Li Dingguo

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Li (李).
Li Dingguo
(李定国)
Born 1621 (1621)
Shaanxi, China
Died 1662 (1663) (aged 41)
Yunnan, China
Occupation Military leader
Title Prince of Xining (西寧王, 1650)
Prince of Jin (晋王, 1656)

Li Dingguo (Chinese: 李定国; pinyin: Lǐ Dìngguó, Wade-Giles: Li Ting-kuo) (1621 – 1662) was one of the military generals who fought for the so-called Southern Ming Dynasty against the Manchu-ruled Qing Dynasty.

As Zhang Xianzhong's general[edit]

Li was an adopted son of the rebel leader Zhang Xianzhong, and was appointed a general in Zhang's army with the title General Pacifier of the West (安西將軍).[1] After Zhang's death in 1646, he and other generals of Zhang's, including Sun Kewang (孫可望), held out in Guizhou, then took over Chongqing in Sichuan, then south through Zunyi to take Guiyang in Guizhou in 1647.[2]

Resistance to Qing[edit]

Li had tried to form a Han Chinese united front that included Ming forces and rebels against the Manchu invasion, and became the most important military commander of the Yongli Emperor of the Southern Ming Dynasty. He and Sun Kewang first aided Ming royalists by suppressing a rebellion in Yunnan in 1648, they then made strikes to stop the advance of the Qing army in Sichuan and Huguang.

In 1652 he led a list of successful campaigns in southern Huguang and eastern Guangxi. His troops took the city of Guilin, and the Qing's chief general Kong Youde committed suicide at the defeat.[3] Li also occupied Hengzhou while his forces ambushed and killed the Manchu prince Nikan. But by 1653, he was forced to withdraw to northern Guangdong. In 1654 he attempted to take Xinhui, but was defeated and had to withdraw to Nanning in 1655. In 1656 he escorted Yongli from Anlong to Yunnanfu where the emperor set up an administration.[4] Li was awarded with the title "Prince of Jin" (晋王, Jin Wang).

Li however was involved in a power struggle with Sun Kewang. In 1657, Sun attacked Li in eastern Yunnan, but his key generals turned against him, and Sun was forced to retreat back to Guizhou. Sun then surrendered to the Qing authorities in December 1657, and urged the Qing to allow him to lead an attack on the Ming rebel forces. The Qing however chose to order Wu Sangui to push into Sichuan, and captured Chongqing and then Zunyi in Guizhou in 1658.[5]

In a very bloody battle near Yunnanfu in March 1659, Li Dingguo's army was defeated by Wu Sangui and Jobtei, and had to retreat to northern Burma, while Yongli sought refuge with the Burmese king Pindale Min.

Death[edit]

In December 1661 and the following January, Wu Sangui and the Manchu duke Aisingga entered Burma and defeated Li who withdrew eastwards. Wu then demanded the Burmese king to hand over Yongli. This the Burmese king Pye Min (who had deposed Pindale) complied, and Yongli and his sons were executed in Yunnanfu in May 1662.[6] Li despaired on hearing the news, and died soon afterwards (probably in August 1662) near the border between Yunnan and Laos. His last words were said to be to his son: "Rather die in wilderness than surrender".[7] However, his son later surrendered.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ V H Donnithorne. "Chang Hsien-Chong and the Dark Age" (PDF). The West China Missionary News XL (7-8): 236. 
  2. ^ Lynn A. Struve (1988). "Chapter 11 - The Southern Ming - 1644-1662". In Frederick W. Mote and Denis Twitchett. The Cambridge history of China: The Ming dynasty, 1368-1644, Part 1. Volume 7 of The Cambridge History of China. Cambridge University Press. p. 702. ISBN 0-521-24332-7. 
  3. ^ Marvin C. Whiting (2002). Imperial Chinese Military History: 8000 Bc - 1912 Ad. Writers Club Press. p. 469. ISBN 0-595-22134-3. 
  4. ^ Lynn A. Struve (1988). "Chapter 11 - The Southern Ming - 1644-1662". In Frederick W. Mote and Denis Twitchett. The Cambridge history of China: The Ming dynasty, 1368-1644, Part 1. Volume 7 of The Cambridge History of China. Cambridge University Press. p. 706. ISBN 0-521-24332-7. 
  5. ^ Yingcong Dai (2009). The Sichuan Frontier and Tibet: Imperial Strategy in the Early Qing. University of Washington Press. pp. 22–27. ISBN 978-0-295-98952-5. 
  6. ^ Lynn A. Struve (1988). "Chapter 11 - The Southern Ming - 1644-1662". In Frederick W. Mote and Denis Twitchett. The Cambridge history of China: The Ming dynasty, 1368-1644, Part 1. Volume 7 of The Cambridge History of China. Cambridge University Press. pp. 709–710. ISBN 0-521-24332-7. 
  7. ^ “任死荒徼,勿降也” 《续编绥寇纪略》卷四《缅甸散》作“宁死荒外,毋降也”。《清史稿·李定国传》作“任死荒徼,毋降”。


Further reading[edit]