Chuang Guandong

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Chuang Guandong (Chinese: 闖關東; pinyin: Chuǎng Guāndōng, literally "Crashing into Guandong" with Guandong being an older name for Manchuria), is descriptive of the rush into Manchuria of the Han Chinese population, especially from the Shandong Peninsula and Zhili, during the hundred year period starting at the last half of the 19th century. Previously, this region was outside China proper, but was sometimes under direct control and/or indirect influence, of the ruling Chinese dynasty. During the first two centuries of the Manchu Qing Dynasty, this part of China, the traditional homeland of the ruling Manchus, was, with few exceptions, closed to settlement by Han Chinese. The region, now known as Northeast China, has an overwhelmingly Han population.

Historical background[edit]

Migrants and other travelers on a kang in a one-room inn in a then-wild area east of Tonghua, Jilin, as seen by Henry E.M. James in 1887

Inner Manchuria, also called Guandong (literally, "east of the pass" referring to Shanhai Pass at the eastern end of the Great Wall of China) or Guānwài (關外; "outside of the pass"), used to be a land of sparse population, inhabited mainly by the Tungusic peoples. In 1668 during the reign of the Kangxi Emperor, the Qing government further decreed a prohibition of other people getting into this area of their origin.

The sparse population of the Qing Empire's northeastern borderlands facilitated the annexation of the so-called "Outer Manchuria" (the regions north of the Amur and east of the Ussuri) by the Russian Empire, finalized by the Treaty of Aigun (1858), and the Convention of Peking (1860). In response, the Qing officials such as Tepuqin (特普欽), the Military Governor (jiangjun) of Heilongjiang in 1859-1867, made proposals (1860) to open parts of Guandong for Chinese farmer settlers in order to oppose the conquest of Russia.[1] The Qing government subsequently changed its policy, encouraging poor farmers from the nearby Zhili Province (the present-day Hebei) and Shandong to move to and live in Manchuria, where one district after another became officially opened for settlement.

The exact numbers of migrants can't be counted, because of the variety of ways of travel (some simply walked), and the underdeveloped government statistics apparatus. Nonetheless, based on the reports of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service and, later, the South Manchurian Railway, modern historians Thomas Gottschang and Diana Lary estimate that, during the period 1891-1942, some 25.4 million migrants arrived to Manchuria from China south of the Great Wall, and 16.7 million went back. This gives the total positive migration balance of 8.7 million people over this half a century period.[2] This makes the scale of the migration comparable to the westward expansion in United States, the advance to Siberia in Russia or, on a smaller scale, the move to Hokkaido in Japan.

Present-day significance[edit]

Those who moved to Manchuria were poor farmers mainly from Shandong who traveled through the land of Shanhai Pass or by sea, using the Yantai-Lushun ferry that was in service due to the Beiyang Fleet who were stationed in Weihaiwei in Shandong Peninsula and Lushun in Liaodong Peninsula. Because of this movement, the majority of older people in Dalian City are from Shandong and the Dalian Dialect is part of the Jiaoliao Mandarin, the Chinese dialect group spreading from Qingdao to Dalian and Dandong.

In the present-day China, the Chuang Guandong migration is well researched.[vague]

In popular arts and literature[edit]

A television drama series, Chuang Guandong, made by Dalian TV Station[clarification needed], using the scenarios[clarification needed] written by Gao Mantang, was broadcast in Dalian, China, in January and February, 2008, and was later broadcast throughout China by China Central Television.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Lee 1970, p. 103
  2. ^ Reardon-Anderson 2005, p. 98

References[edit]

External links[edit]