What was Sun Quan's ambition?

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Unread postby Lady Wu » Thu Dec 18, 2003 7:30 am

LOL I didn't mean for you to summarize *all* that thread... Bah I'm even too swamped with work to debate whether Sun Quan was a weasel or not (i.e., you can enjoy your anti-Wu smugness until mid January :lol: ). The question posed at the beginning of the thread is whether Sun Quan had a clear goal in mind to pursue, and what his level of ambition was.

So... if your claim that Sun Quan's ambition was to be history's biggest weasel wasn't in jest, let's hear some supporting evidence :twisted:
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Unread postby jiuwan » Thu Dec 18, 2003 7:54 am

Lady Wu wrote: you can enjoy your anti-Wu smugness until mid January


Ok, I can live with that. You can beat me up all you want with your near limitless knowledge, just not on Jan 21 ok? :wink:

Lady Wu wrote:So... if your claim that Sun Quan's ambition was to be history's biggest weasel wasn't in jest, let's hear some supporting evidence :twisted:


Oh I have supporting evidence on Sun Quan's betrayals, treachery, lack of respect for Zhang Zhao, and unappreciativeness of Sun Ce. Just not the part on him being a weasel. I was just teasing on that part. Guess after final exams I was itching to get something started now that I don't have exams to study.

Lady Wu wrote:The question posed at the beginning of the thread is whether Sun Quan had a clear goal in mind to pursue, and what his level of ambition was.


Ok, time to be serious in this thread. I don't think Sun Quan had a clear goal set in mind from early on when he inherited the lands from Sun Ce. As his powers grew and his position solidified, his ambitions started growing. This is evident in his desires to claim Jing Zhou. After all, how can he legitimately claim the whole of Jing Zhou when he never laid soldiers to take the whole province.

This is why Liu Bei refused him. Yet Sun Quan invaded in 215 and again in 219AD. From his desires of Jing Zhou, there is a desire to gain more lands in Sun Quan's mind whether through crook or nook, it made no difference with him.

*Sniff sniff* My poor ancestors... kicked all the way south to present day Vietnam because of Sun Quan :(
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sat Dec 20, 2003 3:33 am

jiuwan wrote: You can beat me up all you want with your near limitless knowledge,

"Limitless knowledge"... it's beginning to sound like Lu Xun's plot to make Guan Yu lower his defences (by heaping praises on him)... :lol: But I shall not let my guard down! Increase the troops on the Western border! :lol:

Ok, time to be serious in this thread. I don't think Sun Quan had a clear goal set in mind from early on when he inherited the lands from Sun Ce. As his powers grew and his position solidified, his ambitions started growing.

Consider this from Sun Quan's SGZ bio. When Sun Ce died, people weren't sure whether to stick with Purple-Beard Boy or not. However:

張昭、周瑜等謂權可與共成大業,故委心而服事焉。
"Zhang Zhao and Zhou Yu, among others, said that Sun Quan was someone who one can support to accomplish the great ambition, and thus they set their hearts upon serving him."

Now, ?? "great accomplishment" could refer to two things--rebuilding Han, or unifying the world under his own banner. Hanging out with just what one inherited is not "great accomplishment". Conclusion: Sun Quan must have shown some sign of willing to take up something big (either support Han or building his own power), for people like Zhang Zhao and Zhou Yu to submit to his rule.

Furthermore, consider what I said about Lu Su--he was introduced to Sun Quan soon after Quan's assumption of power. He told Quan that he should strive to be like Liu Bang (and start his own empire), and though Quan said, "nah, I'll see what I can do with Han", he treated Lu Su as a close friend right after that. Highly suggestive that Lu Su's thinking matched his, and he only avoided admitting to it because he didn't want to get beat up by everyone right away.

This is evident in his desires to claim Jing Zhou. After all, how can he legitimately claim the whole of Jing Zhou when he never laid soldiers to take the whole province.

Since when did Sun Quan overtly claimed the whole of Jing Province? :shock: He had no more legitimate claim to the Southern Jing Commanderies as Liu Bei had for Jiangling (or Nanjun or Jiangxia). Those southern commanderies were useless anyway. What really mattered were the ones on the River. Zhou Yu's plan was to leave Liu Bei in the south, then go attack Yi province along the river. Well, Zhou Yu died, and seeing that expanding to the west wouldn't work, and Liu Bei was all desperate begging for some useful land, Sun Quan lent Jiangling to Liu Bei, but Liu Bei never returned it. That was not a problem at first because Liu Bei was still weak and Quan was focussed on fighting Cao Cao. However, once Liu Bei secured Hanzhong, the balance was struck and thus it's only natural for Shu to return the borrowed land. Then there was Guan Yu's accomplishments, which made Shu so strong that Cao Cao wanted to move the capital city in order to be farther away from Guan Yu. If even Cao Cao was thinking that, Guan Yu's forces in Jing must have been really strong, making Shu almost equal to Wei in power. Who's to say that Shu wouldn't take advantage and attack Wu, given that Guan Yu was nicely located upriver from Wu? Hence the marriage proposal. But Wu didn't really figure as an ally in Guan Yu's mind, and Guan Yu turned it down rudely. Seeing that Guan Yu couldn't be counted on as an ally, and seeing what a threat he's become, there was no choice but to take him out. Wu was extremely vulnerable without the security of the northwest of Jing.

Gah! I didn't mean to defend the Jing Province question... what I wanted to say was just that Sun Quan did have bold ambitions. That's it.
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Unread postby jiuwan » Mon Dec 22, 2003 6:24 am

Lady Wu wrote:"Limitless knowledge"... it's beginning to sound like Lu Xun's plot to make Guan Yu lower his defences (by heaping praises on him)... :lol: But I shall not let my guard down! Increase the troops on the Western border! :lol:


*Sigh* Why must you people of Wu always suspect us from Shu? No wonder why there is mistrust inhibiting our goal to rid China of Wei. Don't tell me this is Ba Qiu-Yong An in 234AD again [Incident after Zhuge Liang's death. Wu increased troops in Ba Qiu by ten thousand with one wish of sharing the partition of Shu. To counter this Shu increased their soldiers at Yong An. SGZ Scroll 45/Shu 15 Zong Yu's bio]. Increase the troops at Yong An!! Send Zong Yu to see Sun Quan :lol:

Lady Wu wrote:Consider this from Sun Quan's SGZ bio. When Sun Ce died, people weren't sure whether to stick with Purple-Beard Boy or not. However:

張昭、周瑜等謂權可與共成大業,故委心而服事焉。
"Zhang Zhao and Zhou Yu, among others, said that Sun Quan was someone who one can support to accomplish the great ambition, and thus they set their hearts upon serving him."


Consider also this from Lady Wu's (not you, Sun Quan's mother) bio:

建 安 七 年 , 臨 薨 , 引 見 張 昭 等 , 屬 以 後 事 ...
Translated: In the seventh year of Jian An [202AD], before [Lady Wu] died, she summoned Zhang Zhao and others to entrust with affairs afterwards....

And also in Zhang Zhao's bio:

策 臨 亡 , 以 弟 權 託 昭 , 昭 率 群 僚 立 而 輔 之 。
Taken from your translation: At his deathbed, Sun Ce entrusted his younger brother Quan to Zhang Zhao’s care. Zhang Zhao, leading all his peers, established Quan as lord and vowed to support him.

Now in both Lady Wu's bio and Zhang Zhao's bios we see that Zhang Zhao is entrusted to care for Sun Quan and the affairs of the state after Lady Wu's death.

So Zhang Zhao may or may not entirely support Sun Quan as someone who is ambitious and could achieve great things. There is no question that Zhang Zhao served loyally to Quan despite the shabby treatment. That is why I have more respect for Zi Bu than Sun Quan. :lol:

Lady Wu wrote:Since when did Sun Quan overtly claimed the whole of Jing Province? :shock:


Yet in Lu Su's bio, the Wu historians seemed to think that they owned all of Jing zhou.

後 備 詣 京 見 權 , 求 都 督 荊 州 , 惟 肅 勸 權 借 之 , 共拒 曹 公 。
Translated: Later when Liu Bei went to the capital [of Wu] to meet with Sun Quan, he asked to be able to control Jing zhou. Lu Su convinced Sun Quan to lend it [to Liu Bei]; therefore, they can both repel Cao Cao together.

Now when did Wu lay claim to all of Jing zhou to 'lend' to Liu Bei? They only had claims to Jiang Ling which Zhou Yu conqured.

Lady Wu wrote:Well, Zhou Yu died, and seeing that expanding to the west wouldn't work, and Liu Bei was all desperate begging for some useful land, Sun Quan lent Jiangling to Liu Bei, but Liu Bei never returned it.

and
Lady Wu wrote:That was not a problem at first because Liu Bei was still weak and Quan was focussed on fighting Cao Cao. However, once Liu Bei secured Hanzhong, the balance was struck and thus it's only natural for Shu to return the borrowed land.


When did Sun Quan ask for Jiang Ling back? After Liu Bei had gotten control of Yi zhou, Sun Quan asked for Chang Sha, Gui Yang, and Ling Ling. Liu Bei denied this request. Afterwards, Sun Quan sent troops to take the three commanderies (215). Again in 219 he struck Guan Yu in the rear to gain more lands.

Lady Wu wrote:Then there was Guan Yu's accomplishments, which made Shu so strong that Cao Cao wanted to move the capital city in order to be farther away from Guan Yu. If even Cao Cao was thinking that, Guan Yu's forces in Jing must have been really strong, making Shu almost equal to Wei in power.


There is no denying that Lui Bei was victorious over Cao Cao at Han Zhong and then winning the two commanderies: Fang Ling and Shang Yong. Guan Yu was going to follow up with Fan, but alas, we all know how that turned out.

It is not necessarily that Cao Cao wanted to move his captial due to Guan Yu's forces being strong and rivalling Wei in terms of power. On Guan Yu's attack on Fan, if he were to succeed he would have very easily access to the captial. That is why Cao Cao contemplated on moving his capital.

Lady Wu wrote:Who's to say that Shu wouldn't take advantage and attack Wu, given that Guan Yu was nicely located upriver from Wu?


Pure speculation. Guan Yu was situated in Jing zhou for a long time, if he had the attentions to do so, he could have done it already.

Lady Wu wrote:Hence the marriage proposal. But Wu didn't really figure as an ally in Guan Yu's mind, and Guan Yu turned it down rudely.


The marriage proposal of Sun Quan was already after the fact they had made plans to attack Guan Yu in the rear. After Lu Meng proposed to Sun Quan to strike Guan Yu in the rear, they worked at "becoming friendlier" with Guan Yu; hence they suggested the marriage proposal. Also something important to note, Sun Quan was planning with Cao Cao to strike Guan Yu in the rear to help relieve the seige at Fan.

Lady Wu wrote:Seeing that Guan Yu couldn't be counted on as an ally, and seeing what a threat he's become, there was no choice but to take him out. Wu was extremely vulnerable without the security of the northwest of Jing.


Sorry if I sound harsh, but I've seen this over and over again, yet no one has proven to me how Guan Yu was a threat to Wu. Despite this lack of evidence, Wuist still say Guan Yu was a threat to Wu. So all I have to say to this is: prove it.

Lady Wu wrote:Gah! I didn't mean to defend the Jing Province question... what I wanted to say was just that Sun Quan did have bold ambitions. That's it.


It's ok, I didn't mean to defend the Jing province in Shu's stead either. So if you want to ignore everything I typed, I'll understand.

BTW, can I change my stance on Sun Quan? I should give more credit to him on his ambitions. These last few days of digging through Wu bios, I discovered I should give more credit to the "weasel" :lol:
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sun Jan 11, 2004 9:59 pm

jiuwan wrote:Consider also this from Lady Wu's (not you, Sun Quan's mother) bio: [...] And also in Zhang Zhao's bio: [...]
Now in both Lady Wu's bio and Zhang Zhao's bios we see that Zhang Zhao is entrusted to care for Sun Quan and the affairs of the state after Lady Wu's death.

So Zhang Zhao may or may not entirely support Sun Quan as someone who is ambitious and could achieve great things. There is no question that Zhang Zhao served loyally to Quan despite the shabby treatment. That is why I have more respect for Zi Bu than Sun Quan. :lol:

(1) Lady Wu died after Sun Quan took over and got everyone to support him. Note also that the first thing that Sun Quan did when he took over was to treat Zhang Zhao as a teacher/father and Zhou Yu as an older brother, so that with their support he can secure allegience from the other officers. The very fact that Sun Quan did this shows that he took a pro-active approach to building up his kingdom, rather than one who sits around and expects people to do stuff for him.
(2) Where did you get the idea that Zhang Zhao was treated shabbily? Sure, he often disagreed with Sun Quan on many matters, and had several run-ins with him. But Sun Quan always relents and apologises and stuff to him. I mean, Sun Quan's the ruler here, and he's entitled to make his own decisions against his advisors' suggestions. Also, compare Sun Quan's treatment of Zhang Zhao with Cao Cao's treatment of Xun Yu, Xun You, Xu You, and Yang Xiu, and you'll see that Zhang Zhao *was* treated well in Wu.

Yet in Lu Su's bio, the Wu historians seemed to think that they owned all of Jing zhou.

Noooooo.... If Wu owned all of Jing Province, why did Liu Bei have to beg for it from them? Liu Bei had the 4 southern commanderies already, but he needed a piece of land that's adjacent to Cao Cao's territory as well as a potential launching point for his Yizhou plans (of course he didn't tell Sun Quan the last part). What he was asking for was the provincial seat of the province--since Cao Cao owns the part of Jing that's north of the Yangtze and the traditional capitol, Nanjun became the provincial seat of the non-Cao part of Jing. That's what Liu Bei was asking for: Nanjun. And Sun Quan, with incredible foresight, lent it to him, causing Cao Cao to have a panic attack.

When did Sun Quan ask for Jiang Ling back? After Liu Bei had gotten control of Yi zhou, Sun Quan asked for Chang Sha, Gui Yang, and Ling Ling. Liu Bei denied this request. Afterwards, Sun Quan sent troops to take the three commanderies (215). Again in 219 he struck Guan Yu in the rear to gain more lands.

Sun Quan didn't ask for Jiangling because he was reasonable. Guan Yu's presence there was both too formidable to challenge, and good for putting pressure on Cao Cao. Therefore, he asked for 3 commanderies in exchange for Jiangling (and it's a pretty good deal... Liu Bei got a lot of mileage out of Jiangling, and the souther commanderies were pretty useless in comparison). Liu Bei, being the unreasonable one, put his northern expansion aside to settle Jing with Sun Quan. Liao Li's criticism of Liu Bei was right on: Liu Bei should have taken Hanzhong at that time, rather than moving all his resources to squabble over the 3 southern commanderies. Liu Bei's action led to the rift in the Shu-Wu alliance, the loss of Hanzhong resources to Cao Cao, and put Ba/Shu in peril.

It is not necessarily that Cao Cao wanted to move his captial due to Guan Yu's forces being strong and rivalling Wei in terms of power. On Guan Yu's attack on Fan, if he were to succeed he would have very easily access to the captial. That is why Cao Cao contemplated on moving his capital.

I never said that Cao Cao saw Guan Yu as a rival to Wei's power. And your two statements are almost identical anyway. Guan Yu was a threat, and it's possible that he'd make it to the capital. Thus Cao Cao moved. On one hand, his considering to move was just a natural consequence of the situaiton, on the other, it was quite dramatic since Guan Yu was about to shake the foundations of the hitherto unassailable northern establishment. If he had succeeded, the balance of power would be shifted, breaking the equilibrium.

Don't tell me that Liu Bei/Zhuge Liang was/were also sincere in their alliance with Wu, in the sense that "let's be the best of friends and never attack each other". The alliance was purely functional. At the time Cao Cao pressed on in Jing province, Wu and Shu faced certain destruction if they didn't unite. The prerequisite to the alliance was that both Wu and Shu were weaker than Wei. Liu Bei's ambition was to "restore the Han" and Sun Quan's was to take over the world. It was clear to both sides that one of them had to emerge as victor, not both. The alliance was thus a temporary measure for survival.

Now, Liu Bei was making good progress in the northwest, and Guan Yu stood as a threat to the foundation of Wei. Can Sun Quan not quake in his sleep? Guan Yu had raided Wu depots for grains and supplies, allowed minor squirmishes on the Wu/Shu border, and treated the marriage proposal with utter contempt. That was a warning bell loud enough for all of Wu to hear--Guan Yu didn't care a bit for Wu and would happily break the alliance and conquer her if he had to. Not to mention that Liu Bei had effectively destroyed the alliance by fighting for the 3 commanderies.

Sorry if I sound harsh, but I've seen this over and over again, yet no one has proven to me how Guan Yu was a threat to Wu. Despite this lack of evidence, Wuist still say Guan Yu was a threat to Wu. So all I have to say to this is: prove it.

QED. See above.

It's ok, I didn't mean to defend the Jing province in Shu's stead either. So if you want to ignore everything I typed, I'll understand.

If you want to keep fighting for Jing in another thread, I'll be there. :twisted:

BTW, can I change my stance on Sun Quan? I should give more credit to him on his ambitions.

As well you should! :lol:

These last few days of digging through Wu bios, I discovered I should give more credit to the "weasel" :lol:

The more I read Wu bios, the more I want to give Zhongmou a biiiig hug. He's the best :P I still haven't heard your arguments for him being a "weasel". He was just a politician in a troubled era, and compared with the "weasel-ness" of Liu Bei and Cao Cao, Sun Quan is absolutely loveable :D
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:56 pm

I am sure Quan had ambition, and enough of it. By his invasion of Jingzhou at the right time, you can see that he never missed an opening like Liu Biao.

However:
In the later days of Wu, Sun Quan seems to let corruption flow in his courts. He betrays Shi Hui and kills him for more land, which however is a smart move, but Hui served Wu anyway and if Quan tried something nicer, Hui would surrender. Also, Quan allowed Lu Yi(not Xun) to do corrupt politics, and Yi killed one of Quan's friends, Quan blamed it all on himself. Then Pan Jun and Lu Xun had to fix the problem. Also, the succession wars of course, and the constant ignoring of Lu Xun's advise when it comes to invading foreign areaa(Taiwan). I think Sun Quan grew overconfident or senile. Or he was unable to handle the administration of his kingdom when it expanded. He probably let all the victories of his best generals(Lu Xun, Zhu Ran, Bu Zhi, Zhuge Jin, Quan Cong and Lu Dai) go to his head and think he can do anything.

I would agree with Lady Wu that he is the best, but not quite there. He still has some problems. And I don't know why Guan Yu was so formidable of an adversary. In his SGZ bio, all he basicly did was kill Yan Liang, hate Ma Chao, second in command to Liu Bei, use some ships at Changban and attack Fancheng and lose. Why did Cao Cao and Sun Quan see him as formidable compared to the more accomplished generals on both of their forces.
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Unread postby Liu Pi » Sun Aug 22, 2004 4:51 pm

Sun Quan definatly had ambitions of uniting China. But he didn't really want to fight for it like his father and brother. He took Jing and stopped there. I think that he didn't have the guts launch an all out invasion of Shu or Wei.
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Sun Aug 22, 2004 4:57 pm

No, he attacked a lot after Jing. He took Shi Hui's land(though the method may not have been the best one, it worked anyway). Then he invaded Taiwan and Koguryo. He planned many foreign invasions. Also, Quan invaded Wei quite a bit but lost. Why would you want to invade and lose rahter then not invade at all. It makes more sense, less people dieing, more stabale country. So many advantages. What about Shu or Wei. Shu took Hanzhong, then they never succedeed agian. Wei didn't take land from Wu or Shu ever since Chibi and only won some during the invasion of Shu, right before Jin usurped. Sun Quan had enough things to worry about.
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Unread postby Liu Pi » Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:09 pm

But he never truly tested himself. He had some brilliant warrirors and didn't really have much use for them. Most of the action was either in Jing or the forementioned invasion of Wei.
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Unread postby Jiangji » Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:13 pm

I think he is not as ambitious compare to Liu bei , cao cao and his brother. He never wish to became the emperor and it was the officers that urge him to. If it wasn't Zhou yu, ZGl and Lu su advice, he could have surrender to Cao Cao.
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