the Shang Dynasty (about 1612 BC), Xirong sent people eastward and the king of Shang reciprocated by sending Wang Meng to Xirong. The best known story is the visit by the king of Zhou Dynasty, Muwang, to the Western Regions. The story has it that Muwang led a big entourage eastward and received welcome in the Western Regions by the local leader, a lady called Xiwangmu. Muwang gave the lady a lot of gifts such as silk, bronze ware and shell coins , while Xiwangmu hosted a banquet in Muwang's honour at Yaochi . The two leaders were so happy that they improvised poems at the banquet. In the 17th year of Muwang's reign (about 985 BC), Xiwangmu came to the Central Plains to see Muwang and was accommodated in the Zhao Palace', Today on themurals ofCave No.423 ofMogaokuinDunhuangandthoseintheforechamber ofTombNo. 5 during the Wuliang Period unearthed in 1978 at Xijiazha, Jiuquan of Gansu, people can still see the vivid story of the meeting between Muwang of the Zhou Dynasty and Xiwangmu from the Western Regions. Although such stories may well be just legendary, they do lend us additional support to argue for the time-honoured and harmonious relations between the Western Regions and the Central Plains.
Among everything that has been discovered, two types of cultural relics are most convincing evidence for the material exchanges between the Western Regions and the Central Plains. The first type is the jade the Western Regions sent to the Central Plains. For long, the Western Regions have been famous for their jade stones. All the kings and lords of the Central Plains "took pride in possessing Yuzhi Jade". Yuzhi was another name for Rouzhi people in the northwest, who lived in places from east Tianshan Mountains to Dunhuang, the corridor linking the Western Regions and the Central Plains , hence jade produced in the Western Regions called Yuzhi Jade by the Central Plains. In addition, there was Kunlun Jade, which was produced in the Kunlun Mountains. In 1976, the tomb of Fuhao, the wife of the king of Shang Dynasty Wuding, was unearthed at Yinxu, Anyang of Henan. From that over-3,200 years old tomb, 756 pieces of jade wares were excavated, most of which were made of Kunlun Jade. The Yumen Pass at Dunhuang is literally translated as the Pass of Jade Gate, which apparently suggests it was a must-go pass for the transportation ofjade from the Western Regions.
The second type is the silk fabrics produced on the Central Plains that were transported to the Western Regions or further west. The earliest silk fabrics unearthed in the Western Regions up to now were found in the tombs during the early years of the Western Han Dynasty, about the 21l(jcenturyBC. Given thedifticulty ofpreservingsilkandtheevidenceofsilkbeingtransported to Persia via the Western Regions as early as in the latter half of the 5th century BC, it must be way before the late 51h century BC that silk was transported into the Western Regions.
In addition, archaeological data of the former Soviet Union show that bronze mirrors of the Warring States period in the history of the Central Plains were found in the tombs of the Hujie People living in the Altay area of the Western Regions in the 5th century BC, and that the mirrors were basically identical with those unearthed from the Guoguo Tomb at Shangfengling in Shaan County of Henan (a province on the Central Plains) both in terms of shape and size. In another development, the lacquer wares popular in ancient Western Regions were also undoubtedly transported from the Central Plains .
I Chronicles on Bamboo.
II. Western Regions and the Northern Regimes as well as the Central PlainsKingdoms
1. Western Regions under the Hun Rule
From the Warring States period to the Qin and Han Dynasties (i.e., from the 51h century BC to the 3nJ century AD), sedentary or semi-sedentary residents living in the oases on the verge of the Tarim Basin or depressions between mountains already fromed their relatively independent tribes and towns, hence the name "city states". At that time, the nomadic Rouzhi tribe active in the River West (or Hexi) area gradually prospered and expanded west to the Altay Mountains and east Tianshan Mountains. In the latter half of the 3rd century BC, the Rouzhi reached out to the plateau north of the desert and controlled the Hun people who were roaming in that area . The Rouzhi tribe even obliged the head of the Huns, Touman Chanyu (7-209 BC) to send his crown prince, Maodun over as a hostage. In 209 BC (the first year of the Ershi's reign ofQin Dynasty), the Huns went into armed resistance against Rouzhi, and Maodun fled back to his own people and claimed himself Chanyu (ruler, or chief) of the Hun. After driving the Rouzhi out of the northern steppe, the Huns headed south to provoke the Han Dynasty. In 200 BC (the 71h year of Gaozu 's reign of the Western Han Dynasty), Maodun and his troops besieged Gaozu Emperor of Han Dynasty at Baidengshan (northeast of today's Datong City, Shanxi Province), which resulted in the Han Dynasty offering a royal marriage as a gesture for reconciliation. After that the Huns expanded their influence northwest and entered the Western Regions around 177 Be.
In the early days of the Western Han Dynasty, the city states dotting around the Tarim Basin to the south of the Tianshan Mountains were called the "Thirty-six States" , among which Loulan (northwest of today's Lop Nul') in the east was the most powerful. To the north of the Tianshan Mountains were the Sak, Usun and Hujie people, who mainly relied on herding for a living, sometimes complemented by hunting. Among those people Usun (near today's Hami) and Hujie (south of today's Altay Mountains) were among the strongest. In addition, there were the Jiankun tribe along the upper reach of today's Yenisei River, and the Dingling people living next to Hujie and Jiankun. Both of the two tribes were subject to the Huns .
States in the Western Regions were very unbalanced in terms of the stage of social development, yet basically they all belonged to the class society. Those states also varied in size, as their population ranged from a thousand to tens of thousands. "States" as they were called, they were nothing more than a group of people with a city or a tribe as their centre. On the whole, the Western Regions were in a state of "no unity, with each group having its own elders and troops'",
The Huns were at their prime time under the reign of Junchen Chanyu (161 BC to 126 BC), with their influence from the Daxing'anling Mountains (east) to the Talas River (west of the Western Regions), and from north of the desert (north) to the Great Bend of the Yellow River (south). The ruling body of the Huns was composed of the Royal Court of Chanyu, the Left Prince and the Right Prince . The Royal Court of Chanyu was the centre of the regime, while the Left and Right Princes controlled the east and the west respectively. After being unified by the
I Western Regions. Book of Han.
Huns, the Western Regions were first put under the administration of the Right Prince, and later on, his subordinate. the Rizhu Prince. In 92 BC (the first year of Zhenghe reign), the Rizhu Prince installed local official in the Western Regions. Known as Tongpu Duwei, that official roamed between Yanqi (today's Yanqi County), Weixu (southeast of'today's Hoxud County) and Yuli (today's Ziniquan, south of Yanqi County) and levied taxes and collected tributes from the states there.
The Book of Han devoted a whole article on the Western Regions, which told us states in the Western Regions "didnotfeelattachedtothe Hunsdespitetheirsubordination...they wouldnot obey military dictates from the Huns although they gave the latter horses, cattle, wools and rugs". Such records suggest that after the unification of the Western Regions, the Huns only subjected the Western Regions under their rule politically (through vassal states status) and economically (through tributes or taxes) , without exercising any direct administration. That was at that time a typical mode of ruling by nomadic people. The Huns were the first strong nomadic people emerging from China's northern steppe. Despite their loose relationship with the West-ern Regions, or in some remote areas, only indirect or nominal controls, the Hun Royal Court was the first Chinese regime that did something in the Western Regions.
The unification of the Western Regions by the Huns was an epoch-making event in the Chinese history, and particularly. in the history of the Western Regions. The significance can be exemplified in the following dimensions. First, the Western Regions and the inland were unified for the first time in history, uplifting their interactive relations from a cultural level to a political one . Second, formerly dispersed and mutually-independent states in the Western Regions were brought closer to each other, which benefited the internal interactions and integration of the entire region. Third, groundwork was made and experience accumulated for the unification of the Western Regions by the Central Plains regimes. Limited as the Hun rule was over the Western Regions, such rule broadened the exchanges between civilizations in the Western Regions, the northern steppe and the Central Plains, defined the road of a unified China in history and laid down foundation for wider unification in the following centuries. Fourth, while unifying the Western Regions, the Huns also placed areas west of the Western Regions under their control, which facilitated the east-west transportation. According to historical records, from Usun west-ward to Anxi (or Parthia, today's Iran), "when a Hun envoy travelled with a certificate issued by Chanyu, he was always well fed, well accommodated and sent on his way without delay by countries on the way'", That description captured the state of transportation in that area at that time.
2. Western Regions under the Central Kingdoms of Western and Eastern Han Dynasty
In the initial years of the Western Han Dynasty, the Han rulers curried favour with the Huns by marrying their daughter to the latter's leaders. However, the Huns still attacked the borders frequently, posing a threat to the Han Dynasty. During the Wudi reign (140 BC-87 BC), having regained national strength and military might, the Han emperor decided to change the policy and fight back. In that connection, the Han government formulated a strategy of lighting
J Dalwan, Book of History.
the Huns through coalition with the Western Regions .
The main prospective ally on the mind of the Han rulers was the State of Da-Rouzhi (or the Kushans). The Rouzhi people were forced to move to the IIi river basin and Chu river basin in the Western Regions after being defeated by the Huns, hence their long-harboured hostility against the Huns. In 139 BC (the 2nd year of Jianyuan reign), the Western Han government sent Zhang Qian together with over 100 people to Da-Rouzhi to seek coalition. Unfortunately, Zhang and his men were intercepted by the Huns on their way and detained for 10 years before they finally escaped. During that time, the Da-Rouzhi people were driven out of IIi and Chu river basins by the Usun and moved further west to the Amu River in Central Asia. Zhang Qian and his men continued to seek Da-Rouzhi people and arrived first at the State of Dawan (orTa Yan), in today 's Ferghana Valley. The king of Dawan greeted the group led by Zhang Qian and sent guides and interpreters to go to Kangju State and then further to Da-Rouzhi. But by then Da-Rouzhi already conquered Daxia and occupied both sides of Amu River, which was blessed with luxuriant grass and agreeable climate. Now being geographically far from the Huns, the Da-Rouzhi was content with the peaceful surrounding and reluctant to join force with the Han DynastytosetontheexpeditionagainsttheHuns. ZhangQianandhismenstayedinDa-Rouzhi for over a year before they went home via the Southern Mountains (today's Karakorum, Kunlun and northern Altun Mountains) in 128 BC (the first year of Yuanshuo reign). Again they were seized by the Huns on their way back, but they managed to escape during an infight of the Huns and returned to Chang'an in 126 BC (the 3rd year of Yuanshuo reign).
Zhang Qian's travel to the Western Regions took 13years. The over lOO-memberteam was reduced to 2 when it came back after all the hardships . In spite of falling short of forging coalition with Da-Rouzhi, that trip was still very worthwhile as it was the first ever group of people the Central Plain authorities sent to the Western Regions after the Qin Dynasty unified the Central Plains. Those people brought back their first-hand experience and all sorts of information about the Western Regions and big states like Usun , particularly the political situation there, which played an important role for the Han Dynasty in their efforts to formulate strategies and policies for unifying the Western Regions. Zhang Qian also took home information about Dawan, Da-Rouzhi, Daxia and Kangju (in today 's Central Asia), and about Yancai (located near the Aral Sea and the Caspian Sea), Anxi (Parthian Persia), Tiaozhi (the ancient Sylium Kingdom of Syria), Lixuan (the Tolemian Kingdom of Egypt) and Shendu (ancient India), which enabled the Central Plains kingdoms to learn, for the first time, about the world beyond the Western Regions. Even today, when we describe the Central Asia and its surrounding areas before the 2nd century BC, we still have to tum to the records about Zhang Qian's travels to the west.
While sending Zhang Qian to the Western Regions, the Han Dynasty also staged military counterattacks against the Huns, first in the southof the Great Bend of the Yellow River, then the Hexi area. In the autumn of 120 BC (the 3rd year ofYuanshou reign), the Han troops took a detour at Juyanhai (today's Juyanhai in the north of Gansu Province) and attacked the Hun forces in eastern Tianshan Mountains. The Kunye Prince of the Huns surrendered to the Han Dynasty together with his 40,OOO-odd troops. The Han Dynasty set up Jiuquan Prefecture in the Hexi area (later on Wuwei, Zhangye and Dunhuang Prefectures were added, forming the famous Four Prefectures West of the River). The next year, the Han Dynasty sent troops to fight the Huns to the north of the desert and won complete victory. After that, "no Hun was spotted in the entire region from Jincheng (today's Lanzhou) to the Southern Mountains (today 's Qilian Mountains) and to Yanze (or "Salty Lake", today's Lop Nur)". The route from the Central Plains to the Western Regions was cleared and conditions for the unification of the laller by the Han Dynasty ripened.
In 116 BC (the first year ofYuanding reign), Zhang Qian was sent on to the Western Regions again by the Han emperor, this time with 300 people and lots of gold and silk. The major target for this trip was Usun, and deputy envoys were sent to all other countries on the way. When the delegation arrived at Usun, Zhang Qian found the local king, Liejiaomi was too old, the three factions under the king were very much divided, and the officials were both afraid of the Huns and ill-informed about the Han Dynasty, therefore they were reluctant to ally with the Han Dynasty to fight against the Huns. Yet, for the purpose of getting to know about the strength of the Han Dynasty, Usun agreed to send envoys over with Zhang Qian to the Han court to reciprocate the goodwill of the latter. Dozens of Usun envoys went to Chang'an, where they saw the large population and material prosperity of the Han Dynasty. After returning to Usun, the envoys reported what they saw to the king and the king decided to forge friendship with the Han Dynasty. In 108 BC (the 3n1 year of Yuanfeng reign), the King of Usun asked the Han emperor to marry him one of the Han princesses, and Jieyou Princess became his wife. The marriage in fact represented political alliance. In another development, the deputy envoys Zhang Qian sent also arrived in other small city states in and near the Western Regions such as Dawan, Kangju, Da-Rouzhi, Daxia, Anxi and Shendu. Consequently, those countries also sent their envoys to the Central Plains when those Han deputy envoys went home.
The Han Dynasty frequently sent envoys on westbound trips. It was recorded that the Han envoy teams in the Western Regions "could be seen from time to time on the road, with members ranging from several hundreds to a little bit over one hundred'" . Such frequent visits made the Huns extremely suspicious and unhappy, resulting in their frequent ambushes against Han envoys. Some states in the Western Regions, such as Loulan and Gushi, also found Han envoys disturbing and attacked them as well. These two states were the starting points of the southern and northern routes of the Western Regions. From the viewpoint of the Han Dynasty, it had to control the two routes before it controlled the entire Western Regions; for that to happen, Loulan and Gushi were states that must be conquered first. Therefore, in 108 BC (the 3rd year of Yuanfeng reign), the Han troops captured the king of Loulan and seized the state of Gushi, and extended their beacon towers from Jiuquan (in the Hexi area) to Yumen.
Despite the Han Dynasty's temporary control of the northern and southern routes, the Huns still carried a significant weight in the Western Regions. Generally speaking, states in the Western Regions "feared the Huns more than Han envoys", and some states had no alternative but to curry favour with both. As the king of Loulan told Wudi Emperor of the Han Dynasty, "small countries caught between two bigger ones had no choice but to please both in order to secure thernselves'". His remarks best captured the dilemmas of small states. For the purpose of promote its authority in the Western Regions and give a hard lesson to the Huns, the Han Dynasty fought two major wars-the Dawan war and the Cheshi war.
The Han Dynasty at first pursued a policy of alliance with Dawan, a power in the west of
the Western Regions, as embodied by the "emperor sending envoys to Dawan with lots of money
and gold horse in exchange for the precious horse in Dawan". However, the rulers in the state of
1 Western Regions. Book of Han.
2 Western Regions. Book of Han.

Dawan were divided in opinion, one weaker group headed by a noble called Meicai advocating amity with the Han Dynasty and one stronger team headed by the king, Wugua, who argued for subordination under the Huns and against good relations with the Han Dynasty. Wugua refused to give the Han envoys the precious horse; instead, he ordered the killing of the envoys and looting of their properties. In 104 BC (the first year ofTaichu reign), the Han Dynasty sent Ershi General Li Guangli and tens of thousands of troops to fight Dawan. The first expedition was met with failure . Two years later, Li Guangli led his troops to fight again, this time with complete victory . The king of Dawan Wugua was killed by his subordinates and the Han troops installed Caimei as the new king. Dawan presented the Han Dynasty the precious horse and the treaty of amity and alliance was signed. Later Wugua's brother Chan was installed as the king. He sent his prince to the Han Dynasty as hostage and gave the latter the "heavenly horse" as tribute, thus maintaining Dawan's status of being ally and vassal state of the Han Dynasty.
Dawan's subordination exerted huge inlluence to other states in the Western Regions. They forged alliance with the Han Dynasty one after another, paying tributes and sending sons over as hostage. Even in those states where the rulers wished to follow the Huns, there was opposition in the country. For example, the king of Loulan Angui was loyal to the Huns, which aroused disapproval from his brother Yutuqi. In 77 BC (the 4'hyear of Yuanfeng reign), the Han Dynasty unseated Angui, installed Yutuqi as the king, and married the new king a maid of honour in the Han court. Afterwards Loulan was renamed Shanshan, and the southern route of the Western Regions became unimpeded thereafter.
It was a different story in the case of Cheshi (previously known as Gushi). Given their geographical proximity, Cheshi was still under direct control of the Huns, which meant that the traffic along the northern route of the Western Regions was blocked. Therefore, the Han Dy-nasty must compete with the Huns for Cheshi. The famous Cheshi war went through 5 major battles in about 40 years, from 99 BC to 60 BC, until the final victory of the Han Dynasty. By then. the northern route, and moreover, the road leading to further west from Cheshi, was in the control of the Han Dynasty. The last remaining power in the Western Regions submitted to the authority of the Central Plains. The Western Regions were no longer in subordination to the Huns .
In60 BC(the2nd year of Shenjue reign), the Rizhu King of the Huns surrendered to the Han Dynasty, and the Hun forces finally pulled out of the Western Regions. In the Huns' place was the Han Dynasty, which unified the Western Regions. From then on, the Western Regions was officially put under the rule of the central kingdoms.
The Eastern Han Dynasty was founded in 25 AD. Cashing in on the change of regime on the
Central Plains, the Huns started to compete with the Eastem Han for the Western Regions. The
Eastern Han was weaker than the Western Han Dynasty. According to Book of Later Han,
"from the Jianwu reign to Yanguang reign, traffic to and from the Western Regions was thrice off
and thrice on", which was a succinct summary of the competition for the Western Regions by the
twosides. Theso-called "on"and"off'referred tothealternatecontroloftheWestern Regions
by the Huns and the Central Plains dynasty. When the Western Regions were in the control of
the Huns, the traffic was "off" to the Eastern Han Dynasty, and vice versa. The road to
unification of the Western Regions by the Eastern Han was tortuous, yet still, unity remained the
major trend in that process.
On the whole, the Western Regions were unified under the Huns after 177 BC, and under the
Western Han Dynasty after 60 Be. After 25 AD, that area was under alternate control by the Huns and Eastern Han. From that we can see unification was the dominant theme of that period for the Western Regions. As states there were mostly oasis statelets scattered in different places, the unification of the Western Regions was good for inter-state coordination, hence in the interest of local social and economic development.
The Central Plains were more advanced in terms of social and economic development than the Western Regions. After being unified by the central kingdom, the Western Regions enjoyed political stability and faster social and economic progress. For example, during the IO-plusyears (91-102 AD) when Banchao was the local official appointed by the Eastern Han government, the Western Regions were stable and economically growing. In 97 AD (the 9th year of Yongyuan reign), in the name of the royal court, Banchao sent Ganying as envoy to Daqin (Roman Empire), who arrived at Tiaozhi (today's Syria) but failed to cross the sea. However, historical data had itthat"Tiaozhi,Anxiandcountries40,000 lis(one Iiisequal tohalfkilometre)away over thesea all valued translations and presented gifts'". Fromsuch records we can see that after the unification of the Western Regions, China's influence reached out to other major civilizations of the world.
3. Policy Measures and Administrative Regimes ofthe Han Dynasty in the Western Regions
The unification of the Western Regions by the Han Dynasty was also a process of improv-ing the administrative structure there. Before the Han Dynasty affirmed its controlling position, in 101 BC (the 4th year of Taichu reign), a post called Envoy Captain (shi-zhe-xiao-wei) was installed in Luntai (today's Luntai) and Quli (west oftoday's Korla), both central spots along the northern route. The Envoy Captain led a number of soldiers, who also took part in agricultural activities while being stationed there. On the one hand, the Envoy Captain and his troops protected transport and provided for the travelling Han envoys; on the other, they were also a basic military force there, who could rally allied troops in the Western Regions to complete military missions when necessary. The Envoy Captain was the first official and military post the Han Dynasty installed in the Western Regions , and Luntai and Quli were the first area in the Western Regions directly administered by the Han government, which made both the post and the area very meaningful in the administrative history of the Western Regions. After 77 BC (the 4th year of Yuanfeng reign), at the request of the king of Loulan , Yutuqi, the Han Dynasty set up another captain (yi-xun-xiao-wei) in Yixun (east of today's Ruoqiang and Miran) at Lop Nor, who also led some troops to safeguard the southern route and develop agriculture there. The two captain posts laid down the foundation for the unification and administration of the Western Regions by the Han Dynasty.
The finishing touch of the unification was made in 60 BC (the 2nd year of Shenjue reign), when the Han Dynasty set up the Office of the Western Regions Protector (xi-yu-du-hu-fu) in Urli (today's Qedir east of Luntai County), the central city of that region . This Office became the highest military and administrative body the Han Dynasty installed in the Western Regions . It had two dimen sions. First, the Western Regions was defined as a "jun", equivalent to a province, under direct control of the central government. In the Han Dynasty, the Military Governor
1Western Regions. Book of Later Han.
(Duwei) was a military post at the provincial level assisting the Governor. In some places, there was no Governor but only a Military Governor, who could be very powerful. So was the Protector of the Western Regions. Therefore, the Western Regions was indeed administered as a province, although the Han Dynasty did not set up a "province" in the sense of those on the CentralPlainsintheWesternRegions aftertheunification. Theseconddimensionwasthatthe official sent by the Han government to the Western Regions acted both as an envoy and as a supervisor. The Protector was despatched by the royal court and charged to supervise, protect and administer that region. The Office of the Protector was a military and administrative body tasked by the central government of the Han Dynasty, and the Protector was the official in charge with a wide-ranging portfolio.
To sum it up, the policy measures and administrative regimes of the Han Dynasty in the Western Regions included the following elements.
i. Posts and Agencies '
The Office of the Protector was the highest military and administrative body in the Western Regions, under which there were other posts such as Deputy Captain (fu-xiaowei), Minister (chen),sima,houandqianren,whichwereeithermilitaryorcivilianinnature. Themainrespon-sibilities of the Protector was to issue decrees and orders of the royal court, engage and contain states in the Western Regions, oversee administrative affairs, coordinate different localities, deploy troops and tight against riots. At peacetime, the task of the Protector was to station troopsandprotecttransport. AccordingtoBookofHan,therewerealtogether 18successive Western Regions Protectors sent by the Han government. Ten of them are now known by name, whowere:Zheng Ji, HanXuan,GanYanshou, Duan Huizong,LianBao,HanLi,Guo Shun,Sun Jian, Dan Qin and Li Chong. The rule of the Han Dynasty was that frontier officials should be changedeverythreeyears. However,towardstheendoftheWesternHanDynasty,thecentral government was tremendously weakened, and the Protector's term requirement was not strictly followed. For example, Dan Qin served as the Protector for 13 years, from I AD (the first year of Yuanshi reign) to 13 AD (the 51h year of Shijianguo).
The Westem Regions had two other bodies in addition to the Office of the Protector. One wastheOffice ofYixun MilitaryGovernor setupin77 BC(the41h year inYuanfengreign), whose seat of administration was in Loulan area, controlling the hub of the southern route. According to the rules of the Han Dynasty, some border provinces were run by Country Military Governors (shu-guo-du-wei), who administered the ethnic groups in the related area. YixunMilitaryGovernorhadsimilarfunctions. TheotherbodywastheOfficeofWujiCaptain setupin48 BC(thefirstyearofChuyuanreign),whoseseatofadministrationwasfirstinJiaohe City in Anterior Cheshi (today's Jiaohe Old City in Turpan) and later moved to Gaochang (today' s Ganc hang Old City in Turpan). Under the Office of Wuji Captain there were one Minister, one sima, and five hous. That body's main responsibilities were stationing troops, farmingtheland,protectinglocalpeople,andsafeguardingthenorthernroute. Both ofthetwo bodies were directly under the administration of the central government (or according to some people, under the administration of Dunhuang Governor), but with power restrained by the Protector.
The Protector, the Military Governor and the Captain were headquartered in Luntai, Ante-
riorCheshi (orGaochang)andLoulanrespectively,formingatrianglecontrollingthevastWest-
em Regions.
There were both central and local agencies in the governing structure of the Western Regions during the Han Dynasty. The afore-mentioned Offices of the Protector, Military Governor and Captain were all bodies despatched by the central government, which exercised direct administra-tion in their designated areas on the one hand and oversaw local affairs on the other. Specific day-to-day administration of local affairs was taken care of by officials from the vassal states, who had to be appointed by the Han Dynasty. That practice was widely applied in all major vassal states in the Western Regions. It was written in the chapter about the Western Regions in Book ofHanthatawide spectrumoflocalofficialssuchas"yizhang,chengzhang,jun,jian,li,chief-lu, baizhang, qianzhang, duwei, qiequ, danghu, general, minister, hou and lord of subordinate states "were conferred official seals and ribbons by the Han Dynasty, adding up to 376". Officials like chief-Ii, chief-Iu and chief-jian from some bigger states, such as those from Usun, were given gold seals and purple ribbons, which only the highest-ranking officials on the Central Plains were qualified to have or wear. Later, the seals were changed to copper ones and ribbons to black for the sake ofconsistency with the royal rules. Those local officials were the grass-root administra-tors of the Han Dynasty in the Western Regions. Some native people even assumed the post of
Han officials, such as Captains. The crown prince of Yumi State, Laidan, used to be a Captain appointed by Zhaodi Emperor of the Han Dynasty.
ii, Troops and Crops
The Han Dynasty stationed its troops mainly in three locations, Urli City and its surround-ing area (including Luntai and Quli), Yixun City and Jiaohe City in Anterior Cheshi (moved to Gaochang later). The first location, Urli-Luntai-Quli, had the biggest number of stationed troops, about 2000 men; the other two each with hundreds to a little over a thousand troops. In 53 BC (the first year of Ganlu reign), Usun subordinated itself to the Han Dynasty. After that, troops were stationed in Chigu City in Usun as well. In addition, there was a Captain in Dunhuang who led some troops as backup for the military forces in the Western Regions. The Han troops stationed in the Western Regions also farmed land, and the crops produced were used to support both the troops and the travelling envoys and other officials from the Han Dynasty. This was a significant measure to administer the border area, which was followed by all the succeeding dynasties . Despite limited in number, the Han troops in the Western Regions were distributed in a balanced way and formulated an effective defence system, hence their prominent role in helping the Han Dynasty's governance in the Western Regions.
iii. Maps and Population
Maps of boundaries and household statistics are a symbol of power of a nation and an important means for governance. Since the Zhou and Qin Dynasties, all the Chinese central governments attached such great importance to maps and demographic data that they charged very senior officials to look after them. The same was true with the Han Dynasty, particularly after it unified the Western Regions.
There were maps of the Western Regions during the Han Dynasty, but they failed to survive. Historical records told us that such maps were used while Sanghongyang made the case for stationing troops in Luntai. He elaborated on "the system of shared responsibility among three Captains" by "using relevant terrain maps'". After being established, the Office of the Western Regions Protector verified and confirmed the land area, topographical features, number
I Western Region s, Book of Han .
of nobles , household statistics, roads and boundaries of all the states under its supervision. The chapter on the Western Regions in Book of Han had explicit records about 49 states under the control of the Office of the Protector as well as information about Jibin, Wugeshanli, Wuge, Anxi, Da-Rouzhi, Daxia, Kangju and Yancai, the latter footnoted as "not under the Protector's control" so as to make a distinction on the scope of the Protector's control.
iv, Comforting and Containing
The ruling policy of the Han Dynasty in the Western Regions was mainly comforting, supplemented by containment. The strategy was if there was any trouble at home or abroad, "placate if placation works, and fight otherwise". As officials sent by the central government to the Western Regions were only in dozens, and troops stationed there in thousands, the Han Dynasty had to rely heavily on comforting, which included offering royal marriage, giving expen-sive gifts and valuing local appointees. Containment was another policy tool aimed at keeping social stability; therefore it was more about stabilizing than suppressing. When disputes arose, particularly on demographic matters or boundary alignment, it was officials sent by the Han court who made coordinating efforts. The same applied to issues that were likely to cause turmoil , such as population resettlement. For example, in 62 BC (the 4th year of Yuankang reign), the Envoy Captain coordinated the relocation ofCheshi State from its original place to Quli in order to get away from the assaults of the Huns . In 53 BC (the first year of Ganlu reign), the Western Regions Protector helped divide land and population between the Major and Minor Kunmo of Usun . As to issues that could not be dealt with through placation or coordination, such as assaults or invasion, it was up to the Protector to pool the forces of various subordinate states to fight back. One case in point was an internal conflict in Usun taking place during the reign of Xuandi, when the rioting troops besieged Princess Jieyou and the Han envoy. It was finally put down by the then Western Regions Protector Zhengji, who mustered troops from several vassal states.
v. Hostages and Tributes
Since the Zhou and Qin Dynasties, the Central Plains kingdoms always followed the regime of keeping princes of vassal states as hostages, who served both as a collateral for political credit and a symbol ofsubordination. The Han Dynasty extended such regime to the Western Regions, which was significant in another dimension, that is, the central government aimed at developing closer relations with states in the Western Regions through exerting intluence on the hostage princes. With that motivation, the Han Dynasty usually provided the hostage princes good education and quality life, hence visible effect of that policy. According to Book of Later Han, after Wang Mang stole the throne and ruled the Central Plains, the Huns restored its control over ,"e Western Regions, but met with resistance from many states, among which "Wangyan of Shache was the fiercest and least willing to give in". The reason, according to the Book, was that he used to be a hostage prince in Chang'an, and he "admired the Middle Kingdom so much that he often referred to the laws of the Han Dynasty and frequently urged his sons to remain loyal and faithful forever to the Han court without any second thought".
Tributes were also a symbol of subordination. They arose from levies and contributions that dukes and princes gave to the emperor. Levies were what the emperor asked for from his subjects, that is, money and goods the state collected from the people; while contributions were what the subordinate voluntarily gave to the emperor, that is, money and goods that dukes and princes contributed to the emperor. In the Han Dynasty, a system of contribution without levies was carried out in the Western Regions, as the vassal states were required to give their local goods as a token of subordination to the central kingdom (however, it was totally different if a non-vassal state paid tributes). When the vassal states came to pay their tributes, the Han court would always give them back rich gifts, whose value far exceeded the tributes. The purpose of the expensive return gifts was to placate and win those states over. Many states in the Western Regionsoftengavetributesinexpectation ofreturn giftsfromtheHanDynastyasamodeof economic exchange with the Central Plains.
Being the corridor linking the east and the west, the Central Regions were frequently tra-velled byHanenvoys,whichinflicted onthevassalstatesalongtheroute theburdenofreceiving andprovidingforthosepeople. Asawayoflevyindisguise,theburdenofreceivingenvoyswas not evenly distributed amon g those states due to their different geogr aphical location s.
vi. Sovereignty and Repatri ation
Repatriation was yet another symbol of sovereignty. Despite scanty records, such cases did show the importance of sovereignty. After usurping the power, Wang Mang altered the Western Regions policies wilfully, which led to local turmoil. King of Posterior Cheshi, Guju and kingofRuoqiangQuhulai,Tangdouchanged heartandpledgedallegiancetotheHuns. Thecentral government of the Han Dynasty sent Zhonglang General Wang Chang to make representations with the Huns, stating that the Western Regions belonged to the Han Dynasty, hence the Huns being in no position to accept unfaithful subjects. "The Chanyu of the Huns admitted his mistake and gave the two kings back to the envoy. Wang Mang entrusted Zhonglang Wang Meng to wait at Edunu , the border area of the Western Regions to meet the envoy and receive the two disloyal people." I
vii. Roads and Traffi c
The Western Regions was an important section in the Silk Road. Limited by the geographic conditions,traffic wasonlyavailableonoasesinthefrontofmountains,which made road-guard very important. The Han Dynasty attached great attention to the control of roads in the process ofreachingouttotheWesternRegions. ItcapturedthekingofLoulanandsetupYixunMilitary Governor so as to control the starting point of the southern route; it vied for Cheshi and installed Wuji Captain for the sake of controlling the beginning point of the northern route; it stationed troops in Luntai and set up Envoy Captain to secure the control over the middle of the northern route. ThenameofthehighestpostintheWesternRegions,theProtector,suggestedthatpost was aimed at "protecting the northern and southern routes".
Apart from installing posts and stationing troops, the Han Dynasties built stations and beacon towers from west Dunhuang all the way to Lop Nor in order to safeguard the transport, which was recorded in Book of Han. By the time the Western Regions was unified, a system of road-guard was already in place thanks to the stationed forces, military fortresses and beacon towers. There were inspection points at certain important sections. All these measures com-bined provided a basic safeguard for the administration of the Western Regions.
viii. Records and Institutionalization
After the Han Dynasty unified the Western Regions, that area became a part of the official history books, and remained so in all the following Chinese dynasties. Moreover, the Western Regionsusuallyhadaseparatechapterintheofficialhistoryrecords. Thefirstsuchchapterwas
I Western Regions, Book of Later Han.
found in Book of Han, and the name for that place, "Western Regions ", was decided since then. The Book of Han systematically recorded the changes of the Western Regions' territorial entitlement, its unification by the Han Dynasty and administrative policies of the Han Dynasty there. Since there were special chapters on the Western Regions in official history books of the central government, the unification of the Western Regions by the Central Plains was supported by ample evidence, and such records could also be seen as a way to rule the Western Regions as they ensured the continuation of institutions and administrative regimes there .
4. Western Regions Scrambled for by Central Plain Kingdoms, Northern Peoples and River-west (or Hexi) Regimes In 220 BC (the first year of Huangchu), Cao Pi claimed himself emperor and ended the Eastern Han Dynasty. The Central Plains entered the period of Three States-Wei, Shu and Wu. The Wei regime of the Cao family unified the north, subdued local forces in the Hexi area that developed a tendency for independence in the concluding years of the Eastern Han Dynasty, and began to control the Western Regions. Almost fully preoccupied by competition with Shu and Wu, the Wei regime was unable to run the Western Regions effectively. At that time the Western Regions was mainly administered by local officials from Liangzhou or Dunhuang. Due to the weak governance by Wei there, there was no special chapter for the Western Regions in Book of Three States (Volume on Wei), and the existing scattered descriptions about the Western Regions were a lot more sketchy than those in Book of Han. Yet from the limited data and archaeological discoveries, we do find that the Wei regime still maintained administration over the Western Regions. Significant changes took place in the latter part of the Eastern Han Dynasty. During Huandi's reign (147-167 AD) in the Eastern Han Dynasty, the Xianbei people replaced the Huns in occupying the steppe north of the desert. The chief Tanshihuai unified the eastern and western tribesofXianbeiandbuiltuphisown royalcourtinTanhanshan (north oftoday'sYanggaoCounty, Shanxi Province) . He divided his men into three divisions, the east, the west and the middle, each headed by a senior. The Xianbei people had a sphere of influence bordering "the Han Dynasty in the south, Dingling in the north, Fuyu in the east, and Usun in the west, mostly the former sphere of the Huns'", However, in 18I AD (the 4th year of Guanghe reign), Tanshihuai died and the Xianbei disintegrated into several groups , most of which attached themselves to the Eastern Han or Wei regime. After the Westem lin unified the Central Plains, it began to rule the Western Regions. At that time the Xianbei forces in the west were somewhat strengthened and vied with the Western lin Dynasty for the Westem Regions . In 27 I AD (the T" year of Taishi), the Tufa division of Xianbei attacked lincheng and Liangzhou. In 279 AD (the 5th year of Xianning), Liangzhou felI, cutting off the main transport link between the Central Plains and the Westem Regions. In the meantime, another division of Xianbei forces penetrated into Gaochang in the Western Regions and launched several attacks against Wuji Captain. Early in 280 AD (the 6th year of Xianning reign), the Western lin recovered Liangzhou and cemented its administration in the Western Regions. In the following
years, big states in the Western Regions such as Anterior Cheshi, Shanshan, Qiuei and Yanqi sent their princes to the Central Plains as hostages.
I Xianbei, Book of Later Han.
Towards the end of the Western Jin Dynasty, the Governor of Liangzhou Zhang Gui cashed in on the civil war on the Central Plains and claimed himself king of the Former Liang regime in the northwest (the Hexi area). During the reign of Zhang Jun (324-345 AD), the sphere of influence of the Former Liang regime ranged "from the Yellow River and the Huang River in the south to Juyan in the north, and from the Congling Mountains in the west to Shaanxi and Gansu in the east'" , At that time, officials appointed by the Western Jin court in the Western Regions no longer obeyed the order of the Western Jin emperor. Instead, one Senior Official (zhang-shi) by name of Li Bai switched loyalty to the Former Liang regime, and theWuji Captain by name of Zhao Zhen turned Gaochang into his own sphere of influence. In 327 AD (the 2nd year of Xianhe reign), Zhang Jun headed an army to light Gaochang and won a complete victory there . Hence a province ser up at Gaochang, representing the beginning of provincial establishment in the Western Regions. Based on historical records and archaeological data, counties such as Gaochang and Tiandi were set up under the Province of Gaochang, and townships and villages were set up under counties, each headed by certain local officials such as duyou and sefu, basically equivalent to the local administrative system on the Central Plains during the Han and Jin Dynasties. The Former Liang regime also maintained official posts set up by previous dynasties in the Western Regions. The Senior Official of the Western Regions (other sources say Western Regions Protector), Wuji Captain, Yiwu Military Governor and Gaochang Governor were all under the administration ofShazhou Governor of the Former Liang regime. In 329 AD, Shi Le from the Jie people unified the north of the Central Plains and set up the Later Zhao regime. Zhang Jun sent an envoy to the Central Plains to show obedience, but still keeping the title of the Former Liang. At that time, the Western Regions was nominally under the unified rule of the northern regime of the Central Plains. Zhang Jun tried to change the situation of local hegemony in the Western
Regions assumed by a few stronger states, therefore he strengthened control over the Western Regions. In 335 AD (the first year of Xiankang reign), he sent his army over the Liusha River, conquered Shanshan and Qiuci, and forced Yanqi, Yutian and Anterior Cheshi back into paying tributes. At the end of 345 AD (the first year of Yonghe reign), Zhang Jun attacked Yanqi again and fought all the way to Yuli, taking all the land en route. The king of Yanqi had to capitulate at last. By then, the Former Liang regime basically recovered the rule of the Western Regions in a scope equal to that in previous dynasties. After the death of Zhang Jun, the rule of the Former Liang over the Western Regions slacked, but the latter still sent envoys and paid tributes to the Former Liang regime. In 376 AD (the first year ofTaiyuan reign), the Former Qin regime set up by the Di people overthrew the Former Liang; as a result, the Western Regions were taken over by the Former Qin. Insiead of lighting, the Former Qin switched to a policy of placation and appeasement towards the Westem Regions. In 38 I AD (the 6th year of Taiyuan reign), 62 states in the Western Regions and the Eastern Minorities sent envoys to the Former Qin to show respects and pay tributes. King Xiumituo of Shanshan and King Mizhi of Anterior Cheshi went to Chang'an in person, asking "for the installation of Protector as during the Han Dynasty" and offering to be guides of the central dynasty's army on their way to the Western Regions'. In 383 AD(the9thyearofJianyuanreign),the FormerQin regimesent ageneralby nameofLuGuang on the expedition to the west with the purpose of resuming the rule of the Central Plains over the
I Gu Zuyu , Notes on History-Reading, YoU .
2 Records of Jin, Zi-Zhi-Tong-Jian, or literally, Comprehensive Mirror in Aid of Government.


Western Region s. When Lu Guang came back , the Former Qin regim e was already defeated by
the Eastem l in at the Feishui Battle, and the Central Plains were in great turmoil. Lu Guang thus
set up the Later Liang regime at Guzang (today 's Wuwei). Lu also appointed his own son as
General of the West, Military Governor of Regions West of Yumen and Great Protector of the
Western Region s, headquartered in Gaoch ang. The Later Liang regime did not last long, as it was
extinguished by the Later Qin regime in 403 AD (the 2nd year of Yuanxing reign). The Later Qin
mainly controlled areas in Shaanxi, Gansu and part of Shanxi.
Early in the 5'hcentury, there emerged a strong nomadic group in the northern steppe called
Rouran. Originally a tribe of Xianbei, Rouran was unified by Shelun in 402 AD (the first year of
Yuanxing reign) , who claimed himself Khan and dominated the entire steppe . The Roman regime
then moved westward and started to control areas north of Yanqi in the Western Regions. As it
continued to expand, smaller states in the Western Regions were "so upset by its assault that I'
they attached themselves to it one after another". Bigger states such as Yanqi.Shanshan, Qiuci f
and Gumo were also at its service'. Usun State even moved all its people west to the Congling a
Mountains as it was tired of the incessant assaults from Rouran. The Xianbei people, who were s
previously the domin ant group on the steppe, had now moved southward and became a powerful 1
regime on the Central Plain s-the Northern Wei Dynasty. After unifying the Central Plains, w
inevitably, the Northern Wei, which regarded itself as an orthodox central regime, would fight st
against Rouran for the Western Regions. Rouran forced the Northern Liang regime in the Hexi tl:
area to obstruct the Northern Wei' s entry into the Western Regions. Therefore, the war of the S
Northern Wei aimed at the unification of the Western Regions started with the Northern Liang. In N
439 AD (the T" year of Yonghe), Taiwu Emp eror of Northern Wei issued an imperial decree, ps
stating the 12major crimes committed by the Northern Liang regime, including its separatist rule, di
collusion with Rouran and Tuyuhun, obstruction of exchanges between the Northern Wei and the cc
Western Regions and heavy taxes on minority merchants in the Western Regions. Based on that th
decree , Northern Wei sent troops to the west, conquered Liangzhou and wiped out the Northern R,
Liang regime. Two years later, the Northern Wei troops took over liuquan. The remnants of
Northern Liang crossed the Liusha River and took Shanshan in 442 AD (the 3rd year of PI
Taipingzhenjun reign). Backed up by Rouran, the remnants of Northern Liang forced King Zhen th
Da of Shanshan into hostility against Northern Wei, which led to several years' traffic blockade
in the Western Regions. In 445 AD (the 6th year of Taipingzhenjun reign), Northern Wei sent its lIf
Liang zhou troops to fight Shan shan, and King Zhen Da had himself bound and surrendered. Due pe
to the geopolitical importance of Shanshan, Northern Wei decided to build military installations
in Shan shan and send officials there for direct administration. In 448 AD (the 9'h year of Sf
Taipingzhenjun reign), Taiwu Emperor kept Zhen Da at the palace in Pingcheng and appointed M
his own minister by name of Han Ba Military Governor of Xirong and King of Shan shan, who
was responsible for running the troops, safeguarding Shanshan and "levying taxes and services dy
from local people as in other provinces'", At that time, King Cheyiluo of Anterior Cheshi already
submitted to the authority of Northern Wei and served as a supporting force for Shan shan , but as
Gaochang was still in the hand of the remnants of Northern Liang. In 448 AD (the 9'h year of in
Taipingzhenjun reign) , Taiwu Emperor of Northern Wei himself led a big army to fight Rouran,
\ Story of Ruru , Book of Wei; Stor y of Ruirui , Book of Song. W
2 Story of Shan shan, Book of Wei.

which turned out to be an overwhelming victory. The Rouran retreated to the steppe north of the desert. In the meantime, Northern Wei began to attack Rouran forces within the Western Regions and defeated Yanqi and Qiuci, tremendously cementing the forces of Northern Wei in that area. The history records read, "all the minorities in the west were subdued and the Western Regions became obedient again". The Northern Wei Dynasty set up military installations in Yanqi as well. Such installations in Shanshan and Yanqi were entities with both military and administra-tive purposes, which showed that the military-administrative system on the Central Plains was also applied in the heartland of the Western Regions.
In the first half of the 61h century, a nomadic tribe, the Turks, emerged from south of the Altay Mountains. The Turks were previously under the rule of Rouran. Later on, both Rouran and Northern Wei were split up and thus fatally weakened. In 552 AD (the first year of Feidi reign), the Turks wiped out the Rouran regime and set up the Turki Khanate, which was a new force in the competition for the Western Regions. While flexing their muscles, the Turks gradu -ally took areas west of Yiwu and north of Yanqi in eastern Tianshan Mountains as well as areas southwest of the Gold Mountains (today's Altay Mountains) to the east of the Junggar Basin. The Turki Khanate had two centres, one in the east and the other in the west. The Khan in the west, Istami, first forced Gaochang into vassalage and then headed 100,000 troops to fight other states in the Western Regions, occupying the original area of Usun. By 558 AD, the territory of the Khanate covered the vast area from the Liao Sea (east) to the West Sea (west, today's Caspian Sea) and the Amu River in Central Asia (southwest), from the north of the desert (south) to the North Sea (north, today's Baikal Lake). The strong and powerful Turki Khanate further ex-panded the scope of control of the northern nomadic groups in China. In 583 AD, the Turks were divided into the Eastern and Western Khanates along the Gold Mountains. The Western Khanate controlled the land from Yiwu in the east to the Caspian Sea in the west, and Sulek and Yutian in the south to areas beyond the Altay Mountains in the north, which encompassed the Western
An overview of the over 300 years' administration of the Western Regions by the Central
Plains kingdoms, northern peoples and Hexi regimes after the Wei and Jin Dynasties highlights
thefollowing features.
First, the process of unification between the Western Regions and the Central Plains contin-
ued despite the weakened capacity of the latter due to separatist warlords there during this
period. This was illustrated in the following dimensions:
Installation of official posts by the central dynasties in the Western Regions, such as the Senior Official of the Western Regions and Wuji Captain in the Wei and Jin Dynasties and Xirong Military Governor in the Northern Wei Dynasty;

Institutionalization of turning in princes as hostage and paying tributes to the central dynasties by the Western Regions in spite of interruptions over the 300-plus years;

Expansion of direct administration by the central dynasties in the Western Regions, such as the Province of Gaochang during the Former Liang Dynasty and Shanshan and Yanqi Towns in the Northern Wei Dynasty;

Recording of the Western Regions in the official history books of all central dynasties and more sophisticated maps on the boundary, as evidenced in the chapter on Xirong in the Strategy of Wei, the chapter on the Western Regions in Book of Wei, and the chapter on the Western Regions in History of the North;

(5) Diminishing gaps between the Western Regions and the Central Plains in terms of social
development and constant convergence of social system and folk customs over the 300 years, which was demonstrated by the following example. The State of Gaochang had similar political system and social customs with those of the Central Plains: it had one Lingying, a post equivalent to the Prime Minister in the central dynasties but here assumed by the crown prince; "the king decided on major issues while the crown prince and two other officials decided on minor ones"; the administrative affair s were shared by 8 departments, which were responsible for officials, sacrifice, treasury, storage, protocol, ceremony, civil affairs and the military, each headed by a Senior Official, who had a Si-ma as the deputy ; the state was divided into different provinces and counties, just like in the middle kingdom. So some people observed, "the customs and adminis-trations were all the same as those on the Central Plains".
Second, after more than 300 years ' interaction and exchanges, it was a shared and popular idea to promote the unification of the Western Regions and the Central Plains. Once conditions permitted, rulers of the Central Plains would consider recovering the Western Regions, which was applauded as a feat that would "be recorded as a glorious cause forever" I. The Emperor of Northern Wei Tuoba Tao once commented, "All the previous emperors talked about putting Xirong under their administration but without real success; while I have got a firm grip on it, what a feat!" 2 On the part of the Western Regions, distant as those states were from the Central Plains, they did longed for unification in the same way as their eastern counterparts did. The king of Shanshan, Xiumituo, and king of Anterior Cheshi, Mizhi, once travelled to Former Qin, paying tributes and asking for "the installation of the Protector as during the Han Dynasty". The ordinary people were also enthusiastic about unification, particularly the merchants. According to history records, once hearing the Central Plains were unified under Sui (581 AD), the mer-chants in the Western Regions "secretly pledged allegiance and waited anxiously" for the unifica-tion of the Western Regions by the Sui Dynasty as soon as possible'.
Third, in this period, most central regimes, more often than not, resorted to a peaceful means of placation and gift-presenting in their endeavour to recover the Western Regions in terms of tactics. All the central dynasties after Wei and lin that had left their marks in the Western Regions all sent envoys there first, with the purpose of forging friendship, placating local people and giving presents, which received very good results. Such strategy was spelt out by Emperor Fu lian of Former Qin , as he commented, "The way of ensuring submission is to subdue and condone, show both power and benevolence of the Middle Kingdom, rather than exhausting military force or applying endless pillage'". After the Former Qin conquered Former Liang, it immediately asked the Governor of Liangzhou to send an envoy to the Western Regions with lots of silk to placate states there. For several years, scores of states from the Western Regions sent envoys east to pay tributes to the central dynasty, and the kings of Shan shan and Yanqi even went to Chang'an themselves. During the Northern Wei Dynasty, Emperor Tuoba Tao also sent Dong Wan and Gao Ming west with silk, gold and silver, which was followed by dozens of states from the Western Regions coming east to pay tributes.
Fourth, the unification process of the Western Regions and the Central Plains was fre-
I Records About Fujian, Book of Jin.
2 Story of Yanqi, Book of Wei.
3 Story of Peiju , Book of Sui.
4 Records About Fujian , Book of Jin.