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The Political relations in eastern Yunnan from 3rd to 8th Century
Dian-Viet route,Clans in Nanzhong,Cuan Clan,Cuan Long-yan stele,Cuan Tzu-hua epitaph,
|Publication Year :||2019|
This thesis aims to study the unique historical meaning of the region surrounding Dian Lake between 3rdand 8th century. By applying geopolitical and local agents theories, this study sheds light on political activities of peoples in this region, which helps to achieve a better understanding of the early history of Yunnan. Historical geography studies conducted by
Yan Geng-wang and You Zhong appears to offer insights about routes that connected the neighboring regions of eastern Yunnan, Sichuan Basin and Red River Delta during the said period. The regimes of Sichuan Basin and Red River Delta had intensive interactions with each other through Dian Lake region. Since 2nd century BCE, the Han-Chinese immigrants cooperated with the local non-Han peoples to seize resources, and served as mediator between the local authorities and the Chinese court. They are referred to as “Nanzhong daxing” (Clans of Nanzhong) in historical records. The commandries, the Clans of Nanzhong and the non-Han peoples were three groups of agents in Dian Lake region. The regimes which controlled the neighboring regions of Dian Lake region put their beyond border conflicts into the politics of Dian Lake region. The local non-Chinese also took advantage of the conflicts among other Chinese authorities which were considered outsiders to maximize their own profits. The changes in political relations within Dian Lake region was basically accorded to that within the Clans of Nanzhong.
The several events, which are the Southward March of Shu Han (223 CE), the Conflict on Jiaozhi between Jin and Wu (265 CE) and the Wars Between Jin and Cheng Han that happened between 3rd and 4th centuries, brought out the dynamic relation within the Clans of Nanzhong. These events also resulted in the domination of the Cuan Clan over Clans of Hou, Meng and Li which were previous competitors. Historical records and unearthed textual materials dated after the domination of the Cuan Clan are mostly about their activities in this region. The stele of Cuan Long-Yan dated to the middle of the 5th century shows the power allocation of the commandries in Dian Lake region under Cuan’s domination. However, the 8th century-epitaph stone of Cuan Tzu-Hua found at Sichuan Basin reveals the aftermath of Cuan’s decline caused by the conflict between Tang and Nanzhao regimes and the Cuan Clan eventually lost the control of Dian Lake region.
The new circumstance in 8th century is the unification of Er Lake in Northeast and Tibet in Northwest, while Tang tried to seek allies to hinder Tibet from expension. The strategies that Clans of Nanzhong used to cope with surrounding powers might be the reason of the Clans of Cuan being tron apart. This is an epilogue of domination of Clans of Cuan and the period which Dian Lake region being at centric statues.
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