China's March toward the Tropics: A Discussion of the Southward Penetration of China's Culture, Peoples, and Political Control in Relation to the Non-Han- Chinese Peoples of South China and in the Perspective of Historical and Cultural Geography

China's March toward the Tropics: A Discussion of the Southward Penetration of China's Culture, Peoples, and Political Control in Relation to the Non-Han- Chinese Peoples of South China and in the Perspective of Historical and Cultural Geography

China's March toward the Tropics: A Discussion of the Southward Penetration of China's Culture, Peoples, and Political Control in Relation to the Non-Han- Chinese Peoples of South China and in the Perspective of Historical and Cultural Geography

China's March toward the Tropics: A Discussion of the Southward Penetration of China's Culture, Peoples, and Political Control in Relation to the Non-Han- Chinese Peoples of South China and in the Perspective of Historical and Cultural Geography

Excerpt

The purpose of the present study is to examine the historical geography of China's push southward toward the tropics and the problem of South China's non-Han- Chinese peoples.

The attention of past students of Chinese frontier dynamics has been focused largely upon China's northwest and northeast because of their historical importance in the early evolution of China. Today, China's southern and southwest frontiers have suddenly commanded the urgent attention of the world.

To the Communist strategists this is the base for launching political and military assaults upon the old colonial powers in Southeast Asia and for the building of the new Soviet colonialism. To the Western Powers this region poses the gravest threat of the loss of a valuable and strategic part of the Free World. To the over- populated Chinese nation, her southern frontiers not only offer large areas of unexploited agricultural and mineral lands, but furnish direct land routes to the empty, undeveloped lands of northeast Burma, northern Thailand, and northern Vietnam-Laos. Finally, to the indigenous peoples of Southeast Asia this frontier presents the menace not only of political domination, but perhaps of ultimate national extinction under the historical tide of Chinese migration.

Southern China begins in the Yang-tzu Valley and extends to India and Burma in the Southwest and to Vietnam-Laos in the South. In this area an unknown number of the unassimilated and partly assimilated non-Han- Chinese inhabitants of South China estimated at 20 million people still struggle for existence. They are found largely near the frontiers of South China. Those in the vanguard of flight before the southward migrating Han- Chinese are distributed across the frontiers in Burma, Thailand, and Vietnam-Laos.

Who were the peoples who occupied this vast area before the coming of the Han-Chinese? What are the underlying factors of the inexorable southward surge of the Han-Chinese that has swamped all the alien peoples . . .

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