Debunking “No such thing as pure Han Chinese”

Original Chongqing Evening Paper article: Daily article, dated Feb 8, 2010:
English blogosphere discusses, such as here: 

Chinese netizens discuss, research, and debunk the rumour and fake news: and and 

The Professor in Question responds to the Feb 2010 article: 

Hanwang’s explanation and debunking thread: 

Xie Xiaodong, PhD, Dept. of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University

Xie Xiaodong 謝小冬 (often miswritten as 謝小東), a professor of Lanzhou University Life Sciences Department, released a news article in August 2005 regarding the possibility of descendents of Roman Legions living in the area. This caused a flurry of public reaction and further pressed the then-building notion of emphasizing the non-existance of a Han majority, eventually inferred and rewritten by netizens and Chinese newspaper reporters alike to prove that “racially pure Han Chinese” do not exist. This caused outrage among the majority of (Han) Chinese netizens in not only China, but also around the world – in particular Taiwan and Malaysia – and decried it as foul play by subversion by “remnants of Manchu Qing” forces. 

As for the February 2010 article, netizens were quick to recognize that the new article, titled “Pure Han Chinese don’t exist [纯汉人不存在]” by Wang Rong (王蓉) of Chongqing Evening Paper (重慶晚報), is largely a copy and rephrasing of the 2006 fabrications titled “Decoding the Migration of the Chinese Race: DNA tests show pure Han Chinese no longer exist [中国人种迁徙解密 DNA检测纯种汉族人已不存在]”. Dr. Xie has publicized a response on Lanzhou University Bar on Baidu (not open to the public, all available sources are reposts), which is reposted in the original Simplified Chinese, and translated below: 

《重庆晚报》博闻周刊 2010年02月07日 第20版所刊登的“中国纯种汉族人如今无存 曾生活在中原地区”这条新闻纯属《上海晚报》记者李宁源两年前虚假报道的翻版,纯属抄剩饭,本人已经在剑桥大学呆了一年,从未有国内的记者采访过我,我也未曾在任何场合公布过所谓的“研究成果”,请问此消息是从哪里来的呢?图片是从哪里来的呢?请问相关单位和个人,你们的新闻道德何在?社会责任何在?
  看到网上的评论,大有树欲静而风不止之势,为了澄清真相,以正视听,我在这里可以负责地告诉大家,这篇报道纯属假新闻!连我的个人信息都是错误的。可见假新闻之甚! 当年李宁源记者来兰州的目的是采访我主持的骊阡人研究项目,在被明确告之该项目仍在进行中,暂无正式结果的情况下,于当天发表了《甘肃“罗马军团”是阿富汗雇佣兵—DNA正式鉴定完毕 确定为中亚与西亚地区混合血统》一文,竟以他人的名义发表了所谓该项目已经结束,得出结论这一轰动性的新闻!并在各大网站被转载!该新闻在次日新华社驻兰记者站向我求证的时候被我做了澄清。没想到正在此过程中,李宁源记者的又一篇更吸引公众眼球的爆炸性新闻出笼了——《中国人种迁徙解密 DNA检测纯种汉族人已不存在》! 《重庆晚报》博闻周刊的“中国纯种汉族人如今无存 曾生活在中原地区”正是来源于此。实际上,我们实验室在群体遗传学方向上只做过西北少数民族群体遗传学研究,在我们的研究领域里根本无此课题,也无此所谓科研成果和数据,我本人也从未发布过DNA检测纯种汉族人已不存在这样的耸人听闻的结果!这不是明目张胆地新闻造假,处心积虑地恶意炒做还能是什么呢?所以,真相就是大众受愚弄了,专家受冤枉了,而记者没事偷着乐了!

Chongqing Evening Paper Weekly Magazine 《重庆晚报》博闻周刊, on page 20 of its February 7, 2010 publication, the article “Pure Han Chinese no longer exist: Formerly lived in the Central Plains region “中国纯种汉族人如今无存 曾生活在中原地区”” is but a pirated version of Li Ningyuan’s article from the Shanghai Evening two years ago, and is but merely a collection of leftover rice. I have already been in residence in Cambridge [University] for over a year, and no journalist has interviewed me from inside China during this time. Neither have I announced any so-called “research results”. may I ask from where did this information come from? Where did the photo come from? May I ask the reporter and his department – where is your journalistic morality? Where is your social responsibility? 

After seeing the commentary online, it is evident that rumors are abound and unstoppable. For the sake of the truth and debunking perceptions, I can responsibly tell everyone that this is fake news! Even my personal information is wrong, so you can see the degree of its falseness! Back then Li Ningyuan interviewed me in Lanzhou for the research project on Liqian people, and it was made clear that the project was still under research, and while under the state of having no official consions yet, he published that day the article Gansu “Roman Legion” are mercenaries from Afghanistan – DNA tests are completed, confirmed as mixed blood from Central and Western Asia 《甘肃“罗马军团”是阿富汗雇佣兵—DNA正式鉴定完毕 确定为中亚与西亚地区混合血统》. How dare he used another person’s name to disclose that the project is completed, with produce news of such controversy, and furthermore was reposted on major web portals! I was asked by a reporter in Lanzhou working for Xinhua for clarification – but I never thought that during then, Li Ningyuan’s other even more attractive article was unveiled – “Decoding the Migration of the Chinese Race: DNA tests show pure Han Chinese no longer exist [中国人种迁徙解密 DNA检测纯种汉族人已不存在]”! Chongqing Evening News‘s variety weekly publication “Pure Han Chinese no longer exist: Formerly lived in the Central Plains region “中国纯种汉族人如今无存 曾生活在中原地区”” in fact originates from here. In actuality, our laboratory has only studied group genetics on ethnic minorities in Northwestern China, and our research scope never once had such a topic [of Han genetics], nor do we have results or data from this so-called research, and I personally have never released any sensationalized results such as DNA tests proving that pure Han Chinese no longer exist! Isn’t this a wide-eyed news fabrication, and a malevolent hype-up? Therefore, the truth is: The masses are fooled, the experts are framed, and the journalists are giggling  with glee from behind!

After the incident [in 2007], I have contacted in that afternoon assistant manager Zhao Yi 赵毅, requesting that they retract the article immediately, and provide a public explanation to the public and myself of the debacle. That newspaper company immediately agreed to retract its articles on its own website and, but refused to make a public explanation. Later on, Li Ningyuan has made a verbal apology to me via telephone. With a forgiving attitude, I thought that the case would be closed, but never have I thought that two years later, Chongqing Evening News would re-fry the news. The reasons behind it is beyond my comprehension.

The reporter has not abided by the basic principles of journalism or their code of ethics in reporting, and the news agency has not strictly guarded their standard, causing a serious distortion of truth, dealing to the victims great damage to personal and academic credit. It has misguided the public, interferes with daily research work, and damaged the image of the media. Furthermore, it has influenced the stability and harmony of the country, and the greater solidarity of the Chinese Ethnicity. I hope that our journalists from now on can follow the basic rules of conduct and code of ethics in their work, taking responsibility as journalists in creating a trustworthy and harmonious society. Those units and individuals who solely rely on fake news to attract public eyeballs and attention, in the end, will end up like the counterfeiters of all kinds, and get their judgement served by the justice of society!

Xie Xiaodong 謝小冬


Further Reading: Discourse on Han-Tartar-Western systems of Thought, Part 3

Song Yuren (Centre left, beside the chalkboard), in an open lecture at the Elm Altar.

Song Qingsheng (宋慶勝), or more popularly known by his courtesy address Yuren (豫人), is a prominent speaker of Hanist thought in the Huaxia Restoration Movement. He is self-titled as “Researcher for the purpose of Saving Huaxia culture (华夏文明研救者)”, and a transmitter of the Standards Vessel sect of the Yi School (School of Changes) thought (易家制器派傳人). After his retirement from his post as a CCP local official, he has been actively studying, writing, and lecturing about the possibilities and necessity of a revival of Han Chinese tradition as a cultural backbone to restoring prominence and survival of the Han Chinese race. For the past two years, Song has travelled across China and Malaysia to give lectures in his discourse, as well as in ritual and etiquette of the Han Chinese tradition. In the details of this post is an example of his lectures, usually an hour long, on recategorizing discourse found in China into three major systems divided not by political spectrum, but as cultural groups. He notes as his conclusion that for the past two centuries, China has been continually experimenting with foreign systems of thought with varying degrees of success, but to ensure survival of the race, one must rely on indigenous virtues and discourse to ensure existance of the Chinese legacy in the future.

In this translation, I will attempt to maintain the grammatical structure of the original Chinese language (including the many redundancies found in public speech patterns), so that the reader can follow through with the original lecture (should the video come back up) without too much difficulty. If time permits, I will also translate Lecture 1 (on the morning of Saturday, October 24), which includes more detail on the defining of the three categories and examples in context (as well containing less subjective comments by the speaker), but the central idea remains large the same.

Source from:
Source for Lects. 1 & 2:
Original Seminar Video (now censored):

Mr. SONG Yuren’s Han Lectures at the Elm Altar Series
Cultural Discourse of Han, Tartar, and Western Systems
(Lecture 3, Morning of Sunday October 25, 2009)


Venue:Every Saturday and Sunday, under the elm tree in the Zhengzhou City God Temple
Welcome everyone to the Han School Forum. We continue our talks from yesterday, which our primary discussion was on the basic concept of “Han”, “Tartar” and “West” – three major systems of culture. I see that there’s more people today, so I’ll recap. On our great land of the Central plains, for the past century, the division of cultural space has been primarily of these three major sects. What three sects are these three? One is our Han system of culture, another is called Da (Tartar) system of culture, and one is called Xi (Western) system of culture. These three systems might somewhat distant in many people’s minds, or may never have heard of Han-Da-Xi these three categories. That’s because in your mind the most you can see is the division within the Western system of discourse, such as the Republicans (Kuomintang), leftists, rightists etc. These are all within the Western system. Our classification is one that stands on a greater angle, perspective to divide them.


2 Essays from Minghua Tang Blog

2009040102110638661786377In this post are the translations of two essays, titled:

“The Particular Nature of “National clothing” in China, and its Relations with the Han Chinese” (国服在中国的特殊表现,及其与汉族的关系), and:
“The Formation Period of Han Chinese Ethnic Clothing, and the Archaeological Barriers to Clothing in Historical Dramas” (汉族民族服饰的形成期 与 历史剧服饰的考古屏障)

Both by Zhong Yi, Founder and President of Ming Hua Tang Clothing, a subdivision of Eurasia (H.K) Ltd.

Editor’s note: As one of the leading researchers and makers of authentic Hanfu, Mr. Zhong’s take on the rise of the Hanfu movement and redefining “Chinese” culture is clear-minded, as he takes a cold, clean separation from “Han=China” which has dominated the stream of academic thought to this day. His perspective brings out the question of redefining the scope of “Chinese” studies and the cultural domain and rights of the people.


Chinese Expert Relegates July 5 Xinjiang Incident to Three Types of Inequality

The Xinjiang Incident’s causes are due to Unequal Ethnic Policy, Unequal demographic Policy, and Unequal Economic Policy (Original in Chinese, posted July 8, 2009)

By: YI Fuxian, MD, PhD
Translated: Juni L. YEUNG, FXKQS 


She Li, The Archery Ritual

Translated from Yi Li and Tianfeng Huanpei‘s Han Chinese Traditional Ritual Revival Proposition Project.

The Archery Ceremony.

The Archery Ceremony.


Archery Ceremony




Chinese civilization honours its forefathers and the roots of its civilization by commemorating and sharing its past role of a hunter in a ritualized competition of archery. Following the downfall of traditional rituals, this originally widespread ceremony held by civilians to greet important guests has all but disappeared. However, other countries in the Sinosphere has maintained this tradition, and is best known by the Japanese counterpart today as Kyudo.


The point of the She-Li, or Archery ceremony, is to demonstrate to the public (and the King, in the past) the virtue of the shooter – the Chinese believe that it is not in the quality of the bow, but in the moral resolve, ethical virtue, spiritual refinement, and proper physical condition combined that makes an outstanding person to shoot properly, and is a testing stone to his (or her) ability to serve and lead others. With this philosophy, Confucian scholars have turned this weapon of war into a tool of peace and education.


The Archery Ceremony is not a competition or a game: Aside from the personal spiritual refinement (“If one fires but misses the target… one should find its causes from within[1]”), it also raises personal awareness and alertness to his or her surroundings, and giving a sense of temperance and responsibility to maintain social order, with the bow giving a chance to its beholder a feel for (lethal) power. More details of the meaning and benefits of ritualized archery can be found in the Book of Rites (禮記 Li Ji), under the chapter Meaning of Archery (射義 She Yi).


Guan Li, the coming-of-age ritual

Translated from Yi Li, and Tianfeng Huanpei‘s Proposition for Revival of Han Chinese ceremony Project:

A Coming-of-age ceremony at a Confucian tutelage.

A Coming-of-age ceremony at a Confucian tutelage.

The Guan Li (冠禮, lit. “headpiece/coronation ceremony”) is a traditional rite by the Han Chinese to signify the coming of age or adulthood of the receiving participant. According to the Book of Rites, males are of age by 20 and females by 15 (in which their ceremony is called Ji Li 笄禮, lit. “hairpin ceremony”), but in context of modern-day societal standards, 18~20 years of age is the ideal time for the ceremony for both genders, with standardized routines to signify the equality between the two.


With the onset of Westernization, the function of this rite has been split into two other rituals: Convocation and marriage, as per Western standards. While Japan and Korea retains a statuary day and ceremony of the same purpose (Seijin no Hi, on January 15 for Japan; third Monday of May in Korea), the practice is generally lost in the Chinese communities, partly due to effects from Queue Order and the Manchurian invasion of 1644, the disfavouring of tradition in the early 20th century, and the opinion of technical incompatibility with Western practices today.


With the rise of living standards in China today, the Chinese people are beginning to rediscover their diverse heritages. Even as the leading ethnicity in the PRC, the Han Chinese tradition is often overlooked as a mysterious or stagnant culture, but little was done to make it more understandable and relatable, until the traditional clothing revival movement (Hanfu Movement) started in 2003, popularizing the clothing before the influence of the Queue Order and bringing back civil rituals to mainstream society.


Some thoughts on the recent Hanfu uniform proposal

hanfuuniformblogRecently, major news sites such as Chinanews and Guangzhou Daily has been circulating a set of illustrations to propose a modernized version of Hanfu for use as high school uniforms, and is the first seriously accepted design for Hanfu in our time.
Previous to the release of this design, other “modernizing innovations” ranged from shortening the length of the shang skirt, to adding zippers and lace in its designs. Most Hanfu supporters strongly rejected the idea, citing that “Hanfu has not yet been popularized, and it would be unwise to Westernize it before the convention is stable.”
Their doubt and hesitance to quickly adapting existant elements has no doubt paid off, in the sense of confirming a public sense of what Hanfu is, differentiating itself from Korean and Japanese clothing of similar appearance.
In this article, I will focus on the criticism of this rumoured proposal for a Hanfu-inspired school uniform. More promotion

Ming-style Wedding Dress

Ming-style Wedding Dress 


The above link is to the Hanfu Review | 漢服觀察 by Jensen Liu, a PhD student in the United States and excellent blogger on current Chinese issues. This blog picks up movements in China pertaining to Hanfu (positive or negative), and is an excellent tracker of the tradition in action – for the English language.

I am happy to announce that I have been recently appointed as an author for this said blog. Soon we will see more intensive reports for this beautiful tradition in the news feed. Please note that this blog is by original intent a blog for guqin information in the Toronto, ON area, but by no means will Hanfu essays here cease to exist or discontinue – theoretical arguments and essays of such nature will still be posted here.

A Difficult Choice Both Ways – The Rise of Hanism and what it Warns us

Original by kingsreturn. TRANSLATION COMPLETE, Chinese version from
The rise of Hanism (Han ethnic-based nationalism) is an issue to the PRC government, and a challenge to its policies.

The rise of Hanism (Han ethnic-based nationalism) is an issue to the PRC government, and a challenge to its policies. Photo from the dinner party after the Shanghai Yokoso! Japan fair in Shanghai, where Hanfu promoters are anguished from being censored and stopped.

Subtitled: The spring of conflict, the autumn of numerous events


When a story just begins, we probably do not notice its existance, until we reminece it afterwards, everything that has past then becomes all the more moving and amazing. Hidden outside from people’s line of sight,  the hidden tides are creating a new kind of ideology, and what we think we see are but crawling vines, but actually these vines are only but an accessory or periphery of some kind of gargantuan leviathan. Pride is in gestation, repeating in occasion. The living historical fate is still tying down this country, and some viewpoints that used to not pose a problem, began to spread among the Internet and reality. In this country of confused thought, certain events in history that are set in stone faces ‘innovative’ redefinition, with different political agendas and ethnic requests, and this trend is already established. Suppression or ignorance could not stop this kind of separation and change. Although its budding origins were noticed since the beginning, all we had done was wait and see with a mindset for enjoying another’s misfortune, or pass by in total apathy.

Keywords: Ethnic memory, cultural symbols, racial/ethnic divide, Hanism, extreme ethnic nationalism


This essay is based on iconic events in the cultural scene of china in the past decade, linking the ethnic policies in PRC since the Opening Reforms, with particular focus to the audience the rise and spread of Hanzu-zhuyi (trans. Hanism, Han departmentalism), as well the social realities and strenuous conflicts among various free media, and a prediction for inter-ethnic relationships in China in the future, suggesting possibilities for the event of ethnic division and creating methods for its prevention.


Rethinking the Hanfu Movement, Sept.08

Fu Lujiang's Proposal for Hanfu as 2008 Olympic Standard

Fu Lujiang's Proposal for Beijing Olympic Standards

In response to HanfuTor’s email thread “Koreans are attempting to steal Hanfu”.

Thinking back to Fu Lujiang’s proposal for Hanfu as official uniform of the XXIX Olympiad and the resulting Hundred Scholars’ petition, it was in reflection a reactive, unplanned move. Within two months the project was dismissed by the authorities. The actual result was a mix of god-knows-what, primarily from the opinion of the COC and corporate sponsors. While public opinion is always met upon “open ears” (much similar for any UNESCO applications and so forth), the actual results are still slim. Remember that Sun Jiazheng of the Chinese Cultural Department noted explicitly “to let things play out naturally” in response to this proposal just weeks after it being made, and by the next month it was rejected in favor of letting Heng Yuanxiang Corp.’s so-called Tangzhuang take its place. Worst of all, unlike the APEC conference in 2001, nobody will be wearing the ‘new fashions’ of the Olympic games as a new trend or fad or whatever it is, simply because they defy any rational taste for the real world.

News of Korean government and advocacy associations about them claiming important festivities and cultural icons – it is not the first day they have started doing so, nor is it the first time (by now) the Chinese have reacted negatively regarding their inventions ‘taken away’ in propriety. While the Chinese netizens’ response are often directed at false news, the fact that the Korean authorities are attempting to get UNESCO to recognize their traditional clothes and herbal medicine is very real, and the proposal details cultures that leans more toward the Chinese standard than ever (by referring to actual Chinese texts, and even media from our Hanfu Movement research), a factor of Korean culture we can see backed up by today’s mass entertainment.

The movable-type press as invented by Koreans (prior to Gutenburg) is already in most school textbooks; Duanwu/Tano’o (端午) is still somewhat ambiguous (the Koreans claim that although SIMILAR in name, the nature is different), while herbal lore, writing system, and traditional clothing are the current hot topics and up for grabs. The prize – propriety of the heritage in world history, and means of promoting cultural greatness in the clash of civilizations: a ‘copyright’ to a weapon in the war of culture. What more credit needs to be taken away before the Han Chinese get re-recognized?



June 2023