Dominance on East Turkistan by Chinese Dynasties
- History of East Turkistan
It was during Qing Dynasty when China was able to govern East Turkistan virtually. Before that, China somehow managed to govern it temporarily by setting 'Protectorate of the Western Regions' in Han Dynasty and 'Protectorate General to Pacify the West' in Tang Dynasty. Though Chinese government propagates as it has governed East Turkistan all the way, it is dissident from the truth. Chinese dynasties called East Turkistan 'Western Regions' and saw it as 'barbaric land (out of reach of diadem)'.
The first people resided on this land was Iranian and Indian Aryan followed by Turk, Mongolian and Tibetan nomadic tribes. City state was established basing on Oasis. In 176 BC, a nomadic tribe called Xiongnu consolidated the hegemony of Western Regions and Hexi region defeating countries of Yuezhi, Loulan, Wusun and so on.
In 139 BC, Zhang Qian was dispatched to Da Yuezhi by Emperor Wu of Han to warn against Xiongnu. He could not achieve the agreement on alliance but the information that there was a good land in Western Regions was acquired for the first time in China. In 121 BC, Emperor Wu started the encroachment on the land on the basis of the information. Thus the dominance of cities of oasis in penumbra of Tarim Basin was taken over from Xiongnu to Han. Emperor Wu firstly put four Hexi Commandaries in Gansu and then in 59 BC, he placed Protectorate of the Western Regions as a governing institution of Western Regions. However the dominion was not stable and through the seesaw battle with Xiongnu over the hegemony of the land, eventually it was again governed by Xiongnu.
In Later Han, China and Western Regions had unsteady relationship continuously as it is written 'Three links Three breaks' in Chinese historiography. Mighty oasis states in Tarim Basin those days integrated neighbouring states and there were only a few states in Later Han though there were said 'Western Region 36 states' in Early Han. Later Han's dominance extended to Kashgar at the most by the famous military commander Ban Chao and in 91, Protectorate of the Western Regions was set in Kucha. However, northern Xiongnu's movement became active and Han's domination lasted for twenty years only.
Han's governance ended and Northern Xiongnu's dominance slided gradually. The era called Jin Period and Southern and Northern Dynasties, from third to sixth century was the era during which a number of forces governed the dismembered lands. This era is the era of great migration of peoples and bewilderment worldwide. There were oasis states in Tarim Basin that formed nominal tributaries of Imperial China, but in reality, Western Regions existed independently (Chinese dynasties succeeded to foray to Western Regions during that time, though each governance lasted for only a few years). This is also the era that Kumarajiva and Faxian, the famous people in Buddhist history traveled.
In early fifth century, Rouran, the Turk-Mongolians dominated Tarim Basin. Rouran governed a broad hemisphere from Greater Mongolia to Ili River but in 555, it was perished by Gokturks (Turks). From this time, Gokturks wielded from Central to Northern Asia but in 583 it disrupted to east and west. It bloomed original culture by creating its own alphabet etc.
In seventh century, Western Gokturks dominated countries of West Region and expanded the hemisphere from Altay Mountains to just beyond Sassanid Empire but it ebbed by civil commotions.
In Sui Dynasty, Loulan, located in Southern Tarim Basin, was captured by Western Gokturks and they established commandery. Now again, a relationship with China was created. In 640, Tang Dynasty, the Protectorate General to Pacify the West was again set and in 657, Western Gokturks were capitulated Western Regions was again dominated by China.