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KANGHI'S TROUBLES IN CENTRAL ASIA.
TSE WANG RABDAN, whose enmity had contributed to bring about the ruin of Galdan, and whose assistance Kanghi had repaid with various privileges in carrying on trade with China, was left by his uncle's death the undisputed chief both in actual power and in reputation among the Eleuth tribes. The tribal resources, which had failed to support Galdan's ambition, passed by the law of hereditary succession to the son of the murdered Tsenka, and Tse Wang Rabdan soon found that he enjoyed all the temporal power arising from an undisputed sway over the Eleuths. The centre of his authority had indeed been shifted further westwards, and his ambition did not urge him to molest the Khalkas, or to encroach in the direction of China. But none the less Tse Wang Rabdan claimed to be a great and independent prince, and he had his own views as to his position in Central Asia.
The nature of his pretensions, covering as they did a different ground, might not have brought him into immediate conflict with China, but only too much reason existed for fearing that the relations subsisting between him and the Emperor could not long maintain their cordiality. Causes of friction soon revealed themselves. Kanghi, acting on the Chinese principle that rebels should be extirpated root and branch, had ordered that no pains should be spared to capture the few surviving members of Galdan's family, and a great reward was offered to whoever brought in the body or the bones of Galdan. At the first blush it seems only possible to detect in this malignant pursuit the working of a savage and persistent vengeance, and the cruel maxim of the Chinese system, that “the families of rebels taken open-handed should be extirpated,” tends to confirm the impression. A more careful consideration of the subject may, however, result in leading us to take the view that the Chinese wished for nothing more than clear evidence of their chief enemy's death, and for some assurance that no member of his family felt either prepared or willing to carry on his schemes. The fortune of war had placed in the hands of Tse Wang Rabdan the persons of a son and daughter of Galdan, as well as the bones of that chief. These prizes had fallen to his share after a victory near the town of Hami, where he defeated a neighbour who thought to dispute his authority. The Chinese at once sent a demand for the surrender to them of these relics and representatives of their recent enemy. Tse Wang Rabdan, whose humanity was either aroused, or who felt aggrieved at the dictatorial tone assumed by the Chinese, long evaded the request preferred to him by Feyanku. Instead of showing a spirit of humility towards Kanghi, he busied himself with the extension of his power in both Jungaria and Kashgaria, while the first force of his wrath was vented on the Mahomedan prince of Hami. Kanghi very soon learnt that even the ruin of Galdan would not avail to deter many from imitating him, and that the overthrow of one chieftain would not suffice to ensure permanent peace among races whose principal avocation and amusement had always been a savage and sanguinary strife. The pertinacity of the Chinese carried their point for them in this matter, as well as in other questions. Kanghi sent several embassies to Tse Wang Rabdan's capital, and showed marked insistence on the subject of his demand. At length success crowned his efforts, and in 1701 the Eleuth prince surrendered the ashes or bones of his uncle, and the person of his cousin. With the acquisition of these marks of victory Kanghi remained fully satisfied, and his generous treatment of his defenceless captive showed that he sought to gratify the requirements of a policy, and not the promptings of a poor revenge. Although Tse Wang Rabdan went at last so far as to
concede to Kanghi the demand on which he placed so much stress, his general action marked him out rather as the antagonist than as the supporter of Chinese authority in Central Asia. In a less ostentatious but equally efficacious way he was gathering into his hands the superior authority to which Galdan had aspired. His victories over his Kirghiz neighbours gave his position also a degree of stability to which that of his relative had never attained. The result of this feud and of the accompanying strife was that the Kirghiz chief, to whose daughter Tse Wang Rabdan was married, felt himself compelled to coalesce with his son-in-law, and thus the military forces of the Eleuths and the Kirghiz were combined. This alone sufficed to make the military power of Tse Wang Rabdan extend without a break from Hami on the East to Khokand on the West. The opportunity soon presented itself of employing this considerable available force on a larger scene in advancing the influence of the Eleuth prince into a different region.
It had been one of the main objects of Galdan's ambition to assert his right to have a voice in the regulation of the internal affairs of Tibet, and the desire to succeed in this object was strengthened by the knowledge of the reputation that would accrue to him as speaking with the approval of the great spiritual head of Buddhism. The Chinese Government had its own views upon the same subject, and regarded with disfavour any measures having a tendency to weaken its influence and authority at Lhasa. But as yet the direct exercise of Chinese authority in Tibet had not been very great, and the interests of the Jungarian prince were better and more emphatically represented there than those of China and her sovereign. It became one of Kanghi's main objects to alter this condition of affairs, and to bring Tibet and its order of priestly rulers completely under his control. These intrigues and counter-intrigues precipitated the course of events in Tibet, and recalled Kanghi's attention to his Western borders. The boldness of Tse Wang Rabdan brought on a contest that was, perhaps, in any case inevitable, and left the Chinese again no choice save to appeal to the sword. Kanghi had taken his plans with such care, and shown such excellent judgment in his manipulation of the question, that the Chinese party in Tibet obtained a signal triumph. How that triumph was obtained, and what it practically entailed, must be described at some length, for it led up to several events of permanent importance, and it was marked by the double invasion of Tibetan territory, first by an Eleuth horde, and secondly by a Manchu army. From an early period the supremacy in the Tibetan administration had been disputed between two different classes, the one which represented the military body making use of religious matters to forward its designs, the other being an order of priests supported by the unquestioning faith and confidence of the masses of the people. The former became known as the Red Caps, and the latter as the Yellow Caps. The rivalry between these classes had been keen, and was still bitterly contested when Chuntche first ascended the throne; but victory had finally inclined to the side of the Yellow Caps before the period at which we have arrived. The great spiritual head of this latter body was the Dalai Lama, pronounced to be of wisdom as profound and inscrutable as the ocean. The direct intervention of the Emperors Chuntche and Kanghi had contributed to make the triumph of the Dalai Lama still more decisive and unquestionable; but the Red Caps cherished for a further period the desire to dispute the palm with their rivals, if they felt that they could no longer hope to secure all the prize of victory. By the aid of a Calmuck army raised in Central Asia, the Dalai Lama had had the final satisfaction of beholding his opponents driven out of the country, and compelled to take refuge in the Himalayan state of Bhutan, where the sect of the Red Caps continues, after this lapse of time, to retain influence and authority. This event occurred before the year 1650, and consequently at a period when the Manchu authority was far from being firmly established in China itself. The settlement of the disputes between the two rival religious parties in Tibet was followed by the appointment of a kind of civil and military functionary with authority to act under the Dalai Lama. This official was named the
THE TIPA. 623
Tipa, and, encouraged by the nature of the post he occupied, he soon began to carry on intrigues for the elevation of his own rank and power at the expense of the priestly rulers, in whose service he was pledged by the most sacred oaths to act uprightly and well. The ambition of one Tipa led to his fall and imprisonment; but the evil was set down to the indiscretion of the individual, and a successor was named to the office. The new Tipa had been chosen for the post chiefly because he was the reputed son of one of the Dalai Lamas, and when his father died in 1682 he concealed his death, gave out that he had only retired into the recesses of his palace, and ruled the state in his name for the space of sixteen years. The Tipa knew well that it would be impossible to secure the approval of Kanghi for what he had done, and, seeing that, the instant the secret of his perfidy was revealed, he would incur the resentment of the Chinese ruler, he began to prepare for the evil day by entering into cordial relations with Galdan, and by inviting the military support of the princes of Jungaria. For several years he proved able to carry on these machinations and to blind the Emperor as to his real intentions by a profusion of words. Kanghi, ignorant of the true state of the case, wrote the Tipa letters of friendly expression, and conferred upon him a title of much honour. But even in the recesses of Asia the truth cannot be for ever concealed. Rumours at last reached Kanghi that there were suspicious circumstances in connection with the disappearance of the Dalai Lama, and these insinuations acquired increased force from the Tipa's undoubted sympathy with the cause of Galdan, for one of his personal lamas had even gone so far as to offer up prayers for the success of the Eleuth's arms. When Kanghi began to realize the fact that the Tipa had throughout been duping him, his indignation was pronounced, and he threatened him with condign punishment. The Tipa made numerous promises, and at last proclaimed one of his creatures as the personage into whom the never-dying spirit of the Buddha incarnate had passed. The choice proved an unfortunate one, and further roused the indignation, not only of Kanghi, but also of the Tibetans