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Wang Jian -- General of Unification and Politician of Wisdom 

Wang Jian's Early Life in Army

Wang Jian was a descendant of a royal family member of the Zhou Dynasty; but when he was born, his family had already moved to Qin kingdom and lived as normal civilian. 

 

After Wang joined the army of the Kingdom Qin, he was highly appreciated and quickly promoted by the current general Bai Qi; Bai told many people that if he didn’t lead Qin’s armies unified the whole of the nation, then Wang Jian would be the only one who was able to do that.

 

When Bai Qi displeased the current king and committed suicide, Wang Jian also was demoted to an ordinary officer, until King Ying Zheng ascended to the throne. 

Wang Jian's Assistance of King of Qin and Powerful Minister

 

Soon, Wang Jian successfully protected King Ying Zheng from a coup, defeated Ying’s political enemies and helped him gain all the centralized power.

 

Afterwards, Ying Zheng nominated his trusted master Wang Jian, the smart general who was highly praised by Bai Qi, as the commander of Qin’s army.

 

Besides being a brave and talented general, Wang was also a smart politician; he helped the powerful prime minister Fan Ju successfully finished vengeance as well.

 

Since then, Wang had gained trust and full support from both the king and the most powerful minister.

Intense War Against the Kingdom Zhao

After Qin had perished a small country nearby, Wang Jian and his army planned to defeat the Kingdom Zhao, where he encountered another outstanding general named Li Mu. 

 

The Kingdom Zhao, whose 450,000 of fine soldiers were massacred by General Bai Qi, had great hatreds toward Qin; so their soldiers were highly consolidated and aggressive and fought bravely.

 

Moreover, Zhao’s commander Li Mu was another great marshal in the Waring States Period.

Li Mu was the first general that had led an infantry army annihilated the same scale calvary troop of the Huns, another marshal who had never failed a war before.

 

Even if the Kingdom Zhao had lost such a great deal of soldiers before, thanks to Li Mu, it was still well defended and stayed strong, even kept expanding. 

 

Consequently, two extraordinary commanders with two strong troops, were at a stalemate for over a year, and no one could achieve an effective success.

 

Even when the Kingdom Zhao encountered a big earthquake and made Li Mu’s army lacked of many resources, they still were in a tie.

Marshal with Brilliant Stratagem and Military Skill

Then Wang Jian wrote a letter to Li Mu and pretended to ask for a truce. Li Mu believed him and started to negotiate the armistice.

 

At the same time, Wang Jian bribed other ministers in the Kingdom Zhao and gave them some of the letters that Li Mu wrote him, saying Li Mu wanted to surrender.

 

Again, the King of Zhao believed the circumvention, and had the loyal and remarkable general Li Mu assassinated by his own people. Then, another ordinary commander was assigned to lead Zhao’s army. 

 

As expected, no matter how brave and strong Zhao’s soldiers were, without the outstanding commander Li Mu, they collapsed very soon.

 

Within the next few months, Wang Jian led the Qin’s army defeated Zhao’s main troop, occupied their capital city, captured the King of Zhao and perished his kingdom.

 

This former powerful empire was destroyed by their own monarch and Wang Jian, together. 

Then another kingdom near Zhao felt threatened, so their crown prince sent some assassins to Qin. 

 

One of them had almost succeeded; he had a close fight with the King Ying Zheng, but was captured later.

 

Ying Zheng was furious and used this as an excuse to attack this country. Wang Jian successfully occupied almost all of this kingdom’s land, but its king escaped northward far away.

 

Later, Wang Jian’s son, another excellent general, captured that king and completely perished this empire; soon he perished another kingdom as a commander independently. 

 

Till then, Qin already expanded the territory to more than half of the cultivated places in China; there was only one huge and powerful kingdom in the south named Chu, which was a difficult obstacle of Qin’s unification. 

 

Conquering of the Strongest Kingdom Chu

A young general proposed that perishing the Kingdom Chu only required 200, 000 soldiers, while Wang Jian believed he needed at least 600, 000.

 

Then the king chose the young general as the commander to attack Chu, and agreed Wang’s retirement request.

 

But this war ended up as the biggest failure that Ying Zheng had ever encountered after he had ascended the throne.

 

He then realized that Wang Jian had been always right in military judgments, and was the only one who could help him perish the Kingdom Chu.

 

So the king came to Wang Jian, begged him to lead the army again, and promised him a strong army with 600, 000 good soldiers.

Wang Jian Knew that a commander with a huge troop marching to another kingdom, maybe would last for years, could be suspicious and worrisome for his king.

 

So, before Wang set off to the Kingdom Chu, leading this huge troop that included nearly all of Qin’s fine soldiers, he made the king promised him lots of farmlands and money. 

 

He did this to show the king that he was only interested in being wealthy and having a happy life with his family, not any political or military power. 

 

Based on careful analysis of the commander and complicated geological condition of the Kingdom Chu, Wang Jian adjusted the arrangement of his army and made another perfect military plan.

 

In order to avoid being ambushed by the Chu’s army in such an unfamiliar, huge kingdom, he commanded his army built a strong base and stayed here for over a year, which confused, but also attracted most of Chu’s army to march and confront to Wang Jian, right in front of his base. 

 

When the Chu’s army loosened their guard and tried to march back, Wang Jian led his 600, 000 soldiers ferociously attacked Chu’s army out of a sudden, which perished almost Chu’s entire main force.

 

Then Wang divided his army into two troops to chase and kill the rest of the Chu’s troops, separately.

 

Finally, they occupied the Chu’s capital and perished this powerful kingdom.


The whole of the nation was unified and under Qin’s control. 

Establishment of the Qin Dynasty & the Leave of Wang Jian

Soon Ying Zheng established the first united feudal imperial regime, the Qin Dynasty, and claimed himself the first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, in the history of China.

 

Since Wang Jian and his son led Qin’s army defeated all the other six kingdoms and unified the whole of the nation, they had been given countless rewards and political power.

 

However, after the establishment of the Qin Dynasty, Wang and his son immediately resigned all of their political and military positions; he and his family left the powerful Emperor Qin Shi Huang, whom he had served for decades, gave up their noble titles and all the political power, and lived in seclusion.

Wang also forbade his descendants to join military anymore, because he believed that he and his son already took so many people’s lives in battlefields, and this should not become a family tradition.

 

Wang Jian was not only a great militarist and an exceptionally wise politician, he was also a wise person who knew when to stop.

 

There were no documents regarding him or his son’s retirement life,  where did they end up, or when he was born and departed. 

 

But with his exceptional intelligence, we could assume that they had quite a happy, wealthy and light-hearted life.