commander in charge of Huguang province, Prince Nikan. Meanwhile Qing princes Shang Kexi and Geng Jimao were dispatched to pacify Guangdong and Guangxi. Wu Sangui was ordered to pacify Sichuan, but was being tied down heavily in its northern sector, maybe he was fighting all the tigers. Wu had discovered that Sichuan was so devastated it made things ruinous for military campaigns. He lacked the resources to do much against the countless bandits armies and the newly emerged forces of Sun Kewangs which he referred to as a “poison overrunning the province”. The entire situation as Wu put it “Chengdu was a devastated ruin and all was empty around it. The dead and starving were everywhere and for hundreds of li there were no cooking fires but bandit gangs roamed allying with the ming freely. All of Sichuan is in the hands of bandits and their strategic situation has already improved greatly since their emergence. Without men or materiel where will I get the resources to recover land and extirpate [the bandits]?” Nonetheless in february of 1652, Wu and his subordinate Li Guohan made an offensive through the Jianmen “sword pass” all the way to Jiading. By april they captured Chongqing and by may northern Sichuan was considered fully pacified. Still Wu and Guohan had no illusions, the bandits and Ming defenses in the south remained dangerous, but the giddy young Qing Emperor assumed Sichuan as a whole was weakened and thought Wu would be able to assist Nikan in his mission. The young Qing emperor also sought to mass large armies to retake Yunnan and Guizhou after Sichuan was taken, quite a large order. A grandson of Nurhaci, Prince Nikan served with Prince Haoge in western China and held an assortment of administrative posts in the capital before he was appointed “Ding yuan da Jiangjun”, generalissimo in charge of pacifying the distant regions, following Kong Youdes death. Nikan proceeded into Huguang at the head of his army of 100,000. Like most Qing commanders, Prince Nikan was given orders to accept the surrender of anyone who submitted without a fight and that it was paramount to protect the people. Strict military regulations were to be enforced, forbidding the rape and pillaging of whom were supposed to be their subjects. Understandable, you can't go around abusing the people you want to govern after all. Nikan's army marched to Guangxi to do battle with Li Dingguo and he was promised aid from Xi'an. The Qing military operations were consuming more than half the Qing governments revenue and they knew they should be cautious and secure taxable lands before venturing deep into the southwest again. Nikans forces successfully defeated Li Dingguo's subordinates Ma Jinzhong at Yuezhou and Zhang Honggong at Changsha. Nikan pursued them west and encountered Li Dingguo's scouts near Hengzhou. Nikan defeated some of Li's forces at Hengzhou sending him on the run, but then Li set up an ambush near Qiyang where Nikan's army sustained heavy casualties. Nikan pushed forward, with his vanguard running into another ambush near Yongzhou. Li feigned a retreat and soon Nikans army was stretched out widely into 3 groupings. Li then personally led his forces brandishing a great sword on horseback into battle. Nikan fought bravely but was overwhelmed and speared off his mount. Li severed Nikans head from its corpse and paraded it around before falling back to Wugang. The Qing were absolutely shocked, Emperor Shunzhi screamed “ “In our dynasty's military history we've never suffered a loss like this!”. The Ming scholar and philosopher Huang Zongxi said of Li Dingguo's victory “it was the most complete Ming victory since the Wanli reign.”. The prefect of Guilin said of Li's victory ““The duke (Li) uses troops like a god. He's a little Zhuge [Liang]. His laws and regulations are clear and strict without committing the slightest mistake, and he combines the strong and weak in his brigades with all knowing their roles. Thus the people practically fight to join him.” The Qing licked their wounds and now put the veteran collaborator Hong Chengchou in charge of all operations in the far south. Even though Li had managed to kill Prince Nikan, he was unable to take advantage of the great victory because his subordinates Feng Shuangli and Ma Jinzhong were still working for Sun Kewang in secrecy, undermining him. Soon much of Huguang fell right back into the hands of the Qing and Feng sent word to Sun to stoke his jealousy “I fear that from now on, Dingguo will be hard to control”. Sun tried to remedy his relationship with Li by offering him the title of Prince of Xining, but Li refused stating “Investitures come from the Son of Heaven. How can one prince enfoeff another?” thus Li was making the argument that only Emperor Yongli could bestow someone as prince outraging Sun, kind of ironic also given the fact it was an argument Sun had made himself, haha. Sun was publicly praising Li's victories, while privately trying to destroy him. Sun sent countless letters summoning Li to “discuss strategy” but instead Li camped in Baoqing and ignored them. It turns out Li was being tipped off by Liu Wenxiu's son that Sun was probably trying to assassinate him. Li worried not just for his life, but for his family who were all in Yunnan. Now it should be noted Li Dingguo's armies success was primarily a result of his training programs and leadership. Li was an extremely capable military leader, he understood the limitations and strengths of his forces. For one thing he did not believe in sticking around in one place for too long, he knew the limitations of his logistics, such as a need for food. His experience as a bandit leader was of grave importance for the survival of his forces as most of their campaigns relied on moving into territories, securing resources and moving on. He also had a tendency to strike out fast without warning and leav before the Qing could consolidate on that position. Li made sure to build close ties with areas he led his forces into, trying to win over many, and this proved highly successful as unlike his former adoptive father, Li had always tried to limit atrocities. Li also heavily benefited from Yunnan specifically, he was running around with war elephants afterall, fearsome shock units, though very expensive to feed and maintain. It was said that the Qing feared Li and his “southern barbarian forces” as they were known. Estimates for the total troops available for the South Ming regime are most likely inflated but some sources claim Sun Kewang to have 800,000 men, Li Dingguo 400,000 and Liu Wenxiu 140,000. There is a breakdown of organizational structure as well when it comes to the South Ming armies. For mobile brigades (youji), each with a commander, consisting of 2 brigades (ying), which held around 1750 troops. Then there are 5 vice commanders (dusi) each with 350 troops, divided into 5 separate units of 70, further divided into 5 squads of 13. Now for a regular brigade each held 3000 troops with 10 battalions of 300, subdivided into 2 companies of 150 each. Lt's led platoons of 30 men, sergeants squads of 10. The South Ming regime were bolstered heavily by minority troops which themselves brought a variety of differing weaponry and military tactics. Its hard to gauge, but some modern scholars estimate there was a ratio of 1 gun per 15 soldiers overall, but other scholars argue they had even more. As already mentioned we see a heavy use of Elephant cavalry amongst Li Dingguo's forces, he also had unique firearms, repeating crossbows and specialized polearms. By the way if you ever have a chance to check out repeating crossbows going back to the ancient times of China, its worthwhile, they are awesome. There were the famous 3 eyed bird guns, western made cannons and much more. Li's force particularly liked using cavalry, favoring the mobility, but horses were in short supply for Yunnan and Sichuan. The war elephants were typically in the frontlines with men firing guns atop their backs, which sounds absolutely awesome. Li Dingguo's campaigns also came with horrifying consequences for the common folk, it is estimated up to a possibly million commoners were killed during the offensive in 1652 from war conditions and famine. Basically anywhere the Qing and Ming decided to do battle ruined the area, people were pressed into service, killed, pillaged, lost homes and farms and such leading to starvation, many refugees spread into other areas causing more and more problems. While northern Sichuan was being secured by the forces of Li Guoying and Wu Sangui, Sun Kewang decided to expand into northern Sichuan and sent Liu Wenxiu. The Qing attempted to hold Liu's forces back, but the elephant cavalry proved extremely effective and soon they were pushed back towards Baoning. A large reason the Elephant cavalry was so successful was because they simply spooked the Qing horses, though for anyone who knows their Mongol war history, you can already see how using war elephants might prove disastrous. While horses are indeed spooked by elephants, horses mounted archers can quite easily spook elephants back by pelting them with arrows and flanking them. Regardless from many of the sources I am reading, this seems to not become the case until later on. Liu Wenxiu soon took Chongqing, Chengdu with the aid of his elephants and heavy cannons, he now felt the time was right to march on the Qing stronghold of Baoning. Liu besieged Baoning with 50,000 troops while another Ming commander, Wang Fuchen built floating bridges to cross the Ling River to cut off the escape from Baoning. Wu Sangui argued with Li Guoying that they should retreat to Hanzhong, but Li felt abandoning Baoning would mean the loss of Sichuan completely and that was unacceptable. Li then instructed Wu to place his troops in a position from which they could not escape. This tactic is known as “deadly ground”, the idea was by putting the forces in a life or death situation they would perform at their best. Sure hate to be those forces. Wu Sangui was still looking to retreat, but his colleagues basically told him he would get executed for doing so in Beijing. Abandoning Baoning would set the Qing pacification back for years and thus it was imperative to make this stand. Baoning was quite a defendable city, it held rivers on 3 sides and a mountain on its 4th. The Ming tried to use that mountain to fire muskets into the city but the range was too far. Liu kept up the pressure on 3 sides of the city while guarding against any relief forces incoming from the north. It was an overly aggressive stance leaving Liu's forces thinly places about, but he had no choice but to take up an aggressive stance in the hopes of breaking the city faster since Liu did not have enough supplies for a long siege, neither did the Qing for that matter. It also seems Liu had his eyes fixated on the prize and may have been too eager. Afterall if he took Baoning it would mean he was the man who took all of Sichuan. It seems in his efforts to envelope Baoning Liu had left some gaps in his formations and Wu saw this. Liu had arrayed his 13 war elephant cavalry units in the front of the formation intending to use them as shock troops and to protect his more unarmored troops in the formations center. The problem was because the war elephants were in the front like this, the troops behind them could not see what was past the elephants, and elephants unlike horses dont move fast, thus the enemy would be able to maneuver quickly and the troops would not know where they would be hit in time. What made maters even worse was the fact these unarmored troops in the middle had their backs to the Ling River. Lius army consisted mostly of pikemen with rattan shields and some harquebusiers. They were arrayed on the 3 sides of the city, 4 ranks deep with elephants in front followed by pikemen and harquebusiers in the rear. The formation reassembled a crescent moon, stretching some 5 miles around the city. For those of you war gamers you can probably visualize the setup and see some of the issues. For example Liu would employ his elephants into a charge to smash the enemy's cavalry, then open the lines for pikemen to finish them off followed by harquebusiers to shoot straddlers, a good plan? Problem, elephants are quite slow, what if the cavalry simply run around them? Wu told Zhang that if they could open a gap in the enemy's lines they might be able to win. Liu commanded an attack and Wu feigned a retreat near the Guanyin Temple which drew the Ming in pursuit. The pursuit separated some of the formation exposing the unarmored troops in the middle of Liu's formation and Wu circled around the flanks concentrating fire up the weak middle. Next Wu's cavalry smashed into some Pikemen formations pushing the enemy closer to the Ling River. Then Wu led his force against Liu Wenxiu, charging at the elephants, but they did not break. So Wu feigned another retreat, goading Liu into a chaotic pursuit. As Liu charged, Wu's forces wheeled back around and hit them with a crossfire of arrows, remember what I said about Mongolian tactics. To make matters worse, Liu's hasty pursuit saw him leaving behind many of the shield bearers, and thus they had no counter to the arrow fire. Liu's forces began to rout and Liu himself was forced to escape by cutting a floating bridge at the head of nearly half his original force of 50,000. Now 10,000 of his men were on the other side of the Ling river, scrambling to get across and they were quickly slaughtered. The Elephants eventually panicked and scattered in their own right. Wu Sangui went on to claim his forces killed and captured more than 40,000 troops during the battle. Li Guoying claimed that no more than 1000 men managed to escape and that they had captured seals of authority, 3 elephants, over 2000 horses and a mountain of firearms. Liu would retreat all the way to Yunnan and be lambasted by Sun and demoted. Liu from then on would resent Sun and fell more into the fold of Li Dingguo. After the battle both Li Guoying and Wu Sangui sent forces wheeling around to pursue the Ming as they withdrew. Wu Sangui's forces eventually stopped at Chengdu wrecking multiple Ming armies. Li Guoying began to consolidate his power in Sichuan, defeating and cornering Ming loyalist forces across the north and west of Sichuan. Li would go as far as to claim north and western Sichuan were fully pacified to Beijing. Meanwhile the Ming court was still fawning over Li Dingguo like fangirls of a Kpop band and gave him the title of Prince of Xining, really pissing off Sun Kewang. This pushed Sun Kewang to begin a military campaign going east in autumn of 1652 seeking to raise his military profile, but at the same time Hong Chengchou was sent to Hunan to pacify it. Hong did not take an aggressive stance and opted instead to restore the prosperity of the region. Sun's campaign began with the capture of Chenzhou, where he smashed its east gate with his war elephants allowing his infantry to swarm into the city fighting bloody street to street warfare. Sun followed up the massacre, by executing tons of Qing officials and erecting piles of severed limbs to showcase it, so some old fashion Zhang Xianzhong stuff. Sun Kewang afterwards personally commanded his army to attack Baoqing alongside Feng Shuangli and Bai Wenxuan to his left and right. A veteran Qing commander named Tong Tulai held the city and upon seeing the banners of Sun Kewang in the middle formation order the concentration of his forces fire upon the center units. Both sides took equal and heavy casualties, but soon Sun Kewangs army broke and fled with Tong Tulai choosing not to pursue, probably learning a lesson from Prince Nikan's demise. Sun's defeat at Baoqing and Liu Wenxiu's defeat at Baoning convinced many that Sun Kewang was an incompetant military leader and that he had wasted over 3 years training his forces for nothing. Thus ironically Sun Kewangs efforts to eclipse his rival, Li Dingguo had resulted in the exact opposite, making Li look even better. Sun then began to see the Ming royal family and its ties to Li Dingguo as a threat and he would take a course of action that would effectively doom the South Ming regime. Despite the setbacks to the strategic position of the South Ming regime in 1653 not all was entirely lost. Emperor Yongli was in a secure and stable position for once and the regime held Yunnan, Guizhou and southern Sichuan firmly. Sun Kewang had brought many Dashun,Da Xi and other bandit groups under their sphere of influence and more importantly under the control of one leader. There was even the possibility that the South Ming regime could eventually link up with the naval resistance led by Koxinga in the southeast coast, someone we will talk about later. The military successes of Li Dingguo gave the South Ming regime a huge morale boost and shocked the hell out of the Qing. But beneath the surface of all of this, things were not well internally for the Ming loyalists. As we saw countless times with the bickering amongst different factions in the South Ming regime, here again it will occur. Sun was ambitious and jealous of his colleagues, he also shared grotesque traits of his former master Zhang Xianzhong. Emperor Yongli on the other hand was weak willed and a coward who consistently sought his personal safety over all other concerns. He was a mere puppet, content with just being a symbol. Li Dingguo had risen from a peasant leader to become a genuine Ming loyalist who was both brave and charismatic, earning the hearts of many. He did not have the administrative skill like Sun Kewang, but he was a capable military leader who could take territory. In essence the 3 men together made a formidable team, each having something of use, administrative skill for Sun, military capability for Li and a symbol of authenticity in Yongli. But this would never come into reality and the real losers of this game of thrones, would as always be the common people. Sun Kewang from the early days of just being a bandit leader showed a very notable tendency to be sensitive to any criticism and would attack anyone who he thought slighted him. Li Dingguo was well aware that Sun planned to kill him as early as 1652, yet despite this Li tried to get Sun to work together but it only made Sun more angry and dangerous. Thus by 1653 Li began to move his forces further away from Sun before he might be enveloped. Li left Yongzhou with less than 50,000 loyal troops to Longhu Pass which allowed the Qing quickly snatch up Yongzhou as a result. From there Li went east, skirmishing sometimes with Sun troops and attacking Qing controlled cities. Li's hope was if he managed to get closer to the eastern coast he might be able to join forces with Koxinga whom for his own part was open to the idea and trying his best to join up as well. In march of 1653, Li besieged Zhaoqing for weeks and despite heavy bombardments failed to take the city and was forced to move on and raid Guangxi. He attacked Guilin where he was wounded and forced to retreat when Qing relief forces came. As Li fought Qing forces in Guangdong and Guangxi throughout 1653, Sun Kewang dispatched Feng Shuangli to attack Li at Liuzhou. Li however, managed to ambush Feng's forces and sent him fleeing. There is a story that as Feng tried to ford a river fleeing, Li supposedly saved him from drowning and thus Feng gave his loyalty to Li and returned to Sun's camp waiting for the right moment to help Li defeat him. Li would take Guilin in late 1653 and the more actions he took the more Emperor Yongli's court saw him as a better alternative to Sun as a military protector. Soon Emperor Yongli offered Li the same rank as Sun Kewang if he could rescue him from Sun's house arrest situation. Li responded that he would be open to the idea of “escorting” Yongli to safety if he successfully took Guangdong. However, Ma Jixiang discovered these messages between Li and Yongli and gave word to Sun Kewang in January of 1654. Sun then accused Yongli of conspiring against him and initiated a plan to redistribute Li Dingguo's wives and concubines in Yunnan among the other high ranking officers, but there was general dissatisfaction amongst his ranks. Almost a full blown mutiny had occurred at one point and thus his devious plan never came to fruition. On May 6, Sun executed what he called the 18 gentlemen of Anlong for allegedly conspiring against him. Their ringleader, Wu Zhenmin strangled himself while the others were publicly flayed and decapitated. Its been awhile since we had this gruesome stuff eh? It turns out when Yongli was accused he denied the conspiracy and threw all the 18 gentlemen under the bus to save himself. In spring of 1654, Sun with 370,000 troops prepared for another eastern campaign while Li Dingguo had launched his own into Guangdong hoping as always to link up with the infamous Koxinga. Li managed to push all the way to Gaozhou, located in the southeast of the province. Next he besieged Xinhui just a bit south of Guangzhou. While he besieged Xinhui he asked Koxinga for assistance, but this never came to fruition and thus the siege lagged into 1655. Li's situation became very desperate, his men were soon reduced to eating their own horses. Then Qing reinforcements commanded by Shang Kexi arrived and despite Li having arrayed his cannons and elephants for defense the cannons allegedly were not working properly during the battle, allowing the Qing to take some high ground against him. Shang Kexi and his colleague Geng Jimao from the vantage point were able to outflank Li and cause his elephants to rout running through his own army causing massive chaos. Li had already lost countless thousand during the siege and the Qing attack simply broke them, they soon fled for their lives. Shang Kexi boasted “they scattered like rats before the might of the Qing”. Li fled back southwest with the remnants of his forces, around 10,000 men, with just 3 war elephants left and a possible 60-70 thousand refugees as he was pursued by the Qing. He was finally able to breathe when he destroyed a bridge behind himself stranding the Qing and managing to escape to Nanning. The Qing quickly grabbed up multiple cities and Li's eastern campaign had ended in complete failure. With just a single battle at Xinhui, over 3 years of Ming victories had been swept away. Meanwhile Sun had launched an assault on Changde in the summer of 1655, bringing with him Liu Wenxiu who had tried to retire in dismay from his major defeat, but Sun would not allow this. When his forces got close to Changde they were ambushed by Qing forces and had to make a fighting retreat, losing 6 subsequent battles to them. Many of Sun's forces fell to the Qing, starvation and disease. Feng Shuangli was wounded and some other 40 generals simply surrendered to the Qing in what became a catastrophic campaign. One thing made Hong Chengchou uneasy despite the great victories, the Ming forces under Sun seemed to be using riverine units to great effect. Thus Chengchou began to pressure the Qing to put more funding into naval capabilities. You see Sun and Li both had mastered using boats to move units quicker through river systems, as cavalry was scarce and their operations required fast mobility. The use of these riverine units alluded the Qing countless times as the Qing did not possess a great number of boats themselves nor plan to build too many. Throughout 1655 the Qing pushed through Guangxi defeating multiple bandit groups. Li Dingguo in the meantime was returning to Nanning in late 1655, but would soon flee when the Qing attacked the city in February of 1656. It became evident that Li Dingguo was edging closer and closer to Anlong to attempt a rescue of Emperor Yongli, prompting Sun Kewang to order the forceful movement of the emperor. He appointed his subordinate Bai Wenxuan for the task of moving the emperor, completely unaware that Bai was secretly working with Li Dingguo to relocate Emperor Yongli to Yunnan where Li had a powerbase. As Sun continued to campaign in eastern Sichuan, Li dingguo and Bai Wenxuan sent word to Emperor Yongli to try and convince the him to move to Yunnan. It was a major risk as Li only had 6000 troops under his control at the time and Sun had more than 50,000 garrisoning various places, many of which were in Yunnan. Li then tried to appeal to the Ming loyalism of the commanders scattered about, accusing Sun Kewang of quote “sinking to a depth from which he could not return to allegiance”. He also bribed the hell out of them. In turn Liu Wenxiu turned his back on Sun and made his way to join Li dingguo. Li then dispatched his subordinate Jin Tongwu to take Emperor Yongli to Yunnan in early 1656, but Sun Kewang sent some agents of his own to retrieve the emperor. So basically we are seeing a situation in which Li Dingguo and Sun Kewang are both trying to win the Ming loyalists to their respective side and portraying themselves as being the true savior of the Emperor. By the way if most of this story sounds oddly familiar to parts of the 3 Kingdoms stories its not a coincidence, all the characters were avid readers of those stories and were actively portraying the events as such. What ends up winning the day, was the cunning and deceptive alliance between Li dingguo and Bai Wenxuan, because despite all that was going on, it seems Sun still thought Bai Wenxuan was his loyal man helping move the emperor for him. At a crucial moment, Sun Kewang sent an army to apprehend the emperor and Bai Wenxuan stopped the force saying “The Son of Heaven is here. Kewang wants to be a murderous traitor. If you wish to do that which is right, how can you follow the commands of an evil murderer and thus counter the Way of Heaven?”. Meanwhile he was sending letters to Sun Kewang explaining that he would be delivering the Emperor to Guiyang in a few days and not to worry. This deception bought enough time for Li Dingguo and his smaller army to sneak into Anlong and convince 2 Ming commanders, Pang Tianshou and Ma Jixiang (yup Sun's spy loyal man) to switch their allegiances to him. Li dingguo consolidated the forces with those of Ben Wenxuan and they began to escort Emperor Yongli out of Anlong on February 20th. It is said the populace lined up the roads and wept for joy as Emperor Yongli entered Yunnan alongside Li Dingguo. The emperor quickly occupied Sun Kewangs former residence in Kunming and once he felt safe and comfortable he began to distribute new titles and office to all those who aided his escape. Li Dingguo and Liu Wenxiu were named the Princes of Jin and Shu. Despite all of the craziness, Li Dingguo still hoped to bring Sun Kewang back into the fold and sent Liu Wenxiu back to Guiyang as an envoy. However Emperor Yongli advised Liu not to go in person, remembering the execution of the 18 gentlemen of Anlong, so instead Liu wrote a letter in blood to Sun Kewang. Li even sent out Sun's servants and concubines and the deceptive Bai Wenxuan back to him in a show of good faith. Sun responded as you might guess, angrily, so he sent his own envoys in return as a sign of good faith. In truth he had sent spies such as Wang Ziqi and Zhang Hu, who to his delight sent back word quickly that Li Dingguo only had 20,000 troops. Thus Sun Kewang eagerly prepared for war against Li, not realizing many of his top commanders had changed their allegiances such as his subordinate, Zhang Hu, I guess he can be called a double agent. Bai Wenxuan for his part notified Li that peace was assuredly not an option. On top of this Sun had sent some agents throughout Guizhou and Yunnan to garrison positions and prepare for war which really tipped Li off. Li Dingguo and Liu Wenxiu each sent letters from Kunming to Koxinga hoping for cooperation but no responses came. During all of this, the Qing were consolidating their empire, especially in Sichuan. The skirmishes between Sun and Li had enabled the Qing to grab most of Southwest China. Yet Southern Sichuan was still extremely chaotic. Maimed people walked everywhere, corpses littered the fields, cannibalism was rampant and people were paying taxes to differing authorities. Sun Kewang still held considerable authority in Southern Sichuan. Li Guoying was promoted to governor general of Shaanxi and Sichuan in 1657 and the Qing hoped some martial law might speed up the pacification and end the nightmare that had reigned for over a decade at this point. Li Guoying pointing out that Sichuan contained a mishmash of refugees from all the ongoing wars. There were Eight banner troops, bandits, Ming loyalists, Dashun and Daxi remnants and all these groups made it very difficult to determine reliability and suitability for service under the Qing. Li Guoying thought increasing agricultural productivity would win over most and set to work doing so. Meanwhile Hong Chengchou was gathering forces and supplies in Huguang while promoting agricultural productivity. Thus both Li and Hong were running similar programs trying to win the hearts of the populace to their side. Now as I mentioned, the Qing took Nanning in 1656 and soon realized that Li Dingguo had slipped away to Anlong. The Qing commanders worried that their supply lines were stretched too thin and Hong Chengchou favored using Guilin as a main base of operations for enclosing the southwest. To Hong Chengchou the main threat was Emperor Yongli and his entourage because he held the most significant challenge to the Qing that of legitimacy. The Qing had word of the growing war between Li Dingguo and Sun Kewang and chose to allow Hong Chengchou to build up his forces and supplies for the time being and let the enemy rot a bit from within. The entire time the Ming were bickering, the Qing were amping up agricultural production in multiple provinces winning over more and more of the populace. In the summer of 1657 Sun and Li finally came after another. Sun with a 140,000 strong army marched upon Yunnan leaving Feng Shuangli to hold Guiyang. Li and Liu had around 50,000 troops and took up a position at Qujing building up wooden defenses there. By this point Li and Liu had persuaded many of Sun's subordinates to turncoat using every means possible, but despite this they still feared the upcoming clash. Sun arrayed his force into 36 brigades once he hit the Yunnan border and made his way to the nearest city, Jiaoshui. When the 2 armies came 10 miles from each other, Sun placed Bai Wenxuan in his vanguard which would prove a disastrous mistake. Turns out Sun's spies finally told him Bai Wenxuan was a turncoat, so Sun rightfully threw him in front, but unbeknownst to him Bai knew Sun knew and planned for this. Oh how the turntables? At the critical start of the battle Bai sent a signal and his troops wheeled around smashing into Sun's other commanders, aided by another turncoat general. Before Sun could respond, the turncoat units were eliminating his loyal units 1 by 1. Sun panicked and sought to withdraw, but 2 of his loyal subordinates Ma Bao and Ma Weixing both promised they would capture Bai and Liu vowing to quote “eat Bai's flesh for his betrayal. We outnumber them 10 to 1, when one person advances, we retreat. Are there no men among us?”. Thus Sun sent Mao Bao and another subordinate Zhang Sheng with 4000 troops to make a flanking maneuver while he drove straight into the vanguard himself. The outcome was catastrophic. Ma Weixing simply bolted away, Zhang fled towards Kunming hoping to switch sides and Ma Bao did not follow through because it turned out he was also a turncoat. There are even accounts that Ma Bao's men were firing blanks to look like they were helping. To make matters worse, Li Dingguo was fed intel provided by Bai Wenxuan and personally led his units to hit Sun's weakest spot. When Liu Wenxiu advanced, many of Sun's subordinate began to chant “Welcome, Prince Jin! Welcome Prince Jin!” as they cast off their uniforms and defected. Soon banners of Li and Liu were filling the battleground, Sun was being undone by his own army. Even though Sun's loyal forces still outnumbered the enemy 3-1 they quickly collapsed and Sun was forced to flee. Sun and just a few dozen followers fled through thick forests making their way to the nearest town which was named Puding…haha Puding, anyways of all people Ma Jinzhong was holding the town and he closed the gates on them. When Sun screamed at the gates he was the ruler of the realm, Ma retorted “The ruler of the realm left with an army of 160,000. Now there are only a few thousand. You are certainly bandits.” Next Sun and his followers ran to Guiyang with Liu hot on their heels. When Sun approached the gates of his old capital he found them barred by Feng Shuangli. Feng did however allow Sun to take his family and continue running and Sun also secretly ordered his followers to rape and kill the wife of Bai Wenxuan who was in Guiyangat the time. Soon Sun ran into an underling of Li Dingguo named Li Bengao. He said to Bengao “Bengao, is that my old companion? You've received my favor, but now you want to kill you ruler huh?” Bengao replied “As a court officer it is simple to know the duties of a lord and minister. Bengao does not kill his lord; I've come to kill the leader of bandits.”. But before Bengao could kill Sun, one of Sun's followers snuck up and shot Bengao dead with an arrow. Sun decided enough was enough and to defect to the Qing and did so at Baoqing on December 19th of 1657. He cut his hair in the Manchu fashion and was invested as the Prince of Yi, but would not live too much longer as he died of illness in 1660, some allege he was executed secretly for having dealings with the Koxinga regime in Taiwan. Speaking of Koxinga, fresh from his victory over Sun, Li Dingguo yet again sent another letter to Koxinga asking if they could join forces and attack Nanjing, but this never came to be. Li Dingguo had a short lived victory as he soon had to perform mop up operations against Sun's loyalists in Yunnan. Li reportedly lost upto 90% of his best commanders and troops simply cleaning up the remnants of Sun, leaving him with a terribly green force to resist the inevitable Qing invasion to come. To make matters worse Liu Wenxiu died of illness in late 1658. Li distrusted most of the commanders at his side as they had been Sun's former commanders and without Liu he simply had too much to do by himself. Remember how Li kept trying to bring Sun Kewang back into the fold, despite the man was trying to kill him? Well you can see why here, despite Li being an incredible military leader, when it came to governance and state building, he simply was not very good at it. He was used to mobile armies, wandering the provinces and plundering while on the move. Sitting idle and trying to build up forces, taxation, production, even defenses works was sort of not his forte. Before L iu had died, on his deathbed he told Li he should flee and establish a new base of operations in Shaanxi or maybe sail down the Yangtze to join Koxinga. The loss of Liu was a hard one, as Li trusted pretty much no other former commanders under Sun, apart from Bai Wenxuan who proved quite helpful. Regardless Li strove on preparing what defenses he could. 3 Qing armies advanced on Yunnan from 3 directions, planning to converge upon Kunming. Wu Sangui marched from Sichuan, Loto would march from Huguang, Jobeti from Guangxi and Hong Chengchou held overall command. At this time Hong Chengchou was quite old and his health was failing him so he could not take a field command. Just because he was old and ill did not mean he did not have some sneaky tricks however. Hong Chengchou sent a number of spies into Yunnan to gather intel and perform a misinformation campaign to lead Li Dingguo's forces to believe the Qing were much further away than they were. Wu Sangui's force departed Baoning and first came upon Chengdu which he described to be “a den of tigers, leopards, and bears”. The city was still a wasteland and it is estimated only 2% of the population was alive. Things proved to be just as bad in Chongqing, when Wu and his colleague Li Guohan approached the first things they saw were corpses and bones littering the roads. Unlike Chengdu, Wu's force was hampered at Chongqing by bandit armies, but the Qing artillery proved enough to break them after several battles. It is said the Qing artillery blasted from shorelines filling the river with the bodies of bandits. The Qing armies advanced through Sichuan, Guangxi and Guizhou battling bandit armies everywhere they went. The more they advanced however, the more easily bandits surrendered and defections began to pour in. Loto captured Guiyang from Ma Jingzhong and within 3 months nearly all of Guizhou fell to the Qing. By 1658 most of the Ming resistance in Huguang and Jiangxi had been smashed with only some large bandit groups holding out. Thus it was decided in 1658 to finally march on Yunnan. Despite the field commanders eagerness, Hong Chengchou advised them all that they had thus far taken mostly empty or under armed cities and they only had a month or so supplies left. He cautioned them that they should advance slowly. Emperor Shunzhi received reports from Hong Chengchou and likewise ordered them to delay their advances so they could recover somewhat and supply up. Alongside this Emperor Shunzhi stressed the necessity to win over the populace as they conquered ““establish order out of chaos and rescue the people.”. Despite these orders, many scholars point out that this stage of the war was quite bloody on the side of the Qing and many commoners suffered. Meanwhile Li Dingguo had sent Bai Wenxuan to guard the Qixing Pass with 40,000 troops, Wu Zisheng to guard the route from Anlong and other units to the Pan River in the east where he planned to make a base of operations. Li was looking for a place to break away, considering Sichuan or even Vietnam, but the Qing had taken their time to envelop Yunnan forcing him into a corner. Li mobilized the army to go east to defend the approaches to Yunnan and won a few minor battles killing more than 10,000 Qing troops. Despite the victories, the Qing numerical superiority simply overwhelmed Li's forces quickly and they soon had to pull back further into Yunnan. Li brought his forces to Shuanghekou and Jobtei climbed a nearby mountain to study Li's army formation, searching for signs of weakness. When the battle commenced, Li's forces launched a cannonade, but the wind suddenly blew all the smoke from the cannonade into his battle lines faces. On Top of the blinding effect the smoke lit tall grass on fire all amongst his army. His army had to pull back and in the disarray, allowing Jobtei to outflank Li catching him in a pincer forcing Li to flee. Li's army fled to Kunming destroying bridges as they did to delay the Qing forces. Meanwhile Wu Sangui had intel on an alternate route to get past Bai Wenxuans forces at Qixing Pass and managed to get behind him forcing Bai's force to flee to Zhanyi. The initial campaign to defend Yunnan was a colossal failure. Li lost an estimated 30-40 thousand men, most of them his few surviving veterans with whom held more than 10 years of experience fighting battles from Sichuan to Guangdong. 30 officers were gone, most of his war elephants were also gone and the Qing were now marching on Qujing. Li sent words back to Kunming urging Emperor Yongli to flee. Li would make it back to Kunming by January 5th 1659 and the court of Yongli began to plan their next place to make a stand. Li favored a retreat into Sichuan in the hope of joining some large bandit armies they had friendly connections with. Others in the court argued it was too dangerous and that there was little offensive potential in Sichuan. Many argued they should flee west through Yunnan into Burma. Others said they should flee into Vietnam and perhaps sail out to join Koxinga. But as they debated it turned out the Qing foresaw some of their actions and blocked the way into Vietnam and in the end the decision was made to flee west into Burma. The royal entourage was around 4300 men that departed Kunming. Li ordered everything that could not be carried to be torched, but the people lamented him for this and he soon changed his mind about the torching. Before leaving he told the people of Kunming “We have stayed in Yunnan for many years and we regard you people as a father regards his sons. But now national affairs have reached dire proportions and the court must move. You may share our hardships together. For I fear that when the Qing troops arrive, they will kill, loot, and rape, and it will be difficult to escape. If you do not flee with his majesty, you should each get far away quickly. Those who don't have only themselves to blame”. This drove the city's populace to abandon the city while weeping for the doom that was brought upon them. The march was a rough one, food became scarce and many died of starvation and disease. They eventually made it to Yongchang in early 1659 as the Qing hit Kunming and to their great surprise found it was fully intact and supplies were everywhere to be found. Li's change of heart on the torching would cost him greatly as the Qing forces recovered several months of supplies in Kunming. Meanwhile some of the Emperors entourage did not want to go west such as Ai Chengye who instead sought to establish ambushes for the Qing, hoping to join Li and the emperor later. Bai Wenxuan began to establish defenses between Dali and Yongchang to delay the Qing as well. It was decided to cover Emperor Yongli's flight, Bai would hold the rearguard while Li rode with the Emperors entourage. The Qing continued their advance as Bai Wenxuan tried to delay them but suffered multiple defeats and lost countless soldiers, officers and elephants. Meanwhile Li destroyed the bridge at Lancang River hoping to further delay the Qing, but the Qing were very efficient at building rafts and crossed each river with ease. The Qing would reach Yongchang in March of 1659 and proceed to plunder it heavily. Li and Bai held a council of war and Li argued they should try to fight a decisive battle in Yunnan, but Bai argued that Emperor Yongli's safety was more important. Regardless Li was adamant about fighting and set up multiple ambushes along the mountain range of Mount Mopan west of the Nu River. With only 6000 troops against around 12,000 of a Qing vanguard, Li felt he could do some damage. He split his forces into 3 groups stationed them in ambush sites to hit the vanguard of Wu Sangui. Wu Sangui's vanguard had been having a few easy days with no real excitement so he was marching with a loose formation into the mountain range not expecting an attack. The ambush signal was triggered and Wu immediately ordered a retreat as all hell broke loose and cannons and arrows rained down upon his men. Combat raged all over the mountain range and Li Dingguo got shrapnel into his face as he directed the battle. The fighting went on for half a day seeing corpses pill up on both sides like mountains. In the end Li made a fighting withdrawal. The Ming forces ended up losing a third of their total numbers while inflicting upto 10,000 casualties upon the Qing. After the battle Wu Sangui remarked that Li Dingguo and Bai Wenxuan were indeed great military commanders and they should tread lightly. The carnage in the mountains bought more time for Emperor Yongli to continue to move into Burma. Li and a few thousand troops fled south camping at Menggen inside Burma and Bai Wenxuan camped at Mubang. When Li and Bai entered Burma they took care not to attack any Burmese forces they were with the Emperor afterall. As for Emperor Yongli when the entourage entered the Burmese border, the royal party was disarmed by local border guards and apprehended. They were taken by boat over the Irrawaddy river to the capital city of Ava. By this time their entourage was nothing more than 1478 members of which only 600 or so were allowed to be on the boats, the rest had to walk it through thick jungle. Hundreds died to disease while trekking the jungles, some went south to Siam instead, others ended up being captured as slaves. Emperor Yongli's party made it to Ava, completely unaware Li and Bai were trying to find them and one of his court officials was sending word to them that Emperor Yongli had instead fled to Fujian. Over the next 2 years, Li and Bai under the believe that Emperor Yongli was kidnapped, and perhaps he was for all intensive purposes, began to make repeated rescue efforts. Meanwhile the Qing consolidated their position in Yunnan and their enormous occupational force was exacerbating the province, soon famine spread. For both the populace of Yunnan and the Qing forces the situation was growing quite dire. The costs for garrisoning Yunnan was estimated to exceed the entire military revenue for the empire, over 9 million taels of silver. The situation grew worse when Li Dingguo began to work with local chieftains to form rebellions against the Qing menace. The trouble of banditry and rebellions would plague the Qing in Yunnan for months far into 1661. While some Qing commanders like Wu Sangui pushed for apprehending Emperor Yongli as soon as possible, Hong Chengchou favored a gradual pacification of Yunnan before campaigning. Hong had seen the countless failures in Guangxi, Sichuan and Guizhou and understood the need to win the hearts of the populace so that victory would be less costly. Meanwhile back in Burma, Bai Wenxuan advanced towards Ava trying to rescue Emperor Yongli who he assumed had been kidnapped. This led the Burmese forces to treat both Bai and Li's small armies as threats. Bai and Li consolidated their armies and defeated a Burmese force killing several thousand. After defeating the Burmese force they negotiated a 3 day truce asking for the Burmese to hand over the emperor. After 3 days instead of handing him over the Burmese sent another army to attack them and they were swiftly defeated. When they demanded the Emperor be handed over again the Burmese commander said “Now how can we send [Yongli] to you? You have the temerity to attack our city, but the land and water [i.e., terrain] don't favor you. We can hold out for two to three years without fear.”. Thus they continued to march on Ava and besieged it, prompting the king of Burma to amass over 150,000 troops with 100 war elephants to defend the capital. The entire time Li and Bai both tried to write countless letters to the emperor failing countless times, but then one letter got through in 1661 and Yongli responded ““Use unorthodox troops to rescue me.”. Thus they did just that, they made a direct attack on the city preparing to cross the Irrawaddy to hit the walls of Ava. That night they opened fire with their heavy cannons and began building floating bridges. As you can imagine the Ming forces were outnumbered by something like 10 to 1 and certainly outgunned or better said out elephanted. Regardless of their numbers the Burmese using the cover of night, to cut the bridges to Ava forcing the Ming forces to pull back. Then in april of 1661 a Burmese army of 150,000 with apparently 1000 war elephants showed up and gave battle, that number has to be inflated, 1000 war elephants what is this the siege of Minas Tirith? Anyways it is said, Li Dingguo went forth to the front of battle with a large sword and grabbed an elephants tusk as he hacked its trunk off. The elephant fled afterwards making Li the largest bad ass I've ever heard of, and that poor elephant. It is also said Bai Wenxuan managed to perform a rear flank attack killing thousands and drove the Burmese army back, which must of been incredible given the disparity of numbers, 10,000 guys managed to defeat an army of 150,000 and 1000 elephants, yeah. The Ming proceeded to continue building the fleet of boats and rafts after the battle and besieged Ava yet again. The Burmese sent word they would release Yongli if the siege was lifted, I am pretty confused writing about this one, its as if the Burmese army was a paper army or something. I mean this Ming force is 10,000 or less how are they managing to defeat the capital of Burma?. Regardless the Burmese did not hand over the emperor and instead began to construct more defenses in Ava. Meanwhile the Qing sent letters to Li and Bai to defect to the Qing as they were mobilizing their own assault on Burma to grab Yongli. In june of 1661 the King of Burma, Pindale was executed and replaced by his brother, Pye Min who assumed a more aggressive stance against the Ming forces. For his enthronement there was a “water spirit” ceremony and an official of Yongli's court, Mu Tianbo was chosen to be sacrificed. Mu Tianbo fought ferociously, killing a few guards before being executed. After this Emperor Yongli lost all hope and lamented “The Dowager Empress is sick again and it looks like I will be unable to go back [to China] because the Tartars are coming to kill me. So please return the Dowager Empress's bones to her old home. Now it's obvious that I've been duped by traitorous ministers. If only I had invested Bai Wenxuan as a Prince of the Blood and Ma Bao as a secondary prince and followed the counsel of the meritorious officials, then I wouldn't have these regrets. Still playing the part of the Son of Heaven, he also expressed regret at the fate of his loyal subjects in Yunnan, who were reportedly suffering at the hands of Wu Sangui and Hong Chengchou.” When Bai and Li heard of the execution they panicked and launched one final attack on Ava. This time they tried to use their 16 boats to get across to the city, but their force was driven back after only 3 days of combat and they lost 11 boats in the process. Now Li and Bai lamented in despair for their situation was very dire. Since the Ming had entered Burma the Burmese government began opening up talks with the Qing hoping to curry favor. This facilitated the Qing march into Burma with a 100,000 strong force in 1661. The Qing immediately sought to separate the forces of Li and Bai as they advanced towards Ava. The Qing had already sent word to the Burmese King that if Yongli was not handed over immediately, Ava would be besieged. As the Qing closed in, Emperor Yongli sent a letter to Wu Sangui begging for his life, but Wu ignored it. When the Qing arrived at Ava, the Burmese told Emperor Yongli Li Dingguo was taking him away to safety as they delivered the emperor straight into the hands of the Qing. Emperor Yongli was brought to Kunming and executed on may 19th 1662 on a small hill overlooking Green Lake. Yongli and his wife were strangled and their ashes were poured around the Lotus Pond in Kunming. Wu Sangui allegedly felt remorse for not trying to save Emperor Yongli, though his story is not quite done. Li Dingguo and Bai Wenxuan fled north trying to decide their next move, but they knew they stood no chance against the Qing force. Wu Sangui surrounded their camp and Bai lamented “I've disappointed my emperor, and I've let down Prince Jin.”. Bai then surrendered to Wu Sangui's subordinate Ma Bao who happened to be an old friend of his. Li Dingguo was given false word that Emperor Yongli escaped, but required him for rescue. By this point Li had only 5000 or so men and could do little to nothing. Li fled east, hoping as you guessed it, to jin Koxinga, the man I keep naming but never speak much about. Li tried to flee to Vietnam and slipped past the Qing who were much more preoccupied moving Emperor Yongli back to Kunming. Despite the fact Li Dingguo evaded the Qing menace, as he fled through the thick Burmese jungles he was stricken, as were his men with disease. On his death bed just as he got word that Emperor Yongli had been executed, Li Dingguo died on August 10th 1662. He died telling his remaining son to never submit to the Qing and he would be remembered as one of the great loyalist heroes in Chinese history. 10700 I would like to take this time to remind you all that this podcast is only made possible through the efforts of Kings and Generals over at Youtube. Please go subscribe to Kings and Generals over at Youtube and to continue helping us produce this content please check out www.patreon.com/kingsandgenerals. If you are still hungry after that, give my personal channel a look over at The Pacific War Channel at Youtube, it would mean a lot to me. The last pretender to the Dragon throne, Emperor Yongli has been executed and adoptive offspring of Zhang Xianzhong have fallen likewise. Yunnan and the rest of south China is being consolidated into the Qing empire, all that remains is a few bandit groups, or was that all? I've mentioned his name countless times, but one problem still remains for the Qing, Koxinga over in Taiwan.
Korea24 – 2022.08.11. (Thursday) News Briefing: The death toll from this week's record rainfall that pummeled the central region has climbed to twelve while seven others remain missing as the rain front moves south. (Koo Hee-jin) In-Depth News Analysis (Korean Politics Digest): Two young politicians, Lee Jun-seok of the People Power Party and Park Ji-hyun of the Democratic Party, were meant to herald a new era in Korean politics, but both now find themselves on the political fringes. We discuss where it went wrong for them, and what their situation says about Korean politics with Affiliate Professor Kim Byoung-joo from the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and Law Professor Cho Hee-kyung from Hong-ik University. Korea Trending with Jenny Suh: 1. Starbucks Korea has announced an official recall of its recent giveaway summer bags after they were found to have contained formaldehyde. (스타벅스 '발암물질 검출' 증정품 공식 리콜) 2. UK health authorities are offering an additional dose of the polio vaccine to children aged 1 to 9 in London after the virus was detected in city’s sewage. (영국, 40년만에 소아마비 바이러스 검출) 3. The South Korean women's under-18 handball team have become the first Asian team to win the Women’s Youth World Championship. (한국, 덴마크 꺾고 U-18 세계여자핸드볼선수권 우승 쾌거) Explore Korea: Composer, violinist, conductor and educator, Hong Nan-pa (1897-1941), best known for writing “Bongseonhwa (봉선화)”, was one of the most influential musicians in early 20th century Korea. But his legacy has come under question in recent years over allegations that he was a pro-Japanese sympathizer. Our history and travel contributor Allison Needels from Pinpoint Korea tells us about his story. Morning Edition Preview with Richard Larkin: - In tomorrow’s Korea Herald, Kim Hae-yeon writes about the upcoming World Heritage Festival, an annual event celebrating UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South Korea. - Tomorrow’s Korea Times features an interview by Lee Gyu-lee with Choi Na-young, the founder and CEO of “Moryham”, which makes a custom-made shadow boxes using "pyogu", a traditional Korean framing technique.
Welcome to Heroes Three episode 94. This week we're joined by Alex from Swimfans to talk about the wild ride that is Game of Death II starring "Bruce Lee", Kim Tai-Chung, Roy Horan, and Hwang Jang-Lee from 1981 directed by Ng See-Yuen.Full credits at HKMDBFind us online - https://linktr.ee/Heroes3PodcastFind Swimfans online - https://linktr.ee/swimfansEmail us! - email@example.comCheck out some H3 art and merch! - https://www.teepublic.com/user/kf_carlitoDownload the Episode Here!Roy Horan Retrospective Interview + GoD II StoriesThe Art of High Impact Kicking directed by Roy Horan!Roy Horan's Portals to Inner Peace seriesGame of Death II Gifs!
Daiyu is expertly trolled by a bird, and Baoyu tries to charm Silver. Baoyu tries to get Grandmother Jia to praise Daiyu, but she praises Baochai instead. Meanwhile we attempt to ascertain the social-hierarchical significance of who serves whom, and who sits when.
How has Korean culture become a global phenomenon? Musician G-Dragon, known as the “King of K-pop” and an artist across multiple mediums, connects with renowned cinematographer Hong Kyung-pyo, whose vision and dynamic camerawork have animated films from Snowpiercer to Parasite. Together, they explore their inspirations, creative processes, and the growing impact of Korean culture. This conversation is moderated by musician, model and House ambassador Soo Joo Park.
The story of the Opium War is usually told as part of a wider narrative of European colonial expansion, and the beginning of a “century of humiliation” from the perspective of the modern Chinese state. Last episode, we covered the main narrative of the war, a kind of “Great Man” history last episode. But it's easy to forget that the fighting and loss of the Opium War had far-reaching consequences for tens of millions of everyday people living in the Qing Empire. Hong Xiuquan was one of those ordinary people affected by the war, but drew very different conclusions from the hostilities than many of his neighbors. Hong saw in the British a people who followed a powerful God, one that two millennia of imperial ideology had replaced with false idols and demon worship. Worship of Confucius & Buddhist Bodhisattva, the practice of dark Daoist magic - these had led the people of China away from the all-powerful Father of Heaven who the authors of the Classics had called Shangdi. In Shangdi and his Heavenly Kingdom Hong found truth and order in the chaos and turmoil that surrounded him in the aftermath of the Opium War.
Korea24 – 2022.07.28. (Thursday) News Briefing: South Korea’s finance minister Choo Kyung-ho said that the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest 0.75 percentage point rate hike is expected to have limited impact on the domestic financial market. (KOO Hee-jin) In-Depth News Analysis (Korean Politics Digest): The minor opposition Justice Party is facing an unprecedented crisis. After a string of poor election results since the 2020 general elections, last week the party revealed that it amassed 3.6 billion won in debt, and that party lawmakers had personally taken out loans to pay the wages of its officials. To discuss the progressive party’s difficulties, both financial and political, we connect with Law Professor Cho Hee-kyung from Hong-ik University and Affiliate Professor Kim Byoung-joo from the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. Korea Trending with Jenny Suh: 1. Mobile versions of driver's licenses have begun to be issued in South Korea, after a successful six-month pilot period came to an end. (오늘부터 모바일 운전면허증 전국 발급 개시) 2. The former governor of South Chungcheong Province, An Hee-jung, who was convicted of sexually assault, will be released from prison next week. (안희정 前지사, 내달 4일 형기 마치고 출소) 3. Singer-songwriter IU is set to become the first Korean female act to hold a concert at the Jamsil Olympic Stadium in September. (아이유, 9월 올림픽주경기장 콘서트..韓 여자 가수 최초) Explore Korea: A rare solo exhibition by acclaimed contemporary painter Roh Hyuntark (노현탁) is on view at the Songwon Art Center. Titled “The Night Hunt (야간 사냥)”, it explores themes on the pressures of chasing success in modern society. Our arts contributor joins us in the studio to tell us more about the artist and the exhibition. Morning Edition Preview with Richard Larkin: - In tomorrow’s Korea Times, Dong Sun-hwa reports on “NewJeans”, a new K-Pop girl group launched by All Doors One Room (ADOR), a label under Hybe corporation. - Tomorrow’s Korea Herald informs us of the “2022 Han River Festival”, a series of 20 cultural programs and activities at 11 riverside parks starting this Friday.
Welcome to Heroes Three episode 93. This week we discuss the ups and downs of Bruce Lee's Game of Death! We also take some time to talk about some of Bruce Lee's other unfinished works.Full credits at HKMDBFind us online - https://linktr.ee/Heroes3PodcastEmail us! - firstname.lastname@example.orgCheck out some H3 art and merch! - https://www.teepublic.com/user/kf_carlitoDownload the episode here!Game of Death 78 trailerA Warrior's Journey trailerBruce Lee in G.O.D Shiboteki Yugi trailerGame of Death Redux trailerAudio comparison of the 3 compiled versionsGame of Death Gifs!
Plus, ‘quarantine bracelets' spark online debate; Didi served with large fines for violations of data and personal security laws; and Hong Kong cops bust a fake marriage ring. Are you a big fan of our shows? Then please give our podcast account, China Business Insider, a 5-star rating on Spotify, Apple, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Therapy for Executives and Emerging Leaders Curt and Katie chat about how therapists can support leaders. We look at optimal leadership, leadership identity development, barriers for emerging leaders, challenges that executives face, and how therapists can support these leaders. We explore specific interventions and career assessment questions. This is a continuing education podcourse. Transcripts for this episode will be available at mtsgpodcast.com! In this podcast episode we explore how therapists can help leaders During times of turmoil - like a global pandemic, an unstable economy, and social unrest - we want to be able to rely on our leaders to help us weather the storm. We look to our employers, our legislators, and our community leaders to solve problems and remain calm. But who supports our leaders? It's important for therapists to understand leadership and the unique challenges that leaders face, so they can help. Further, therapists must be available to provide support to emerging leaders who are coming from much more diverse backgrounds and perspectives who may need help navigating a system that doesn't always accept them or align with their lived experiences. We talk about leader identity development and how leaders develop over time. We look at common barriers and challenges for leaders at all stages of development as well as suggested interventions to address these needs. What do therapists get wrong when working with leaders? “We may be hindering folks that we don't see as leaders based on what we know about them: either their identity and the kind of the societal bias, or based on what we know about how much they're struggling. And so, we won't be able to help these folks move into these positions of leadership and help them elevate themselves in that way.” – Katie Vernoy, LMFT Therapists don't include career assessments and leadership assessment Understanding the interrelation between work and mental health Bias related to stereotypical leaders and not seeing leadership where it shows up outside of able-bodied, tall, white men The calm, peaceful, work-life balance versus optimal performance and ambition Cosigning on poor work behavior and overwork What is good leadership? Leadership can be taught and can be beneficial for every client Concepts of leadership as a process and a position Interdependent, collaborative Servant Leadership Transformational Leadership What does leadership identity development look like? The 6 stages of the model created by Komives, et al. Moving from identifying leaders, understanding positional leadership, then moving to more of a process and interdependent relationship How leadership identity development impacts adult clients What impacts emerging leaders? Identities, especially marginalized identities Relationships with authority figures Resources, privilege within typical leadership development opportunities during childhood and early adulthood Relational trauma, boundaries, communication Marginalized identities and stereotypes with no sure-fire way to perform acceptably Lack of safety and empowerment Career and Leadership Assessment “Oftentimes, these stereotypes [related to marginalized identities] can really hit someone, and that can get in the way of them being able to be a good leader. First off, because they're not given the positions. But it's also something where they're navigating these stereotypes and having to twist themselves into pretzels, in order to fit in that little tiny line that is between ‘too much' and ‘too little'.” – Katie Vernoy, LMFT Career trajectory Leadership identity development stage Current employment Work/life balance Role of work in client's life and within family system Therapists Working with Leaders Life experience that therapists can draw upon Identifying what you don't know Understand your own work trauma and leadership development The CHAT Model (or Katie's model: clarify, imagine, simplify, act) Our Generous Sponsors for this episode of the Modern Therapist's Survival Guide: Thrizer Thrizer is a new modern billing platform for therapists that was built on the belief that therapy should be accessible AND clinicians should earn what they are worth. Their platform automatically gets clients reimbursed by their insurance after every session. 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You don't have to be tech savvy to learn SEO! These days, most people go to Google when they're looking for a therapist and when they start searching, you want to make sure they find you! Simplified SEO Consulting walks you step by step through the process of optimizing your website with their Small Group SEO Intensives. Led by Danica Wolf, a seasoned SEO instructor with an MSW and strong understanding of the mental health world, you learn what content you need to add to your website and how to optimize it with your ideal client in mind. Then watch your online rankings climb! Next one is enrolling now and begins in August, 2022! Visit simplifiedseoconsulting.com/seo-mastermind to learn more and register. Receive Continuing Education for this Episode of the Modern Therapist's Survival Guide Hey modern therapists, we're so excited to offer the opportunity for 1 unit of continuing education for this podcast episode – Therapy Reimagined is bringing you the Modern Therapist Learning Community! Once you've listened to this episode, to get CE credit you just need to go to moderntherapistcommunity.com/podcourse, register for your free profile, purchase this course, pass the post-test, and complete the evaluation! Once that's all completed - you'll get a CE certificate in your profile or you can download it for your records. For our current list of CE approvals, check out moderntherapistcommunity.com. You can find this full course (including handouts and resources) here: https://moderntherapistcommunity.com/podcourse/ Continuing Education Approvals: When we are airing this podcast episode, we have the following CE approval. Please check back as we add other approval bodies: Continuing Education Information CAMFT CEPA: Therapy Reimagined is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LPCCs, LCSWs, and LEPs (CAMFT CEPA provider #132270). Therapy Reimagined maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Courses meet the qualifications for the listed hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. We are working on additional provider approvals, but solely are able to provide CAMFT CEs at this time. Please check with your licensing body to ensure that they will accept this as an equivalent learning credit. Resources for Modern Therapists mentioned in this Podcast Episode: We've pulled together resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links. Please note that some of the links below may be affiliate links, so if you purchase after clicking below, we may get a little bit of cash in our pockets. We thank you in advance! Katie's Leadership and Management Books Worth Reading on Pinterest References mentioned in this continuing education podcast: Ben-Noam, S. (2018). Cracking the Intrapsychic “Glass Ceiling” for Women in Leadership: Therapeutic Interventions. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 38(4), 299–311. https://doi.org/10.1080/07351690.2018.1444856 Chang, Ting-Han. ”A Critical Study of How College Student Leaders of Color Conceptualize Social Justice Leadership.” Indiana University ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2022. 28964612. Chen, C. P., & Hong, J. W. L. (2020). The Career Human Agency Theory. Journal of Counseling & Development, 98(2), 193–199. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcad.12313 Cullen, Maureen E., "Understanding Women's Experience in Undergraduate Leadership Development Through a Transformative and Intersectional Lens" (2022). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 102. https://pilotscholars.up.edu/etd/102 Komives, S. R., Longerbeam, S. D., Owen, J. E., Mainella, F. C., & Osteen, L. (2006). A Leadership Identity Development Model: Applications from a Grounded Theory. Journal of College Student Development, 47(4), 401–418. https://doi.org/10.1353/csd.2006.0048 Murphy, S. E., & Johnson, S. K. (2011). The benefits of a long-lens approach to leader development: Understanding the seeds of leadership. Leadership Quarterly, 22(3), 459–470. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2011.04.004 Oldridge, K. (2019). A grounded theory study exploring the contribution of coaching to rebalancing organisational power for female leaders. Coaching Psychologist, 15(1), 11–23. Tang, M., Montgomery, M. L. T., Collins, B., & Jenkins, K. (2021). Integrating Career and Mental Health Counseling: Necessity and Strategies. Journal of Employment Counseling, 58(1), 23–35. https://doi.org/10.1002/joec.12155 Wallace, D. M., Torres, E.M., & Zaccaro, S. J. (2021). Just what do we think we are doing? Learning outcomes of leader and leadership development. The Leadership Quarterly, 32(5). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2020.101494. *The full reference list can be found in the course on our learning platform. Relevant Episodes of MTSG Podcast: What to Know When Providing Therapy for Elite Athletes Millennials as Therapists Financial Therapy Who we are: Curt Widhalm, LMFT Curt Widhalm is in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is the cofounder of the Therapy Reimagined conference, an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University and CSUN, a former Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, former CFO of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making "dad jokes" and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more at: www.curtwidhalm.com Katie Vernoy, LMFT Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant supporting leaders, visionaries, executives, and helping professionals to create sustainable careers. Katie, with Curt, has developed workshops and a conference, Therapy Reimagined, to support therapists navigating through the modern challenges of this profession. Katie is also a former President of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt's youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more at: www.katievernoy.com A Quick Note: Our opinions are our own. We are only speaking for ourselves – except when we speak for each other, or over each other. We're working on it. Our guests are also only speaking for themselves and have their own opinions. We aren't trying to take their voice, and no one speaks for us either. Mostly because they don't want to, but hey. Stay in Touch with Curt, Katie, and the whole Therapy Reimagined #TherapyMovement: Patreon Buy Me A Coffee Podcast Homepage Therapy Reimagined Homepage Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Consultation services with Curt Widhalm or Katie Vernoy: The Fifty-Minute Hour Connect with the Modern Therapist Community: Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group Modern Therapist's Survival Guide Creative Credits: Voice Over by DW McCann https://www.facebook.com/McCannDW/ Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano https://groomsymusic.com/
We discuss a study entitled: Predicting Psychological Distress Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic by Machine Learning: Discrimination and Coping Mechanisms of Korean Immigrants in the U.S. by Choi, Hong, Kim, & Park published in 2020. The pandemic and acts of hate and racial discrimination all took a toll on the Korean and Asian American communities. Though there were many atrocities and so many people feeling burnt out, there were many who were able to carry on in some way. What was so special about those who were able to carry on and what does resilience really mean? You can find the abstract here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32825349/
How did Hong Xiuquan transform from ordinary school teacher into the leader of the largest rebellion in modern history and the younger brother of Jesus? What started out as one man's fever dream would slowly reveal itself to be a nightmare in reality for millions of people in China. This is the third episode in a series on the Taiping Civil War or the Taiping Rebellion in China. It focuses on the origin story of Hong Xiuquan, his interpretation of Christian scripture in the context of the dysfunction of China at the time, his appeals to the disenfranchised and anti-establishment, and the apocalyptic and violent nature of Hong's Taiping religion. -Consider Supporting the Podcast!- Support the podcast on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/reflectinghistory Check out my podcast series on Arcane and the Dark Knight Trilogy here: https://www.reflectinghistory.com/bonuscontent Try my audio course: Why do 'good' people support evil leaders? What allure does Fascism hold that enables it to garner popular support? And what lessons can history teach us about today? My audio course 'A Beginners Guide to Understanding & Resisting Fascism: Nazi Germany and the Battle for the Human Heart' explores these massive questions through the lens of Nazi Germany and the ordinary people who lived, loved, collaborated and even resisted during those times. Through exploring the past, I hope to unlock lessons that all learners on the course can apply to the present day - from why fascism attracts people to how it can be resisted. I'm donating 20% of the proceeds to Givewell's Maximum Impact Fund, and the course also comes with a 100% money back guarantee. Check it out at https://avid.fm/reflectinghistory Subscribe to my newsletter! A free, low stress, monthly-quarterly email offering historical perspective on modern day issues, behind the scenes content on my latest podcast episodes, and historical lessons/takeaways from the world of history, psychology, and philosophy: https://www.reflectinghistory.com/newsletter Leave a rating or review on apple podcasts or spotify!
“He's just fishing. Not even he knows what he'll catch. He just threw out the bait, and your daughter took it.” In a sleepy Korean village, evil lurks behind every corner. Evil lives in the hills. Evil lives inside of the ones you love most. This week the fellas take on Na Hong-jins masterpiece, The Wailing. Arguably the most complete horror flick of the last decade, Hong-jins blend of horror, comedy, and drama leaves us speechless with as close to a perfect film as you can get. The boys breakdown why this movie was so successful, highlight the directorial story telling, speak on cast performances, and try to explain what truly happened in this battle of good vs. evil. Thank you for checking back in, and enjoy your stay at The Grand Cinema Hotel! --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app
Development comes amid intensified regulatory scrutiny over transactions in the tokens; Didi gets fined $1.2 billion for national security and data violations; and the latest on robotaxis. Are you a big fan of our shows? Then please give our podcast account, China Business Insider, a 5-star rating on Spotify, Apple, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Korea24 – 2022.07.21. (Thursday) News Briefing: The Yoon Suk Yeol government has unveiled a sweeping tax cut plan to spur growth and ease people’s livelihoods, including a reduction in corporate tax and the first income tax cut in 15 years. (KOO Hee-jin) In-Depth News Analysis (Korean Politics Digest): The Yoon Suk Yeol administration has come under fire in recent weeks, first for questions that have been raised about how certain personnel appointments were made at the presidential office, and also a controversial financial support scheme for young people with low credit. To discuss these issues, Affiliate Professor Kim Byoung-joo from the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and Law Professor Cho Hee-kyung from Hong-ik University joins us on the line. Korea Trending with Jenny Suh: 1. Minor opposition Justice Party member, Chin Joong-kwon, has called on public support to help deal with the party’s mounting debt. (정의당 재정난에 진중권 후원 호소) 2. The South Korean men’s national football team beat China 3-0 in the EAFF E-1 Championships on Wednesday. (벤투호, 동아시안컵 중국전 3-0 완승) 3. Four members of BTS have collaborated with producer Benny Blanco and rapper Snoop Dogg for a track titled “Bad Decisions” to be released on August 5. (방탄소년단 진·지민·뷔·정국, 베니블랑코x스눕독과 협업..8월 5일 공개) Explore Korea: This week, our history and travel explorer Allison Needels from Pinpoint Korea takes us back to the ancient Baekje Kingdom (18 BC - 660 AD). She tells us about the history and the many sites and relics that remain today in Buyeo county, such as the Neungsanri Royal Tombs, Gungnamji pond and the Jeongnimsaji Temple. Morning Edition Preview with Richard Larkin: - In tomorrow’s Korea Herald, Byun Hae-jin reports on the ‘No-spend challenge’, a money-saving trend that is gaining popularity among young people in Korea. - Tomorrow’s Korea Times features an interview by Jon Dunbar with the all-girl punk band “Rumkicks”, who have been invited to “Rebellion Fest” in the U.K.
Is love disgusting? Why wouldn't it be? If your love is not reaching toward some infinite embrace, the quality of being unqualified, is it love? After a discussion of the handkerchief verses, we discuss Xue Pan and the “dark social alchemy” of violence and quantification.
Spontaneity is a polarizing term, especially in today's day and age. Everyone wants to forecast and fulfill their goals without factoring in the idea of unpredictability. Have you ever thought about how God had blessed you in the most unconventional, random moments? Do you ever think in hindsight that God simply puts you where He needs you to be when He needs you to be there? Perhaps there is some value in creating space for spontaneity, so the Spirit can help you bear fruit from your faith.
Korea24 – 2022.07.14. (Thursday) News Briefing: President Yoon Suk Yeol said the central bank's recent rate hike must not place a burden on the socially vulnerable. He pledged an active state response to help protect people’s livelihoods. (KOO Hee-jin) In-Depth News Analysis (Korean Politics Digest): This week President Yoon Suk Yeol called for his government to come up with plans to help lower the tax burden for middle and working class people. This comes after criticism that his tax plans will only benefit conglomerates and the rich. Meanwhile, the new US ambassador to South Korea has courted controversy after his decision to speak at the Seoul Queer Culture Festival this weekend. To discuss these stories Affiliate Professor Kim Byung-joo from the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and Law Professor Cho Hee-kyung from Hong-ik University joins us on the line. Korea Trending with Jenny Suh: 1. Ukraine has cut ties with North Korea after Pyongyang recognized the independence of two Russian-backed separatist regions in eastern Ukraine. (우크라이나, 북한과 단교) 2. Several people have fallen ill with a mystery illness, dubbed “The Gangnam Plague”, after visiting nightclubs in Seoul’s Gangnam District. (“클럽 갔다가 피가래 토했다”…‘강남역병’ 정체는) 3. “Extraordinary Attorney Woo”, a Korean TV series about a lawyer on the autism spectrum, has topped Netflix’s global chart for non-English language shows. (우영우, 일 냈다…넷플릭스 공식차트 '글로벌 1위') Explore Korea: The festival season is in full swing and this week, our travel explorer Hannah Roberts joins us on the line to take us to the Boryeong Mud Festival, the most popular cultural festival in Korea, which is returning in full for the first time in three years. She also tells us about the Daegu Chimac Festival which took place earlier this month. Morning Edition Preview with Richard Larkin: - Tomorrow’s Korea Herald features a report by Yim Hyun-su on the various ways Seoul city is preparing to help citizens during heat waves. - In tomorrow’s Korea Times, Yi Whan-woo, writes about the illegal practice of people in Korea buying weapons online from overseas.
Last time we spoke, Yang Sichang had enacted his “ten-sided net” plan and won a multitude of victories over rebels. However this plan proved to be a disaster overall and cost the Ming Dynasty more than it did any good. Now Li Zicheng had established himself as the de facto largest rebel leader amongst others who now held entire armies at their command. The Ming dynasty was rotting from within and its actions to prevent the rot simply delayed or sometimes even made it worse. With the allocation of so many resources to the northwest and center of China to deal with the rebels, the Ming northeastern frontier was weaker than ever. Seeing the absolute turmoil from within, the Qing soon realized they could allow the rebels to do much of the heavy lifting for them for now it was time for the Qing to overthrow one of the greatest dynasties in history. Welcome to the Fall and Rise of China Podcast, I am your dutiful host Craig Watson. But, before we start I want to also remind you this podcast is only made possible through the efforts of Kings and Generals over at Youtube. Perhaps you want to learn more about the history of Asia? Kings and Generals have an assortment of episodes on world war two and much more so go give them a look over on Youtube. So please subscribe to Kings and Generals over at Youtube and to continue helping us produce this content please check out www.patreon.com/kingsandgenerals. If you are still hungry for some more history related content, over on my channel, the Pacific War Channel where I cover the history of China and Japan from the 19th century until the end of the Pacific War. This episode is the fall of the Ming Dynasty As things only worsened within the Ming dynasty, soon the Qing would make their move in one of the most decisive engagements fought between the 2 empires. Given the Ming's recent ability to withstand the Qing raids over the past few years, the Ming Court remained a bit more optimistic that the northeast could hold out. Hong Chengchou continuously argued they should remain defensive despite many in the Ming court pushing for offensive operations. Despite this, the Qing were making massive efforts at digging trenches for some upcoming sieges. By some estimates some trenches were 8 feet deep and 6 feet wide, dug in several rows. The siege efforts represented an evolution in Qing warfare, many differing groups were being employed and specialization was being seen. For example Koreans were manning many of the firearms and Mongols were used more for mobile warfare. At Jinzhou some Ming relief forces began to advance and upon hearing the firing of their guns, the defenders burst out of the south gate. The Ming engaged the Qing who had sent 7000 cavalry to hit them. A fierce battle was fought, but the Qing were able to move their cannons and used them to devastate the Ming. The defenders were badly hurt, having 738 dead and 793 wounded, but the Qing eventually turned away by nightfall. Despite this being a slight victory for the Ming, they had only months worth of supplies and were advised by Zu Dashou not to enter any battles lightly. But the Ming Court kept demanding more offensive operations, pushing Hong Chengchou to go forth with a force of 60,000 in July of 1641 to hit the Qing. The Qing forces were around Mount Rufeng, due south of Jinzhou. When Dorgon heard the report of 60,000 Ming incoming he urgently sent a message to Hung for aid. Hung told Dorgon to stand firm and sent him 3000 cavalry immediately to help out. Estimates vary, but its possible the Qing had up to 100,000 men in many elevated positions amongst all the siege works. When Hung arrived to the scene he stated “They say Hong Chengchou knows how to use troops. I can see that those aren't empty claims. My generals should be concerned”. Some of Hong's commanders advised a retreat, stating their supply was short, but Hong stated “now today we have this opportunity and although our food supplies are growing short, you should listen to the order of your officers. If you defend, you may die, but if you don't fight, then you'll still die, but only in battle do you have any hope of a favorable outcome”. Thus Hong led the attack personally against Hung's forces. This is getting a big confusing eh with the Hung and Hong? Hong's left and right flanks advanced haphazardly and were quickly routed by the Qing. The next day the Ming left flank panicked and fled, trampling into another and abandoning many weapons and supplies while falling victim to more Qing ambushes along the way. Over 50,000 Ming troops were lost, literally being driven into the sea. Of the left flank it is said barely 200 men survived, being ambushed all the way to Ningyuan. The left flank commander, Wang Pu would be executed for this terrible conduct. Hong Chengchou and the right flank made a fighting retreat all the way to Songshan with only 10,000 troops. Hong vowed to hold Songshan to the death with these forces, but now Jinzhou was more isolated and thus in grave danger. As the Ming dug in further, Hung told his forces all they had to do was sever the Ming supply lines and defend the coast, because the Ming were short on food and soon would fall apart. Hung returned to Shenyang and left the siege in the hands of his commanders, Dodo, Jirgalang an Abatai. Upon hearing the news, Chongzhen ordered Hong to fight to the death if necessary to protect Songshan. As the siege continued the defenders pleaded with the court to send supplies while they had only a single bowl of rice per day to survive on. Things did not fare much better for the besiegers who were also low on food supplies. It would actually be Songshan that turned itself over to the Qing before Jinzhou, in march of 1642. At Jinzhou the defenders eventually resorted to cannibalism and this finally prompted Zu Dashou to surrender the city to the Qing. Next Tashan fell with 7000 of its defenders being massacred. Xingshan fell afterwards peacefully. Many of the Ming commanders were brought to Shenyang. Eventually Hong Chengchou after refusing to eat for several days agreed to defect to the Qing, becoming the newest most prominent Ming to do so. Hong Chengchou joined the Yellow banner, working under Dorgon. These victories, now called the battle of Song-Jin allowed the Qing to acquire a ton of war equipment. They got their hands on 3683 cannons and 1515 various guns. Now it seemed the Qing had the necessary technological tools capable of toppling the Ming Dynasty. Hong Chongzhen just before the fall of Songshan and Jinzhou proposed opening up peace talks with the Qing. But knowing the emperor's temper, Hong had sent 2 envoys secretly and by the time they reached the Qing Songshan and Jinzhou had already fallen. Nonetheless the talks occurred and the Qing in a great position demanded territorial concessions, 1 million taels of silver per year in tribute and would pull their troops back away from Ningyuan as a gesture of good faith. The 2 states would be made equals and exchange ministers to conclude the agreements. All of this was relayed to Chongzhen who assembled his court who were deeply divided over the matter. On one hand agreeing to this would stabilize the frontier and allow the Ming to devote all their resources to deal with the rebels. But on the other hand, it was dangerous to publicly announce that the Ming dynasty was now treating with the Qing. The court decided not to go through with it and the envoys left Shenyang, thus from that point onwards no real peace talks would occur again between the 2 dynasties. The Qing brushed this off, because now they understood how strong their position was. The conquest of the Ming dynasty was now a reality if they so desired it. Hung held a conference with his advisers who all came to the conclusion that peasant rebellion within the Ming Dynasty they had all had reports of could do much of the heavy lifting. Hung would continue his raids to plunder more supplies and booty, but he also ordered his men not to rape or plunder indiscriminately. In september of 1642, the Qing sent 50,000 troops hitting Ming defenses along the Great wall, winning a series of minor battles. Then they assaulted Dongchang but were repulsed by its defenders led by Liu Zeing. Despite the minor setback, they would eventually capture Dongchang 3 months later. It turned out the defenses of places in Shandong were oriented towards the sea and the defenders were equipped and trained to counter attacks from that direction, thus they were not as prepared for cavalry attacks. The Qing then attacked Jining, where Prince Lu courageously led the defense, but the city soon fell and Prince Lu commited suicide. Ming Grand secretary Zhou Yanru then told the emperor he would lead relief troops himself. He did, and they routed quickly and were defeated, though he would send reports back to Beijing stating he had won a great victory. Zhou also had not been in the actual battlefield, but rather dining at banquets with friends while simultaneously sending a stream of victory reports to the Ming court. He was not alone in this, many other Ming officials were lying or over exaggerating their war efforts, not wanting to face the wrath of the Emperor's temper. During the raids into Nan Zhili, Shandong and Henan in 1642-1643 the Ming records estimated the Qing had attacked 3 superior prefectures, 18 regular prefectures, 67 counties and 88 towns. They had captured almost 400,000 people, 321,000 livestock, 12,000 taels of gold and 2.2 million taels of silver, a colossal sum. Alongside all of this they of course got their hands on more firearms. Matters were even worse than the plundering however, as the Qing raided more and more starving refugees fled into Shandong and Liaodong burdening local officials. Just about nothing the Ming did could hinder the Qing, until one thing put a dent in the Qing attacks, Hung Taiji died in August of 1643. Historians think it was a stroke that killed the great ruler. On the rebel front, in October of 1642, the great city of Kaifeng in Henan, once a former capital of China was completely destroyed by a man-made flood. The flood submerged the city and its estimated 80% of its population died, over 370,000 people. This would be a setback not only for the Ming, but also for Li Zicheng who had hoped to use its capture as a springboard for his ultimate goal, a thrust at Beijing. After the capture of Luoyang, Li had grown more aware of the necessity for a strategic base of operations so he could hit the capital. Kaifeng was not just a strategic place it also was a symbolic one, as mentioned it was a previous capital. Li Zichengs forces had actually assaulted Kaifeng a few times between 1641-1642, but each time they were repulsed and decided to attack other cities and return. By mid july of 1642, famine was spreading with Kaifeng and Li's forces had returned to try again. They expanded defensive moats around the city to siege and wait them out. Then they got the bright idea of utilizing the Yellow River to flood out the defenders. On july 29th, an impatient Li Zicheng killed a subordinate who proposed the idea of using the river, as his efforts to do so had not yet worked. The moats had only filled up with 5 inches of water. Then on August the 10th, the defenders of the city burst out to try and make a decisive victory against the rebels. The battle was ferocious and Li Zicheng fought in the very thick of it pushing the defenders back into the city. Kaifengs walls were beginning to crumble, food was scarce and no relief armies were able to come to its aid. The usual reports of people resorting to cannibalism began, thus things were quite dire. This got the defenders to think of anyway to escape this plight, one idea was to use the river. Water levels had risen to around 4 feet deep and heavy rains were adding to this. The defenders hoped that by diverting the river, it might provide them with fish and other food sources. The commander of kaifeng in desperation sent 3000 of his best troops out in the middle of the night to cut the dikes, but his men were caught and turned back. Then in the middle of the night on october 7th, the defenders were awakened by a great roar and the river suddenly came crashing right into the city. The rebels pulled back and watched the enormous power of the river doing all the work for them. Historians are not 100% sure if the rebels had ultimately cut down the dikes or perhaps heavy rains simply collapsed them. But in any case, the river smashed through the Cao gate in the north, sweeping everything before it and rushed out the south gate. People desperately climbed towers to avoid the raging waters or made rafts. The commander of the city built some 20 boats to evacuate, Prince Zhou and other high officials, as most commoners were forced to cling to tree branches and debris praying for rescue.By dawn of october 10th, the city was fully submerged. The rebels looted what was left of the city, but it was in such a sorry state there was no point trying to occupy it as a base of operations. Thus a disappointed Li Zicheng turned further south. It was a catastrophe for the Ming, Kaifeng was a base of operations used to coordinate defensive efforts for all of Henan and specifically to protect the southern approach to Beijing. Now as Li Zichengs forces moved south, also in august of 1642, Zhang Xianzhong was embarking on a new venture. His force had been camped in Lake Chao not too far from Luzhou where he began to recruit and train a naval force. Zhang planned to attack Nanjing via the Yangtze river. For Li Zicheng, he was turning his attention towards Nanyang where Sun Chuanting was leading Ming troops. Li and Sun's forces clashed a few times, but Li was able to bait, ambush and eventually force Sun's forces to retreat towards Shaanxi and the Tong Pass. This allowed Li to hit the last position of Ming strength left in Henan, Runing. Runing was defended by commander Yang Wenyue with only 3000 troops. Yang also happened to be an old rival of Li's who had fought him a few times outside Kaifeng. As soon as the rebels approached the city, the defenders began to break and fled. Apparently the defenders threw corpses over their walls into the moat in desperation. When Li Zicheng entered the city he faced the captured Yang and said to him “Master is an important official of the dynasty who will not submit to us. But now that we've caught you, what is your wish?” Yang replied “I myself, without any soldiers, only want to kill you. So today I'll die at you hands. What else can I say?”.Yang was then executed in front of the Sanyi temple. Li Zicheng followed this all up by taking Xiangyang, De'an and Chentian in early 1643. At Xiangyang, Li took new steps to building up his new order. He took the residence of Prince Xiang and made the prince and his siblings earls. Prince Xiangyang was renamed Xiangjing and Li took the title of “Long Accumulated Worshiping Heaven Leading-in-Righteousness Generalissimo”, and thank god he decided to shorten that all down to commander in chief. His secondhand man, Luo Rucai took the title “generalissimo whose virtue and awe pacifies the people on behalf of heaven”, what is with these guys and these ridiculously long titles? At this point Li Zichengs force began taking all men they captured between the ages of 15-40 and enrolled them in the army, and soon they were a goliath 600,000 man strong force. A few months later, Li Zicheng adopted the title of Prince of Xinshun and began procedures for taking future cities. Now if defenders resisted for 1 day, 30% of them would be killed, if resistance lasted 2 days, 70% would be killed and if after 3 days all would die. When Chongzhen heard reports about this he was utterly disgusted. Zhang Xianzhong also upted his anty by renaming and reclassifying captured towns and prefectures in Central China even when he did even not hold them. To add to the Ming's misery, some of Zuo Lingyu's subordinates attempted a mutiny to take Nanjing, raising a ton of tension. Zuo was eventually able to quell the mutiny, but it distracted him and his forces from Zhang's operations. At the beginning of 1643, Zhang remained the only rebel leader not directly subordinate to Li Zicheng. Zhang knew the danger posed by this and started to consolidate and legitimize his own power lest he be swallowed up by Li. Thus Zhang decided to attack Nanjing and as we mentioned he built some naval power to do so. In may Zhang's force moved into eastern Huguang capturing several cities and he soon renamed himself Prince of Xin Shun. Then Zhang targeted the capital of Huguang, Wuchang. Many of Wuchangs forces were former mutineers under Zuo Lingyu's. The city's defenses did not fare too well to say the least and fell by July the 15th. In the chaos of its capture, thousands were massacred by Zhang's men and thousands more drowning in the local river. Prince of Chu himself was drowned in a bamboo cage by Zhang's orders. The river was allegedly so full of corpses that the fish were unfit for consumption months after. Zhang took all the captured men between 15-20 enrolled them as soldiers and killed the rest in quite a grisly manner. He renamed the city Tianshoufu meaning “received from heaven” and the capital of his new Western Kingdom. Zhang then elevated the late Prince Chu's younger brother to a position of nobility within his new order. Zhang went on to make all these proclamations and promises of restructuring so much, but he only really ended up occupying the city for barely a month before being chased off by Zuo Liangyu. As he withdrew he torched the city, I guess so long for all that? When Li Zicheng got report of all these ongoings he decided to place 1000 taels for Zhang's head, demonstrating the emerging rivalry. Zhang moved on to occupy Yezhou then used his boats to strike at Changsha. Like the poor souls of Wuchang, the defenders of Changsha did not take notice of the incoming rebel force and did not make any strong defensive points along the city's northern approach. When Zhang approached the city's gates he demanded their surrender and a brief effort was made by the defenders to repel them. Knowing it was fruitless, the commander of Changsha asked if he could give his life in return for the sparing of the people. Zhang accepted this, it is said the commander's eyes remained clear and bright and he did not cry out as he was cut to pieces. The Ming Court was feeling helpless towards the declining situation, now both the frontier and interior were in utter chaos. Officials were being impeached left right and center and some executed. More and more officials poured into the imperial palace as the Emperor demanded solutions. In spring of 1643, Li Zicheng began to consolidate his movement by eliminating rival subordinates. The first to go was Ge Guoyan after he secretly met with Luo Rucai which prompted suspicion from Li. Li then invited Ge to a banquet, got him very drunk and killed him, thus taking all of Ge's forces as his own. Subordinates Zuo Jinwang and He Yilong were dispersed, in a similar fashion. And even Luo Rucai would face elimination, it seems he had grown to popular despite the fact, unlike Zhang he never expanded his political goals and prefered the life of a wandering bandit. There is some evidence to suggest Li took out Luo because rumor had it the Ming were trying to get Luo to kill Li and defect. Luo did not fall for the banquet affair, but later would be killed by a death squad sent by Li whom caught Luo asleep with his forces in camp. Luo's forces would be taken by Li who continued his purge, which prompted some subordinates to defect to the Ming. The great purging did not go unnoticed prompting Zhang to send Li gifts, probably hoping to get on his good side, but Li sent nothing in return. In autumn of 1643, the Ming made a large offensive against Li Zicheng. The emperor ordered Sun Chuanting to conduct an operation in Henan towards the east to crush Li once and for all. The problem for a long time though was most military strength was in the northeast thwarting off the Qing, but now it seems the court decided to divert considerable resources from the northeast in the hopes of destroying Li Zicheng in Henan. Sun Chuanting was not loved by the local gentry in Shaanxi because he raised many taxes to pay for local defenses, despite them being successful. These gentry thought if they allowed Sun to lead Ming armies away from his defensive positions, he would no longer bother them with more taxation, so they supported the idea. Sun opposed the operation for many reasons, firstmost he thought his defensive plans were bearing fruit in Shaanxi. If Li's army swelled, their supply lines would become problematic and with winter on everyone's heels, Sun figured Li's army's morale would eventually break and they would have to go west, falling upon Sun's defenses. Sun was also concerned with supplying his force in the event of an offensive operation as in the past this proved to be fatal. He advised waiting until the following spring, but was completely ignored as all the gentry were now pushing for the operation. Sun eventually had to bow to local gentry and court pressures to lead the offensive, remarking “this is the path to ruin” as he did so. Sun marched down the yellow river valley gathering Ming remnant forces in Luoyang. Sun then ordered Zuo Liangyu to take a force and advance from Jiangxi and strike south upon Runing, hoping they could perform a pincer attack. However Zuo's force was still recovering from being smashed the year earlier and had to refuse this order, something increasingly being done by commanders in the field. So Sun had to advance alone and managed to smash a rebel force at Ruzhou to the utter delight of the Ming court. They were all jubilant, except for the Vice minister of War, Zhng Fengyi who reminded them the rebels might be feinting an illusion of weakness to lure Sun into a trap. Well Sun soon won victories at Baofeng and Jia pushing the rebels further towards Xiangcheng. Despite the victories, Sun was facing the very problems he had foreseen. His troops were running low on supplies, and years upon years of scorched earth tactics had devastated the agriculture of Henan. Thus Sun's troops were at the mercy of neighboring provinces for food supplies but the officials in those regions were either unable or unwilling to send the provisions. At that point Sun's 2 subordinate commanders argued if they should go back on the defensive or continue with the offense. Sun had a spy within Li Zichengs camp telling him that Li force was on the ropes, thus Sun decided they would continue. As November hit, things got really bad, supplies worsened and Sun troops began to raid local towns or eat their own horses. The rearguard of his army then got cut off by forces under Li who spread rumors to them that Ming relief forces were not coming to their aid. This all panicked the men and the rear began to rout. Upon seeing the chaos, Sun ordered a general retreat and told his subordinates Gao Jie to protect their rear and for Bai Guang'en to lay ambushes to cover the retreat. Bai took his forces and simply bolted for the Tong Pass. Unfortunately for his almost complete infantry force, do remember they began eating all their horses afterall, well Li's cavalry found them and smashed them to pieces. Sun's army was soon routed losing 40,000 men and abandoning an incredible amount of weaponry to the rebels. Sun tried to make a stand at the Tong Pass but his forces crumbled to the rebels. Bai Guang'en not only got his force smashed, but he ended up defecting to Li and became a commander for him. Sun proceeded to retreat up the Weir River valley where he would fight a final battle at Weinan and he would die with his men. Gao Jie took his remaining forces and fled north, leaving Beijing completely open to attack. All of this convinced Li that the time was ripe to declare his intent to overthrow the Ming dynasty and formally establish his own regime which would be at Xi'an. While that was going down, Zuo Liangyu was fighting Zhang Xianzhong's forces further south. Although Zuo's men managed to recapture Xiangyang and Nanyang, Zhang as we mentioned had taken Changsha and now fortified it. The fighting between Zuo and Zhang would continue and before long Zhang found himself setting up in Sichuan where he established his Great Kingdom of the West. It was there as I mentioned that he took Yang Sichang's corpse and desecrated it. Back in Beijing, the court now made Yu Yingui supreme commander of Shaanxi. And Yu was very skeptical about any effort