This article has an unclear citation style.September 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)(
|Died||648 (aged 68–69)|
|Occupation||Statesman, writer, historian|
|Book of Jin|
Fang Qiao (Chinese :房玄齡; pinyin :Fáng Xuánlíng; 579–648), courtesy name Xuanling, better known as Fang Xuanling, posthumously known as Duke Wenzhao of Liang, was a Chinese statesman and writer who served as a chancellor under Emperor Taizong in the early Tang dynasty. He was the lead editor of the historical record Book of Jin (covering the history of the Jin dynasty (266–420)) and one of the most celebrated Tang dynasty chancellors. He and his colleague, Du Ruhui, were often described as role models for chancellors in imperial China.
Fang Xuanling was born in 579, shortly before the founding of the Sui dynasty in 581, during Sui's predecessor state, Northern Zhou. His great-grandfather Fang Yi (房翼) was a general, official, and hereditary count under the Northern Wei dynasty, and his grandfather Fang Xiong (房熊) was also an official. His father Fang Yanqian (房彥謙) was a county magistrate during the Sui dynasty.
Fang Xuanling was said to be intelligent and well-learned in his youth, and particularly skillful at calligraphy. It was said that once, when he accompanied his father to the capital Chang'an, the state was peaceful, and the popular sentiment was that Sui would last a long time. However, Fang Xuanling secretly opined to his father:
The emperor [i.e., Emperor Wen of Sui] had no accomplishments or virtues, and he gained his power by trickery. He did not think about long-term benefits for his descendants, and he allowed his sons to have no differences between the heir and the non-heirs. They therefore compete with each other and plot against each other, and they also compete in their wastefulness and luxuries. They will eventually kill each other, and the state will not be preserved. Even though everything is peaceful now, I expect its fall to be soon.
Fang Yanqian was surprised by his son's opinion, which, however, eventually turned out to be prophetic. When he was 17, he was successful at the imperial examination, and he became a military officer. He particularly impressed the deputy minister of civil service, Gao Xiaoji (高孝基). However, it appeared that he did not serve long, as his father became ill, and the illness lasted 10 years, during which Fang Xuanling attended to him earnestly. After his father's death, he fasted for five days. He later became the magistrate of Xicheng County (隰城, in modern Lüliang, Shanxi).
In 617, when the general Li Yuan rebelled against the rule of Emperor Wen's son Emperor Yang, one of Li Yuan's major generals was his son Li Shimin. Fang Xuanling went to Li Shimin's camp and offered his services. It was said that as soon as Li Shimin met Fang, they became like old friends, and Li Shimin invited him to serve on staff. Fang served Li Shimin faithfully, and wherever Li Shimin campaigned, while his staff members would collect treasures, Fang spent the time interviewing the people of the area and retained the capable people to add to Li Shimin's staff.
In 618, after news arrived at Chang'an (which Li Yuan had taken in winter 617 and where he declared Emperor Yang's grandson Yang You the Prince of Dai emperor (as Emperor Gong)) that Emperor Yang had been killed in a coup at Jiangdu (江都, in modern Yangzhou, Jiangsu), led by the general Yuwen Huaji, Li Yuan had Yang You yield the throne to him, establishing the Tang dynasty as its Emperor Gaozu. He created Li Shimin, the Prince of Qin. Fang continued to serve on Li Shimin's staff.
In 621, when Li Shimin defeated Tang's major enemy Wang Shichong the Emperor of Zheng and captured the Zheng capital Luoyang (which had served as Sui's eastern capital), it was said that he sent Fang to the offices of Sui's legislative and examination bureaus of government to try to preserve Sui archives, but Fang's mission turned out to be unsuccessful as the archives had already been destroyed by Wang.
Later in 621, when Emperor Gaozu, awarding Li Shimin for his great accomplishments, bestowed on him the unprecedented title of "Grand General of Heavenly Tactics" (天策上將, Tiance Shangjiang), Li Shimin built a mansion where he housed those staff members with the best literary talent, supplying them with the best food and supplies and had them conduct research and writing. Fang was part of this establishment, along with, among others, the fellow future chancellors Du Ruhui and Xu Jingzong. When Du was subsequently commissioned as a prefectural secretary general, Fang told Li Shimin that Du was an uncommon talent that he should do everything he could to retain, and Li Shimin thus persuaded Emperor Gaozu to allow Du to remain on his staff. It was said that Fang was capable in planning and strategizing, but not decisive in his decisions, while Du was capable in making quick and correct decisions, and they divided their strategical responsibilities while on Li Shimin's staff in that manner. (This eventually led to the Chinese proverb "Fang plans and Du decides" (房謀杜斷, Fang mou Du duan), after they became renowned.)
By 626, Li Shimin was locked in an intense rivalry with his older brother, Li Jiancheng the Crown Prince, and Fang and Du often suggested that he act first against Li Jiancheng. As both Li Jiancheng and another brother who supported Li Jiancheng, Li Yuanji the Prince of Qi, feared Fang's and Du's strategic capabilities, they falsely accused both Fang and Du and had them demoted out of Li Shimin's staff. In summer 626, when Li Shimin decided to act against Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji, however, he summoned Fang and Du to his mansion. Fang and Du, initially fearing Emperor Gaozu's orders forbidding them to serve Li Shimin, declined. In anger, Li Shimin sent the general Yuchi Gong to summon Fang and Du, with directions if they declined again, to kill them. Yuchi, however, was able to persuade them that Li Shimin was in fact intending on acting against Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji, and so Fang and Du put on disguises as Taoist monks and were able to get to Li Shimin's mansions, where they assisted Li Shimin in planning the ambush against Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji. Li Shimin subsequently ambushed his brothers as Xuanwu Gate and killed them, and then effectively forced Emperor Gaozu to create him crown prince. Once he was created crown prince, Fang and Du were restored to honored positions on his staff, and soon, Fang was made the Zhongshu Ling (中書令) — the head of the legislative bureau and a post considered one for a chancellor. Two months later, Emperor Gaozu yielded the throne to Li Shimin (as Emperor Taizong).
Later in 626, when Eastern Tujue's Jiali Khan Ashina Duobi launched a major incursion into Tang territory, reaching all the way to Chang'an, Fang Xuanling, along with Gao Shilian, attended to Emperor Taizong as he personally met Ashina Duobi to promise additional tributes, to induce Ashina Duobi to withdraw.
Later in 626, when Emperor Taizong personally ranked the contributions of the generals and officials in order to grant them fiefs, Emperor Taizong ranked five of them — Fang, Zhangsun Wuji, Du Ruhui, Yuchi Gong, and Hou Junji to be contributors of the highest grade, and Fang was created the Duke of Han. When Emperor Gaozu's cousin Li Shentong (李神通) the Prince of Huai'an, himself a key general, objected to being ranked below Fang and Du, stating that Fang and Du, in particular, were only bureaucrats, Emperor Taizong pointed out that it was with their strategies that he was able to become emperor, Li Shentong relented, which led to the other objectors to also cease their objections. Later in 627, under Emperor Taizong's direction, Fang carried out a major simplification of the central government, reducing the number of officials at the central government to 634.
In 629, Fang, along with Du, became Puye (僕射), the head of the important executive bureau of the government (尚書省, Shangshu Sheng). It was said that at this time that the Fang and Du became known as the model for chancellors. It was also said that Fang, even though he had reached the pinnacle of officials' careers, was still very humble before the emperor, and whenever he received a rebuke, he would act as if a disaster was coming. He also became responsible for organizing the imperial archives and the writing of official histories. Later that year, the assistant imperial censor Quan Wanji (權萬紀) accused Fang and Wang Gui of being partial in their selections of officials, and Emperor Taizong initially ordered Hou to investigate. However, with the urging of another chancellor, Wei Zheng, who pointed out that Fang and Wang were trusted officials given important responsibilities, and it was inappropriate to pick on details of what they did, Emperor Taizong stopped the investigation.
In 630, when Emperor Taizong began to have his crown prince Li Chengqian formally rule on a number of matters of state, he commissioned Fang and Li Gang (李綱) to sit with the Crown Prince and assist him in making the decisions. Also in 630, his title was changed to Duke of Wei.
In 636, for reasons unknown, Fang was briefly removed from his post and returned to his mansion. When Emperor Taizong's wife Empress Zhangsun (Zhangsun Wuji's sister) died later that year, she, in her final words, pointed out to Emperor Taiizong that Fang had faithfully served him throughout his career and should not be removed. After her death, Emperor Taizong restored Fang to his post.
In 637, as part of Emperor Taizong's scheme to bestow prefectures on his relatives and great generals and officials as their permanent domains, Fang's title was changed to Duke of Liang, and he was given the post of prefect of Songzhou, to be inherited by his heirs, although he did not actually report to Songzhou but remained at Chang'an as chancellor. Soon, however, with many objections to the system, the strongest of which came from Zhangsun Wuji, Emperor Taizong cancelled the scheme, although Fang's title remained Duke of Liang.
Also in 637, a major revision of the laws, led by Fang, was completed, and the penal laws were said to be far more lenient than the Sui penal code, on which Fang's revision was based, with 500 statutory sections and 20 grades of penalty. Also that year, the code of rites, authored by him and Wei Zheng, was also completed.
In 638, Emperor Taizong, celebrating the birth of a grandson, held a feast for imperial officials, at which he made the comment:
Before I took the throne, it was by Fang Xuangling's assistance that I was able to seize power. After I took the throne, it was by Wei Zheng's assistance that I was able to have my errors corrected.
He then awarded both Fang and Wei an imperial sword.
In 639, Emperor Taizong made Fang a senior advisor to Li Chengqian, ordering him to bow to Fang as he would to Emperor Taizong. However, Fang was humble and never gave the Crown Prince any opportunity to bow to him, an act of humility which was praised. By this point, Fang's children were also highly honored, and his second son Fang Yi'ai (房遺愛) married Emperor Taizong's daughter Princess Gaoyang, while his daughter married Emperor Taizong's brother Li Yuanjia (李元嘉) the Prince of Han.
In 641, Fang and Gao Shilian drew rebuke from Emperor Taizong when they inquired the deputy imperial architect, Dou Desu (竇德素) of imperial construction projects — which Emperor Taizong saw as an encroachment on his liberty. However, Wei pointed out that chancellors were supposed to be responsible for all affairs of state, and Emperor Taizong, realizing that he had erred, was humbled.
in 642, Fang was awarded the additional highly honorable title Sikong (司空) — one of the Three Excellencies. Later that year, when Emperor Taizong was debating whether warring with Xueyantuo or making peace by marrying his daughter Princess Xinxing to Xueyantuo's Zhenzhu Khan Yi'nan, Fang was a proponent of peace, and Emperor Taizong agreed, although Emperor Taizong later changed his mind and broke the marriage treaty.
In 643, when Emperor Taizong commissioned the Portraits at Lingyan Pavilion to commemorate the 24 great contributors to Tang rule, Fang's was one of the portraits commissioned.
Later in 643, when Li Chengqian, fearing that Emperor Taizong would depose him in favor of his more favored brother Li Tai the Prince of Wei, was revealed to have plotted with Hou Junji to overthrow Emperor Taizong, Emperor Taizong had Zhangsun, Fang, Xiao Yu, Li Shiji, along with the responsible officials at the legislative and examination bureaus and the supreme court, investigate the matter. They confirmed Li Chengqian's guilt, and Li Chengqian was subsequently deposed, although Emperor Taizong, believing that Li Tai's machinations were responsible for Li Chengqian's downfall, exiled Li Tai as well and created another son, Li Zhi, crown prince. He subsequently made Zhangsun, Fang, and Xiao Li Zhi's senior advisors.
Later that year, Emperor Taizong requested to read the official history that Fang had written about during his reign, and Fang initially resisted, stating that it would set a bad precedent (as previously, it was considered inappropriate for emperors to read histories of their own reign, lest that historians be hindered from recording incidents accurately). Emperor Taizong disagreed, and Fang thus submitted what he and his staff had written. Emperor Taizong noticed that Fang had avoided some of the more sensitive parts of the Incident at Xuanwu Gate, and he ordered Fang to write a more complete and less censored version.
In 645, when Emperor Taizong personally led a campaign against Goguryeo, Fang was put in charge of the capital. It was said that there was an incident where a man approached Fang and stated, "I am here to report that you are committing treason." Fang bound him and delivered him to Emperor Taizong. When the man arrived at Emperor Taizong's camp and accused Fang of treason, Emperor Taizong immediately executed the man and sent an edict to Fang, rebuking him for lack of confidence in himself, stating, "If something like this happens again, you should carry out the decisive act yourself."
In or around 646, Fang was again, for reasons unknown in history but described to be minor reasons, removed from his post and returned to his mansion. After Chu Suiliang submitted a petition stating that Fang's faithfulness should not be forgotten, Emperor Taizong visited Fang's mansion – a visit that Fang anticipated and had cleaned his house for – and he had Fang accompany him on the imperial wagon back to palace. Fang was said to be so influential in Emperor Taizong's decision-making by this stage that an amusing incident occurred in 647, involving the official Li Wei (李緯). Emperor Taizong, then at his summer palace Cuiwei Palace (翠微宮, in the Qinling Mountains), leaving Fang again in charge of Chang'an, had commissioned Li Wei as the minister of finances. When a messenger arrived from Chang'an, Emperor Taizong asked the messenger what Fang had said about Li Wei, and the messenger responded, "When Fang Xuanling heard that Li Wei was made a minister, all he stated was, 'Li Wei has a handsome beard.'" Emperor Taizong, realizing that Fang was making a veiled comment that Li was not a proper minister, demoted Li Wei to the post of prefect of Luo Prefecture (洛州, roughly Luoyang).
In 648, the Book of Jin , the official history of Jin dynasty, with Fang as its lead editor, was completed. Also in 648, when Emperor Taizong was at another summer palace, Yuhua Palace (玉華宮, in modern Tongchuan, Shaanxi), he again left Fang in charge of Chang'an, when Fang grew ill. Emperor Taizong summoned him to Yuhua Palace and had the imperial servants attend to him. For a while, Fang got better, and then grew worse. In his illness, Fang believed that the only danger that the empire faced at that point was Emperor Taizong's anger at Goguryeo, and therefore wrote an earnest petition urging the cessation of campaigns against Goguryeo. When Emperor Taizong saw the petition, he stated to Princess Gaoyang, "He is this ill, and yet he still worries so much about my empire." He personally visited Fang to bid farewell, and in fall 649, Fang died at Yuhua Palace and was buried near Empress Zhangsun's tomb (where Emperor Taizong would eventually himself be buried as well).
The Tang dynasty historian Liu Fang (柳芳) made these comments about Fang and Du Ruhui:
Fang Xuanling assisted Emperor Taizong in conquering and pacifying the empire for 32 years, finally serving as chancellor. The people all called him an excellent chancellor, but could not think of his personal contributions. This showed how virtuous he was. Emperor Taizong pacified the disturbances, and Fang and Du did not refer to their own accomplishments; Wang Gui and Wei Zheng earnestly made suggestions to the emperor and Fang and Du praised them for their honesty; Li Shiji and Li Jing fought everywhere and won battles, and Fang and Du assisted them greatly on the political front. They brought peace for their time and they gave all their glory to the emperor. Is it not appropriate to refer to them as great contributors of Tang?
However, the honors the Fang clan received would not last long after Fang Xuanling's death. Emperor Taizong himself died in 649 and was succeeded by Li Zhi (as Emperor Gaozong). In 653, Fang Yi'ai and Princess Gaoyang were accused of plotting, along with the general Xue Wanche (薛萬徹), Emperor Gaozong's uncle Li Yuanjing (李元景) the Prince of Jing, Li Ke the Prince of Wu, and another brother-in-law of Emperor Gaozong, Chai Lingwu (柴令武), to overthrow Emperor Gaozong and making Li Yuanjing emperor. Fang Yi'ai was executed, and his older brother Fang Yizhi (房遺直) was demoted to be a county sheriff in modern Guangdong. Fang Xuanling, whom Emperor Gaozong had ordered to be worshipped at the imperial shrine with Emperor Taizong, was removed from the imperial shrine.
Emperor Taizong of Tang, previously Prince of Qin, personal name Li Shimin, was the second emperor of the Tang dynasty of China, ruling from 626 to 649. He is traditionally regarded as a co-founder of the dynasty for his role in encouraging Li Yuan, his father, to rebel against the Sui dynasty at Jinyang in 617. Taizong subsequently played a pivotal role in defeating several of the dynasty's most dangerous opponents and solidifying its rule over China.
Li Chéngqián (李承乾), courtesy name Gaoming (高明), formally Prince Min of Hengshan (恆山愍王), was a crown prince of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. He was Emperor Taizong's oldest son and first crown prince, but was replaced later by his younger brother Li Zhi.
Li Tai, courtesy name Huibao (惠褒), nickname Qingque (青雀), formally Prince Gong of Pu (濮恭王), was an imperial prince of the Chinese Tang Dynasty.
Emperor Gaozu of Tang, born Li Yuan, courtesy name Shude, was the founder of the Tang dynasty of China, and the first emperor of this dynasty from 618 to 626. Under the Sui dynasty, Li Yuan was the governor in the area of modern-day Shanxi, and was based in Taiyuan.
Wei Zheng (580–643), courtesy name Xuancheng, posthumously known as Duke Wenzhen of Zheng, was a Chinese politician and historian. He served as a chancellor of the Tang dynasty for about 13 years during the reign of Emperor Taizong. He was also the lead editor of the official history of the Sui dynasty, the Book of Sui, which was composed in 636.
Zhangsun Wuji, courtesy name Fuji, formally the Duke of Zhao, was a Chinese politician who served as a chancellor in the early Tang dynasty. He was Empress Zhangsun's brother, which made him a brother-in-law of Emperor Taizong and a maternal uncle of Emperor Gaozong. He was an important advisor to Li Shimin when the latter was still the Prince of Qin during the reign of his father, Emperor Gaozu. He helped Li Shimin overcome his brothers Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji in a succession struggle at the Xuanwu Gate Incident, eventually enabling Li Shimin to become the heir apparent and later the emperor. He was also instrumental in Emperor Taizong's selection of Li Zhi as the Crown Prince, and was exceedingly powerful after Li Zhi took the throne as Emperor Gaozong. However, he gradually fell out of his nephew's favour by failing to support Emperor Gaozong's decision to depose his first wife, Empress Wang, and replacing her with Empress Wu, especially after the beginning of the new year 657 with the power of Empress Wu fell more. In 659, Zhangsun Wuji was falsely accused of treason by Empress Wu's political ally, Xu Jingzong, and eventually ordered to be sent into exile by Emperor Gaozong. Xu Jingzong subsequently sent the official Yuan Gongyu (袁公瑜) to force Zhangsun Wuji to commit suicide on his way to exile.
Empress Zhangsun (長孫皇后, personal name unknown, presumably Wugou, formally Empress Wendeshunsheng or, in short, Empress Wende, was a Chinese essayist and empress of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. She was the wife of Emperor Taizong and the mother of Emperor Gaozong. She was well educated, and her ancestors were of Xianbei nationality. Their original surname was Tuoba, later changed to Zhangsun.
Yuchi Gong (尉遲恭) or Yuchi Rong (尉遲融) (585–658), courtesy name Jingde (敬德), also known by his posthumous name Duke Zhongwu of E, was a prominent general who lived in the early Tang dynasty. Yuchi Jingde and another general Qin Shubao are worshipped as door gods in Chinese folk religion.
Li Yuanji (李元吉), formally Prince La of Chao (巢剌王), more commonly known by the title of Prince of Qi (齊王), nickname Sanhu (三胡), was an imperial prince of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. He was a son of the dynasty's founder Emperor Gaozu of Tang, and in the intense rivalry developed between his older brothers Li Jiancheng the Crown Prince and Li Shimin the Prince of Qin, he sided with Li Jiancheng and often advocated drastic actions against Li Shimin, including assassination. In 626, Li Shimin, fearing that Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji were about to kill him, laid an ambush for them at Xuanwu Gate outside the palace and killed them. Li Shimin then effectively forced Emperor Gaozu to yield the throne to him.
Xiao Yu (574–647), courtesy name Shiwen, posthumously known as Duke Zhenbian of Song, was an imperial prince of the Western Liang dynasty who later became an official under the Sui and Tang dynasties. He served as a chancellor during the reigns of the emperors Gaozu and Taizong in the early Tang dynasty.
Li Ke, posthumously known as the Prince of Yùlín (鬱林王), often known by his greater title as the Prince of Wú (吳王), was an imperial prince of the Tang Dynasty. As a highly honored son of Emperor Taizong, he was one time considered a possible candidate as crown prince after both his older brother Li Chengqian and younger brother Li Tai were both deposed in 643, but eventually, his younger brother Li Zhi, as a son of Emperor Taizong's wife Empress Zhangsun, was created crown prince and inherited the throne after Emperor Taizong's death in 649, under the insistence of Li Zhi's uncle and Emperor Taizong's brother-in-law Zhangsun Wuji. Zhangsun, however, detested Li Ke, and in 653, he implicated Li Ke in a plot by the official Fang Yi'ai (房遺愛) and had Emperor Gaozong order Li Ke to commit suicide.
Li Daozong (603?-656?), courtesy name Chengfan (承範), was an imperial prince of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty. He was a cousin of Emperor Taizong, and in Emperor Taizong's reign commanded forces in campaigns against Eastern Tujue, Tuyuhun, Goguryeo, and Xueyantuo. In 653, during the reign of Emperor Taizong's son Emperor Gaozong, Li Daozong offended Emperor Gaozong's uncle, the powerful chancellor Zhangsun Wuji, and Zhangsun exiled him to Xiang Prefecture, on accusation that he associated with the treasonous Fang Yi'ai (房遺愛). Li Daozong died on the way to exile.
Du Ruhui (585–630), courtesy name Keming, posthumously known as Duke Cheng of Lai, was a Chinese official who served as a chancellor under Emperor Taizong in the early Tang dynasty. He and his colleague, Fang Xuanling, were often described as role models for chancellors in imperial China.
Gao Jian, courtesy name Shilian, better known as Gao Shilian, formally Duke Wenxian of Shen (申文獻公), was a chancellor of the Tang dynasty. He was the uncle of Empress Zhangsun, Emperor Taizong's wife, and a trusted advisor to Emperor Taizong.
Du Yan, courtesy name Zhili, posthumously known as Duke Xiang of Anji, was a Chinese official who served as a chancellor during the reign of Emperor Taizong in the Tang dynasty. His more famous nephew, Du Ruhui, was also a chancellor.
Dai Zhou, courtesy name Xuanyin, posthumously known as Duke Zhong of Dao, was a Chinese official who lived in the Sui dynasty and early Tang dynasty. He served as a chancellor during the reign of Emperor Taizong of Tang.
Hou Junji was a Chinese general and official who served as a chancellor during the reign of Emperor Taizong in the Tang dynasty. He is best known for leading the Tang military campaigns against the Gaochang and Tuyuhun kingdoms. In 643, he was implicated in a plot by the crown prince, Li Chengqian, to overthrow Emperor Taizong, and was executed.
Chu Suiliang (596–658), courtesy name Dengshan, formally the Duke of Henan, was a Chinese calligrapher, historian, and politician who served as a chancellor during the reigns of the emperors Taizong and Gaozong in the Tang dynasty. He became increasingly trusted by Emperor Taizong toward the end of his reign and was charged with the responsibilities of serving as the imperial historian and providing honest advice. After Emperor Taizong's death, Chu was entrusted with the responsibilities of assisting Emperor Gaozong, along with Emperor Gaozong's maternal uncle, Zhangsun Wuji and early in the reign of the young emperor, he and Zhangsun Wuji gained great powers. In 655, over his strenuous opposition to Emperor Gaozong's removal of his first wife, Empress Wang, and replacing her with Empress Wu, Chu was demoted, and that began a series of demotions, which was successfully launched by Empress Wu. Eventually to be the prefect of the extremely distant Ai Prefecture. He died in exile in 658.
Yu Zhining (于志寧) (588–665), courtesy name Zhongmi (仲謐), formally Duke Ding of Yan (燕定公), was a chancellor of the Chinese Tang dynasty, during the reigns of Emperor Taizong and Emperor Gaozong. He had served on the staff of Emperor Taizong's oldest son and crown prince Li Chengqian and, after Li Chengqian was removed for plotting to overthrow Emperor Taizong in 643, received approval for having tried to correct Li Chengqian in his ways. Emperor Taizong promoted him, and he subsequently played prominent roles in the imperial government late in Emperor Taizong's reign and early in Emperor Gaozong's reign. In 659, however, because he had previously not supported the ascension of Emperor Gaozong's second wife Empress Wu, he was removed from his office based on accusations by her ally Xu Jingzong that he had conspired with Emperor Gaozong's uncle Zhangsun Wuji, who had opposed Empress Wu's ascension.
Cui Dunli (崔敦禮), né Cui Yuanli (崔元禮), courtesy name Anshang (安上), formally Duke Zhao of Gu'an (固安昭公), was an official, general, and diplomat of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as chancellor during the reign of Emperor Gaozong.