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Zhande City was one of the so called "Nine Cities of Yili"

Yili has been the most important channel between China and central Asia. Many border check points have been established here and developed commerce. In order to strengthen the administration of the Yili region, Emperor Qianlong establish a Yili General and built the City of Huiyuan in 1762 and 1763. Also, satellite cities including Huining, Suiding, Guangren, Ningyuan, Zhande, Gongchen, Xi, Ta'er were erected, and are called "Nine Cities of Yili". At that time, Huiyuan was the political and military center of Xingjiang.

In the history, many well-known downgraded officials had made remarkable accomplishment here. For example, the famous anti-opium official Xu Zelin lead the water conservancy and border protection here. He was well respected by the general of Yili and people of all ethnics. Although he stayed there for only two years, he wrote a number of poems, diaries, and letters.

According to the "Tahcheng Protocol on the Delimitation of the Sino-Russian Border" (1864), China was compelled to cede 440,000 km2 of land, south and east of Lake Balkhash, to Russia (belongs to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan nowadays). In 1871, when Russia invaded Yili region, Huiyuan and the eight other cities were flattened. The Qing Court again concluded the "Yili Treaty" with Russia in 1881. Although China recovered Yili, which has an area 19,000 km2, it lost another 71,000 km2 of territory west of the Korgas River, and was charged nine million Rubles compensation. The new city was rebuilt in 1882, 7.5 kilometers north of the old city, 38 kilometers south east of Yining. It was a replication of the old city, called New Huiyuan.

In 1883, as the Xingjiang was made a province, with capital in Dihua (today's Ürümqi), huiyuan gradually lost its political importance, and the authority of the general was downgraded. After the Revolution of Xinhai in 1911, the administration structure of the "Nine Cities of Yili" was canceled, the command of Yili general was also removed. Yili was renamed Yining in 1914.

At present days, Yining city has a population of 330,000, including Uygur, Han, Kazakh, Hui, Mongolian people. It is the capital city of Yili Kazakh Prefecture.

My estimation of the old borders

Zhande City appears on the following banknote(s):
RMB PRMB1-43 1951 500 Yuan

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