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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Qinghai Across Frontiers : : State- and Nation-Building under the Ma Family, 1911-1949

  • Author(s): Haas, William Brent
  • et al.

Located at the meeting ground of North China, Mongolia, Central Asia, and Tibet, the province of Qinghai is one of the largest and poorest administrative regions in China. With the recent advent of the PRC's northwestern development project, Qinghai and its neighbors now figure prominently in the Chinese media. Yet contemporary Qinghai rests on complex historical foundations rooted in the province's multi-ethnic population, frontier geography, decades of dominance by Sino-Muslim militarists, and the Republican governments' (1912-1949) border defense and development policies. This dissertation will evaluate the methods through which Qinghai's government sought to control and develop its pastoral peripheries, including military force, agricultural colonization, and the development of modern education systems. It draws comparisons between the Muslim, agricultural center around the provincial capital and the Tibetan and Mongolian nomadic regions. This project's contribution lies not only in discussing an understudied frontier region, but also by connecting the issues of the transition from empire to nation, "warlords" and development, frontiers, and minority people who still inhabit the peripheries of this frontier Chinese province

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