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This paper focuses on the type of relationship that existed between Uighur and Tang dynasty between 744 and 840. To assess the type of relationship that the dynasties had, their contact in diplomatic issues, military, economic and marriages will be considered. Despite their disparities in cultural age, population size and economic power, the two dynasties developed a mutual relationship. However, Uighur had the upper hand in the relationship. Uighur state capital was located at Karabalghasun, along river High Orkhon River; currently Republic of Mongolia. These Turkic, were horsemen and warring tribesmen. Uighur was a state founded by Guli peiluo, after overthrowing Eastern Turks. The dynasty went through numerous successions until its final age. Socially, they are remembered for Manicheism, which was later spread to China.

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Military Relationships

Relationship between Tang and Uighur were mainly through diplomatic ties, military, economic and marriages. Relationships were important for survival of these dynasties. They marked major peace processes and growths. Military moves were vital during this time either for expansion of territories or in their defence. The remarkable military relationship between Uighur and Tang was during series Tang attacks by An Lushan rebellion between 755 and 763. An Lushan attacks started during the last reigns of Emperor Xuanzong (712-56). Uighur fought besides Tang to win all the phases of the wars against An Lushan. They help defend China cities while under capture by enemies, cities such as Chang’an in 756. Tang and Uighur also fought side by side to vanquish Tibetans, which they dramatically won.

Tang’s military relationship with Uighur was mainly pragmatic relationship. The Uighur fought at high prices, which they used to develop their economies. Tang paid highly for assistances they received. Uighur also plundered and pillaged villages to gather more resources for their people. They took advantage of their numbers and skills to benefit from their neighbours.

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Diplomatic Relations

Every Tang court had a kagan, with official appointment. The kagans briefed Uighur on what was going on in Tang. However, between 795 and 805, Uighur used envoys to pay tribute and update Chinese emperor. Through Sogdians’ influence, Uighur also was able to influence Tang into Manicheism. Religion diplomatic became eminent from 807 with arrival of Uighur embassy in in Chang’an. This time they officially came with their Manicheans. Uighur embassy was very strong that it influenced court matters in Tang. Manichanian gradually got accepted in China. The first temples were set at Taiyuan and Luoyang (Central Asian Survey, 2000).

Diplomatic relations were pragmatic in nature. The powerful Uighur dynasty applied diplomatic relations to influence the strong Tang court system. They supported issues that promoted their land and ensured that Tang was apparently under their control. The influence of Manichean was used to get resources from the Tang as gifts. They also influence the military to protect the priests and other envoys (T’ang-shu, 746).

Diplomatic Marriages

Tang and Uighur embraced diplomatic Marriages. Tang princess married Uighur rulers. This was a court diplomacy in entire China. Intermarriages were complimented by horse and silt trades as a measure of ensuring peace between the two dynasties. Marriages contributed to cultural and economic developments. Between 744 and 840 six princess married Uighurs kagans. Moyancho, the second Kagan, for example, through court got a marriage alliance in 758 to Princess of Ningguo. The Princess was a daughter to Emperor Suzong. The emperor also had Princess’ Ningguo’s, younger sister as his concubine. Dun Bagha also married Xian’an the Princess daughter to Emperor Dezong. The Uighur Kagan also married the Princess of Taihe (T’ang-shu, 746).

Marriage was cultural accommodation between China and Uighur. Through marriages they accepted each other and appreciated their cultural differences. The rulers realized that through intermarriages they can stay in peace. Marriages strengthened links from all sides. They shared cultural beliefs and ideas that promoted their peaceful coexistence (Central Asian Survey, 2000).

Trade Relations

Trade relations were pragmatic relationship between Tang and Uighur. Trade was boosted by An Lushan wars as the need for horses and silk rose. After the Qianyuan period, Uighur embassies were sent with trade horses to batter with silk. However, Tang never benefited from the trade. They sold their silk against non-productive horses. Keen analysis shows that the trade between two dynasties was pressurized by one side (T’ang-shu, 746).


Uighur and China were two unbalanced dynasties. Uighur was rich, powerful and highly populated. They use their help and influenced Tang during rebellion times.  The two dynasties majorly related in military, trades, marriages, and in diplomatic issues. Since China was a weaker partner, Uighur pragmatically planted most of their relationships.

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