List of massacres in China

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The following is a list of massacres that have occurred in China. The massacres are grouped for different time periods.

Imperial China (before 1912)[edit]

Name Date (Dynasty) Location Deaths Notes
Yongjia disaster 304–316 (Jin) Luoyang 30,000, exaggerated[1] The capital was sacked in the disaster, an landmark incident in the Invasion of the Five Barbarians. The deaths of 30,000 was based on the Book of Jin compiled in 648.[1]
Yangzhou merchants massacre 760 (Tang) Yangzhou 1,000 Merchants from the Abbasid Caliphate (Arabs, Persians) were killed. It coincided with the An Lushan Rebellion.[2][3]
Guangzhou merchants massacre 878–879 (Tang) Guangzhou Tens of thousands[4] Merchants from the Abbasid Caliphate (Arabs, Persians) were killed.
Mongol conquest of the Jin dynasty 1211–1234 (Song) Northern China ?
Mongol conquest of Western Xia 1225–1227 now Ningxia ?
First Sichuan massacre 1221–1264 (Song) Sichuan 2 million est.[5] Part of Mongol conquest of the Song dynasty.
Second Sichuan massacre 1645–1646 (Qing) Sichuan 1 million est.[5] There is no reliable figure, but estimated 1 million out of 3 million Sichuanese were massacred mainly by the army of Zhang Xianzhong.[5]
Yangzhou massacre 1645 (Qing) Yangzhou 300,000 (modern estimate)[6] The Yangzhou massacre in May, 1645 in Yangzhou, Qing dynasty China, refers to the mass killings of innocent civilians by Manchu and defected northern Chinese soldiers, commanded by the Manchu general Dodo. The massacre is described in a contemporary account, A Record of Ten Days in Yangzhou, by Wang Xiuchu
Three massacres in Jiading 1645 (Qing) Jiading District 100,000[7] Any Han Chinese male living in Jiading who refused to Tifayifu was slaughtered by the Eight Banners.
Jinhua massacre 1646 (Qing) Jinhua 60,000 Any Han Chinese male living in Jinhua who refused to Tifayifu was slaughtered by the Eight Banners.
Dzungar genocide 1755–1757 (Qing) Dzungar Khanate 480,000[8] Manchus Qing army slaughtered 80% Oriat Mongols.
Dungan Revolt 1862–1873 (Qing) Provinces of Shaanxi and Gansu ? Due to a combination of massacres, famine, war/famine migration and corpse-transmitted plague,[9] Gansu lost 74.5% (14.55 million)[10] of its population while Shaanxi lost 44.6% (6.2 million)[9] of its population. Not all "loss" were massacres.
Port Arthur massacre 1894, 21 November (Qing) Lüshunkou, Liaoning 2600–20,000 2,600 civilians were slaughtered within the city, while those slaughtered in the hills surrounding the city had no reliable count. In November 1948, the Chinese Communist Party built a cemetery and marked the total deaths to be 20,000, which include soldiers killed in action and fleeing soldiers disguised as civilians. The 20,000 figure became the orthodox figure in communist sources.[11]
Second Dungan Revolt 1895–1896 (Qing) Provinces of Qinghai and Gansu 100,000 Second Dungan Revolt (Chinese: 乙未河湟事变) was a rebellion of various Chinese Muslim ethnic groups in Qinghai and Gansu against the Qing dynasty, that originated because of a violent dispute between two Sufi orders of the same sect. The Wahhabi-inspired Yihewani organization then joined in and encouraged the revolt, which was crushed by loyalist Muslims.

In Xunhua, Qinghai, masses of Hui, Dongxiang, Bao'an, and Salars were incited to revolt against the Qing by the Multicoloured Mosque leader Ma Yonglin. Soldiers were ordered to destroy the rebels by Brigadier General Tang Yanhe. Ma Dahan arranged a deal with the fellow Dongxiang Ma Wanfu when rebelling against the Qing dynasty. In Hezhou, Didao, and Xunhua they directed their adherents to join the rebellion.

Republic of China (since 1912)[edit]


Name Date Location Victims Notes
Shanghai massacre of 1927 1927, 12 April Shanghai 1200 300–400 direct deaths. Five thousand missing
Kuomintang anti-communist massacre 1928 Nationwide in China 40,643~310,000[12] Mass executions of both alleged and actual communists by the nationalist Kuomintang.
Communist purge in Jiangxi–Fujian Soviet 1931–1935 Provinces of Jiangxi and Fujian <700,000[13][better source needed] According to census, 700,000 died in the 15 counties under the Jiangxi–Fujian Soviet. Some scholars attribute all the deaths to the regime.[13]
Kizil massacre 1933, June near Kashgar, Xinjiang 800
Kashgar massacre 1934 Kashgar, Xinjiang 2,000–8,000 Turkic Muslim separatist warfare

1937–1945 (Sino-Japanese War)[edit]

Name Date Location Victims Notes
Nanjing Massacre 1937, 13 December Nanjing, Jiangsu 100,000~200,000 40,000 were massacred within Nanjing City Walls, mostly within the first five days; while the total victims massacred as of the end of March 1938 in both Nanjing and its surrounding six rural counties "far exceed 100,000 but fall short of 200,000".[14][15]
Three Alls Policy 1940–1942 North China 2.7 million Scorched earth policy conducted by Japanese military.
Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign 1942, 15 May – 4 September Provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangxi 250,000 Conducted by Japanese military as retaliation for Chinese civilians giving shelter to American pilots after the Doolittle Raid.
Yan'an Rectification Movement 1942–1945 Yan'an, Shaanxi 10,000[16] Launched by Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party. Regarded by many as the origin of Mao Zedong's cult of personality.
Changjiao massacre 1943, 9–12 May Changjiao, Hunan 30,000 Conducted by the Japanese military

1945–1949 (Civil War)[edit]

Name Location Date Victims Notes
February 28 incident Taiwan Province 1947, 28 February – 16 May 20,000 to 28,000 Beginning of the White Terror campaign. The Chinese Kuomintang-led government imposed martial law until 1987.
Siege of Changchun Jilin Province 1948, 23 May – 19 October 1948 120,000 to 160,000 civilian deaths due to starvation[17][18][19] In the siege, in order to exhaust the food supply of the defenders, the communist rebels did not let civilians evacuate until very late so that the civilians and the defending government troops competed for food.


Name Date Location Victims Notes
Lieyu massacre 1987, 7–8 March Fujian Province 19 Targeted Vietnamese boat people. Conducted by the Republic of China Army.

People's Republic of China (since 1949)[edit]


Name Date Location Victims Notes
Chinese land reform 1949–1953 Nationwide 1 million – 4.7 million[20] Launched by Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Liquidation of the landlord class in struggle sessions.
Campaign to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries 1950–1953 Nationwide 712,000 – 2 million[21][22] Launched by Mao Zedong and CCP.
Three-anti and Five-anti campaigns 1951–1952 Nationwide Exact death toll is unknown. In Shanghai alone, from 25 January to 1 April 1952, at least 876 people committed suicide.[23][24][25] Launched by Mao Zedong and CCP.
Sufan movement 1955–1957 Nationwide 53,000[26][27] Launched by Mao Zedong and CCP
Anti-Rightist Campaign 1957–1959 Nationwide Exact death toll is unknown. Official statistics shows that at least 550,000 people were purged and many died.[28][29][30] Launched by Mao Zedong and CCP.
Xunhua Incident 1958 Qinghai 435 The massacre was conducted by People's Liberation Army towards local civilians.[31]
1959 Tibetan uprising 1959 Tibet 87,000[32][33][34] The exact number of deaths has been disputed.[35]
Violence in the Great Chinese Famine 1959–1961 Nationwide 2.5 million[36][37] Killings occurred during the Great Chinese Famine.[38][39] According to Frank Dikötter, at least 2.5 million (2–3 million) people were beaten or tortured to death, which accounted for 6–8% of the total deaths in the famine.[37][39][40]
Socialist Education Movement 1963–1965 Nationwide 77,560[41] Launched by Mao Zedong.

1966–1976 (Cultural Revolution)[edit]

Cultural Revolution was launched by Mao Zedong in May 1966, with the help of the Cultural Revolution Group. The estimated total death toll ranges from hundreds of thousands to 20 million,[42] while massacres took place across the country. Some of the massacres occurred during the Violent Struggles (200,000–500,000 deaths), struggle sessions or political purges such as Cleansing the Class Ranks (0.5–1.5 million deaths). In total, some Chinese researchers have estimated that at least 300,000 people were killed in Cultural Revolution massacres.[43][44] Massacres in Guangxi Province and Guangdong Province were among the most serious: in Guangxi, the official annals of at least 43 counties report massacres with 15 of them recording a death toll of over 1,000, while in Guangdong at least 28 counties report massacres with 6 of them seeing over 1,000 deaths.[45][46] The following table only includes major massacres which have been well documented in literature.

Name Date Location Victims Notes
Red August August – September 1966 Beijing 1,772[47] Origin of the Red Terror in Chinese Cultural Revolution, triggering "Daxing Massacre" which killed 325 people in a few days. Statistics from 1985 showed a death toll of over 10,000 due to the Red August.[48]
Guangxi Massacre 1966–1976 Guangxi 100,000 – 150,000[49][50] Massive cannibalism occurred.[49][50]
Inner Mongolia incident 1967–1969 Inner Mongolia 16,632 – 100,000[46] Mostly Mongols.
Qinghai Massacre February 1967 Qinghai 173[46] Conducted by People's Liberation Army.[46][51]
Guangzhou Laogai Fan Incident August 1967 Guangzhou,


187–197[52][53] Part of the Guangdong Massacre. Caused by the rumor that Laogaifan (prisoners of Laogai) were released. Local citizens began massive killings as self-defense.[52][53]
Anti-Peng Pai Incident August 1967 Shanwei, Guangdong >160[54] Targeted the relatives of Peng Pai.
Qingtongxia Incident August 1967 Qingtongxia, Ningxia 101[46][55] Conducted by People's Liberation Army.[46][55]
Yangjiang Massacre 1967–1969 Yangjiang, Guangdong 3,573[46][56] Part of the Guangdong Massacre. Mainly in Yangjiang and Yangchun.[46][56]
Daoxian massacre August – October


Daoxian, Hunan 9,093[57] Took place in more than 10 counties, mainly in Dao County.
Shaoyang County Massacre July – September




991[46][58] Influenced by Daoxian Massacre.
Dan County Massacre August 1968 Danzhou, Hainan >700[46][59] Part of the Guangdong Massacre. Over 50,000 people were jailed and thousands were permanently disabled. Conducted by People's Liberation Army and local militias.[46][59]
Ruijin Massacre September –October 1968 Ruijin, Jiangxi >1000[46][60] Took place in Ruijin County, Xingguo County, and Yudu County.[46][60]
Zhao Jianmin Spy Case 1968–1969 Yunnan 17,000[46] Over 1.3 million people persecuted. Part of the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
Shadian incident July – August


Yunnan 1,600[61] Uprising of Hui people. Conducted by People's Liberation Army.


Name Date Location Victims Notes
Tibetan unrest 1987–1989 Tibet 10–400 Official source states the death toll between 10–20, but other estimates range from dozens to hundreds.[62]
1989 Tiananmen Square protests and massacre 1989, 4 June Tiananmen Square, Beijing 200–10,000[63][64] Between 200 and 10,000 civilians were killed. The Red Cross states that around 2,600 died and the official Chinese government figure is 241 dead with 7,000 wounded.[65][66] Amnesty International's estimates puts the number of deaths at several hundred to close to 1,000.[67] As many as 10,000 estimated people were arrested during the protests.[68]
Thousand Island Lake robbery killings 1994, 31 March Zhejiang Province 32 Twenty-four Taiwanese tourists, 6 crew members and 2 mainland Chinese passengers on board the Hai Rui sightseeing cruise were robbed and murdered. The incident cast a shadow over cross-strait relations.[69]
Ghulja Incident 1997, 5 February Ghulja, Xinjiang 9 Demonstrations in Ghulja were violently put down by police after two days of protesting. Official reports put the death toll at 9.[70]
Long wins round robbery 1998, November 15 Shanwei 23 Guangdong Province, Shanwei City, the territory of an armed robbery case, the Hong Kong shipping company "Changsheng" million tons of cargo ship on which 23 Chinese expatriate crew were all killed and their corpses dumped into the sea.[clarification needed][71]


Name Date Location Victims Notes
2008 Tibetan unrest 2008, 16 March Tibet 20–150 In order to commemorate the 49th anniversary of the armed uprising on 10 March 1959, some Tibetan demonstrators protested collectively in Tibetan areas of China and parts of southern Tibet. However, it later evolved into Tibetan attacks on civilians such as Han and Hui civilians and shops, cars, the Lhasa Great Mosque and other civilian facilities.
2008 Kashgar attack 2008, 4 August Kashgar, Xinjiang 17 Two men drove an attack on the armed police of the border guard detachment of Kashgar, which was in operation. A total of 17 People's Armed Police were killed and 15 injured.
July 2009 Ürümqi riots 2009, 5 July Ürümqi 197 At first it was just a demonstration, which later evolved into a series of violent attacks by Uyghurs against non-Muslim ethnic groups such as the Han. At least more than 1,000 Uyghurs participated in the riot on the first day of the incident. A total of 197 people died, most of whom were Hans,[72] with 1,721 others injured,[73] and a large number of vehicles and buildings were destroyed.
2012 Yecheng attack 2012, 28 February Yecheng, Xinjiang 13 A group of eight Uyghur men led by religious extremist Abudukeremu Mamuti attacked pedestrians with axes and knives on Happiness Road. Seven terrorists were killed on the spot by the police, while the other one was injured and died after rescue. One police officer died and 4 police were injured, while 15 pedestrians died from Mamuti's assault and 14 more civilians were injured.[74]
June 2013 Shanshan riots 2013, 26 June Shanshan, Xinjiang 35 On 26 June 2013, 35 people died in the riots, including 22 civilians, two police officers and eleven attackers.
2013 Tiananmen Square attack 2013, 28 October Beijing 5 A car crashed in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China, as a terrorist suicide attack. Five people died in the incident; 3 inside the vehicle and 2 civilian nearby.
2014 Kunming attack 2014, 1 March Kunming 35 Eight Uighur terrorists stabbed 31 civilians to death and left 141 injured.[75] On the afternoon of 3 March, the official announced the resolution of the case. A total of 8 people were killed. Of the 5 directly involved in the attack, 4 were killed on the spot and 1 was captured on the spot.
May 2014 Ürümqi attack 2014, 22 March Ürümqi, Xinjiang 43 Two sport utility vehicles (SUVs) carrying five assailants were driven into a busy street market in Ürümqi, the capital of China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Up to a dozen explosives were thrown at shoppers from the windows of the SUVs. The SUVs crashed into shoppers then collided with each other and exploded. Forty-three people were killed, including 4 of the assailants, and more than 90 wounded. The event was designated as a terrorist attack.
2015 Aksu colliery attack 2015, 18 September Aksu Prefecture, Xinjiang >50 A group of armed separatists attacked coal miners and security personnel, murdering at least 50 people and injuring 50 others. When the local police arrived at the scene, the attacker used a truck full of coal to hit the police vehicle and then fled into the mountains. The majority of the victims of this attack were Han people.
Yema stabbings 2016, September 29 Yema, Qujing, Yunnan Province 19 Yang Qingpei killed his parents in an argument over money and then murdered 17 neighbours in an attempt to cover up his crime.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Volume 102: 劉聰載記". Book of Jin. 648. p. 2659. 曜於是害諸王公及百官已下三萬餘人
  2. ^ Wan, Lei (2017). The earliest Muslim communities in China. Qiraat. Vol. 8. Riyadh: King Faisal Center for research and Islamic Studies. p. 11. ISBN 978-603-8206-39-3.
  3. ^ Qi, Dongfang (2010). "Gold and Silver Wares on the Belitung Shipwreck" (PDF). In Krahl, Regina; Guy, John; Wilson, J. Keith; Raby, Julian (eds.). Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds. Washington, DC: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. pp. 221–227. ISBN 978-1-58834-305-5.
  4. ^ Rossabi, Morris (2013). A History of China. John Wiley & Sons. p. 198. ISBN 9781118473450. An Arab account written by Abu Zaid of Siraf within a couple of decades of Huang's rebellion estimated that Huang's forces massacred 120,000 Muslims, Jews, and other foreigners. Arab historian al-Mas'udi, in a text written in the mid-tenth century, put the figure at 200,000. Both numbers are inflated, but they nonetheless indicate that the rebels attributed some of China's problems to the exploitation of foreigners, particularly merchants.
  5. ^ a b c James B. Parsons (May 1957). "The Culmination of a Chinese Peasant Rebellion: Chang Hsien-chung in Szechwan, 1644-46". The Journal of Asian Studies. Association for Asian Studies. 16 (3): 387–400. doi:10.2307/2941233. JSTOR 2941233. S2CID 162377335.
  6. ^ Struve (1993) (note at p. 269), following a 1964 article by Zhang Defang, notes that the entire city's population at the time was not likely to be more than 300,000, and that of the entire Yangzhou Prefecture, 800,000.
  7. ^ "清军屠城记:"扬州十日"和"嘉定三屠"-历史频道-手机搜狐". Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  8. ^ Geometric mean of 480,000 and 600,000 rounded up to nearest ten thousand.
  9. ^ a b 路伟东 (2003年). "同治光绪年间陕西人口的损失". 历史地理第19辑 (in Chinese). 上海: 上海人民出版社. Archived from the original on 1 January 2009. 陕西人口损失主要原因主要有以下四种:战死、饿毙、病死及逃亡。其中前两种原因造成的人口损失数量最大。战后或是灾后因为尸体腐烂、水源污染等原因,导致各地瘟疫流行。死于瘟疫的人口在全部损失的人口中占有一定的比例。
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  12. ^ 王奇生. 党员、党权与党争: 1924-1949年中国国民党的组织形态. 上海书店出版社. Archived from the original on 15 January 2022 – via 在这场以清党为名的白色恐怖运动中,到底有多少人被捕被杀,很难有精确统计。目前所见主要有以下几种不同的统计数字:(1) 中共"六大"所作的不完全统计,1927年4月至1928年上半年,在"清党"名义下被杀害的有31万多人,其中共产党员2.6万余人。(2) 当时全国各地慈善救济机关所作的不完全统计,在1927年4月至1928年7月间,全国各省被国民党逮捕和杀害的人数总计81055人,其中被杀害者40643人,被逮捕者40412人(见附表)。(3) 《大公报》比较笼统的说法,到1930年,已有数以十万计的人被杀害。
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