Prefecture-level & Sub-provincial city in Jiangsu, People's Republic of China
Hosts: Ansel Lindner and Christian Keroles Fed Watch is a macro podcast with a clear contrarian thesis of a deflationary breakdown of the financial system leading to bitcoin adoption. We question narratives and schools of thought, and try to form new understanding. Each episode we use current events to question mainstream and bitcoin narratives across the globe, with an emphasis on central banks and currencies. Find all charts and links at bitcoinandmarkets.com/fed145 In this episode, CK and I are joined by Chris Alaimo to discuss our macro takeaways from the Bitcoin 2023 conference and then refocus on the macro situation at hand via charts of bitcoin, the dollar, oil, and US Treasuries. Lastly, we discuss recent numbers of the deteriorating Chinese real estate market. In our comments on the conference, we tried to relate our thoughts back to the macro picture to keep it on-topic for this podcast. We mentioned the fact that even though attendence was down, there might have been more bitcoiners there, since last year was a lot of altcoin attendees. Also, there was a palpable shift from speculation toward serious topics this year. Politicians were some of the biggest speakers, and it came across as if the bitcoin voting block is becoming an important thing. Other comments we have center around bitcoin becoming a "big tent", where lots of different interests, professions and concerns live, all maturing at a slightly different rate. I mentioned that all these different concerns, like money and banking, politics, energy and environment, art and culture, etc., each have their own Overton Windows, and bitcoin is infiltrating all of them. On the macro side of the house, we discussed the bitcoin price, stocks, and bonds. Please see the charts below. Lastly, I read through some Chinese numbers on their real estate market. Existing home sales in their largest cities are down double digits in April alone. Beijing fell 37.3 percent; Hangzhou fell 32.7 percent; Shanghai fell 26.71 percent; and Nanjing fell 13 percent. The worst decline was in Hefei, which plunged by 40 percent. It seems the world is not going to avert a global recession. Demand for commodities is crashing, "inflation"/prices are coming down, and we are entering the predicted low growth, low inflation environment at the end of a credit bubble. Thanks for joining us! If you are reading this, hit the like and subscribe button! Constant updates on bitcoin and macro Free weekly Bitcoin Fundamentals Report Ansel Lindner On Twitter Christian Keroles On Twitter Watch this Episode: YouTube || Rumble World's Largest Real Estate Market On The Brink Of Collapse: Experts If you enjoy this content please LIKE, SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW on iTunes, and SHARE! Written by Ansel Lindner Find More and Follow THIS EPISODE'S SPONSORS: Moon Mortgage - https://www.moonmortgage.io River - https://river.com/ Gordon Law - https://gordonlawltd.com/ Bitcoin 2024 Nashville - https://b.tc/conference/ Bitcoin Magazine - https://store.bitcoinmagazine.com/ Bitcoin Magazine Pro - https://bitcoinmagazine.com/tags/bitcoin-magazine-pro Lower your time preference and lock-in your BITCOIN 2024 Nashville conference tickets today! Use the code BMLIVE for a 10% Discount! https://b.tc/conference/2024 Use promocode: BMLIVE for 10% off everything in our store
The Best Christian Podcast in the Metaverse Canary Cry News Talk #627 - 05.24.2023 - Recorded Live to Tape ALCHEMY OF CHAOS | Pentagon Fakeout, AI Council, Disease X, DeSantis Musk, Klaus Brazil Deconstructing Corporate Mainstream Media News from a Biblical Worldview We Operate Value 4 Value: http://CanaryCry.Support Join Supply Drop: http://CanaryCrySupplyDrop.com Submit Articles: http://CanaryCry.Report Join the Tee Shirt Council: http://CanaryCryTShirtCouncil.com Resource: Index of MSM Ownership (Harvard.edu) Resource: Aliens Demons Doc (feat. Dr. Heiser, Unseen Realm) All the links: http://CanaryCry.Party This Episode was Produced By: Executive Producers Aimee B*** Maureen M*** Producers Morgan E, Malik W, Sir Morv Knight of the Burning Chariots, Sir Casey the Shield Knight, Veronica D, Ronin Poet, Dame Gail Canary Whisperer and Lady of X's and O's, Sir Scott Knight of Truth CanaryCry.ART Submissions Sir Dove Knight of Rusbeltia ModernDayBibleStudy JonathanF Amanda F Microfiction Stephen S - Another anonymous question during the Army's ARCYBER webinar, “Isn't this offensive posture similar to China's 50 cent army?” The Colonel replied, “Oh no, we are not going use a cheap tacky name like that. We will be the Patriotic Cyber MinuteMen!” CLIP PRODUCER Emsworth, FaeLivrin, Joelms, Laura TIMESTAPERS Jade Bouncerson, Christine C, Pocojo CanaryCry.Report Submissions JAM REMINDERS Clankoniphius SHOW NOTES HELLO, RUN DOWN BASIL First Social Media Babies are Growing Up, and they're Horrified (Atlantic) DEEPFAKE AI-generated hoax of an explosion at the Pentagon went viral online, and markets dipped → New Dem Bill Calls For AI Councl, “Behavioral Codes…Disinfo Experts” (Reclaim Net) ITS ALL COMING TOGETHER/ALCHEMY OF CHAOS 60,000 pounds of an explosive chemical lost during rail shipment, officials say (NBC) Senators issued satellite phones, offered demos on upgraded security devices (CBS) FDA, 'internet going down' in PSA, sparking hilarious reactions online (Sportskeeda) Man who rammed U-Haul into WH barrier praised Hitler after arrest, court filings say (CNN) DAY JINGLE/V4V/EXEC./TREASURE FLIPPY Flex Your Robotics Muscles (Hackster) POLYTICKS DeSantis Twitter Spaces announce presidential bid (NY Times) (MSNBC) Clip: State of Florida is turning into “Terrorist State” (MSNBC) Former Deputy Nat'l Security Adviser: FBI, CIA & DOJ Will Rig 2024 Election (ZeroHedge) Tweet: Jack Dorsey tweets to destroy FBI, CIA, DOJ etc. link to Kennedy painting. BBB/BRAZIL/KLAUS ‘Brazil can be an ecological power', says founder of the World Economic Forum (Estadão) → U.S. Embassy in Brazil releases video plugging gender-neutral pronouns (Washington Times) (Archive) PANDEMIC SPECIAL Disease X is coming, and with it the next global pandemic, scientists warn (National Post) → WHO warns of an incoming pandemic ‘even deadlier' than COVID-19 (InsiderPaper) → Comparative analysis of within-host diversity among vaccinated COVID-19 patients infected with different SARS-CoV-2 variants (Cell) METAVERSE China's Nanjing city launches state-backed metaverse entity (Yahoo) Note: Inducing mass psychosis SPACE NASA has discovered an 'ocean world' where one year lasts just 11 days (Space Academy) AI AI voice coach to help treat depression (Indulge) EUGENICS Clip: Medically assisted suicide now solution in Canada homeless CHINA/BIDEN/ANTARCTICA Biden says the 'silly balloon' was responsible for deflating the US's relationship with China - but predicted there would be a 'thaw' soon (DailyMail) V4V/SPEAKPIPE/TALENT/TIME END
John White joins the show to talk about all of the amazing benefits of using PEMF therapy. John goes over how using pulse electromagnetic field therapy, especially in the form of a simple to use mat, can charge up your cells, regrow bone, provide you with more energy, and help your body recover form everyday stress and activity. John covers how PEMF therapy can help counteract the effects of harmful EMF, and the difference between beneficial EMF and the bad stuff that comes from things like wi-fi and cell phones. John also presents his incredible PEMF mat, The Magic Pro Mat, and why using a mat like this could be one of the missing pieces to your health. On today's podcast, you will learn: What exactly is PEMF therapy? The health conditions that PEMF therapy can actually help reverse. Can PEMF therapy really help regrow bones and recharge your cells? (Yes!) The difference between harmful and beneficial EMFs. The reason some PEMF devices can be harmful to your body. Why PEMF mats are a great solution for using PEMF therapy. John's incredible Magic Pro Mat, and what makes it unique from other PEMF mats. John White's Bio: John White is a Rife researcher and inventor from New Zealand, now living in Nanjing, China. With a background in Electrical Engineering, Physics, and Computer Sciences, he has been researching and developing solutions to serious diseases since 2008. John specializes in energy and scalar resonance healing, biofeedback and PEMF therapy. With an insatiable desire for truth and knowledge, John has collaborated with global research groups to discover answers to health issues. You can learn more about John and The Magic Pro Mat at https://www.miramate.com/?wpam_id=78 ✨SUBSCRIBE✨ http://bit.ly/38pyo1U
The Pacific War - week by week
Last time we spoke about actions in New Guinea and the Japanese counteroffensive in Arakan. The good ol boys down unda were getting ready to launch a major offensive aimed to seize Lae and Salamaua. The Australian and American forces gradually built up enough strength to commence the offensive and high command decided to launch some feints, such as at Mubo to distract the Japanese from their real intentions. Over in Arakan, Irwins disaster was still paying dividends to the Japanese as General Koga launched a massive counterattack. Things were continuing to get worse for the British in Burma, though General Slim was beginning to make improvements. Lastly the British began a propaganda campaign to boost morale in the far east using the mad onion man Wingates recent adventure with the Chindits. Things were looking rough in the CBI theater. This episode is the Operation Postern, the drive to Salamaua Welcome to the Pacific War Podcast Week by Week, 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 world war two? 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 you can find a few videos all the way from the Opium Wars of the 1800's until the end of the Pacific War in 1945. I just want to say before we begin, this episode will feel a bit like one of those old tv episodes that rehashes what happened during that season. You've heard me say it a few times, but because we do this series in the week by week format sometimes we get into these messy weeks where either not much occurs or too much occurs. Regardless this episode is about multiple ongoing operations that culminate into the drive upon Salamaua and for the sake of coherency I am going to have to summarize a lot of what occurred in the south west pacific area for early 1943. General Blamey devised a plan to capture Lae, codenamed Operation Postern. General MacArthur approved of the plan, which was quite complex and reflected the growing power of the allied forces in the southwest pacific. Blamey moved to New Guinea to take overall charge, reverting Herring to commander of the 1st corps, responsible for tactical operations. The key to quick success lay in convincing General Adachi, that Salamaua was the primary target for any major offensive. To accomplish this, it was necessary for the Australian and American forces to press upon the Japanese around the Salamaua area, but not Salamaua. Operation Postern was preceded by three simultaneous operations occurring in the South west pacific area and the south pacific area. Together the three operations helped set up the conditions necessary to allow for an amphibious landing at Lae, by tying up the Japanese ground, naval and airpower in the region alongside creating important feints. The invasion of New Georgia was the first of these operations carried out by Admiral Bull Halsey and the 1st raider battalion. That offensive codenamed operation Toenails took up a lot of the Japanese ground, sea and air forces and would gradually see the allies capturing Munda. The 2nd was operation Chronicle, the seizure of Kiriwina and Woodlark islands located just northeast of Milne Bay. With their seizure, the allies were able to create new forward airfields from which to launch air strikes against Rabaul and provide air cover for multiple other operations in the region. Lastly the third operation was to be an assault on Nassau Bay, which we will talk about a bit later. Now back to the ground forces. The 8th Area Army at Rabaul sent General Adachi and the 18th army to secure important areas west of Lae and Salamaua and to do so an offensive was launched against Wau. This prompted the Australian high command to send Brigadier Moten and the 17th brigade over to defend Wau in January of 1943. The battle to defend was tough, but the allies were able to prolong the Japanese advance long enough to transport enough troops to save Wau. The Japanese were sent retreating over to the Mubo area, but instead of pursuing the enemy, Moten limited his men's actions to patrols. The New Guinea force wished to pursue the Japanese, but was prevented by logistical difficulties. As the Australians gathered more strength, the Japanese prepared a second attempt to capture Way. This time the Japanese planned to approach Wau from the north, building a road from Markham point into the snake river valley. From there the Japanese advance would hit Wau. The 51st division was earmarked for the task, but the battle of the Bismarck sea had caused devastating losses to the convoy bringing them over in March of 1943. The battle of the Bismarck sea had pressed upon the Japanese high command the increasing allied airpower, leading them to reformulate their plans. The Japanese began to construct a road to compensate for their inability to transport men and materials to New Guinea via the sea. As the Japanese did this, on the other side, the allies now felt very secure at Wau and were willing to perform some offensives. General Savige's 3rd division was given command of the Wau-Bulolo area. For this task he had the 17th brigade, the 2/3rd, 25th and 2/7th independent companies. It was believed the Japanese had around 5500 men around Lae and Salamaua with around 6-8 thousand at Madang and 9- 11 thousand at Wewak. Savige was ordered not to attack Salamaua directly, so he decided to establish firm bases as far forward as possible to harass the Japanese, basically you can see this as forward offensive patrol actions. Now the Japanese had dug in some defensive positions in places called the Pimple, Green Hill and Observation Hill which were along the main track from Wau to Mubo. On April 24th, the 2/7th independent company were given a new mission; to clear the Japanese from the vicinity of Mubo. Moten approved a plan for the seizure of the Pimple and Green Hill, ordering Major Warfe and his 2/3rd company to harass the Japanese logistical routes in Mubo as a distraction as the 2/7th hit the Pimple. The Japanese had made the Pimple a nightmare for the allied forces. They had taken defensive positions on commanding ground allowing for concealed ambushes. They cleared firing lanes to enable their machine guns to gundown anyone who took a forward approach. By holding the high grounds they also thwarted the allies from utilizing grenades effectively. On the morning of April 24, after 20 minutes of air attacks by Boston aircraft against Green Hill, Stony Creek, Observation Hill and Kitchen Creek, the offensive kicked off with a two pronged attack. The 2/7th would start from the Vicker's ridge track, moving in two columns: one going along the Jap track towards the Pimple; the other would move north along the Laws track, a very difficult and quite unknown trail to try an encircle the Pimple from the west. When the two columns got within 100 yards of the pimple, they were met with light machine gun fire and snipers. The Australians attempted an all out assault in the late afternoon, but were unable to gain any ground. The next morning 3 Bostons came roaring in to strafe and bomb Green Hill while allied artillery began to bombard the Pimple. Despite the increased firepower the Australians still were unable to dislodge the enemy with their proceeding assaults. It turns out the Australians had greatly underestimate the defensive capabilities of the Pimple position. Reconnaissance had failed to pinpoint the enemy positions prior to the offensive. A major lack of communication between the two columns because they had no telephone lines or wireless communications led to a lack of coordination, neither allied column knew the plight of the other. Runners were used, but they were too slow and extremely vulnerable to Japanese snipers. The offensive was quickly falling apart as the Japanese continued to reinforce their lines. Meanwhile Warfe's men conducted a number of raids and ambushes in the Missim area, Komiatum Hill and Bobdubi Ridge. Warfe then sent a patrol from Namling along the Bench Cut track to ambush the Japanese at the junction between the Francisco river and the Buirali Creek. The ambush was a large success leading to the deaths of 18 Japanese. Warfe tried to perform an identical operation on April 28th, but this time his men were ambushed by the Japanese at Goodview junctions suffering considerable casualties. As a result of the forward patrolling of Warfe's men, the allies had learned the Dobdubi ridge area was defended quite lightly. Having learnt this, Ware decided to order a second platoon to capture the northern part of the ridge on April 27th. By the end of the month Warfe had two platoons spread over the Bobdubi ridge area, with a 3rd platoon held in reserve at Missim. Over in his headquarters, Moten now realized the offensive against the Pimple was far too costly and he decided the men should simply bypass it. However the commander in the field, General Savige continued to launch attacks. The reason why Savige pressed on was because on April 28th, one of his reconnaissance patrols found a position on Pimple unoccupied and kicked seized it before the Japanese could return to man it. Colonel Guinn on the ground there deduced the Japanese must have been expecting an airstrike and momentarily left their positions. He therefore elected to order another company led by Captain Leslie Tatterson brought forward to assault the pimple. This time however, the allies used deception. Instead of launching an airstrike and artillery against the Pimple they passed over it and bombarded Green Hill. The deception did not work as planned and Saviges men yet again were unable to make any ground against the pimple. By early May the 2/7th battalion had lost 12 men dead with 25 wounded against the pimple with no end in sight. Meanwhile on May 3rd, an offensive was launched against the northern part of the Bobdubi ridge. The Australians were able to fight their way close to the mouth of the Francisco river, prompting the Japanese to pull up reinforcements in the form of 70 SNLF marines from Salamua. A battle was fought in a place called the South Coconuts on May 5th. The Australians performed encircling maneuvers, managing to surround large pockets of the Japanese whom they smashed with artillery. The Australians were met with 3 major counter attacks but held their ground successfully occupying another place called the Center Coconuts by May 7th. However the Japanese then performed another counterattack, utilizing mortars to great effect, pushing the Australians back. The Japanese further reinforced the area with 60 additional men coming up from Salamaua, but they were ambushed by the Australians at the North Coconuts location suffering 20 casualties. On May 9th, Captain Tattersons men were struck a lethal blow when they ran into a Japanese booby trap along the Jap Track. The Japanese opened fire upon the Australians on the track and began to encircle them. Colonel Guinn led a small force along the track to break the encirclement while Tatterson's men resisted tenaciously against the Japanese. Tatterson's force had been completely surrounded by the afternoon of May 9th and were in a state of desperation. The Australians utilized booby-traps, fire control and mass grenade attacks to force the Japanese to give them breathing room. The next day the Japanese launched a fierce attack against Tatterson's rear. The Australians could hear Japanese officers screaming orders as their riflemen poured lead upon them. As the Japanese pressed upon them they were receiving 500 additional reinforcements from the 102nd and 115th regiments. Meanwhile the 3rd battalion of the 102nd regiment in Nassau bay received orders “to capture the high area on the right bank of the Buyawim River fork” to be done in coordination with the May 9th attacks. This action would have endangered the allied positions at Lababia camp, but luckily the Japanese commander decided instead to hold a defensive positions at the bank of the Bitoi mouth. This allowed Colonel Guinn to concentrate some of his forces at Lababia camp. By May 11th, a company of 60 men managed to break the Japanese encirclement of Tatterson's men. According to Tatterson, by 7am on the 11th, the Japanese had continued to fire heavily upon his force, but made no further attempts to advance. It seemed to him the Japanese were actually withdrawing and the increased rifle fire and mortars was a cover. Tattersons men had been battered, he himself was wounded. His force received 12 casualties and estimated they had inflicted 100 casualties upon the enemy with possibly 50 deaths. Having saved Tatterson, Guinn reorganized his forward units and began to dig in along the Jap track and Lababia camp. From May 15th onwards the 17th brigade focused on aggressive patrolling in all sectors. Aggressive patrols each day harassed the Japanese around the Pimple and Observation Hill. The Australians set up booby-traps, practically paralyzing the Japanese troop movements outside their trenches. General Okabe received some much needed reinforcements over the course of the week and began to launch some limited attacks against the south, central and north Coconut areas. Okabe's forces were repelled on the 12th and 13th, but things would greatly change on the 14th. The 14th saw a heavy shelling of the Bobdubi ridge area before Okabe launched a full scale attack that overwhelmed the Australian defenders forcing them to make a fighting withdrawal from the north and central area further down in the south coconut area. General Nakano was displeased with his troops and issued an address of instruction of May 17th, it is as follows "In the attack at Bobdubi, although a certain group was advancing on a height on the enemy's flank, instead of really carrying out the attack in such a way as to prepare the way for an assault by our main force, they went no further than a vain firing at the enemy with their weapons. The spiritual and physical strength which was worn down in the Wau campaign is at the present time still lower, but I believe it can easily be restored if the officers will take the initiative, set an example and command as leaders of their men." Despite Nakano's criticism, his men would take a lot of ground forcing the Australians further south, dangerously close to Warfe's headquarters. Warfe realized maintaining the position would lead to heavy casualties, so he pulled his force out and took up a position at Namling. It was quite fortunate as the day after he made this decision, 20 Japanese dive bombers strafed and bombed the village of Bobdubi. This was part of a Japanese heavy air raid that began on May 15th, culminating in over 100 Japanese aircraft hitting multiple Australian positions over the course of a few days. Three heavy raids were performed, but these air attacks focused general far into the Australian rear, leaving the forward positions rather untouched. On may 17th and 18th large formations of Japanese aircraft performed a raid against Wau's airfield. Although the Australians ultimately were forced to withdraw from many forward positions, such as Warfe's units, they managed the ultimate objective of operation Postern, to take Japanese resources away from Mubo and Lae. They had inflicted numerous casualties upon the Japanese including against Major General Okabe who had stepped on a booby trap that put a bullet through his right foot. Okabe had to be evacuated on the night of may 16th as a result, flown back over to Rabaul. Command was handed over to Major General Muroya Chuichi of the 51st division. The battle for Dobdubi was nowhere near done. General Nakano sent 170 soldiers of the 115th regiment on May 17th to attack Hote via the Malolo track. Nakano estimated the Australians had around 50 men defending Hote. The Japanese force ran into 25 Australians at Cissembob along the way and the defenders inflicted 50 casualties upon the Japanese before withdrawing towards Ohibe. One Australian commander at Cissembob had this to say about the engagement "During this running fight, all men were under very heavy fire, but once again it was brought out what rotten shots the Japanese were. Not one of our boys were hit, and believe me things were hot." The Australians would return to the Hote area on the 22nd to find it completely deserted, so they simply reoccupied their lost positions. That is it for the New Guinea campaign, but other significant events unfolded for the Pacific War during this time period. On April 21st, with a heavy heart President Roosevelt announced to the American people the Japanese had executed several airmen from the famous Doolittle raid. To refresh your memories, 8 of the Doolittle pilots had been captured in Jiangsu province and put on military trial within China and sentenced to death “because of their act against humanity”. They were then transported to Tokyo where the Army ministry reviewed their case. Hideki Tojo initially opposed the death sentences for fearing the Americans would retaliate against Japanese living in America, he would be right about this. Sugiyama and the rest of the Army general staff however insisted on executing all 8 of the pilots who had contributed to the deaths of around 50 civilians and thwart possible future air raids against Japan. The executions would be authorized by an ex post facto military regulation specifically drafted by the army ministry. What is interesting to note, is Emperor Hirohito chose to intervene and commuted the punishment of 5 out of the 8 pilots. Why he allowed the other 3 to die in violation of international law is unknown as the Japanese destroyed nearly all documentation pertaining to prisoners of war by the end of the war. Some historians theorize Hirohito wished to demonstrate his benevolence. Yet again, this is one of those moments that showcases Hirohito was a very active participant, despite the claims made for decades after the war that he was merely a powerless hostage. The 3 men were executed via firing squad at a cemetery outside Shanghai in China on October 14th of 1942. It was not until april of 1943 that the Doolittle Raid operation was fully disclosed to the American public. The US war department said the chief reason for not explaining the full details of the Doolittle raid sooner was the need to bring the Doolittle pilots safely home and to prevent reprisals against their Chinese allies who aided the pilots. In April of 1943 the 5 surviving pilots were moved to Nanjing and in December of 1943 Pilot Robert Meder died of beri beri. He had been starving for months and rejected medical assistance. His death would result in improvements of conditions for the remaining 4 pilots. A truly tragic part of this war and to add to this I would like to read a short piece written by one of the pilots who survived the captivity and became a Christian missionary in Japan after the war. I Was a Prisoner of Japan By Jacob DeShazer I was a prisoner of war for 40 long months, 34 of them in solitary confinement. When I flew as a member of a bombing squadron on a raid over enemy territory on April 18, 1942, my heart was filled with bitter hatred for the people of that nation. When our plane ran out of petrol and the members of the crew of my plane had to parachute down into enemy-held territory and were captured by the enemy, the bitterness of my heart against my captors seemed more than I could bear. Taken to prison with the survivors of another of our planes, we were imprisoned and beaten, half-starved, terribly tortured, and denied by solitary confinement even the comfort of association with one another. Three of my buddies were executed by a firing squad about six months after our capture and 14 months later, another one of them died of slow starvation. My hatred for the enemy nearly drove me crazy. It was soon after the latter's death that I began to ponder the cause of such hatred between members of the human race. I wondered what it was that made one people hate another people and what made me hate them. My thoughts turned toward what I heard about Christianity changing hatred between human beings into real brotherly love and I was gripped with a strange longing to examine the Christian's Bible to see if I could find the secret. I begged my captors to get a Bible for me. At last, in the month of May, 1944, a guard brought me the book, but told me I could have it only for three weeks. I eagerly began to read its pages. Chapter after chapter gripped my heart. In due time I came to the books of the prophets and found that their every writing seemed focused on a divine Redeemer from sin, One who was to be sent from heaven to be born in the form of a human babe. Their writings so fascinated me that I read them again and again until I had earnestly studied them through six times. Then I went on into the New Testament and there read of the birth of Jesus Christ, the One who actually fulfilled the very prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, and the other Old Testament writers. My heart rejoiced as I found confirmed in Acts 10:43, "To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His Name, whosoever believeth on Him shall receive remission of sins." After I carefully read this book of the Acts, I continued on into the study of the epistle Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome. On June 8, 1944 the words in Romans 10:9 stood out boldly before my eyes: "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." That very moment, God gave me grace to confess my sins to Him and He forgave me all my sins and saved me for Jesus' sake. I later found that His Word again promises this so clearly in 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." How my heart rejoiced in my newness of spiritual life, even though my body was suffering so terribly from the physical beatings and lack of food! But suddenly I discovered that God had given me new spiritual eyes and that when I looked at the enemy officers and guards who had starved and beaten my companions and me so cruelly, I found my bitter hatred for them changed to loving pity. I realized that these people did not know anything about my Savior and that if Christ is not in a heart, it is natural to be cruel. I read in my Bible that while those who crucified Jesus had beaten Him and spit upon Him before He was nailed to the cross, on the cross He tenderly prayed in His moment of excruciating suffering, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." And now, from the depths of my heart, I too prayed for God to forgive my torturers, and I determined by the aid of Christ to do my best to acquaint these people with the message of salvation that they might become as other believing Christians. With His love controlling my heart, the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians took on a living meaning: "Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in truth; beareth all things, believeth all things. Love never faileth." A year passed by and during that year the memories of the weeks I had been permitted to spend with my Bible grew sweeter and sweeter day by day. Then, one day as I was sitting in my solitary confinement cell I became very sick. My heart was paining me, even as my fellow prisoner had told me his was paining him just before he died of starvation. I slid down onto my knees and began to pray. The guards rushed in and began to punish me, but I kept right on praying. Finally they let me alone. God, in that hour, revealed unto me how to endure suffering. At last freedom came. On August 20, 1945 parachutists dropped onto the prison grounds and released us from our cells. We were flown back to our own country and placed in hospitals where we slowly regained our physical strength. I have completed my training in a Christian college, God having clearly commanded me: "Go, teach those people who held you prisoner, the way of salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ," and am now back in that land as a missionary, with one single purpose--to make Christ known. I am sending this testimony to people everywhere, with the earnest prayer that a great host of people may confess Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Alongside the unfortunate news for the Americans on May 14th a major tragedy occurred for the Australians. At 4:10am on the 14th, the Australian Hospital Ship Centaur was on a run from Sydney to Port Moresby when she was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. The torpedo struck her portside oil fuel tank below the waterline, creating a 10 meter hole, igniting fuel and setting the ship ablaze. The ship was luckily not carrying patients, but held her normal crew staff, around 332 personnel on board. Many of those on board were killed instantly from the concussion blast, others from the blazing inferno. Centaur quickly took on water from her breach, rolled to port and sank bow-first, submerging within 3 minutes. Her rapid sinking prevented the deployment of lifeboats, though two would break off as she went down. According to Centaurs second officer Gordon Rippon, she was hit 44km northeast of Point Lookout. Of the 332 people onboard, only 64 would survive, most of the crew had been asleep when she was hit, giving barely a chance to react. It is estimated that 200 people may have been alive inside Centaur as she sank. Several who escaped the ship would die of shrapnel wounds or drown having found nothing to support them in the water. The survivors spent 36 hours in the water clinging to barrels, wreckage and two damaged lifeboats. The survivors drifted around 36 kms in the water going further north east. On the morning of May 15th, the destroyer USS Mugford departed Brisbane, escorted the New Zealand freighter Sussex when she saw some of the shipwrecked survivors. Sailors aboard the Mugford took up positions with rifles fending off sharks from the survivors. It took an hour and 20 minutes to rescue all 64 people. One of the survivors was sister Ellen Savage, the only surviving nurse from 12 aboard the Centaur. In 1944 Ellen Savage was presented the George Medal for providing medical care, boosting morale and displaying courage during the time they waited for rescue. The identity of the attacker was suspected to be a Japanese submarine. At the time of the attack three KD7 Kaidai class submarines were operating off Australians east coast; The I-177 commanded by Hajime Nakagawa, the I-178 commanded by Hidejiro Utsuki and the I-180 commanded by Toshio Kusaka. None of these submarines survived the Pacific War; the I-177 was sunk by the USS Samual S Miles on october 3rd of 1944; the I-178 was sunk by the USS Patterson on august 25th of 1943 and the i-180 was sunk by the USS Gilmore on april 26th of 1944. In December of 1943 following protests, the Japanese government issued an official statement denying any responsibility for the sinking of the Centaur. The sinking of a hospital ship was a war crime, and investigations were conducted between 1944-1948. The conclusion of the investigate suspected the I-177 of Nakagawa to be the most likely culprit, but there was not enough evidence, thus the case was closed on december 14th of 1948. Nakagawa survived the war and until his death in 1991 refused to speak about the suspected attack on the Centaur. 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 Australian and American forces in New Guinea were fighting tooth and nail towards their ultimate goal of Salamaua, trying to deceive the Japanese the whole while. Soon battles for Lae and Salamaua will be fought to rid New Guinea of the Japanese menace.
Sengoku Daimyo's Chronicles of Japan
This episode we look at the transmission of Buddhism through the 1st to 5th centuries from India, to the Kushan Empire, and across the Silk Road to the Han and succeeding dynasties, and even to Baekje, on the Korean peninsula. For more, especially photos, please check out https://sengokudaimyo.com/podcast/episode-84 Rough Transcript: Welcome to Sengoku Daimyo's Chronicles of Japan. My name is Joshua, and this is Episode 84: The Middle Way through the Middle Kingdom. First things first, thank you to Bodil, Gabe, and Lauren for donating to support the show on Ko-Fi and Patreon. If you'd like to join them, will have information at the end of the episode. Also an apology—if my voice isn't in tip-top shape, well, it seems that COVID finally found us after 3 years or so, and I'm on the tail end of it. So thank you for your understanding. Last episode we talked about Siddhartha Gautama, aka Shakyamuni, the Historical Buddha, and his teachings, and how they spread, at least through the Indian subcontinent, with the patronage of rulers like Ashoka the Great. The original teachings, initially taught as an oral tradition, was eventually turned into a series of writings, called the Tripitaka. As for how those writings came about, it's worth talking about the languages involved. The native language of Shakyamuni was probably a language known as Maghadi, or something similar. But the Indian subcontinent, including the modern countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Afghanistan, is over three times the size of western Europe. There are at eight south Asian language families, with hundreds of different languages, depending on how you count them. The modern state of India counts 22 official languages, not including English. I mention this to point out that as the Buddha's disciples spread his teachings, they were, by necessity, translating it into different languages. There is a story that a student suggested to the Buddha that they make Sanskrit the official language of Buddhism. Even then, Sanskrit was considered a language of learning and education, much as Greek or Latin was in medieval Europe, but the Buddha rejected this and insisted that his teachings be taught in people's own tongue. This proved great for reaching people, but over time there was a fear that the oral teachings might be lost, and so they were written down. The oldest written Buddhist canon is generally agreed to be texts in Pali, commissioned in Sri Lanka. These are sometimes called the southern Tripitaka—or Tipitaka in Pali—and it is the primary canon for Theravada Buddhists. In the north, however, Sanskrit remained the prominent language of learning, and texts written down and transmitted in the north—particularly those that made it to China and on to Japan—were typically Sanskrit or translations of Sanskrit texts. This is what some refer to as the Northern Tripitaka. Both of these were transcriptions of the oral teachings that Buddhist monks were otherwise memorizing and presenting to the Buddhist community. That oral tradition, in fact, never really went away, and these early texts were more like a reference so that monks could check their memory. Chanting the sutras—and especially chanting from memory—remained a highly prized skill of Buddhist orators. Now, the split between northern and southern texts is convenient, but it isn't necessarily as simple as all that. We have plenty of examples of texts, particularly in the northern traditions, that don't necessarily have an extant Sanskrit counterpart. In fact, the oldest extant sutras of any tradition that we have today are known as the Gandharan sutras, and written in the Ghandari language using a Karosthi script. Gandhara refers to a region centered north and west of the Indus river, in modern Pakistan, stretching to the Kabul river valley in modern Afghanistan and north to the Karakoram mountains, which is one of the interlocking ranges that form the boundary between modern Pakistan and India and modern China and the Tibetan plateau. It is believed to be the namesake of the city of Kandahar, in modern Afghanistan. This area was important, and not just to Buddhism. For thousands of years it has been a crossroads between the Indian subcontinent, the area known as the Middle East, and the inner trade routes of central Eurasia. It was part of the conquest by Alexander the Great in the 4th century BCE, becoming part of his kingdom, but then it was lost in battle to the Mauryan empire, which Ashoka the Great ruled in the 3rd century BCE. The area later fell to Indo-Greek rule from members of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom to the north. The most famous ruler during this period was probably Menander I, who is also remembered as a patron of Buddhism, building more stupas and monasteries in the region. The Hellenic Greco-Bactrians were eventually displaced by tribes of the Yuezhi, who themselves were being displaced by the Xiongnu, in central Eurasia. In this epic game of musical chairs, a branch of the Yuezhi eventually settled in the area, ruling a large territory, including Gandhara, under what is known as the Kushan empire. They had first moved into the area of Bactria and Sogdiana probably around the 1st or 2nd century BCE, and by the 1st century CE they were exerting authority over Gandhara. Around the time the Gandharan sutras were written down, in the 1st or 2nd centuries, Buddhism—especially Mahayana Buddhism—was flourishing in the region, and Kanishka the Great—don't you love how all of these rulers are known as “the Great”, by the way?—ruled the Kushan empire, and hence Gandhara, in the early 2nd century. He is said to have been a great patron of Buddhism, although it was one of several religions, including Zoroastrianism, that flourished in the region at this time. The Kushan empire is believed to be the same Yuezhi that we mentioned in episode 79, when we talked about the Han diplomat Zhang Qian, who had trekked through hostile Xiongnu, or Hunna, territory across much of what is now western China in the 2nd century BCE, seeking allies against the Hunna. At that point, the Yuezhi had had enough of war, however, and they declined to fight, preferring to settle where they were and eventually growing into the Kushan empire. That connection with the Han dynasty, however, likely was maintained through trade routes that continued to operate across the vast expanse of central Eurasia. The Han dynasty itself continued to send out diplomatic missions to the various states of central Eurasia, and of course there were trade routes. As the Kushan empire expanded into the Tarim basin, it met once again with the Han, who had defeated the Hunna, and then claimed routes across the oasis towns of the desert regions. While the routes would have high and low periods, often depending on the state of various conflicts, in general it seems that Buddhist missionaries probably made it to the Han dynasty and the Yellow River region, and founded monasteries, as early as the first century CE and certainly by the second century. And, by our best understanding, the folks in these monasteries were already doing a lot of copying and translation of texts – both as a meritorious act, and to spread the word. Since this is around the time the Gandharan texts were written, they were likely a part of this larger tradition of copying and translating that was going on, although many of those early documents did not survive intact to the modern day. One of the earliest records of Buddhism in the Han dynasty is a record dated to 65 CE. Liu Ying, Prince of Chu and son of Emperor Guangwu of Han, sponsored Buddhism—as well as a school of Daoism—in attempts to better understand longevity and immortality. While he was eventually accused of treason, putting something of a damper on his patronage of the religion, it is the first mention we have in the histories of Buddhism, and in some ways it speaks to something else about the initial acceptance of Buddhism. While there were likely those well-versed in Buddhism, particularly in the community of foreigners from the Western Regions, evidence suggests that for many lay people it was just as likely about what people thought that the religion could do for them in this life as anything else. After all, there are many stories of miraculous events, and there was the concept of reincarnation and karma—the idea that by building merit, one could improve their lot in the next life. There was even a belief that by building merit, one could improve their lot in the current life—and apparently extend their life or even, possibly, gain immortality. Sure, there were the more intellectual and philosophical endeavors, but for many people Buddhism was just as much about what it could do for them in the here and now. Stories of monks and other holy men fit in right alongside stories of Daoist immortals. In Han tombs, where Buddhist imagery is found, it is often found with or in place of the Queen Mother of the West—the same image that is found on many of the bronze mirrors that traveled across to the Japanese archipelago around this time. It was likely that many of the early stories that the laypeople heard were probably fragments as much as anything. Even with the Tripitaka written down, much of the transmission was still done orally. Furthermore, it was in translation—and probably a translation of a translation. The earliest stories of Buddhism's transmission—particularly the translation of texts into Sinitic characters, the lingua franca of East Asia—claim that first the Theravada canon, and then later Mahayana texts, were translated in the second century, with foreigners from Parthia and Kushan credited with the early translations. Others would continue the work, and at first it was mostly people from the Western Regions doing the translating. One of the earliest stories of sutras making their way to the Han dynasty comes from the time of Liu Ying, when his brother, Emperor Ming, sat on the throne. The stories claim that the emperor saw an image of a golden Buddha, and that he requested either a statue or temple be erected. So he sent people off to Kushan, where they found two monks who would come back with them in 68 CE, bringing portraits and scripture—specifically the “Sutra of Forty-Two Chapters”, which the two monks helped translate into a Sinitic version at Baimasi, or White Horse Temple. As such, this “Sutra of Forty-Two Chapters” has been accorded a status as the first such Buddhist work to be brought to the area that is, today, modern China, and the White Horse Temple, located in Luoyang, is counted as one of the earliest temples in the Yellow River region. That said, there are a lot of questions as to the authenticity of this tale, though it does mirror others about the arrival of Buddhism in the East, even if we cannot verify the actual first temple or work. Although Buddhism arrived during the Han dynasty, it wouldn't really begin to fully develop until after the dynasty's fall in the 3rd century. During the Southern and Northern Dynasties period, the metaphysical and doctrinal beliefs of Buddhism began to penetrate the elite circles in a more tangible way. Much of the philosophical underpinnings blended well with the interest at the time in “Dark Studies” and the school of “Pure Conversation”, which we discussed back in episode 72. While Buddhist temples, much like their Daoist brethren, found some sanctuary from the chaos that created this period in the mountains and hills—not to mention a bit of added spiritual cachet—it was really the opportunity to gain greater state patronage that also helped. Monks like Zhi Dun began to reconcile Buddhist thought and doctrine with local beliefs. In some cases, local religious figures—including gods and other spirits—were incorporated into the Buddhist framework, often by their “conversion” to the Buddha's teachings. This was one of the strengths of Buddhism—although it carried with it a framework of Indian religious teachings and thoughts, it was not exclusive in its cosmological outlook. Buddhism was more focused on helping one escape the suffering of this world, which would take you beyond all such things. As the doctrines were meant for all beings—not just humans, but for animals, spirits, gods, and even demons—there was nothing to necessarily exclude other beliefs. This helped some of the ethnic Han dynasties to accept and even promote Buddhism. Meanwhile, some of the non-ethnic Han dynasties patronized Buddhism for either its miraculous powers or just because it was a foreign religion, much like they were foreigners in the Yellow River Basin. In many cases, state-sponsorship was a two way street. Dynasts would set themselves up as holy men, claiming to be Boddhisatvas. They would even appropriate the concept of the Cakravartin, a Buddhist “Golden-Wheel-Turning-King”, which had overtones of cosmic overlordship. I can see how that would fit in quite well with local concepts that a sovereign might lay claim to ruling “all under heaven” and be carrying out a “Heavenly mandate”. Along the Yangzi River, Buddhist monks gained a certain amount of independence. They were not expected to bow to the sovereign, for example; an acknowledgment of their holy nature. In the northern Wei dynasty, however, it was a different story. There, the ruler was said to be no less than an incarnation of the Buddha, and a Chief Monk was selected to oversee the Sangha and no doubt ensure that the various Buddhist communities were in line with official dogma. At the same time, the government provided captured men and women to work fields to help pay for Buddhist temples and their work. Likewise, people would make merit by donating wealth and land to temples, in hopes of blessings either in this current life or in the next life. For their part, the temples were expected to act as storehouses or granaries—the wealth that poured into them would be used to help alleviate suffering, especially in the case of droughts or floods. It soon became clear, however, that more wealth was going into the temples than was necessarily coming out. There were attempts to reign in this Buddhist establishment, often by limiting the number of temples or even the number of monks, as well as limiting what people could donate. These same edicts were undercut by the elites of the country, however, and often proved less than effectual. Along with sutras and Buddhist teachings, Buddhist images and architecture spread widely. In India and the Western Regions, a key aspect of many temples was the stupa. This was a mound containing a relic of some sort. Originally these relics were said to be remnants of the Buddha, after he had been cremated. Later, it was said that the remnants of the Buddha turned hard, like crystal, and that the original remains were gathered up and distributed to even more stupas. Later they may contain other relics, as well. The stupa was an important part of the Buddhist temple, but over time, its character changed. Instead of a mound like we still see in Southeast Asia, we start to see a building—a tower—which became a ubiquitous symbol of Buddhist temples in East Asia. This multi-level pagoda originally started off with simply three levels, often made of brick and stone, but over time it grew with five or seven levels. These towers were inspired by a description in the Lotus Sutra, a Mahayana text, that described a bejeweled seven-storey tower. Speaking of the Lotus Sutra, this was one of the many teachings that made its way to East Asia, and a hugely influential one. It purports to tell the story of a sermon by the Buddha outside of those mentioned in the Theravada texts. The teachings expounded upon in the Lotus Sutra had a great impact on Mahayana Buddhism and how people viewed the teachings of the Buddha. For one, it also proposed the idea that the Buddha did not actually cease to exist when he attained nirvana, but is simply no longer visible. He still remains in the world to help all life find salvation from suffering. That goes along with the concept of the Bodhisattva, a being who attains a Buddha-like understanding but out of compassion remains in the world to assist others. The Lotus Sutra also made claims such as the idea that anyone could attain Buddhahood, if they followed the teachings—and not just one particular set of teachings. It opened the idea that there were multiple vehicles—that is to say different practices—that would all get you to the truth, to Englightenment. Even the term “Mahayana” means the “Great Vehicle”, while Mahayana sees Theravada as “Hinayana”, the “Lesser Vehicle”. Both will get you where you need to be, but Mahayana offers an exapansion of teachings and texts that Theravada Buddhism does not necessarily accept as authentic. Indeed in Mahayana belief we also see a focus on multiple Buddhas with different specialties – not only the historical Buddha, but Vairocana, aka Dainichi Nyorai, the Great Solar Buddha, Amitabha, aka Amida Nyorai or Amida Butsu, and so on. In comparison, the Theravada school tend to be more dogmatic on various points of practice and belief, claiming that they focus on the actual teachings of the Historical Buddha and not necessarily looking for extra texts and practices. There may have been Buddhas in previous ages that attained nirvana and departed this existence, but the Buddha of the current age is the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. Another Buddha, Maitreya, is not expected for another five to ten thousand years—not until the teachings of the Buddha have been forgotten and are once again required. Acquiring freedom from this existence through nirvana is not necessarily one and the same with obtaining Buddhahood—the enlightened understanding required to save all beings. There is another school, “Vajrayana”, the “Lightning” or “Diamond” vehicle. It focuses on tantric, or esoteric teachings, which practitioners believe provide a more direct, and faster method to enlightenment. Many secret teachings, or mikkyo in Japanese, can trace themselves in some way to these practices, though it likely didn't make it to East Asia until the Tang dynasty or so in the 8th century, so we'll come back to it when we get to things like Kuukai and Saichou, who brought Shingon and Tendai, respectively, to Japan in the early 9th century—about four centuries from our current chronological position. Both the Mahayana and Vajrayana schools included the teachings from the Lotus Sutra, which would become one of the most important sutras, certainly by the Tang dynasty, as well as in the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese archipelago. Its widespread dissemination is often attributed to the famous monk Kumarajiva. Kumarajiva was a citizen of Kucha, one of the oasis towns along the northern edge of the Tarim Basin, and site of a bustling metropolis and capital of one of the largest oasis kingdoms in the Tarim basin. Even today, you can see remnants of the ancient city in the desert, and the dry conditions have preserved a number of artifacts, including plenty of texts referencing Buddhist and other beliefs. Kumarajiva traveled from the peripheral city of Dunhuang, another site renowned for its Buddhist roots, especially the famous Mogao caves—a series of Buddhist grottoes built into a cliff face which, along with the dry conditions, have exquisitely preserved the early sculpture and painting, as well as, again, numerous documents. He came to Chang'an around 401, and he helped translated numerous Buddhist scriptures into Sinitic characters, which could then be shared and read by people across East Asia—everywhere in the ancient Sinic sphere of influence. Besides the Lotus Sutra, another famous text told of the Buddha Amithabha, aka Amida Butsu in Japan. Amithabha's teachings claimed that any who would call on the name of Amithabha, or just picture them in their mind with a sincere heart, would, on their death, find themselves reborn in a Western Paradise—a “Pure Land” where there were no distractions other than to meditate on the Buddha's teachings and eventually attain freedom from this existence. Whereas many of the teachings and theological discussions of the various Buddhist schools could get quite complex—thus almost requiring any serious student to join a monastery if they wanted to truly study a particular flavor—the teachings of Amithabha were appealing to those without necessarily a lot of time or resources. It boiled down to a few practices that just about anyone could do. It didn't require that you donate huge sums of money or land, or that you spend all your day copying scriptures. One could chant the name of Amithabha in the fields as you were working, or picture them in your mind as you prepared for bed. These kinds of practices—the chanting of particular mantras or other such things—became a kind of thing people could do to help protect themselves or ward off evil. A particular example of this practice is preserved in a text from Dunhuang, which has a colophon explaining its purpose. According to Patricia Ebrey's translation, the text, which was copied by someone named Sun Sizhong, was an incantation that, if said 7, 14, or 21 times a day, with various somatic and material components (willow twig to cleanse the mouth, scattering flowers and incense before the image of the Buddha, and kneeling and joining the palms of the hands) it would clear away the four grave sins, the five wicked acts, and other transgressions. “The current body would not be afflicted by “untimely” calamities, and one will be reborn into the realm of immeasurably long life. Plus, reincarnation in the female form would be escaped forever.” On that last piece—yeah, Buddhism came with a little bit of baggage. In ordering all of life, men were seen as inherently higher on the ladder than women. This discrimination has been walked back or even abolished in some modern interpretations, but it was definitely present in older beliefs. Besides the power of the incantation if said 7, 13, or 21 times a day, Sun Sizhong went on to explain that if someone recited it 100 times in the evening and then at noon and it will ensure rebirth in the “Western Regions”, while 200,000 recitations gets you perfect intelligence, and 300,000 recitations, one will see Amitabha Buddha face to face and be reborn in the Pure Land. As you can probably start to see, there were many different beliefs and teachings that fell under the Mahayana teachings, and many of the texts were translations. Even those that had been translated into Sinitic, it was often done by foreigners for whom the local Sinic language was not their native tongue, so there was always a kind of awareness that important pieces might have been lost in translation along the way. In the 5th century, this led some monks to make the particularly long and dangerous journey all the way to Kushan and on to India, to access the original primary sources for themselves. One of these was a monk by the name of Faxian. At the age of 62, Faxian decided to go to India to try to get to the heart of what the Buddha really taught. He set out in 399, traveled across the Tarim Basin and into the Kashmir region and the Indus Valley—Gandhara, in modern Pakistan. From there he traveled to central India and arrived at Patna, where he stayed and studied for three years. He traveled around, seeking out works in Sanskrit on Buddhsit ethics and teachings, studying the local languages as well. In 410 he made his way to the mouth of the Ganges and down to Sri Lanka, where he stayed for almost two years before boarding a ship and traveling home—traveling through the straits of Malacca and around Southeast Asia to take the sea route back to his home. The journey was perilous, and at least twice the boat lost its way. According to the stories, some of his fellow travelers, who followed more Brahmanic teachings rather than Buddhist, believed that Faxian and his quote-unquote “heretical” teachings were what were leading them astray. Faxian was able to maintain order and he and his books eventually made it safely to the Shandong peninsula in or around 412. He made his way down to Jiankang, aka modern Nanjing on the Yangzi river. There he spent the rest of his life translating the scriptures he had brought back. Others would make similar journeys, all to try to find more authentic versions of the texts—which usually meant finding the Sanskrit version—and then creating translations from those. With the growth in popularity in Buddhism, it is probably little wonder that it eventually made its way over to the Korean peninsula. It is hard to say exactly when Buddhism arrived, but the Baekje annals in the Samguk Sagi claim that it was brought there by a monk of Central Asia descent in about 384. One year later, we are told the king of Baekje erected a temple and caused ten men to become monks. The timing of this generally accords with some of the information in the Nihon Shoki, which claims that Buddhism first came from the Western Regions to the Han dynasty, and then to Baekje 300 years later, and then to Yamato about 100 years after that. While the dates aren't exact, this generally accords with what we know of the way that Buddhism traveled to East Asia and to Baekje, at least. Although we have textual evidence, there isn't much archaeological evidence for Buddhism on the Korean peninsula in this time outside of urban centers. That is where we find temple rooftiles and other indications that Buddhism was practiced, but at the time it was probably something more common amongst elites than the common people, at least in the 4th and early 5th centuries. With the invasions by Goguryeo and the loss of northern territory in about 475, it did gain increased patronage. Still, it wasn't until the 6th century that it really left the urban centers, which is roughly the time we are talking about with the Yamato sovereign Ame Kunioshi, aka Kimmei Tennou. Next episode we'll get into just how Buddhism came over to the islands—or at least what is recorded and what we have evidence for—in the sixth century. We'll also talk about its reception and its patronage by the famous Soga clan. Until then, thank you for listening and for all of your support. If you like what we are doing, tell your friends and feel free to rate us wherever you listen to podcasts. If you feel the need to do more, and want to help us keep this going, we have information about how you can donate on Patreon or through our KoFi site, ko-fi.com/sengokudaimyo, or find the links over at our main website, SengokuDaimyo.com/Podcast, where we will have some more discussion on topics from this episode. Also, feel free to Tweet at us at @SengokuPodcast, or reach out to our Sengoku Daimyo Facebook page. You can also email us at email@example.com. And that's all for now. Thank you again, and I'll see you next episode on Sengoku Daimyo's Chronicles of Japan.
In March 2017, an engineer at G.E. Aviation in Cincinnati received a request on LinkedIn. The engineer, Hua, is in his 40s, tall and athletic, with a boyish face that makes him look a decade younger. He moved to the United States from China in 2003 for graduate studies in structural engineering.The LinkedIn request came from Chen Feng, a school official at the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, in eastern China. Days later, Chen sent him an email inviting him to the university to give a research presentation. Hua arranged to arrive in May, so he could attend a nephew's wedding and his college reunion at Harbin Institute of Technology. There was one problem, though: Hua knew that G.E. would deny permission to give the talk if he asked, which he was supposed to do. He went to Nanjing, and flew back to the United States after the presentation. He thought that would be the end of the matter.Many scientists and engineers of Chinese origin in the United States are invited to China to give presentations about their fields. Hua couldn't have known that his trip to Nanjing would prove to be the start of a series of events that would end up giving the U.S. government an unprecedented look inside China's widespread and tireless campaign of economic espionage targeting the United States, culminating in the first-ever conviction of a Chinese intelligence official on American soil.This story was recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publications like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.
Run Your Life Show With Andy Vasily
Dr. Jason Patent, author of Humanly Possible: A New Model of Leadership for a More Inclusive World joins me today on the podcast to share his deep insight in regards to how power can be used to create spaces where people feel they truly belong—leading to less stress and more happiness, to better and more productive workplaces, and ultimately to more fulfilling lives for everyone. It was a joy to have my old friend on the podcast to share his wisdom about what authentic leadership means in this day and age and also provide life lessons learned as an endurance athlete who has completed three 100-mile races along with other ultra events competed in. Jason is an organizational leader, consultant, author, thought leader, instructor, and workshop facilitator in the fields of global leadership and global diversity, equity, and inclusion. He loves partnering with organizations of all kinds to create thriving workplaces and classrooms where people feel they truly belong, and where they can devote their full talents.In his seven years as Director of the Robertson Center for Intercultural Leadership (CIL) at U.C. Berkeley's International House, Jason, in partnership with Lauren and the CIL team, built out a suite of impactful workshops and courses for students from all six continents, and for organizations from local nonprofits and governments, to top universities, to Fortune 100 companies.Jason has served as American Co-Director of the Hopkins–Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China; Inaugural Director of the Stanford Program in Beijing; Consultant at Gap International; and Vice President, Communications & Marketing at Orchestrall, Inc. Fluent in Mandarin, Jason has a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Harvard University, an M.A. in the same field from Stanford University, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from U.C. Berkeley. Jason is passionate about the work he does and is making his dent in the world through his ongoing commitment to provide leaders with the training they need to show up as their best selves every day in order to lead more inclusive, empowering workplaces where all people feel a sense of belonging and trust. Hope you have a listen and share with anyone who you feel will benefit from tuning in. Connect With Jason: WebsiteLinkedInBuy the Book: Humanly Possible- A New Model of Leadership for a More Inclusive World
maayot | Learn Mandarin Chinese with Stories
Several cities in China have announced the extension of marriage leave days, such as Tianjin and Nanjing. Although people hope that legal leave will increase, many people who plan to get married think that the maternity leave of women and paternity leave of their partners need to be extended more.Join other motivated learners on your Chinese learning journey with maayot. Receive a daily Chinese reading in Mandarin Chinese in your inbox. Full text in Chinese, daily quiz to test your understanding, one-click dictionary, new words, etc.Got a question or comment? Reach out to us at contact[at]maayot.com
Kings and Generals: History for our Future
Last time we spoke the Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace, Tianjing had finally fallen to the forces of Zeng Guofan and his Xiang army. Hong Xiuquan, the self proclaimed brother of Jesus was dead. All the remaining Taiping Kings and Hong's son were hunted down and executed. History's bloodiest civil war was over, claiming the lives of 20-30 million people. Yet this civil war was just one event amongst many simultaneously occurring in the Qing dynasty. Foreign encroachment and internal strife were breaking down the dynasty brick by brick. China was facing an uncomfortable situation, she had to modernize to survive against threats abroad and within. Another nation, just across the sea, faced the same cataclysm, but would undergo a vastly different approach. Henceforth the two nations, China Big Brother and Japan, little brother, would never be the same again. #36 This episode is China & Japan: Big Brother & Little Brother 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 history of asia 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. Now I want to say this right off the bat, for those of you who are fans of my Youtube channel and have seen my content, you already know my background from the beginning was more so the history of Japan. It was in fact my love of Japanese history that led me to the history of China and I think that says something about these two nations. You simply cannot speak about one's history without the other. I could delve deeply into the opening of Japan, its turbulent Bakumatsu period, my personal favorite, the Boshin war, the Meiji restoration, the Satsuma rebellion, etc etc. But this podcast is about the Fall and Rise of China. While my personal channel deals with both nations trying to give an equal amount of narrative to explain both their developments, I want to try my very best to keep it to the hip so to say. If you want more details about the historic events of Japan from 1600-1890 or so, check out my personal channel or perhaps become a Patreon over at www.patreon.com/pacificwarchannel and scream at me to do some podcasts in depth on those subjects, I certainly would love to dabble more into it, like for example a podcast dedicated to the Shinsengumi, the samurai police who fought to the bitter end to defend the Tokugawa shogunate during its death throes, just an idea. The last time we spoke, I went over the end of the Taiping Rebellion, a momentous part of the history of Modern China. I literally sighed with relief upon completing that large series….then I stared at a blank page. Where do I even begin now? The first thing that came to my mind is how to explain what occurred to both China and Japan in the mid 19th century. Both nations were forced to modernize lest they become colonized by foreign powers. For China this was brutal, she was quite literally being carved up, but for Japan who had spent 265 years almost completely isolated under her Sakoku policy, she was opened up, went through hyper modernization and thwarted colonization as a result. Japan's story is quite different for numerous reasons, major ones being that she got the enormous benefit of seeing what was happening to China and learnt directly from China's predicament. After the west defeated China during the Opium Wars and Commodore Perry opened up Japan in 1853, Asia could no longer maintain a separate existence. Both nations were forced to begin the process of becoming part of the world. Japan had many natural advantages over China. She was made up of 4 islands, very compact, sea transportation was widely available, her communications did not have to link very far. China would only get its first telegraph in the 1880s, and it took their governmental communications nearly a month to travel from one end of the country to the other. Japan being an island had always felt vulnerable to dangers from the sea. This sense of danger prompted Japan to seek knowledge of the outside world to protect herself. Chinese leaders had to worry about enemies coming over land from multiple directions, thus they were less concerned about the seas. Japan, had isolated herself for 265 years, while China had become the literal pinnacle of civilization, hoarding the worlds silver. Thus as you can imagine Japanese leadership were not as confident as the Chinese who saw themselves on top of the world, and you know that saying or the game, king of the mountain? Well its hard to sometimes see people coming after you when your on top. Japan was also more homogeneous, whereas China had hundreds of differing people, Han, Manchu's, Mongols, Uighurs, Tibetans, etc. Unifying such people and maintaining domestic harmony was pretty much impossible. China was also undergoing a population boom in the 19th century alongside massive food shortages. This led to the terrible rebellions such as the Taiping Rebellion, I think we covered that one pretty well, the Nian Rebellion which we talked about a little bit, but of course there were others. So I think we all know now the Taiping Rebellion encompassed many issues ongoing in China. For the Nian rebellion, it occurred mostly in the north and was basically peasants banding together to survive. Natural disasters had taken a toll, food was scarce and when bad times come, especially in China, bandits begin to roam. To fight off the bandits the Nian formed militias, but as you might imagine the Qing saw this and freaked out. The main purpose of the Nian was survival and resisting taxation, something I personally can subscribe to haha. Inevitably the Nian looted and raided as a means to keep their group going on, clashing with bandits, the Qing and other rebel groups like the Taiping. Much like the Taiping, the Nian failed to topple the Qing dynasty and were quelled gradually through the Qing ruthless campaigns that used scorched earth tactics. The Nian also were in the north and thus faced the forces of Mongol general Senggelinqin. Seng defeated the Nian and killed their greatest leader Zhang Lexing in 1863 from which the never recovered. After the 2nd opium war was done, the Qing simply were more able to deal with the internal rebellions, and the Nian unfortunately were close to Beijing and not as formidable as the Taiping. Now while all that was going on, multiple muslim rebellions occurred. There was the Hui Muslim backed Panthay Rebellion in southwestern China, mostly in Yunnan province. Panthay is the Burmese word used by Burmese for Chinese muslims who arrived from Burma to Yunnan. They were fighting discrimination and like many other rebellions during this time, they saw the Manchu weakened as a result of the opium wars and decided there was an opportunity to become independent. By the way while I am referring to this as a quote muslim rebellion it was not at all exclusively muslim, many non-muslims joined them such as the Shan and Kachin people of Burma. Once the Taiping were dealt the Qing had a stronger hand south and gradually quelled them by 1868. To the northwest of China came the Dungan revolts led mostly by Hui muslim chinese in Shaanxi, Gansu and Ningxia provinces. These revolts raged from 1862-1877 and they began from conflicts between Hui and Han chinese. It was a terrible time leading to massacres, famines, massive migrations of people, plagues, simply awful stuff. In northwest China its estimated something like 21 million people died. Zuo Zongtang, a subordinate of Zeng Guofan rose to prominence and created his own army based on the Xiang model called the “chu army”. He largely was responsible for quelling the Dungan revolts. So ye China was dealing with a lot. The 1860's in general were a turning point for China and Japan. Both nations gained new governing structures and resumed official contacts with another for the first time in over 2 centuries. For Japan the 1860's were part of what is called the Bakumatsu period, its this very messy point in their history where the leadership of Japan was frantically trying to figure out how to save themselves from colonization. Over in China the 1860's leads us into a period known as the Tongzhi restoration named after the new emperor. The Taiping by the early 1860's were on a steady decline and this gave the Qing leadership finally a moment to try and rebuild national strength. For Japan this period saw the Shogun being overthrown in 1868, and this also led to a bitter war called the Boshin war of 1868-1869. One of my personal favorite wars by the way, I have an episode on it over on my personal channel the Pacific War channel if you want the full rundown and a ton of Chimbara film clips to give it flavor. To brutally summarize, there was a call to end the Tokugawa shogunate, they even gave the Tokugawa family a great severance package, but the Shogun did not go down without a fight. Loyal hans and the Shinsengumi fought to retain the SHogunate while the hans of Satsuma/Choshu and Tosa rose up and defeated them. After the shogunate was dissolved Japan went into the Meiji restoration, which I also have a full episode on sorry for the plug ins over at my Youtube. I perhaps will get into it later, but to summarize the Meiji restoration is the greatest feat of Modernization I would say in human history. Its a hyper modernization process where Japan took the very best aspects of the outside world, while trying to retain important parts of their own culture to mold Japan into a modern state. They were extremely successful and as a result achieved the number one goal of the Meiji restoration, thwarting colonization. The Japanese had resolutely responded to the challenges from the west. As for China, with the death of Emperor Xianfeng in 1861 came the enthronement of Emperor Tongzhi at the age of 5. The Qing leadership were eager to restore the social order that had been severely damaged by the Taiping Rebellion, the Second Opium War and countless other rebellions. Xianfeng who died at the age of 30 was considered a failed emperor and I mean I would have to strongly agree. The guy spent all his time getting high, messing with his harem and fled the capital, never returning to it. China had been left in a disastrous state, but with the defeat of the Taiping came new leadership. That leadership was not Emperor Tongzhi, but rather a mix of Prince Gong and Empress Dowager Cixi. The Empress Dowager proved to be very skilled in managing court politics and quickly became the dominant power during the Tongzhi period and that power would last basically until her death in 1908. Prince Gong and other officials realized that to cope with the foreigners, new skills and new technology, especially that of shipping and weaponry would be required. But many Qing officials remained focused on cultivating the moral qualities that they considered essential for national vitality. Empress Dowager Cixi and many Qing officials believed that the essence of China's problems stemmed from the loss of a true confucian spirit. To address this problem, they sought to restore the importance of the imperial examination system and to eliminate the major corrupt issue that had emerged, that of buying and selling offices. As I had pointed out in the Opium War series, while in the past the integrity of the Qing dynasty and the other dynasties before it lay in officials being appointed by the merits after taking the imperial examination, starting around the 19th century this kinda fell apart. Officials were gradually purchasing their appointments and other high ranking officials began selling appointments, such as the Cohong merchants who basically inherited an incredible debt upon taking their role and were expected to extort funds back to their backers. The Qing dynasty was extremely corrupt and would just keep getting worse and worse. Cixi valued the importance of symbolism and undertook the building of the new summer palace after it was burnt down during the 2nd opium war. Her name would infamously be attached to the building of the summer palace which was unbelievably expensive. Many accusations and myths for that matter would involve Cixi utilizing funds for necessities of the empire instead for the palace. Now in 1861, China launched a self-strengthening movement. This focused upon training troops, building their ships and producing their own weaponry. Self-strengthening movements were not new to China, they had been seen countless times such as when the Ming began seeking foreign aid to fend off the Qing invasion all the way back in the 16th century. Now as we saw during the end half of the Taiping rebellion series, Zeng Guofan tackled self-strengthening head on. One of Zeng Guofans scholar colleagues was a man named Feng Guifen who had sent him a series of essays in 1861 highlighting the issue of self-strengthening. Feng spent considerable time focusing on studying warfare against the Taiping, specifically in the east around Shanghai. He was very impressed by the western military technology present there and would often write to Zeng Guofan about it. Likewise Zeng Guofan wrote in his diaries about self-strengthening and how western technology could be used to defend China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Zeng Guofan's second hand man, Li Hongzhang likewise wrote of self strengthening during this time period and identified how Western power lied upon their technology and that China must learn to construct the same machines they did. He advocated first to apply this to the military, but gradually it must also apply to industry at large. As we saw during the Taiping Rebellion, there was a large struggle by both the Qing and Taiping to get their hands on western arms. Zeng Guofan purchased many western arms for his Xiang army and the Qing famously employed the EVA forces. By 1860 the majority of Qing leadership types including the scholar class were aware they had to move with the times and study western technology. By 1861 China officially began a self strengthening movement which can be seen to have three phases the first going from around 1861-1872, the second from 1872-1885 and the third from 1885-1895. The first phase focused on training of troops, building ships and the production of arms. With support from Prince Gong, Zeng Guofan, Li Hongzhang, Zuo Zongtang and other officials began major projects. Zeng Guofan established a arsenal in Shanghai, Li Hongzhang built one in Nanjing and Tianjin and Zuo Zongtang built a dockyard at Fuzhou. The arsenals were created with help from foreign advisors and administrators who also set up schools for the study of specific sciences like mechanics. The Qing government likewise created the “Tongwen Guan” “school of combined learning” in Beijing. The purpose of the school was initially to teach foreign languages, but it would gradually expand course curriculum towards astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, medicine and so on. The school would begin a transformative process and lead to the construction of similar schools. Li Hongzhang for example would go on to create language schools in shanghai, Guangzhou and Fuzhou pioneering western studies. Zeng, Li and Zuo initially used foreign workers to build up their factories and arms, until their own native chinese could learn the skills necessary to replicate the processes. At Li Hongzhangs Jiangnan arsenal they began producing Remington breech loading rifles. They began production in 1871 and by 1873 produced 4200 rifles. The rifles were expensive to make and inferior to actual remington arms, but it was a start. The naval dockyards at Fuzhou amongst others had a much more difficult job ahead of them. By the time they began producing ships, they turned out to be twice as expensive than simply purchasing ships from Britain. This led China to purchase more ships to meet the demand and by the 1880s China would be purchasing and creating more ships than Japan. Also in the 1880s Li Hongzhang established the CHina Merchants steam navigation company to help China create its own commercial shipping, something necessary for modern trade. Another big process of modernization in the 19th century was of course, trains. Chinese laborers famously traveled to north american to help build the great railroad systems in both the United States and Canada. This prompted Qing officials to advocate for the same thing in China, famous figures like Lin Zexu and Hong Rengang called for this. However the hardline conservative types, most notably Empress Dowager Cixi were very reluctant about steam engine technology and that of trains. There were various reasons they were wary over railroad development. In 1865 a British merchant built a 600 meter long railroad outside Xuanwu Gate in Beijing to demonstrate the technology to the Qing imperial court. The courts reactions was mixed, they were certainly impressed by its functionality, but also found it very noisy and strange, so they had it quickly dismantled. It would not be until 1876 when the first railroad was established known as the Woosung road. It went from the American concession in Shanghai to Woosung, present day Zhabei district. It was built by Jardine Matheson & co, the nefarious company that had sunk its teeth into China since the first days of opium smuggling began under it. The construction of the railroad was done without approval from the Qing government and thus would get dismantled the next year. Then in 1881 another railway was created, the Kaiping Tramway and Imperial Railways of north china. British engineer Claude William Kinder spearhead the project with the support of Li Hongzhang, creating a line from Tangshan to Xugezhuang. It would expand eventually to Tianjin in 1888 and Shanhaiguan by 1894. It got the name Guanneiwai railway and was met with multiple attempts by conservative Qing officials to be dismantled. Famously Empress Dowager Cixi fought against Li Hongzhang who persisted to tell her railways were necessary to advance China. She was against their construction because she believed their noise would disturb the emperors tombs. Li Hongzhang tried everything he could to get her on board and at one point she tried to compromise with him asking if the train carts could be horse drawn instead. Yet despite her rather hilarious attempts to thwart railway construction by the 1890s great railways were created to link up eastern and central China. Now over in Japan, after the Boshin War was over, Japan famously sent a mission out to the west known as the Iwakura Mission of 1871-1873. The purpose of the mission was to study the most important aspects of the west from the most powerful nations. The diplomats and students that went on the mission would become key leaders in the new Meiji government of Japan driving the restoration. China also performed its own Iwakura Mission, but it was not as large in scale, and those who went on it did not exactly end up being the great drivers of modernization like their Japanese counterparts were. Three years before the Iwakura mission, a Chinese delegation known as the Burlingame Mission arrived in the United States. The delegation extended its journey to Britain, France, Prussia, Russia and visited smaller nations briefly before returning to China in 1870. The purpose of the delegation was to investigate how westerners conducted diplomacy so the Qing could figure out a means to get rid of the unequal treaties. It was the very same reason the Japanese would send their Iwakura mission. Anson Burlingame, a US minister and envoy to Beijing was appointed by the Qing to lead the delegation. Around 30 members attended the mission, and in 1870 Burlingame died of Pneumonia forcing two of the Chinese delegates, Zhigang and Sun Jiagu to take the reins of it. They met with heads of state, visited factories, shipyards, mines, all things big industry. They got to see electricity, machinery many scientific wonders, but also the plight of their own people. Yes they got to witness the conditions Chinese workers went through on the railways in places like California. They saw Chinese going into mines and not coming back out. This prompted some delegates to ask the question “why do Christian missionaries who do such good work in China, bully Chinese workers in California?”. The delegate Zhigang would publish some of these observations in a book giving very harrowing accounts. Another delegate, Zeng Jize, the eldest son of Zeng Guofan came back with extremely positive opinions of everything he saw in the west and was met with harsh criticism from conservative officials for being too sympathetic towards foreign customs. Li Hongzhang and other officials however grabbed the delegates when they got back to China, extremely eager to hear all about what they had seen. Li Hongzhang was particularly interested in the political and economic aspects of the west. Empress Dowager Cixi personally met with some delegates when they got back asking questions about things happening aboard. Even the conservative types were gravely concerned with how things were moving in the west. But the end result did not lead to a Meiji restoration. While Japanese leaders were investing in industry and infrastructure, Chinese leaders were looking to restore their national spirit instead. Its hard to blame the Qing leaders, unlike Japan who largely avoided conflict with the west, though there were a few fights in Satsuma against the British for example, well the Qing was like an old boxer who just got KO'd a few times too many. The opium wars and internal rebellions had destroyed the Chinese public's faith in their government, the fabric of the mandate of heaven was unraveling. So instead of putting all the money into industry, many projects were enacted to re-envigorate the grandeur of the Qing.As I had said, the Empress Dowager Cixi famously invested incredible sums of money to renovate the Summer Palace in Beijing. Infamously she took funds intended for modernizing the navy and used them to build a marble boat pavilion at the summer palace. Li Hongzhang believed in addition to the factories, arsenals and shipyards, China needed to update its school system and wanted to send students abroad just like Japan was doing. He also advocated that the civil service exams should offer technical knowledge alongside the cultural knowledge and he was met with large scale protest. By 1885 conservatives in Beijing began cracking down on the modernization. So while Chinese students stayed for the most part in China, Japan sent countless aboard to learn everything they could from the west. Now the Iwakura mission that went to the west also came to China on its way back. After witnessing 15 nations and all their wonders, they came to Shanghai where they spent 3 days. They were hosted by the Shanghai official Chen Fuxun and they were shocked by what they saw in the city. That shock was at the lack of change, the travelers who had grown up in a world where China was Big Brother were shocked that big brother seemed to have fallen behind. Kume Kunitake, the chief chronicler of the voyage said this of his first impressions of Shanghai “There are no sewers, and urine flows along the streets. Amid all this, the inhabitants seem quite unconcerned.” Believing that the Japanese were harboring illusions about Chinese sophistication based on the past, he tried to correct the view of his countrymen who “regarded every Chinese to be a refined gentleman well versed in literature and the arts. Thus [in Japan] the custom still persists of holding any curios, calligraphy, paintings, poetry or literature from China in high esteem. . . . Under the Qing dynasty, learning has been stagnant in China.” The members of the Iwakura mission had all studied history and knew of the great Tang dynasty and the greatest of China, but now in 1873 they thought there was very little to learn from her anymore. They shared a kinship with China, wished she could resist the western encroachments and remain a great civilization, but it looked to them China had no great leadership. China, Japan and even Korea had young emperors, but only Emperor Meiji would acquire real authority. In China emperor Tongzhi took the throne at 5, but it was Cixi who really ran the show. In Korea Emperor Gojong took the throne at the age of 12 in 1864, but his father Taewongun really held the power. Both Gojong and Tongzhi would be hampered by their relatives and isolated from advisors who might educate them on western advances. Emperor Meiji meanwhile was tutored by senior advisers starting in 1868 preparing him for his role in leadership. Lack of leadership led to a lack of ability to reign in certain aspects of modernization necessary for progress. In Japan key individuals working with Emperor Meiji grabbed the reigns of foreign affairs gradually dismantling the unequal treaties the west had forced upon Japan. The key individual in China who would undertake foreign affairs was Li Hongzhang who was for the most part doing everything on his own initiative and had to fight off conservatives. In Japan, foreign affairs specialists emerged, but this was not the case in China. Even emperor Meiji himself took an interest to learn about foreign affairs. Japan hired many western specialists in all aspects of governmental bureaucracy to help train the Japanese. When Chinese officials went to Japan in 1877 to set up a legation, they were astonished to find the Japanese bureaucracy for foreign affairs, unlike that in China had completely adopted European procedures and protocols. One of the Iwakura missions delegates was a man named Ito Hirobumi and he would serve in the foreign office before becoming prime minister in 1885. He studied in England, learning quickly that Japan was weaker than her and that Japan needed to learn from her to become strong. With his ability to speak english, Ito became the key man responsible for negotiations with other nations. He was to be Li Hongzhangs Japanese counterpart, and helped negotiate the Treaty of Tianjin in 1858 with Li. Both men would have a special relationship that was long lasting. The first time Chinese and Japanese officials met after two centuries was when the Senzaimaru arrived in Shanghai in 1862. The officials were strangers without precedents, they had no idea how to move forward. The Japanese members of the first Senzaimaru trip were carefully selected for their ability not only to learn about potential markets for Japanese goods, but also to investigate the political situation so Japan could open formal relations with China. 51 Japanese took part on the mission which lasted 2 months. The highest Chinese official in Shanghai, was our old friend Wu Xu. Since no Chinese were in Japan prior to notify about the mission, they literally just showed up to Shanghai and this certainly perplexed Wu Xu as to what he should do. Wu Xu reported the delegations arrival to Beijing but received a reply with no clear directions, thus he acted with caution. The Dutch helped the two sides speak and assured Wu Xu that the Japanese were reliable traders and this prompted Wu Xu to accept selling their goods. The Japanese brought things they already knew the Chinese market most likely desired, sea products, lacquerware, paper fans, nothing too fancy. Trade was slow, no treaties or relations were established, but the Japanese gathered great intelligence on the status of the Qing dynasty. They had not yet recovered from the Taiping Rebellion, to the Japanese China looked like chaos. They were shocked by the poverty, filth, the lack of hygiene. They were disappointed to find what their ancestors considered the greatest civilization seemed to be in rubles. They were outraged to find out how mistreated the Chinese were at the hands of westerners. They thought westerners extremely arrogant, mistreating Chinese like slaves in their own country it was so shameful. They worried what the British and French had done to the Chinese during the Opium Wars might come to Japan and indeed the British made a minor attack in Satsuma in 1863 and Choshu in 1864 raising concerns. 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. China and Japan went through their own processes of modernization, which were dramatically different to say the least. Li Hongzhang was emerging at the forefront and he desperately was trying to help China modernize, but he was but one man amongst many.
Ufos über Nordamerika, abgeschossene Ballons, gestoppte Reisediplomatie: Wenige Tage vor der Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz belasten schwebende Lauschzentralen und wechselseitige Spionagevorwürfe das ohnehin angespannte Verhältnis zwischen den USA und China. US-Außenminister Antony Blinken hat einen geplanten Besuch im Reich der Mitte abgesagt, die Führung in Peking reagiert empört. Wächst sich die Verstimmung zu einer veritablen Krise aus? Ist die Spionageaffäre Ausweis des wachsenden Machtstrebens Chinas oder Alltag unter globalen Rivalen? Und warum wurden diese Ballons eigentlich erst jetzt entdeckt? In der neuen Folge von "Das Politikteil" sprechen wir mit dem China-Experten Mikko Huotari über die Hintergründe des Ballon-Eklats, über die globalen Ambitionen der chinesischen Führung unter Xi Jinping und über den aktuellen Stand des deutsch-chinesischen Verhältnisses. Huotari erläutert, wie und zu welchem Zweck China ein globales Spionage- und Überwachungsregime aufbaut, für wie wahrscheinlich er eine Eskalation im Taiwan-Konflikt hält und warum die China-Strategie der Ampel-Regierung auf sich warten lässt. Und er verrät, warum ihn nicht wenige für ein japanisches Mädchen halten Mikko Huotari ist Direktor des Mercator Institute for China Studies, kurz: MERICS. Er hat in Freiburg, Nanjing und Shanghai Politik, Öffentliches Recht und Musikwissenschaft studiert und in Freiburg auch promoviert. Zu seinen Forschungsschwerpunkten zählen Chinas Außenpolitik, die chinesisch-europäischen Beziehungen sowie globales Regieren. Im Podcast "Das Politikteil" sprechen wir jede Woche über das, was die Politik beschäftigt, erklären die Hintergründe, diskutieren die Zusammenhänge. Immer freitags mit zwei Moderatoren, einem Gast – und einem Geräusch. Im Wechsel sind als Gastgeber Tina Hildebrandt und Heinrich Wefing oder Ileana Grabitz und Peter Dausend zu hören.
Kings and Generals: History for our Future
Last time we spoke Cholera spread like a plague taking countless lives on either side of the conflict. The loss of so much life hurt the Xiang armies positions, and Zeng Guofan worried dearly for the life of his brother fighting at Yuhaitai. Zeng Guofan desperately tossed any men he could to help his brother and it proved effective as Li Xiucheng was forced to flee for the safety of Nanjing's walls. The EVA force lost Ward and gained Chinese Gordon as its leader. But it was to be a short lived command as Gordon and the British became outraged with their allies atrocities and slights against them and thus took back on the stance of neutrality. Yuhaitai was taken and now Nanjing was under siege by the Xiang army, it was only a matter of time for the Taiping to finally fall. #35 This episode is The Taiping Rebellion part 12: The Fall of the Heavenly Kingdom 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 history of asia 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. The populace of Nanjing were terrified, with only two gates left open, provisions were becoming very limited and there was almost no way to get out. Roughly 30,000 people were inside the city, 10,000 of which were soldiers. After the fall of Suzhou to Li Hongzhang in December, Li Xiucheng returned to Nanjing pleading with the heavenly king, to simply abandon Nanjing and take the entire movement into Jiangxi province. The heavenly king was livid, saying Li Xiucheng lacked faith in the cause. Without much choice, Li Xiucheng began to prepare the city for a bitter siege. Meanwhile the heavenly king was becoming more and more paranoid and angry. His anger led him to cruelty and he began punishing the people in horrifying ways. For example the new crime of communicating with those outside the walls of the city saw people pounded to death between rocks or flayed alive in public. The people would have fled the city, but they knew the fate of what happened to those who did, as was the case when Anqing fell. By late December they heard the rumors about the fate of Suzhou thus sealing their fate to Nanjing. Zeng Guofan sent reports to his brother in spring of 1864 not to even let women and children escape the city, so their fear was well founded. Zeng Guofan justified this by stating, to force the Taiping to support the entire population within the city would accelerate their starvation. With Chen Yucheng dead, Li Xiucheng spread too thinly, Hong Rengan found himself yet again thrust into the role of military commander. Hong Xiuquan told his cousin he had to go out of the city to rally troops from nearby territories to help relieve Nanjing. But it was not possible to head north or west, nor was it possible to traverse the river. Hong Rengan set out the day after Christmas of 1863. His first destination was Danyang around 50 miles east of Nanjing which was commanded by an uncle to the late Chen Yucheng. The commander told Hong Rengan he could not spare any troops to help Nanjing, so Hong Rengan continued on to Changzhou. While enroute he found out Li Hongzhang had taken the city, forcing him to winter in Danyang. When spring came, he took his force south into Zhejiang, where Hangzhou was still holding out. Back in 1861 when Hong Rengan went out to get recruits, the work was much easier. This was no longer the case, in the cities of Danyang and Huzhou he found people too afraid to leave their garrisons to go back to Nanjing. Meanwhile the Xiang army was exponentially growing, by 1864 Zeng Guofan had 120,000 troops, Zeng Guoquan 50,000, another 30,000 garrisoned Anhui, 13,000 moved around with Bao Chao and 10,000 were in the area between Anhui and Suzhou. Li Hongzhang's Anhui army followed up its conquest of Suzhou by marching upon Nanjing from the east. They seized Changzhou and Wuxi with ease as Zuo Zongtang battled Taiping in Zhejiang province. All these armies would eventually converge upon Nanjing. Zeng Guoquan's forces managed to take the Fortress of Heaven on the Dragon's shoulder, pitting it against the Fortress of Earth. With the vantage point upon Dragon's shoulder the Xiang forces were able to create stockade camps at the Shence Gate and eastern Taiping Gate, thus cutting off the city completely. By the end of March, Hangzhou fell to Zuo Zongtang forcing its survivors to flee to Huzhou seeking refuge with Hong Rengan. With the loss of both Suzhou and Hangzhou, the Taiping no longer held any significant cities in the east. There were no more avenues for rescue for the Taiping capital, all that was left was a siege. Zeng Guoquan's siege army was running dry on provisions, the devastation of the countryside was hitting his men as bad as it was the Taiping. Even though they held the Yangtze, by spring of 1864 there was no longer much food coming from it. His men ate rice gruel and basically nothing else. He confided to his secretary, “If we don't break this city in a month, our whole army is going to crumble to pieces.” Within Nanjing the garrisons first crop of wheat was breaking the surface in april. Zeng Guofans men atop forts and mountain lookouts could see within the city the crops growing with bitterness. They held into the early summer, but Beijing's patience was wearing thin and so were their stomachs. Zeng Guoquan wanted the glory of taking Nanjing for himself, so he resisted the advice of Li Hongzhang to come supplement his forces. Zeng Guofan was torn by this, he understood his brothers ambition, but it was terribly unwise. He wrote to his brother “Why must you have sole credit for conquering Nanjing? Why should one person be the most famous under heaven?” Li Hongzhang realized the family predicament and offered to save face for the Zengs by forming an excuse that he was unable to come help after all. Zeng Guoquans siege had been enlarged, they built a 3 mile road for supplies through a bog, connecting the river to Yuhuatai. While on the surface it looked like the Xiang forces were loafing around, this was far from the truth, the real siege work was being done under the earth. They did not have large enough cannons to break the walls of Nanjing, so they had to tunnel and mine, the good old fashion way as they say. They would even have to tunnel under moats some 90 feet underground. Each tunnel was made hauling out dirt and rock by hand, but the spotters in Nanjing were always watching. A cool fact I did not know before writing this series, when sappers begin tunneling for long periods of time, the grass on the ground level above them turns brown leaving a kind of path the tunnellers are taking towards a wall. Spotters looked for this and for ventilation holes, after all if you are digging far you have to get air into the work space. Inside Nanjing Taiping sappers dug their own counter tunnels to thwart mines. They often did this by exploding their own mines, flushing gas into the tunnels or flooding them with boiling water or sewage. Imagine dying in a tunnel full of sewage, horrid. At one point a Xiang miner exploded a mine close enough to a wall, but the explosion failed to make a breach and the Taiping quickly went to work building more parts to the wall near it. By June, the Xiang had mines exploded up in over 30 areas of the walls, but their results were nothing less that 4000 dead sappers. Then on July 3rd, after they captured the Fortress of Earth at the base of the Dragon's shoulder they had a vantage point so close to part of Nanjing's walls they could fire cannons over. Throughout the night and day they fired cannons into part of Nanjing thwarting the Taiping tunnelers while their own worked. The most ambitious tunnel yet was dug, around 70 yards out, digging at a rate of 15 feet per day. It lead to a part of Nanjing's walls 50 feet thick. The Taiping knew what was coming, but the bombardment never ceased, and even the noise from the cannons prevented spotters from figuring out precisely where the tunnel was. By the 15th of July Li Xiucheng was forced to launch a night sortie to try and attack the tunnel opening, but the Xiang army forced them right back into the city. Three days later the tunnel had just about reached its target for the explosives. Zeng Guoquan was impatient, pressured by Beijing, so he ordered his men to pack 6000 cloth sacks under the wall containing over 20 tons of gunpowder. The explosion went off at noon on the 19th, as 400 hand picked veterans crouching hiding on the ground to launch themselves through the breach. The explosive experts lit the fuse and waited, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20, 30 the fuse took that long to travel the tunnel. Then a tremendous blast was heard forming a convulsion sending part of the wall to go up blasting outwards and skyward raining parts of the rubble everywhere killing tons of the 400 men hiding on the ground. When the smoke cleared, a 200 foot wide breach could be seen. The Xiang forces sounded the drums and stormed down the Dragon's shoulder towards the breach screaming. The clambering over dead bodies and rumble surging forward, many of them holding maps of the inner city. The first troops to breach the hole specifically dodged the defenders rushing further into the city with maps in hand as they had the specific mission to rush to the palace of the Heavenly King to kill the self proclaimed brother of jesus. But Li Xiucheng beat them to their mission and he spirited away Hong Xiuquans son, before they could capture the would-be future monarch. When the Xiang troops entered the palace they found nothing but an eerie silence. Hong Xiuquan the heavenly king, the self proclaimed brother of Jesus was already dead. Going back in time, to the spring of 1864, Li Xiucheng said to the heavenly king “There is no food in the whole city and many men and women are dying. I request a directive as to what should be done to put the people's mind at ease.” Starvation was hitting the people, but the heavenly king did not seem to pay any notice. Hong Xiuquan began to talk to Li Xiucheng about the 16th chapter of Exodus, how god would preserve the Taiping faithful, just as he preserved the children of Israel for 40 years as they wandered the desert, by scattering manna on the ground amidst the dew each morning. Beginning in 1862, Hong Xiuquan had begun ordering his subjects to emulate the lives of the israelites, storing 10 bushels of manna every year to see them through their times of trouble. What exactly manna is, hard to say, if you read the bible it says it was a small, white flower with the scent of coriander that tasted like honey. The Chinese Taiping bible describes it as “Tianlu and Ganlu” which means sweetened dew. Hong Xiuquan said to Li Xiucheng “everyone in the city should eat manna. This will keep them alive” he then issued an order “Bring some here, and after preparing it I shall partake of some first.” Li Xiucheng states “the Sovereign himself, in the open spaces of his palace, collected all sorts of weeds, which he made into a lump and sent out of the palace, demanding that everyone do likewise, without defaulting. He issued an edict ordering the people to act accordingly and everyone would have enough to eat.” Thus Hong Xiuquan began to eat the weeds he called manna within his palace. In April of 1864 he began to fall ill with his 50th year of life. He seems to get better in may, but then becomes sick again. The cause of his illness is not understood, but Li Xiucheng account states “its from him eating manna, and when this man was ill he would not take remedies”. Hong Rengan account states “a lingering illness of 20 days took him”. Tiangui Fu the son of Hong Xiuquan said “my father succumbed to sickness”. On May 30th, Hong Xiuquan or one of his aides announces it is time for the Heavenly king to go to Heaven where he will request the Heavenly father and Heavenly Elder brother to send a celestial army to defend Nanjing. There is no grand funeral for the heavenly king. On June 1st he is wrapped in a shroud of yellow silk by his palace women and buried in the bare ground, which was the regular service for the Taiping. No coffins were necessary, because he was expected to rise soon to go to heaven. Hong Xiuquan had ordered coffins to be abandoned prior and that the word “death” to be taboo, because they were all going to ascend to heaven. Five days after his death, his son Tiangui Fu takes his fathers throne. While the Qing forces are busy sieging the city, for 6 weeks the Young monarch reigns. He is basically at the mercy of Li Xiucheng and Hong Rengan. Li Xiucheng gives this account “After the Young Sovereign came to the throne,there was no grain for the soldiers, and there was chaos in the armies. . . . The Sovereign was young and had no ability to make decisions, no one, civil or military, in the capital, could think of a solution.” When the explosion went off on July 19th and the slaughter and chaos began within the city, Tiangui Fu stood bewildered in his palace beside his 4 wives. They tried to grab him, to stop him from fleeing, but he broke away from them and ran into the crowds with his 2 younger brothers heading for Li Xiuchengs palace. They grabbed the nearest horses and their bodyguards clustered around them. During the chaos they try to escape through the different gates in turn, each time turned back. Li Xiucheng eventually finds the royal group and whisks them to a safe location. They hide for some time in an abandoned temple on the western side of the city, perched atop a hill from which they can see the Qing forces scattering into the city. The Young monarch and his comrade put on Hunanese clothing as a disguise, something that had been prepared weeks before. They seize the cover of darkness as the Xiang army are busy raping and plundering the city. Li Xiucheng bids a tearful farewell to the Young monarch as he and his small party charge through the breach Zeng Guoquans sappers made, with the sun against their backs they vanish. The horse of Li Xiucheng collapses and his guard leaves without him. Dazed and confused, Li Xiucheng climbs back to the abandoned temple on the hill. He wakes up to find peasants robbing him of his valuables, when he is left with nothing to take, they grab him and bring him to Zeng Guoquans forces. No one knows where the Young monarch is, but Zeng Guoquan has Li Xiucheng in his hands and interrogates him. Without the leadership of Li Xiucheng the Taiping forces might linger on in the rest of the country to form some small kingdom, but they would never be able again to become a large movement. With the capture of Li Xiucheng, the Taiping rebellion was pretty much dead. Li Xiucheng writes a very lengthy confession before his execution. Before his death he begs the Qing officials to stop the slaughter of Nanjing, to spare the old Taiping veterans who had marched from Guangxi and Guangdong, to give them permission to go back home. “engage in some trade. If you are willing to spare them, everyone will hear of it, and everyone will be willing to submit.” He even provides his captors with some advice, to buy the best cannons from the foreigners, alongside efficient gun carriages and other weapons, so that the best Chinese craftsmen could reverse engineer them and teach the people of china how to make their own. “one craftsman can teach ten, ten can teach a hundred and everyone in our country will know. . . . To fight with the foreign devils the first thing is to buy cannon and get prepared early. It is certain that there will be a war with them.” “Our Heavenly Kingdom is finished . . . and this is because the former Heavenly King's span was ended. The fate of the people was hard, such a hard fate!” Li Xiucheng speaks to his captors believing the Young Monarch is already dead, but Tiangui Fu was safe accompanied by a few hundred loyal soldiers. Tiangui Fu and his small force circle the shore of Lake Tai, fleeing for Huzhou where Hong Rengan commands a small Taiping garrison. Yet before talking about that I want to talk about the horrors that befall Nanjing. The Xiang army's discipline broke at Nanjing, they were starving when they stormed the great city, filling their stomachs for the first time with food and the achievement of their ultimate goal, ending the war. After bitter years of campaigning, far away from their homelands, they began to break ranks and laid waste to the capital in an orgy of rape and plunder. Zeng Guofan issues proclamations forbidding troops from murdering civilians, rape of looting, but his commanders ignore this. The bloody occupation of Nanjing sees the fanatical death of many Taiping, refusing to surrender who fight to the bitter end. As Zeng Guofan reported to Beijing “On the 17th and 18th, Tseng Liang-Tso and others searched through the city for any rebels they could find, and in three days killed over 100,000 men. THe Ch'in-huai creek was filled with bodies. Half of the false wangs, chief generals, heavenly generals, and other heads were killed in battle, and the other half either drowned themselves in the dikes and ditches or else burned themselves. The whole of them numbered 3000 men. The fire in the city raged for 3 days and nights…Not one of the 100,000 rebels in Nanjing surrendered themselves when the city was taken but in many cases gathered together and burned themselves and passed away without repentance. Such a formidable band of rebels has been rarely known from ancient times to present”. The slaughter of Nanjing was the combination of fanaticism from the Taiping and the policy of Zeng Guofan who was determined that the surrender from the veterans Guangxi/Guangdong Taiping was not to be accepted. His goal was the extermination of the whole movement, via the death of its core leadership. He wanted no residue of any successors to try and carry on the Taiping ideology. He performed a ruthless extermination, thus forcing many of the Taiping to fight to the very end or commit mass suicide. Zeng Guoquan's aides reported to him that mass looting, murder and rapes were occuring. Soldiers could be seen running off with gold, silver, furs, jade and any other valuables. At first soldiers burned palaces, but then they moved onto homes, eventually the entire city was aflame. Only when a heavy rainstorm occurred on July 25th did the fires go out. On the 26th, Zeng Guoquans secretary entered the city and was overwhelmed at the sight. All the male Taiping still alive were being used by the Xiang soldiers to carry loot or dig up buried treasure. It seemed like many of them were being set free to flee the city after, but many were also slaughtered after. Countless, elderly who could not perform labor were killed outright. Countless children lay dead in the streets alongside the old, as the secretary wrote in his diary “Children and toddlers, some not even two years old, had been hacked up or run through just for sport. There wasn't a single women left in the city under 40 years old. Sometimes they had ten or twelve cuts on them, sometimes several times that. The sound of their weeping and moaning carried into the distance all around.” A female Taiping survivor named Huang Shuhua was 16 years of age during the capture of Nanjing. She had this to say about when the soldiers came. “They killed my two older brothers in the courtyard, then they went searching through the rooms of the house. One of the strong ones captured me and carried me out. My little brother tugged on his clothing, my mother threw herself down before him, weeping. He shouted angrily, ‘All rebel followers will be killed, no pardons—those are the general's orders!' Then he murdered my mother and my little brother. My eldest brother's wife came out, and he killed her too. Then he dragged me away, so I don't know what became of my other elder brother's wife. I was grief-stricken, sobbing and cursing at him, begging him to kill me quickly. But he only laughed at me. ‘You, I love,' he said. ‘You, I will not kill.' ” The soldier tied her up and took her aboard a boat back to his home in Hunan. The soldier was from the home county of Zeng Guofan, Xiangxiang. She would spend the rest of her life as the wife of a man who had murdered her entire family. She wrote down her story on two slips of paper one evening while traveling and when at an Inn she secretly slid the papers to someone at the inn before hanging herself. Zeng Guofan took possession of Nanjing, arriving from Anqing on July 28th, 9 days after his brother's forces breached its walls. Apparently officers from his brothers forces took him around the city in a sedan chair, telling him tales of the battles fought and won, showing him the scenes of the destruction. Poetry, plays, banquettes, song and wine, celebrating was made by the victors. Soon honors would be poured over said victors from Beijing once Zeng Guofan sent news of the fall of the Taiping capital. Zeng Guofan sent inflated numbers of Taiping killed, as you may have noticed when I read those quotes, there was absolutely not 100,000 dead in Nanjing. He was inflating the glory of his family, that of his armies prowess, and he masking over the rape and plundering of the second capital of the dynasty. He was very careful with what information got out. When he came face to face with Li Xiucheng, he had direct orders from Beijing to send the man alive back to Beijing, instead he executed him where he was making sure to overlook the interrogation process himself so he could make sure the writing of Li Xiucheng was exactly the way he wanted it. Now Hong Rengan was in Huzhou during the downfall of Nanjing, helplessly trying to find help for the capital. When news came that Nanjing had fallen and Li Xiucheng was dead, Hong Rengan found himself in possession of the Young monarch who fled to Huzhou for safety. At this time Huzhou was being attacked by Li Hongzhang's Anhui army and remnants of the EVA force. Not the Ever victorious army, no this was the Ever triumphant army. Basically the remnants of the EVA force were taken by some French officers who continued to work alongside the Qing. The roads to leading to Huzhou were strewn with corpses and severed heads to ward off the Qing/Anhui/EVA forces. The coalitionary forces are too much for the defenders of Huzhou who at the end of August of 1864 flee south. Hong Rengan intends to take the Young Monarch to Guangdong where the Taiping movement started. They rode for 3 months making it to the Meiling Pass, searching for safety. Their escapade left them in a mountainous country 15 miles northeast of a town called Stone Wall where they were finally attacked. Qing soldiers came upon them during the night before the Taiping loyalists could even mount their horses. Hong Rengan fled alone on foot wilding running through a forest where he is captured on October 9th. He is interrogated by the local Qing officials, where he tells them “The heavenly King was nine years older than I and gifted with extraordinary powers of intelligence. A glance at anything was all that was required to impress the subject on his memory. The uprising at Thistle mounted undoubted evidence of the display of divine power throughout those years,and despite the ultimate collapse of the Taiping movement, among those who have enjoyed the smiles of fortune for the longest time the Heavenly King stands pre-eminently forward,”. Hong Rengang is executed in Jiangxi's capital of Nanchang on November 23rd. As for the Young Monarch, Tiangui Fu, he manages to slip away with 10 followers. His band crosses a small bridge and climbs a nearby hill to hide, but they are discovered by their Qing pursuers. Somehow Tiangui Fu manages to evade them, hiding out in the hills, afraid and alone. He shaves off his long hair and finds work with a local farmer pretending to be a man named Zhang from Hubei. After the harvest for that year, he travels onwards but is finally caught and arrested on October 25th by a Qing patrol. He throws himself at the mercy of the state, confessing “The old Heavenly King told me to study religious books, and would not allow me to study ancient books, which he said were all demonic. I managed, however, to read secretly thirty or more volumes, and still retain some recollection of their subjects and contents. The conquest of the empire was the ambition of the old Heavenly King, and I had no part in it.” He tells his captors if they release him, he will study the Confucian classics and try to gain the lowest degree, that of Licentiate. Instead the Young Monarch is executed on November 18th, a week before his 15th birthday. The Heavenly King is dead, the Young Monarch is dead, all the kings, north, south, east, west, flank, shield, loyal, brave and countless others are all dead. The day Zeng Guofan took control of Nanjing was a triumph, not for the Qing dynasty but for him. He was at that moment the most powerful man in all of China. His Xiang army was dominant, he was that of a military dictator controlling the vast eastern and central parts of China. He was not fully under the Qing courts control, in fact the Qing relied upon him almost entirely to retain their own control. Until the Taiping menace was defeated, the Qing court watching his efforts without dread, once it was done that all changed. Rumors spread like wildfire, some said Zeng Guoquan told his brother the time was right to abandon the crumbling Qing dynasty and to start a new dynasty from his base in Nanjing. But Zeng Guofan did not do this. In truth, by the time Nanjing was under its last siege, Zeng Guofan began a process for disbanding his grand Xiang army and to relinquish his power. He sought to hold onto his positions as governor general over Anhui, Jiangsu and Jiangxi, and help rebuild Nanjing to its former glory. Many watched expected him to take his army and march upon Beijing, to rid China of the Manchu, but he sent his soldiers home. And thus Zeng Guofan remained a loyal subject, to a child emperor and the Empress Dowager Cixi. If you are bewildered by this, you are most definitely not alone, countless historians and contemporary figures were confused. Zeng Guofan's ruthlessness and brilliance led him to possess basically unlimited power. All of his top ranking commanders were people he knew, they all had strong personal ties to him, their loyalty was set in stone. What could have possibly stopped him from taking over China? Well, according to his closest family members and friends, they say Zeng Guofan was a man wrecked by anxiety and depression. He was reluctant from the very beginning to be given command, quite uncertain of himself. He was a true scholar and sought nothing but to go back to his books and to lead a life of moral scholarship. He was deeply influenced by Confucian beliefs, but many also think he was influenced by the horrible levels of corruption, greed and incompetence he saw within the Qing bureaucracy. He was never heard to question the legitimacy of the Emperor, and being very devout to Confucianism, he probably really believed in the mandate of heaven. There are also those who point out, to such a brilliant mind, was ruling China a desirable thing? He say how tumultuous the era they lived in was, was it a good era to rule over? Perhaps his uncertainty about himself, left him thinking he could not live up to the task. Regardless, the Xiang army demobilized in August of 1864, less than a month after the fall of Nanjing. In May he gave a notice for sick leave, which as he told his brother was just an excuse to go into hiding after the war was done. He wanted to escape all of his critics who were growing suspicious of his power. He recommended his brother should do the same, but it seems Zeng Guoquan resented this advice. Zeng Guoquan apparently was beginning to expand his economic powers and Zeng Guofan had this to write to his brother, “Military commanders who have usurped fiscal power have never brought anything but evil to the country and harm to their own families. Even if you, my brother, are a complete idiot, surely you cannot be ignorant that you have to distance yourself from power to avoid being slandered.” Well the Qing court went to work on Zeng Guoquan and his subordinates accusing them of corruption and usurpation. Likewise they hounded Zeng Guofan by proxy, and for the 8 years left of his life they tormented him, not allowing him to retire or pause from duties. Zeng Guofan's dreams of returning to scholarship, his homeland, a quiet life, would never come to be. In 1867 he wrote on the issue of his looming death “I would be happier there, than I am in this world”. The estimates on the death toll of the Taiping Rebellion are simply impossible to gauge fully. If you go to wikipedia, or pick up any book they all fall on 20-30 million people. There were no reliable censuses at the time, the estimates are based mostly upon demographic projections on what the Chinese population should otherwise have been in later generations. In an American study performed in 1969, by the year of 1913, almost 50 years after the fall of Nanjing, China's population had yet to recover to its pre 1850 levels. In 1999 it is estimated the provinces hardest hit by the Taiping Rebellion, Anhui, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Hubei and Jiangxi suffered a population loss of around 87 million people between 1851-1864. Around 57 million of them dead from war, the rest never born due to decreased birthrates. The projection for the full scale of the war in all provinces is around 70 million dead with a total loss for the population at 100 million. As you might imagine there is a large amount of skepticism over such unbelievable numbers. Regardless the scars of the event were most definitely felt for decades as attested by countless travelers and inhabitants of China. It was frankly one of if not the deadliest civil war in human history. What is rather incredible is the fact the Qing dynasty did not fall then. Don't get me wrong, it was a mortal wound, but the Qing dynasty would limp on for another 5 decades. Did the Qing dynasty win the war? Not entirely, its safer to say the efforts of Zeng Guofan, foreign intervention and the Qing defeated the Taiping movement. The Qing dynasty was basically put on life support by Zeng Guofan and foreign interests if you really think about it. The Opium wars linked the Qing dynasty to nations like Britain and France who had financial stakes in China and wanted the devil they knew rather than the Jesus they didn't to ensure the flow of unequal trade, see what I did there? Zeng Guofan, was simply in my opinion a strong conservative. I told you bits and pieces about his reluctance to work with foreigners and utilize their technology. He came around to it all of course, but he did so gradually and begrudgingly, there are countless tales of him butting heads over the issue. That issue being modernization, something his successor Li Hongzhang will become a champion of might I add. Zeng Guofan was devout to Confucianism and traditions, honestly he is a large part as to why the Taiping were unable to destroy much of Chinese culture. Zeng Guofan would be villainized by many as a traitor to his race, someone who held up the Manchu. In the end China suffered immensely, this was after all occurring during the century of humiliation. I will end with this to say about the intertwining years of the Second Opium War and the Taiping Rebellion. These years were a time of chaos and change for Asia as a whole. China would end up slowly moving towards modernization, but another nation would take the opposite route and usher in hyper modernization. The balance of power in Asia was turning, leaving more room for conflict on an unprecedented scale. 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. Sheesh, 12 parts my god, would you believe it if I told you there was a lot more left out? Remember there were other rebellions like the Nian and Dungan, and perhaps given a audience desire I might talk about those as well.
Is a world of inclusivity truly possible? How do we all get there? In the episode of the Creator Community, we meet professor, executive coach, and author Jason Patent, who shares his views and mistakes on creating impactful inclusivity. He openly shares he has not mastered inclusivity and has negatively impacted others in his life but knows we can do better. As humans, if we acknowledge the challenges of inclusion and see this work as a lifelong journey of constant improvement, we will find a better path forward for all of us. Key Points You already have what you need to create radically different workplaces and a radically different world. We can learn how to shift from our knee-jerk reactions and calmly respond and think collaboratively to allow everyone to shine. Power amplifies the ability to do harm to others and makes it harder for us to see the impact of our negative actions towards others. Historically, those with less power have been the ones who have had to adapt- this book flips that idea on its side and instead gives tips on how those with the power can actually adapt and give preference to those with less. Author Bio Jason D. Patent, Ph.D., is father of 2, ultramarathon runner and the founder and principal at JP Global Lead LLC, and co-founder of BridgeLabs. He is an organizational leader, consultant, author, thought leader, instructor, and workshop facilitator in the fields of global leadership and global diversity, equity, and inclusion. A fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese, Jason directed the Robertson Center for Intercultural Leadership (CIL) at U.C. Berkeley's International House for seven years. Prior to that, he served as American Co-Director of the Hopkins–Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China; Inaugural Director of the Stanford Program in Beijing; Consultant at Gap International; and Vice President, Communications & Marketing at Orchestrall, Inc.
Brent Beery, CEO of GR8 Outdoors, a distributor of DoD Outdoors, a Japanese camping company, is a seasoned entrepreneur, outdoor enthusiast, and seasonal adventure motorcyclist. Brent has lived and worked in China for 20 years, and in this podcast, he shares his experience in China and the world. He discusses his early years in China, where he taught English at a university and eventually learned the Chinese language. He talks about his time in Nanjing, China, where he studied at Nanjing University for a year, and recounts his struggles with communication in Guangzhou, China. He also talks about his motorcycle riding adventures in China, Canada, and the US and shares tips from experienced riders. Brent also reflects on his experiences with martial arts, self-defense, and cardio exercises such as Muay Thai and boxing. He recounts a bar fight he was involved in and shared his views on Krav Maga. He also touches on his adventures in Alaska, China, and Europe and shares his thoughts on his encounters with police, mobs, and mobsters. Timestamps 0:00:00 Interview with Brent Beery: An Entrepreneur, Outdoorsman, and Adventure Motorcyclist 0:04:36 Heading: Reflections on Moving to China in 1997 0:06:21 Conversation on Chinese Language Tones and Fluency 0:09:49 Conversation on Everyday Life in Nanjing, China 0:12:00 Conversation on Motorcycle Riding in China, Canada, and the United States 0:13:18 Recounting a Motorcycle Endorsement and Self-Discovery Journey 0:15:01 Heading: Motorcycle Riding Lesson Gone Wrong 0:16:43 Heading: Motorcycle Riding Tips from Experienced Riders 0:18:12 Conversation Summary: Exploring the Benefits of Riding a BMW GS Motorcycle 0:19:47 Conversation on Luxury Camping in Asia and the DoD Brand 0:25:21 Heading: Exploring the Playful Side of Camping with DoD and Snow Peak 0:26:47 Exploring China: Reflections on Cultural and Legal Differences 0:29:39 Heading: Exploring the Cultural Differences in Attitudes Towards Alcohol Consumption 0:34:55 Conversation on Drug Use, Travel Plans, and Hobbies 0:42:42 Conversation on Muay Thai and Boxing as Self-Defense and Cardio Exercise 0:44:25 "The Benefits of Training in Martial Arts: A Personal Account of a Bar Fight" 0:45:53 Krav Maga: A Discussion on the Benefits of Combining Martial Arts and Self-Defense 0:49:42 KRAV MAGA: Combining Striking Fighting Discipline with Street Savvy for Self Defense 0:51:13 Heading: MMA vs. Traditional Martial Arts: A Discussion on the Benefits for Kids 0:56:30 Conversation on Martial Arts, Life in China, and Camping Adventures 0:58:20 Conversation: Experiencing the Wilds of Alaska and Life in China 1:01:59 Heading: De-escalating a Potentially Dangerous Situation in China 1:04:55 Heading: Aggressive Crowd Blocks Intersection in China 1:06:32 Investigation of Assault Incident Involving Foreigners in China 1:10:11 Conversation Summary: Detained for 7 Hours Over Insulting Remark 1:11:10 Heading: Interrogation and Escaping with an Ambulance in China and Las Vegas 1:12:53 Heading: Reflection on Experiences with Police and Mob Interactions 1:16:28 Conversation Summary: Tales of Adventure in Suzhou, China 1:18:17 Conversation Summary: Refusing to Pay an Unfair Price at the Eiffel Tower 1:19:59 Conversation Summary: De-escalating a Potentially Violent Situation in China 1:20:51 Heading: Encounter with Mobsters in China Leads to Unexpected Outcome 1:24:38 Incident Report: Altercation at Bar Involving 18-Year-Old and Bouncers 1:26:05 Heading: Business Practices in China and Mexico 1:28:16 "Experiencing Matchmaking in a Chinese Village" 1:31:01 Investigation of Unusual Financial Activity at Chinese Electrical Distribution Company 1:32:56 Investigation of Government Fund Mismanagement Leads to Execution of Chinese Official 1:35:16 Conversation Summary: Investigating a Chinese Company and a Threatening Encounter 1:37:06 Conversation on the Difficulty of Learning Chinese 1:38:52 Conversation on the Difficulty of Learning Chinese and the Future of China 1:43:40 Heading: Discussion on the Impact of China's One-Child Policy and the Potential for Robotics to Solve Demographic Challenges 1:47:35 Heading: Conversation with Brent on the Global Economy
Kings and Generals: History for our Future
Last time we spoke Hong Rengan was in misery, nothing was going as planned. Li Xiucheng went off on his own to perform a campaign in the east, but it was drawing ire from the foreign community to make Hong Rengans life even worse. To defend Shanghai from Li Xiuchengs men, Ward's mercenary force became the Ever Victorious Army and began to work alongside the foreign community and Qing. Chen Yucheng was hunted down and executed, yet another great Taiping king gone. Zeng Guoquan made an extremely bold move and began a siege of Yuhuatai, a fort guarding Nanjing. Then the foreigners it seems quasi joined the Qing, thus ending any chance of the Taiping earning their support. With what seems the rest of the world against the Taiping, and the enemy nipping at their doors, what could they do to stop the inevitable? #34 This episode is The Taiping Rebellion part 11: The Siege of Heavenly Kingdom 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 history of asia 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. Meanwhile, refugees from across Jiangsu and Zhejiang flooded into Shanghai seeked protection. In 1862 alone nearly 1.5 million refugees crammed into the Chinese and foreign held parts of the city. Where there are so many people, comes issues. One particular issue was human waste, with so many people crammed into the city, the waterways literally became clogged with fecal matter and other waste. The rivers were also the primary supply of water for the city and even with the custom of boiling the drinking water, the washing water and that used to prepare food was not. A massive cholera outbreak began in may of 1862 causing the usual symptoms, cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. Death ran rampant and by June it was a full blown pandemic. 10 to 15 Europeans were dying a day based on records, but obviously the Chinese population suffered the most. Hundreds of people died each day and by July thousands. At its peak the Cholera outbreak killed 3000 people a day in the foreing settlement, the streets were ridden with unburied bodies. Some local Chinese called it “fan sha, the foreign infection”. The pandemic spread, first going north to the Taku forts, then Tianjin where it claimed 20,000 lives in a few weeks. From there it hit Beijing, but it was not limited to this northern route, it also went south and over the Yangtze going into the interior of CHina. Zeng Guofan's HQ was hit and men began to die. 10,000 men under Zeng Guoquan at Yuhuatai became sick, 10,000 more under Bao Chaos army in southern Anhui and Bao Chao himself also became sick. 50% of Zuo Zongtangs army in Zhejiang were sick and with the massive amount of illness, the Xiang army simply could no longer continue to be on the offensive. Zeng Guofan ordered his commanders to distribute Korean ginseng to the sick troops hoping it would at the least alleviate symptoms. Over in Shanghai the British military distributed “cholera belts”, these were wide cummerbunds of flannel wrapped around the persons torso to keep it warm because the belief was the disease was caused by sweaty chills in the bowels. Another British medical officer in Beijing, did not believe the disease was the result of insanitation and instead suspected quote “the operation of certain electrochemical changes in the atmosphere on certain constitutions.” Within Nanjing it seems they fared a bit better, which is understandable as they were more rural and less crowded then places like Shanghai or Tianjin. The disease spread via the trading routes, which were pretty much closed off to the Taiping. Those Taiping around the Shanghai area however got just as smashed by the disease as the rest. The disease would petter off during the winter, but found its way to Manchuria and then Japan. For those of you who know your Bakumatsu period history, the Cholera outbreak began in Shanghai. Overall, in the region surrounding Shanghai for about 40 miles, by September it was estimated by missionaries that cholera had wiped out ⅛ of the population, a population in the several million. Zeng Guoquans position at Yuhuatai was a precarious one, even before Cholera wreaked its ugly head. Zeng Guofan was shocked by his brothers boldness to dig in so close to the heart of the rebellion. When Cholera began to steal away half of Zeng Guoquans forces, his brother dispatched reinforcements, literally everything he could spare but the Xiang army was fewer than 30,000 strong. The men at Yuhuatai held firm in their trenches, fighting off the occasional Nanjing sorties against them from the southern gate. The Cholera epidemic also gave Li Xiucheng an opportunity to breakoff the Shanghai campaign and return to Nanjing, something the Heavenly King was begging him to do. Well after a very long time of ignoring the poor heavenly king, Li Xiucheng decided in the late summer to withdrew to Suzhou where he gather 3 separate armies to form a relief expedition back to Nanjing. Each army had its own objective: one was going to attack Bao Chao in southern Anhui, one was going to attack the Xiang and Qing naval forces and logistics line and the third led by Li Xiucheng personally would attack Zeng Guoquan's force at Yuhuatai. By late September his armies were marching, with 120,000 under his immediate command. Rumors at the time talked about his force being as large as 300 to a possible 600,000 men. When Geng Guofan received reports of the Li Xiuchengs force moving back to lift the siege on Nanjing he began to frantically ship provisions and supplies to his brother, but there was simply no way he could send enough men to hold off such a goliath army. Bao Chao was busy fighting in southern Anhui and likewise Duolonga had chased Chen Yucheng north, despite receiving direct orders to turn back to help at Nanjing. It seems the Manchu commander was a bit jealous of Zeng Guofan's brother and was dissatisfied with the special treatment of the Zeng family members. So after the death of Chen Yucheng he went northwest into Shaanxi to suppress another rebellion that was going on at the time, remember there's so many simultaneous rebellions. The Dungan Rebellion was a Muslim rebellion led primarily by Hui groups in Shaanxi, Gangsu and Ningxia. It was a brutal and bloody conflict and would claim the life of Duolonga two years later. The assault upon Yuhuatai would commence on October the 13th, while Zeng Guofan was tossing as many reinforcements as he could to help his brother, but these figures were in the mere hundreds. Zeng Guofan sent letters to his brother trying to raise his morale, claiming Li Xiucheng would require incredible logistical capabilities to keep his army provisioned and perhaps it would lead to his downfall, but privately he was falling into despair. He had this to write in his diary “Last night, I thought about my brother Guoquan, facing danger in ten thousand forms. Anxiety burned my heart. I repaired to my inner chamber and tried laying out scenarios on a Go board [to distract myself]. Then I paced back and forth, circling the room. At eleven o'clock I went to bed but could not fall asleep. Sometime after three in the morning I finally slept, and had nightmares.” It is alleged, Zeng Guofan began to stop sleeping and refused any visitors while he received daily letters from his brother fanning his anxiety. In one letter dated on October 24th, Zeng Guoquan said his forces were holding the Taiping at bay after 7 days of constant attack. He also noted the enemy were using new weapons purchased from the foreigners, that fired explosive shells, “luodi kaihua pao, shells that bloom like flowers when they fall to earth”. It was two days later, Zeng Guofan learned another Taiping army of at least 100,000 led by Li Xiuchengs cousin the Attending king had left Zhejiang province to help attack the Xiang forces at Yuhuatai. The report was greatly delayed, by the time it reached Zeng Guofan, that said army had been marching for over 3 weeks. There were no letters from his brother after that. Riddled with anxiety, Zeng Guofan wondered about the fate of his brother. It would turn out his brother was hit by shrapnel from a shell, it struck his face and nearly killed him. Zeng Guoquan was still alive, but there was basically no chance he could escape Yuhuatai. Zeng Guofan pleaded with Li Hongzhang to help send reinforcements, but Li could spare none, though he did recommend sending the EVA force up river using steamships to help. Zeng Guofan was truly desperate as he allowed the EVA force to help, but this did not change the fact it would take weeks for them to get to Nanjing. In the meantime Zeng Guofan sent orders to his brother to retreat at any possible moment the enemy left an opening to flee. His brother refused, and while this sounds like a bit crazy, in reality Zeng Guoquans forces were dishing terrible casualties to the Taiping. The defenses at Yuhaitai were firm with heavy walls and trenches. Each time the Taiping launched an attack several thousand of them paid for it while Zeng Guoquans men faced casualties in the hundreds. While Li Xiucheng's sappers mined under the outer walls of Yuhaitai, the defenders frantically fed the cannons and fired their matchlocks at the Taiping. The defenders tried their best to gauge where the sappers were digging to breach their tunnels before they got under the walls, but just incase they began to build secondary walls in the interior. Zeng Guofan was so afraid for his brother, he even wrote to his eldest son Jize, in Hunan province asking him to leave home for the first time to come and join him at his HQ in Anqing. Yet Zeng Guoquan managed to hold on, his men wrecked the Taiping tunnels before they could breach his walls. The Xiang force on Yuhaitai survived 45 days of attacks and Li Xiucheng finally broke off the attack on November 26st, absolutely incredible. It turns out Zeng Guofans words of comfort to his brother proved true, Li Xiuchengs logistics failed him. Li Xiucheng was forced to use stores from Nanjing and this began to threaten the city, alongside this the army he sent to attack the Xiang/Qing naval forces failed. Winter was coming and Li Xiuchengs men didnt not have proper winter attire nor equipment. Thus he began to send parts of his army back to Jiangsu and Zhejiang while he took the rest to Nanjing hoping to launch an attack later to dislodge the Yuhaitai force. Zeng Guofan did not give up trying to get his brother to abandon Yuhaitai, insisting that the preservation of his army was more important than maintaining the position. Yet Guoquan kept refusing to budge. Well as Guofan kept worrying about his brother Guoquan, something indeed would occur, but to his other brother Guobao. The younger brother had taken 5000 men to help support Guoquan at Yuhaitai. He had sworn vengeance upon the Taiping whom killed his brother Zeng Guohua in 1858. Zeng Guoquan sent a letter to Zeng Guofan that their brother had fallen gravely ill, he had typhoid. On the morning of january 11th, Zeng Guofan got another letter stating Guohua had died. Back in the Shanghai front the rambunctious Ward had taken a bullet to his stomach on September 21st and died an apparently very agonizing and slow death the same night of 1862 while in Ningbo. Ward had been campaigning in conjunction with Li Hongzhang's troops taking advantage of Li Xiucheng's massive pull out of the region. In Ward's dying breath he apparently demanded money and declared Wu Xu and Yang Fang, the two juggernaut financial backers in Shanghai owed him 140,000 taels in back pay. He threatened that his family back home would press upon them to make good on their debts. Things began to crumble for the EVA forces after Ward's death, Li Hongzhang began to advise who should take up the mantle of command. One notable prospect was the North Carolinian Henry Burgevine, whom was favored by Admiral Hope and Frederick Bruce. Both Brits of course were keen to have the EVA commander be an American since it certainly took the limelight off their nation. Burgevine was said to be a model southerner type, gallant, charming, but he also loved his alcohol and had a terrible temper. During the fall of 1862, Burgevine led the EVA to drive the Taiping out of a few towns on the outskirts of Shanghai and by winter the 30 mile radius was met. Burgevine was butting heads however with undue payments from Yang Fang, several months worth. When Li Hongzhang ordered him to take the EVA forces to Nanjing to help Zeng Guoquan, Burgevine refused. It was obvious as to why, being closer to Nanjing greatly risked his and the EVA forces lives and there would be less chance of plundering. Yang Fang then refused to make good on his debts to the EVA force unless they complied with going to Nanjing and apparently Burgevine blew a gasket. On January the 4th of 1863, Burgevine showed up to Yang Fang's house with a few bodyguards and punched the man in the face, robbing him of 40,000 silver dollars before fleeing to Songjiang to pay his men. This led Li Hongzhang to place a bounty over the man's head of 50,000 taels. Well needless to say Burgevine disappeared rather quickly, leaving Frederick Bruce to need to find a new commander. This time Bruce wanted to avoid finding any more filibuster, cowboy types and to find someone more professional, more honorable, who would be more accountable. Thus obviously no Americans were going to fit that role, haha, and Bruce reluctantly had to look towards his fellow Brits. Bruce eventually found, a rather famous name today, but back then he was a young British officer in the Royal Engineers named Charles Gordon. You may have heard his more famous title as “Chinese Gordon”, he was very much akin to Lawrence of Arabia, similar stories. Gordon was painfully british looking, with an awesome mustache might I add in his defense. Fun fact one of his grandfathers owned a ship that was ransacked during the Boston Tea Party, go USA. One of my sources state he was quote “religiously asexual, never married, and had as early as age fourteen expressed a wish that he were a enuch. He also happened to speak with a pronounced lisp”. There were several allegations to suggest he was gay, seemingly based on the fact he did a lot of charitable work for male youth and that he had a fondness for handsome young men. Honestly if you look him up you will find a wide array of bizarre theories, some suggesting he was a homosexual who was so repressed by his Christian faith that he channeled his frustration into being the perfect soldier. One British historian, Paul Mersh suggested he was not a homosexual, but had Asperger syndrome and this made it extremely difficult for him to express emotions towards women. I have to say that is a wild theory, but I personally don't know enough about the man, nor am I in any way his biographer to say much about this fascination on his sexuality. I will say one thing though as a general rule, when you find older historians, those writing lets say up to the mid 20th century, making excuses as to why some figure was not gay, key words “oh he was just very good friends with so and so”, usually its because the figure was gay, haha. Sigh we have come a long way in the world and there is a lot to be said about prejudices of the past and some that still linger, but anyways. Gordon inherited a very demoralized force in march of 1863. There were 3000 Chinese soldiers left after many desertions, alongside 30 pieces of artillery and 2 paddle steamers. Gordon unlike his 2 predecessors, was very willing to work closely with Li Hongzhang. He took a leave of absence from the Royal Engineers so he could serve under the Qing, therefore allowing him to campaign outside the 30 mile radius of Shanghai. After a brief period of training he began his campaign by joining the Qing commander Cheng Xueqi to march into Jiangsu province and reclaim lost territory to the Taiping. Gordon's smaller force became the spearhead driving up the waterways to take walled cities by surprise by bashing them with artillery, while Cheng Xueqi's larger army came in to swarm everywhere they struck. By the summer of 1863, their combined forces were approaching Suzhou. All was going great for Li Hongzhang and Charles Gordon, but then came a familiar face to disrupt things, Burgevine. Burgevine showed up to Beijing backed up by the US minister Anson Burlingame, trying to claim back his role as the commander of the EVA forces. Burlingame was able to lobby on his behalf and got Prince Gong to agree to the matter, but Li Hongzhang wanted nothing to do with the ill tempered man who punched Yang Fang in the face. Burgevine showed up to Shanghai with an imperial commissioner instructing Li Hongzhang to put him back in charge, but it is alleged by Li Hongzhang that the letter Prince Gong had sent was more of a suggestion rather than direct order. Regardless, Li Hongzhang was not going to play ball and to get away with not having to take back Burgevine Li Hongzhang simply left on campaign with Gordon to attack Suzhou without taking Burgevine. Well the ill tempered Burgevine got riled up again and quickly made his way into Shanghai where he rallied up 70 foreign mercenaries, many of whom had served Ward but were discharged. He took all these men and stole one of the EVA steamers and they made their way up the waterway to Suzhou to join the Taiping. Burgevine began training the Taiping in Suzhou how to defeat Gordon's forces and when the battle commenced it seemed the rebels had the upper hand. Burgevine at one point went out at night over to Gordons camp to try and get the man to quit his position, something Gordon allegedly considered because he was having a rough time with the logistics of the EVA force. Regardless while Burgevine looked like he might turn the tides for the Taiping, another event occurred that would give the Qing a distinct edge, Captain Osborn showed up on September 1st to take command of the war fleet. Now what is interesting about the situation was that Prince Gong envisioned using the new naval forces to hit the Taiping along the rivers and then be employed as a patrol force for the eastern coast. But someone else had different ideas about the use of these naval units, Zeng Guofan. Prince Gong had planned to use multiethnic crews, sailors from Shandong, gunners from Hunan and Manchu for marines. Well Zeng Guofan thought the new naval forces would be better employed as an addition to his own naval forces. He began to advise against mixing ethnic groups, because it might cause disunity. He advised instead that all crews should be Hunanese, hmmmm. Thus the squadron of steam powered gunships would be absorbed into his fleet of Long Dragons, Fast Crabs and sampans. With such a fleet Zeng Guofan would control the entire Yangtze River system. And here emerges the balance of power swinging within the Qing Dynasty. This general with a large amount of autonomy was quasi dictating against the Qing central government. When Captain Osborn arrived he found an official letter from Prince Gong informing him that a Hunanese Admiral would be serving as the new fleets commander in chief, Osborn had just been demoted to assistant commander. Furthermore the letter stated the fleet would take orders from Zeng Guofan and Li Hongzhang. Osborn went to Beijing to protest these changes, but Prince Gong refused to budge on the matter. In fact rumors began to spread that Prince Gong had no choice in the matter, because Zeng Guofan quote “threatened to shut off all the supplies to the Imperial Government”. Osborn was furious “I came here to serve the Emperor, and under him the Regent, not to be the servant of mere provincial authorities.” Osborn resigned, while refusing to surrender control of the fleet to Prince Gong. Then came a real tense situation for Anson Burlingame, because the Confederates had envoys in China who sought to purchase the fleet for themselves so they could use it to fight the Union. Anson Burlingame lobbied hard to make sure this did not occur and in the end the fleet was sold at a loss back to India and then to Britain. Meanwhile while Gordon was facing the decision to step down at the behest of Burgevine, he decided instead to counter by convincing Burgevine to defect back to the Qing side. Burgevines frequent visits to Gordon were drawing suspicion from his Taiping comrades and his drunken ill tempered behavior did not help his cause too much. Apparently Burgevine really pissed off one Taiping commander, who had sent funds to purchase western guns and ammunition through Burgevines contacts only to find cargo of Brandy showing up. Not only was Burgevine getting on the Taiping's nerves, he also drew ire from his western comrades. On on occasion a western officer brought up Burgevines drinking problem only to have Burgevine fire a shot through the mans cheeks. Thus on October 15th, in the midst of an assault upon Suzhou by Gordons men, several of Burgevines officers defected, forcing Burgevine to do the same. Burgevine was exiled from China, as per the terms of his amnesty, but would show back up later on trying to raise another militia. No one knows for sure how, but Burgevine was captured by Qing soldiers and somehow ended up drowning in a river tied in chains. Local authorities said he had some sort of accident aboard a boat that capsized, but we all know that is not true. With Burgevine gone, a major obstacle had been overcome for the campaign against Suzhou. Despite this, the battle for Suzhou remained a stalemate by November. The Taiping commander of Suzhou was Tan Shaoguang, he also held the title of “Wang Mu, Esteemed King”, the son in law of Li Xiucheng. He wanted to defend Suzhou to the bitter end, but it turns out many of his subordinate commanders did not feel the same way. On November 28th, one of his subordinates secretly met with Chen Xueqi, promising to give up Suzhou peacefully while getting rid of Tan Shaoguang and his loyal officers. The man's name was Gao Yongkuan whom held the title of “receiving king” though by this point every commander was being given these titles. He offered to open the gates of Suzhou, but was very fearful of being caught by Tan Shaoguang. Gordon and Chen Xueqi agreed with Gao to take the city with minimal bloodshed. On the morning of December 4th, Tan Shaoguang held a banquet and during a speech he was stabbed by Gao Yongkuans group of mutineers and had his head cut off and sent to Cheng Xueqi. The gates of Suzhou were opened and Gordon with his EVA forces were the first to enter the city peacefully. Gordon spoke with the mutineer commanders and they all shaved their heads ready to surrender, grateful that Gordon kept his word to not slaughter them. Li Hongzhang showed up by boat to take control over the city with his personal guard and this is where things turned dark. Musket fire could be heard, and Gordon went to investigate finding Cheng Xueqi outside the walls of Suzhou looking very uneasy. Gordon asked him what was going on and Cheng replied that the Taiping commanders never showed up to surrender. Gordon rode back into the city to see what was going on, finding Qing forces looting the city. Gordon suspected this was the work of Cheng Xueqi who must be deceiving him, so he hunted down Li Hongzhang for answers. Yet he could not find Li Hongzhang, nor the Taiping commanders, he went back to Cheng Xueqi who simply told him he had no idea what was going on. Now the sources are mirky on this one. One thing to take note is that Cheng Xueqi was a Taiping defector himself, thus it gives some plausibility for his side of the story. Cheng Xueqi was said to be seen weeping on the ground as he sent a western officer to send a message to Gordon. The message was an apology, stating he did what he did because he had to follow Li Hongzhangs orders. Gordon eventually found the remains of the Taiping commanders, he had this to say of the scene. “The hands and bodies were gashed in a frightful way and cut down the middle, the receiving king's body was partially buried.” Gordon was livid, he had promised these men their safety and Li Hongzhang brutally executed them. To this breach of his honor, Gordon renounced his service under Li Hongzhang and this spread to the foreing community like wildfire. This spelled the end of military cooperation between Britain and the Qing dynasty. The British parliament fell back upon the policy of neutrality, but allowed for the defense of Shanghai. Ironically, by the time Britain had finally reached its decision to go back to neutrality, their assistance was basically no longer needed. The situation in the interior of China was becoming quite horrid. Zeng Guofan wrote in his diary on June 8th “Everywhere in southern Anhui they are eating people”. It was not the first note of cannibalism from his diary entries and not to be the last. He carried on to write it was not new news that human flesh was being eaten, but the price for said flesh had gone up considerably. The price per ounce had gone up four times that which it was sold at the year prior. Cannibalism was found in Jiangsu province as well. Northern Anhui was a wasteland reported Bao Chao who was desperately trying to scout for a supply line for the drive upon Nanjing. Yet as absolutely horrifying as the situation was in central china, it did benefit the Qing, because the Taiping depended on the peasants amongst them, and the famine was creating internal conflict. As Zeng Guofan put it in his diary about the situation of the Taiping around Nanjing. “Campaigning in a region with no people, the rebels will be like fish out of water. In a countryside devoid of cultivation, they will be like birds on a mountain with no trees.” On June 13th, Zeng Guoquan finally seized the stone fort atop Yuhuatai. Having control of it meant Zeng Guoquan was able to shut Nanjing's southern gate. The west and northern gates of Nanjing open onto the Yangtze River and their defense laid in these large Taiping forts across the mile wide Yangtze corridor to the city. On June 30th, the Xiang navy attacked these forts in a intense bombardment battle. The Taiping fort shore batteries fired back upon the Xiang, causing 2000 casualties, but in the end the Xiang forces were able to take the forts, slaughtering their defenders. Having taken the forts, the Xiang forces now controlled the Yangtze River northwest of Nanjing. Before the Yangtze River way was closed, Li Xiucheng had left in February of 1863, 3 months after failing to defeat Zeng Guoquan. He took his force into northern Anhui, searching for a supply line for Nanjing. Much like Bao Chao, he found a wasteland and his troops suffered immensely. They were starving, forced to eat grass while facing the Xiang forces who were better provisioned. When word spread that Zeng Guoquan took the fort atop Yuhaitai, Li Xuicheng immediately headed back to Nanjing, managing to cross the river just 10 days before the northern Taiping forts fell. He estimated the campaign into northern Anhui cost him 100,000 men. Yet as soon as he returned to the capital he had to leave yet again because Li Hongzhang was attacking Suzhou and Zuo Zongtang was attacking Hangzhou. Nanjing's western gate was shut because of Xiang dominance along the Yangtze and its southern gate was shut because of Zeng Guoquans dominance over Yuhaitai. With this in mind Zeng Guofan turned his attention to the remaining easternand northern gates. He sent Bao Chao to lay siege to the Shence Gate, the primary northern inland gate. But Bao Chao faced a terrible epidemic. Simultaneously there were troubles breaking out in southern Anhui and Jiangxi provinces, so he sent Bao Chao to quell them. Meanwhile Zeng Guoquans forces expanded their position at Yuhaitai, seizing 10 bridges and mountain passes allowing them to control the supply roads southeast of Nanjing. By November Zeng Guoquans focus were blocking the eastern approach to the city. The eastern gate to Nanjing was still open and 2 large forts defended atop a mountain that edged towards the city. The mountain was known as the Dragon's shoulder and its fort was the Fortress of Heaven, to its bottom was the Fortress of Earth. By December the eartern gate and the Shence gate were the only points of entry still under Taiping control, out of Nanjing's 23 mile circumference. 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 Qing coalition lost their foreign support, but it seems it was no longer needed anyways. Zeng Guoquans gambit payed off brilliantly and now the great city of Nanjing was finally under siege, it was only a matter of time for the end.
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Kings and Generals: History for our Future
Last time we spoke Emperor Xianfeng died at the ripe age of 30 having spent a life smoking opium with his harem. Now the Qing dynasty was in the hands of his 5 year old son, but in reality henceforth until its collapse the Qing dynasty would actually to be controlled by the infamous Empress Dowager Cixi. Hong Rengan received a military defeat at Tongcheng and it seems he would never psychologically recover from it. Li Xiucheng went on the offensive and performed a grand eastern campaign taking multiple provinces. Zeng Guofan needed a new army created and chose his student Li Hongzhang to command it. The Anhui army was formed and it looked like the Qing side was going to win this civil war after all. The only thing that might turn the tide back for the Taiping was that ever sought after foreign support. #33 This episode is The Taiping Rebellion part 10: The Ever Victorious Army 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 history of asia 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. Meanwhile back in Nanjing, Hong Rengan's life was becoming more and more miserable. He lost at Anqing and his rivals used his absence to take away his authority in the capital. His continued efforts at gaining western support was going nowhere, in fact it was earning him embarrassment. The foreign relations to the Taiping had become poisoned due a large part to the eastern campaign led by Li Xiucheng. Many of the foreign missionaries stopped visiting Nanjing and soon that direct line of communication that Hong Rengan cherished had slipped away. Shanghai was bracing itself for what it believed was a Taiping offensive against the city and Hong Rengan could do little to nothing to stop Li Xiucheng. As for Zeng Guofan, he knew Shanghai was extremely wealthy and must be protected from the Taiping, but Nanjing was simply more important and he could not launch two enormous campaigns simultaneously against both. Zeng Guofan elected to focus on Nanjing and perhaps once Li Hongzhang had built up his Anhui army he could deal with Shanghai. For Shanghai, it looked certain the Taiping would soon attack, and the Qing had no assurances from the foreigners that they would help defend the city. They had no one to turn to, then our old friend the filibuster wannabe Frederick Townsend Ward. Despite Britain's attempts to stop the mercenary leader, he was still going strong with his HQ at Songjiang. He only had 68 foreign mercenaries left because of the constant harassment from the Taiping and British, but he did have some Napoleon field guns and a promise form his Qing benefactors that if he took Qingpu he would be rewarded handsomely. Way back when we talked about how Ward's ragtag group failed to take Qingpu from the Taiping and they attempted 4 more times with disastrous results. They just kept using the same strategy over and over, blast the gates with artillery, storm the walls and hope the Qing military followed through. Ward's defeats were brutal and he lost a third of his force for his efforts. The foreign community of SHanghai had zero sympathy for the filibuster, he was just a source of embarrassment. But then the American civil war broke out and a rumor emerged about a group of Californians purchasing the vessel, Neva and that it was a confederate ship now being run by none other than Ward. According to these rumors, the Neva was outfitted with guns stolen from US munitions stored in Shanghai and this said vessel was firing up Union merchant ships going around the Chinese coast. The United States only had a single warship in China at the time, the USS Saginaw which hunted the so called Neva. When they finally caught the Neva, the so called guns it held were actually whiskey, it was just a merchant ship, but still the rumors persisted raising Ward as this legendary figure. Now this was all awkward as hell in Shanghai, the american population was overwhelmingly pro union northerners, while the British were more pro confederacy. The American merchants were dependent on the British warships to protect their business and this caused all sorts of conflict. During one particularly bad incident, the Trent incident of 1862 in which a US captain chased down and boarded the British steamer Trent trying to arrest two confederate diplomats, if you know the story you know the story haha. Long story short it was the confederates trying to go to Britain to make their case and the Union illegally arrested them, anyways this led Admiral Hope to get his naval forces at Shanghai to seize the homes, vessels and assets of the American community. This led to a rumor, Ward was going to pre emptively attack Hope's force. The entire American community in Shanghai thought they might go to war with Britain yet again, but this never came to be. Meanwhile during all that chaos, the very real threat, the Taiping began to appear on the horizons of Shanghai on January 11th. The alarms all sounded when smoke emerged due north of the city and a new wave of refugees began pouring in. The smoke began to get closer and closer prompting the foreign community to hold emergency meetings to plan a defense. The Americans, British and French put aside their quarrels and banded together to man the walls. The threat was extremely real, one member of the community had been captured and interrogated by the Taiping about the city defenses and this man reported that he saw the rebels were carrying British and German muskets and that there appeared to be an Arab military advisor and a small group of European mercenaries in their ranks. Then a force of around 3000 Taiping branding muskets seized the town of Wusong just 10 miles north of the city. One British captain reported witnessing the battle and said the Taiping were quite astonishing, very well organized and equipped far better than the Qing seemed to be at the battle of Peiho. Li Xiucheng did not want to smash Shanghai into pieces, he wanted to do everything possible to take it mostly intact. Thus his strategy was to surround the city and bring her to her knees. Beginning in January, 5 Taiping armies each numbering in the thousands to tens of thousands began surrounding Shanghai at a distance of several miles each. Soon a propaganda campaign emerged between Songjiang and Shanghai, with written notices stating the Taiping would ensure the safety and protection of all those who joined their side. As for the foreign community, Li Xiucheng warned them to stay out of the conflict, and that anyone caught giving aid to the Qing “will be like a flying moth dashing into the fire, seeking his own extirpation.” Thus Shanghai was under siege and the communications to inland places were severed. Admiral Hope sent word to Hong Kong asking for reinforcements and the consul of Canton relayed the dire news back to Britain. The new wave of refugees brought far too many mouths to the city. 80,000 or so Taiping surrounded Shanghai and word was that more would be coming from Suzhou by the end of the month. The main defensive body for the foreign community were British and French troops who manned the walls, alongside 200 volunteers, some police and a contingent of Punjabi infantry. In an unusual fashion, on January the 26th, snow began to fall, now do remember Shanghai lays in a subtropical zone rarely seeing temperatures below freezing. By the time the Taiping began to fully encircling Shanghai there was about 2 feet of snow in the area and this had a paralyzing effect in the lower Yangtze region. By the end of January the eastern seaboard froze. The weather would break in early February, but the Taiping were delayed greatly by all of this. The Taiping found an unexpected resistance at Songjiang, Ward's force. Now after losing so many battles, Ward had stopped simply recruiting westerners, he now began training Chinese instead. He had a minimal staff of American and European officers overseeing the training of his Chinese forces and because of the payment differences, they Chinese were paid a tenth of what the westerns were paid, he had a pretty large force under him. Ward taught his Chinese soldiers how to respond to english commands and standard bugle calls. The men were outfitted with european style uniforms, typically blue jackets for artillery men and green jackets for infantry. They were trained in the western fashion and equipped with cutting edge weaponry, British enfield rifles, some Prussian made rifles and the odd American rifle or pistol here or there. But the Taiping were also getting their hands on some western weaponry. One report in 1862 showed a ship was caught smuggling 300 cannons, 100 cases of small arms and 50 tons of ammunition to the Taiping from Singapore. Another report indicated the Taiping at Wusong had been supplied with nearly 3000 muskets, 800 pieces of artillery and 18,000 cartridges, a dangerous amount to be sure. On February the 3rd, Wards new militia fought the Taiping managing to hold out at Songjiang against a force of 20,000 rebels. Their success was largely due to hidden artillery batteries they had placed outside the town which surprised the rebels during their approach, gunning down over 2000 men before their commander called for a retreat. Wards men managed to capture 700 Taiping alive and shipped them back to Shanghai in chains. Two days after the battle, Ward went on the offensive attacking a Taiping outpost halfway between Songjiang and Qingpu forcing the garrison commander to pull out. This was the first time the Shanghai gentry funded private army had any real success and this prompted them to rename the force to give it more inspiration, and thus it Wards militia became known as the famous “Ever Victorious Army” (EVA). Many of you may have heard of this force if you are American, its probably one of the very few things known about the Taiping rebellion in the west to be honest. The EVA force took orders from Wu Xu, their main benefactor, who by no means trusted his General Ward. Ward and the westerners continuously plundered where they went, despite Wu Xu pleading for them not to. In order to try and secure some form of loyalty from Ward, one of the wealthiest backers, the banker Yang Fang married his daughter off to Ward. The Chinese women had been betrothed to another, but the man died before the wedding making her unmarriageable within the Chinese culture. It was a mutual arrangement, for Ward he could pressure his wife to push the backers to pay up and for the backers they could pressure Ward to remain loyal. Now after the snowstorm dissipated, and I refer to it as a snowstorm simply because my source does, but as a Canadian if you think 2 feet of snow is a storm wow haha. Admiral Hope and Rear admiral Auguste Leopold Protet signed a joint agreement on February 13th to defend Shanghai from the Taiping based on Hope's 30 mile radius idea. They formed a land force to take out into the field against the Taiping, although the British parliament had made it clear to Hope he was not to break neutrality unless it was to save the lives of British subjects. Hope as you can imagine disregarded the orders. Their force was not very large, 900 French and 650 British soldiers, some sailors as a reserve and 200 civilian volunteers including Americans. The Qing forces in Shanghai were around 10,000 strong. Hope had no…well hope to match the Taiping out in the field, but he believed he could hold the walls. If he wanted to perform any action out in the field he simply needed more men, and take a wild guess who he went to. Oh yes the man he tried to arrest on countless occasions, the wild filibuster Ward. Since Ward now was recruiting Chinese rather than trying to steal away westerners, and given his recent military victories, Admiral Hope decided to form an alliance with Ward. Ward had zero interest in the defense of Shanghai, but Hope enticed him with gunships that could move his men to hit Taiping towns along the riverways, un gagnon gagnon. Frederick Bruce approved the alliance of convenience, but stressed while they could perhaps drive the Taiping out of the immediate area, they had to allow the Qing forces to actually push further and to garrison towns taken. Zeng Guofan upon hearing of all of this, disapproved and did not think it would prove fruitful. But he had no large cards to play in the east, and if the EVA held Shanghai, well that would be just dandy. And when Wards men won the battle for Songjiang on february 20th, zeng Guofan begrudgingly sent word to Beijing that it was in the dynasty's best interests to allow the bizarre foreign mercenary force to continue its work in Shanghai and even Ningbo if they could get there. But he also strongly warned them not to let the EVA forces campaign further inland, especially not against Nanjing. If foreigners were to help defeat Nanjing, what might they demand as a reward for such deeds. Now give the Eva would be augmenting the Shanghai area, now Zeng Guofan felt perhaps he could dedicate some forces there, afterall if he could grab Shanghai it would be an enormous boost to his power. He approached the Gentry of Shanghai and they found common ground. They sought further protection and Zeng sought funding for his campaign against Nanjing. Thus Zeng Guofan tossed an army to try and break the siege of Shanghai, if they were successful that said army could later be used to cut off Nanjing. Another enormous benefit of this arrangement was Zeng Guofan obtaining what Hong Rengan so desperately desired. The Shanghai backers, nominally Wu Xu formed a contract with a British firm, Mackenzie, Richardsons & company to use their steamships. Now Zeng Guofan could move his forces unimpeded down river to Shanghai aboard British steamers. The Taiping could not fire upon the ships because of the Union Jack and in just 3 round trips, 6500 of Li Hongzhangs new Anhui forces were encamped in Shanghai ready for campaigning. Li Hongzhang then assumed his role as governor of the province and by proxy became the leader of the Shanghai backers, while Wu Xu would retain control over the EVA forces. Meanwhile, with Shanghai under Li Hongzhang's oversight, Zeng Guofan and both his brothers Zeng Guoquan and Guobao began a march towards Nanjing. Shanghai was under siege, albeit from quite a distance, still this had an enormous effect on its economy, its very lifeblood. The price of rice went up 50%, flour and firewood doubled, but the Taiping were not attacking the walls, not yet at least. Joint operations between the EVA and foreign defenders began on a small scale in mid february with an assault upon High Bridge, 8 miles away from Shanghai proper. Ward had 600 men while Hope and Protet brought 500. The battle was a quick one, with only a single Frenchman killed before the Taiping fled the town. Then on April the 23rd a rather fateful action occurred at Ningbo. A taiping commander received a promotion, now General Fan and in his honor they fired a 10am salute from the cannons facing the river. The guns apparently were not well aimed as a handful of projectiles went across the river and hit the French gunship l'etoile as it was passing by. Admiral Hope and Protet used the situation to dispatch their forces led by Captain Roderick Dew aboard Encounter to retaliate against Ningbo. However when Dew got to Ningbo the Taiping profusely apologized and stated they wanted to remain under friendly terms and would make sure it never happened again. Hope and Protet were not at all content with this and sent word to demand the Taiping take down all the guns on the eastward facing wall of Ningbo. They were given 24 hours to comply or else the British would do it themselves. Well the Taiping refused to comply, because they obviously needed said cannons where they were to defend against the Qing, but they offered to take away the gunpowder from said cannons and to only provide it back if the Qing attacked. Then on May 5th a large group led by the disposed Ningbo gentry, got together a group of 150 small armed boats led by some pirates and peasants to come up the river to attack Ningbo and as they did so they asked the British and French for aid. Just as a mere coincidence their point of attack was the same eastern wall. Thus the British and French invited the motley group to their side of the river. Then Captain Dew sent word to the Taiping “If you fire the guns or muskets from the battery or walls opposite the Settlement, on the advancing Imperialists, thereby endangering the lives of our men and people in the foreign Settlement, we shall then feel it our duty to return the fire, and bombard the city.” It would turn out this was all a planned scheme go figure. The motley group began approaching Ningbo, but then positioned itself in such a way as to push the European gunships between them and the city. Accounts differ, by the Europeans state one of the Taiping cannons fired first upon the Encounter killing 2 crewmen. It is also alleged that the person operating said cannon was actually a servant of one of the Shanghai gentry backers. Then the British and French ships began to bombard Ningbo before the combined allied party stormed the eastern wall. The motley group were actually the last to storm the city, leaving most of the bloody work to the europeans. According to an eyewitness account “in a few hours did more damage than the rebels did in the whole of the five months that they had possession, chopping off the heads of the unlucky rebels that he caught.” The British press went right to work demonizing the Taiping, a lot of which was based on witness accounts from specific men responsible for trying to break the neutrality stance of Britain. There was also a need to create a narrative to control China in general. Britain had turned its attention squarely to asia since the American civil war had broken much of their trade. The Times declare “the only route to Great Britain's economic survival lay down the path of the Taipings Annihilation”. The Times carried on stating the tea market was being ruined allegedly by the Taiping, and to compensate Britain would have to raise the tax rate on tea to preserve revenue. This would bring hardship to the tea drinking working class of Britain who were already suffering from the textile depression. Thus the stance of neutrality was hurting the good people of Britain, boy oh boy do you see the parallels to today's politics. The warmongers won the day and Britain's government's hands were tied, thus Britain was dragged into a proxy war with the Taiping. The European coalition, EVA, the Qing and Li Hongzhangs Anhui army were now an allied front embarking on a large campaign to push the Taiping out of the Shanghai region. The beginnings of the campaign were largely successful as a result of the superior firearms, by May 16th a combined force left Shanghai and Songjiang marched upon Qingpu. They bombarded the town for 2 hours using 40 artillery pieces, including a 68 pounder and 4 giant 110 pound naval armstrong guns. Its gates were blown to splinters and 3500 of Wards Chinese EVA troops stormed the town as “god save the queen” was blasted by the military band. 4 days later Admiral Protet led an assault upon South Bridge which lay due south of Songjiang and was shot right through the heart by a Taiping sniper. His death enraged the French who took out their vengeance upon the nearby town of Zhelin where they massacred 3000 civilians, including women and children before raising it to the ground. While the allied force proved very capable at seizing walled cities, holding them was another matter entirely. They simply did not have enough manpower to hold everything they took. After taking Qingpu, Li Xiucheng sent a large force from Suzhou to hit Songjiang, since the EVA force was absent. Ward turned back to hit Songjiang with 2000 EVA troops, leaving 1500 to garrison Qingpu, which fell under a siege to more Taiping. The garrison of 1500 men held out for a month, but ultimately were forced to torch the city and make their escape. In the summer of 1862, the British and French handed over a group of Taiping prisoners over to Qing forces and according to an eyewitness sat by idly while the Qing performed horrible atrocities. Here is part of the harrowing account: “A young female, apparently about eight months pregnant, who never uttered a groan or sigh at all the previous cruelties she had endured from the surrounding mob, had her infant cut out of her womb, and held up in her sight by one of its little hands, bleeding and quivering; when, at the sight, she gave one heartrending, piercing screech that would have awakened pity in a tiger, and after it had been in that state dashed on her breast, she, with a last superhuman effort, released her arms from those holding her down, and clasped her infant to her bleeding heart, and died holding it there with such force that they could not be separated, and were thus thrown together on the pile of other carcasses. Another young woman among the prisoners awaiting her turn to be disembowelled, with a fine boy of ten months old crowing and jumping in her arms, had him snatched suddenly away from her, and flung to the executioner, who plunged the ruthless knife into his tender breast before his mother's eyes. Infants but recently born were torn from their mother's breasts, and disembowelled before their faces. Young strong men were disembowelled, mutilated, and the parts cut off thrust into their own mouths, or flung among the admiring and laughing crowd of Chinamen.“May God forgive England for the part she is taking in this war” The foreign press ran rampant stories of the horror and brutality, many still trying to stop their nations from taking an active role in China. Others pointed out the savagery to be a justification for colonizing China. Admiral Hope's vision of creating a 30 mile radius around Shanghai proved impossible. The allied coalition did not have enough men to garrison the places they took from the rebels and given the gruesome events at Qingpu and the death of Protet, Hope was forced to toss the towel. Soon the forces pulled back to the walls of Shanghai and Hope was replaced by Rear Admiral Augustus Leopold Kuper. Captain Dew likewise was reprimanded for his part in the escalations to war. Ward could not be reprimanded of course, but his EVA force was left to fight on its own, something he did not mind too much as the British and French forces often stopped his men from plundering. While things were going badly for Shanghai, Zeng Guofan was enjoying an amazing campaign. Duolonga's cavalry were harassing Chen Yucheng in northern Anhui for him to flee to Luzhou. From Luzhou Chen Yucheng had an extremely bold strategy, he began calling upon Taiping forces and Nian groups to launch a four pronged campaign going north through Henan and Shaanxi provinces with the ultimate goal of hitting Beijing. Three of the four armies marched north as planned early in 1862, but Chen Yucheng found himself stuck in Luzhou, under a siege by the forces of Duolonga and the Xiang army. His communication to the other 3 armies were cut off and his provisions were dwindling. On may 13th, he took 4000 men and broke out of the siege trying to flee north, but Duolonga's cavalry force gave quick pursuit. Chen Yucheng headed for the city of Souzhou which one of the army groups had been sent to attack. The army was led by Miao Peilin, someone Chen Yucheng had gotten to defect during the siege of Anqing. Chen Yucheng reached Shouzhou before Duolonga's cavalry cut him to pieces, much to his relief. But as he entered the city, Miao Peilin was nowhere to be found. It turns out, because of the severing of communication, Chen Yucheng had no idea that Miao Peilin had been defeated at Shouzhou already back on April 25th, his entire army surrendered to the Qing. Miao had turned back over to the other side, once a defector always a defector as they say. A large reason he was allowed to defect back was because he promised to deliver to the Qing a Taiping general, ie: Chen Yucheng. Chen Yucheng was taken prisoner and before he was executed in June of 1862 he had this to say to his captors. “It is Heaven's will that has brought me here, and there is nothing that can be said of my past. I have long enjoyed the reputation of a victorious commander, but now I would prefer to look to the future. For the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom to lose me, one single man, it will be as if the mountains and the rivers of the kingdom have been reduced by half. I bear a great debt of gratitude to my Heavenly Dynasty and will not surrender. The general of a defeated army cannot beg for his life. But as for the four thousand men I command, they are veterans of a hundred battles, and I do not know whether they are still alive. You can cut me to pieces for the crimes I have committed, but this has nothing to do with them.” And so the Brave King was dead. The death of Chen Yucheng and the preoccupation of Li Xiucheng with the Shanghai front left Nanjing vulnerable. The Taiping garrisons along the Yangtze river between Anqing and Nanjing would have no hope for reinforcements from the north nor the east, and Zeng Guoquan was on the march towards the Taiping capital. As Zeng Guoquan advanced, Taiping garrisons simply abandoned their outposts and forts, setting fire to their stockades before fleeing. It was an absolute disaster for the Taiping. They had always known the Qing forces would strike Nanjing from Anqing, but they never expected it to come this soon. By late May, Zeng Guoquans forces were reaching the Nanjing outskirts. Zeng Guoquan first seized an important junction in the riverway that controlled Nanjing's moat. Then on May 30th, he attacked a small hill just outside the southern gate of Nanjing. The hill was known as Yuhuatai “terrace of flowering rain”, and it held a fort at its top. While Nanjing had been so heavily fortified, people literally said it was impenetrable, it did have vulnerabilities and Yuhuatai was one of them. The hill was over 300 feet high, around a mile across and about a half mile away from Nanjing southern gate. From atop the hill one could peer into Nanjing, the perfect base of operations one would want when sieging such a grand city. Zeng Guoquan had 20,000 men with naval support to provision him. Zeng Guoquan dug in and began to send word back to his brother asking him to help procure western arms. Zeng Guofan was surprisingly not impressed with western arms. He wrote about how he found them quite finicky, overly complicated and prone to breaking down after 20-30 shots. He wrote back to his brother ‘the way to achieve victory is to be found in men, not in arms. Bao Chao has no foreign guns and no foriegn powder, yet he repeatedly achieves great victories. He Chun and Zhang Guoliang had foreign cannons with their Green standard force's siege of Nanjing in 1860, but they did not prevent their defeat. A true beauty doesn't fuss over pearls and jade, and a great writer needs no more than brush and ink. If a general is truly skilled at war, why should he go grasping for foreign weapons?””. Despite his views on the matter, Zeng Guoquan's persistent pleas eventually led him to purchase foreign arms from agents at Canton and Shanghai. Still Zeng Guofan insisted the foundation of their armies should rely on Jingalls, bird guns, Chinese made cannons and the good old sword and spear. One thing Zeng Guofan did realize though was the dramatic advantage of steamships. While in Anqing in 1862 he purchased a small steamship from Shanghai and gathered all the Qing scientists and engineers he could to the city to try and reverse engineer it. The ship soon broke down and none were able to repair it. But by the summer one engineer managed to build a working prototype steam engine and a year later Anqing would create a 28 foot long steamer. Meanwhile Prince Gong was also enthralled by the power of the steam engine and was trying to procure the purchase of some ships from Britain. While Britain wanted to keep the facade of neutrality going, especially after the Shanghai embarrassment, the idea of selling steamships to the Qing was an interesting one. If they provided ships, perhaps Britain's interests in China could be secured simply by protecting major waterways like the Yangtze. Prince Gong found a agent to try to get the ships, one Horatio Nelson Lay. Lay went to work approaching Captain Sherard Osborn, the captain of the Furious during the second opium war. He offered the captain a 4 year contract stating the man would take orders only from the Qing emperor and no other in China. These orders would go first to Lay, who would take up residence in Beijing. Now a nit picky piece of information here. Unlike the civil war in America, where Britain granted belligerent status to the confederates, in China no such recognition was ever made. This was because the British parliament wanted to officially remain neutral. But because there was no official belligerent status for the Taiping, this meant they were not protected by Britain's foreign enlistment act, which prevented the selling of things like, gunships to any party that was at war with a nation Britain had friendly relations with, ie: the Qing. Thus Britain was free to sell gunships to the Qing to be used against the Taiping. Ironically at the same time Lay was trying to procure a naval force from Britain, so was James Bulloch of the Confederate states of America. Lay would find success whereas James would find failure. Now there were some hiccups for Lay when it came to the foreign enlistment act. It was forbidden for British subjects to enlist in the national militaries of foreign states, thus captain Osborn would require special permission from the crown. But wouldn't you know it, in August of 1862 the foreign enlistment act was suspended suddenly and parliament went into recess over the entire summer and would only reconvene in february. Thus Lay and Osborn were able to serve the Qing and were allowed to hire British crews for the ships. Four months later, Lord Palmerston's government issued a second order making it lawful for any British officer to enlist in the service of the Qing emperor to quote “to serve the said Emperor in any military, warlike, or other operations, and for that purpose to go to any place or places beyond the seas, and to accept any commission, warrant, or other appointment from or under the said Emperor, and to accept any money, pay, or reward for their services.” There was one twist to all of this, anyone who served the Qing would have to resign or take a leave of absence from the Royal Navy. As you can imagine this meant that anyone who took the job would go unregulated and be unaccountable for their behavior, basically they were becoming much like Ward's mercenaries. By the time february came, all the work could not be undone, though the Tory's tried to reverse everything accusing Palmerston and the Whigs for getting Britain directly involved in the Chinese civil war. The entire thing was lambasted by multiple presses in Britain who pointed out rightfully, that Britain's finances were tied to the Qing paying reparations, and if the Taiping toppled the Qing the money might stop flowing. The first 3 vessels to be sent to China were the Mohawk, Jasper and Africa, renamed the Pekin, Amoy and China. The rest of the ships would be freshly constructed and it would take roughly a year to get them all over there. It was to be 7 gunships and one store vessel, they would range from men-of-war to smaller steamers that could traverse shallow riverways. They would carry around 40 guns and a crew of 400. Interestingly the Qing had never before required a naval ensign, so Lay helped them invent one, a green and yellow ensign with a dragon in the middle. The ships lacked the latest iron armoy, but this was insignificant as the Taiping had no decent artillery to hit them. The fleets flagship, the Kiang-soo was a 241 footer that could reach 19 knots, a very fast ship for its day. The fleet was called the Anglo-Chinese expedition, though many Historians refer to it as the Lay-Osborn flotilla. Though for the common Chinese people who were witnessing their weak imperial government's willingness to pay foreign mercenaries to win their battles, they deemed it the Vampire Fleet. The year of 1863 would prove very fruitful for the Qing forces. 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. It seems the rest of the world were now allied against the Taiping. Zeng Guoquan made an extremely bold attack upon Yuhuatai ushering in the deathrows of the Taiping capital. What could the Taiping do to stop it.