Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Li Kaigu

Li Kaigu , formally the Duke of Yan , was a general during the reign of Wu Zetian. He was of Khitan ethnicity.

In 696, the Khitan rose against Chinese hegemony under the leadership of Li Jinzhong and Li Jinzhong's brother-in-law Sun Wanrong. Li Kaigu was then a general under Li Jinzhong. By 697, Li Jinzhong had died and Sun had been defeated and killed. Li Kaigu and fellow Khitan general Luo Wuzheng surrendered to Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty. Initially, Zhou generals wanted to put Li Kaigu and Luo to death, in retaliation for their victories over Zhou forces previously, but the Di Renjie intervened and persuaded Wu Zetian to make them her generals. Li Kaigu was subsequently able to suppress the remaining Khitan forces who were still resisting Zhou forces, and in 700 was created the Duke of Yan and bestowed the surname of Wu. However, he was unable to defeat , who eventually established the kingdom of Balhae. It is not known when Li Kaigu died.

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