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 The Ming court appointed

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PostSubject: The Ming court appointed   Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:00 pm

According to the official historical work on the Ming Dynasty, the History of Ming (or Mingshi in Chinese), compiled in 1739 by the subsequent Qing Dynasty (1644–1912), the Ming Dynasty established the "E-Li-Si Army-Civilian Marshal Office"[a] in western Tibet and installed the "Dbus-Gtsang Itinerant High Commandery"[b] and "Mdo-khams Itinerant High Commandery"[c] to administer eastern Tibet.[31][32] The Mingshi states that administrative offices were set up under these high commanderies, including one Itinerant Commandery,[d] three Pacification Commissioner's Offices,[e] six Expedition Commissioner's Offices,[f] four Wanhu offices (myriarchies each in command of 10,000 households),[g] and seventeen Qianhu offices (chiliarchies each in command of 1,000 households).[h][33]

The Ming court appointed three Princes of Dharma (法王) and five Princes (王), and granted many other titles, such as Grand State Tutors (大國師) and State Tutors (國師), to the important schools of Tibetan Buddhism, including the Karma Kagyu sect, Sakya sect, and Gelug sect.[34] According to Wang Jiawei and Nyima Gyaincain, leading officials of these organs were all appointed by the central government and were subject to the rule of law.[35] Yet Van Praag describes the distinct and long-lasting Tibetan law code established by the Phagmodru ruler Janchub Gyaltsän as one of many reforms to revive old Imperial Tibetan traditions.[36]

The late Turrell V. Wylie, a former professor of the University of Washington, and Li Tieh-tseng argue that the reliability of the heavily censored Mingshi as a credible source on Sino-Tibetan relations is questionable, in the light of modern scholarship.[37] Other historians also assert that these Ming titles were nominal and did not actually confer the authority that the earlier Yuan titles had.[38][39] Van Praag writes that the "numerous economically motivated Tibetan missions to the Ming Court are referred to as 'tributary missions' in the Ming Shih."[40] Van Praag writes that these "tributary missions" were simply prompted by China's need for horses from Tibet, since a viable horse market in Mongol lands was closed due to incessant conflict.[40]






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