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Liu Bao was the heir to Yufuluo Shanyu. When Yufuluo died, Yufuluo's younger brother Huchuquan inherited the Shanyu throne, in accordance with the Lateral Succession order, and made Liu Bao the Worthy King of the Left, a Crown Prince position. Liu Bao had five Xiongnu tribes under his command.
On twenty first year of Huchuquan Shanyu reign, Cao Cao detained him and Liu Bao ascended the Shanyu throne (215-260 AD). His brother Qubei took over the five tribes of the Left Wing as a Crown Prince. Liu Bao's carrier as a Shanyu of the Southern Huns was among the longest Shanyu reigns.
During Li Jue's coup in Chang'an, Liu Bao seized Cai Wenji as his concubine and had two children with her. He released her when Cao Cao paid a ransom for her. When his clan suffered from internal problems, Deng Ai advised him to relinquish some of his power.
- Bichurin N.Ya., "Collection of information on peoples in Central Asia in ancient times", 1851, vol. 1, p. 147