An independent state known as Nan Yue (Southern Yue, or Vietnam) around Canton was created by General Zhao Tuo when the Qin Dynasty collapsed. This Kingdom was supported by the Zhuang until its collapse in 111 BC. The Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD) thought the Zhuang culture unproductive, so they reduced local authority and consolidated their authority with Military posts at Guilin, Wuzhou, and Yulin.
In 42 AD, the Trung Sisters uprising was quelled by an army under General Ma Yuan, who sought not only victory on the battlefield but felt true concern for the Zhuang people. He reorganized the Zhuang Local Authority, improved public works, dug canals and reclaimed land to increase production. His work brought the Zhuang into a more modern condition, and temples in his honor can still be seen to this day.
An influx of immigrant Yao people from Hunan after the collapse of the Han Dynasty caused the region to become unstable as the Yao showed hostility to assimilation. The Guiping area of Guangxi, where the Yao settled, would become a hotbed of revolution against Han rule, causing the Zhuang people to suffer terribly, despite their passive stance on assimilation.
Under the Tang Dynasty Guangxi became part of Ling-nan Tao (large province) with present day Hainan and Guangdong. The noted scholar Liu Zongyuan was prefectural administrator at Liuzhou. Irked by Chinese expansion, however, the Zhuang moved to support the Tai kingdom of Nanchao in Yunnan. Guangxi was then divided into an area of Zhuang ascendancy west of Nanning and an area of Han ascendancy east of Nanning.
After the collapse of the Tang a new Chinese kingdom known as Nan Han (Southern Han), based in Guangdong, gained minimal control over the Zhuang, but the Nan Han Kingdom was plagued by instability and it was annexed by the Song Dynasty of China in 971. The Nan Han rule of the Zhuang was marked by minimal interference in Zhuang affairs by the Chinese rulers.
The Song developed a new way of dealing with the Zhuang that was a combination of force and appeasement, a policy that neither satisfied the aspirations of the Zhuang nor ended the savage warfare brought to the region by the Yao against the Chinese. In 1052 a Zhuang leader, Nong Zhigao, led a revolt and set up an independent kingdom in the Southwest. The revolt was crushed, and the Song rule became more brutal, causing the region to spasm in revolt against the Chinese.
After the Yuan Dynasty liquidated the Song, they spent several years deciding what to do with the Zhuang. Weary of the bad relationship previous Chinese rulers had with the region, they decided to make it a full province of China rather than let it remain an occupied territory. This only caused greater stress as the Zhuang and Yao felt alienated, and hated direct rule from the Chinese government. Further complicating Zhuang aspirations, another aboriginal people, the Miao, left Guizhou and Hunan for the Zhuang lands.
The area continued to be unruly, forcing the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) to impose an underhanded way of dealing with it: the Ming would give tribal leaders of the Zhuang an army to attack the Yao. Once the Yao were devastated, the Ming used the armies they had given the Zhuang leaders to kill the Zhuang leaders, and force a leaderless Zhuang society under their heavy handed rule. This resulted in perhaps the bloodiest period of history in a relatively calm region. At the Battle of Rattan Gorge, in 1465, 20,000 deaths were reported. The Ming policy failed, but the larger cities in the region did prosper under Ming economic reform.
The Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) let the region remain in chaos until 1726 when they imposed direct rule as the Yuan had. This was also a failed venture as a Yao revolution took place in 1831. Twenty years later, in 1850, the same area witnessed the Taiping Rebellion break out. The execution of a French missionary led to the Second Opium war in 1858. The Franco-Chinese War of 1885 put Vietnam under French supremacy and opened up the area to foreign encroachment. All of this caused a constant economic depression through the nineteenth century.
During World War II Guangxi was a major target of Japanese attacks, as they invaded the coast in 1939. The famous patriotic newspaper National Salvation Daily was printed at Guilin. In 1944, the Japanese launched a major offensive to take the western half of Guangxi, but with relentless Zhuang guerrillas and a Chinese counterattack, the Japanese were routed.
Zhuang people live in the subtropical regions which is rich in animals and plants. Zhuang medicine tends to take advantage of its resources, so animals are widely used for medicine in Zhuang medicine. There is a believe among Zhuang people: if you want to be cured, flesh and blood are needed. The basis of Zhuang medicine is a very simple truth: if something can cause illness, there must be something corresponding to cure it.