Guangzhou massacre

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Guangzhou massacre
Location Guangzhou
Date 878-879
Target Muslim Arabs, Muslim Persians, Zoroastrian Persians, Christians, and Jews
Attack type
Pogrom
Deaths 120,000-200,000 (various estimates)
Perpetrators Huang Chao's Chinese rebel Army

In the Guangzhou massacre, Chinese rebels under Huang Chao who were revolting against the Tang dynasty were said to have engaged in a massive slaughter of foreign merchants in Guangzhou.

Background[edit]

Xenophobia had been building up in China, directed against the wealthy foreign merchants, who were scapegoated for troubles which plagued Tang dynasty China. An earlier Yangzhou massacre (760) took place in which Chinese rebels massacred the wealthy Arab and Persian merchant community.[1][2][3] The wealth of these foreign traders/merchants spurred extreme xenophobia from the Chinese during the decline of the Tang dynasty.

Arab and Persian pirates raided and looted warehouses in Guangzhou (known to them as Khanfu or Sin-Kalan) in AD 758, according to a local Guangzhou government report on October 30, 758, which corresponded to the day of Guisi (癸巳) of the ninth lunar month in the first year of the Qianyuan era of Emperor Suzong of the Tang Dynasty.[4][5][6][7]

Huang Chao revolted against the declining Tang dynasty after failing the Imperial Examination multiple times. He rebelled in 875 and led his army across China to Guangzhou in Lingnan.

Guangzhou was called "Khanfu" by the Arabs, and another name for Guangzhou is Canton.

Massacre[edit]

The Chinese rebels led by Huang Chao slaughtered Jews, Muslim Arabs, Muslim Persians, Zoroastrians (a.k.a. Parsees or Mazdaists), and Christians when they seized and conquered according to the Arab writer Abu Zayd Hasan As-Sirafi. Huang Chao's army was in Guangzhou during 878–879.[8][9][10][11][12][13] Mulberry groves were also ruined by Huang's army.[14] Only the Arabic source of Abu Zaid mentions the massacre, Chinese sources of the Tang dynasty history say nothing of the massacre and only mention Huang Chao occupying Guangzhou and retreating after disease struck his army.

The main motivation for the killings were that the victims were foreign and wealthy.[15]

The death toll could have ranged from 120,000 to 200,000 foreigners.[16][17][18]

Foreigners have at different periods settled in China; but after remaining for a time, they have been massacred. For instance, Mohammedans and others settled at Canton in the ninth century; and in 889, it is said that 120,000 foreign settlers were massacred.[19]

— the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, "The Baptist missionary magazine" (1869)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Guy (1986). John Guy, ed. Oriental trade ceramics in South-East Asia, ninth to sixteenth centuries: with a catalogue of Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai wares in Australian collections (illustrated, revised ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 7. Retrieved March 12, 2012. "Tang period onwards, were strong enough to sack that city in 758-9 in an act of frustration prompted by the corruption of Chinese port officials, and escape by sea, probably to Tonkin where they could continue their trading activities.11 The sacking of Yang-chou in 760 by Chinese rebels resulted in the deaths of 'several thousand of Po'ssi and Ta-shih merchants'.12 and when massacres occurred in Guangzhou in 878, a contemporary Arab geographer, Abu Zaid, recorded that 'Muslims, Jews, Christians and Parsees perished'.13" 
  2. ^ Jacques Gernet (1996). A History of Chinese Civilization (2, illustrated, revised, reprint ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 292. ISBN 0521497817. Retrieved March 12, 2012. "In 760 several thousand Arab and Persian merchants were massacred at Yangchow by insurgents bands led by T'ien Shen-kung, and a century later, in 879, it was also the foreign merchants who were attacked at Canton by the troops of Huang Ch'ao." 
  3. ^ Jacques Gernet (1996). A History of Chinese Civilization (2, illustrated, revised, reprint ed.). p. 289. ISBN 0521497817. Retrieved March 12, 2012. "The sack of the city by Huang Ch'ao's troops in 879," 
  4. ^ E. Bretschneider (1871). On the knowledge possessed by the ancient Chinese of the Arabs and Arabian colonies: and other western countries, mentioned in Chinese books. LONDON 60 PATERNOSTER ROW.: Trübner & co. p. 10. Retrieved 2010-06-28. "The merchant Soleyman visited China about the middle of the ninth century. He went there by sea and landed at a town, which he calls Kanfou, situated several days' journey from the sea. Renaudot and Deguignes believed Canton to be meant by it, but Reinaud is of opinion that Soleyman landed at Hang chou fu (in Chekiang). Another Arabian merchant, Ibn Vahab, visited and described China in 872 A.d. and was received by the Emperor. It appears from the relations given by these two travellers, that the Arabs at that time carried on commerce with the Chinese by sea. The Chinese records do not mention this. Only in one instance (T'ang shu, Chap. 258b, Article Po ssii (Persia) it is said that the Arabs and Persians together a.D. 758, sacked and burned the city of Kuang chou (Canton) and went back by sea. The Chinese text (1. c.) says: $£ Ttj" (Original from Harvard University)
  5. ^ Welsh, Frank (1974). Maya Rao, ed. A Borrowed Place: The History of Hong Kong. p. 13. ISBN 1-56836-134-3. 
  6. ^ Needham, Joseph (1954). Science & Civilisation in China. Cambridge University Press. pp. 1, 179. 
  7. ^ Sima Guang. Zizhi Tongjian (Comprehensive Mirror to Aid in Government). 
  8. ^ Gabriel Ferrand, ed. (1922). Voyage du marchand arabe Sulaymân en Inde et en Chine, rédigé en 851, suivi de remarques par Abû Zayd Hasan (vers 916). p. 76. 
  9. ^ Sidney Shapiro (2001). Sidney Shapiro, ed. Jews in old China: studies by Chinese scholars. Hippocrene Books. p. 60. ISBN 0781808332. Retrieved March 12, 2012. "3. Guangzhou (Canton). Toward the end of the Tang dynasty, that is, toward the end of the ninth century, Islamic traveller Aboul Zeyd al Hassan, also called Abu Zaid visited India and China (40). He wrote: "During the Huang Chao rebellion near the end of Tang, 120000 Muslims, Jews, Christians and Parsees in Guangfu (Chen Yuan's rendition of the French "Khanfu") on business, were killed" (27 p. 29). Neither the New nor Old Tang History mentions this event, though they do say that Huang Chao occupied Guangzhou in 978, and that he withdrew the following year, the reason for the pull-out being that ". . . a great plague" 
  10. ^ Sidney Shapiro (2001). Sidney Shapiro, ed. Jews in old China: studies by Chinese scholars. Hippocrene Books. p. 8. ISBN 0781808332. Retrieved March 12, 2012. "Toward the end of Tang (618-905) Arab traveller Abu Zaid Hassan notes that during Huang Chao's attack on Khanfu (Canton) many Muslims, Jews, Christians and Mazdaists (Persian Zoroastrians) were killed. At that time people of various races from Western Asia came to China since sea trade was brisk" 
  11. ^ Rukang Tian (1988). Male anxiety and female chastity: a comparative study of Chinese ethical values in Ming-Chʻing times. Volume 14 of Tʻoung pao: Monographie (illustrated ed.). BRILL. p. 84. ISBN 9004083618. Retrieved March 12, 2012. "In the waning years of the T'ang Dynasty, Huang Chao, a scholar who had failed repeatedly in examinations, rose furiously in revolt. It was recorded by an Arab traveller that one hundred and twenty thousands Arabs, Persians and Jews were killed when the rebellious army captured Canton in 879." 
  12. ^ Ray Huang (1997). China: A Macro History (2, revised, illustrated ed.). M.E. Sharpe. p. 117. ISBN 1563247305. Retrieved March 12, 2012. "An Arabic source says that in Guangzhou Huang's followers slew 120,000 Mohammedans, Jews, Christains, and Persians. This, however, is not corroborated by the Chinese writers." 
  13. ^ William J. Bernstein (2009). A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World (illustrated ed.). Grove Press. p. 86. ISBN 0802144160. Retrieved March 12, 2012. "As early as AD 840, the emperor Wuzong sought to blame foreign ideologies for China's plight. In 878, the rebel Huang Chao sacked Canton, slaughtering 120,000 Muslims (mainly Persians), Jews, and Christians living in that city's trade community." 
  14. ^ William J. Bernstein (2009). A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World (illustrated ed.). Grove Press. p. 86. ISBN 0802144160. Retrieved March 12, 2012. "19 Not content to massacre traders, Huang Chao also tried to kill China's main export industry by destroying the mulberry groves of south China.20" 
  15. ^ Jacques Gernet (1996). A History of Chinese Civilization (2, illustrated, revised, reprint ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 267. ISBN 0521497817. Retrieved March 12, 2012. "They then travelled round Anhwei and Chekiang, reaching Foochow and in 879 Canton, where they massacred the rich foreign merchants." 
  16. ^ http://www.mykedah2.com/e_10heritage/e102_1_p2.htm
  17. ^ History of humanity
  18. ^ Familiar strangers: a history of Muslims in Northwest China
  19. ^ American Baptist Foreign Mission Society (1869). The Missionary magazine, Volume 49. VOLUME XLIX. BOSTON : MISSIONARY ROOMS, 12 BEDFORD STREET: American Baptist Missionary Union. p. 385. Retrieved March 12, 2012. "The Chinese and Foreigners. The position and treaty rights of foreigners in China have hitherto been maintained by military force; and though Mr. Burlingame's mission appears to be especially directed to the abolishment of the " force policy," yet without force, that is, a show of military force for protection, the position of foreigners of every class would not be tenable in China a month. Foreigners have at different periods settled in China; but after remaining for a time, they have been massacred. For instance, Mohammedans and others settled at Canton in the ninth century; and in 889, it is said that 120,000 foreign settlers were massacred. Again in the sixteenth century, the Portuguese commenced trade and formed a settlement at Ningpo; Spaniards and other foreigners also settled here. But in 1542, the whole settlement, consisting of over 3,000 persons, was destroyed, most of the settlers being put to death. Also at Cha-pu, about seventy or eighty miles north of Ningpo, on the Hangchow bay, there was a settlement of foreigners for the purposes of trade, about two hundred years since, who at length were massacred. It is often reported among the people at Ningpo, and other places in China where there are foreigners residing, that they and all the natives connected with them are to be put to death. So rife was such a report at Ningpo, two years since, and the excitement began to be so great that the foreign consuls requested the native officials to issue proclamations to quiet the people, and threaten punishment to those circulating inflammatory reports."