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Tulišen (also spelled Tulishen or Tulixen, Manchu: Tulišen.png, Chinese: 圖理珅; pinyin: Túlǐshēn; 1667–1741) was a Manchu official and diplomat during the early Qing dynasty.

Tulišen was a member of the Manchu Plain Yellow Banner in the Eight Banners and belonged to the Ayan Gioro clan. In 1712, after having served in several minor positions in the Qing government, the Kangxi Emperor appointed him to the Qing embassy to Ayuka Khan (r. 1673-1724) of the Torghuts, who had migrated to the lower Volga River, where they had formed the Kalmyk Khanate under Peter I of the Russian Empire. The whole journey through Russia's Siberian territories took three years and Tulišen later recorded the journey in a famous travelogue, which was published in 1723. This fascinated many readers in Europe, and later appeared in English, German, Russian and French translations.

In 1720 he dealt with the Izmailov mission to Peking. In 1727, Tulišen served as head of the Qing delegation when the Treaty of Kyakhta was negotiated with the Russian representative Savva Lukich Vladislavovich-Raguzinsky. However, upon his return to the capital Beijing, he was accused of misconduct during the treaty negotiations as well as having betrayed military secrets earlier in his career. He was tried and sentenced to death in 1728, but the Yongzheng Emperor eventually pardoned him. Following the enthronement of the Qianlong Emperor in 1735, Tulišen was given a number of important positions in the government, but was later forced to retire because of failing health.

Further reading

  • Perdue, Peter C. China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia. Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press, 2005.
  • Fang, Chao-ying (1943). "Tulišen". In Hummel Sr., Arthur W. (ed.). Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period. United States Government Printing Office.
  • Tulišen. Narrative of the Chinese Embassy to the Khan of the Tourgouth Tartars, in the Years 1712, 13, 14, & 15. Translated by Sir George Thomas Staunton. London: J. Murray, 1821.
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