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Xikang Province
Province of the Republic of China (1939–1950)


Location of Xikang
Xikang Province (red) in the Republic of China
Capital Kangding (1912-1931)
Ba'an (1931-1935)
Ya'an (1935-1936)
Kangding (1935-1949)
Xichang (1949-1950)
Historical era 20th Century
 •  Established 1939
 •  Fall of Xichang 27 March 1950
 •  Disestablished 1950
 •  Estimate 451,521 km2 (174,333 sq mi)
 •  Estimate 1,748,458 
Density 3.9 /km2  (10 /sq mi)
Today part of  China
Warning: Value not specified for "common_name"
Xikang Province
Province of the People's Republic of China (1950–1955)


Location of {{{common_name}}}
Xikang Province (orange) in the People's Republic of China
Capital Kangding (1950-1951)
Ya'an (1951-1955)
Historical era 20th Century
 •  Established 1950
 •  Disestablished 1955
 •  1953 451,521 km2 (174,333 sq mi)
 •  1953 3,381,064 
Density 7.5 /km2  (19.4 /sq mi)
Today part of  China

Xikang or Sikang or Hsikang was a province of the Republic of China and early People's Republic of China. It comprised 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 Hsikang 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 Hsikang was merged into Sichuan in 1955.

Administrative divisions[edit]


Name Administrative Seat Traditional Chinese Subdivisions Comments
First Administrative Circuit Kangding County 第一行政督察區 4 counties, 1 bureau Later the Xikang Province Tibetan Autonomous Region
Second Administrative Circuit Yingjing County 第二行政督察區 7 counties Later the Ya'an Division
Third Administrative Circuit Xichang County 第三行政督察區 9 counties, 3 bureaus Later the XIchang Division
Fourth Administrative Circuit Garzê County 第四行政督察區 15 counties Later the Xikang Province Tibetan Autonomous Region
Fifth Administrative Circuit 第五行政督察區 13 counties Chamdo Region; de facto controlled by Tibet


Name Simplified Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Subdivisions
Ya'an (1951-1955) 雅安市 Yǎ'ān shì 1 city
Ya'an Division 雅安专区 Yǎ'ān Zhuānqū 8 counties
Ya'an (1950-1951), Baoxing, Lushan, Tianquan, Yingjing, Hanyuan, Mingshan (1951-1955), Shimian (1951-1955)
Xichang Division 西昌专区 Xīchāng Zhuānqū 13 counties
Xichang, Yanyuan, Yanbian, Huili, Ningnan, Dechang, Zhaojue (1950-1952), Yuexi, Mianning, Jinkang (1952-1955), Muli (1952-1955), Miyi (1952-1955), Huidong
3 bureaus
Puge (1950-1952), Ningdong (1950-1952), Luoning (1950-1952)
Xikang Province Tibetan Autonomous Region 西康省藏族自治区 Xīkāng Shěng Zàngzú Zìzhìqū 20 counties
direct controlled
Kangding, Danba, Qianning, Yajiang, Luding, Jiulong
1 bureau

Ganzi Regional Office (1951-1955)
Ganzi, Shiqi, Dengke, Dege, Baiyu, Zhanghua→Xinlong, Luhuo, Daofu

Litang Regional Office (1951-1955)
Litang, Batang, Derong, Dingxiang→Xiangcheng, Daocheng, Yidun

Liangshan Yi Autonomous Region (1952-1955) 凉山彝族自治区 Liángshān Yízú Zìzhìqū 8 counties
Zhaojue, Puge, Ningdong, Xide, Butuo, Jinyang, Meigu, Puxiong

List of Governors[edit]

  Kuomintang (Nationalist)   Communist Party of China

Chairperson of the Provincial Government[edit]

No. Portrait Name
Term of Office Political Party
1 Liu Wenhui.jpg Liu Wenhui
Liú Wénhuī
1 January 1939 9 December 1949 Kuomintang
Defected to the Communists.
2 He Guoguang.jpg Ho Kuo-kuang
Hè Guóguāng
25 December 1949 March 1950 Kuomintang
Fled to Taiwan via Haikou after fall of Xichang.

Xikang CPC Party Committee Secretary[edit]

No. Portrait Name
Term of Office Political Party
1 Liao Zhigao
Liào Zhìgāo
1950 1955 Communist Party of China
Province abolished.

Xikang People's Government Chairperson (Governor after January 1955)[edit]

No. Portrait Name
Term of Office Political Party
1 Liao Zhigao
Liào Zhìgāo
26 April 1950 September 1955 Communist Party of China
Province abolished.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 5, 2009. Retrieved November 17, 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  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