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former province of the Republic of China
Sikang Province

ROC Div Xikang.svg
Capital Kangting
former province of the People's Republic of China
Xikang Province

Capital Kangding (1950–1951)
Ya'an (1951–1955)

Xikang or Sikang (Chinese: 西康省; pinyin: Xīkāng Shěng) was a province of the Republic of China comprising most of the Kham region of traditional Tibet, where the Khampa, a subgroup of the Tibetan people, live. The eastern part of the province was inhabited by a number of different ethnic groups, such as Han Chinese, Yi, Qiang people and Tibetan, while the western part of the province was inhabited by Tibetans. Xikang, then known as Chuanbian (川邊), was a special administrative region of the Republic of China until 1939, when it became an official province. The provincial capital was Kangding from 1939 to 1951 and Ya'an from 1951 to 1955. The province had a population of some 3.4 million in 1954.[1]


Following the Wuchang Uprising in October 1911 which led to the downfall of the Qing dynasty, this region was established as the Chuanbian Special Administrative District (川邊特別行政區) by the newly founded Republic of China.

In June 1930 this region was invaded by the army of Tibet, precipitating the Sino-Tibetan War. With the district locked in internal struggles, no reinforcements were sent to support the Sichuanese troops stationed here. As a result, the Tibetan army captured, without encountering much resistance, Garze and Xinlong Counties. When a negotiated ceasefire failed, Tibetan forces expanded the war attempting to capture parts of southern Qinghai province. In March 1932 their force invaded Qinghai but was defeated by the local Hui warlord Ma Bufang in July, routing the Tibetan army and driving it back to this district.

The Hui army captured counties that had fallen into the hands of the Tibetan army since 1919. Their victories threatened the supply lines to the Tibetan forces in Garze and Xinlong. As a result, part of the Tibetan army was forced to withdraw.

In 1932 Liu Wenhui in cooperation with the Qinghai army, sent out a brigade to attack the Tibetan troops in Garze and Xinlong, eventually occupying them, Dêgê and other counties east of the Jinshajiang River. The 1934 Khamba Rebellion led by the Pandatsang family broke out against the Tibetan government in Lhasa. The Khampa revolutionary leader Pandatsang Rapga was involved.

In January 1939, the Chuanbian Special Administrative District officially became a province of the Republic, the Sikang Province. Kesang Tsering was sent by the Chinese to Batang to take control of Sikang, where he formed a local government. He was sent there for the purpose of propagating the Three Principles of the People to the Khampa.[2]

In 1950, following the defeat of the Kuomintang by the Communists in the Chinese Civil War, Xikang was split along the Yangtze into Sikang to the east and a separate Chamdo Territory (昌都地区) to the west. Chamdo was merged into Tibet Autonomous Region in 1965. The rest of Sikang was merged into Sichuan in 1955.

Administrative divisions[edit]


Name Administrative Seat Simplified Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Subdivisions
Ya'an Ya'an 雅安市 Yǎ'ān shì none
Ya'an Division Ya'an County 雅安专区 Yǎ'ān Zhuānqū 9 counties
Xichang Division Xichang County 西昌专区 Xīchāng Zhuānqū 12 counties
Xikang Province Tibetan Autonomous Region Kangding County 西康省藏族自治区 Xīkāng Shěng Zàngzú Zìzhìqū 20 counties & 2 bureaux
Liangshan Yi Autonomous Region Zhaojue County 凉山彝族自治区 Liángshān Yízú Zìzhìqū 7 counties

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.stats.gov.cn/tjgb/rkpcgb/qgrkpcgb/t20020404_16767.htm
  2. ^ Hsiao-ting Lin (2010). Modern China's ethnic frontiers: a journey to the west. Volume 67 of Routledge studies in the modern history of Asia (illustrated ed.). Taylor & Francis. p. 27. ISBN 0-415-58264-4. Retrieved 2011-12-27. area and spreading Sun Yat-sen's Three People's Principle among the Tibetan and Khampa minorities, Kesang Tsering set up a field headquarters in Batang (Pa'an). There he appointed his own Xikang provincial government staff and issued an