Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fu Chai...King of WU

King of Wu, Fu Chai, was the second son of King Helu of Wu in the Spring and Autumn Period. Within the same year of ascending the throne, Fu Chai followed the will of his father, who was defeated by King Goujian of Yue, by appointing Bo Pi as Chief Advisor, who was charged with the responsibility of training the army with veteran general Wu Zixu. Fu Chai made the appointment in an attempt to avenge on the State of Yue.
In 494 BC, King Fu Chai put the Yue army to rout in Fujiao and captured the Yue capital Kuaiji (present-day Shaoxing of Zhejiang), compelling the submission of the Yue State to Wu. In 486 BC, King Fu Chai built Canal Han, connecting the Yangtze and Huaihe Rivers. Thus, a waterway leading to the Song and Lu states was opened, making it possible for Fu Chai to push his troops into the Central Plains.
Later, the Wu army defeated the Qi State in Ailing (present-day Tai'an of Shandong). In 482 BC, King Fu Chai achieved the hegemony status over all other states in the vassals' meeting in Huangchi (present-day southwestern Fengqiu of Henan).
The battles for years running led to the weakening of national power. While the elites of the Wu State were away for the Huangchi meeting, only the crown prince and old and weak officials were left behind in charge of the state, providing a good chance for the Yue State. In 473 BC, King Goujian of Yue led his troops to attack the Wu State, which was wiped out in the battle. King Fu Chai killed himself.

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