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A Ming Minister’s Advice on Controlling and Selecting Military Commanders

In: Journal of Chinese Military History
Author:
Jun Fang Department of History, Huron College, University of Western Ontario 4614 London, Ontario, N6G 1H3 Canada

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Abstract

Qiu Jun (1421–1495) was an important Ming civil official who was also a prolific author. One of his works, the Daxue yanyi bu, devotes nineteen of its 160 chapters to military affairs. Qiu Jun puts particular emphasis on the importance of choosing the right commanders. The main body of this article consists of a translation of the passages from the Daxue yanyi bu dealing with rulers’ selection and management of military commanders. Qiu Jun’s opinions on the control and selection of generals are not always practicable, yet they shed considerable light on the Chinese state’s strategies to control the military, civil-military relations, and the military examination system in imperial China.

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