Beiting Protectorate(-General)
Traditional Chinese北庭(大)都護府
Simplified Chinese北庭(大)都護府
Literal meaning(Grand) Protectorate of the Northern Court
Mural commemorating victory of General Zhang Yichao over the Tibetan Empire in 848 (Mogao cave 156, late Tang dynasty)
Mural commemorating victory of General Zhang Yichao over the Tibetan Empire in 848 (Mogao cave 156, late Tang dynasty)

The Beiting Protectorate-General, initially the Beiting Protectorate, was a Tang dynasty protectorate created in 702 to control the Beiting region north of Gaochang in contemporary Xinjiang.[1] Wu Zetian set up the Beiting Protectorate in Ting Prefecture (Jimsar County) and granted it governorship over Yi Prefecture (Hami) and Xi Prefecture (Gaochang). The Beiting Protectorate ended in 790 when Tingzhou was conquered by the Tibetan Empire. The ruins, along with other sites along the Silk Road, were inscribed in 2014 on the UNESCO World Heritage List as the Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor World Heritage Site.[2]


In 702 Wu Zetian set up the Beiting Protectorate in Ting Prefecture (Jimsar County) and granted it governorship over Yi Prefecture (Hami) and Xi Prefecture (Gaochang).[3]

In 715 the Tibetan Empire attacked the Beiting Protectorate.[4]

In 735 the Türgesh attacked Ting Prefecture.[5]

In 755 the An Lushan Rebellion occurred and the Tang dynasty withdrew 200,000 soldiers from the Western Regions to protect the capital.[6]

In 764 the Tibetan Empire invaded the Hexi Corridor and conquered Liang Prefecture,[7] cutting off the Anxi and Beiting from the Tang dynasty. However the Anxi and Beiting protectorates were left relatively unmolested under the leadership of Guo Xin and Li Yuanzhong.[8]

In 780 Li Yuanzhong was officially made protectorate general of Beiting after sending secret messages to Emperor Dezong of Tang.[9]

In 781 the Tibetan Empire conquered Yi Prefecture.[10]

In 789 the monk Wukong passed through Ting Prefecture and found that the Chinese commander there was Yang Xigu.[11]

In 790 the Tibetan Empire conquered Ting Prefecture.[10]

In 792 the Tibetan Empire conquered Xi Prefecture.[10]

Post-Tibetan domination

In the immediate aftermath of the Tibetan conquest of Xi Prefecture, it was taken by the Uyghur Khaganate, after which the area became the border between the two empires.[12]

Zhang Yichao rebelled against Tibetan rule in Sha Prefecture (Dunhuang) in 848. In 850 he recaptured Yi Prefecture, in 851 Xi Prefecture, and in 866 Ting Prefecture. However he immediately lost Ting and Xi prefectures as well as Luntai (Ürümqi) to the Kingdom of Qocho. In 876 Yi Prefecture was also captured by the Kingdom of Qocho.

List of protector generals


See also



  1. ^ Drompp 2005, p. 104.
  2. ^ "Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  3. ^ Xiong 2008, p. 58.
  4. ^ Wang 2013, p. 157.
  5. ^ Bregel 2003, p. 19.
  6. ^ Wang 2013, p. 167.
  7. ^ Beckwith 1987, p. 149.
  8. ^ "舊唐書". 中國哲學書電子化計劃. Retrieved August 3, 2017. 上元元年,河西軍鎮多為吐蕃所陷。有舊將李元忠守北庭,郭昕守安西府,二鎮與沙陀、回鶻相依,吐蕃久攻之不下。In the first year of the Shangyuan era [760], the Hexi Army Defense Command fell to the Tibetans. Beiting and Anxi were guarded by Li Yuanzhong and the old general Guo Xin, who along with the Shatuo and Uyghurs, were able to prevent the Tibetans from taking the two garrisons.
  9. ^ "舊唐書". 中國哲學書電子化計劃. Retrieved August 3, 2017. 建中元年,元忠、昕遣使間道奏事,德宗嘉之,以元忠為北庭都護,昕為安西都護。In the first year of the Jianzhong era [780], Yuanzhong and Xin dispatched envoys through a remote path to memorialize the emperor. Dezong commended them and Yuanzhong became protector-general of Beiting while Xin became protector-general of Anxi.
  10. ^ a b c Bregel 2003, p. 21.
  11. ^ "佛說十力經". Sutta Central. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  12. ^ Beckwith 1987, p. 156.


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