An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Pingding haikou fanglüe 平定海寇方略

May 1, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Pingding haikou fanglüe 平定海寇方略 "Military annals of the pacification of the privateers" is a history of the war of the Qing dynasty 清 (1644-1911) against the family of Zheng 鄭 that ruled over Taiwan at the very end of the Ming dynasty 明 (1368-1644). The book was never printed but is only preserved as a non-finished draft.

Recently, the History and Language Institute of the the Academia Sinica 中央研究院歷史語言研究所 has produced a revised and commented version and published with the title Ji Ming Taiwan Zhengshi wangshi 記明臺灣鄭氏亡事 "The history of the downfall of the family Zheng on Taiwan during the Ming period". It is enriched with a preface by Zhu Xizu 朱希祖 (1879-1944), an expert on the history of the Southern Ming 南明 (1644-1661). For his commentary to the book under discussion, he used all available sources about the last princes of the Ming and their supporters. In his view, the term fanglüe 方略 "military annals" is not quite appropriate for this book, because it is not a kind of official military annals of the war against the Zheng family. This is especially true if one considers that the Qing dynasty was not yet ruler over whole China before the last princes of the Ming were defeated. The book narrates the war from 1679 to 1684, ending with the submission of Zheng Keshuang 鄭克塽 (1670-1707). Yet in the beginning, the ancestral history of the family Zheng is also explained, beginning with the pirate Zheng Jin 鄭錦 and his descendants Zheng Zhilong 鄭芝龍 (1604-1661) and Zheng Chenggong 鄭成功 (Coxinga, 1624-1662).

The book is not easily to obtain, but it represents a valuable material for the study of the rule of the Zheng family, along with the Ping Min ji 平閩記.

Beijing tushuguan chubanshe 北京圖書館出版社 (2010). Qingdai fanglüe quanshu 清代方略全書, Qingdai fanglüe quanshu xu 清代方略全書序 (retrieved from,
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 912.