China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, 2009 M06 30 - 747 pages
3 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
From about 1600 to 1800, the Qing empire of China expanded to unprecedented size. Through astute diplomacy, economic investment, and a series of ambitious military campaigns into the heart of Central Eurasia, the Manchu rulers defeated the Zunghar Mongols, and brought all of modern Xinjiang and Mongolia under their control, while gaining dominant influence in Tibet. The China we know is a product of these vast conquests. Peter C. Perdue chronicles this little-known story of China's expansion into the northwestern frontier. Unlike previous Chinese dynasties, the Qing achieved lasting domination over the eastern half of the Eurasian continent. Rulers used forcible repression when faced with resistance, but also aimed to win over subject peoples by peaceful means. They invested heavily in the economic and administrative development of the frontier, promoted trade networks, and adapted ceremonies to the distinct regional cultures. Perdue thus illuminates how China came to rule Central Eurasia and how it justifies that control, what holds the Chinese nation together, and how its relations with the Islamic world and Mongolia developed. He offers valuable comparisons to other colonial empires and discusses the legacy left by China's frontier expansion. The Beijing government today faces unrest on its frontiers from peoples who reject its autocratic rule. At the same time, China has launched an ambitious development program in its interior that in many ways echoes the old Qing policies. China Marches West is a tour de force that will fundamentally alter the way we understand Central Eurasia.

What people are saying - Write a review

Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AndreasJ - LibraryThing

I had read a couple glowing reviews of this one, so went into this with high expectations. Having read it, though, I found it something of a mixed bag. The main subject of the book is the conquest of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - languagehat - LibraryThing

This is a superb history that should be read by anyone with even a slight interest in the region. Perdue integrates sources from all the relevant languages and archives, takes account of all important ... Read full review


Part One The Formation of the Central Eurasian States
Part Two Contending for Power
Part Three The Economic Basis of Empire
Part Four Fixing Frontiers
Part Five Legacies and Implications
Illustration Credits

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Peter C. Perdue is Professor of History at Yale University.

Bibliographic information