For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Li Shi Min, Founding the Tang Dynasty:
The Strategies that Made China the Greatest Empire in Asia
  • Hing Ming Hung
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Li Shi Min, Founding the Tang Dynasty:. The Strategies that Made China the Greatest Empire in Asia
Sound Bite
Li Shi Min, Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618–907), is regarded as the greatest emperor in Chinese history. He conquered the powerful Eastern Turkic Khanate and other khanates in the north and northwest, making China the greatest empire in Asia. Under his reign China entered into a period of peace and prosperity.

About the Author

Hung Hing Ming studied English at China’s most prestigious university in the early 1960s and went on to work as an official interpreter and translator working with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

He taught English at Zhongshan University (Dr. Sun Yat San University), Guangzhou, in 1984 and again from 1987 to 1991, as an associate professor and an instructor for graduate students in the Foreign Languages and Literature Department. He was a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley and at the University of Kansas from late 1984 to 1987, when he earned his Masters degree in linguistics, before returning to Zhongshan University. In 1991, Mr. Hung moved to Hong Kong where he worked for international law firms for close to 20 years.

Mr. Hung is writing a series of biographies to introduce some of China’s most emblematic historical figures to the American public.

About the Book
Li Shi Min was a man of great political and military accomplishments, narrated here with the battle stratagems and clever counsel that carried him forward. This book tells how he helped his father Li Yuan to establish the Tang Dynasty and the...
Li Shi Min was a man of great political and military accomplishments, narrated here with the battle stratagems and clever counsel that carried him forward. This book tells how he helped his father Li Yuan to establish the Tang Dynasty and the contributions he made to unifying China. Author Hung Hing Ming draws on China’s historical records and chronicles to recount the battles to conquer the warlords and local strongmen in different parts of China, the wise policies he adopted, and the means by which he inspired officials to put forward good suggestions.

His deeds, policies and constructive interactions with his ministers and generals were compiled into guides and teaching materials for successors to the Chinese throne. Much of this leadership training advice is still useful today.

This book will be an asset to readers as there are few works in English that introduce these cultural motifs that color the thinking of nation so important to ours.


More . . .

This book is about Li Shi Min (599-649), Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty (Tang Dynasty: 618-907), who is regarded as the greatest emperor in Chinese history. Under his reign (626-649), China entered into a period of peace and prosperity. He made China the greatest empire in Asia of that time. 

By the end of the Sui Dynasty (589-618), under the cruel rule of Emperor Yang Guang of the Sui Dynasty, rebellions broke out all over China and China was in great chaos. In 617 Li Shi...

This book is about Li Shi Min (599-649), Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty (Tang Dynasty: 618-907), who is regarded as the greatest emperor in Chinese history. Under his reign (626-649), China entered into a period of peace and prosperity. He made China the greatest empire in Asia of that time. 

By the end of the Sui Dynasty (589-618), under the cruel rule of Emperor Yang Guang of the Sui Dynasty, rebellions broke out all over China and China was in great chaos. In 617 Li Shi Min, who was just eighteen years old, put forward a suggestion to his father Li Yuan, who was the general in charge of the military and civil affairs of Taiyuan, to march to Chang’an, the capital of the Sui Dynasty, while Emperor Yang Guang was far away in east China. His father accepted this suggestion and commanded the army to march from Taiyuan to Chang’an. Li Shi Min led an army to march ahead of the main force to the area of Chang’an. Then Li Yuan commanded the main force to Chang’an and captured the city.

Li Yuan successfully overthrew the Sui Dynasty and became the first emperor of the Tang Dynasty. His son Li Shi Min had made the greatest contributions in overthrowing of the Siu Dynasty and in the establishment of the Tang Dynasty.

Li Shi Min also made great contributions to the unification of China. After the establishment of the Tang Dynasty, many parts of China were still occupied by local warlords and strongmen. In 618, Li Shi Min commanded an army to march to the northwestern part of China and fought against Xue Ren Gao, the Emperor of Qin. Li Shi Min successfully conquered Xue Ren Gao. In 620 Li Shi Min carried out a northern expedition against Liu Wu Zhou, who occupied the area east to the Yellow River. He defeated Liu Wu Zhou and drove him to the area of the Eastern Turkic Khanate in the north. In July 620, Li Shi Min commanded an army to march to Luoyang, the eastern capital of the Sui Dynasty, to deal with Wang Shi Chong, Emperor of Zheng, who occupied the area of Luoyang. In March 621, Dou Jian De, the Emperor of the Xia Dynasty, who occupied the area north of the Yellow River, commanded a great army to rescue Wang Shi Chong. In May 621, Li Shi Min defeated Dou Jian De’s army and captured Dou Jian De. In the same month Wang Shi Chong surrendered and Li Shi Min occupied Luoyang. In March 622, Li Shi Min put down the rebellion of Liu Hei Ta in the area north to the Yellow River.

Li Shi Min’s elder brother Li Jian Cheng, the Crown Prince, and Li Shi Min’s younger brother Li Yuan Ji, envied Li Shi Min because of his great successes. Li Jian Cheng and Li Yuan Ji colluded with each other to frame Li Shi Min in front of their father, Emperor Li Yuan, and even plotted to murder him. Urged by the ministers and generals under him, Li Shi Min laid an ambush at the Xuanwu palace gate and killed these brothers on 4 June 626. In August 626, Emperor Li Yuan passed the throne to Li Shi Min, who ascended the throne of the Tang Dynasty.

During his reign, Emperor Li Shi Min made great political and military achievements. Emperor Li Shi Min upheld the principle of putting the interest of the people first. He practiced wise governance and showed grace to the people. He appointed wise and capable officials to responsible positions.

He even appointed those who were once hostile to him to high positions. Wei Zheng, who had been a staff under Li Jian Cheng and once advised Li Jian Cheng to get rid of Li Shi Min, was appointed by Li Shi Min to take charge of the secretariat work of the emperor. In this position Wei Zheng gave Li Shi Min much good advice.

Li Jing was appointed as the minister of war, even though he, having heard that Li Yuan was going to rebel against Emperor Yang Guang of the Sui Dynasty, had wanted to reveal this to Emperor Yang Guang. Li Jing later made great contributions in conquering the Eastern Turkic Khanate and Tuyuhun Khanate. Yuchi Jing De, who had once fought against Li Shi Min, became a great general of the Tang army. He made invaluable contributions in defeating local warlords.

Li Shi Min had many wise ministers and generals around him. They included Zhangsun Wu Ji, Fang Xuan Ling, Li Ji, Du Ru Hui and Chu Sui Liang. They helped Li Shi Min to make China into a great and prosperous empire. Each one deserves his own place in the pantheon of Chinese figures. Li Shi Min inspired officials to put forward proposals and he followed their good advices readily. He accepted their frank criticism and he corrected his mistakes quickly. This is in large measure why, under his reign China, enjoyed relative peace and tranquility.

In those times, the army of the Eastern Turkic Khanate had invaded China frequently. In 630, Emperor Li Shi Min sent armies to attack the Eastern Turkic Khanate. The armies of the Tang Dynasty defeated the armies of the Eastern Turkic Khanate and captured Jiali Khan and the Eastern Turkic Khanate was brought to submission. In 634, the armies of the Tuyuhun Khanate invaded the northwestern part of China. Emperor Li Shi Min sent armies to bring the Tuyuhun Khanate to submission. In 639, the Kingdom of Gaochang, which was situated in the northwest, turned hostile to the Tang Dynasty. Emperor Li Shi Min sent an army and conquered this kingdom as well. In 642, Emperor Li Shi Min sent armies to defeat the Xueyantuo Khanate.

Thus, under Emperor Li Shi Min’s reign China became the greatest empire in Asia.

Emperor Li Shi Min was on the throne for twenty-three years (from 626 to 649). The title of his reign was Zhenguan. This period of his reign has been referred to by the historians as “The Great Period of Peace and Prosperity of the Reign of Zhenguan.”

Today there are “China Towns” in big cities in the United States and many different countries around the world. These “China Towns” are inhabited by overseas Chinese and their descendants. The Chinese for “China Town” is “Tang Ren Jie,” meaning “the Street (Town) of the Tang People,” for although the overseas Chinese have left China, the land of their forefathers, they never forget that they are the descendents of the people of the Tang Dynasty.



Pages 268
Year: 2013
BISAC: HIS008000
BISAC: BIO006000
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-978-0
Price: USD 22.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-979-7
Price: USD 32.95
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