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Responsibility for Wars and Political Interpretations of Song Shenzong’s Boundary Expansion
Pages: 41-49
Year: Issue:  6
Journal: Journal of Xiamen University(Arts & Social Sciences)

Keyword:  Song Shenzong’s boundary expansionresponsibility for warpolitical interpretationshistorical logiccontemporary discourse;
Abstract: The wars waged against Jiaozhi,Hehuang and Xixia by the Song Dynasty under the reign of Shenzong must be understood within the broad context of Song Shenzong’s proposition of "restoring the former territorial boundaries of the Han and Tang Dynasties",and should not be perceived in isolation. In terms of its overall organizing and its purposes,Song Shenzong’s boundary expansion was a total failure. The interpretations of the responsibility for wars offered by people of the Song Dynasty were mostly political exonerations necessitated by the imperial rule and Hua vs. Yi distinction,such as the notions that "the responsibility does not rest with the emperors"and "Zhong Hua is not to blame". The Northern Song Dynasty and Jiaozhi,Hehuang and Xixia mutually recognized the notion of the Hua vs. Yi distinction and the rites of tribute;the international relations between these countries were vertical and hierarchical,and the logic it entailed was entirely different from that of the concept of modern sovereign states; moreover,there were the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of states and equality in international relations and horizontal relations between states. As such,the issue of Song Shenzong’s boundary expansion cannot be explained within the discourse of contemporary international state relationships.
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