“No different than a Manchu”

 In 1773, during the Jinchuan war, The Qianlong emperor appointed officials for each of the three roads to be taken by the army on its way to attack the Cucin. While doing so, the emperor praises the Chinese official Han Guwe Hing. The way he does it is interesting and shows how much ethnic distinction was a factor to be reckoned with.

Also to be noted is the fact that only in the case of Han Guwe Hing did the emperor feel it was necessary to provide some explanation for his decision. The nomination of the Manchu officials Šucang and Hailanca to the same post is done without any justification.

dzanla cucin i ba be necihiyeme toktobuha bodogon i bithe. dehi sunjaci debtelin: (f° 1a-2b)

jorgon biyai sahahūn coko inenggi. dorgi yamun de dergi hese wasimbuhangge. wargi julergi juwe jugūn i coohai kūwaran. emgeri ishunde mejige hafumbuhabi. ereci cooha acafi uhei dailame dzanla be necihiyeme toktobuha manggi. uthai cucin de cooha guribufi. dalaha hūlha be jafafi jecen i ergi amaga jobolon be enteheme geterembuci ombi. te coohai jeku elgiyen tumin. giyan i ilan jugūn obume dendefi. coohai horon be algimbuci acara be dahame. wenfu be jecen be toktobure jiyanggiyūn sinda. agūi. fengšengge be gemu aisilara jiyanggiyūn sinda. jiyanggiyūn jai aisilara jiyanggiyūn i doron be. ashan i amban fuk’angga be tucibufi. giyamulame benebufi. uthai coohai kūwaran de bibufi meyen i amban de yabukini. wenfu i jugūn de šucang be hebei amban obu. agūi i jugūn de hailanca be hebei amban obu. han guwe hing udu niowanggiyan turun i nikan hafan bicibe. cooha gaifi afara bade dulembuhe bime. daci kiyan cing men i hiya de yabuha bihe. manju amban ci encu akū. fengšengge i jugūn de. uthai han guwe hing be hebei amban obu. jugūn dendefi sasa dosime. abkai dailan isibume. amba gungge be hūdun mutebufi. aiman i jobolon be enteheme geterembume kicekini sehe. (1)

Military annals of the war against the two Jinchuan. 45th fascicle (f°1a-2b)

“(…) Despite being a Chinese official of the Green Standard army, Han Guwe Hing has taken troops, experienced combat, and was formerly on guard at the Kiyan Cing Men (2). He is no different than a Manchu high official. Consequently, appoint Han Guwe Hing as Councillor for Fengšengge’s road. (…)”

It would be interesting to see how this passage is treated in the Chinese version of the text…

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(1) To be read here.

(2) I. e. the Gate of Heavenly Purity (乾清门, qiánqīng mén).

乾清门

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5 thoughts on ““No different than a Manchu”

    1. Well, maybe but note that the emperor is not comparing Green Standard Army and Eight banners here. He mentions Han as a niowanggiyan turun i nikan hafan and compares him to a manju amban. The way the sentence is turned (nikan hafan vs. manju amban) and the lack of mention of the Eight banners seems, to me, to imply that the emperor’s thought runs here along ethnic lines.

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  1. By the way, I am looking for a complete transcription of the Manchu text of dzanla cucin i ba be necihiyeme toktobuha bodogon i bithe (I am working on the languages of this area and I would like to know more about the history).

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    1. That would be great! But I don’t think it exists (at least I haven’t found it).
      Erich Haenisch has written two useful articles on the campaign:
      – Das Goldstromland, in Southern Tibet vol. IX, 1922
      – Die Eroberung des Golstromlandes in Ost-Tibet, in Asia Major X, 1935.

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