General of Ili

The General of Ili (Chinese: 伊犁將軍; pinyin: Yīlí Jiāngjūn Officially 总统伊犁等处将軍), also known in western sources as the Kuldya Military Governor, was a position created during the reign of the Qing Qianlong Emperor (r. 1735-1799) to "pacify" Dzungaria (now part of Xinjiang) and suppress uprisings by the Khoja "Rebels". The General of Ili governed the entire Xinjiang during Qing rule until it was turned into a province.

Former Residence of Ili General


Based in Huiyuan City (惠远城; now Huiyuan Town, Huocheng County),[1] in the Qing delineated greater Xinjiang region in the northwest of China, the general was the senior military commander in the area.[2] In 1759, Qing general Zhao Hui [zh] (Manchu: Zhaohuui) suppressed the Revolt of the Altishahr Khojas and reestablished Qing control over the western part of Xinjiang. As a result, in 1762 the Qing court established the position of General of Ili with Ming Rui as the first incumbent.[2]

At the same time, the offices of Military Attache or Dūtǒng (都统) and Imperial Resident (駐紮大臣) were created under the general to manage military affairs north and south of the Tian Shan range of mountains. The northern circuit (天山北路) or Tarim Basin was administered by the Ili Ministerial Attache (伊犁参赞大臣), five Ministerial Leaders (领队大臣), a Tarbagatai Ministerial Attache (塔尔巴哈台参赞大臣)[A] and a Minister of Affairs (办事兼领队大臣). In the south (天山南路) or Altishahr there was a General Minister for Altashahr Affairs (總理回疆事務参赞大臣) responsible for Kashgar, Ye 'erqiang (葉爾羌; now Yarkant County), Yingjisha'er (英吉沙尔; now Yengisar County), Uqturpan County, Aksu, Kuqa County, Hetian (和阗; now Hotan) and Kalash'er (喀喇沙尔 now Karasahr) amongst others. In the western circuit (东路 the Urumqi Military Command (乌鲁木齐都统) was responsible for Gucheng (Chinese: 古城; now Qitai County), Barköl Kazakh Autonomous County, Hamiting [zh] (now Hami City) and Ku'erkalawusu [zh] (now Wusu) among other locations.

In 1763, the Qianlong Emperor ordered the construction of the new city of Huiyuan on the north bank of the Ili River as a base for the General of Ili. Thereafter, Huiyuan became the capital of the Qing Xinjiang Region. A further eight fortified cities were then constructed across the Ili or Dzungarian Basin: Ningyuan City (宁远城; now Yining City), Huining City (惠宁城; now Bayandai Township [巴彦岱镇) 10–18 kilometres (6.2–11.2 mi) west of Yining), Taleqi City (塔勒奇城; now part of Huocheng County), Zhande City (瞻德城; now part of Qingshuihe County), Guangren City (广仁城; now Lucaogou Town (芦草沟镇 in Huocheng County), Gongchen City (拱宸城; now Khorgas City), Xichun City (熙春城; now part of Yining City) and Suiding City (绥定城; now Shuiding Town).

The headquarters of the Manchu bannermen was in Huiyuan and Huining while the Green Standard Army was distributed across the remaining towns with their commander in Suiding. Uyghur merchants (including the Taranchi) resided in Ningyuan. Their affairs were managed by the General of Ili through the East Yamen (东衙门; 東衙門; Dōng Yámén).

In 1864, during the reign of the Tongzhi Emperor, the Xinjiang Hui Rebellion [zh] broke out concurrent with the Dungan Revolt of 1862-77 further east. On 8 March 1866, a large force of Hui Muslims captured the General of Ili Mingsioi's Yamen. He committed suicide by blowing himself up but his predecessor Cangcing (Chinese: 常清; pinyin: Cháng Qīng) was captured and paraded through the streets.[3]

After Tzarist Russia invaded the Ili Basin in 1865 they demolished Huiyuan then in 1876 Qing General Zuo Zongtang, at the head of a large army, ended Yaqub Beg's occupation of the southern part of Xinjiang. In 1881 the Qing army recaptured the Ili Basin and two years later rebuilt Huiyaun 7.5 kilometres (4.7 mi) north of its former site. This new settlement was known historically as "New Huiyuan" (新惠远.

Xinjiang officially became a province in 1883 with its capital at Dihua Fu (迪化府 modern day Urumqi) and Huiyuan gradually lost its political status as the centre of the region. The General of Yili retained responsibility for defence in the north of the new province until the position was abolished following the 1911 Xinhai Revolution, which marked the end of Imperial China.


Name Appointed End date Banner
Ming Rui October 1762 March 1767 Bordered Yellow Banner
Agui March 1767 April 1768 Bordered Blue Banner
Yi Letu [zh] July 1768 October 1769 Plain White Banner
Yong Gui [zh] October 1769 October 1770 Plain White Banner   
Zeng Hai [zh] October 1770 December 1770 Bordered Blue Banner Imperial Clan
Yi Letu December 1770 July 1772 Plain White Banner
Shu Hede [zh] October 1772 July 1774 Plain White Banner   
Yi Letu July 1774 June 1784 Plain White Banner 
Ming Liang [zh] June 1784 July 1784 Plain Yellow Banner
Hai Lu (海禄) July 1784 August 1784 Plain Blue Banner
Yi Letu August 1784 July 1793 Plain White Banner
Kui Lin [zh] July 1793 September 1795 Bordered Yellow Banner
Yong Duo (永铎) September 1795 November 1795 Bordered Blue Banner
Bao Ning 1795 1798
Ming Guang 1798 1799
Bao Ning 1799 1801
Songyun 1801 1801
Bao Ning 1801 1803
Songyun 1803 1810
Jin Chang 1810 1814
Songyun 1814 1818
Chang Ling 1818 1820
Gao Qi 1820
Qing Xiang 1820 1825
Deying'a 1825
Chang Ling 1825 1827
Deying'a 1828
Yu LIn 1828 1831
Teyishunbao 1831 1837
Yi Shan 1837 1839
Guan Fu 1839 1840
Buyantai 1840 1845
Shuxing'a 1845
Saying'a 1845 1850
Yi Shan 1854
Zhalafentai 1854 1856
Chang Qing 1856 1857
Zhalafentai 1857 1860
Chang Qing 1860 1864
Ming Xu 1864 1866
Li Yunlin 1866
Rong Quan 1866 1877
Jin Shun 1877 1886
Xi Lun 1886 1887
Selenga 1887 1891
Fuleminge 1891
Chang Geng 1891 1902
Ma Liang 1902 1906
Guang Fu 1906 1907
Chang Geng 1907 1909
Guang Fu 1909 1911
Zhi Rui 1911
Elehun 1911

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
    Responsible for the area around modern-day Tacheng


  1. ^ Millward, James A. (1998). Beyond the pass: economy, ethnicity, and empire in Qing Central Asia, 1759-1864. Stanford University Press. pp. 77–79, 277. ISBN 0-8047-2933-6.
  2. ^ a b James Z. Gao (2009). Historical Dictionary of Modern China (1800-1949). Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-6308-8.
  3. ^ Hodong Kim (2004). Holy War in China: The Muslim Rebellion and State in Chinese Central Asia, 1864-1877. Stanford University Press. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-8047-6723-1.