Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Tsereng

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TSERENG 策棱, d. Mar. 12, 1750, the first Prince Ch'ao-yung (超勇親王), was a member of the Borjigit clan and a descendant of Genghis Khan (1162–1227) in the twenty-first generation. After the Mongols were driven out of China most of the Khans were weaklings. But Dayan Tsetsen Khan (1466–1543?), a descendant of Genghis Khan in the fifteenth generation, was a man of great ability, and united the Mongols under his rule. After Dayan's death, the authority was divided mainly among his sons. These sons, with one exception, brought their herds to pasture south of the Gobi Desert and became known, together with other tribes led by princes not descended from Genghis Khan, as the Inner Mongolians, or the Forty-nine Banners.

The ninth son, Gheresentse, took his men, numbering about ten thousand, to a region farther north, and this group came to be known as the Khalkas or Outer Mongolians. The Khalkas were later divided into three main groups designated Jasaktu Khanate, Tsetsen Khanate, and Tushetu Khanate, all the tribal heads being descendants of Gheresentse. The latter's third son, Numkh, and his descendants of the eldest branch, led the Tushetu Khanate. Tsereng was born a member of this branch. His great-grandfather, Tumenkin (fourth son of Numkh), was awarded the title of Sain Noin by the Dalai Lama for his advocacy of the Yellow Sect of Lamaism. The inheritance of this title fell to the second branch of the family—Tsereng himself belonging to the eighth. When, in the late 1680's, the Sungars under Galdan [q. v.] invaded the Khalkas, Tsereng was still a youth and, together with the head of his family, Shamba 善巴 (d. 1707), surrendered to Emperor Shêng-tsu for protection. In 1691 Shamba was created a prince of the second class and became the recognized leader of his clans. Later (1696) his rank was raised to the first class.

Tsereng, a second cousin of Shamba, was given the rank of a Ch'ing-ch'ê tu-yü, together with the privilege of living in Peking and studying in the Palace (1692). It seems that the Emperor selected him to be educated, in the belief that he was a Mongol prince who would remain loyal. In 1706 Tsereng married the Emperor's tenth daughter, the Princess Ch'un-k'o (純愨公主 1685–1710). It was probably after the princesss' death that Tsereng was raised in rank and ordered to lead his men to their pasture-land in the Tamir River valley northwest of Erdeni Tsu. In 1715, when the Eleuths again threatened the Khalkas (see under Tsewang Araptan), Tsereng was ordered to assist the northern route army, and for his bravery in a battle in 1721 was made a Jasak to rule over the men under him-his men having been, up to this time, under the jurisdiction of another Jasak prince. In 1723 Emperor Shih-tsung made him a prince of the second class and in the following year ordered him to patrol the Altai Mountain passes, with the rank of an assistant commander (副將軍). The Emperor was pleased with his services and in 1725 ordered him to organize his near relatives (the descendants of Tumenkin) into a new Khanate known am Sain Noin, consisting of nineteen banners a Jasaks, increased later to twenty-four. Thus Tsereng and his kin no longer belonged to the Tushetu Khanate and the Khalkas were now divided into four groups. In the meantime, Tsereng served as one of the ambassadors who signed a treaty with Russia at Kiakhta (1727) but, for firing cannon to celebrate the conclusion of the treaty (see under Tulišen), he was fined three months' stipend.

When Emperor Shih-tsung decided to main war against the Eleuths he sent Furdan [q. v.] to Khobdo as commander-in-chief. Tsereng was one of the generals stationed at Chakan Sor, the military base under Hsi-pao (see under Furdan). In 1731, after being defeated near Khobda Furdan was ordered to withdraw to Chakan Sar. The victorious Eleuths, however, had already crossed the Altai Mountains, pillaged the Khalka nomads, and destroyed several military postr But on October 22 they met the army unde Tsereng west of Chakan Sor, were defeated, and had to retreat to the west of the Altai Mountains. This victory not only opened a way for Furdan to withdraw his troops but also enhanced the morale of the soldiers. Because of this victory Tsereng was raised to prince of the first class and given a reward of ten thousand taels silver. The other commander of the Mongolian forces, Prince Danjin Dorgi 丹津多爾濟 (d. 1738), was similarly rewarded. Soon afterwards Tsereng was made a High Jasak of the Khalkas. In the summer of 1732 a large number of the Eleuths (thirty thousand?) again invaded the Khalkas. Perhaps as an act of vengeance, they plundered the Tamir Valley, made captive two of Tsereng's sons, and carried away men and cattle. Tsereng, with twenty thousand soldiers, pursued the Eleuths and met them at Erdeni Tsu on September 23. The battle lasted the whole day and the Eleuths suffered a crushing defeat, losing a large number of men. The remnant fled westward and crossed the A]tai Mountains to their own country. They would have been annihilated had the armies under Marsai (see under Furdan) and Hsi-pao co-operated to prevent this flight. For their failure to do so, Marsai was beheaded, Hsi-pao was degraded, and Danjin Dorgi, who in his report exaggerated his own part in the victory, was first rewarded but later degraded. Tsereng alone was given credit for this victory and was rewarded with the designation, Ch'ao-yung 超勇, to be added to his princedom. Later he was abundantly compensated for his losses from raids by the Eleuths, and the city of Tamir, including a palace, was built for him. He was made military governor of Uliasutai, a post created in that year, and concurrently captain-general of the League of the Sain Noin Khanate. Moreover, he was distinguished by the privilege of wearing the yellow girdle as though he were a member of the royal family.

In 1734 peace negotiations with the Eleuths began (see under A-k'o-tun). An agreement over the boundary between the Eleuths and the Khalkas was reached in 1738 and, in the fourth year of Emperor Kao-tsung's accession to the throne (1739), the treaty was concluded, with the boundary set at the Altai Mountains where the pasture-land of the Khalkas extended. Thus ended, for the time being, the second war against the Eleuths, a war which began in 1717 (see under Furdan and Tsewang Araptan) and cost China thousands of men and more than seventy million taels silver. Tsereng took an active part in the entire war. Its final peaceful settlement rested not only upon his victories over the Eleuths, but also on his advice to both Emperors Shih-tsung and Kao-tsung. When the Eleuths tried to intimidate Tsereng by reminding him of the peril to his sons, then in captivity, he disregarded them. For this act of daring and selfdenial, the Emperor gave to Tsereng's eldest son, Cenggun Jabu 成袞札布 (d. 1771), the rank of Shih-tzŭ 世子, or "inheritor" of his father's princedom.

After 1735 Tsereng made his headquarters at Uliasutai. In 1741, owing to his advanced age, he was ordered to transact affairs from his home in Tamir when he could enjoy more comfort. When he died, nine years later, his body was removed to Peking and buried with that of his first wife, the princess, in the suburbs of the capital. One tablet commemorating him was placed in the Imperial Ancestral Temple and another in the Temple of Eminent Statesmen. He was canonized as Hsiang 襄. Throughout the Ch'ing Dynasty he and Sêng-ko-lin-ch'in [q. v.] were the only Mongols whose memory was celebrated in the Imperial Ancestral Temple.

Cenggūn Jabu succeeded to the princedom and also served as military governor of Uliasutai (1750–54, 1756–71), with military and judiciary power over the four Khanates of the Khalkas as well as the Khobdo and Tanu Urianghai regions. In 1756 he helped to stabilize a minor revolt and for a time, in the following year, served as commander-in-chief of the armies sent to Ili to stabilize the Eleuths (see under Amursana and Chao-hui). His kinsmen and his descendants were highly favored by the Ch'ing emperors. In response to his petition, the title, Sain Noin Khan was given in 1766 to the descendants of Shamba, with rights of perpetual inheritance. The son and successor of Cenggūn Jabu, named Lavan Dorji 拉旺多爾濟 (d. 1816), married Princess Ho-ching 和靜公主 (1756–1775), seventh daughter of Emperor Kao-tsung.

[1/302/7b; 1/526/17b; 3 shou 82/1a; Fu-hêng [q. v.], P'ing-ting Chun-ko-êr fang-lüeh, ch'ien-pien, chüan 28–32; Chao-lien [q. v.], Hsiao-t'ing tsa-lu 10/26b; Wei Yüan [q. v.], Shêng-wu chi 3/15b; Ch'ing Huang-shih ssŭ-p'u (see under Fu-lung-an) 4/13a, 17b; Chang Mu [q. v.], Mêng-ku yu-mu chi, chüan 8; Yule, Sir Henry, Travels of Marco Polo, vol. 1, pp. 226–237; Ch'ing Kao-tsung shih-lu (Ch'ien-lung) 359/2a.]

Fang Chao-ying