Xikang (also Sikang or Hsikang) was an illusory province[1] formed by the Republic of China in 1939 and continued by early People's Republic of China. It comprised most of the Kham region, where the Khampa, a subgroup of the Tibetan people, live. The then independent Tibet controlled the portion of Kham west of the Upper Yangtze River.[2] The nominal Xikang province also included in the south the Assam Himalayan region (Arunachal Pradesh) that Tibet had recognised as part of British India by the 1914 McMahon Line agreement.[3] The eastern part of the province was inhabited by a number of different ethnic groups, such as Han Chinese, Yi, Qiang people and Tibetan, then known as Chuanbian (川邊), a special administrative region of the Republic of China. In 1939, it became the new Xikang province with the additional territories belonging to Tibetan and British control added in. After the People's Republic of China invaded and occupied Tibet, the earlier nationalist imagination of Xikang came to fruition.

Xikang Province
西康省
Province of the Republic of China (1939–1950)
1939–1950
Seigneurs de la guerre - 1925.png
Xikang Province in the Republic of China, light blue under control of Chinese warlord
CapitalKangding (1912-1931)
Ba'an (1931-1935)
Ya'an (1935-1936)
Kangding (1935-1949)
Xichang (1949-1950)
Area 
• Estimate
451,521 km2 (174,333 sq mi)
Population 
• Estimate
1748458
Historical era20th century
• Established
1939
• Fall of Xichang
27 March 1950
• Disestablished
1950
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Chuanbian Special Region
Xikang
Chamdo Region
Today part of China
 India
Xikang Province
西康省
Province of the People's Republic of China (1950–1955)
1950–1955
PRC-Xikang.png
Xikang Province (orange) in the People's Republic of China
CapitalKangding (1950-1951)
Ya'an (1951-1955)
Area 
• 1953
451,521 km2 (174,333 sq mi)
Population 
• 1953
3381064
Historical era20th century
• Established
1950
• Disestablished
1955
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Xikang
Sichuan
Tibet Autonomous Region
Today part of China
 India

The provincial capital of Xikang 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.[4]

History

 
The Xikang province sketched in a 1950 map by CIA. Borders shown in dark green lines.
 
The Chinese control of the southeastern Tibet shown along with the proposed Simla Convention frontier of 1914.

In 1910, general Zhao Erfang occupied Kham region, destroyed a few monasteries and killed over 1000 lamas. Later on, he proclaimed this territory as a new Chinese province subsequently known as Xikang.

Following the Wuchang Uprising in October 1911 which led to the downfall of the Qing dynasty, this region[which?] 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[which?] 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.[5]

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

1939-1950

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

1950–1955

Name Simplified Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Subdivisions
Ya'an (1951-1955) 雅安市 Yǎ'ān shì 1 city
Ya'an
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
Jintang

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

  Kuomintang (Nationalist)   Communist Party of China

Chairperson of the Provincial Government

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of Office Political Party
1   Liu Wenhui
劉文輝
Liú Wénhuī
(1895–1976)
1 January 1939 9 December 1949 Kuomintang
Defected to the Communists.
2   Ho Kuo-kuang
賀國光
Hè Guóguāng
(1885–1969)
25 December 1949 March 1950 Kuomintang
Fled to Taiwan via Haikou after fall of Xichang.

Xikang CPC Party Committee Secretary

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of Office Political Party
1 Liao Zhigao
廖志高
Liào Zhìgāo
(1913–2000)
1950 1955 Communist Party of China
Province abolished.

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

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of Office Political Party
1 Liao Zhigao
廖志高
Liào Zhìgāo
(1913–2000)
26 April 1950 September 1955 Communist Party of China
Province abolished.

See also

References

  1. ^ Lin, Bounary, sovereignty and imagiantion (2004), p. 30: "Despite its almost entirely illusory nature, the so-called Xikang province was officially sketched out by Chinese map-makers, from whom it came to be known nation-wide.
  2. ^ Lin, Bounary, sovereignty and imagiantion (2004), p. 29: "According to the Kuomintang, the boundary of this new Xikang province encompassed, not only part of the southwestern province of Sichuan that was then dominated by the Han Chinese warlord Liu Wenhui, but also a huge portion of the ethnographic Tibetan area west of the Upper Yangtze River that was then effectively administered by the autonomous Tibetan government."
  3. ^ Lin, Bounary, sovereignty and imagiantion (2004), p. 29: "In addition, the newly carved provincial boundary also extended deep into the Tibetan-Assam tribal territory, including areas south of the theoretically existing McMahon Line that had been signed away to British India by Lhasa in 1914."
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 5, 2009. Retrieved November 17, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ 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 978-0-415-58264-3. 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 |volume= has extra text (help)

Bibliography