Southern China military weak?

Nov 2014
Is it true that Southern China has always tended to be weak militarily Vs. central and northern China? This example seems to hold when you look at the example of the State of Chu and Wu, and the Southern Song, also Southern Chinese tend to make worse soldiers man for man compared to Central and Northern Chinese, at least until the widespread use of guns.


Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
Hunan was stereotyped as the place of ruffians and good soldiers. It was, however, underpopulated until the Song dynasty, and hence was at a significant disadvantage against the North.


Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
The stereotype didn't seem to appear until the Song and especially the Ming period where we have actual writings that said southerners were more feeble. In the Zhou period, the Chu, and later the Wu was the greatest threat to the Central Plains, more so than any of the other barbarians from the north. Xiangyu and Liu Bang also started as southerners and unified China. Up to the Southern dynasties, northern expeditions were not at all considered unlikely to succeed, and Liu Yu's Beifu army conquered almost the entirety of the Central Plains except Hebei, and also defeated the Tuoba Wei army. Even during the Tang, crossbowmen of the South were known to be strong.