Nine Gates Infantry Commander

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The Nine Gates Infantry Commander (Chinese :步軍統領/九門提督; pinyin :bùjūn tónglǐng/jiǔmén tídū) was a military appointment used in the Qing dynasty (1644–1912) of China. The officer holding this appointment was in charge of safeguarding and monitoring traffic, and overseeing the opening times of the nine gates of the imperial capital, Beijing. The nine gates were Zhengyang Gate, Chongwen Gate, Anding Gate, Fucheng Gate, Xizhi Gate, Dongzhi Gate, Xuanwu Gate, Desheng Gate, and Chaoyang Gate. The officer's judicial responsibilities included night patrol, fire fighting, security checks of civilians, the apprehension and arrest of criminals, and prison keeping. He was also responsible for the security of the Forbidden City. Throughout the history of the Qing dynasty, the position was always held by Manchus rather than Han Chinese. [1] [2]

Traditional Chinese characters Traditional Chinese characters

Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, and in the Kangxi Dictionary. The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, and have been more or less stable since the 5th century.

Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.

Qing dynasty former empire in Eastern Asia, last imperial regime of China

The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing, was the last imperial dynasty of China. It was established in 1636, and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912. It was preceded by the Ming dynasty and succeeded by the Republic of China. The Qing multi-cultural empire lasted for almost three centuries and formed the territorial base for modern China. It was the fifth largest empire in world history. The dynasty was founded by the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan in Manchuria. In the late sixteenth century, Nurhaci, originally a Ming Jianzhou Guard vassal, began organizing "Banners", military-social units that included Manchu, Han, and Mongol elements. Nurhaci formed the Manchu clans into a unified entity. By 1636, his son Hong Taiji began driving Ming forces out of the Liaodong Peninsula and declared a new dynasty, the Qing.


The appointment was created in around 1644 when the forces of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty occupied Beijing, formerly the capital of the Ming dynasty, and established the Qing imperial capital there. The appointment holder's responsibilities were primarily to oversee the city's defences and security within the city. He was also in charge of the infantry units within the Eight Banners and the guards of the nine gates of Beijing. At the same time, he was also the commander of the north and south patrol units from the Green Standard Army. The infantry units were all stationed at specific locations within Beijing's inner city to defend that particular place. The patrol units maintained security in the outer city and strategic places in Beijing's outskirts.

The Manchu are an ethnic minority in China and the people from whom Manchuria derives its name. They are sometimes called "red-tasseled Manchus", a reference to the ornamentation on traditional Manchu hats. The Later Jin (1616–1636), and Qing dynasty (1636–1912) were established and ruled by Manchus, who are descended from the Jurchen people who earlier established the Jin dynasty (1115–1234) in China.

Beijing Municipality in Peoples Republic of China

Beijing, alternately romanized as Peking, is the capital of the People's Republic of China, the world's third most populous city proper, and most populous capital city. The city, located in northern China, is governed as a municipality under the direct administration of central government with 16 urban, suburban, and rural districts. Beijing Municipality is surrounded by Hebei Province with the exception of neighboring Tianjin Municipality to the southeast; together the three divisions form the Jingjinji metropolitan region and the national capital region of China.

Ming dynasty Former empire in Eastern Asia, last Han Chinese-led imperial regime

The Ming dynasty was the ruling dynasty of China – then known as the Great Ming Empire – for 276 years (1368–1644) following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynasty in China ruled by ethnic Han Chinese. Although the primary capital of Beijing fell in 1644 to a rebellion led by Li Zicheng, regimes loyal to the Ming throne – collectively called the Southern Ming – survived until 1683.

In 1659, during the reign of the Shunzhi Emperor, the Qing government created a central patrol unit and put it under the charge of the Nine Gates Infantry Commander. The full name of the appointment was "Commander of the Infantry of the Nine Gates and Three Patrol Units" (提督九門步軍巡捕三營統領). As the Nine Gates Infantry Commander was an important position, the Qing government had been reluctant to appoint any non-Manchu officer to this position for fear that a rebellion might occur.

Shunzhi Emperor Qing Dynasty emperor of China

The Shunzhi Emperor was the third emperor of the Qing dynasty and the first Qing emperor to rule over China proper, from 1644 to 1661. A committee of Manchu princes chose him to succeed his father, Hong Taiji (1592–1643), in September 1643, when he was five years old. The princes also appointed two co-regents: Dorgon (1612–1650), the 14th son of the Qing dynasty's founder Nurhaci (1559–1626), and Jirgalang (1599–1655), one of Nurhaci's nephews, both of whom were members of the Qing imperial clan.

In 1781, during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor, the Qing government increased the number of patrol units from three to five and put them under the charge of the Nine Gates Infantry Commander. The appointment was thus known as "Commander of the Infantry of the Nine Gates and Five Patrol Units" (提督九門步軍巡捕五營統領).

Qianlong Emperor emperor of the Qing Dynasty

The Qianlong Emperor was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. Born Hongli, the fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, he reigned officially from 11 October 1735 to 8 February 1796. On 8 February, he abdicated in favour of his son, the Jiaqing Emperor—a filial act in order not to reign longer than his grandfather, the illustrious Kangxi Emperor. Despite his retirement, however, he retained ultimate power as the Emperor Emeritus until his death in 1799; he thus was one of the longest-reigning de facto rulers in the history of the world, and dying at the age of 87, one of the longest-lived. As a capable and cultured ruler inheriting a thriving empire, during his long reign the Qing Empire reached its most splendid and prosperous era, boasting a large population and economy. As a military leader, he led military campaigns expanding the dynastic territory to the largest extent by conquering and sometimes destroying Central Asian kingdoms. This turned around in his late years: the Qing empire began to decline with corruption and wastefulness in his court and a stagnating civil society.

In 1900, when the forces of the Eight-Nation Alliance occupied Beijing during the Boxer Rebellion, they created a public security office to maintain security within the city. The last person to hold the appointment of Nine Gates Infantry Commander before the foreign invasion was Ronglu, an official deeply trusted by Empress Dowager Cixi. After the Boxer Rebellion ended, in 1901, the Qing government abolished the appointment of Nine Gates Infantry Commander and created a centralised police command to replace the original five patrol units. In 1902, Shanqi (Prince Su), who strongly supported the idea of separating the military from the police, was appointed as the infantry commander. In 1905, the Qing government implemented reforms which officially separated the police units from the infantry units and established a separate police force, as well as a police school to train police officers.

Eight-Nation Alliance organization

The Eight-Nation Alliance was a multi-national military coalition set up in response to the Boxer Rebellion in China. The eight nations were Japan, Russia, Britain, France, the United States, Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungary. In the summer of 1900, when the international legations in Beijing were besieged by Boxer rebels supported by the Qing government, the coalition dispatched their armed forces, in the name of humanitarian intervention, to defend their respective nations' citizens, as well as a number of Chinese Christians who had taken shelter in the legations. The incident ended with a coalition victory and the signing of the Boxer Protocol.

Boxer Rebellion anti-imperialist uprising which took place in China

The Boxer Rebellion (拳亂), Boxer Uprising, or Yihetuan Movement (義和團運動) was an anti-imperialist, anti-colonial, and anti-Christian uprising that took place in China between 1899 and 1901, toward the end of the Qing dynasty. They were motivated by proto-nationalist sentiments and by opposition to Western colonialism and the Christian missionary activity that was associated with it.

Ronglu Qing dynasty politician and military leader

Ronglu, courtesy name Zhonghua, was a Manchu political and military leader of the late Qing dynasty. He was born in the Guwalgiya clan, which was under the Plain White Banner of the Manchu Eight Banners. Deeply favoured by Empress Dowager Cixi, he served in a number of important civil and military positions in the Qing government, including the Zongli Yamen, Grand Council, Grand Secretary, Viceroy of Zhili, Beiyang Trade Minister, Secretary of Defence, Nine Gates Infantry Commander, and Wuwei Corps Commander. He was also the maternal grandfather of Puyi, the last Emperor of China and the Qing dynasty.

After the 1911 Xinhai Revolution, the Beiyang Government, which took over Beijing, retained the appointment of Nine Gates Infantry Commander but renamed it to "High Command of the Infantry of the Capital" (京師步軍統領衙門). The appointment holder was in charge of the left and right wings of the Beiyang armed forces. The appointment was officially abolished in November 1924.

Xinhai Revolution revolution in China

The Xinhai Revolution, also known as the Chinese Revolution or the Revolution of 1911, was a revolution that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty and established the Republic of China (ROC). The revolution was named Xinhai (Hsin-hai) because it occurred in 1911, the year of the Xinhai stem-branch in the sexagenary cycle of the Chinese calendar.

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Yixin, better known in English as Prince Kung or Gong, was an imperial prince of the Aisin Gioro clan and an important statesman of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty in China. He was a regent of the empire from 1861 to 1865 and wielded great influence at other times as well.

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