History of Ningxia Hui AR - Ming through Qing Dynasties
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During the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD - 1644 AD) Ningxia Prefecture was prioritized as an important border Province, elevating it to the status of 'Wei', meaning a district directly controlled by the central Imperial government in Beijing.
During the Qing Dynasty Era Ningxia's status was changed once more, its status being downgraded to 'Fu' (something like a city prefecture).

Ningxia as well as Gansu Province saw important Islamic uprisings during several periods of the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD - 1644 AD) as well as the Qing Dynasty Era (1644 AD - 1911 AD).
Due to their earlier allegiance with the Mongols against the Han and their High Social Status under the laws of the Mongol Empire, the succeeding Ming Dynasty -Mortal Enemies of the Mongols- confronted the Islamic Groups, mainly the Hui Hui (at that Time), with a considerably less tolerant attitude. In the 17Th Century near the End of the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD - 1644 AD), the Hui in Ningxia -along with other groups in the West- would
China Report - Map of the Great Wall during the Ming Dynasty
Satellite image of China and North-East Asia, with a super-imposed schematic Map of the location and Path of the Great Wall as constructed during the Reign of the Ming Dynasty. Included for reference are City names, geographical features of landscape, Names and locations of Passes on the Great Wall of China.
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The Chinese Official Vision on Islam in China layed out ...
Source Book
"Islam in China"
( no longer available )
In the 1860's AD, in the aftermath of the opium wars and in combination with the Taiping (Heavenly Kingdom) Rebellion, the Chinese far West saw what today is known as the 'Great Muslim Rebellion' , the Dungar (or Dzungar) Revolt or also as The Hui Minorities War. It was a major internal war which lasted from 1862 AD to 1877 AD, when the rebellion was finally crushed by Manchu Qing Dynasty Troops.
The initial focal point of the Rebellion was the Wei River valley in south Shaanxi Province, at the time a predominantly Hui region from where the Rebellion subsequently spread. After being beaten by Imperial Troops at Xi'an in Shaanxi and subsequently butchered, remaining rebels fled westward through Hui homelands into Gansu Province. Later the Rebellion even moved to Xinjiang.
According to source the Rebellion did include the predominately Hui Region of Ningxia, however fighting was sporadic and disorganized. The North of the Region and the Capital of Yinchuan did not see any major battles.
According to Chinese Historians twelve million non-Muslims, mainly Han Chinese, were killed by the Hui Muslims for the purpose of developing a Hui (Islamic) Autonomous Nation on the western bank of the Yellow River (Shaanxi, Gansu and Ningxia (excluding the Xinjiang Autonomous Region)). In retaliation around five million Hui Muslims in Western China were killed by the Qing authorities. Read More in: 'Islam in China during the Qing Dynasty'.

In 1879 AD, after buying land from some Muslim settlers in that area, Christian Priests started what was known as the village of St. John the Baptists, just outside a town by the name of Xiaoqiaopan (little bridge strand) some 200 kilometers (125 Miles) south-east of the Capital Yinchuan. The village was located along The Great Wall of China.

As described in the Book 'Han-Mongol encounters and Missionary Endeavors - history of Scheut in the Ordos' Ethnic Han's of the Muslim Faith especially became targets for conversion for both Protestant and Catholic Missionaries in Gansu and Ningxia. According to the book, Protestant missionary work in started in Ningxia in the year 1885 AD, however regardless the efforts of the priests, there was little interest from the Han or the Muslims. Only one town formed an exception, the small town of Xiayingzi near Pingluo in current day Shizuishan Prefecture of North Ningxia became known as a Catholic enclave.  According to missionary reports many of the converted Christian women were abducted by local Muslim Men to be part of their households. This problem would later escalate.
History of Ningxia (4) Warlord Era and Red Revolution (1911 AD - 1949 AD)
History of Ningxia (4) Warlord Era and Red Revolution (1911 AD - 1949 AD)
- History of Ningxia Hui AR (1) Pre-History through Han Dynasty
- History of Ningxia Hui AR (2) 6Th Century through 13Th Century
- History of Ningxia Hui AR (3) Ningxia in the Ming and Qing Dynasties
- History of Ningxia Hui AR (4) Warlord Era and Red Revolution (1911 AD - 1949 AD)
- History of Ningxia Hui AR (5) Ningxia under The Peoples Republic ( 1949 AD - Present)
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Schematic overview Map of the Area's of North-East China overtaken by the Yi Ho Tuan Movement (The "Boxers").
The year 1900 AD was when the so called 'Boxer Rebellion' ignited, throwing many provinces of China into chaos. While the so called 'Foreign Legations', the Embassy Quarter in the National Capital Beijing came under siege, foreigners throughout the provinces found themselves under attack. As the representatives and cultivators of everything Foreign, Missionaries and their families found themselves as prime targets. Many fled to ports on the Coast and out of China, others less lucky were killed and often mutilated by rampant crowds. Not much can be reported on the specific situation in Ningxia at that time. As can be deduced from adjacent map, Ningxia was not a main stronghold of the Yihotuan (Boxer) Movement.
It is however reported that a 52 day siege occurred at a town Xiaoqiaopan in the autumn of 1900 AD, which was followed by a bloodbath. In the aftermath,
the Priests from Xiayingzi, together with others, had been involved in the taking care of widows and orphans left from the butchered Christian families. Some of these widows had subsequently been kidnapped by local Muslim Men and taken into their households.

On 13 December of 1901 AD, just after the signing of the Boxer Protocol which officially ended hostilities between Foreigners and Chinese, Pingluo County and Xiayingzi town were shocked to witness the brutal murder of two missionaries, allegedly at the hands of immigrant workers turned thugs. The two dead were father Henry Bongaerts and father Remi van Meirhaege, who according to sources were attacked in their own residence by this group of unidentified men. The men got away unpunished and clear motives for the act remain to be established to this day. Some belief the murder was organized by Local Muslims who had taken a liking to their Harim of kidnapped Women abbott refused to give them up. However this was never proven. Christians were not very popular for many reasons.
Read on in: 'History of Ningxia (4) Warlord Era and Red Revolution'
A goldplated copper statue of Tantric Buddhism, dated to the Ming Dynasty Era. From the collection of the Ningxia Provincial Museum, Yinchuan.
seize their chance and live independently from Central Court Powers.
The Qing Dynasty later reconquered all these Area's, starting its Western Campaign with the recapture of strategic Ningxia.

In 1739 AD, during the Qing Dynasty Era (1644 AD - 1911 AD) , a devastating Earthquake measuring 8 on the Richter Scale (and now dubbed the Pingluo-Yinchuan Earthquake) destroyed large swaths of Yinchuan and surrounding towns. Yinchuan's Nine Storey high Northern pagoda and Haibao Monastery were destroyed, as were the Chengtian Temple and its Pagoda Tower. The sublime Tangut Royal Pagoda's at Baisikou miraculously survived the jolts. The earthquake also resulted in a firestorm, which ravaged the remaining city for 3 or 4 days. More than 50000 officials and civilians were killed. The earthquake radiated to more than 47 counties, the furthest of which, was Rongcheng of Hebei Province, at a distance of 900 kilometers to the East.
As the name suggests, the epicenter lay at the small Town of Pingluo, which is located outside of Shizuishan and is one of the remote locations of the Great Wall of China in this region. The Great Wall of China at Dawukou (north-west of Shizuishan) was shaken and breeched by the Quake.
This page was last updated on: July 21, 2017
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