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  • Making the Borderland

    Seonmin Kim

    Chapter from the book: Kim, S. 2017. Ginseng and Borderland: Territorial Boundaries and Political Relations between Qing China and Chosŏn Korea, 1636–1912.


    This chapter analyzes the 1712 investigation of Changbaishan, caused by Korean trespassing and ginseng poaching, to explain the unique conceptions of territory and sovereignty held by the Qing and the Chosŏn. As a part of a broader project of mapping the homeland of the Manchu imperial court, the Kangxi emperor proposed a joint survey with the Chosŏn authorities. However, Manchu and Korean officials ultimately failed to locate the origin of the Tumen River, and thus the exact location of their boundary remained undefined. While the Qing had sought to use this survey to secure the loyalty of the Chosŏn, not a clear-cut boundary, the Chosŏn took advantage of the Qing’s relative lack of interest in boundary limits and took this opportunity to protect its territory and sovereignty.

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    Kim, S. 2017. Making the Borderland. In: Kim, S, Ginseng and Borderland. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.36.c

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    Published on Sept. 12, 2017