What was Sun Quan's ambition?

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What was Sun Quan's ambition?

Unread postby Koichi » Sat Dec 13, 2003 10:48 pm

I've been wondering this in my head for a long time. Cao Cao wanted to unite China then replace the defunct Han dynasty with a new one ruled by his family. Liu Bei wanted to oust Cao Cao and restore the Han dynasty. What did Sun Quan want to do? He never seemed to have such a clear cut goal or the determination to pursue it. Maybe he had no such ambition and was only content to holding his ground and expand when given an opportunity?
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Unread postby Asellas » Sat Dec 13, 2003 10:53 pm

I believe going by the novel and some SGZ sources, Sun Quan wanted to emerge powerful and capable of controlling Wu. His father and brother were great commanders to start it, found it and I believe Sun Quan really wanted to make Wu be victorious for wanting to show what Wu could truly do and to prove he was as strong as his father and brother.

Actually, I also believe he wanted to show that even coming from a poor family doesn't mean one can't become powerful and wealthy so I think Sun Quan's ambitions were based on what he wanted to accomplish for himself and father. I could be wrong, but that is what I can rouse up from the sources I have read.
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Unread postby Six_and_Up » Sun Dec 14, 2003 1:04 am

Sun Quan wanted to become emperor of China. It wasnt until he had taken over Jingzhou that he felt powerful and confident enough to declare himself emperor and not be swarmed by Shu and Wei and have his followers desert him like Yuan Shu's did
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Unread postby Koichi » Sun Dec 14, 2003 1:33 am

Six_and_Up wrote:Sun Quan wanted to become emperor of China. It wasnt until he had taken over Jingzhou that he felt powerful and confident enough to declare himself emperor and not be swarmed by Shu and Wei and have his followers desert him like Yuan Shu's did


(I'm NOT being sarcastic) But how many times did Sun Quan attack Wei after acquiring Jingzhou? His second alliance with Zhuge Liang's Shu meant he didn't intend to attack them for the moment at least.
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Unread postby Six_and_Up » Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:16 am

The reason why Sun Quan doesnt attack Wei straight afterwards acquiring Jingzhou is because he has to make an alliance with them so that Liu Bei and Cao Cao do not send their forces at the same time. And there are plenty of battles between Wei and Wu after Sun Quan declares himself emperor and breaks from Wei. He attacks Wei around the time of the Zhuge Liangs 5th northern campaign, he tried attacking Wen Ping and went through Hefei a couple of times.
The alliance with Shu was a joke. Look at after Zhuge Liang dies on campaign. Sun Quan moves gathers his forces on the borders of Shu, seeing if their is an opportunity to invade. Sun Quan a opportunist, if theres an opening he'll take it.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Tue Dec 16, 2003 4:57 am

I don't think Sun Quan doubted for a moment since he came to power that his goal was to unite China. He just didn't have a proper excuse, and so he had to resort to being opportunistic in his expansions. Liu Bei could claim his imperial heritage, which gave him license to conquer land (in the name of the Han). Cao Cao was operating under the "unite the Han empire" banner for a long time too, and though he's not a Liu, having the emperor under his protection justified his actions. And the Suns? They had neither pedigree nor power to rely on, and like Six_and_Up said, if they had revealed their ambition too early, a Yuan Shu-like disaster would ensue.

Sun Quan was very clever in letting his advisors speak his mind for him. Look at the three men he employed as chief advisor before he declared himself emperor:

Advisor 1: Zhou Yu. Biggest expansionist in Wu. His Ba-Shu plan was aimed to take over all of China. The end of his speech petitioning Sun Quan to sanction Operation Ba-Shu was "And then, we can have designs on the North." Sun Quan approved of the action. If Sun Quan was content to just protect what he had, there was no reason to risk this campaign.

Advisor 2: Lu Su. He got Sun Quan's trust after presenting the Wu version of the Longzhong plan, which said "...Han cannot be revived, and Cao Cao's power cannot be completely eliminated. My advice to you is to take the Southlands to be as one leg in a tripod.... This is the enterprise of the High Emperor (Liu Bang)." Thereupon Sun Quan bestowed lavish gifts on him and his family (though he had to say something about how he should be supporting the Han instead--time was too early to show his cards). After that, every time Lu Su mentioned something about Sun Quan becoming emperor, Sun Quan would show that he was pleased. Would he have treated Lu Su that way if Lu Su's ambitions did not match his own?

Advisor 3: Lu Meng. The taking of Jingzhou is a clear indication of Sun Quan's ambition. If hanging out being lord of the Southlands is enough for Sun Quan, why bother risking Shu's wrath by taking Jingzhou? Having secured Jing, Wu could then concentrate on attacking Wei. Note that after talking to Lu Meng about taking out Guan Yu, Sun Quan said, "By the way, what about Xuzhou?" (SGZ-Lu Meng's bio) If this isn't an indication of his aspiration to take over China, nothing is :D

Also don't forget Sun Quan's moving the capital city to Moling/Jianye. The geographical location of Jianye is a challenge to the north :) There's also the many northern expeditions, as Six_and_Up mentioned.

All in all, I think the case can be made for Sun Quan's having had designs on the empire since the very beginning. What's stopping him from announcing it to all the world (before AD 229) were two things: the lack of a legitimate excuse, and (though I haven't mentioned this yet), the need to achieve security within the Wu lands (from the Shanyue).
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Unread postby Morg » Wed Dec 17, 2003 9:45 pm

Although pretty much everything has been covered I wanted to add a different slant to this. I think that Sun Quan had a heavy legacy to live up to and felt that he too needed to accomplish great things. I think his initial priority was to carry on his brother's ways of being kind to his people and employing men of talent thereby reassuring the people and gaining their confidence. After he had consolidated his position then his next step was to expand and I think his ambition was to gain more territory just as his brother had done before him. However, I think that Quan wanted his legacy but he didn't want to risk everything, he wanted to be cautious and that saw Wu being not as active as they could have been.
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Unread postby jiuwan » Thu Dec 18, 2003 6:36 am

Sun Quan's ambition was to be history's biggest weasel :lol:

Refer to this thread <a href = "http://www.3kingdoms.net/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=13551" target = "_blank"> Sun Quan deserves more respect part II</a>

If you read through the whole thread that should give you an idea of what I'm talking about. Too lazy to retype the whole thing...
Last edited by jiuwan on Thu Dec 18, 2003 6:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Thu Dec 18, 2003 6:42 am

The correct link is this.

But I'm not about to read through 12 pages of a thread in another forum just to make my point here... why don't you summarize what from that thread makes you think Sun Quan aimed to be a weasel? :twisted:
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Unread postby jiuwan » Thu Dec 18, 2003 7:17 am

Lady Wu wrote:But I'm not about to read through 12 pages of a thread in another forum just to make my point here... why don't you summarize what from that thread makes you think Sun Quan aimed to be a weasel? :twisted:


I had a feeling you were gonna jump in as soon as I said "weasel" Lady Wu :wink:

Alright, I myself didn't re-read through the thread. It's been a month since I posted in that thread. But here it is in a nutshell:

:arrow: Sun Bofu bashed Shu, Liu Bei and Guan Yu to get more respect for Sun Quan... so I disputed it.
:arrow: Sun Bofu claimed Wu lacked resources, therefore justifying the invasion into Jing zhou in 219 and it was not a betrayal.
:arrow: Sun Bofu quoted Rafe that Wu needed resources, and I directly contradicted him with another quote from Rafe.
:arrow: Guan Yu was a threat to Wu by insulting Sun Quan. This was justification for Wu invading in 219. So I insulted him back and asked him if I was a threat to him.
:arrow: Xiang Guan was justification to invade in 219
:arrow: STeve (SHZLD) talked the numerous times Sun Quan submited to Shu and Wei.. and all the requests for alliances by Sun Quan (basically your backstab-ally-backstab-ally)
:arrow: Jingzhou - did sun quan own it all?
:arrow: number of times of betraying - does it matter?
:arrow: treatment of Zhang Zhao
:arrow: surrendering of generals
:arrow: marriage between Guan and Sun
:arrow: preparations of attack into jingzhou before the marriage incident
:arrow: Wu's lack of resources
:arrow: Sun Quan writing a letter to Cao Pi to call off an invasion instead of fighting
:arrow: the Yi Ling affair

Umm.. that's all I can think of for the moment. Too lazy to scroll through the whole thread for everything.
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