Map of the Tang Empire and its protectorates circa 660 CE, including the "Anbei Protectorate" or "Protectorate General to Pacify the North".
Protectorate General to Pacify the North
Common name (669–757)
Traditional Chinese安北都護府
Simplified Chinese安北都护府
Alternate Name (647–663)
Traditional Chinese燕然都护府
Simplified Chinese燕然都护府
Alternate Name (663–669)
Traditional Chinese瀚海都護府
Simplified Chinese瀚海都护府
Alternate Name (757–784)
Traditional Chinese鎮北都護府
Simplified Chinese镇北都护府

The Protectorate General to Pacify the North or Grand Protectorate General to Pacify the North (647–784) was a Chinese military government established by the Tang dynasty in 647 to pacify the former territory of Xueyantuo, which extended from Lake Baikal to the north, the Gobi Desert to the south, the Khingan Mountains to the east, and the Altay Mountains to the west. It controlled the Mongolian Plateau from 647 to 682.

It was first established as Yanran at Shanyu Tai, southwest of present-day Urat Middle Banner, the northern slope of Lang Shan. This was later shifted to Hanhai a short period before it was changed to Anbei. The seat of governance remained there until the year 687.


In 646 the Tang dynasty conquered the Xuyantuo and on 9 January 647, thirteen Tiele and Uyghur tribes surrendered to the Tang. Tang Taizong organized them into six commanderies and seven tributary prefectures under the Jimi system. The six commanderies were Hanhai (翰海府), Jinwei (金微府), Yanran (燕然府), Youling (幽陵府), Guilin (龜林府), and Lushan (盧山府). The seven prefectures were Gaolan (皐蘭州), Gaoque (高闕州), Jilu (雞鹿州), Jitian (雞田州), Yuxi (榆溪州), Dailin (蹛林州), and Douyan (竇顏州). Collectively these were known as the "Cantian Khan Circuit." On 10 April the Yanran Protectorate was created at the foothills of the Shanyu Plateau, southwest of present-day Urad Middle Banner, and governorship of the 13 tribes was handed over to the protector general, Li Suli (李素立), who served from 647 to 649.

In 650, the Tang set up Wolf Mountain Prefecture where the Karluks lived under the jurisdiction of Hanhai.[1]

On 5 February 663 the Yanran Protectorate (on the northern bank of the Wujia River[2]) was renamed Hanhai Protectorate.[3]

In 663, the Yunzhong Protectorate was created from Hanhai. The Yunzhong Protectorate was renamed to Chanyu Protectorate in 664 and located northwest of Horinger and south of Hohhot.[4]

In August 669 the Hanhai Protectorate was renamed the Protectorate General to Pacify the North, otherwise known as the Anbei Duhufu.[5]

In 679, Ashide Wenfu and Ashide Fengzhi rebelled against the Chanyu Protectorate and backed Ashina Nishufu as their khagan.[6]

In 683, Ilterish Qaghan besieged the Chanyu Protectorate and killed the adjutant Zhang Xingshi.[7]

In 686, the status of the Chanyu Protectorate was downgraded to zhenshou shi (defense commissioner).[8][9]

In 687 the seat of Anbei was moved to the east of Tsetserleg, then Tongcheng southeast of Ejin Banner (one source gives this a date of 685), then Xi'an northwest of Minle and southeast of Zhangye.[5][10]

In 698 the seat was moved to the old town of Yunzhong to the northwest of Horinger.[5]

In 708 the seat of Anbei was moved to the Western Shouxiang city near modern Wuyuan County, Inner Mongolia.[5]

In 714 the Chanyu Protectorate was revived in Yunzhong while Anbei was re-located to the Middle Shouxiang city, near modern Baotou.[11]

In 749 the seat was moved to the military settlement of Hengsai, near modern-day Urad Middle Banner.[5]

Due to unfavorable farming conditions near the Hengsai settlement, Guo Ziyi resettled the army near modern Urad Front Banner in 755 and renamed it Da'an and then Tiande Army.[5]

Following the An Lushan Rebellion from 755-763, the Chanyu and Anbei protectorates lost any real authority and survived in name only. Due to the taboo of An Lushan's name, the Anbei Protectorate was renamed the Zhenbei Protectorate in 757, which meant "Protectorate General to Suppress the North."[5] In 758, it was relocated to Western Shouxiang city.[12] The Chanyu Protectorate came under control of the Zhenwu Jiedushi (758-764).[13]

In 840 a group of Uyghurs attacked the Tiande Army.[14]

In 843 the Chanyu Protectorate was renamed back to Anbei Protectorate.[8]

Seats of the Anbei protectorate
647-669: Yanran; 749-755: Hengsai (Urad Middle Banner)
669-687: Datong (Ejin Banner)
687-698: Xi'an (Minle County)
698-708: Yunzhong (Horinger County)
708-714: western Shouxiang (Wuyuan County)
714-749: Shouxiang (near Baotou)
755: near Urad Front Banner

List of protector generals


See also



  1. ^ Hao 2021, p. 17.
  2. ^ Wang 2013, p. 46.
  3. ^ Xiong 2008, p. 203.
  4. ^ Xiong 2008, p. 652.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Xiong 2008, p. 41.
  6. ^ Hao 2021, p. 16.
  7. ^ Hao 2021, p. 29.
  8. ^ a b Xiong 2008, p. 82.
  9. ^ Hao 2021, p. 35.
  10. ^ Hao 2021, p. 33.
  11. ^ Xiong 2008, p. 41, 82.
  12. ^ Xiong 2008, p. 504.
  13. ^ Xiong 2008, p. 679.
  14. ^ Drompp 2005, p. 39.


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Further reading