Recently, a string of rumors have been spreading around the Web that Genghis Khan-the ancient Mongol warlord, was actually Caucasian and not Asian. Angry Asians have responded pointing to Yuan Dynasty portraits of Genghis to prove his Asian heritage. The rumors that Genghis was actually a White Man stems from the writings of Persian historian Rashid Al-Din, who described Genghis’ first encounter with his grandson Kublai as one of shock-on learning that Genghis’ red hair was not visible in Kublai.
These two races-Asian and Caucasian, have coexisted in the Tarim Basin for a long time. They regularly fought each other for territory-leading to the Asian domination of NW China and the extinction of the Caucasians that occupied China-called Tocharians. The Tocharians did not die out completely, however, and a number of them bred into an Asian population. Their mixed descendants were many Central Asians, including modern day Tajiks, Khazaks, Uzbeks, Uighurs, and LiQian, and ancient Mongols, Hmong, and Hui. The ancient Mongols were 10% Caucasian on average, and some Mongols had higher percentages of Caucasian genes, including Genghis Khan. Modern Mongols, who are 11-14% Caucasian, have a number of people with light hair and eyes. These Mongols are 33-45% Caucasian, although some can be as low as 17-25% Caucasian and still have blonde hair or green eyes.