Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Sun K'o-wang

SUN K'o-wang 孫可望 (original ming 可旺; also named 旺兒), d. Dec. 21, 1660, native of Yen-ch'ang (according to some sources, of Mi-chih), Shensi, was one of the adopted sons of the insurgent general, Chang Hsien-chung [q. v.], who gave him the title, "General Who Pacifies the East" 平東將軍. When Chang was defeated and died, early in 1647, Sun K'o-wang and the other adopted sons and generals led the remnant army through southern Szechwan to Kweiyang, Kweichow. Here he styled himself prince (平東王) and strengthened his position at the expense of local chieftains and his sworn brothers, extending his influence into Yunnan, Kwangsi and Hunan. His support was sought by the king Prince of Kuei (see Chu Yu-lang), who awarded him various titles but withheld the one, Prince of Ch'in (秦王), which he coveted, until the general had become more powerful than the prince. Sun K'o-wang held the Prince of Kuei virtually a prisoner at An-lung 安隆 near the Yunnan-Kwangsi border and later at Kweiyang. He quarrelled with his former confederate, Li Ting-kuo [q. v.], with whom the Prince of Kuei was secretly negotiating for support. When Sun K'o-wang assumed imperial prerogatives, the Prince of Kuei fled to the rival faction in Yunnan. On October 20, 1657 the two forces met at the San-ch'a 三岔 river in southwestern Kweichow. Li Ting-kuo was victorious and Sun K'o-wang fled to Changsha where he surrendered to the Ch'ing authorities and received the title, I wang 義王, or "Righteous Prince". The next year he went to Peking where he was received by the Emperor and given presents and honors. His proffers of service to suppress the rebellion in the southwest were rejected. He died of illness in Peking and was given the posthumous name K'o-shun 恪順.


[1/254/5a; 2/79/64a; M.41/18/1b, 19/6a; M.59/65/12b; Ming-chi nan-lüeh (see bibl. under Ma Shih-ying) 12/5b, 14/7b, 15/9a, 16/1a, 17/1a passim; Hsi-nan chi-shih (see under Shao T'ing-ts'ai) 12/1a; Tung-hua lu, Shun-chih 17: 11.]

Earl Swisher