20 May 2021, Volume 41 Issue 2 Previous Issue   
A Study of the Governance of Longxi, Beidi and Shang Commanderies in the Early Western Han Dynasty: Centered on the Rank of the Counties as Seen in the Statutes on Salaries (Zhi lü) from Zhangjiashan Han Slips
Ma Menglong
2021, 41 (2):  16-30. 
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This paper compares the surviving and excavated documents and points out that the commandery’s capital county was the highest-ranking among the counties belonging to the same commandery in the Han Dynasty. Based on the rank and order of a commandery’s counties recorded in the Statutes on Salaries (Er Nian Lü Ling: Zhi lü) from Zhangjiashan Han Slips, we can analyze the governance of some commanderies in the early Western Han Dynasty. According to the Statutes on Salaries, the capital of Longxi Commandery in the early Western Han Dynasty was Shangli County; Shang Commandery’s capital was Gaonu County, and the capital of Beidi Commandery was Panyang County. Besides, the capital of Hanzhong, Hedong, and Hainai Commanderies in the early Western Han Dynasty can also be further inferred by the Statutes on Salaries. This document’s value in the study of capital counties in the early Western Han Dynasty needs to be emphasized.

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An Analysis of the Classification of Counties Under the Official Rank System of the Liang Dynasty
Yao Le
2021, 41 (2):  31-41. 
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Analyzing the cases of selection and transfer of county officials in the Liang Dynasty (502-557 AD), the system can be characterized by the rules of “Counties divide into seven classes” and “Officials of large counties equal those at the sixth class” existed at that time. In the actual operation of the system, many county officials were employed below the proper class, i.e. it was common for the seniority of the county officials to exceed the rank of the county. The counties of high rank seen in the official history were all located within the territory of Yangzhou, Nanxuzhou, and mainly belonged to the prefectures of Danyang, Wu, Wuxing and Kuaiji, which were the heartland of the empire. This is not only a result of the bias of history books, but also a direct reflection of the political conditions in the above-mentioned areas. The most important factor influencing the official’s rank of each county is its population. Taking other factors into consideration, it is believed that the highest-ranking counties which were at the sixth class may have been classified by the criterion of having 5 000 households. The analysis of the rank of each county can also improve our knowledge of the population distribution at that time.

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From Official Rank to Salary Rank: An Investigation on County Tiers in the Tang and Five Dynasties
Luo Kai
2021, 41 (2):  42-56. 
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Counties in Tang Dynasty were assigned into four, five, six, seven, eight, ten, etc. tiers according to household registration, official rank, salary rank, transfer order and other different standards. From a diachronic point of view, the county tiers were constantly increasing from six tiers in the early stage to ten tiers in the later stage. One exception was during the Tianbao years, the lowest tier of counties was cancelled. However, the designations of Wang (望), Jin (紧), Ci Chi (次赤) and Ci Ji (次畿) counties had no direct relationship with the number of registered permanent residents, but rather reflected more if the county was fertile or barren. Among them, the problem of Ci Chi county was particularly complicated, because it can be interpreted in both broad and narrow senses. However, a comprehensive analysis shows that the system of Ci Chi county had already appeared in the early years of Daizong Period at the latest. The salary rank formed from the late Daizong Period to the early Dezong Period had a new impact on the county tiers in the late Tang Dynasty and Five Dynasties. In Five Dynasties, the county tier was determined by the number of registered households, although different dynasties had different standards, either complicated or simple. In summary, in the Tang Dynasty and the Five Dynasties, the criteria for county tiers changed from official rank to salary rank.

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Exploration and Analysis on the Criteria of County Tier Designation in Song Dynasty
Qi Zitong
2021, 41 (2):  57-66. 
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The county system of Song Dynasty basically inherited that of Tang Dynasty, when counties were designated according to the double standards of “political status” and “registered residents”. However, it existed many differences in the county system between Tang and Song Dynasties, and the Later Zhou Dynasty played an important role in this historical evolution. In the Later Zhou Dynasty, Wang county and Jin county lost the qualification to be classified by “political status” but using registered household standard, which was inherited by Song Dynasty. Basically, it was influenced by the impact of Ci Chi county, Ci Ji county. In the early Song Dynasty, the counties under Fu (superior prefecture) were strictly classified according to their political statuses, which was in contrast with counties under Zhou (prefecture) in Later Zhou, designated by registered households. By the end of the Northern Song Dynasty, the clear-cut division pattern was broken that the counties subordinate to Ci Fu were classified according to the registered households. Also, the meanings of “registered household” was different between Tang and Song Dynasties. It meant the number of households in Tang Dynasty but the number of “main households” that paid two taxes in Song Dynasty. This was also impacted by the policies of Later Zhou Dynasty. In the early Northern Song Dynasty, the policy of county tier designation was dynamic. Till the late Northern Song Dynasty, it gave rise to the mismatch of counties with more registered households but lower county levels. Therefore, a practical solution of disparity between county tier and household registration was to raise the threshold of registered households.

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New Analysis on the Ranking System of Counties During the Qing Dynasty
Hu Heng
2021, 41 (2):  67-90. 
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The ranking system of counties first emerged during Yongzheng’s reign, and was generally founded in the 12th year of Qianlong. However, up to 124 adjustments of descriptions and ranks on counties ranks still occurred during the 12th and 43rd year of Qianlong, most of which happened on lower-ranked counties changing into a Zuiyao (most significant) or Yao (significant) ranked ones. In the 43rd year of Qianlong, a new regulation on standardized adjustments of descriptions and ranks was promulgated. Although implemented strictly, many exceptional adjustments were still allowed down to Daoguang’s reign. Changes to description hardly happened during the reigns of Xianfeng and Tongzhi, only to emerge again from the end of Guangxu’s reign to Xuantong’s reign. Provinces had different modes of county distribution, including anti core-edge distribution, core-edge double centered distribution, linear distribution along a river, coastline or transit lines, similar distribution to developed towns, etc. Fuguo(附郭)counties were generally ranked higher than others in 1911, except for only 48 cases non-conformative to the rule. Moreover, as Hunan province showcases, ranks of counties were not in accordance with commercial benefits for the county magistrate.

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Textual Research on the Administrative Areas of the Yingtian Governor in the Ming Dynasty, also Discussing the Belonging of the Chengtian Enclave
Song Keda
2021, 41 (2):  91-104. 
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The office of the Yingtian Governor originated directly from the Governor of Nanzhili and Zhejiang Province, both of which were set up in the first year of Hongxi. When it was officially set up in the fifth year of Xuande, its governing areas should be Yingtian and other ten prefectures rather than only the three prefectures of Suzhou, Songjiang and Changzhou as considered in traditional researches. During the period of Zhengtong, due to the abolishment of the Zhejiang Governor, as well as the need of supervising grain tax collection and water conservancy in the Taihu Lake Basin, the administrative areas of the Yingtian Governor was extended to Western Zhejiang for a long time. Thus, a total of fourteen prefectures were under its administration. As for the prefecture of Chengtian, it had been under the administration of the Huguang Governor after the fourteenth year of Jiajing, but never taken over by the Yingtian Governor. The opinion that Chengtian had been a detached enclave of the Yingtian Governor from the fourteenth year of Jiajing to the beginning of Longqing is not credible. Researchers holding this opinion might be misled by the related records in the current version of the Records of Emperor Shizong of the Ming Dynasty.

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Research on Process and Mechanism of Mianzhou City’s Relocation in Qing Dynasty
Ma Jian, Zhang Yubo
2021, 41 (2):  105-118. 
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During the reign of Emperor Qianlong, the flood of Fujiang River seriously affected the integrity of Mianzhou city and the normal operation of local governmental institutions after the change of its course. Due to the impending war in Jinchuan and shortage of funds, the governor of Sichuan gave up repairing the walled-city and set Luojiang as the prefecture-leveled city instead. During the Jiaqing period, the local gentry and people jointly maneuvered for the return to the old Mianzhou, which regained its strategic importance during the White Lotus Uprising. The uniqueness of natural setting and historical inertia of human location, which reflected regional difference of flood environmental effect, are the reasons that lead to the relocation and return. The combination of the decision-making process of “actors” and the analysis of geographical mechanism in the study of city relocation is vital to the understanding on the causal relationship and primary or secondary factors, and the presentation of a vivid historical outlook and gaining in-depth historical cognition.

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“The State Advances as the Private Sector Retreats” in Modern Chinese Postal Space
Wang Zhe
2021, 41 (2):  119-138. 
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Postal network was a modern element with the characteristic of “spatiality”. For modern China, it was mainly composed of various corporate entities such as Minxin (native postal services), owned by small private capital, and state-run postal services. After its establishment, the Chinese Imperial Post began to encroach on the operating space of Minxin. Based on the digitization work of the 1936 Postal Atlas, published by the Post of Republic of China, it was found that after nearly 40 years, the state-run post had basically completed the integration and construction of a nationwide postal space. In this process, the state-run postal service prudently imitated the operation modes of the Minxin and adopted a variety of innovative business strategies. In addition to building a convenient and fast postal network within and between large and medium-sized cities, the state-run postal service also adopted new business strategies such as “postal agency” in rural areas that could not be covered by railway and road at a very low cost, and completed the coupling with the traditional rural grassroots “periodical market” network. Basically, it has achieved the effect wherever there was commerce, there was postal service. The “postal agglomeration” formed by the state-run postal network and the concentration of postal points have also become a prominent external spatial representation of modernization and a good macro-external indicator for defining the so-called “core” and “peripheral” spaces.

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Diary of a Field Trip for Old Watercourse of Yellow River from June 3rd to July 9th in 1977
Zou Yilin, Zou Zhenhuan
2021, 41 (2):  139-156. 
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Zou Yilin followed Tan Qixiang to Zhengzhou, Xingyang, Anyang, Xunxian, Huaxian, Puyang, Daming, Handan, Xinxiang, Yanjin, Kaifeng and Xuzhou from June 3rd to July 9th in 1977, making a field trip to investigate the old watercourses of Yellow River. During the trip, Zou Yilin wrote a diary of itinerary, experience and thoughts. The diary is meaningful for recorded the whole field work of Tan’s team, as well as for researchers to know more about the changes of Yellow River watercourses.

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