Are we not off target again?
Originally posted by Daulat:
indeed? in that case how do you explain the annexation of Xinkiang from the Turkic tribes who lived there in the Manchu period (if i recall correctly)? were they not hunted down and 'pacified' similarly to the native americans in the great steppe? no aggression there ofcourse!
Just as a quick history lesson... The "Turkic tribes" in the area now called Xinjiang have been there since the 10th century, not the Manchu period. The Tang dynasty, as far back as the 6th century, had control over the area... and some of its top generals were of (approximately) Turkic ethnicity... but this control was lost with its collapse.
Now, on to your point. The history of China shows cycles of invasions by aggressive nomadic conquering "foreigners", who manage to rule China for centuries... before slowly losing their aggressive/expansionist tendencies after becoming 'Sinified' in perspective.
The Mongol hordes were definitely aggressive and expansionist; that's how they conquered China, and consequently all of the neighboring areas. The Chinese dynasty established by the Mongols (under Kublai Khan) was *not* expansionist.
The first two centuries of the Manchu Qing dynasty was expansionist. They conquered Xinjiang and Taiwan after conquering the Ming dynasty that preceded it, established control over Tibet, obtained loyalty oaths from the Mongols...
... but what new territory was conquered by the Qing after the end of the 18th century? None.
A stable, long-lasting Chinese state is not expansionist or aggressive. It's just not in traditional Chinese culture. That doesn't mean regimes (especially foreign-influenced regimes) can't lead China into a period of aggression, but by all indication, China is not in danger of such acts now.
using the Qing claims to territory are akin to India claiming the Ashokan boundaries, or for that matter the Italians claiming most of Europe - which might be an interesting concept but rather pointless
Uh, the Qing dynasty came to an end with the formation of the Republic of China in 1911... which proclaimed itself a new successor government of the same Chinese state. Ashoka is pre-Christ, and the Roman empire dissolved a few centuries later.
You don't see a difference?