Lanfang Republic
蘭芳共和國 (Chinese)
Flag of Lanfang
Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Reconstructed flag[1][a]
National seal:
Map of Kongsi republics in West Borneo
Map of Kongsi republics in West Borneo
StatusKongsi federation under Sultanate of Pontianak and Mempawah[3]
CapitalDong Wan Li (東萬律) (now Mandor)
Common languagesHakka, Malay, Dayak languages
Demonym(s)Hakka or Lánfāngrén (蘭芳人)
GovernmentPresidential Kongsi republic
• 1777–1795
Low Lan Pak
• 1795–1799
Jiang Wubo
• 1799–1804
Yan Sibo
• 1804–1811
Jiang Wubo
• 1811–1823
Song Chabo
• 1823–1838
Liu Taiji
• 1838–1842
Gu Liubo
• 1842–1843
Xie Guifang
• 1843–1845
Ye Tenghui
• 1845–1848
Liu Ganxing
• 1848–1876
Liu Asheng
• 1876–1880
Liu Liang
• 1880–1884
Liu Asheng
Historical eraNew Imperialism
• Founding
Succeeded by
Dutch East Indies
Today part ofIndonesia

The Lanfang Republic (Chinese: 蘭芳共和國; pinyin: Lánfāng Gònghéguó, Pha̍k-fa-sṳ: Làn-fông Khiung-fò-koet), also known as Lanfang Company (Chinese: 蘭芳公司; pinyin: Lánfāng gōngsī), was a kongsi federation in Western Borneo. It was established by a Hakka Chinese named Low Lan Pak [hak] in 1777 until it was ended by Dutch occupation in 1884.

Arrival of the Chinese

See also: Kongsi federations § History

The sultans of Western Borneo, including Sambas, Sukadana, and Landak all imported Chinese laborers in the 18th century to work in gold or tin mines. A number of mining companies enjoyed some political autonomy,[4] but Lanfang is the best known thanks to a history written by Yap Siong-yoen, the son-in-law of the last kapitan of the Lanfang Company, which was translated into Dutch in 1885, and J.J.M. de Groot, a Dutch Sinologist who recorded Lanfang's history with the help of its last President, Liu Asheng.[5][6][7][8][9][10] None of the other Chinese mining organization in western Kalimantan left written accounts; the records of the others were documented by Dutch sinologists.[11]

Rule of Low Lan Pak

The founding father of the Lanfang Kongsi was Low Fong Pak (羅芳伯), who hailed from Meizhou in Guangdong Province. Chinese settlers have long lived on Borneo, with most engaging in trading and mining. They formed their own companies, among which was the Southern Company headed by Low.

Low established the Lanfang Company in 1777 (with its capital in Mandor), and it quickly emerged as the leading government in the region.[12][13][14][15][16][17] The settlers subsequently elected Low as their inaugural leader. At the beginning of the Low's leadership, he knew they wouldn't survive long on a land surrounded by Western colonizers. To seek protection, Low insisted on claiming Lanfang Republic as a company to seek asylum from the Qing empire. Unfortunately, the Qianlong Emperor didn't accept Low's proposal of becoming the Qing Empire's tributary state but accepted the trade agreement. After Low received the official response from Qianlong, he promptly showcased it as evidence of loyalty to the Qing Empire. This action effectively intimidated the Dutch, forcing them to cease their hostile activities against the Lanfang Republic temporarily.[18] After Low secured the Lanfang Republic's future, he implemented many democratic principles, including the idea that all matters of state must involve the consultation of the republic's citizenry. The Republic did not have a standing military, but had a defense ministry that administered a national militia based on conscription. During peacetime, the populace mostly engaged in farming, production, trading, and mining. Lanfang's administrative divisions included three tiers (province, prefecture, and county) with the people electing leaders for all levels. Lanfang was allied with Sultan Abdurrahman of the Pontianak Sultanate.[19][20][21][22][23]

Low served as head of state until his death in 1795. Afterwards, Lanfang members elected Jiang Wubo (江戊伯) as their next president. Lanfang citizens elected a total of twelve leaders, who helped improve agricultural techniques, expand mine production, develop cultural education, and organize military training.

Dutch conquest

In the mid-to-late 19th century, the Chinese Qing Empire weakened substantially. Thus, the Lanfang Company's vigorous development suffered from the eventual expansion of the Dutch. The Mandor community waged a tenacious resistance, but ultimately failed due to poor weaponry. Lin Ah Sin was the last leader of Lanfang.[24] Many of Lanfang's citizens and their descendants made their way to Sumatra or Singapore. The three campaigns waged by the Dutch East Indies Army against the Lanfang Company:

This last one resulted in the subjugation of the Chinese and the loss of autonomy.

Wary of Qing intervention, the Dutch did not openly annex the lands controlled by the Lanfang Company, and created another puppet regime. It was not until 1912, when the Qing Dynasty collapsed, that the Dutch proclaimed their occupation.[citation needed]

See also



  1. ^ "Lan Fang Republic". 15 February 1998. Archived from the original on 9 October 1999. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  2. ^ 高宗熹 (1992). Hakka People, Eastern Jews (in Chinese). 武陵出版有限公司. ISBN 9789573506034.
  3. ^ "Republik Lanfang, Republik Pertama di Nusantara?". Pinter Politik (in Indonesian). 2021-10-11. Retrieved 2023-03-30.
  4. ^ 海外華人創建了世上第一個共和國. (in Traditional Chinese). Archived from the original on 2011-04-24. Retrieved 2010-10-31.
  5. ^ Groot, J.J.M. (1885), Het Kongsiwezen van Borneo: eene verhandeling over den grondslag en den aard der chineesche politieke vereenigingen in de koloniën, The Hague: M. Nijhof.
  6. ^ Lindsey'& Pausacker & Coppel &Institute of Southeast Asian Studies & Monash Asia Institute 2005, p. 105.
  7. ^ ed. Gerber &Guang 2006, p. 164.
  8. ^ ed. Reid & Alilunas-Rodgers 1996, p. 169.
  9. ^ ed. Blussé & Zurndorfer & Zürcher 1993, p. 288.
  10. ^ Chin 1981, p. 19.
  11. ^ Heidhues 2001:169
  12. ^ Gernet 1996, p. 489.
  13. ^ YUNOS 2011. Archived 2014-07-14 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "The Eurozone as a Lan Fang Republic" 2012
  15. ^ Zheng 1982, p. 40.
  16. ^ Wang 1994, p. 87.
  17. ^ "The Sarawak Museum Journal, Volume 19" 1971, p. 119.
  18. ^ 1777年华人在印尼建国 延续百年(图)- 中国新闻网. 07/02/2009.
  19. ^ "The Sarawak Museum Journal" 1959, p. 671.
  20. ^ Heidhues 2003, p. 65.
  21. ^ Heidhues 2003, p. 103.
  22. ^ Luo & Luo 1941,
  23. ^ 羅 1961,
  24. ^ Irwin 1955, p. 173.
  1. ^ "...The flag is a rectangle yellow flag with the word Lan Fang Ta Tong Chi. The president flag is a triangular yellow flag with the word Chuao (General)..." Quoted from the web as a summary from the book Hakka people - Jews of the Orient.[2]