The China History Podcast
CHP-129-The Incident at Xuanwu Gate

In this episode we revisit the founding of the Tang Dynasty and focus in on the events leading up to, during and right after the Incident at Xuanwu Gate.  This slice of historic theater took place on July 2, 626.  It resulted in the victory of Li Shimin over his two brothers.  Not long afterwards Li Shimin was promoted by his father to the emperorship and reigned as Tang Taizong.




Chang’an   Ancient capital of  the Tang and other dynasties.  Located in present day Xian

Xuanwu men zhi biàn 玄武 The Incident at Xuanwu Gate

Zizhi Tongjian 治通  The Comprehensive Mirror to Aid in Government

Sima Qian 司马迁  Considered China’s greatest ancient historian, writer of the Records of the Grand Historian (the 史记

Sima Guang 司马光  Credited with compiling the The Comprehensive Mirror to Aid in Government

Ouyang Xiu 欧阳修 Song dynasty official and all-around universal man featured in CHP-071.

Wang Anshi 王安石 Early Song Dynasty official responsible for instituting some major reforms

Tang Huiyao 唐会要 The Institurtional History of the Tang, written by Wang Pu

Zhao Kuangyin  赵匡胤 Song dynasty founder, The Taizu Emperor

Wang Pu 王浦 Credited with the writing of the Tang Huiyao

Tang Shu  唐书 The (Old) Book of Tang

Xin Tang Shu 新唐书 The New Book of Tang

Tong Dian 通典  The Comprehensive Statutes

Li Shimin  李世民 Known as The emperor Tang Taizong 唐太宗, as well as the Prince of Qin and the Duke of Dunhuang

Li Yuan  李渊  Known as the emperor Tang Gaozu 唐高祖

Li Jiancheng  李建成 The Crown Prince also known as the Duke of Longxi

Li Yuanji  李元吉  Youngest son of Li Yuan, also known as the Prince of Qi

Li Zhiyun 李志云 Son of Li Yuan from one of his concubines

Taiyuan  太原 Capital of Shanxi Province and power base of the Li Tang clan.

Niangzijun  娘子军 The Army of Women, let by the Princess Pingyang

Pingyang Gongzhu  平阳公主  The daughter of Li Yuan, a great military leader.

Sui Yangdi  隋炀帝 The Sui Emperor Yang

Li Hu  李虎 Grandfather of Li Yuan

Bazhuguo  八柱国 The Eight Pillars of the Western Wei

Yuwen Tai  宇文泰  Founder of the Western Wei Dynasty

Nanbei Chao 南北朝 The Southern & Northern Dynasty Period.

Li Xi  李熙 Grandfather of Li Hu

Li Tianxi  李天锡 Father of Li Hu

Li Song  李嵩 Founder of the Western Liang (西凉)

Longxi  陇西  Place in easternmost Gansu Province

Tuoba  拓拔 Clan name for many Xianbei people.  The Tuoba’s founded the Northern Wei Dynasty

Liu Bang  刘邦 Founder of the Han Dynasty (Han Gaozu 汉高祖)

Wu Zetian  武则天  Concubine of Tang Taizong, wife of Tang Gaozong and later empresss of China.

Daixian  代县 Located in present day Shanxi province

Wude  武德 The Era name of the Tang Gaozu emperor

Liu Heita  刘黑闼  Sui rebel general, served under Li Mi and Wang Shichong (see below).

Dou Jiande  窦建德  Sui rebel general and enemy of the Tang

Wang Shichong  王世充  First a Sui general, then helped bring Emperor Yang down.  Later defeated the other rebel leader Li Mi (see below)

Xue Ju  薛举  One of the major rebel generals who helped bring down the Sui

Li Mi  李密  One of the major rebel generals who helped bring down the Sui. 

Yuwen Huaji  宇文化及  General during the Sui, later led a coup against Emperor Yang and delivered the death blow.

Jiangdu 江都  District of Yangzhou

Yangzhou  扬州 City in Jiangsu

Jiangsu 江苏  Rich province in eastern China.

Zhangsun Wuji 长孙无忌  Served as a chancellor during the time of Taizong and Gaozong.

Yuchi Jingde  尉迟敬德 Later became the Door God (门神), close ally of Taizong, he fired the arrow that killed Li Yuanji.

Fang Xuanling  房玄龄  Served together Du Ruhui (see below) as chancellor

Du Ruhui  杜如晦  Chancellor during the reign of Taizong, one of the best it’s said.

Gao Shilian 高士廉  Uncle of Taizong’s wife (Lady Dou), also a high ranking official during his reign.

Gengshen  庚申 A day in the Chinese calendar

Zhang Jieyu  张婕妤  Official during time of Tang Gaozu and Taizong

Pei Ji 裴寂  Official during Sui and Tang Dynaties, served Tang Gaozu and Taizong.

Xiao Yu  蕭瑀 Ally of Tang Gaozu and Taizong, later a high ranking official

Chen Shuda  陈叔达  Ally of Tang Taizong, later became his chancellor







Direct download: CHP-129-The_Incident_at_Xuanwu_Gate.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 4:30pm EST

After a record-breaking pause in the action Laszlo is back with one last episode to finish off 2013.  This time we look at the interesting and amusing history of Chinese cuisine in America, an oft requested topic here at the China History Podcast.  This is a history that goes hand in hand with the earliest Chinese immigration to the US.  If you’re interested to learn more on the subject check out Andrew Coe and Jennifer 8 Lee’s books.  The links to amazon are below:

Andrew Coe – “Chop Suey”

Jennifer 8. Lee – “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles”

Direct download: CHP-128-The_History_of_American_Chinese_Cuisine-f.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 2:05pm EST

In this episode we take a look at the circumstances and times when the brand spanking new nation of the USA came a calling to China for the very first time.  The so-called “Most Important Relationship in the World” had very humble origins indeed.  When representatives of the United States first arrived in Canton in August 1783 they really had a lot of explaining to do about who they were and where they came from.  Repeatedly they had to explain to the Chinese who interacted with them that they weren’t British.


Qianlong 乾隆  The Qing emperor who reigned 1735-1796

Guangzhou 广州  Canton

Wujing 五经  The Five Classics

Sishu  四书 The Four Books

Zhong-Mei guanxi 中美关系  China – US Relations

Lao Mei 老美 a term for America or Americans…not particularly a polite way to say it

Lao Zhong 老中 I never heard this used before…but the counterpart of Lao Mei

Jin Sha 金沙 Cumshaw. A bribe given in the form of a gift (means gold sand or gold dust)

Wuyi Cha 武夷茶  Bohea Tea  A popular type of tea export back in the day

Xichun Cha 熙春茶  Hyson Tea Another popular type of tea export back in the day.

Bupingdeng tiaoyue  不平等条约 Unequal Treaty

Qiying  耆英 Known as “Keying”, a Manchu noble who signed many Unequal Treaties

Wangxia Tiaoyue  望夏条约  The Treaty of Wangxia July 3, 1844

Guanyin Tang  观音堂  The Temple in Macao where the Treaty of Wangxia was signed

Puji Chanyuan  普及禅院  The former name of this temple

Da-Qing  大清  The name of the Qing Empire…means Great Qing

Jean Baptiste Du Halde, writer of the The General History of China

Direct download: CHP-127-The_Birth_of_US-China_Relations-R.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 3:47am EST

This week we look at the Khitan people of the steppes.  These people came from the lands in between Manchuria and Mongolia.  Their most famous son was Yelü Abaoji who took his people to great heights in the early 10th century.  His Liao Dynasty in the north of present day China ran concurrently with the continue reading >>
Direct download: CHP-126-Yelu_Abaoji.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 10:59pm EST

In this episode we explore the life and times of Zhuge Liang (181-234 AD).  He’s a very good example of a well-known name from Chinese history that many have heard of but aren’t quite sure why.  He lived during the Eastern Han and Three Kingdoms periods.  Zhuge Liang is mostly remembered for his cleverness and continue reading >>
Direct download: CHP-125-Zhuge_Liang.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 6:02pm EST

Today after a month-long break the CHP is back with another episode.  This time we look at the life and times of Sir Y.K. Pao.  In telling the story of Sir Yue-kong Pao (Bao Yugang in Mandarin) we can also relive the periods in China and Hong Kong during the 1960′s, 70′s and into the continue reading >>

Direct download: CHP-124-Sir_YK_Pao-R.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 10:15am EST

After the longest delay in between CHP episodes ever, we resume our Chinese history voyage. This time we look at a topic that isn’t particularly well-known but offers a glimpse of one sliver of the Chinese diaspora that began once the Qing Dynasty began to fall on hard times.    The story of the Chinese continue reading >>
Direct download: CHP-123-The_History_of_the_Chinese_in_Mexico.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:27pm EST

In this part 4 episode we conclude our overview of the Chinese Civil War.  After the Pingjin Campaign ended in January of 1949 it was time for the Communists to finish off what they started.  Victory was imminent but by no means would it be easy and simple.  The PLA forces dramatically crossed the Yangzi continue reading >>
Direct download: CHP-122-The_Chinese_Civil_War_Part_4.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:14pm EST

This episode mainly covers the year 1948 and the three great campaigns that sealed Chiang Kai-shek’s fate on the Chinese mainland.  The focus will be on the Liaoshen, Huaihai and Pingjin Campaigns that not only grabbed all of north China and Manchuria for the Communists but the heartland and everything north of the Yangzi River continue reading >>
Direct download: CHP-121-The_Chinese_Civil_War_Part_3.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 11:55pm EST

  This week’s episode focuses mainly on the year 1947.  The Americans have now left and the NRA and PLA attack each other with all they got.  The years starts out well for the Nationalists as they pummel the PLA in Manchuria and in the north.  But once the summer offensive begins, it’s a steady continue reading >>
Direct download: CHP-120-The_Chinese_Civil_War_Part_2.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 10:09am EST