The area has been considered the southern expanse of China since the creation of Canton in 226. Prior to that, the area was known as the Nanhai Commandery.
In the 1920s and 1930s, the areas of Guangxi dominated by the Zhuang people greatly aided the Communist Party of China in the Chinese Civil War. Soon after the Communist victory in 1949, in 1952 the People's Republic of China created a Zhuang autonomous prefecture in the western half of Guangxi. However, some scholars of the Zhuang do not believe that this decision came out of genuine grassroots demands from that ethnic group, who made up only 33% of the province's population, which is contradictory to reality of facts from Chinese scholars that the Zhuang people clearly maintain their distinct culture and lifestyle (i.e. language, religion, etc.). Scholars like George Moseley and Diana Lary instead argue that the conversion of Guangxi to a Zhuang autonomous region was designed to foil local sentiment against the Communist Party as well as to smash pan-Lingnan sentiment. Shortly afterward, many Cantonese in the Guangxi government were replaced by Zhuangs and Guangxi annexed the Nanlu region of Guangdong in 1952, giving the formerly landlocked region access to the sea. In 1958, the entire province was officially designated the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
In 1988, Hainan was separated from Guangdong and established as a separate province.
^Olson, James Stuart (1998). "Zhuang". An Ethnohistorical Dictionary of China. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 393.
^ abcKaup, Katherine Palmer (2000). Creating the Zhuang: Ethnic Politics in China. Lynne Reinner Publishers. p. 52.
^ abHutchings, Graham (2003). "Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region". Modern China: A Guide to a Century of Change. Harvard University Press. p. 173.
^Ramsey, Samuel Robert (1987). "Minority Languages of China". The Languages of China. Princeton University Press. pp. 234-235.
^Li, Xulian; Huang, Quanxi (2004). "The Introduction and Development of the Zhuang Writing System". In Zhou, Minglang; Sun, Hongkai (eds.). Language Policy in the People's Republic of China: Theory and Practice Since 1949. Springer. p. 240.
^Cen Xianan (2003). On research to Zhuang's Mo Religion Belief. "Economic and Social Development",no.12. p.23-26.(in Chinese)