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Protectorate General to Pacify the West

The Protectorate General to Pacify the West, or Anxi Protectorate (640 CE–790 CE) was a protectorate established by the Tang Dynasty in 640 to control the Tarim Basin.  The head office was first established at the prefecture of Xi, now known as Turpan, but was later shifted to Qiuci (Kucha)

Tang campaign against the Eastern Turks.

Illig Qaghan (620-30), was the last independent ruler of the

Tang campaign against the Turks.

Illig Qaghan (620-30), was the last independent ruler of the Eastern Turcki Khanate.  He led yearly raids against the new Tang dynasty (618-907). In 626 he reached the gates of Chang’an.

Emperor Taizong of Tang, who had just overthrown his father, chose to pay an enormous ransom. Taizong waited and enlarged his cavalry. In 627-29 unusual cold led to mass livestock deaths and famine. Instead of lowering taxes, Illig raised them. The Xueyantuo, Uyghurs, Bayegu and some of Illig’s people rebelled and in 629 were joined by the Kitan and Taizong. Six Chinese armies attacked in a 1200 kilometer front and Illig was captured (630).

Tang Dynasty's conquest of Western Turks

.  He led yearly raids against the new Tang dynasty (618-907). In 626 he reached the gates of Chang’an.

Emperor Taizong of Tang, who had just overthrown his father, chose to pay an enormous ransom. Taizong waited and enlarged his cavalry. In 627-29 unusual cold led to mass livestock deaths and famine. Instead of lowering taxes, Illig raised them. The Xueyantuo, Uyghurs, Bayegu and some of Illig’s people rebelled and in 629 were joined by the Kitan and Taizong. Six Chinese armies attacked in a 1200 kilometer front and Illig was captured (630).

The Four Garrisons of Anxi in KuchaKhotanKashgar, and Karashahr were installed between 648 and 658 as garrisons under the western protectorate.

In 659 Sogh (Chuy Region), Ferghana, Tashkent, Bukhara, Samarkand, Balkh, Herat, Kashmir, the Pamirs, Tokharistan, and Kabul all submitted to the protectorate under Emperor Gaozong of Tang.

Protectorate to Pacify the West Map

After the An Lushan Rebellion the office of Protector General was given to Guo Xin who defended the area and the four garrisons even after communication had been cut off from Chang’an by the Tibetan Empire. The last vestiges of the protectorate and its garrisons were defeated by Tibetan forces by the year 790, ending nearly 150 years of Tang influence in central Asia.

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