Li Chengliang

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Li Chengliang was a Liaodongese Ming official of presumably Korean-Jurchen background, who held a hereditary post in the area of the Liaodong peninsula, which his ancestors had held for some generations. He fought for the Ming in a number of notable campaigns, chiefly against the Jurchens, and is known to have advocated, c. 1608, that the Ming invade and conquer Korea, in order to keep Korea within the Ming sphere, protecting it from being taken by the rising Manchus. The Ming never followed through on any such proposals, however.

His son Li Rusong was a notable Ming general as well, who led troops in repelling Hideyoshi's invasions of Korea in the 1590s.

While many of Chengliang's descendants who settled in Korea came to be regarded as "Ming descendants," loyal Chinese whose presence in Korea was a symbol of the Joseon Dynasty enjoying the favor of proper Confucian civilization, others of Chengliang's line were regarded by the Qing Dynasty as Manchus, or as "martial Chinese" (hanjun), an example used by Adam Bohnet and others of the complexity and fluidity of historical categories of identity.


  • Bohnet, Adam. “Ruling Ideology and Marginal Subjects: Ming Loyalism and Foreign Lineages in Late Chosŏn Korea.” Journal of Early Modern History 15, no. 6 (January 1, 2011): 499.
  • Ji-Young Lee, “Diplomatic Ritual as a Power Resource: The Politics of Asymmetry in Early Modern Chinese-Korean Relations,” Journal of East Asian Studies 13 (2013), 327.
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