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SUI - TANG DYNASTIES
With the unification of China by Sui Emperor Yang Jian in AD 589, traces of the five nomadic groups had largely melted away. Both Emperor Yang Jian and later Tang Emperor Li Yuan were said to be semi-Toba. This would have to do with their families marrying with the Dugu family of Toba heritage. Dugu is a Tuoba [Toba or To'pa] name, with characters 'du' meaning lonely and 'gu' orphaned. The Toba dynasty possessed a famous general called Dugu Xin who bore two daughters. Sui Emperor Wendi (Yang Jian) married with one of the Dugu daughters, and the other Dugu daughter was the mother of Tang Dynasty founder (Li Yuan). Toba considered themselves successors of the Chinese culture, and their emperor Toba Hong had decreed that their royal family name be changed to 'Yuan' when he relocated his capital to Luoyang of today's Henan Prov. The only remaining trace of Toba, a sub-branch of Tungunzic Xianbei, would be the group who had mixed up with Di and Qiang nomads in today's Gansu-Qinghai-Ningxia area. They established a state called 'Tuyuhun' which would be in constant fights with the Tibetans for control of the area called Inner Tibet [against Frontal Tibet or Outer Tibet], namely, today's Qinhai-Gansu Province during the Tang Dynasty.
Sui Dynasty, for its short life duration of 37 years and the despotic ruling of Sui Emperor Yangdi, was treated as part of the Northern Dynasties by Tang historian Li Yanshou. Similar to Qin Dynasty, Sui Dynasty had given itself away to the later Tang Dynasty as Qin did to later Han Dynasty. Tang Dynasty lasted 290 years thereafter, and it could be considered a great international empire in the scale of Rome and Greece. The Tang Dynasty was full of inter-racial exchanges, with Koreans (Heichichang-zi & Kao Hsien-chih), Turks (Geshu Han, Qibi Heli and Pogu Huai'en) and many other nomads serving as the generals in wars with the Turkic Khanates and the Arabs. One Japanese (Nakamaro) was given a post as a civil service official in the court. Arabs, Persians and other Central Asians constantly travelled to China. Numerous campaigns had brought the relocation of hundreds of thousands of Turkic tribesmen to the whole northern frontier as well as the capital city of Chang'an. Tang army general Su Dingfang was famous for fighting on both the front in Oxus valley and on Korean Peninsula. Tang army heavily employed nomads, which eventually turned into An-Shi Rebellion. Famous Tang general Li Guangbi's father was said to be a Khitan. With the weakening of Tang, the alliance of Tibetans and Uygurs encroached upon the Tang territories, and even invaded Tang capital. The consequence of An-Shi Rebellion will be the abandonment of garrisons west of the Yellow River and the emergence of various governor-generals. When Tang Court was plagued by the eunuchs, Zhu Wen, who first betrayed peasant rebel leader Huang Chao, would lead an army against Tang capital and exterminate all eunuchs. Soon after that, Zhu Wen would usurp Tang Dynasty and start the era of Five Dynasties by proclaiming his Posterior Liang Dynasty. Three dynasties of Five Dynasties, in between Posterior Liang and Posterior Zhou, were of alien nature, founded by generals who belonged to a group of nomads called Shatuo (Sha'to), a Turkic tribe. That would be Posterior Tang (AD 923-936), Posterior Jin (AD 936-946) and Posterior Han.
Northern Zhou (AD 557-581) Emperor Xuandi (Yuwen Yun), in order to indulge himself in leisure and sex, had decreed in AD 578 that his seven-year-old son (Yuwen Yan or Yuwen Chan) be on the throne. The first year of Dacheng Era became the first year of Daxiang Era. Xuandi had altogether four empresses, with the primary empress being the daughter of Yang Jian. The good thing about Xuandi is that he was Confucian enough in not taking over his step-mother who was an Ashina Turkic woman. Xuandi later grabbed the wife of Duke Xiyang-gong (Yuwen Wen) and made her into the fifth empress by killing the whole family of Yuwen Wen. Xuandi promised to marry over the daughter of King Zhao to Turkic khan as Princess Qianjin for sake of having Turks deliver Gao Shaoyi of former Northern Qi (AD 550-577). Xuandi also ordered campaign against Chen Dynasty (557-589) in the south.
Usurpation By Sui Dynasty (581-618)
When Xuandi died at the age of 22, after being in self-abdicated reign for less than three years, Yang Jian was made 'grand leftside prime minister' for assisting the young Emperor Jingdi (Yuwen Yan, reign AD 578-581). Yang Jian sent over Princess Qianjin to the Turks; Turkic Khan Tabo cheated Gao Baoyi out for a hunting and delivered Gao into Yang Jian's hands; Gao was exiled to Sichuan by Yang. For sake of ursurping Northern Zhou, Yang Jian would recall various Yuwen kings of Northern Zhou to the capital in the name of imperial burial. A Northern Zhou duke, Shuguo-gong Yuchi Jiong, would oppose Yang Jian. Yang Jian killed one Yuewen king (King of Bi, Yuwen Xian) of Yongzhou Prefecture. King of Zhao (Yuwen Zhao) failed to assassinate Yang Jian in a home banquet. Yuwen Zhao was being restricted to the residency in Chang'an. Hence, Yang Jian ordered that Grand General Yuan Zhou (who forced Yang Jian out of the banquet earlier) lay siege on the residencies of King Zhao/King Yue and slaughtered the two families. Duke Shuguo-gong Yuchi Jiong called upon various kings and governors to oppose Yang Jian, and contacted remnant Southern Liang (AD 502-557) lord for an alliance. Governor Wang Qian of Yizhou Prefecture in today's Sichuan Prov and Duke Yingyang-gong Sima Xiaonan joined Yuchi Jiong's rebellion.
Yang Jian dispatched Marshal Wei Xiaokuan to fight Yuechi Jiong at the Qin-shui River (which originated from Shanxi Prov and flowed into Yellow River in Henan Prov). The son of Yuechi Jiong, Yuechi Dun, with 100,000 strong army, intended to attack Wei Xiaokuang when Wei's army were half crossing the river. But Wei Xiaokuang managed to cross the river and then dismantled the bridges to show to his soldiers that they had no way out but forward against the rebels. After being defeated, Yuechi Dun fled back to Ye-cheng city (Anyang, Henan Province). While two parties were fighting, civilians, in tens of thousands, were watching the fight in the sidelines. Wei Xiaokuan ordered that his soldiers shoot arrows at the civilians to make them panic and flee and then shouted that the enemy had fled. Yuechi Jiong soldiers were shaken by the fleeing crowd and hence Yuechi Jiong lost the battle 68 days after he first rebelled against Yang Jian. Wei Xiaokuan killed Yuechi Jiong and his son, and sent their heads to Yang Jian. Duke Yingyang-gong (Sima Xiaonan) fled to Chen Dynasty in the south. Governor Wang Qian of Yizhou Prefecture was betrayed by his own men to Yang Jian. Yang Jian then forced two remaining Northern Zhou kings to commit suicide, forced Northern Zhou Emperor Jingdi to confer the post of Prime Minister onto him, and upgraded the hereditary title of Duke Sui to King Sui. One year later, in AD 581, Yang Jian forced Northern Zhou Emperor Jingdi into abdication and declared the founding of Sui Dynasty (AD 581-618).
Sui Emperor Wendi (Yang Jian or Yang Chien, r. 581-604)
Sui's founder, Yang Chien (Jian), was said to be the descendant of a Han Dynasty official called Yang Zheng, while Tang's founder, Li Yuan, was said to be the 7th granson of the emperor of Western Liang (AD 400-421), one of the few Chinese nations among the nomadic "Sixteen Nations" preceding the North-South Dynasties (AD 386-589). Yang Jian and Li Yuan were relatives. Li Yuan's wife was the sister of Sui Dynasty's Empress Dugu.
Sui Emperor Yangdi (Yang Guang, r. AD 605-618)
Tang Dynasty was noted for the same symptoms as Han Dynasty, i.e., empress intervention, eunuch power corruption, and warlord turmoils. Li Yuan was said to have rebelled against Sui Dynasty after he slept with Sui Emperor Yangdi's concubines in Jinyang Palace as a result of Li Shimin's plot in intoxicating his father for offending Sui Dynasty. Historian commented that Tang Dynasty emperors were all womonizers doomed in losing their throne to their wives or concubines. Cai Dongfan commented that Tang Emperor Taizong's admonition official Wei Zheng never mentioned abstinence in sex in his "Ten Admonitions". After the death of Empress Zhangsun (again a Toba woman), Tang Emperor Taizong took in a young girl called Wu Zhao, i.e., later Empress Wu Zetian, someone who would kill two of her four own sons for sake of usurping Tang Dynasty. Wu Zhao, being almost put to death by Tang Emperor Taizong for her affairs with heir Gaozong, had survived by begging to be a nun. After Tang Emperor Gaozong's enthronement, Wu Zhao was retrieved from the monastery. Tang Dynasty's decline would start with An-Shi Rebellion during Emperor Xuanzong's reign, with Concubine Yang Gui-fei being the scapegoat in history. Cai Dongfan called Tang emperors "turtles" for the apparent "incest" within the royal family.
Tang Emperor Gaozu (reign AD 618-626)
Sui Dynasty's demise was very much to do with its two defeats by Koguryo. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese never returned from Korean battlefield, and Koguryo erected monuments at the site of Sui Dynasty soldiers' mass graves. Dozen years later, Tang Emperor Taizong dispatched troops for dismantling Koguryo monuments at the site of Sui Dynasty soldiers' mass graves, scaring Koguryo King Jianwu into building walls from Fuyu in northeastern Korean coast to the seaside in northwestern Korean coast. It would be in AD 668, during Tang Emperor Gaozong's reign, that China would defeat Koguryo, with 30000 Koguryo people exiled to Yangtze and Huai-shui River area as well as Shan-nan (i.e., southern China).
Over a dozen rebellions erupted against Sui Dynasty. Tang Dynasty's founder, Li Yuan, rebelled against Sui Dynasty as a result of his son Li Shimin's mastermind. Li Yuan, for sake of fighting Sui Dynasty, would collude with Turks. Li Yuan would sent his minister (Liu Wenjing) to the Eastern Turks (ruled by Khan Shibi) for borrowing 2000 horses and 500 cavalry.
At this time, Turkic Khan Shibi subjugated Tuyuhun in Gansu-Qinghai, Gaochang near Turpan, Khitans and Shiwei in northwestern Manchuria and eastern Mongolia. Khan Shibi intervened in China's civil wars and assisted Li Yuan's rivals, such as Liu Wuzhou & Liang Shidu. After the death of Khan Shibi, his brother, Chuluo Khan (same name as Chuluo Khan during Sui Dynasty time period but a different person), would be enthroned. Chuluo Khan assisted another Tang rival, Wang Shichong. Later, Chuluo Khan retrieved ex-Sui Empress Xiaohou and ex-Sui royal family from still another Tang rival called Dou Jiande. Chuluo Khan erected an ex-Sui royal member as the new Sui King. Chuluo Khan was determined to fight Tang on behalf of dethroned Sui Dynasty, saying that he wanted to return favor to Sui for Sui's helping his ancestors in the restoration of the Turkic khanate. Later, Chuluo Khan died and his brother, Khan Xieli, would be enthroned. Khan Xieli was disuaded from an alliance with another Tang rival called Xue Ju. Khan Xieli would erect his cousin, i.e., Shibi Khan's son, as Khan Tuli (same name as Tuli during Sui Dynasty time period) in the east, and Tuli would take charge of the ancient tribes of Khitans and Mohe (ancestors of Jurchens. Khan Xieli would take over Princess Yicheng as his wife. Princess Yicheng's brother (Yang Sanjing) and Wang Shichong's emissary would somehow pursuade Khan Xieli into challenging Tang Dynasty on behalf of dethroned Sui. In AD 621, Khan Xieli invaded Yanmenguan Pass and Dai Prefecture.
For several years, Tang and Turks fought numerous battles across the northern border areas. By the 7th year of Tang Emperor Gaozu, in AD 626, Li Shimin or Li Shih-min (i.e., King Qin of Tang Dynasty and later Tang Emperor Taizong or Tai-tsung, AD 597-649), would sow a dissension among Xieli Khan and Tuli Khan. Unable to call upon Tuli to fight Tang further, Xieli Khan sent Tuli Khan and Simo to Tang for sake of a peace treaty with Tang. Tuli Khan and King Qin promised to be brothers, while Tang Emperor Gaozu said to Simo that he felt he had seen Khan Xieli by meeting with Simo. In the following two years, Tang was busy building ships around the North Bend of the Yellow River for defence against Turks, while Turks broke the peace and kept attacking Tang.
Tang Emperor Taizong (reign AD 627-649)
Li Shimin [aka Li Shih-min], being merely 16 years old at the time of rebellion against Sui, was credited as the real initiator and founder of the Tang state and the mastermind of rebellion against the Sui. During the 22 years of reign, Li Shimin, i.e., Tang Emperor Taizong, was able to build a grand-scale empire extending from Korea to Central Asia. Taizong defeated the Turks of Mongolia in AD 630, and the Tibetans in two campaigns of AD 639–40 & AD 647–48. However, Taizong's two wars against Koguryo during AD 640s failed. In the matter of Tibet, Taizong pacified King Srong-tsan-sgam-po of Tibet by marrying over Princess in AD 641 and helping convert Tibet to Buddhism. Taizong was credited with propogating the civil service exam system that was well developed during Sui Dynasty. Though people attributed the developments of various religions, including Daoism, Buddhism and Nestorian Christian, to Emperor Taizong, do note that Tang Dynasty forbade travelling overseas. Note that Tang famous monk Xuanzang [Hsüan-tsang] had stealthily crossed the border, with no government sanctions. And, Tang Dynasty often resorted to forceful conversion of monks and nuns to civilians for sake of raising taxes and depriving religious facilities of their "tax-exempt" status.
In AD 626, Tang Emperor Taizong killed two brothers (i.e., Li Jiancheng & Li Yuanji) and later forced Emperor Gaozu into abdication. This is called 'Xuanwumen Coup' in Tang history. History stated that Li Yuanji, a culprit, intended to hire over Li Shimin's generals by proposing to elder brother Li Jiancheng that a gift (i.e., "silver cart") be given to Yuchi Jingde. This is because Li Yuanji, having at one time lost three rounds of "shuo" (long spear) contest against Yuchi Jingde, was afraid of Yuchi Jingde (i.e., a general of To'pa clan origin). Yuchi Jingde declined Li Jiancheng's offer and moreover informed Li Shimin of it. Li Jiancheng brothers then dispatched an assassin againt Yuchi Jingde, but the assassin retreated after seeing Yuchi Jingde deliberately left door of his residency open. Ji Jiancheng brothers petitioned Tang Emperor Gaozu in 1) killing Yuchi Jingde, 2) banishing Cheng Zhijie to Kangzhou prefecture as a satrap, and 3) removing the rest of Li Shimin cronies (like Fang Xuanling, and Du Ruhui etc) from Li Shimin's King Qin Office.
Fang Xuanling hence asked Zhangsun Wuji in relaying a message to Li Shimin for an initiative against Li Jiancheng brothers. Among Li Shimin's cronies, Li Jing & Li Shiji were said to have had no opinion as to coup. Using Turkic invasion as an excuse, Li Jiancheng recommended Li Yuanji for the expedition job for sake of segregating those cronies away from Li Shimin. Li Yuanji requested for Yuchi Jingde and King Qin's cronies for joining the campaign against Turks. When Li Shimin heard that Li Jiancheng brothers intended to assassinate him at the scene of seeing Li Yuanji off, Li Shimin instructed Yuchi Jingde and Zhangsun Wuji in arranging a coup. Li Shimin first went to see his father-emperor with accusation that Li Jiancheng brothers had sex with concubines inside imperial palace. Tang Emperor Gaozu called on Li Jiancheng brothers to come to the court for an explanation. When Li Jiancheng brothers came, they fell into Li Shimin's ambush and were killed. The followers of Li Jiancheng brothers, after failing to come into palace, went to attack King Qin Li Shimin's residency. Yuchi Jingde took the heads of Li Jiancheng brothers to those followers and quelled/dispursed them. Thereafter, Yuchi Jingde rode to the palace to have Tang Emperor Gaozu decree that King Qin be the crown price and take charge of military. All sons of Li Jiancheng brothers were ordered executed.
Wei Zheng, a counsellor (i.e., "si ma") of Li Jiancheng, was called over by Li Shimin. Li Shiming rebuked Wei Zheng for his constant advice in getting rid of Li Shimin as well as for his refusal to bow down in front of Li Shimin. After Wei Zheng cited the story of Guan Zhong of Qi Principality, Li Shimin pardoned Wei Zheng and retained him as a counsellor (i.e., "zhu bu"). A few more officials were retained by Li Shimin. At Youzhou (Peking), King Lujiangwang, a brother of Tang Emperor Gaozu, was sold out by his inlaw-general Wang Junkuo for the implication with Li Jiancheng. At the urge of Wei Zheng, an amnesty was issued to pardon followers of Dong-gong (Eastern Palace of Li Jiancheng), King Qi-wang, and King Lujiang-wang. Wei Zheng was dispatched to the east for pacification. A concubine of Li Yuanji was taken over by Li Shimin, and mourning and posthumous titles were given for the two slain brothers. Soon, Tang Emperor Gaozu abdicated.
Once Li Shimin enthroned as Tang Emperor Taizong, he issued a general amnesty, including no taxation for two years for the capital area, imperial bestowal of grain and cloth for elder people above age 80, and release of 3000 palace maids and concubines. Modest and economical Zhangsun-shi was made into the empress: she advised against his brother Zhangsun Wuji's taking up more imperial posts as well as abstained from interfering in politics.
Just twenty days after Taizong got enthroned, Eastern Turkic Khan Xieli attacked Tang under the instigations of Liang Shidu (i.e., Emperor Liang-di), and over 100,000 Turks attacked Jingzhou & Wugong area. Yuchi Jingde was dispatched to the front as "xingjun [travelling column] zongguan [commander]" for Jingzhou-dao Circuit. After a defeat in the hands of Yuchi Jingde, Khan Xieli circumvented to the Wei-shui River, just a dozen miles away from the Tang capital. Turkic official Zhi-shi-si-li entered Chang'an to see Tang Emperor Taizong for more Chinese tributes. Emperor Taizong then personally led garrison troops to Wi-shui bank and rebuked Khan Xieli for disrupting peace. Khan Xieli sent over an emissary for peace. Emperor Taizong (T'ai-tsong) sought peace with Eastern Turks by using the blood of a white horse for sworn testament on "bian qiao" (i.e., convenience bridge). Emperor Taizong explained to Xiao Yu that he had sought for peace by loosening the guard of the Turks. Khan Xieli later sent in 3000 horses and 10000 sheep, but Taizong declined the offer but requested for repatriation of Chinese taken captives by the Turks. Taizong also encouraged military exercises and training right inside of the palaces. Son Chengqian was made into Tang Dynasty crown prince.
On new year day of AD 627, Taizong ordered the music "King Qin Stampeding Enemy Positions". Days later, King Yanjun-wang Li Yi rebelled at Jingzhou with an attempt at grabbing Binzhou. On the way of fleeing to the Turks, Li Yi was killed by bodyguards. Li Yi's family was executed at the capital. Wang Junkuo, who had sold out his master before, was recalled to the capital; and on the road to the capital, he fled to the Turks and was also killed while on the road to the Turks.
Taizong often consulted with his counsellors for admonishing his behaviors. Aside from Wei Zheng, a justice official, i.e., dali shaoqing, Dai Zhou, was put in charge. Sun Fujia was made into admonition official. Li Qianyou was made into "waitering censor". Zu Xiaosun was empowered with ridding the court music of "lascivious tones". Wang Gui was conferred the post as "shi zhong" (i.e., imperial follower). Wang Gui advised against Taizong's taking over King Lujiang-wang's concubine because this woman was grabbed by King Lujiang-wang after the killing of the woman's old man.
After rezoning the country into ten circuits, Taizong ordered that Cai Shao (i.e., husband of Tang Princess Pingyang) and Xue Wanjun campaign against Liang Shidu. Liang Shidu colluded with the Turks for defence against Tang army. Cai Shao, Xue Wanjun brothers, and Liu Lancheng thoroughly defeated Liang Shidu and Turks. After Turks retreated northward, Liang Shidu's brother killed Liang Shidu and surrendered to Tang. China was completely reunited with Liang Shidu's demise. This would be after Liang Shidu's first rebelling against Sui 12 years before. Shuofang city was renamed Xiazhou prefecture.
This year, Tiele Tribes, including Xueyantuo, Huihe and Bayegu, rebelled against the Turks. Khan Xieli accused Khan Tuli of failing to quell the Tiele rebellion. Being attacked by Khan Xieli, Khan Tuli requested for help with Tang Emperor Taizong in AD 628. The next year, Xueyantuo proclaimed themselves as a khan and sought allianace with Tang. In Nov of AD 629, Li Ling was empowered with campaigns against Turks with over 100,000 soldiers. Khan Tuli came to the court to see Emperor Taizong prior to the campaign. Taizong said that his father (Emperor Gaozu) had sought help and vasslage with the Turks because Tang was weak earlier after emerging victorious from a rebellion against Sui Dynasty and civil wars with contenders. A barbarian chieftan Xie-yuan-shen etc came to see the emperor with tributes. Yan Shigu proposed to make a drawing of "emperor receiving chieftans". In the winter, a census was made, and China was added an addition of 1.2 million people as a result of Chinese returnees from outside of the borders as well as barbarians seeking vassalage.
In the spring of fourth year of Taizong' reign, AD 630, Tang Taizong received victory news from Ling Jing: General Li Jing on a full campaign against Khan Xieli with six columns of armies, and captured Khan Xieli by taking advantage of Turk strife. General Li Jing, departing from Mayi, led 3000 cavalry into the Turk camp at Dingxiang and defeated Khan Xieli's army via a surprise strategy, and then led 10,000 soldiers all the way to Yinshan Mountains (located in today's Inner Mongolia) in pursuit of Khan Xieli. A Turkic chieftan called Kang Sumi surrendered with Sui Empress Xiaohou and Sui descendant (Yang Zhengdao). General Li Jing retrieved ex-empress of Sui and gave her to emperor Taizong who later took in as his mistress, and General Li Jing killed princess Yicheng for her 4-time-marriage without knowing 'shame'. Khan Xieli, after being defeated again, sought peace with Tang. Li Jing, thinking that Turks might not be on alert while Tang emissary was in their camp, attacked Khan Xieli again. Xieli alone fled to another chieftan called Shabolue-she, but he was arrested and surrendered to Tang army by his own cousin. Hence, the Chinese occupied Mongolia (Eastern Turkic Khanate).
Remnant eastern Turks either fled to Western Khanate or northward to the Tiele Tribe of Xueyantuo (Mandarin spelling, Turkic name unknown). Emperor Taizong, rebutting the advice of his minister Wei Zheng (who cited the Hunnic ravaging of China during the late Jinn Dynasty as a result of their dwelling south of the Yellow River, Hetao area), relocated over 100,000 eastern Turks to the border areas, all the way from Shaanxi-Shanxi to today's Beijing city. Taizong did accept the advice of Yan Shigu, Du Chuke and Li Baiyao in having the Turks settle down north of the Yellow River line. Taizong set up four more prefectures, Shunzhou, Youzhou, Huazhou, Changzhou, along the Great Wall, and made Khan Tuli governor-general in charge of Shunzhou Prefecture. Tuli Khan was conferred the title of King of Beipingjun. Tuli died at the age of 29, and his son, Heluohu, succeeded with the same title. During the attacks on the Eastern Turks, Emperor Taizong won over the support of eleven Tiele tribes including the Uygurs (Huihe), Bayegu, Tongluo and Pugu. The Huihe clan ranked second to Xueyantuo tribe among the eleven tribes who had helped Tang in defeating Eastern Turkic Khanate in AD 630-640. Under the sponsorship of Huihe, the tribal leaders devised a name called "Tian Ke-han" (Heavenly Khan) for Emperor Taizong.
Taizong subdivided the Eastern Khanate into altogether 10 "zhou" (an administartive unit larger than prefectures). He also allowed Khan Xieli and his officials to live in Chang'an the Tang capital, and altogether close to 10,000 Turk families moved in. A Turkic chieftan called Sijie-sijin surrendered to Tang with 40,000 people. (Sijin, a title having origin in Xianbei and Ruruan eras, was a Turkic title equivalent to governorship. Among ten Turkic families, for example, Nushibi khan possesseed five sijin. Turks also conferred sijin post on Tiele Tribes and the Khitans.) One brother of Khan Xieli, who first fled to Tuyuhun, came to submit to Tang, too. The Turkic chieftan at Yiwu surrendered his 7 cities to Tang, and Tang made it into Western Yizhou Prefecture. Shabolue-she, with 50,000 people, was conferred the title of King Huaide (possessing virtues), and Shabolue-she relocated to north of Ningzhou Prefecture by vacating the land south of the desert.
Tang Emperor further exchanged money and silk for 80,000 Sui Chinese refugees who had earlier fled to Turkic chieftans for asylum. Tang allowed those Chinese to come back to China as civilians.
Tang's General Li Jing (a military strategist who once fled with a mistress of Sui prime minister Yang Su while being invited as a guest at the home of Yang) was later sent on another expedition to Qinhai-Gansu and the Tarim Basin to quell rebellion of the Tuyuhun, a group of Qiangic people mixed with the Xianbei nomads. Tang married princess over to Tuyuhun king to pacify them. With the help of the Uygurs and other Tiele Tribes, Tang Chinese subdued the Tarim Basin in 630-40.
During this time, AD 629-645, famous Tang Monk, Chen Hui, travelled to India and returned to Chang'an in 16 years, passing dozens of countries and nomadic tribal states in between, which include the so-called Gaochang State (near east of today's Turpan) where he was received by king Qu Wentai. Also in year AD 640, Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo, learning of Tuyuhun's intermarriage with Tang, initiated a war against Tang and requested intermarriage with Tang princess. Tibetan Prime Minister Ludongzan was sent to Chang'an and passed imperial inquiries and tests. Princess Wencheng arrived in Tibet one year later.
King of Gaochang State, Qu Wentai, colluded with Western Turkic Khanate in subjugating small tribal states in today's Xinjjiang (New Dominion) area and rebelled against Tang. In AD 639, with the help of Xueyantuo or Sheyanto tribe (one component of the Tiele Tribes), Tang army of 100,000 travelled 7,000 li distance to fight Gaochang State, scaring Qu Wentai to death. Qu Wentai's son surrenderred after learning that the relief army of Western Khanate Turks had fled home half way. Emperor Taizong renamed Gaochang to Xizhou, and made it the locality for the governor-general office in charge of Yutian, Suiye, Shule and Chouci. (Later, Xizhou or Anxi Protector-General Office was relocated to Chouci in AD 659.) In AD 702, Tang would set up Beiting 'Protector-General (Marshal Presidio)' office in Tingwai or Tingzhou (present-day Jimsar), a place located to the east of Suiye (Tokmok), to the south of Xizhou (Turpan), and to the west of Yizhou (Hami).
By AD 648, Tang subdued the remnants of eastern Turks north of the Gobi. Meantime, Tang defeated the Khitans in Manchuria, and controlled central and eastern Mongolia, thus stretching 9,510 li east to west and 10,918 li south to north in its territories. The Xueyantuo tribe, differentiated in Chinese chronicle as a separate tribe from the Uygur tribe, was in charge of north Mongolia. Non-Chinese historical accounts, including US Library of Congress website, however, stated that the Uygur vassal controlled west and north Mongolia, from Lake Alltaid to Lake Balkash. The Uygurs would gain control of north Mongolia at a later time.
Tuli Khan's son, Heluohu, was targeted by his Turkic tribesmen for abduction back to the Turkic land. They fled to north of China and disturbed the border areas. Taizong defeated the rebellion and exiled Heluohu to southern China. Emperor Taizong decided to send Simo (the cousin? of ex-khan Xieli) back to the land of Eastern Khanate as a ruler, thus making Simo into a rival of the Tiele Tribe (Xueyantuo). Xueyantuo tribe, an ex-ally, now rebelled against Tang for Tang's dispatchment of Simo. Simo was commented to have looked like a 'Hu' versus the Turkic Ashina family. Hence, he was previously not employed for high posts. He once served as a khan north of the desert when Khan Qimin fled to Sui Dynasty. When Qimin returned, Simo relinquished the khan title. Simo was frequently sent to Tang as a peace emissary. Simo was caught together with Khan Xieli. Simo was conferred the title of King Hedejun and governor-general of Huazhou Prefecture.
Hearing that Simo led the Turks (100 thousand people, 40 thousand army and 90 thousand horses) in crossing the Yellow River in AD 641, the Xueyantuo Tribe tried to fight the Turks. Xueyantuo wrote to Tang saying that the Turks did not know to keep promise or peace. Tang said to Xueyantuo that Turks would control south of the desert while Xueyantuo was to control north of the desert. Three years later, Simo, unable to harness his people, returned to Tang court, later followed Taizong in the Korean campaign (on which occasion Taizong sucked the blood from the arrow wound that Simo suffered), and at last stage died in the Tang capital. Simo's Youxianwang (rightside virtuous king), son of the late Sunishi, would have tears everytime Tang emissary arrived at north of the desert, and he would be allowed to return to Tang court. Some of Simo's people relocated south of the Yellow River and settled in Shengzhou and Xiazhou Prefectures.
Replacing Simo would be the Turkic Khan called Chebi. Chebi at first fled to Xueyantuo. When being threatened by Xueyantuo, he fled from Xueyantuo. Xueyantuo chased him all the way westward. Chebi would soom amass 30 thousand people and he would assert control over Karlaks in the west and Qigu in the north. Chebi often harassed Xueyantuo tribe thereafter.
In late 630s, Tang intervened in the civil wars of Korea. The son of the khan of Xueyantuo took advantage of emperor Taizong's first Korean expedition in attacking Tang south of the Yellow River. Xueyantuo tribe fled when they heard of Taizong's return from Manchuria. But, at this moment, tribes of the Huihe (Uygur), who were appointed to the Hanhai prefecture, came to the aid of Tang and attacked Xueyantuo tribe together with Tang army consisting of several columns of various nomads from Liang and Dai prefectures. Around AD 640, the Huihe (Uygurs) helped Tang army in successfully quelling the rebellion of Xueyantuo. Tribes of the Uygur killed the khan of Xueyantuo tribe and hence controlled north Mongolia where Xueyantuo once held control. Emperor Taizong re-zoned the northwestern territories into six fu (prefecture or province) and seven zhou (prefecture).
After the north was settled, in AD 639, Tang Emperor Taizong attacked the Chouci State in the west, which wavered in its loyalty between Tang Dynasty and the Western Khanate. In AD 641-648, Tang defeated Western Khante and controlled today's New Dominion Province and areas west of the Pamir Mountains. However, in the north, there arose, after the defeat of the Xueyantuo, a remnant eastern Turkic khan.
In AD 649, Emperor Taizong, again with help from Uygurs, campaigned against the north. In the same year, Emperor Taizong (T'ai-tsong) died. Altogether images of 14 khans had been inscribed on the stones and stood beside Taizong's tomb after one khan's request to be funerary object buried alive was rejected by succeeding emperor, Gaozong.
Tang Emperor Gaozong
After Taizong's death, General Gao Kan, under Emperor Gaozong, would soon capture the last remnant eastern khan and the Eastern Khanate was put to rest for the time being.
Eastern and western Turks would rebell against Tang several times thereafter. For almost a hundred years, the Uygurs would assert control over north Mongolia in competition with the remaining Turks who re-established Eastern Khanate in AD 682/683 in Mongolia. Tang's civil minister Fei Xingjian would be responsible for quelling the Eastern Turkic rebellion in AD 680 and in AD 681 via strategies like 'hiding soldiers inside the grain carts' and 'offering 10,000 liang (a unit of weight similar to ounce) gold for the head of the khan'. Fei, earlier, escorted Persian Prince on his way Persia and captured the western Turkic khan who sought suzerainty from the Tibetans. Persian Prince, however, was afraid of going further to Persia. He stayed around Suiye, failed to organize any army, and then returned to Chang'an where he spent the rest of his life. Remnant Western Turks, under Tibetan suzerainty, would set up Turkic Khanate in the Tarim Basin in AD 691, to be defeated in AD 692 by Governor-General Tang Xiujing of Xizhou prefecture who re-took the four cities of Chouci (Kuqa), Yutian (Hotan), Shule (Kashi) and Suiye (today's Tokmok in Kyrgyzstan).
The eastern Turks would ally with the Khitans in attacking Tang. Khitans were given royla family name of Li by Emperor Taizong in early times and once followed Taizong in his Korean campaigns. Khitans first rebelled against Tang in AD 656-661 and again in AD 696. The eastern Turks (namely, Orkhon Turks) would ally with the Khitans in attacking Tang. Certainly, the Turks and Khitans were adversaries as well. Orchon Turks, under Khan Muchuo, would attack the Khitans as well. Tang mobilized an army of hundreds of thousands and defeated the Khitans. Hence, the Khitans fled to the Turks for protection.
Empress Wu Zetian & Zhou Era
In AD 697, the Eastern Turks obtained from Empress Wu Zetian the old Turkic territories of six Tang prefectures: Pingzhou, Shenzhou, Lingzhou, Xiazhou, Suozhou and Dai (Daizhou), and moreover, sought for his daughter the marriage with Chinese royal family. When Empress Wu Zetian sent her family's prince to the Turks, Khan Muchuo got angry after learning that his duaghter was not to marry the Tang royal family of Li. Khan Muchuo held Prince Wu as a hostage and campaigned against Wu Zetian on behalf of Tang's emperors (two Li emperors, both Wu's sons, who were deprived of rights and placed in palace arrest). Khan Muchuo killed 80-90 thousand people in two prefectures of Dingzhou and Zhaozhou and retreated.
In AD 700, two Tang nomadic generals defeated the Khitans again. In AD 712, Khitans submitted to Tang and was conferred King of Songmuo Prefecture. Heads of eight Khitan tribes were conferred general posts as well. A Tang royal family princess, Princess Yongle, was sent to Khitan khan as wife.
The Turks and the Tang Chinese had seesaw warfare, till dethroned Emperor Zhongzong got restored in AD 705. Emperor Xuanzong, in AD 712, defeated the Eastern Turkic Khan Muchuo and won over the defection of Muchuo's brother-in-law. However, the glorious days under Emperor Taizong were gone.
Further details of Turkic history will be covered in Eastern Khnanate and Western Khnanate.
Near the end of Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), Toba Sigong, a Dangxiang descendant carrying the Toba name of Toba and later the Toba last name of 'Yuan', would come to the aid of Tang Emperor during the Huang Chao rebellion, and hence was conferred the title of Duke Xia and the Tang family name of 'Li'. His descendant, Yuan Hao, would proclaim himself emperor of Xixia Dynasty (AD 1032-1227), namely, Western Xia, with an army of 500 thousand.
Tang Mercenary Armies
The Second Forced Migration Of Chinese
Like many historians, Scholar Luo Xianglin, in History of Chinese Nationalities (Chinese Culture Publishing Enterprise Co, Taipei, Taiwang, May 1953 edition), traced the cause of the Second Forced Migration Of Chinese to the invasion by Nan-zhao of Southwestern China. Nan-zhao, consisting of Hundred Yue family and Western Qiang descendants, began to encroach on Tang Dynasty after the era of Tang Emperor Taizong. Tang court stationed garrison troops in Yongning of Guilin [Guangxi Prov], and Ya'an & Songfan [Sichuan Prov] against Nan-zhao. During the Xiantong Era of Tang Emperor Yizong, a border general by the name of Pang Xun rebelled at Guilin garrison. Pang Xun rebels departed Guilin for Hunan Prov in the same way as later Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. The rebels further sacked and pillaged the areas of Yangtze River and Huai-shui River. After this rebellion, Tang societal weakness began to emerge.
Another rebellion by the name of Huang Chao assembled Pang Xun's remnants for a new round of pillage. Huang Chao intruded into south of Huai-shui River from today's Henan Prov, attacked eastern Zhejiang Prov, changed direction to sack Jiangxi Prov, swept into Fujian Prov, returned to Jiangxi Prov, further entered Hunan Prov, touched eastern Guangxi Prov, rerouted southward to Guangzhou [Canton] of Guangdong Prov, returned to Hunan Prov, went north to Hubei Prov, harassed Anhui Prov, crossed Huai-shui River to take over Luoyang of Henan Prov, and finally took over capital of Chang'an [Shenxi Prov]. The Huang Chao Rebellion lasted a dozen years. The Tang court had to rely upon nomadic mercenaries, including the Shatuo and the Tanguts, for quelling the rebellion. The end result of the Huang Chao Rebellion would be the usurpation of Tang Dynasty by Zhu Wen who defected to the government side from from Huang Chao's camp. Zhu Wen's establishing Posterior Liang Dynasty would throw northern China into the turmoil time period called the "Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms".
Scholar Luo Xianglin, stating that Chinese had been fleeing Huang Chao's rebellion throughout the territories sacked by the rebels, summarized the following safe havens: refugess to Sichuan Prov where Wang Jian established Shu Regime; refugess to Hunan Prov where Ma Yin established Chu Regime; refugess to Guangdong & Guangxi provinces where Liu Yin established Southern Han Regime; refugees to Fujian Prov where Wang Shenzhi established Min Regime; refugees to Zhejiang Prov where Qian Mu established Wu-Yue Regime; and refugess to Anhui-Jiangsu provinces where Yang Xingmi & Li Zhigao established Yang-Wu and Southern Tang regimes.
Written by Ah Xiang
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