Historical Geography Research ›› 2022, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (1): 48-62.

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Planning of New District and Separation of Religion from Politics:the Arrangement of Heicuo County (1943-1945)

Wang Zhitong   

  1. School of History and Culture, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730020, China
  • Received:2021-06-07 Online:2022-02-20 Published:2022-07-08


Heicuo was a township under Xiahe County of Gansu Province during the period of Nationalist Government. During the Anti-Japanese War, the Gansu Provincial Government proposed to set up a new administration division out of the territory of Xiahe, Lintan and Zhuoni counties and sent staff to Gannan (southern Gansu,甘南) three times successively to do field survey for the new administration region. The area, however, has a complex political and religious systems, diverse ethnic and religious cultures and indented administrative boundaries. The idea was not only about dividing the old and establishing a new administrative area, but also promoting the separation of the religion from politics in the new county, signifying the modern turn of the frontier governance strategy. However, the officials’ idea of planning and pushing forward the adjustment of administrative districts had been met with unanimous opposition from the natives, who expressed their voices through various strategies. Coupled with the fiscal difficulties during the Anti-Japanese War and the officials’ fear of local turmoil, the administrative setup of Heicuo was eventually aborted. This case indicates that the alteration of administrative divisions in the borderland needs to take local cultural factors into full consideration.

Key words: alteration of administrative divisions, Heicuo setup, Gannan District, separation of religion from politics

CLC Number: 

  • K928