Qianlong (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: Under Qianlong’s leadership, China conquered and incorporated large areas to its northwest held by Zunghars and Uighurs.
The fourth emperor of the Qing Dynasty, Qianlong ruled from 1736 to 1796, the longest reign in Chinese history. Qianlong’s most important military achievement was the conquest and integration of huge areas of northwestern territory, Xinjiang, into China. For a long time, this area had been under control of the Zunghars, a powerful tribe that competed for power with the Qing by penetrating Qinghai, Tibet, and other Qing territories. Previous emperors had attempted to solve the “northwestern problem” but had failed. After many years of preparation, Qianlong launched massive military campaigns against the Zunghars between 1753 and 1755, led by famous Manchu general Zhaohui, who in three months took the Zunghars’ headquarters at Ili. The Qing troops slaughtered the Zunghar forces and local people, then assumed control of the area.
During the next two years, the Qing troops campaigned against the Uighur Muslims. Formerly ruled by the Zunghars, the Uighurs found themselves under the Qing government. Their leaders murdered the Qing envoy and decided to rebel at the south side of the Tianshan Mountains. The Qing troops launched attacks on the Uighurs in 1756 and captured the rebel base cities of Kashgar and Yarkand in 1757. Thus, the whole area came under Qing...
(The entire section is 268 words.)
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