Nanhaizi culture is legacy of ‘Kang Qian Shengshi’, expert says

Updated: 2019-03-06

Nanhaizi culture is a legacy of “Kang Qian Shengshi”, according to Zhu Chengru, deputy director of the National Commission for the Compilation of Qing Dynasty History. Zhu was speaking at a forum on Nanhaizi culture in Beijing’s Daxing district, on Dec 8.

“Kang Qian Shengshi”, or "the heyday during the reign of emperors Kangxi and Qianlong in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911)", refers to the long and peaceful rule of Kangxi (r 1662-1722) and Qianlong (r 1736-95).

According to Zhu, the Nanhaizi area was formed in the Liao dynasty (916-1125), developed throughout the Jin (1115-1234), Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing dynasties, flourished in the last two periods, and reached its heyday during the reign of Kangxi and Qianlong.

After the troops of the Qing dynasty bypassed Shanhai Pass, the Qing dynasty emperors chose Nanhaizi as a site for military training to consolidate the new regime. 

Zhu noted that the area was expanded and more fences were added to the ones built in the Ming dynasty. A group of xinggong (temporary dwelling place of an emperor) and temples were put up during the reign of Kangxi and Qianlong, and the area reached an unprecedented 216 sq km.

Nanhaizi served as a subsidiary administrative area at that time, since it was close to the Forbidden City. Emperors Shunzhi, Kangxi and Qianlong trained soldiers and dealt with government affairs there.

There were study and meeting rooms, among them the magnificent Tuanhe Xinggong, built during the reign of Qianlong. It was a core area for dealing with government affairs.

Nanhaizi was also a center for grand martial drills and parades. The emperor Qianlong reviewed his troops in Nanhaizi, which reflects its prominence at that time.

The area witnessed the rise and fall of dynasties. The groups then called Qidan, also known as Khitan, Nuzhen, Mongolia, Han and Manchu lived and multiplied in Nanhaizi, boosting the integration of different groups.

As a cultural heritage of the "Kang Qian Shengshi", Nanhaizi culture should be appreciated as having regional characteristics in a specific historical period, Zhu stated.