Guangzhou massacre

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Guangzhou massacre
LocationGuangzhou, Tang dynasty China
Date878–879
Deaths120,000[1]–200,000 (various estimates)
PerpetratorsHuang Chao's rebel army

The Guangzhou Massacre was a massacre of the inhabitants of the prosperous port city of Guangzhou in 878–879 by the rebel army of Huang Chao who was attempting to overthrow the Tang dynasty. Victims included tens of thousands of foreign merchants, mainly Arabs and Persians.

Background[edit]

An earlier Yangzhou massacre (760) took place in which Chinese rebels massacred the wealthy Arab and Persian merchant community.[2][3][4]

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.[5][6][7][8] (大食, 波斯寇廣州)[9]

As Huang’s forces scourged China from north to south, they arrived at the gates of Guangzhou in 878. His troops stormed Guangzhou, terrorizing the city and targeting the foreign population, which had grown quite wealthy over the years. Huang Chao’s rebel forces tapped into popular sentiment that somehow the decline of the Tang fortunes and their own lives had been made worse by the presence of avaricious foreigners. Vengeance was brutal, with a death toll in what became known as the “Guangzhou Massacre” possibly reaching nearly 200,000 casualties, according to Arab sources.

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 Arab writer Abu Zayd Hasan As-Sirafi. Huang Chao's army was in Guangzhou during 878–879.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16] Mulberry groves were also ruined by Huang's army.[17] According to Liu Xu (887–946), the lead editor of the Old Book of Tang, one of the official histories of the preceding Tang dynasty, thousands of Arab and Persian traders were killed when Yang-zhou was looted by the army of the rebel Tian Sheng-Gong.[18]

Most of the victims were foreign and wealthy.[19]

The death toll could have ranged from 120,000 to 200,000 foreigners.[20][21][22]

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.[23]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marshall Broomhall (1910). Islam in China: A Neglected Problem. Morgan & Scott, Limited. pp. 31, 50.
  2. ^ 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 758-59 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
  3. ^ 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 insurgent 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.
  4. ^ 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,
  5. ^ 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 around 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 he meant Canton, but Reinaud is of the opinion that Soleyman landed at Hang chou fu (in Chekiang). Another Arabian merchant, Ibn Vahab, visited and described China in 872 AD and was received by the Emperor. It appears from the relations given by these two travelers 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)) is it said that the Arabs and Persians together AD 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)
  6. ^ Welsh, Frank (1974). Maya Rao, ed. A Borrowed Place: The History of Hong Kong. p. 13. ISBN 1-56836-134-3.
  7. ^ Needham, Joseph (1954). Science & Civilisation in China. Cambridge University Press. pp. 1, 179.
  8. ^ Sima Guang. Zizhi Tongjian (Comprehensive Mirror to Aid in Government).
  9. ^ "The "China Seas" in world history: A general outline of the role of Chinese and East Asian maritime space from its origins to c. 1800". Journal of Marine and Island Cultures. 1: 63–86. doi:10.1016/j.imic.2012.11.002.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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 traveler 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, 120,000 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
  12. ^ 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
  13. ^ 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 traveler that 120,000 Arabs, Persians and Jews were killed when the rebellious army captured Canton in 879.
  14. ^ 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, Christians and Persians. This, however, is not corroborated by the Chinese writers.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Morris Rossabi (28 November 2014). From Yuan to Modern China and Mongolia: The Writings of Morris Rossabi. BRILL. pp. 227–. ISBN 978-90-04-28529-3.
  17. ^ 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
  18. ^ electricpulp.com. "Chinese–Iranian Relations vii. SE. China – Encyclopaedia Iranica". www.iranicaonline.org. Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  19. ^ 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 traveled around Anhwei and Chekiang, reaching Foochow and in 879 Canton, where they massacred the rich foreign merchants.
  20. ^ http://www.mykedah2.com/e_10heritage/e102_1_p2.htm
  21. ^ History of humanity
  22. ^ Familiar Strangers: A History of Muslims in Northwest China
  23. ^ 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.