Three Qins

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The Three Qins (Chinese: 三秦; pinyin: Sān Qín) refer to three of the Eighteen Kingdoms, formed from the division of the empire after the collapse of the Qin dynasty in 206 BC. The three kingdoms are located in Guanzhong (in present-day central Shaanxi), the heartland of the Qin Empire.

Originally, according to a promise by King Huai II of Chu, Guanzhong belonged to Liu Bang, because Liu was the first to capture Guanzhong and end the Qin dynasty. However, Xiang Yu ignored the promise and relocated Liu to another fief, Kingdom of Han, which was located in present-day Sichuan. Guanzhong was granted to three former Qin generals, who surrendered to Xiang Yu after the Battle of Julu. The three kingdoms are collectively known as the Three Qins, because they occupied the heartland of the former Qin state.

The Three Qins are listed as follows:

  • Yong (雍), ruled by Zhang Han, occupying present-day central Shaanxi
  • Sai (塞), ruled by Sima Xin, occupying present-day northeastern Shaanxi
  • Zhai (翟), ruled by Dong Yi, occupying present-day northern Shaanxi

In the autumn of 206 BC, Liu Bang's general Han Xin made a surprise attack on the Kingdom of Yong and defeated Zhang Han. Following that, Sima Xin and Dong Yi surrendered to Liu. By 205 BC, the Three Qins became part of Liu's Kingdom of Han (later known as the Han dynasty).

In present-day China, "Three Qins" is used as an abbreviation for Shaanxi province.[citation needed]