On the Interactive Integration of the Yi and Huaxia

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No. 1, 2022


On the Interactive Integration of the Yi and Huaxia



Wang Zhenzhong


The early civilizations in the middle reach of the Yellow River (the Central Plains) and those in the lower reaches of the Yellow River (the Haidai region) evolved through interaction. The peoples in each area underwent both independent development and interactive integration. The Huaxia emerged in the Central Plains because the “barbarians of the four quarters (siyi)” gathered in the region and became integrated. From the era of the Five Emperors to the Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties, and, further, in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods, the relationship between the Dongyi and the Huaxia experienced both “embedded” integration, when one side migrated to the other, and integration resulting from military clashes or territory annexed in war. However the integration occurred, it was never a matter of one-way assimilation, but always involved mutual development. The final result of Dongyi-Huaxia interactive integration was that the Huaxia snowballed into a large force while the Haidai Dongyi became fewer and fewer. By the Qin and Han dynasties, the Dongyi had disappeared, having completely integrated into the Huaxia.