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Old August 13th, 2012, 03:16 AM   #911
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Originally Posted by heavenlykaghan View Post
I suspect that the term "Han" or "Han er" actually started out as somewhat of a racial slur such as Japs or Chinamen. It was used by the Northern Qi regime of Gao Huan to refer to the native Chinese.

Native Chinese records such as the Sui, Tang, Song, and Ming never called themselves Han ren. The Tang was probably the closest and often referred its own state as the Han state, often as an analogy to the Han dynasty. Yet it should also be pointed out that the Tang was itself partially Xianbei in origin, which might explain its obsession with the Han.
The early Tang's idea of Chinese was also largely cultural and the idea that hua was just a cultural rather than a genetic concept was prominent. The term Han during the Tang might have been a geographical concept rather than an ethnic one as well, since it is always contrasted with fan, which meant foreigners at the periphery. It appears that Han as a national or ethnic term gained strength during the Song, and scholars started to describe Han in ways which were similar to ethnic identities such as using chi to talk about people's unchangeable background.

Yet Song records called its own people Zhongguo ren or hua ren, Ming records did the same, it was the none-Chinese who called Chinese as Han ren, this goes with Khitans, Jurchens, Mongols, and Manchus. So even the modern concept of Han, is largely a Qing dynasty construct, although it did have precedence.
Is Zhongguo ren an ethnic term during ancient time? Is there any difference between the term Hua Ren during Tang and Song?

Last edited by Zoopiter; August 13th, 2012 at 03:41 AM.
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Old August 14th, 2012, 07:58 AM   #912
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Back to the OP, it is like asking if the House of Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha aka Windsor is British...
Not exactly, but it is similar. But along the vein, one could say that the house had German Origins but as time went on it became inseparable from British Culture, adopting every British custom and being recognized as British citizens.

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Is Zhongguo ren an ethnic term during ancient time? Is there any difference between the term Hua Ren during Tang and Song?
It was a cultural term describing those that were culturally part of the Zhongguo state and had sinicized. Not a clear-cut ethnic group, so much so that when people attempt to apply such modern costructs backward upon the Zhongguo states they see that it actuallly doesn't work for many of the states in the Warring States Period of China, and the ethnic construct is dubious when looking at the first 'di' Empire of China, the Qin, which had been started by a Han Chinese polity and over the centuries became more diverged from the Chinese state because of 'barbarian' influence of the lands they primarily ruled. And later on, with few mass genocides (certainly less than other locations), the land and people living there were accepted as Zhongguoren.

Its a fluid concept that travels on the back of culture and perception.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 12:48 PM   #913
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The Yuan and Qing rulers considered themselves the true rulers of China. They were just from another ethnic group. And as I said before both ethnic group are part of the "Chinese" ethnicity, which makes them and their dynasty Chinese. And this is not a common misconception.
Can't agree more. It actually depends how you define China and Chinese in history and geography area. After Yuan and Qing build their dynasty, they are learning and using the political system, culture and civilization of Han.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 02:04 PM   #914
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Is the example of the incumbent Windsor dynasty not enough???
OK:

Is Juan Carlos I de Borbon (a French dynasty) Spanish?

Was Nikolai II Holstein-Gottorp (a German dynasty) aka Romanov Russian?

And so on;
... Analogous examples of dynasts from remote foreign familiar origins all around this Planet all along History could easily be multiplied ad infinitum...

(And we haven't talked about maternal origins yet)
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Old August 15th, 2012, 05:59 PM   #915
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Originally Posted by heavenlykaghan View Post
I suspect that the term "Han" or "Han er" actually started out as somewhat of a racial slur such as Japs or Chinamen. It was used by the Northern Qi regime of Gao Huan to refer to the native Chinese.

Native Chinese records such as the Sui, Tang, Song, and Ming never called themselves Han ren. The Tang was probably the closest and often referred its own state as the Han state, often as an analogy to the Han dynasty. Yet it should also be pointed out that the Tang was itself partially Xianbei in origin, which might explain its obsession with the Han.
The early Tang's idea of Chinese was also largely cultural and the idea that hua was just a cultural rather than a genetic concept was prominent. The term Han during the Tang might have been a geographical concept rather than an ethnic one as well, since it is always contrasted with fan, which meant foreigners at the periphery. It appears that Han as a national or ethnic term gained strength during the Song, and scholars started to describe Han in ways which were similar to ethnic identities such as using chi to talk about people's unchangeable background.

Yet Song records called its own people Zhongguo ren or hua ren, Ming records did the same, it was the none-Chinese who called Chinese as Han ren, this goes with Khitans, Jurchens, Mongols, and Manchus. So even the modern concept of Han, is largely a Qing dynasty construct, although it did have precedence.
The argument over whether the Qing was Chinese is, in the end, an argument about semantics.

Politically the Qing was China because it called itself Zhongguo and was regarded by others as such. But culturally and ethnically, the Manchus were an alien group. In modern historiography, with its preoccupation with ethnology, this has logically divided scholars into separate camps - those who believe that it is better to focus on the ethnic, cultural, and linguistic definition of Chinese, and those who believe that it is better to focus on the political and supra-ethnic definition of Chinese.

Yang Shao-Yun, who I believe operated under the title Yun on CHF, a forum you are surely familiar with, has summarized and then argued effectively in his thesis that the concept of Chinese - specifically 'Hua' - has been both a political-cultural one and an ethnic-genealogical one from at least the immediate post-Han period.

Which interpretation was favored depended on the times. During periods of expansion, as well as periods of rule by groups not native to China, the supra-ethnic idea of Hua was favored. During periods of contraction and fragmentation, the ethnic-genealogical idea was favored.

Thus, during the height of the Han, Tang, Ming, and Qing periods, 'Hua' became supra-ethnic so as to incorporate the peoples whom these empires had brought under political rule, and in the case of the Qing, to include the Manchus within 'Hua' so as to better legitimize the dynasty.

Yet during the Three Kingdoms, Western Jin, and Eastern Jin periods, when nomadic groups began moving into China and asserting themselves, differences between self and other were magnified and 'Hua' became an ethnic-genealogical idea, exclusive to the native mainstream Chinese, who feared that these outside groups would 'take over' - which turned out to be a justifiable fear, as the loss of northern China to the Five Hu followed soon after.

This parallels the development of 'Han' identity during the Song, which became exacerbated because the Song had lost the north to the Jurchens, Khitans, and Tanguts.

In all of these cases, an ethnic-genealogical definition developed in response to threats posed by outside groups, during periods when China was contracting, rather than expanding, dividing, rather than unifying.

One is not able to blame the PRC for subverting this paradigm because in this, it is a follower of previous expansionist states.

Last edited by Cerberus; August 15th, 2012 at 06:05 PM.
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Old August 25th, 2012, 01:54 PM   #916
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Originally Posted by Cerberus View Post
The argument over whether the Qing was Chinese is, in the end, an argument about semantics.

Politically the Qing was China because it called itself Zhongguo and was regarded by others as such. But culturally and ethnically, the Manchus were an alien group. In modern historiography, with its preoccupation with ethnology, this has logically divided scholars into separate camps - those who believe that it is better to focus on the ethnic, cultural, and linguistic definition of Chinese, and those who believe that it is better to focus on the political and supra-ethnic definition of Chinese.

Yang Shao-Yun, who I believe operated under the title Yun on CHF, a forum you are surely familiar with, has summarized and then argued effectively in his thesis that the concept of Chinese - specifically 'Hua' - has been both a political-cultural one and an ethnic-genealogical one from at least the immediate post-Han period.

Which interpretation was favored depended on the times. During periods of expansion, as well as periods of rule by groups not native to China, the supra-ethnic idea of Hua was favored. During periods of contraction and fragmentation, the ethnic-genealogical idea was favored.

Thus, during the height of the Han, Tang, Ming, and Qing periods, 'Hua' became supra-ethnic so as to incorporate the peoples whom these empires had brought under political rule, and in the case of the Qing, to include the Manchus within 'Hua' so as to better legitimize the dynasty.

Yet during the Three Kingdoms, Western Jin, and Eastern Jin periods, when nomadic groups began moving into China and asserting themselves, differences between self and other were magnified and 'Hua' became an ethnic-genealogical idea, exclusive to the native mainstream Chinese, who feared that these outside groups would 'take over' - which turned out to be a justifiable fear, as the loss of northern China to the Five Hu followed soon after.

This parallels the development of 'Han' identity during the Song, which became exacerbated because the Song had lost the north to the Jurchens, Khitans, and Tanguts.

In all of these cases, an ethnic-genealogical definition developed in response to threats posed by outside groups, during periods when China was contracting, rather than expanding, dividing, rather than unifying.

One is not able to blame the PRC for subverting this paradigm because in this, it is a follower of previous expansionist states.


I pretty much agree with most of what you wrote. The controversy lies in the fact that the Manchus ran China for 268 years, so politically, they represented China. However, ethnically, they definitely weren't Chinese.

I believe that ethnic Chinese is a real ethnic group because of the thousands of years of shared history, culture, and also, DNA. Among the ethnic Chinese, a coherent genetic structure exists, as demonstrated by scientific papers.

The Manchus don't share this similar DNA with the Chinese.
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Old August 25th, 2012, 01:58 PM   #917
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Can't agree more. It actually depends how you define China and Chinese in history and geography area. After Yuan and Qing build their dynasty, they are learning and using the political system, culture and civilization of Han.
Not really though, is this why the Mongols put the Chinese on the lowest tier of society, and didn't allow the Chinese to govern themselves? Is this why 15 families had to share 1 large kitchen knife? Is this why many Chinese women during Mongol rule had to kill their 1st born?

The Manchus forced their hairstyle, clothing, and other aspects of their culture onto the Chinese. Even to this day, Manchu influence still resonates in China, with the horse jacket and banner gown. Peking opera as well.

Today, the Manchus are PRC citizens. But that doesn't mean that they were historically Chinese, and they're certainly not ethnic Chinese.
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Old August 25th, 2012, 02:01 PM   #918
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Originally Posted by scholar View Post
Its a fluid concept that travels on the back of culture and perception.

New science papers prove that the ethnic Chinese share a coherent genetic structure.

The Manchus do not.

Can we ignore this genetic evidence?
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Old August 25th, 2012, 02:04 PM   #919
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Originally Posted by scholar View Post
And all that evidence, in the end, never negated the fact that they were American. Even had one become President.

Right, but during Manchu rule, the Chinese didn't have one become emperor.

I've posted 1st-hand testimony of Macartney who visited China in 1793-4, is there anything left to say?

Even in 1793, the distinction between Tartar and Chinese was clearly evident, and the policies that the Manchus enacted were clearly described.
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Old September 9th, 2012, 12:28 AM   #920
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Originally Posted by mingming View Post
Ethnicity is what you are. I can chose to call myself either based on the circumstances. If people ask me what race or ethnicity I am then I say Chinese because ethnically that is what I am.
]
No, you're ethnically Hui, or Muslim. You're nationality is American. Your ancestors may have been from China, but you're NOT ETHNICALLY CHINESE, like Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Mongols.
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