Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Fu-ch'ing

FU-ch'ing 傅清, d. Nov. 11, 1750, general, came of the Fuca Clan and was a member of the Manchu Bordered Yellow Banner. He was the second son of Li-jung-pao (see under Misḥan) and was the elder brother of Fu-hêng [q. v.]. In 1723 he was appointed an Imperial Bodyguard. After several promotions he was made a deputy lieutenant-general of the Manchu Plain Yellow Banner (1737) and then served as brigade-general stationed at Tientsin (1740–44).

In 1744 Fu-ch'ing was sent to Lhasa as Imperial Resident, and was given the title of a deputy lieutenant-general in command of the garrison there. A garrison was first stationed in Lhasa in 1720 when the armies under Yin-t'i [禵, q.v.] drove the Eleuths from Tibet (see under Yen-hsin). In 1723 Emperor Shih-tsung withdrew the garrison but restored it in 1727 (see under Jalangga) when the office of Imperial Resident at Lhasa was formally established. When Fu-ch'ing reached Lhasa in 1744 he found the prince, Sonam stöbgyal (see under Jalangga), in power, but nearing old age. In 1746 the prince designated as heir his younger son, Jurmet Namjar 珠爾默特那木札勒, who succeeded to the princedom in 1747. The young prince was friendly towards the Eleuths and planned severance of relations with China. Hence he requested the withdrawal of the garrison from Lhasa. Emperor Kao-tsung, wishing to please him, granted the request and left only about 500 men divided between Lhasa and Shigatse. Having thus obtained military superiority, Jurmet Namjar began to train his men outside Lhasa on the pretense of guarding against the Eleuths. Unfortunately Fu-ch'ing was recalled in April 1748 and a less vigilant official took his place. Although this official was soon replaced by Labdon 拉布敦 (1703-1750), the changes in personnel gave Jurmet Namjar time to expand his power.

In the meantime Fu-ch'ing was appointed brigade-general stationed at Tientsin and about September 1748 was promoted to provincial commander-in-chief of Chihli with headquarters at Ku-pei-k'ou. In the spring of 1749 he was transferred to Kansu where he remained until early in 1750. About this time reports of quarrels between Jurmet Namjar and his elder brother reached Peking. Anxious to clarify the situation, Emperor Kao-tsung sent Fu-ch'ing back to Lhasa to act jointly as Imperial Resident with Labdon.

While on his way to Lhasa Fu-ch'ing was ordered to make an exhaustive study of the situation and to get rid of Jurmet Namjar if he was found instigating unrest. In May 1750 Fu-ch'ing and Labdon reported that Jurmet Namjar was suspicious of China and had removed his troops and firearms from Lhasa. Nevertheless the two officials were ordered to act cautiously. Apparently Emperor Kao-tsung did not want another war to follow too quickly the unsuccessful campaign against the Chin-ch'uan rebels (see under Fu-hêng). However, in the next few months Jurmet Namjar boasted of having killed the remnant Chinese garrison. He ordered postal communication with China broken off. At this critical moment Fu-ch'ing and his comrade decided to take the initiative. On November 11, 1750 they invited Jurmet Namjar to their headquarters for a conference and assassinated him. When the prince's followers were apprised of the act they collected a large force, surrounded the Chinese yamen, burned it, and broke into the enclosure. Labdon was killed and Fu-ch'ing committed suicide. All the Chinese clerks and assistants lost their lives. After the leaders of the band had fled the Dalai Lama took over the government, gave protection to the remaining Chinese, and waited for the arrival of the Chinese army. Several ringleaders were captured and imprisoned. The governor-general of Szechwan, Tsereng (the Manchu, see under Chao-hui), was ordered to proceed at once to Tibet together with General Yüeh Chung-ch'i [q. v.].

The first official to reach Lhasa was Bandi [q. v.] who was sent to take the place of Labdon. He reached Lhasa in January and, after conducting the trial of the offenders, ordered the execution of the leaders. The reorganization decided upon by Bandi and Tsereng was to place four Tibetans of equal rank in charge of civil affairs, instead of entrusting full power to one man. Other precautionary measures included open communication between Tibet and Szechwan, an increase of the established garrison, and strict rules to prevent Eleuths from entering Tibet.

The deceased heroes, Fu-ch'ing and Labdon, were highly commended by Emperor Kao-tsung for their valorous conduct. Both were posthumously created earls and were given the hereditary rank of viscounts, made perpetually inheritable by their descendants. When their remains reached Peking (1751), the emperor personally paid his respects. Fu-ch'ing was canonized as Hsiang-lieh 襄烈 and Labdon as Chuang-kuo 壯果. A temple commemorating both heroes was erected in Lhasa and another, known as Shuang-chung tz'ŭ 雙忠祠, was built in Peking. Both names were also celebrated in the Temple of Eminent Statesmen and in the Temple of Zealots of the Dynasty.

Labdon, a member of the Donggo Clan, originally belonged to the Bordered Red Banner and held an hereditary captaincy. After his death his family was elevated to the Plain Yellow Banner. He was talented, and aside from his aptitude as a general, was good at tailoring and at repairing imported time-pieces.


[1/318/1a; 2/19/1a; 3/348/22a, 31a; 4/121/1a, 2a; P'ing-ting Chun-ko-êr fang-lüeh ch'ien-pien (see under Fu-hêng); Ch'i Yün-shih [q. v.], (Huang-ch'ao) Fan-pu yao-lüeh, chüan 18; Rockhill, W. W., The Dalai Lamas of Lhasa (1910).]

Fang Chao-ying