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Who is the biggest traitor in Chinese history?

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Wu Sangui was a Ming Chinese general who opened the gates of the Great Wall at Shanhai Pass to let Manchu soldiers into China. The Shanhai Pass was a strategic location and a great defensive position. It has repelled foreign invaders for centuries.

As the Ming dynasty was declining, peasant rebellions broke out, and one of these rebels, Li Zicheng, lead a march onto the Ming capital and captured Beijing. The last Ming emperor hung himself.

Li called on all the generals in the area to join him. One of these generals, Wu Sangui, was about to join him when he heard Li had seized his favorite concubine. Wu was enraged and decided to overthrow Li by letting the Manchu armies go through the Shanhai Pass. The Manchus had extended their territory onto the Liaodong Peninsula and wanted to extend into the central area around Beijing. Their only obstacle was the Great Wall at Shanhai Pass. So they were very delighted when they received Wu's invitation. Wu at that time had as much as 100,000 soldiers under his command.

The combined armies of the Manchus and Wu Sangui defeated Li Zicheng, and the Manchus took the Chinese throne for themselves. The Manchu leader Dorgon ordered that Wu shave his forehead as a sign of submission to them. The last Ming pretender to the throne fled to Burma, but an expeditionary force led by Wu captured the pretender and turned him over to Qing authorities in Yunnan, where he was executed.

He did so, and after the Manchus established themselves as the rulers of China, they granted him a small area in southwestern China. Later he led a revolt along with 2 other turncoat Ming generals against the Qing government because he had earlier demanded that the Qing government pay a huge amount of money to him in return for loyalty, but Kangxi refused. This was known as the Revolt of the 3 Feudatories. The revolt was crushed and Wu died afterwards.

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  • 2 weeks later...

man i've been reading this forum for a while and have noticed a large anti-taiwan sentiment. I am under the assumption that most of the people on here are not Chinese which is why I wonder...

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For technical reason, 陈水扁 cannot be classified as a traitor in Chinese history no matter what kind of political conviction posters have.

Why? Very simple. Chen is still not a part of history but is an incumbent president (or leader).

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毛泽东. Treason during the Sino-Japanese war, the civil war, and post revolution. The population disaster, the environmental disaster, the cultural disaster. Many of modern China's problems still existing today can be directly traced to that man. Even rural discrimination by urban dwellers is a direct consequence of his policies (establishment of 户口), and now simply removing 户口 is not a solution (supporters for immediate 户口 removal are equally clueless). Hence an example of the predicament of modern China.

I was aghast when his 110th birthday was made into such a big festival last year, after nearly 20 years of judgmental silence. The birthday party was revisionism in the making. Every family in Shanghai has some sorrow story with him ultimately responsible. Thinking about him makes me violent. And I was/am not a Tiananmen sympathizer.

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Guest Old Nol

My choice is somewhat controversial...

蔣介石 Chiang Kai-shek because:

1) He was an appalingly bad general (he drove US General Stilwell to despair) was beaten easily by the Communists. On the BBC series 'People's Century' one soldier with the PLA said that Mao should have given Chiang a medal for suppling the PLA with so many American weapons.

2) Failed to resist Japanese agression - and join forces with the Communists. Some Chinese Nationalist a man who puts internal politics before national survival. It was only the Xian incident that forced him to resist

3) He was massively corrupt. President Truman said so.

4) He was responsible for atrocities against the native population of Taiwan when the KMT fled there.

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Was Chiang Kaichek a bad military leader?

His defeat by the Communists in a way vindicates the 'first Communists then Japan' policy - maybe he would have succeeded had he been allowed to deal with his enemies in this order, and not been forced to reverse his policy by Zhang Xueliang in Xian.

In the minds of people in the 1930s the important precedent was Russia - Communists had taken power during a disastrous war - and Chiang rightly wanted to avoid giving his Communists the same opportunity.

I suppose Chiang might say that a patriot should aim to save his country both from Communism and foreign aggression; I think he does earnestly try to do both.

This is not to deny the large-scale corruption that took place under him (personally was he not quite austere - or is there evidence that he was personally corrupt?) and that various of his policies were inexcusably brutal. Maybe that's enought to call someone a traitor...depends what you mean by the word.

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i will take qinkuai and zhou zuoren out.

the emperor gaozong, qinkuai's boss, is the real traitor.

qinkuai was a pro-resistance official during his younger days. it was said that he turned pro-jurchen after he was captured and released by the jurchens.

from his point of view, song dynasty needed a rest to gather enough strength in order to fight back, while yuefei and other pro-resistance officials think otherwise. i wouldnt say qinkuai is totally wrong. the bad part is that from then on whoever talked about signing a peace treaty with aggressors are considered 'traitors' in chinese history, which is in fact not neccessarily so. looking at china during the 19century, talking peace on one hand and strengthening itself on the other might not be a bad idea, instead of blindly fighting the foreigners, esp. using ppl like the boxers.

zhou actually helped a lot of anti jap resistance ppl. he was considered a traitor probably becos he didnt move out of beijing to the new roc capital at chongking with the roc govt. and then he didnt really show detest towards the japanese army. but to a scholar like him, koreans or japanese or chinese culture doesnt really make a diff. who be the boss wasnt really important. most post-qing dynasty scholar doesnt have a clear idea what a modern 'country' or 'state' really means. among ancient chinese, fellow countrymen are ppl who adopts the chinese culture and way of life. geographical diff or racial content are not brought into consideration.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another contender would be Wang Jingwei, Chiang Kaishek's longtime rival within the KMT. During World War 2, he headed a puppet collaborationist goverment with the Japanese at Nanking.

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