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Title:Negotiating the border in Song China: foreign policy, border management, and border-crossings, 1005-1122
Author(s):Yang, Yi
Advisor(s):Chow, Kai-Wing
Department / Program:E. Asian Languages & Cultures
Discipline:East Asian Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Chinese history
Song Dynasty
Abstract:This thesis discusses the issue of foreign policy, border management, and border-crossing incidents during Song-Liao peacetime (1005-1122). It focuses on one of the earliest borderlines drawn between two great powers of northeast Asia in the eleventh century, the Liao and the Song. This thesis not only traces its origin, establishment, and maintenance, it also spotlights a specific phenomenon of border-crossing, by generals and officials as well as commoners. By focusing on these border-crossing incidents and their repercussions in government, sometimes at decision-making level, this thesis tries to portray a more detailed and accurate of the Song-Liao border, and explore the importance impact of various issues happened in borderlands to Song policies. Based on officials records, literary collections of literati, memorials by officials, and travelogues written by envoys, this thesis addresses several questions: How was the border between the Song and the Liao established in the first place? Ever since its establishment, how did both states stabilize and maintain the border? What were the developments of previously existed diplomatic practices? What were the new developments stimulated by this freshly inaugurated border? Were the perceptions and understandings of the border the same according to different people ranging from emperors to farmers, from generals to soldiers, from people of the Song and those of the Liao? How did the government react to intentional and unintentional border-crossings? And what roles did those reactions play in the making of foreign policies? This thesis demonstrates that with the signing of the Treaty of Chanyuan, a borderline that demarcated the territories of the Liao and the Song was immediately established. Various diplomatic institutions, regulations, and practices were subsequently inaugurated after the treaty was signed. These institutions and regulations, at different levels came to regulate various aspects of borderland issues such as routine administrative matters, espionage, trade, blockade of manuscripts and printed books, etc. This thesis also highlights a particular phenomenon of border-crossing incidents which offers us a chance to see how the border was actually conceived and maintained in the eleventh century. The handlings of these incidents, when occasionally radical and unconventional, caused significant reverberations both at the local and central levels. These reactions mirrored the mentalities of Song foreign policy makers when dealing with border and territory issues. They also served as a point of departure for future policy-making.
Issue Date:2017-04-28
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Yi Yang
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05

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