Miao people

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  • Chinese: 苗 (Miáo)

The Miáo people, also known as the Hmong, are a people indigenous to southwestern China and neighboring portions of Southeast Asia. They are officially recognized by the People's Republic of China as an ethnic minority.

The Miáo first clashed with Han Chinese settlers as early as the 1410s, during the Ming Dynasty, if not earlier, as Chinese began to push into Miáo lands.

In the Qing Dynasty, the Yongzheng Emperor launched further campaigns against the Miáo in the 1720s. Chinese settlers pushed into Miáo lands in Yunnan and Guizhou provinces in more significant numbers beginning in the 1680s, pushing native people further into the hills, and disrupting their communities with silver and copper mining. Yongzheng named the bannerman Oertai governor-general of the entire region in 1726, placing him in charge of securing Qing control over the region and suppressing Miáo disturbances. An experienced administrator from the blue banner, Oertai worked to break the power of Miáo chieftains, seize control of Miáo lands, and register Miáo individuals within the Qing population registers as Qing subjects. While those who surrendered to the Qing were often rewarded with official posts, they still had their lands confiscated, while those who resisted were generally killed by Oertai's forces.


  • Jonathan Spence, The Search for Modern China, Second Edition, W.W. Norton & Co. (1999), 88.