Battle of Tianmenling

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Battle of Tianmenling
Date 698
Location Tianmenling, Jilin
Result

Decisive Goguryeo-Mohe migrants victory

Belligerents
Zhou Goguryeo migrants
Sumo Mohe
Baishan Mohe
Commanders and leaders
Li Kaigu Dae Jo-yeong

The Battle of Tianmenling (Chinese: 天門嶺之戰), or the Battle of Cheonmun-ryeong in Korean (Hangul: 천문령 전투), was a battle fought between Dae Jo-yeong, later founder of Balhae, and Li Kaigu (李楷固) a Khitan commander of the Chinese Tang dynasty.

After the fall of Goguryeo to the Silla-Tang armies, Dae Jo-yeong, along with his father Dae Jung-sang, were forced to move over into the Yingzhou province of Tang. In the confusion of the Khitan uprising (led by Li Jinzhong and Sun Wanrong) against the Zhou in May 696, Dae Jung-sang and the Baishan Mohe leader Geolsa Biu sought independence from Zhou. In spite of Empress Wu Zetian's appeasement policy, they fled eastward to the former land of Goguryeo.

The Zhou sent general Li Kaigu to give chase, and subsequently Geolsa Biu and Dae Jung-sang were killed. Dae Jo-yeong integrated the Goguryeo people under the two leaders and resisted the Tang's attack. He scored a victory over the Zhou at the Battle of Tianmenling, which enabled him to establish his own kingdom. He claimed himself the King of Jin in 699 and put his capital at Dongmo Mountain in the south of today's Jilin province.

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