The Muslim-led Panthay Rebellion was one of five mid-nineteenth-century rebellions to threaten the Chinese imperial court. The Chinese Sultanate begins by contrasting the views of Yunnan held by the imperial center with local and indigeus perspectives, in particular looking at the strong ties the Muslim Yunnanese had with Southeast Asia and Tibet. Traditional interpretations of the rebellion there have emphasized the political threat posed by the Muslim Yunnanese, but prior study has sought to understand the insurrection in its broader muti-ethnic borderland context. At its core, the book delineates the escalating government support of premeditated massacres of the Hui by Han Chinese and offers the first in-depth examination of the seventeen-year-long rule of the Dali Sultanate.
David G. Atwill is Assistant Professor of Chinese History and Religion at Pennsylvania State University.