pinyang

Pinyang, Warrior Princess

BY: JOE DORAN (杜乔)

The Sui Dynasty (589-618 A.D.) was not a high point in Chinese history. The first Sui emperor, Wen (541-604), did reunify China after nearly four centuries of internal discord but the second, Yang (596-618), left a lot to be desired. Yang, was as an overly-ambitious tyrant who (it is believed) gained the throne by poisoning his father, before embarking on a reign that would make him a figure of hatred across China.

Yang committed himself to massive construction projects, most notably the completion of the Grand Canal and reconstruction of the Great Wall. Both projects were bought and paid for in blood – the blood of six million peasantsto be more specific. Add to that Yang’s inept military forays into Korea and Vietnam and you might have some idea why the Chinese people hated him so much. To say that he was an unpopular would be a vast understatement.

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