Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture

Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture

伊犁哈萨克自治州
Yīlí hāsàkè Zìzhìzhōu
Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture
ىله قازاق اۆتونومىيالى وبلىسى
ئىلى قازاق ئاپتونوم ئوبلاست

Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture (Chinese: 伊犁哈萨克自治州, Pinyin: "Yīlí Hāsàkè zìzhìzhōu", Kazakh: ىله قازاق اۆتونومىيالى وبلىسى, Іле Қазақ автономиялы облысы, İle Qazaq avtonomïyalı oblısı, Uyghur: ئىلى قازاق ئاپتونوم ۋىلايىتى, Ili Qazaq aptonom wilayiti, Ili Ķazaķ aptonom vilayiti), in northernmost Xinjiang, is the only Kazakh autonomous prefecture of the People's Republic of China.

Geography and coordinates

* Area: 273,200 km²
* Population: 3,880,000 (2000)
* Capital: Ghulja (Yining City)
* Geographic coordinates: 79º50'30″ - 84º56'50″ East, 42º14'16″ - 44º50'30″ North

The Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture is west of Mongolia, south of Russia and east of Kazakhstan. Its foreign boundary is 2,000 km. Its 8 functioning ports of entry are:
* Khorghas (霍尔果斯): under Ili; a primary Chinese "national" border crossing point or port of entry (国家一类口岸)
* Dulat (都拉塔): under Ili
* Muzart (木扎尔特): directly controlled by Ili; another primary point or port
* Bakhtu (巴克图), 17 km from Tacheng; another primary point or port
* Taskhin (塔克什肯) of Altay
* Khiziltaw (红山嘴) of Altay
* Aqimbek (阿黑木别克) of Altay
* Jeminay (吉木乃) of Altay;another primary point or port (国家一类口岸)

The upper course of the Ili River and that of Irtysh (Ertix) flow throw the prefecture.

ubdivisions

Ili's primary subdivisions include Tacheng (Qoqek, 塔城地区) and Altay (阿勒泰地区) Prefectures, both to the Northeast of the capital.Ili also directly controls 2 county-level cities, 7 counties, and 1 autonomous county. (see Political divisions of China#Levels).: Some official placenames below are not in Chinese.

Geographically, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture can be divided into two parts. Altay Prefecture and Tarbagatay Prefectures, together with the city of Kuitun, occupy most of the Dzungarian Basin in northern Xinjiang, north of the Borohoro Range. The rest of the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture is located entirely within the Ili River Basin, between Borohoro and the main range of Tian Shan. This latter region is exactly coterminous with the historical area that in the past was often called by Russians and Westerners as "Kulja" or "Kuldja" (see, e.g. 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica article on "Kulja") or "Ili".

History

Pre-Qing

Before the Qin Dynasty, Ili was occupied by the Ussuns, a tributary of the Hun. The Ussuns were driven away in the 6th century A.D. by the northern Xiongnu, who established Western Turk Khanate in 552. Later the Kulja territory became a dependency of Dzungaria. During the Tang Dynasty, the khanate was Anxi "Daduhufu" (安西大都护府) of the Tang Empire.

The Uyghurs, and in the 12th century the Kara-Khitai, took possession of it in turn. Genghis Khan conquered Kulja in the 13th century, and the Mongol Khans resided in the valley of the Ili. It is supposed that the Oirats conquered it at the end of the 16th or the beginning of the 17th century.

Qing Dynasty

The Oirats, or more precisely Dzungars, controlled both Dzungaria and the Ili Basin it until 1755 as Jagatai Khanate, when Qianlong's Manchus annexed it. Having defeated Dzungars in the Dzunagrian and Ili Basins, as well as the Ishāqī khojas in Kashgaria, the Manchu Qing Empire decided to make the Ili basin the main base of their control in Xinjiang.

In the 1760s, the Qing built nine fortified towns (九城) in the Ili Basin:

Huiyuan Cheng, as the seat of the Ili Governor General ( _zh. 伊犁将军, Yili Jiangjün), who was the chief commander of the Qing troops in entire Xinjiang, became the administrative capital of the region. It was provided with a large penal establishment and strong garrison. This city was called "New Kulja", "Manhcu Kulja", "Chinese Kulja", or "Ili" by the Russians and Westerners, to distinguish it from Nigyuan/Yining, known as "Old Kulja" or "Taranchi Kulja".

The first Ili Governor General was Ming Rui (明瑞). The Qing tradition, not broken until the days of Zuo Zongtang in the 1870s, was to only appoint Manchus as officials in Xinjiang.

During the insurrection of 1864 the Dungans and the Taranchis formed here the Taranchi Sultanate. Huiyuan (Manchu Kulja) was the last Qing fortress in the Ili Valley to fall to the rebels. The insurgent Dungans massacred most of Manchu Kulja's inhabitants; Governor General Mingsioi (Ming Xü) (明绪) assembled his family and staff in his mansion, and blew it up, dying under its ruins.

The sultanate led to the occupation of the Ili basin ("Kulja", in contemporary Western terms) by the Russians in 1871. Ten years later the territory was restored to China, and its boundary with Russia was assigned in accordance to the Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1881).

After Chinese authority was restored, the "Manchu Kuldja" was rebuilt, now as the city of Suiding (today's' Shuiding), some 8 km north of the old Huiyuan site.

On January 7, 1912, Yang Cuanxu (杨缵绪) of Ili occupied Huiyuan (惠远城) and shot the last Qing Governor General of Ili, Zhi Rui (志锐).

Republic of China

In July 1945, Chingil, Bole and Quanxi (精河、博乐、温泉) of Ili were made into a new autonomous prefecture now not part of Ili: Bortala.

People's Republic

In 1949, Ili was made a special area (专区) of Xinjiang, with one city and 9 counties, and was upgraded to a city in 1952. On November 27, 1954, the Ili Autonomous Prefecture was established to include the prefectures of Ili, Altay, and Tacheng. The Ili Prefecture was abolished in 1955. Its 1 city and 9 counties are now under the direct control of the autonomous prefecture.

Demographics

* Kazakhs: 25.4%
* Han: 45.2%
* Uyghurs: 15.9%
* Hui: 8.3%
* Mongols: 1.69%
* Xibe: 0.83%

See also: Xabib Yunic

ources

* Henry Lansdell, "Russian Central Asia: Including Kuldja, Bokhara, Khiva and Merv". [http://books.google.com/books?vid=OCLC08187146 Full text] available at Google Books; there is also a 2001 facsimile reprint of the 1885 edition, ISBN 1402177623. (Chapters XIV-XVI describe Lansdell visit to the area in the early 1880s, soon after the Russian withdrawal). en icon

External links

* [http://www.xjyl.gov.cn Official site] (in Simplified Chinese)
* [http://www.xzqh.org/quhua/65xj/40yili.htm Subdivision info] (in Simplified Chinese)
* [http://www.chinaheritagenewsletter.org/features.php?searchterm=003_twomuseums.inc&issue=003 A TALE OF TWO CITIES: NEW MUSEUMS FOR YINING AND URUMQI ] "CHINA HERITAGE NEWSLETTER", China Heritage Project, The Australian National University. ISSN 1833-8461. No. 3, September 2005. (Talks about Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture Museum in Yining).


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