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Videos about China's Resistance War:
The Battle of Shanghai & Nanking;
Bombing of Chungking;
The Burma Road
Videos about China's Resistance War: China's Dunkirk Retreat (in English); 42 Video Series (in Chinese)
For hundreds of years, the Soong Dynasty, built on top of Northern Zhou (AD 951-960) of the Chai(1) family, would be engaged in the games of 'three kingdom' kind of warfare. Northern Song (AD 960-1127) faced off with the Western Xia (AD 1032-1227) and the Khitan Liao in a triangular war. After a defeat in the hands of the Khitans, Soong Dynasty never tried to retake the northern territories, including today's Peking [Beijing], again. (Posterior Tang general Shi Jingtang, a Shatuo, in order to fight Posterior Tang, had seceded 16 zhou or prefectures to the Khitans, including today's Beijing city. It would be Ming Dynasty that would overthrow the Mongol Yuan Dynasty and retake Beijing.) Soong Dynasty played the card of allying with the Jurchens in destroying the Khitan Liao. With Northern Song defeated by the Jurchens thereafter, Southern Song (AD 1127-1279) was engaged in another triangle game, with the other players being the Western Xia and the Jurchen Jin. Southern Song then played the card of allying with the Mongols in destroying the Jurchen Jin, and it even sent tens of thousands of carts of grain to the Mongol army in the besieging of the last Jurchen stronghold. Soon after that, the Southern Song generals broke the agreement with the Mongols and took over the so-called three ancient capitals of Kaifeng, Luoyang and Chang'an. But they could not hold on to any of the three because what they had occupied had been empty cities after years of wars between the Jurchens and the Mongols. Similar to the times of the Western Jinn (AD 265-316) and Eastern Jinn (AD 317-420), the northern Chinese would have fled to the south during these conflicts. While Eastern Jinn re-established their capital in Nanking, the Southern Song, after being driven away from Nanking by the Jurchens, chose Lin'an (today's Hangzhou) as the new capital. Historians had a good conclusion for the Soong dynasty: Soong Dynasty, per Mongol General Bayan, had obtained the throne from a kid and would lose it in the hands of a kid. Soong obtained its kingdom from a child emperor of Northern Zhou, and it officially ended when Prime Minister Lu Xiufu jumped off the cliffs of Mt Yashan with a child emperor on his back.
Soong Dynasty enjoyed the start of the so-called prosperous 'Silk Road' on the seas. Historians cited some European historian's claim that the southern Chinese developed the overseas commerce as compensation for the loss of the land route after losing northern China to the Jurchens, with ships built in coastal Canton & Quanzhou carrying as many as 1000 people. Across the Southeast Asian islands, wreckage of numerous Song Chinese merchant ships had been discovered, with typical Chinese products like potteries as well as Chinese coins. The adoption of compass in AD 1119, an invention first mentioned in the 1st year of the Xuanhe Era of Northern Song Emperor Huizong, would make the seafaring trips less precarious than before. Yan Qinghuang also mentioned that the imperial sanction of a sea goddess, i.e., "Ma [mother] Zu [ancestress]", in AD 1156, 1158 & 1190, pinpointed a sign that the sea commerce had prospered under Song emperors. In lieu of the Tang system of using eunuchs, Soong designated the court officials to the four coastal ports for dealing with foreign merchants. The "overseas trip permit" system, first adopted in AD 989, was enforced. Zhao Rushi's "Zhu [various] Fan [foreign countries] Zhi [records]" mentioned that some murderer of a Chinese merchant at Zhancheng [southern Vietnam?] was caught and that King of San-fo-qi wrote to China in the Chinese language. Yan Qinghuang cited "Soong Shi" [History of Soong Dynasty] in pointing out that the overseas Chinese had become leaders in the alien lands, including Java [Mao Xu] and Japan [Zhu Rencong, Zhou Wende, Zhou Wenyi, Chen Wenyou, Sun Zhong & Li Chong]. Along the southeast coast of China would be settlement or ghettos of ethnic Arab, Muslim and Christian residents. Yan Qinghuang mentioned an AD 1225 book by port magistrate ("shi [trade] po [moor] si [magistrate]") Zhao Rushi of Quanzhou as a good example of the governmental management over foreigners. (Also see Mongol Yuan's extension of the shi-po-si system to some three additional cities.)
Do note that foreigners had visited and dwelled in Guangzhou and Quanzhou much earlier than the Soong dynasty. History recorded i) that some Indian envoys arrived at the Han Court in AD 159/161 and Roman emissary in the Han Dynasty year of AD 166 and during the Wu Dynasty time period of the Three Kingdoms via a stop at Rinan (i.e., Champa); ii) that a Lijian or Roman emissary, per "History of Jinn Dynasties" by Tang Dynasty's Fang Xuanling, came to the Western Jinn court during the Taikang Era, AD 280-289, of Jinn Emperor Wudi (reign 265-290 AD); iii) that Indian and Arab merchant ships carried monk Fa Shien back to China during AD 399-414; iv) that Indian buddhists had come to Canton (Guangzhou) during the Liang dynasty of the South-North time period; v) that famous Tang Dynasty monk Xuan-zang had returned to China overland in lieu of a sea trip as suggested by the Indians for only one reason: Xuan-zang promised to Gaochang [Turpan] King Ju Wentai that he would pass through Turpan for a gathering on his return trip; and vi) that at the end of Tang Dynasty, rebell leader Huang Chao had sacked Canton and killed numerous foreigners.
Soong China possessed the most numerous and brilliant neo-Confucians. Those Confucians were so-called pillars and safeguards of the system, an elite class who obtained their officialdom via the civil services exam (open to almost all classes of people, though not altogether). This system of emperor's men had its heyday in Soong Dynasty when the first emperor of Soong, in July of 961, forced all his generals ["jie du shi"], including Shi Shouxin et al., into retirement and conferred even the military posts onto civil-service officials. (Cai Dongfan commented that Soong Dynasty's weakness lied in its disparagement of the military since Soong never had to experience the power corruption of empresses, eunuchs, in-law families, governors and royal families as seen in the previous dynasties.) Soong Dynasty produced such righteous ministers as Fan Zhongyan who was famous for a motto that "one should worry before the populace do so and seek happiness only after the populace become happy". Various Song ministers would devise their family mottos. This is best illustrated by the familial motto guides such as The Zhu Family Mottos. (Zhu Xi was the neo-Confucian of Soong Dynasty.) The Soong time period also saw a 'political correctness' in applying Confucianism. Soong Dynasty also produced numerous 'Si [die for] Yi [righteousness]' intellectuals, i.e., those Confucians who sacrificed their families and lives for the country. When chased by the Mongol army, Prime Minister Lu Xiufu, with the young emperor on his back, fled to the southern tip of Mt Yashan. After driving his family into the sea, Lu jumped into the sea with emperor on his back. Wen Tianxiang, on the date of being executed, wrote a poem, stating that "Confucius proposed that one should die for compassion (Ren) and Mencius suggested that one should die for righteousness (Yi). Only when righteousness is fully exerted will the compassion be derived. What should I endeavour after educating myself with so many books of the ancient saints? However, I am sure that I feel no guilty about myself from this death moment on." (Confucius wording for 'Ren' should mean a broader sense of human perfection, similar to nirvana in Buddhism. 'Ren' also meant nucleus in the Chinese language, as used for the nucleus of various fruits like apple.)
In AD 1110, i.e., the 4th year of Soong Emperor Weizong's Daguan Era, Whole China boasted of a population of 20.88 million households or 46.73 million people, but in AD 1264, i.e., the 5th year of Soong Emperor Lizong's Jingding Era, Southern China only had 13.03 million people. The conclusion is that China's brave men had fallen martyrdom in the resistance to invasion, something we should take pride in. (Similarly, China endured another round of some dramatic population drop during the Manchu invasion. In AD 1620, i.e., the 1st year of Ming Emperor Guangzong's Taichang Era, China boasted of a population of 51.66 million people, but in AD 1651, i.e., the 8th year of Qing Emperor Shizu's Shunzhi Era, China only had 10.63 million people. For details of calculation - please see below.)
Northern Soong Dynasty
Around AD 907, the Khitans invaded the northern Chinese post of Yunzhong. To combat Posterior Liang, Li Keyong struke an agreement with the Khitans. However, the Khitans, under Yelu A'baoji (Yeh-lu A-pao-chi AD 872-926), colluded with Posterior Liang. Yelu A'baoji sought suzerainty with Zhu Wen for sake of some title conferring as well as marriage with Zhu Wen's daughter. Posterior Jinn (AD 936-946), led by Shi Jingtang [a former general of Posterior Tang], the seceded 16 zhou to the Khitans in order to fight Posterior Tang. Yelu A'baoji's son, Yelu Deguang, assisted Posterior Jinn in destroying Posterior Tang. However, rifts between the Khitan Liao and Posterior Jinn ensued. The Khitans destroyed Posterior Jinn in AD 946. The Khitans renamed their dynasty to Liao Dynasty in AD 947 in the attempt of ruling northern China. When weather got hot and the Chinese under Liu Zhiyuan rebelled against them, Yelu Deguang retreated to the north and died en route at a place called the Fox-killing Ridge. A Posterior Jinn general of Shatuo tribe origin, Liu Zhiyuan, would be responsible for rallying an army and pressured the Khitans into retreat, and hence Liu founded the Posterior Han dynasty (AD 947-950). Guo Wei, a general of Posterior Han Dynasty, who was responsible for defeating Posterior Jinn, rebelled after his family were slaughtered in the capital. Guo staged a change of dynasty by having his soldiers propose that he be the emperor of Posterior Zhou (AD 951-960). The uncle of Posterior Han emperor the declared Northern Han (AD 951-979) in today's Shanxi and allied with the Khitans. Guo Wei's Posterior Zhou will pass on to his foster son, Chai Rong, to be eventually usurped by a general called Zhao Kuangying who founded the Northern Soong dynasty (AD 960-1127).
Soong Emperor Taizu (Zhao Kuangyin, reign AD 960-976)
Soong Emperor Taizu, i.e., Zhao Kuangyin, had a few legendary chivalry stories, including 'Escorting Miss Jingniang Home For Over Thousand Miles'. Emperor Taizu's grandfather was a Tang Dynasty 'ci shi' (circuit inspector) of Zhuozhou Prefecture, and further up the lineage there would be numerous ancestors serving under the Tang Dynasty emperors. Emperor Taizu's father was Zhao Hongyin who had served Posterior Zhou as 'si tu', 'shang-jiangjun' (highest general), and 'tai wei' (grand captain) posthumously. Before Posterior Zhou, Zhao Hongyin at one time rescued Posterior Tang Emperor Zhuangzong, for which he was conferred the post of 'dian jian', i.e., monitoring general in charge of the imperial bodyguard column (i.e., the garrison troops). During the Posterior Han time period, Zhao Hongyin had defeated a Shu army (i.e., today's Sichuan area) at Chencang; and during the Posterior Zhou time period, in AD 953, Zhao Hongyin defeated a Wu army from the Yangtz Delta and took over Yangzhou of today's Jiangsu and Shouchun of today's Anhui.
Zhao Kuangyin was born in Luoyang in AD 927, i.e., the 2nd year of Posterior Tang's Tiancheng Era. Zhao Kuangyin was called a 'fragrant baby' at birth, and his body carried a golden glittering color. Zhao Kuangyin had two childhood friends, Han Lingkun and Murong Yanzhao. Zhao Kuangyin had high ambition at a young age and left home for the frontline by himself, without notifying his father. In 948, Zhao Kuangyin joined the army led by Guo Wei, qumi fu shi and zhaowei anfu shi of Posterior Han. (Guo Wei was ordered to fight the Li Shouzhen rebellion at the time.) Guo Wei quelled the rebellion of Hezhong, Yongxing and Fenxiang, and brought Zhao Kuangyin to Yecheng. When Guo Wei usurped the Posterior Han dynasty and set up Posterior Zhou in 951, Zhao Kuangyin was assigned the post of deputy head for the Huazhou prefecture and ma zhi jun shi of the Kaifeng-fu governor office. When Posterior Zhou Emperor Shizong (Chai Rong) enthroned in AD 954, Zhao Kuangyin and his father (Zhao Hongyin) were both in charge of the Posterior Zhou Emperor Shizong's imperial bodyguard column. (Chai Rong was the son of Guo Wei's brother-in-law, Chai Shouli.)
When Northern Han (Liu Chong) and the Khitan Liao attacked Posterior Zhou by taking advantage of the death of Guo Wei, Chai Rong led the imperial bodyguard troops to Gaoping to counter Northern Han and the Khitans. The Zhou emperor led a campaign against the Northern Han army. A general, zhi hui Fan Aineng fled the scene. Seeing that Chai Rong was targeted by the enemy archers, Zhao Kuangyin led a dozen brave soldiers on a charge against the enemies and rescued Chai Rong. The Posterior Zhou army chased Liu Chong to the He-dong city, and Zhao Kuangyin personally led a fire attack at the city. Chai Rong retreated after Zhao suffered an arrow wound in the left arm. After the Posterior Zhou troops retreated to Biandu (Kaifeng) the capital, Zhao Kuangyin was conferred Marquis Duyu-hou and ci shi [i.e., circuit inspector] of the Yanzhou prefecture. Haan Chongyun, a sworn brother of Zhao Kuangyin, was promoted to be the imperial garrison cavalry director for the contribution at the Battle of Gaoping.
During the third year reign of Emperor Zhou Shizong, i.e., AD 956, Posterior Zhou campaigned against the Huainan (south of the Huai River) territories of Southern Tang Dynasty. Both Zhao Kuangyin and Zhao Hongyin joined the campaign. Posterior Zhou defeated a Southern Tang army of over 10000 men at Wokou [the Wo-shui river mouth], and killed "bingma (soldier & horse) du-jian (monitoring general)" Heh Yanxi. The Southern Tang army, claiming a headcount of 150000, led by "jiedu-shi" (satrap or governor) Huangfu Hui and Yao Feng, overflowed the Qingliu-guan Pass. When Zhao Kuangyin chased the Southern Tang army to the city, Huangfu Hui requested for stationing his troops outside of the citywall for a duel. Huangfu Hui was personally decapitated by Zhao, and Yao Feng was captured. After Zhao Kuangyin entered the city, he ordered that the city gates be closed at night. Zhao Kuangyin's father, Zhao Hongyin, was dissuaded from entering the city at night as show of descipline without regard for the kinsmenship. The northern army, led by Wang Shenqi, separately took over Shuzhou (Qianshan of Anhui). When Haan Lingkun took over Yangzhou, a Southern Tang army came to the relief. Haan Lingkun proposed a retreat; however, Posterior Zhou Emperor Shizong ordered that Zhao Kuangyin lead 2000 relief soldiers to Luhe to counter the Southern Tang relief army. Zhao Kuangyin issued an order stating that should Haan Lingkun's soldiers retreat to Luhe, they would be cut off the feet. Haan Lingkun hence solidified his defence at Yangzhou. Thereafter, Zhao Kuangyin defeated King Qi Jingda of Southern Tang to the east of Luhe. Zhao Kuangyin killed over 10000 enemies. Upon return to the capital, Zhao Kuangyin was conferred the post of "dianqian (front of the imperial throne) du-zhi-hui-shi (directing general)" and "jiedu-shi" (satrap or commissioner general) for the Dingguo-jun Garrison.
During the fourth year reign of Posterior Zhou Emperor Shizong, i.e., AD 957, Zhao Kuangyin participated in the campaign against Shouchun of today's Anhui Province. Posterior Zhou took over the Zhu-zhai Garrison and the Shouzhou city. In March, at the Battle of Zijinshan-zhai (Fengtai), Wang Shenqi defeated the southern army. Later, upon return, Zhao Kuangyin was conferred the post of "jianxiao (censoring and inspecting) taibao (gestapo)" and "jiedu (commisioner general)" for the Yicheng-jun Garrison.] In the winter, Posterior Zhou campaigned against the Hao-Si prefecture areas of today's Anhui Province. Wang Shenqi led the northen army against Southern Tang at the Battle of Haozhou (Fengtai) and the Battle of Chuzhou (Huai'an of Jiangsu). Southern Tang stationed its army on the beach of Shibali-tan (eighteen Chinese mile beach). Zhou Emperor Shizong intended to cross the river on camels, but Zhao Kuangyin simply jumped into the river to lead the way, setting up an example for his soldiers. Zhao defeated the Southern Tang army on the opposite bank, and then flowed down the river to take over the Sizhou city. The Tang army then stationed at the Dunqing-kou river mouth for defence. Zhao followed Zhou Emperor Shizong in marching along the east side of the Huai River and chased the enemy to Shanyang. Zhao captured Southern Tang "jiedu-shi" (satrap or governor) Chen Chengzhao and took over the Tuzhou city. Zhao went on to defeat the Tang army at another river mouth, burnt the Tang camps south of the river, and defeated the Tang army at Guabu. After the northern army's quelling the Huainan (south of Huai River) areas, Southern Tang tried to sow a dissension between Zhao Kuangyin and Zhou Emperor Shizong by sending 3000 Chinese ounces of 'baijing' (white gold) as bribe. Zhao submitted the gold to the imperial coffer. The next year, Zhao was conferred the post of "jiedu-shi" (satrap or commissioning general) for the Zhongwu-jun Garrison. In March of 958, Southern Tang ceded land to sue peace with Northern Zhou.
In March of AD 959, Zhou Emperor Shizong led a northern campaign against the Khitans at Canzhou. Zhao Kuangyin was conferred the post of sui-lu du bushu ('land-water governing general in charge'). Haan Tong and Shi Shouxin were assigned the commander and deputy posts for the land army. Zhou Shizong personally went to the Qianning-jun Garrison to lead the attack at Ningzhou. Ningzhou ci shi (circuit inspector or governor) Wang Hong surrendered. Then, Haan Tong was assigned the post in charge of a land army while Zhao in charge of boats. The Posterior Zhou army attacked the Yijin-guan Pass. Wang Hong called upon the guarding general Zhong Tinghui for surrender. Zhong Tinghui agreed. Zhong Tinghui was retained as a general at the pass. When reaching the Mozhou area, Zhao Kuangyin deserted boats for the riverbank, and attacked the Waqiao-guan [tile bridge] Pass. Zhao defeated guarding general Yao Neibing at the Waqiao-guan Pass. When the Posterior Zhou armies, led by du zhihui-shi Li Chongjin, by Haan Tong (who pacified Mozhou and Yingzhou) and by the emperor himself, converged under the Waqiao-guan Pass, defender Yao Neibing surrendered. Yao was assigned the post of ci shi for Nuzhou. Posterior Zhou quelled the area south of the pass. Zhou Emperor Shizong then ordered a campaign against the Khitans in Youzhou and Yizhou. Li Chongjin was ordered to attack northward. Li took over the Gu'an city. North of the city was the An'yang-shui River. The Khitans dismantled the bridge and hid away the boats. Emperor Zhou Shizong, seeing that the river was wide, ordered the building of a bridge and then left for the Waqiao-guan Pass. Emperor Zhou Shizong later fell ill. Meantime, Sun Xingyou was ordered to attack Yizhou and he took over the city and captured ci shi Li Zaiqin. Li Zaiqin refused to surrender and was ordered to be executed by emperor Zhou Shizong. When Zhou Shizong's illness got worse, Zhao Kuangyin pursuaded him into returning to the capital. Waqiao-guan was renamed Xiongzhou and Chen Sirang was to guard it; the Yijin-guan pass was renamed Bazhou, and Haan Lingkun was to guard it.
Zhou Shizong accidentally read about a 3-foot wood document stating that 'dianjian would be the new emperor'. Upon return to the capital, Zhou Shizong deprived "dian jian" Zhang De (Zhang Yongde) of his post and re-assigned it onto Zhao Kuangyin. Emperor Zhou Shizong also assigned Zhao Kuangyin the title of "jianxiao taifu". Emperor Zhou Shizong died shortly, in June. When Posterior Zhou Emperor Gongdi [Chai Zongxun], a child emperor, was enthroned, Zhao Kuangyin was conferred the post of "jiedu" for the Gui'de-jun Garrison [with office set at Songzhou, i.e., today's Shangqiu, a name that would yield to the founding of the Soong dynasty] and "jianxiao tai-wei" (grand captain). The next year, A.D. 960, in January, when some rumor went that the Northern Han army and the Khitans colluded in invading the Zhou territories of Zhenzhou (today's Zhengding) and Dingzhou (Dingxian), Zhao lead an army to counter the attack. It was recorded that Zhao managed to have deputy prime minister Wang Fu instigate prime minister Fan Zhi into issuing the army mobilization order, and Zhao sent Guo Tingyun back to the capital for liaison with Shi Shouxin to stage the mutiny. While stopping at the Chenqiao-yi imperial postal station, Zhao's follower, Miao Xun et al., pointed to the sky for another officer to see a second sun under the sun. Chenqiao-yi was between Chenqiao and Fengqiu, to the notheast of today's Kaifeng. At deep night, Zhao's generals had an assembly and proposed that Zhao Kuangyin be the new emperor. The generals under Gao Huaide forcefully put a yellow gown or robe onto Zhao Kuangyin. The next day, Zhao Kuangyin led his troops back to the capital and usurped the Posterior Zhou dynasty. The mutineers had to go around the Chenqiao for a roundabout trip through Fengqiu, for which Zhao later ordered the Chenqiao commander to be executed for dereliction of duty. At the capital, Shi Shouxin and Wang Shenqi, all Zhao's cronies, opened the gates. General Wang Yansheng killed a deputy garrison commander, Haan Tong, and his family, for which Zhao demoted him. Prime minister Fan Zhi was pressured into supporting the new regime. The young emperor, Chai Zongxun, was made into King Zheng-wang, and a royal family baby was given to Pan Mei for adoption. Zhao inscribed three mottos on a stone inside of the palace, stating that the Chai family would be forever preserved; the intellectual-background ministers should never be killed; and the agricultual taxes should not be increased.
Only two regional heads opposed the mutiny, i.e., Li Yun of the Zhaoyi-jun Garrison in Luzhou and, Huai-nan "jie-du-shi" Li Chongjin in Yangzhou. Both were consecutively defeated within half year. Shi Shouxin and Gao Huaide were sent north against Li Yun, while Murong Yanzhao and Wang Quanbin were sent against Li Yun from the east. Shi Shouxin defeated Li Yun's army at Changping (Changzi of Shanxi) and Zezhou (Jincheng). Li Yun, who fought against Zhao in April, was quelled in June of 960, and committed suicide by setting himself on fire in Zezhou. Li Jixun, a sworn brother of Zhao Kuangyin, was assigned the job as the Zhaoyi-jun Garrison "jiedushi" to control the Luzhou area. In the Yangtze area, Li Chongjin fought against Zhao in September. Shi Youxin and Wang Shenqi were assigned the jobs of quelling the Li Chongxin rebellion. Shi Youxin took over Yangzhou in November. Li committed suicide by setting himself on fire. Zhao was able to take over power as a result of making 10 sworn brothers ("yi-she shi xiongdi"), with many of them playing the important role of executing the rebellion inside and outside of the capital. This usurpation was contrived as premeditated.
After the consolidation of power, Zhao continued the Posterior Zhou campaigns to reunite China. The first target would be the southern regimes. In 963, Zhao quelled the Nan-ping (Gao Jichong's Jing-nan) and Wuping (today's Hunan) regimes. In this area, 11-year-old Zhou Baoquan, son of Zhou Xingfeng, had requested aid with the Soong court for quelling the rebellion of Zhang Wenbiao. Soong emperor Taizu sent Murong Yanzhao to the south. On March 26, the Soong army took over Sanjiang-kou [three rivers' injunction area] and consecutively took over Yueyang and Langzhou (Changde of Hunan Province). The Soong army, in the name of borrowing a path, took over the Nanping-guo regime in passing through Jiangling. The Nanping-guo regime was originally assigned to Gao Jiping [a follower of Zhu Wen's adopted son] by the Posterior Tang dynasty back in 924. In 965, Zhao quelled the Posterior Shu regime.
To the north, the Soong army launched two unsuccessful campaigns against Northern Han. After Zhao Kuanyin died in Oct of 976, brother Zhao Kuangyi, i.e., Emperor Taizong, continued the reunification wars. In August of 968 [i.e., the first year of the Kaibao Era], Li Jixun, as "du bu shi" or director of the the frontal army of the He-dong xing-ying (camp), commanded a Soong army in invading the Northern Han territories. Northern Han dispatched Liu Jiye (Yang Ye), i.e., Marquis Duyu-hou, to defending Tuanbaigu [Taigu of Shanxi], while the Khitan emperor Liao-muzong sent a relief army to aiding Northern Han. The Soong army defeated the Northern Han army, taking over the Fen-he River bridge and pressing against the capital city of Taiyuan. When the Khitan army, led by Yelv Talie (Nie-lu-gun), reached the Yanmen [swan gate] Pass, the Soong army pulled off for the south. Yelv Talie, a Khitan southside king equivalent, previously led a relief army to defeating the Northern Zhou's cavalry at Xinkou and rescued the Northern Han regime. In Feb of 969, the Soong emperor personally led an unsuccessful campaign against Northern Han. The Soong army defeated the northern army at Tuanbaigu again, and pressed on to lay siege of Taiyuan, where a Khitan emissary [who came to congratulate Liu Jiyuan on enthronement] assisted in the defense and requested with the Khitan homebase for relief. In April, the Khitans came via two routes, the western route which came south through the Shiling-guan Pass [Xinzhou], and the eastern route which came west from Dongzhou. The Soong army impeded both the Khitan relief armies. In May, the Soong army flooded Taiyuan with the Fen-he River water. In summer, more Khitan relief armies came. The Soong army withdrew the siege and stationed the army troops at Shangdang to weaken the agricultural base of the Northern Han regime.
In 971, Zhao quelled the Southern Han regime. In 975, the Soong army sailed down the river to surround Jiangning-fu (Nanking) for close to one year, forcing the Southern Tang emperor Li Yu to surrender in Nov of the 8th year of the Kaibao Era, A.D. 975.
Soong Emperor Taizong (Zhao Jiong/Guangyi/Kuangyi, reign AD 976-997)
Zhao Kuangyi's succession of his brother's emperor seat was shrouded in mysteries as a result of the easiness in the act, as well as some unnecessary revision of the historical context. The rumor was carried in a book called "xu [continuum] zizhi [reference] tongjian [comprehensive check] chang-bian [long editing]" by Li Tao of Soong Dynasty, where there was a claim of "spotting a jade hatchet stick's sound in the limelight of candles' light". The story went that when Zhao Kuangin suddenly fell ill, he called over brother Kuangyi, and the two closed doors; but then people outside heard about the throwing of a jade "hatchet" [stick] onto the floor, seen through the shadows on the window paper, that were reflected by the candle lights. Li Tao continued to state that Zhao Kuangyin threw the stick hatchet (i.e., jade hatchet-shape stick) onto the floor and then uttered the words to his younger brother to the effect that he was desperately asking the younger brother to do whatever good deeds as he could. Some speculation in "xiangshan ye lu" [wild stories of Mt. Xiangshan], by monk Wen-ying of the Jinluan-shi Monastery of Jingzhou, went further to state that Zhao Kuangyin, during the hours of drinking with brother, repeatedly hit the piled-up snowy palace floor with the jade stick before getting drunken and going to sleep, to be found dead later, and that what followed next was that the younger brother called in the imperial family members and the ministers to the scene; however, the emperor was already dying. Xu Dachao, a Soong-Yuan survivor from today's Suzhou, in "jin yu lu [records from the ember of the Mongol fire]", a book that recorded the barbaric mongol Droit du seigneur againt the ethnic Chinese brides, carried a rumor to the effect that emperor Kuangyin hit brother Kuangyi with the jade stick when he found out that the younger brother was teasing with concubine Huarui-furen (madam flower pistil).
Sima Guang, the great Soong dynasty historian, in "su-shui jiwen" [recording what was heard about as a man from the Su-shui River], stated that brother Kuangyi was not present when the emperor died; that eunuch Wang Ji'en, against Empress Song-huang-hou's order to call in crown prince Zhao Defang, went straight to Kuangyi's Kaifeng-fu governor office, and asked Kuangyi to hastily go to the palace; that the three entourage, including Kuangyi, and "zuo-wei-ya" [leftside office guard] Cheng Dexuan, walked the snowy road to the palace; and that at the palace, the empress, upon seeing the arrival of Kuangyi, not prince Defang as expected, suddenly sensed what was to happen, and told Kuangyi that her life and her child's life were all with Kuangyi. Separately, Wang Yu, in "jianlong yishi", pointed out that at one time when the emperor was ill, prime minister Zhao Pu had proposed to have a will made to make the crown price a successor, for which Kuangyi, who heard about it, had discord with Zhao Pu. This means that Kuangyi's assumption of the emperor's seat was not unanimously supported by all ministers. Though, no purge among the ministers was conducted, that was to point to the succession as the result of some bloody coup.
With the support of ministers, Zhao Kuangyi (King Jinn-wang, 'fuyi' of Kaifeng-fu) was enthroned. With this commonly-accepted background, there was no evidence that the younger brother was responsible for the emperor's death. Though, Zhao Kuangyi, in a hurry, changed the imperial era to his Taiping-xingkuo 1st year two months ahead of the end of his brother's Kaibao Era, and further personally intervened in the editing of Emperor Taizu's chronicles ['taizu shilu'] five years after the succession, in which an old story about the late mother-empress [Du-shi]'s A.D. 921 advice against passing the reign to the young siblings was inserted, giving the future historians doubt as to the legality of the imperial succession. What was carried in the official history was the unfortunate demotion and exile of Kuangyi's brother [Zhao Tingmei] and Kuangyin's sons, i.e., candidates who might succeed the throne using mother-empress Du-shi's established convention, i.e., a nomadic and barbarian tradition as well as an ancient Chinese dynastic tradition of Shang Dynasty China; and furthermore, history chronicle Soong Shi, in chapter 244, carried a sentence from prime minister Zhao Pu to the effect that Emperor Taizong was dissuaded from passing the reign to a brother-equivalent, saying the reign succession blunder by Emperor Taizu (Kuangyin) should not be repeated.
Exerting the political pressure, Zhao Kuangyi, i.e., Emperor Taizong, pacified Qian Shu of the Wu-yue regime and Chen Hongjing of the Zhangzhou-Quanzhou regime. In early 979, Taizong personally led an army against Northen Han. Having sent Gen. Pan Mei to encircling the capital city of Taiyuan of Northen Han, Taizong induced the Khitans to invade south and defeated them. With the Khitans gone, Liu Jiyuan surrendered Taiyuan to Soong, ending the 200-year historical turmoil of China, that started with the An-Shi Rebellion of Tang Dynasty.
Relationship with the Khitans
Khitan Emperor Muzong (Yelv Jing r 951-969) was assasinated in AD 969. Wuyue's son, Yelv Xian, would be enthroned as Khitan Emperor Jingzong (r 969-982). Yelv Xian appointed Xiao Shouxing as 'shangshu-ling' and take over Xiao's daughter as his empress.
Soong Dynasty's second emperor, Song Taizong (r 976-997), tried to attack today's Beijing after quelling the remnants of Posterior Han. The Khitans dealt Song Chinese a thorough defeat. In Jan of the 4th year of the Taiping-xingguo Era, i.e., 979, Emperor Taizong dispatched General Pai Mei and et al., on a multi-route invasion against Northern Han. In March, General Guo Jin, 'guan cha shi" [observer] for Yunzhou, took over Xilongmen-zhai [west dragon gate fort]. The Soong army defeated the Khitan relief at Shiling-guan-fu. The Khitans, under the command of Yelv Sha, was half-crossing a creek at Baimajian [white horse creek] when the Soong army launched the attack of Bamaling. The Soong army took over Mengxian, Longzhou and Luanzhou. At Taiyuan, the Soong army fired at the city wall with stone throwers. In May, the Soong army took over Yangmacheng [sheep and horse fort], to the southwest of Taiyuan. Liu Jiyuan, after running out of supply, surrendered to the Soong army. Emperor Taizong, who personally led the attack at the south wall of Taiyuan at one time, ordered the old city to be burnt for its steadfast defence, and relocated the wealthy residents, monks and bhuddists to Xin-bingzhou (Yuci) and renamed Taiyuan to Ping-jin [quelling Shanxi] County.
In June, the Khitan 'ci shi' for Dong-Yizhou [Qigou-guan], Liu Yu, surrendered his city. At Shahe [sandy river], Soong generals Fuqian and Kong Shouzheng defeated Yelv Xida [i.e., the Khitan northside king]. Khitan "pan guan" [judge] for Zhuozhou, Liu Yuande, surrendered to Soong. The Soong emperor then ordered a campaign against the Khitan southern capital, Youdu-fu [i.e., Peking]. Shi Shouxin was assigned the job as a frontline supervisory general. On June 23, the Soong army reached south of Youzhou. Emperor Taizong entered the Baoguang-shi [treasured light] Monastery for rest. At Deshengkou [victory achieving mouth], the Khitans lured the Soong army with Yelv Xida's flag while dispatching Yelv Xiezhen on a stealthy attack from the side. After defeating the Soong army, Yelv Xiezhen stationed his army on the north bank of the Qingsha-he [green sand] River to lend support to the besieged Youzhou city. At Youzhou, Haan Derang was in charge of the city defense. Khitan south capital cavalry-field army director Yelv Xuegu led an army to aiding Youzhou, and dug a canal to enter the Youzhou city. Khitan emperor Jingzong dispatched Yelv Sha and Yelv Xiuge to the relief of Youzhou. In July, at the Battle of Gaoliang-he [sorghum river, i.e., the Xizhi-men Gate of today's Peking], the Soong army, with Emperor Taizong supervising the attack, was defeated by the Khitans in a night attack. The Khitans, led by Yelv Xiuge, Yelv Xiezhen, and Yelv Xuegu, attacked the Soong army on three sides. The Khitans, after defeating the Soong army, continued the counterattack and chased to Zhouzhou. The Khitan emperor ordered a southern campaign in September, two months later. Khitan King Yan-wang, Haan Kuangsi, and Khitan generals Yelv Xiuge and Yelv Sha, passed Yizhou and pushed to Mancheng and Suicheng, with target set at the Soong northern fort of Zhenzhou [i.e., Hengzhou, or today's Zhengding]. Separately, the Khitans dispatched a diversionary force towards the Hedong-lu [east of the Yellow River circuit].
In October, the two sides fought over the control of bridges on the Xu-he River, with the Soong army taking control of the bridges and crossing over to the north. Soong generals Zhao Tingjin and Li Jilong changed the emperor's order to amass the troops for a decisive battle against the superior Khitan cavalry army while sending in an emissary to fake surrender with Haan Kuangsi. At the Battle of Mancheng, the Soong army thoroughly defeated the Khitans. While the Khitans were retreating, Soong general Cui Yanjin, who hid his troops along the Great Wall line, came out to intercept the enemy, and chased the Khitans to Suicheng. The Soong army also defeated the Khitan diversionary Hedong-lu force. The Soong army later defeated the Khitans at the Battle of Yangcheng [sheep fort] and at the A.D. 980 Battle of Yanmen [swan gate], laying the foundation for striking a lasting peace agreement with the Khitans.
After Khitan Emperor Jingzong (Yelu Xian, r 969-982) died, Yelv Longxu was enthroned as Khitan Emperor Shengzong (r 982-1031). Empress Yanyan (or Yeye), after the death of Yelv Xian, assumed the Khitan regency as so-called Xiao-niangniang or Xiaotaihou. Empress Xiaotaihou changed the dynastic name back to Khitan. i.e., Da Qi Dan or the Great Khitan. Xiaotaihou held the actual power. Xiaotaihou appointed a Chinese, Haan Derang (son of Haan Kuangsi or Haan Guosi) as so-called 'shumi-shi' in charge of the secretariat, Yelv Boguzhe in charge of the areas west of today's Beijing, Yelv Xiuge in charge of the areas south of Beijing, and accepted the surrender of a Song Chinese general (Li Ji-qian).
Xiaotaihou later took in Han Derang as her lover and conferred onto him the post of prime minister and the title of King Jinn; Xiaotaihou gave Han Derang the Khitan name of Yelv Rongyun. When Xiaotaihou and Han Derang passed away, Yelv Longxu ordered that Han Derang be buried next to the tomb of Xiaotaihou. Yelv Longxu campaigned against Koryo for the killing of the Koryo king by a minister.
Soong Emperor Zhenzong (Zhao Heng, reign AD 998-1022)
In A.D. 1004, the Khitan Liao army, led by Liao empress Xiao-tai-hou and Liao emperor Shengzong (Yelv Longxu), invaded the Soong territory for sake of recovering the Waqiao-guan (tile bridge) Pass, namely, today's southern quarter of Xiongxian County, Hebei. Liao general Xiao Talin sacked Suicheng and captured Soong general Wang Xianzhi. The Liao army went further to attack Dingzhou, and captured Wang Jizhong, a Song 'guancha shi' [imperial observer] for Yunzhou (cloud prefecture). Going around Dingzhou, the Liao army went straight for the Yellow River bank. Soong emperor Zhenzong intended to relocate the capital. At the urging of Kou Zhun and Bi Shian, the emperor went to the Tanzhou (Puyang, Henan) front to direct the war. In November, the Liao army was defeated by the Soong army at Shuozhou. The Liao Kelan-jun column withdrew after running out of supply. The Liao army failed to sack Yingzhou (Hejian, Hebei), which was defended by Soong general Ji Yanwo. Liao general Xiao Dalin sacked Qizhou (Anguo, Hebei). Liao empress Xiao-tai-hou laid siege of Jizhou and Beizhou (Qinghe, Hebei). The Liao army took over Deqing (Qingfeng, Henan) and surrounded Tanzhou from three sides. At Tanzhou, the Soong army shot dead Liao general Xiao Dalin, i.e., the Khitan 'nan-jing [southern capital, i.e., today's Peking] tongjun-shi [commanding general]'. Knowing that the Soong emperor was on the north city gate and the Soong army continuously shouting "Long Live the Emperor for Ten Thousand Years!" above the defence wall, the Khitan empress was forced to seek for truce after twenty-five years of wars against Soong China. In December, the Tan-yuan (deep pond of Tanzhou) Truce was signed, with the Soong and Khitan emperors calling each other by younger and elder brothers, and calling the Khitan empress by aunt. The price for Soong was a tribute of 100,000 ounces of silver per year and 200,000 rolls of cloth. Peace ensued for the next 120 years plus. Emissaries exchanged visits by over 380 times. The cost to the Soong dynasty was the degrading of the Hebei-jun [north of the Yellow River] army and the imperial garrison army at the capital city.
The strongest Soong army would be the Shenxi-jun that faced with the Tanguts to the west. During the Soong Dynasty, a Toba Sigong descendant sought suzerainty with the Song Chinese and changed their last name to the Song royal family name of 'Zhao' from the Tang family name of 'Li'. However, Xixia sought suzerainty with the Khitans at the same time. When Soong Emperor Zhenzong (Zhao Heng, reign AD 998-1022) was enthroned, a Xixia ruler, Li Jiqian, sent congratulation. Soong Emperor Zhenzong conferred the post of ding nan jie-du-shi (governor-general quelling rebellion) and the territories of Xia-Sui-Yin-You-Jing onto Li Jiqian. Zhenzong released a Xixia offical by the name of Zhang Pu. Li Jiqian sent his brother to the Soong court, and Soong granted the name of Zhao Baoji to him.
Emperor Zhenzong dispatched a minister (Zhang Qixian) to the Jing-Yuan areas as jinglve shi. Zhang proposed that the city of Lingwu on the west Yellow River Bend be abandoned. Heh Liang, a Song official in charge of the Yongxing Jun Garrison proposed to defend Lingwu so that Xixia and the Western Territories could be segregated from each other. Heh Liang adamantly proposed that Soong build two castles of Fule and Yaode for sake of supplying the Lingwu fort with grains. Heh Liang stated that the supply of good horses would be cut off should Lingwu be lost to the Tanguts. Emperor Soong Zhenzong then ordered Wang Chao to lead a 60,000 relief army to Lingzhou (Lingwu).
Li Jiqian attacked Soong Qingyuan Jun Garrison [military district]. Soong defender Duan Yi surrendered to the Tanguts. Li Jiqian then attacked Dingzhou and Huaiyuan; Soong official Cao Can assembled the barbarians and defeated Li Jiqian. In AD 1002, Li Jiqian attacked Lingzhou. Soong zhi zhou shi Fei Ji defended the city for over one month, cut his finger and wrote a letter for requesting relief with the Soong court, and later died in the street fightings. Wang Chao made an excuse for not going to Lingzhou on time. Li Jiqian renamed Lingzhou to Xiping-fu and made it the capital of Xixia (the Western Xia Dynasty).
One year later, Soong zhi zhenrong jun Li Jihe wrote to the Soong court that a chieftan (Tibetan?) from Liugu (six valleys), by the name of Balaji (Panluozhi), intended to attack the Tanguts on behalf of Soong. Zhang Qixian proposed that Soong conferred the title of King of Liugu and the post of zhao tao shi onto Balaji. Soong decided to offer Balaji the title of suofang jie-du-shi onto Balaji. Balaji claimed that he had assembled a 60,000 strong army. Li Jiqian attacked Linzhou but was defeated by Soong zhi zhou Wei Jubao. Li Jiqian re-routed towards Xiliang (today's Gansu Province) and killed a Soong official called Ding Weiqing. Balaji, previously a vassal under the jurisdiction of the Xiliang [western Liang] territory, pretended to surrender to the Tanguts. When Balaji led his Liugu Tibetan army to Xiliang for Li Jiqian to inspect on, Balaji suddenly launched an attack at the Tanguts. Balaji shot an arrow at the eye of Li Jiqian. After Li Jiqian fled back to Lingzhou, he died of the wound.
Li Jiqian's son, Li Deming, was enthroned next. The Tanguts notified the Khitans of the succession. The Khitans conferred the title of King Xiping-wang onto Li Deming. Soong Emperor Zhenzong sent a messenger to Li Deming for sake of pacifying him, and Li Deming dispatched general Wang Shen to Soong for seeking suzerainty. Soong "zhi zhenrong jun [garrison]" Cao Wei proposed that Soong exterminated Xixia by taking advantage of Li Jiqian's death. Soong Emperor Zhenzong stated that Soong could not attack Tanguts while the Tanguts were in a mourning period. Soong conferred the post of "dingnan jun [garrison] jie-du-shi" onto Li Deming and then added the title King Xiping-wang by copying the Khitan approach.
Balaji was killed by some alien tribe, and the Liugu tribes selected Balaji's brother, Sibangduo (Siduodu), as the new chiefan. The Soong court continued the conferral of suofang jie-du-shi onto Sibangduo. Sibangduo failed to rein in his people, and Sibangduo's people defected to the Tibetans. A Tibetan chieftan proposed to the Soong court that they launch an allied attack at Li Deming. Soong Emperor Zhenzong declined it. The Tibetans, however, invaded Soong's Qinzhou territories. Soong official at Qinzhou, Cao Wei, defeated the Tibetans. Soong conferred the title of ningyuan da jiangjun and tuan lian shi of Aizhou onto the Tibetan chieftan.
Soong Emperor Renzong (Zhao Zhen, reign AD 1023-1063)
The Khitans sent emissary to congratulate Soong Emperor Renzong's enthronement. The second year, the Khitans propogated the news that they would go for hunting at Youzhou. A Soong minister by the name of Zhang Zhibai advised against amassing the troops for guarding a possible Khitan invasion, and the Khitans failed to find any excuse to invade Soong. The Khitans quelled a rebellion in the Liaodong areas.
In AD 1031, Khitan Emperor Shengzong (Yelv Longxu) passed away, and son Yelv Zongzhen was enthroned as Emperor Xingzong (r 1031-1055). Yelv Longxu gave two wills to Yelv Zongzhen, i.e., i) treat the Khitan empress as his own mother; ii) befriend Soong as long as Soong keep peace. Yelv Zongzhen sent an emissary to Soong to notify of his father's death, and Soong sent zhong cheng (central prime minister) Kong Daofu to express condolences. In AD 1032, Yelv Zongzhen's birth mother took advantage of Yelv Zongzhen's hunting and ordered that Yelv Longxu's dowager empress to commit suicide. Yelv Zongzhen's birth mother later tried to instigate an ursurpation to have a junior son replace Yelv Zongzhen. The junior son (Yelv Chongyuan) notified his brother emperor. Yelv Zongzhen relocated his mother out of the capital and officially took over the regency.
Soong Emperor Renzong preferred two concubines over his empress. Empress Guohou accidentally injured Renzong with two finger scratches in the neck while arguing with Concubine Shang. Renzong, against the objection of several ministers, deposed the empress. Among the admonition ministers, Fan Zhongyan and Kong Daofu were exiled to the prefectures as magistrates, and Sun Zude was deprived half a year worth of salary. The ministers argued that the emperor was like a father and the empress was like a mother and that ministers should help to reconcile the differences of father and mother instead of encouraging a divorce.
When Soong Emperor Renzong's health deteriorated as a result of indulging in sex with two concubines, Dowager Empress Yang Taihou forcefully ordered that the two concubines be driven out of the palace. Yang Taihou selected the daughter of late qu mi shi Cao Bin as Empress Caohou. Because Renzong was weak physically and failed to bear offspring, Yang Taihou selected late Emperor Taizong's 4-year-old grandson as the adopted son, and this person would be the later Emperor Yingzong. When Renzong became reminiscent of deposed Empress Guohou, Yan Wenying, a minister who pushed for deposing of Guohou, poisoned Guohou. At this time, Fan Zhongyan was recalled to the Kaifeng-fu [i.e., capital] office. Fan Zhongyan impeached Yan Wenying; Yan was ordered to be exiled to the Xiangzhou prefecture; and Yan died on route.
Tangut ruler Li Deming, aka Zhao Deming, had a son by the name of Li Yuanhao. Li Yuanhao, who was good at both the Tibetan and Chinese languges, often proposed to Li Deming that the Tanguts defeat the Huihe (Uygur) and Tibetans first. Li Yuanhao led a surprise attack at Ganzhou and took over the city from Huihe. Li Deming made Li Yuanhao a crown prince. Li Yuanhao often instigated his father in rebelling against Soong. After the death of Li Deming, Li Yuanhao got enthroned. Soong dispatched gongbu langzhong Yang Ji to the Tanguts and continued the previous conferral onto Li Yuanhao. The Khitans conferred Li Yuanhao the title of King of Xia.
In AD 1034, Li Yuanhao attacked the Huanqing territories, i.e., Rouyuanzhai of Qingzhou. Soong General Wei Tong attacked the hind of the Tanguts. The Tanguts then invaded the Soong territories again. Li Yuanhao captured Qi Zongju who led the relief soldiers from Huanqing and defeated Wang Wen who led the relief soldiers from Ningzhou. Then, Li Yuanhao released Qi Zongju for sake of striking peace with Soong. After that, Li Yuanhao dispatched an army of 25,000 against the Tibetans. The Tanguts were defeated and Tangut general Sunuer was taken prisoner. Li Yuanhao personally led a retaliatory expedition against the Tibetans, attacked the Maoniucheng city, Zongge and Daixingling; while attacking Linhuang and crossing the river half way, the Tibetan cavalry charged out, and Li Yuanhao was completely defeated by the Tibetans. Soong conferred the Tibetan chieftan the title of "bao shun jun [garrison] liu-hou".
Li Yuanhao then changed target and attacked the Huihe (Uygur) people. Li Yuanhao took over the Huihe territories of Guazhou, Shazhou and Suzhou (Wuwei, Zhangye, Jiuquan and Dunhuang of Gansu). At this moment, two Chinese intellectuals from the Huazhou area went to Lingzhou to see Li Yuanhao. Li Yuanhao (Zhao Yuanhao) adopted the advice of the two guys in building a Xixia kingdom, renamed Lingzhou to Xingzhou (where 'xing' means prospering) and xiping-fu into xingqing-fu, declared a dynastic title of "Da Xia" (Grand Xia), established 16 departments and ministries, instituted a system of 12 army supervisors (i.e., "jian jun si"), recruited an official army of 500,000, and devised the Tangut characters. In AD 1038, Li Yuanhao sent a messenger to Soong to notify his imperial entitlement. In his letter, Li Yuanhao claimed a Tuoba heritage from the Tuoba Wei dynasty.
Because of Li Yuanhao's arrogance in the letter, Soong Emperor Renzong, against the advice of admonition official Wu Yue, decreed that Li Yuanhao's previous conferral be rescinded and that Soong Chinese be forbidden from trading with the Tanguts. The Soong court further gave out a reward for the head of Li Yuanhao, i.e., rewarding as governor-general of ding nan jie-du-shi. The Song court conferred the post of an-hu-shi onto Xia Song for the territories of Jing-Yuan-Qin-Feng, and the post of an-hu-shi onto Fan Yong for the territories of Fu-Yan-Huan-Qing. Li Yuanhao invaded Soong and attacked Soong's bao-an jun Garrison [military district]. At Anyuan-zhai, Li Yuanhao encountered a defeat in the hands of several Soong Chinese armies led by Di Qing. Di Qing, who was originally from west of the Yellow River Bend, with the title of xunjian zhi-hue-shi, was recorded to have long dangling hair. During fightings, Di Qing often wore a bronze mask and impressed the enemy with a golden face. Li Yuanhao, with tens of thousands of army, retreated in face of Di Qing's ferociousness. Li Yuanhao then re-routed towards the Yanzhou area.
The Khitans sent several messages to the Soong court in regards to their campaign against the Tanguts. The Khitans attacked the Tanguts in the first year of the Huangyou Era, i.e., AD 1049, and reported that they had succeeded in subjugating the Tanguts in 1054, i.e., the first year of the Zhihe Era.
When the Soong Chinese took over some land west of 'shan-xi' (i.e., land to the west of the Huashan Mountain) that was seceded to the Tanguts, Tangut Emperor (Li Qianshun) wrote to the Jurchens asking for intervention. The Jurchens, as appreciation of the alliance with the Soong Chinese against the Khitans, had earlier seceded nine prefectures of 'shan-xi' ex-Khitan territories to Soong, including today's Shenxi Prov and the 'he-nan' land (south of the Yellow River). The Jurchens, who had an earlier agreement to allow Soong to retake today's Peking, would help Soong in the siege of Peking when the Song army failed to take over Peking from the remnant Khitans. Hence, the Jurchens, in exchange for surrendering Peking to Soong per the alliance agreement, received the tax revenues of Peking as compensation. (Later, the Jurchens retook the territories of 'he-nan' / 'shan-xi' and Peking after defeating the Soong Chinese and capturing two Soong emperors, Soong Huizong & Soong Qinzong.)
Southern Soong Dynasty
General Yue Fei
General Yue Fei was a national hero during the times of theJurchen invasion. Born in today's Tangyin, Henan, General Yue Fei was a filial son according to the Confucian standards. At the time of his birth, the Yellow River breaching destroyed his hometown. Yue Fei's mother put him in a clay cauldron and survived the flooding. When he grew up, his mother taught him the Confucian principles, such as 'being loyal to the overlord and showing requital by serving the country'. When the Jurchens invaded China, Yue Fei's mother encouraged him to get recruited in the royal army. Yue Fei's mother inscribed four characters on Yue Fei's back, i.e., 'jing zhong bao guo' (exerting full loyalty in serving the country). In AD 1140, Yue Fei defeated the Jurchens at today's Yancheng, Henan Prov, and reached Zhuxianzhen. Soong Emperor (Zhao Gou), fearing that Yue Fei might defeat the Jurchens and retrieve Emperors Huizong and Qinzong, issued 12 decrees to have Yue Fei recalled. After returning to Lin'an, Yue Fei was arrested together with his son (Yue Yun) and General Zhang Xian. Both royal family members and civilians petitioned with the Soong emperor for releasing Yue Fei, but Zhao Gou and Prime Minister Qin Hui instructed Moqi to collect various non-existing crimes for executing Yue Fei. Yue Fei died at the age of 39 in AD 1142. Yue Fei was restored fame only after Soong Emperor Xiaozong was enthroned. Yue Fei's body was secretly buried by a prison guard called Kui Shun.
Khubilai Khan's Conquest Of Southern China
In August 1259, Mengke Khan died on Mount Diaoyushan of Hezhou Prefecture (today's Sichuan Province) after failing to take over a Soong castle. The Mongols hence called off the campaign. Before returning to Helin, Arik-Buka (Ariq-boeke), a junior brother of Khubilai, held an assembly in Helin and declared himself 'khan'. Khubilai stopped at Jinlianchuan (Kaiping, i.e., Duolun, Cha'haer, Inner Mongolia) and Khubilai declared himself Khan without an assembly. Yao Shu and Lian Xixian were ordered to make an announcement of Khubilai enthronement in the Chinese language. A Chinese era was declared, and the year would be First Year of Zhongtong Era, AD 1259. Liu Bingzhong and Xu Heng revised on Genghis Khan's governmental structure of 'Duanshi-guan' (criminal prosecutor), 'Wan-hu' (10,000 head military chief), and Jurchen-style titles of 'yuan-shuai' (marshal) and 'xuan-hu' (pacifier) for provinces. New structure will be i) 'zhongshu sheng' (state affairs), ii) 'shumi yuan' (military affairs), and iii) 'yushi tai' (promotion and demotion of officials). Lower levels will include shi, jian, yuan, si, wei, and fu. Provincial affairs would be handled by 'xing-sheng', 'xing-tai', 'xuan-hu', 'lian-fang' and 'muming zhangguan', and levels included 'Lu' (comprising of several provinces), 'Fu' (province or prefecture), 'Zhou' (smaller prefectures) and 'Xian' (county). But discrimination against Chinese was rampant. Mongols would assume the primary posts while the Han Chinese the deputy posts. Tax administration could only be laid in the hands of Muslims - allies of the Mongols. A caste society was established, and four levels were differentiated: 1) Mongols, 2) Se Mu Ren or Semuren, 3) Han-Ren (i.e., northern Chinese, Khitans etc), and 4) Nan-zi (southern Chinese-barbarians).
Arik-Buka (Ariq-boeke), a junior brother of Khubilai, held an assembly in Helin and declared himself 'khan'. Lian Xixian, on his own initiative, frustrated the attempts of Arik-Buka emissaries (Liu Taiping and Huo Luhuai) at Peking and defeated a general who answered Arik-Buka's order. Khubilai then attacked Arik-Buka and drove him off in AD 1261. At the advice of Liu Bingzhong, Khubilai Khan moved his capital to Peking in AD 1260, i.e., winter capital Dadu ("great capital") or Khanbalik in Marco Polo's Cambaluc. This is in addition to summer palace at Shangdu (the Xanadu of Coleridge). After being in reign for five years, Khubilai Khan declared the new era of Zhiyuan in AD 1263. (In AD 1271, the Mongols adopted the dynastic name Yuan.)
Khubilai Khan sent an embassy, comprising of scholar officials Hao Jing, He Yuan and Liu Renjie, to Southern Song. Southern Song Prime Minister, in order to hide his previous treachery acts from Emperor Lizong (Zhao Yun, reign AD 1224-1264), would imprison the Mongol emissaries. Khubilai Khan sent another emissary to Song border general Li Tingzhi. Li's report to Emperor Lizong was covered up by Jia Sidao. Khubilai Khan issued the war decree in the second year of Zhongtong Era (Ad 1260). Mongol governor-general in charge of Huai River and Yangtze areas, Li Zhan (Li Tan?), defected to Song in the spring of third year of Zhongtong Era. Hearing of that, Khubilai Khan ordered that Shi Tianze to attack the defector general at Jinan, Shandong. After a few months siege, Mongols took over Jinan and killed Li Zhan via a cruel penalty of splitting the body.
Siege Of Xiangyang
Around AD 1264, during the fifth year of Zhongtong Era, Khubilai Khan changed to Zhiyuan Era. Arik-Buka was spared and came to surrender. At this time, a Song officer at Tongchuan, called Liu Zheng, being resented by Jia Sidao, would surrender his 15 prefectures to the Mongols and he was conferred the posts of 'xing(2)sheng(3)' and 'an-hu-shi' of Sichuan areas. Liu Zheng proposed to have Song Chinese grain supply cut off at Xiangyang. Song Chinese General in Sichuan, Lü Wende, did not pay attention to Liu Zheng's building up the castles and cutting off Xiangyang from Sichuan. Lü Wende said that Xiangyang had ten years of grain supply. General Lü Wenhuan at Xiangyang wrote to Lu Wende, but he was ignored. Then, Liu Zheng and A-zu led Mongols to Xiangyang and encircled it for four-five years. The new Song Emperor Duzong (Zhao Qi, reign AD 1264-1274) again conferred Jia Sidao important posts and added an extra title called 'Tai Shi', i.e., imperial tutor. Jia Sidao was extolled as comparable to Archduke Zhou of Western Zhou Dynasty. Jia Sidao pretended to resign several times, but Emperor Duzong would not let him go. Jia Sizong continued to shield the Xiangyang siege from the emperor. When a concubine told Duzong that Xiangyang had been under siege for 3 years, Jia Sidao would order that the woman be killed. The notoriety of Jia Sidao was best illustrated by another story: When one concubine of Jia Sidao saw a young man on the bank of Xihu Lake (West Lake) and exclaimed about the beauty of the young man, Jia Sidao would order that the young man be killed in front of the concubine. In Sichuan, after Lü Wende died, his brother-in-law, Fan Wenhu, took over the post, but Fan, like his predecessor, refused to send relief army to Xiangyang. At one time, Jia Sidao ordered Li Tingzhi and Fan Wenhu to aid Xiangyang. Fan Wenhu and his 100,000 were defeated. Two generals under Li Tingzhi, Zhang Shun and Zhang Gui, sailed along the Han-shui River, Zhang Gui broke through Mongol siege lines, and Zhang Gui died on the Han-shui River. Zhang Shun barely entered Xiangyang alive. After finding out Xiangyang was in great urgency, Zhang Shun, hiring two brave men, departed Xiangyang for sake of appealing for aid with Fan Wenhu. But soon after Zhang Shun broke through Mongol siege lines, he encountered Mongol ships and was caught by Mongol, and Zhang died in Mongol hands. Then, the sister city of Fancheng was taken over by the Mongols, and two generals, Fan Tianshun and Niu Fu, died. Mongols deployed catapults (made by Persian engineers) against the outer wall of Xiangyang and destroyed it. Everytime Lü Wenhuan climbed up the citywall, he would have tears while facing the south. A Mongol general called on Lü Wenhuan to surrender, saying that Lü Wenhuan had done his job by guarding Xiangyang for five years. After they broke the arrows to swear forgivenness and sincerity, Lü Wenhuan surrendered and was conferred the post of 'Da-dudu' or governor-general of Xiangyang and Han-shui River areas.
Demise Of Soong Dynasty
At this time, Emperor Duzong died, and his four year old son, Emperor Gongdi (Zhao Xian, reign 1274-1275), was made emperor in AD 1275. Mongols sent Shi Tianze and Boyan (Bayan, grandson of Subetei) on a full campaign against Song. Shi Tianze died on route. Bayan ordered that A-zu head the first column and depart for the Yangtze from Xiangyang, with Lu Wenhuan as fore-runner general; 2nd column was to be headed by Mang-wu departing from Yangzhou, with Liu Zheng as forerunner general. Bayan took over numerous cities on the way, slaughtered one town, and killed and captured numerous Song generals. Soong Dowager Empress Xie-shi had no choice but to rely on Jia Sidao for fighting the Mongols. More Song generals surrendered, including Fan Wenhu in Sichuan, Chen Yi in Huangzhou (Huanggang area, Hubei). Hearing Liu Zheng had passed away, Jia Sidao had a short ecstasy and led an army of about 130,000 against the Mongols, but he was defeated on the Yangtze River. Jiangsu areas, around the Yangtze, including Zhenjiang and Jiangying, were deserted in face of Mongol attacks. Jia Sidao sent an emissary to Bayan for peace, but met with declination. Jia Sidao requested with dowager empress for relocation of Song capital, but Empress Xie-shi refused to move.
Several ministers at Song court requested that Jia Sidao be deprived of his posts, and Song released former Mongol emissaries like Hao Jing as a good-will gesture. At this moment, Zhang Shijie of Er'zhou (Hubei Province), Wen Tianxiang of Jiangxi and Li Fei of Hunan came to the east to help the Song court. Jiankang (i.e., Nanking) was deserted by a Song general. Changzhou and Wuxi were next taken by the Mongols. Khubilai Khan then sent Lian Xixian and Yan Zhongfan to Song for talking about a ceasefire. Lian Xixian requested with Bayan for bodyguards, but Bayan advised that the more bodyguards Lian was to take with him, the more likely Song Chinese might harm him. Lian obtained 500 soldiers, but once Lian arrived at Dusong-guan Pass, Song General Zhang Ru killed Yan Zhongfan and captured Lian Xixian. (History of Yuan Dynasty stated that Lian was killed, too.) Bayan reprimanded Song's acts, and sent another emissary, Zhang Xu, to Song court together with Song emissary. Again, Zhang Xu was killed by a Song border general. Then, the Mongols stopped peace talks and attacked Yangzhou on the north bank of the Yangtze (Changjiang River). Mongols then attacked Yangzhou and defeated two generals under Li Tingzhi. Jiading city surrendered next. Zhang Shijie's navy was defeated on the Yangtze by Mongol fire attack. Wen Tianxiang arrived in Lin'an (Hangzhou) the capital, but Empress Dowager did not take his advice. Jia Sidao was expelled from the capital and he was killed by the escort official on route. Taizhou of Jiangsu was lost to the Mongols, and Changzhou city was slaughtered. In Hunan, Li Fei died, and both Hunan and Jiangxi Provinces were lost. After taking over Dusong-guan Pass, the Mongols were closing in onto Song capital. A Song minister called Liu Yue was sent to Mongol camp for peace, but Bayan declined it, saying Song Emperor obtained the throne from a kid and would lose it in the hands of a kid. Lu Xufu was sent to Mongols for expressing a wish to be Mongol nephew, but Mongols declined it. Song's new prime minister, Chen Yizhong, sent Liu Yue to Mongols in the attempt of expressing acknowledgement as a Mongol vassal, but Liu Yue was killed by a Song Chinese civilian on route, at Gaoyou of Jiangsu Province. Mongols then sacked Jiaxing and An'jie of Zhejiang Province. Wen Tianxiang and Zhang Shijie advised that Song court relocated to the islands in the seas, but Prime Minister Chen Yizhong decided to send imperial seal to Mongols for a surrender. Bayan requested that Chen personally came to Mongols, and Chen fled to Wenzhou, a southern Zhejiang coastal city. Zhang Shijie led his people into the sea. Wen Tianxiang was made the rightside prime minister and was ordered to go to Mongols for peace. Wen was arrested by Bayan after he accused Bayan of invasion. On Feb 21st of AD 1276, Bayan took over Lin'an and forced dowager empress issue the surrender order. Song royal family, including downager empress and Emperor Gongdi (Zhao Deyou), was sent to Peking.
Late Emperor Duzong had two more sons, 11 and 6 year old, respectively. They fled to Wenzhou before Lin'an was taken by Mongols. Chen Yizhong sailed them to Fuzhou of Fujian Province where a new Song court was set up. On June 14th, eleven year old Zhao Shi (King Yi-wang) was made Emperor Ruizong (reign AD 1275-1278). Zhang Shijie, Su Liuyi, and Lu Xiufu consecutively arrived in Fuzhou. Chen Yizhong was retained as leftside prime minister, while Wen Tianxiang, after fleeing from the Mongols, also arrived in Fuzhou and acted as rightside prime minister. Song court would last another three years before the final demise. Mongols continued to push south. Canton (Guangzhou) of Guangdong Province was taken, and Song General Huang Jun died. Yangzhou on the Yangtze Bank were taken, and General Li Tingzhi was captured and killed. Mongols then invaded Fujian Province. Song Court was frequently on the run, from one island to another, along the coast, and on May 8th of AD 1278, the new Song Emperor died of illness within two years of enthronement. The now eight-year-old brother, Zhao Bing (King Wei-wang), was made the new emperor Di-bing on June 28th of AD 1278. Note Di-bing had no posthumous imperial title at all. Chen Yizhong died in Hainan; Lu Xiufu was made leftside prime minister. When the Mongols attacked again, Song Court fled to Yashan, somewhere near Macao. Mongol General Zhang Hongfan led a surprise attack at Chaoyang (Chaoshan areas, Guangdong Province) and captured Wen Tianxiang who later wrote the famous poem entitled 'Ling Ding Yang' or 'Lingding Sea'. At Hainan, Zhang Shijie nailed together his fleet, trying to defend the straits. Zhang Shijie declined Zhang Hongfan's invitation for surrender. After a defeat, Zhang Shijie broke through the siege with 16 ships. When chased by the Mongols, Lu Xiufu, with young emperor on his back, jumped into the sea with emperor on his back after driving his family into the sea. On Feb 26th of AD 1279, after driving his family into the sea, Lu jumped into the sea with emperor on his back. Zhang Shijie met with a hurricane near Hailingshan Mountain, preyed that his ship sink should Heaven intend to capsize Soong Dynasty, and died when his ship was sunken. Soong Dynasty officially ended in AD 1279, after a total of 320 years, including 152 (153?) years in southern China. Song royal tombs would be dug up by a Central Asian monk for treasures. Khubilai Khan declared the dynasty of Yuan ("first" or "beginning") in this year.
Beginning of Yuan Dynasty
Khubilai Khan obtained his throne without a proper assembly, and hence he had lost the kind of mandate over ruling other Mongol khanates. By moving the capital to Peking from Karakorum (rebuilt by Ogedei in AD 1235), he had changed the old Mongol yasaq. In the very beginning, Jochi's son, Batu, ruled the region to the north and west of Lake Balkash (extending from Hungary to Kirghiz Plains, and from lower Danube to Caucasus); Chagadai was given the southwestern region to the east of River Amu-darya and to the southeast of River Syr-Darya, including Afghanistan, Turkestan, the former Naiman territories around the Altai, and central Siberia; Ogedei was awarded China and East Asia; Tului, the youngest of the four sons, was to have central Mongolia. Later, Tului sons exterminated the ruling of Ogedei descendants and diminished the domain of Ogedei descendants, and Chagadai domain was curtailed; Hulegu was given the territories beyond the Oxus River and the Hindu Kush. Nominally, Khubilai Khan was in charge of all khanates: 'Amu-darya Xingsheng' was in charge of Ilkhante and Kipchak Khanate; 'Lingbei (north ridge) Xingsheng' was in charge of Ogedei Khanate; and two 'yuan shuai (marshal)' offices were in charge of Chagadai Khanate. A separate 'Liaoyang Xingsheng' was in charge of Manchuria. After declaring his dynasty of Yuan (AD 1261-1368), Khubilai Khan could only be considered a ruler of China and Mongolia.
Before subjugating Southern Song, Kubilai sent a fleet of 150 boats against Japan in AD 1274. Marco Polo supposedly had travelled to and stayed in China during the period of AD 1275 - 1292. Two years after the 1279 conquest of Southern Song, Kubilai's empress, an Onggirat woman, passed away. Mongol khans had a custom of marrying Onggirat women, a convention passed down from Genghis Khan. A niece of the empress would become the new empress. But Khubilai, though getting older, chose to go to the capital of Shang-du (i.e., Kaiping) for sake of indulging himself in concubines there (i.e., concubines from past emperors). Kubilai hired a Muslim as his finance minister, and this person, A-he-ma, had done his best to exploit the people in iron and salt trades. A-he-ma nepotism would include over 500 officials across the country. A-he-ma would later be killed by a 'qian hu' who issued an order in the name of crown prince. Khubilai then renovated politics a bit by ordering Guo Shoujing to recompile calendar, promoting overseas trading, and inviting Confucian descendant as academy official. Rebellions broke out in coastal China of Fujian and Guangdong. Owing to rumors about Song revival, Khubilai relocated late Song Emperor Gongdi (now Duke Yingguo-gong) to Shang-du and ordered ex-Song prime minister Wen Tianxiang be executed should he refuse to surrender. Wen Tianxiang was executed at the age of 47 in AD 1283. Wen was previously No. 1 scorer, i.e., zhuang yuan, during Song Emperor Lizong's imperial exam. Wen Tianxiang wrote a poem, stating that
"Confucius proposed that one should die for compassion (Ren) and Mencius suggested that one should die for righteousness (Yi). Only when righteousness is fully exhausted will the compassion be derived. What should I endeavour after educating myself with so many books of the ancient saints? However, I am sure that I feel no guilty about myself from this death moment on."
(Confucius wording for 'Ren' should mean a broader sense of human perfection, similar to nirvana in Buddhism. 'Ren' also meant nucleus in Chinese, as used for the nucleus of various fruits like apple.) Khubilai, impressed by this poem, would confer a title of Duke Lulingjun-gong on Wen Tianxiang posthumously.
The Death Toll in the Hands of the Mongols
Forums where this webmaster had extensive discussions on the Mongol/Manchu massacres
About the Song population. It is
about time for me to go against the history books, and use my judgment to make
a case as to how many people had been killed and how the household ratios
changed during the said time period.
TO BE CONTINUED !
Written by Ah Xiang
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