SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Qing Ethnic Policy in Mongolia

Cyrus Yee, SOAS

Date: 24 April 2014Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 24 April 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: 4429

Type of Event: Seminar

Mongolia was the oldest waifan (outer domain) of the Qing empire in Inner Asia. Due to historical, political and military reasons, the Qing court had endeavoured to maintain the physical and cultural boundaries between its Han Chinese and Mongolian subjects, fearing that excessive, uncontrolled contact between the two ethnic groups would cause trouble, and that the former would contaminate the latter's military virtues. However, the segregation policy proved untenable as population growth and the consequential shortage of arable lands in north China had caused many landless Han farmers to make their way across the Great Wall in search of lands. Unable to resolve the conflicts between the Han Chinese's hunger for land on the one hand, and the need to insulate the Mongols from Han influence on the other, the state's ethnic policy in Mongolia had swung between segregation and relaxation, responding to the ever changing political and social situations of the time. It was not until the late nineteenth century, when Russian presence in Mongolia posed a threat to national security, and when it was necessary to open up new arable lands to raise additional revenues to pay off huge national debts, that the Qing court abandoned its earlier ambivalence and adopted a policy of promoting Chinese settlement north of the Great Wall.

Organiser: Dr. Andrea Janku

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