Sorry but there is no source or anything before Qing dynasty that claim China was a multi-ethnic state. If someone of foreign origin like a Jurchen who identifies with confucius than they mean he is more civilized, no one said they are part of Chinese or your Zhonghua. Racial/ethnic awareness were a very strong thing of the past but had became weaker and broader after the people's republic of China.
After the highlighted sentence has been exposed as errant nonsense when we showed multiple pre-Qing era sources that showed just that; he back paddled and said that only Han Chinese writings counted, then when I showed him Han people writing just that, he then back paddled and said that they served "barbarian" regimes and doesn't count. Then I showed him Sui and Tang sources, which he admitted were Han regimes, he then called them half barbarians and therefore all Han Chinese writing under them doesn't count. At this point, his logic is a mess; he admits Sui and Tang were accepted as Han (ignoring the anachronistic nature of this statement), yet says people who accepts them as Han are afraid to be punished for labeling the Northern Zhou, a different dynasty which was Xianbei as barbarian. No explanation is given why such a label will be punished, when the Tang have been calling other Xianbei and other nomadic groups as barbarians (I'll attribute it again to his ignorance of the sources of the period). This shows to me that he has no basic grasp of Chinese history; Manchu emperors like Kangxi and Qianlong also had Han banner mothers; but they were still identified as Manchu (Kangxi even promoted his mother's clan into a Manchu banner), not half Manchu-half Han, because the Manchu identity is not race based.
Also, even if we go along with him and accept that Tang is "half barbarian", if over half of the dynasties in China are of this nature, what makes the Song and Ming dynasties authoritative and representative of Chinese views? One could likewise argue that the Song created the whole ideology that barbarians can't be Chinese to legitimize itself and exclude the Khitan and Jurchen to hide the fact that the Song never actually unified all of China.
Then I showed him passages from the Warring States and Han where barbarians simply became Hua, and he said they weren't "totally foreign", whatever the hell that even meant considering the Chu state spoke a different language from the states of Central Plains. Yet even here, the very fact that Chinese states can become barbarian already emphatically proves that Chinese is not race based during the Zhou.
And he is still ignoring the fact that Korea was accepted as Hua by both the Song and the Ming.
Nor has he addressed my queue cutting examples showing Han Chinese feeling a deep cultural bond to the Qing which again emphatically disproves his idea that they were all forced into accepting the Manchus as civilized Hua.
When challenged him for a single source where Hua or Han has carried race/descent connotations, he cower away like a sacred puppy and refuse to divulge the source which suggests that this purported “source” of his is as imaginary as the Han racial identity he envisioned. Otherwise, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that he's an incompetent historian, a fraud, and (worst of all) a time waster.
I thought Hanyu was citing the Spring and Autumn Annals directly because he mentioned the text before he wrote the passage. This is an understandable, and a rather insignificant oversight since this still doesn't change any part of my argument; Hanyu's passage was still summarizing Confucius; as examples of barbarians changing into Hua and vice versa can be found in numerous places.
Comments of books frequently cite passages in verbatim from well known texts; and that's why I thought Hanyu's passage came from Confucius originally, considering he mentioned the text Spring and Autumn right before the passage.
Hanyu interpreted Confucius to mean that and that was what the passage implied. All commentaries of Confucian texts from the Warring States to the Tang thought Confucius meant that Hua and Yi are based on the correct rites as well. There is nothing descent related in any of these early ideologies. The Gongyangzhuan was the prominent commentary on the Spring and Autumns and this school of thought dominated Chinese thinking of what is Hua down to the Tang; with Dong Zhongshu of the Han adding on to the school of thought and that is pretty much summed up by Hanyu; barbarians adopting Chinese customs become Chinese, Chinese adopting barbarian customs become barbarians. Whether Confucius himself stated this passage is irrelevant to the fact that just about every scholar from the Warring States and Han dynasty down to the Tang dynasty thought that he meant it and that was what mattered as far as the Chinese psychology of what is Hua goes.
In sum, Chinese never carried racial connotations during these times. Han was not an ethnic identity. Only during the Northern dynasties did Han even become associated with language and customs of a people, but still not descent. Gaohuan was a Xianbei who claimed ancestry from a "Han" but promoted Xianbei customs, yet his regime was still considered Hua by posterity.
Verdictpunjab's idea that the Xianbei got assimilated into the Han and that was why they were called Hua just doesn't stand in front of textual evidence.
Gaohuan still called the Han people with the derogatory term "Han er" and the Xianbei were far from assimilated in his regime since he had to ban his Xianbei soldiers from bullying the Han.
Gao also preferred Xianbei soldiers and once told his general Gao Aocao to use Xianbei soldiers instead of only Han soldiers: "高都督纯将汉儿,恐不济事,今当割鲜卑兵千余人共相参杂,于意如何?"
"Commissioner Gao only use Han generals, this might not get things accomplished, now I give you over 1,000 Xianbei soldiers to mix with them, what do you think?"
We see clearly that the Xianbei of the Northern Qi did not lose their Xianbei identity, they simply associated with the cultural Hua nd a geopolitical China as a Xianbei dynasty and were viewed as such by the Sui and Tang.
"During the Zhou and Qi, they are like the warring states, Zhongxia (China) is divided for a long time. Whenever the Turks raid the frontier, the generals tried to preserve their whole army and did not fight them to the death. Therefore, the Turks often won and were rarely defeated, so they look down on China's armies."
All the passages of the Northern Zhou and Qi I found in Sui Shu called them Xia, Hua, or Zhongguo, but not Han. Clearly, the idea that a northern nomadic group other than the Han can become Hua is very common among the people of the time; including "Han" generals serving the Sui and Tang.
And if anyone tries to be argumentative and claims that Sui and Tang were not Han, Song sources (which fits Verdictpunjab's idea of "Han") also treated the Sui and Tang as Hua (and don't say that Song thought the Tang was Han; the Northern Song did not use the term Han to describe any Chinese regime except for the Han dynasty as they had no concept of Han as an ethnic marker); so there is no way one can argue that a native Chinese regime never called non-Han regimes Hua, because they clearly did.