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From the "creative history" files: Genghis Khan was Chinese?

This past autumn, a project funded by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences set off a mini-firestorm when they suggested that the Goguryeo kingdom of Northern Korea (37-668) as well as the later Balhae kingdom (698-926) were actually Chinese kingdoms, founded by ethnic minority groups from China. One Korean newspaper even suggested that it was the beginning of a Chinese ‘land grab’ of Northern Korea in the event of a DPRK collapse. The whole point of the study was ludicrous, not the least the assumption that such entities as “China” or “Korea” existed in their modern forms during the first millennium C.E.

Now from the creative history files of the PRC, comes the claim that Genghis Khan, once famously slagged by Chairman Mao as just another barbarian warlord, was in fact Chinese. The last few holdouts of the Song dynasty who faced down the horses and boats of the Mongol horde must be really pleased by this recent rehabilitation of their arch-nemesis. If only they had known. The Song army could have welcomed them in as brothers and made some tea and passed out hong bao while their wives warmed up the tofu for their guests.

“We define him as a great man of the Chinese people, a hero of the Mongolian nationality, and a giant in world history,” said Guo Wurong, the manager of the new Genghis Khan “mausoleum” in China’s Inner Mongolia province. Genghis Khan was certainly Chinese,” he added.

Let’s leave aside, for a moment, the fact that Inner Mongolia really only became “Inner” after the MPR sided with the Soviets in the 20th century (thus making the latter “Outer”), there’s the small problem that no Chinese dynasty ever really controlled any part of “Mongolia.” It wasn’t until the Qing dynasty that a combined government of Manchus, Chinese, and (yes) Mongols unified both sides of the Great Wall into a single (relatively) cohesive polity.

There are two issues here. The first is China’s fixation on maintaining the notion of “5000 years of continuous history.” A case could be made for culture or civilization but to try to project any kind of political unit backwards five millennia is preposterous.

That Inner Mongolia is part of China today does not make it “China” in the 12th century nor does it make the people who wandered across that land “Chinese.” It just doesn’t. There is no unbroken line of succession for the Chinese “state” that dates back even 100 years, never mind 1000.

For example, 95 years ago this weekend Sun Yat Sen was named interim president of a new Chinese Republic. He promptly swapped that job to Yuan Shikai for the promise of Yuan’s military support of the new regime. Within four years, Yuan had orchestrated the assassination of China’s brightest young political star, Song Jiaoren, disbanded parliament, nearly sold out the country to the Japanese, and then as the coup de grace had himself declared emperor for a week. By 1916 Yuan was gone and China was the very definition of a failed state, with whole sections of the country outside central control and under warlord rule. Think Afghanistan. On steroids. Coincidentally, it was about this time that the Mongolians decided to take their country and run. “Outer” Mongolia eventually became the Mongolian People’s Republic in 1924 under the warm and protective embrace of…Joseph Stalin?

Yikes.

The second issue is the thorny problem of ethnicity. How do we define ethnicity for past peoples and times? Do modern definitions of self-identification or linguistic/cultural variation apply? Does “race” (another thorny definition) play a role?

I think a simple test is this: Genghis Khan is leading a cavalry charge against a fixed position on the North China plain. Do you think Genghis Khan worries he might be attacking his “own people?” Do the defenders feel a kinship with the man about to charge into their villages? A man–darling Genghis–who once lamented that the human body had only so many orifices for an army to violate?

I’m assuming this guy Guo is just another would-be huckster out to make a buck from a few unwitting tourists. I really hope so. But his shtick is representative of a whole current of thought in the Chinese government, popular consciousness, as well as in academia (who should know better). They want to use modern definitions to make historical claims…and then turn around and use this “creative (created?) history” as evidence in contemporary territorial and political disputes and/or feed the beast of nationalism.

I’m not a big believer in creationism when it’s in science books. I like it even less in my history books.

37 Comments on From the "creative history" files: Genghis Khan was Chinese?

  1. Great post I heard a talk on this from a Mongolian professor in Cambridge- this kind of action has a longer history though he had an account of the twentieth century in which Genghis was Japanese, Chinese and Mongolian at various times. The fact that Genghis was one of the last people before the imperial age to best the west shouldn’t be undervalued either. Really good post.

  2. 花崗齋之愚公 // December 30, 2006 at 11:31 am //

    Gracchi,

    It reminds me of when I worked in Washington DC. I was attending a reception at the Mongolian embassy and noticed the (recently hung) giant portrait of Genghis Khan. I asked one of the embassy staff why it was so big.

    “To remind you that my ancestors kicked your ancestors asses.”

    To be fair, he’d had a few shots of vodka that night.

    BTW: Wow! Fast comment. I just finished posting it about two minutes before you commented.

  3. The Evil European // December 30, 2006 at 11:59 am //

    Thank you, that was an intresting post. I have heard about the re-writting of Korean history by China (something also about a treaty that allows China to take over North Korea?). It is intresting how modern understanding, or should it be misunderstandings, of nationality, culture, race and ethnicity are used and abused for political purposes.
    People forget the fact that its has changed, always has and always will. That because a peoples did not exist 100, 200, 500, 1000 years ago that they dont exist now, Palastians being one example. Or that even if a ‘nation’ existed back then, they are so different from our modern understanding that you have more in common with the a ‘forgeiner’. Such discourses appear to be used to include or exclude others from socities, to make territorial claims or to justify policy decisions.

  4. 無名 - wu ming // December 30, 2006 at 12:10 pm //

    if mr. guo had been talking about khubilai, at least he’d have some sort of grounds for argument, but genghis is as hard a sell as, say, chinese tequila.

    then again, western civ classes always inexplicably start with mesopotamia, as if that’s anywhere near europe, so i guess bending historical realities in order to draft off of other people’s history is hardly novel.

    i wonder how long until the xiongnü get claimed by chinese historians, and if that means that china can lay claim to rome or northern india.

  5. I couldn’t find the blog that talked about the diversity of the Chinese ethnicity.

    Incidentally, there’s this American (Caucasian) who loves this island so much that he’s neutralised to become one of us. For making all things Taiwanese, he did national service for two years, learned to shoot an M16 (or TWN equivalent 65-type). Should a war break out across the Strait, he would have fought for his country, Taiwan (or whichever name you folks prefer), which is now his country.
    I just like to remind you folks that we as a banana republic also have something similar to western countries that a person can be neutralised as long as he/she swear allegiance. In that sense, therefore, American can also become Taiwanese (or Chinese for that matter). It is just that no many people have chosen so for obvious reasons.

    “Hanzu” is something rather misleading. My family name may have been related to a Persian name “Pirouz”, who Hannised (do I invented this, 漢化) during 五胡亂華、魏晉南北朝。 We as a family have funny look that is distinctively not “chinese”, i.e. curly brown hair, brown eyes, and light-coloured skin. In fact, one of my students who was born and bred in I-Lan (宜蘭), simply looks like an Arab. Therefore, ethnicity has lost its significance.

  6. The Humanaught // December 30, 2006 at 9:54 pm //

    @J: Excellent post – do you think this “History with Chinese Characteristics” is the result of being educated in a system that leaves you little doubt that there is a Chinese connection to every claim of value made in the history of mankind?

    It often drives me nuts that in about 97.6% of topics I make the foolish mistake of walking into here in the PRC, I nearly always know the position the person is going to take – possibly before they do.

    I’ve not once met a Han Chinese person that doesn’t think (by nature) that Khan (and his ambitious grandson) are 100% Chinese – and all of them have explained this ‘fact’ to me with pride.

    @露露: You mean “naturalize” right? Him becoming Taiwanese didn’t involve two shots to the back of the head, did it?

  7. Great post, J. What I find interesting (and maddening) is that the two problems you identify, namely the need to appropriate historical figures and groups to legitimate current politics and ethnic identity, is practiced nearly as much by Chinese contemporary minorities as it is by Han Chinese.

    To wit, Michael over at Opposite End of China recently wrote a post “Xinjiang 2021” and ended up with a long comment argument between a Uyghur nationalist and a Han Chinese guy. While I don’t completely agree with the Han guys version of Xinjiang history, he comes across as more objective (and informed) while the Uyghur nationalist does precisely what you note the CASS did here: appropriate historical groups and figures that at best are loosely linked to contemporary Uyghurs for a “creative history” that argues a continuous Uyghur past and identity.

    Besides making it even more difficult to scrape away the political passions and motives that cloud the history of the region (which is a god awful confusing mess – Qarakhanids, Kara Khitai, Chagatai, who can keep them straight?), it seems a stupid historical arms race. Each side keeps trying the trump the other in creative lineage (ever hear about the Uyghur writer who claimed a 7,000 year unbroken history, thus besting Han Chinese by 2,000 years? Take that, CASS!), only to root both deeper and deeper in a historical echo chamber.

  8. 花崗齋之愚公 // December 31, 2006 at 10:25 am //

    @露露,

    You should get in touch with Wu Ming, who studies issues of Persian/Arab communities in the Song dynasty. I’m amazed by the extent of their influence and equally shocked at how little research it gets. DGC: You’re also studying something related to this, am I right?

    @ Ryan,

    I think there are powerful political reasons for establishing the current regime as the ‘legitimate’ heirs to a Mandate with deep historical roots. Hence the “5000 years of history, blah blah blah…” There’s also pride: It’s like the guy who was the high school football star who now sells insurance and is losing his hair and growing a gut: Every story starts off with, “25 years ago, when I was playing ball…”

    @DGC,

    I followed that debate with great interest and no amount of chuan’r or baijiu could have convinced me to throw a dog into that fight. First, “creative history” in support of contemporary claims is hardly a Chinese invention, they just play the game a little more brazenly than some others. Second, many (younger) Uighurs grew up in the PRC educational system. Is it possible that this is the only style of argument they know even if they don’t alway agree with the content? Just a thought.

    Thanks to everybody for your great comments.

  9. @J:

    First, “creative history” in support of contemporary claims is hardly a Chinese invention, they just play the game a little more brazenly than some others.

    – Agreed. But if I had to pick a dog in that fight, it was the Han guy. He made (comparatively) more sense.

    Second, many (younger) Uighurs grew up in the PRC educational system. Is it possible that this is the only style of argument they know even if they don’t alway agree with the content? Just a thought.

    – I’d say yes, except take a look at the dissident diaspora. They weren’t all PRC educated. Perhaps D.C. lobby culture or living in Turkey amounts to the same thing; the story, nevertheless, remains the same. I don’t blame the PRC for it being the nature of the argument; provoking it, perhaps, but I think the style is pervasive with or without them.

  10. 花崗齋之愚公 // December 31, 2006 at 1:59 pm //

    DGC,

    I agree with you. I was somewhat predisposed to side with the Uighur at first but as I read the argument as it unfolded, I couldn’t help but think they were both a little, to use a highly academic turn of phrase, nutty.

    Thanks for the great comments. It’s a real pleasure to have you checking in.

  11. I was hoping you would cover this as I knew it was right up your alley and you would do a great job. I was right. I know as an historian stuff like this is old hat to you, but I am always fascinated how perceptions of history can so much influence today.

  12. 花崗齋之愚公 // January 2, 2007 at 5:19 am //

    CLB,

    Thanks for the kind words. As perhaps is becoming clear over time, this kind of ‘creative history’ is one of my real pet peeves. It just makes me nuts.

  13. The Question is – what do you suppose this Mr. Luo to say?

    A. This mausoleum is for a foreign brute who invaded my country and massacred my people!
    B. This mausoleum is for a person who is only important for the ethnic group in the area. I am not a member of them. This site is irrelevant to me.
    C. This mausoleum is for a hero for the local ethnic group but a brute to our ethnic group. The local ethnic group want to gain independence. I am here waiting for it to happen.
    D. I am a commie mouthpiece. I am braindead. I only give on what the party secratary fed me. So my information is only another piece of evidence how the commies want to manipulate things and plot to conquer the world. Please alarm the free world and bomb this country.
    E. I was born and bred under a wrong system. So whatever I think and believe is, anyway, not right. The people from the free world is always right, because they are free from bias, ignorance, prejudice, and self-interest. So my information is only for fun.
    F. This mausoleum is for a hero of the local ethnic group. I think all ethnic groups are parts of one nation, so I think their respective history and tradition also parts of the national heritage.

    Could you give Mr. Luo an alternative answer?

  14. Sorry, “Mr. Luo” in the last post should be “Mr. Guo”.

  15. 花崗齋之愚公 // January 2, 2007 at 5:42 pm //

    Unforunately Mr. Guo is running a museum that uses architecture based on Chinese imperial tombs to celebrate a Mongolian khan. I’m not really sure Mr. Guo has a very good idea as to whose heritage he is really celebrating. I also think this goes beyond Mr. Guo.

    From the article:

    “Promoting Genghis Khan as Chinese also helps promote the party line that Inner Mongolia is an important part of China, despite the fact that many ethnic Mongols still yearn for independence.

    Many remember the Cultural Revolution, when, according to reports, between 10,000 and 17,000 died in the terror, 87,000 were crippled and 346,000 persecuted.

    Professor Baildugqi, an expert on Mongolian history at the Inner Mongolia University, said new Chinese commemorations of Genghis Khan went against all that he was.

    “You cannot use the methods of the [Chinese] interior to commemorate Genghis and his culture,” he said.”

  16. And do you know what is Chinese imperial style?

    Are you sure the building is Chinese?

    The building is actually a modern structure, built under the monitor of Ulanhu, then Communist secretary of Inner Mongolia.

  17. 花崗齋之愚公 // January 2, 2007 at 6:44 pm //

    From the Guardian:

    “The ”mausoleum” was built on a spot the Mongol leader was said to have passed on his way to his final war in 1227, and holds artefacts including his bow and saddle.

    But the buildings resemble many Chinese imperial tombs, drawing criticism for historical inaccuracy.”

  18. 花崗齋之愚公 // January 2, 2007 at 7:01 pm //

    Leo,

    I’m also not really sure what your point is. Are you agreeing with Mr. Guo’s assertion that Genghis was Chinese? And if so, what definition of “Chinese” are you using?

  19. It resembles Chinese tombs?

    Does it resemble the tomb of Qinshihuang? The tombs of Tang dynasty? The tombs of Ming and Qing?

    This building has a layout that is typical of Europe, but not of China, with colors and decoration motifs that are most unimperial and remotely Chinese. I would say it is a modern building. The old town buildings in Khuree (Ulan Bator) and Hohhot were much more Chinese than it

  20. 花崗齋之愚公 // January 2, 2007 at 7:25 pm //

    Leo,

    I think your little diversion might be best suited to “Architectural Digest.com.”

    How about getting to the point? Do you agree with Mr. Guo or not? And if you do, how are you defining “Chinese”?

  21. My point is that many facts in this article are simply wrong and misleading. The journalist is only interested in picking on the communists and stirring the sentiments of the conflicting ethnic groups against each other.

    The points of Mr. Guo is very poorly presented here, so I cannot say I support him or not. I suppose when he said “Chinese”, he said “Zhongguoren”, and he did not deny that Genghis Khan is, at same time, Mongolian, playing very important role in the identity and consciousness independent Mongolia. If so, he has some legimate points.

    The heritage of Genghis Khan is not only that of the independeant Mongolia, but also of Inner Mongolia. Inner Mongolia is a part of the modern Zhongguo, so Genghis Khan is a part of the heritage of the modern Zhongguo. The modern Zhongguo is not a modern version of Southern Song. If the modern Zhongguoren think about their past, it is totally legimate that they also think of the past of Inner Mongolia and other parts that were not parts of Southern Song.

    When the professor of the Inner Mongolian university said that Genghis Khan is not Chinese, his hidden argument is that Inner Mongolia is not a legimate part of China.

  22. 花崗齋之愚公 // January 2, 2007 at 8:35 pm //

    I’m not sure that was the professor’s point, to dispute Genghis Khan being a “Chinese” is a far cry from suggesting the Inner Mongolia is not a part of the PRC. I am however somewhat sympathetic to this, usually when I have these arguments I wind up sleeping on the couch.

    There are probably quite a few grounds by which the PRC can claim territories such as Inner Mongolia, probably just as many as the United States has for claiming Hawaii. We can debate the relative merits of those argument some other time.

    But pre-Qing history is a poor argument here. And what I, and a lot of other historians, object to is the use of “creative” history to strengthen contemporary territorial claims.

    American textbooks used to teach us about how the “West was Won” and how Americans earned the right to settle the “Indian” land because of our hard work and noble character. It’s all bunk of course, myth and hogwash designed to support an ideology of manifest destiny as a cover for the outright theft of another people’s land.

    In the US, however, many historians work very hard to debunk these “creative” narratives, even at the risk of undoing our own treasured national mythologies or undermining whatever historical ‘claims’ we might have on certain territories.

    An important part of our mission is to challenge the state’s claim to history, especially when history is used to justify oppression.

    And this is by no means a Western innovation.

    As the Song historian Liu Zhiji once wrote: “There are three ways for a history official to fulfill his duties. What are they? To celebrate the good, censure the evil, and confront the powerful.”

    So devoted was Sima Qian to writing his histories that he chose castration before death. The Zuozhuan tells the story of the South Historian of Qi, who was prepared to sacrifice his own life even after three other historians had been executed for refusing to change the historical record to suit the political needs of their ruler. It is in this noble tradition that I hope contemporary PRC scholars choose to tread.

    If the PRC wishes to claim it is the legitimate ruler of Inner Mongolia, then let it be so argued. But let history be as it was, and let poor Genghis rest in peace.

  23. Quote: “[…]Genghis Khan was certainly Chinese,” he added.

    If you have a passable knowledge of Chinese, try reconstructing this sentence in that language. I hope you will see where the trick is.

    BTW, I have a serious problem with the way you comment tab works.

  24. 花崗齋之愚公 // January 3, 2007 at 5:36 am //

    Leo,

    I assume you are back to your original point about the multiple meanings of Chinese–汉族/中国人。

    But even using the modern day borders of the PRC (中国), it’s still tough to ‘claim’ Genghis as a 中国人. As far as we know, he was born in Hentiy Province in what is now Outer Mongolia. He may have traveled through Inner Mongolia but then so have I and nobody would say I am Chinese. The most time Genghis spent in modern day “China” was when he burned down the Jin capital of Yanjing (Beijing) in 1215.

    As Wu Ming, our excellent Song scholar, pointed out: A better case might be made for Khubilai, who lived many years (1271-1294) at his capital Dadu, built on the rubble of Yanjing, and in consolidating Yuan rule over the Han Chinese.

  25. I admire the passion for truth of real historians.

    Not long ago, I was appalled that NPR(public radio)invited a guest talking about “myth” of Genghis Khan. According to him, Khan was actually a “gentle” man. All the massacres did not really happen and they were just rumors by Khan to scare people to surrender. Do you know why some people try to make him a great conqueror with a gentle soul?

  26. Mongols to Song was like the Plague to Europe. It took Mongols almost half a century to conquer South Song and 40% of Chinese(40 millions) were wiped out. It is hard to believe that they were all scared to death. What an insult to those brave souls to claim that savage barbarian as Chinese. About 80 millions were slaughtered world wide. What is the point to glorify the monster by Chinese or anyone else?

  27. It seems that my last two posts didn’t get through. If you find my posts nerved you, please tell me clearly, I will stop posting my comments here. Before that, I try once more.

    There are two arguments to support the “Chineseness” of Genghis Khan:

    I. Genghis Khan was the founder of the ancient Mongolian nation, to which there are two heirs of this heritage – the modern-day Mongolian nation and the Inner Mongols in the PRC. The latter one has become a part of the modern-day Chinese nation.

    II. There is a long history of considering Genghis Khan as a legitimate ruler over an area which later becomes today’s PRC, although Genghis Khan never really did. The Ming didn’t regard him so, but Qing and ROC did, and PRC still does. I don’t agree with you that Genghis Khan was only a traveller through Inner Mongolia. The historical Inner Mongolia Khanates played a much more active role in the Mongolian nation than the part that later becomes the independent country.

    May I put the thing in a more “innovative way” – Genghis Khan is today not only Mongolian, but also Chinese, Indian, Uzbek, Persian, Arab, and Russian. That Genghis Khan was and is Mongolian is no question. The question is if the rest of the nations are willing to take Genghis Khan into their history Pantheon, recognizing him as their history maker and nation former, or treat him as a bastard, an invader, a nobody, which all depends on the respective nations and does not depend on the Mongolian nationals to say yes or no.

    A lot of history cannot be clear-and-cut put into the pigeonholes of the modern political entity. There are a lot of them has today become trans-national, and a lot of contemporary happenings will one day also gain a trans-national meaning.

  28. 花崗齋之愚公 // January 4, 2007 at 7:00 am //

    Leo,

    Thanks for your comments, I may not always agree with you but your contributions are a welcome addition to this little site.

    I’ve posted all the comments I’ve received from you. If they haven’t posted it means the comments are lost somewhere in the ether.

  29. 花崗齋之愚公 // January 4, 2007 at 8:42 am //

    If Genghis Khan is to be considered Chinese. And if people can be the heirs of many different traditions, and if modern day peoples can selectively choose their heritage based on a wealth of historical antecedents, does this not make the Mongolian people of Inner Mongolia also Mongolian? And if that is true, if the Mongolians, as an ethnic group, can be part of two separate traditions, Mongolia and China, does that not give them the right to decide to which modern day nation they would like to belong?

    I think your broad definition of nationality might actually be more “splittist” than the original author of the Guardian article.

    BTW Leo, I don’t censor views that make me uncomfortable or with which I disagree. I’m not, for example, the CCP.

  30. I don’t see my points “splittist”, because it helps hold people together, not apart. It is the Mongolians of the Republic of Mongolia who fear the perceived closeness of an overwhelming stronger neighbor and want to stay away. There are different people inside or outside both nations who intentionally or unintentionally heighten the tension, holding the two peoples further apart. And I think the moral codex of any modern liberal scholars should be to help the people communicate and reconcile with each other, not cut them apart, stuff them with pathetic feelings against each other.

    People cannot be the heir to the different traditions. It is the tradition that has the different parts with different origins. If you think some people had one tradition and has a different tradition now, you must go on to look into the people, then you’ll find that these people are no longer THE people that you thought they were. The people of PRC is not the same as the people of the historical ROC, or the people of Qing, or of Ming, or of Southern Song. The time is changing, people will change.

    And I may feel pity but would not blame anybody if they did not show a specific post. There are some streaks in human character that are unpleasant but probably unchangeable. They cannot be decided ethically.

  31. 花崗齋之愚公 // January 4, 2007 at 11:58 am //

    Leo,

    I think, to summarize: you feel strongly that Inner Mongolia is a fundamental part of the PRC. A position held by the CCP and many Chinese nationalists (small “n”).

    There are many people in Inner Mongolia, particularly ethnic Mongolians, who disagree with this position (As you will find in Xinjiang, Tibet, Taiwan, etc.) But that is not really the issue here.

    I understand that this is a point of national pride for many Han Chinese (note the emphasis.)

    You object to the way the Guardian reported on this story, thinking they were belittling Mr. Guo, mistranslating the word “Chinese,” and in doing so criticizing the CCP and the sovereignty of the PRC. Witness the disturbances at Inner Mongolian universities last year.

    Am I right so far?

    As I’ve said before, there are probably many arguments to be made for Inner Mongolia being a fundamental part of the PRC/”New China”. There is no need to drag specious historical arguments into the equation. There are (I guess) historical arguments to be made about Tibet, Taiwan, even Xinjiang. Genghis is a bit of a stretch. And clinging to something so tenuous actually weakens the “Party line” in the eyes of the other nations and makes Chinese nationalists (small “n”) come across sounding, well, a trifle desperate and a bit hysterical.

    As I’ve also mentioned before, it is not the job of historians to parrot the government and to participate in state building projects. As I see it, it’s quite the opposite. I think Liu Zhiji and Sima Qian might agree with me on this point.

  32. Any country’s part is a part of that country. That Inner Mongolia has a special status within PRC is true, because parts of it were where the Communists started.

    But anyway, drawing every border among people is story of blood-shedding, separations of families and loved ones, creating more hostilities and misunderstandings, a tragedy which should be regretted, and not repeated. Even those peaceful separations by voting and referendum, their peacefulness is questionable, their bitterness is sure.

    If you find any peoples, any minorities who are abused, neglected, your job should be to work and put pressure so that the concerned peoples and groups are to be treated as human and fair, not set them apart, and hedge them away. If you just give these peoples a new nation or the right nation, you are not addressing the problems, you are creating new minorities and abuses and negligence, which has been proven true through out the new created nations, such as former Soviet republics, Yugoslav republics. Quebec is not yet independent, but its language code has made a lot people who don’t speak French feel shit.

    So your assumption of my motive is wrong. It is dangerous to try to detect the motive behind something. It seems like that you find helping the peoples reconcile and live together peacefully is assist PRC and further its unjust. I want to remind you, during your fight with PRC, the collateral damages for the simple people are too great.

    If you still have appetites, I’ll show you a couple of anecdotes why Genghis Khan is more Chinese than Mongolian.

  33. 花崗齋之愚公 // January 4, 2007 at 1:30 pm //

    Perhaps my feelings on this subject come from my being an American, a country that benefited a great deal from exercising its right of self-determination and breaking off from the British empire.

    I might add that Canada has yet to threaten a nuclear strike or armed invasion of Quebec in response to referenda on independence. Why? It didn’t have to.

    And on that note, let us move on and agree to disagree. If you’ve noticed, Leo, I’ve mentioned you in another post, right up your alley er, hutong.

  34. Isn’t it too late for Mongolian-Chinese self-determination? They only account for less than 20% of residents there. Native Americans will sure love to deport all the immigrants of last a few centuries.

    If some Mogolians in West think that Americans or whatever will “liberate” inner Mongolia, they are either fools or insane. Some of them probably can not find jobs and just want to be paid by “human rights” funds. They are doing grave harms to their fellow men in China by stiring up their resentment. How far back should we go to decide what was whoes? Any mass migration to Mongolia country?

    Commie are actually very liberal about ethnicities or races, not like racism Americans practicing segregation for long long time. Han Chinese are kind of like united Europeans. Han Chinese men will always have Han children regardless the ethnicities of their wives, in contrast, kids of white and black are black. Han chauvinism is about culture, not racial supremacy.

  35. I am a ethnic manchu and have lived in inner mongolia for a while. I think it is entirely reasonable for China to claim genhis because there are about three to four times as many ethic mongolian in China as compared to Mongolia.

    Also if Genghis is not “zhongguoren”, then how should Nurachi, founder of the Qing be categorized. Is he not “zhongguoren”.

    Personally I see myself as “zhongguoren” but also ethnic manchu. I probably also have monoglian blood considering the mix marriages between the mongolians and the manchus. I know Genghis is not Song Chinese, but his legacy and decendants are primarily in China.

  36. 花崗齋之愚公 // April 27, 2007 at 12:01 am //

    I guess it depends on how you define “Zhongguoren.” See the above thread for further arguments, pro and con.

  37. Some basic historical facts about Genghis Khan:

    Genghis Khan ,(Chinggis Khan), is one of history’s greatest leaders.During his lifetime, he conquered more territory than any other conqueror and established the largest contiguous empire in world history.Today his legacy continues in Asia,Mongols today celebrate him as the founding father of Mongolia….read more

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