Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Wang Tsai-chin

WANG Tsai-chin 王在晉 (T. 明初), 1564–1643, Ming official and scholar, was a native of T'ai-ts'ang, Kiangsu, and a chin-shih of 1592. In his official career, he rose to the post of governor of Shantung. In 1620 he was transferred to the Board of War as senior vice-president, becoming its president in 1622. On April 18, 1622, he was sent to Liaotung as generalissimo, replacing Hsiung T'ing-pi [q. v.]. The cornerstone in his policy for that territory consisted in an extensive settlement of the land by Mongol tribes to act as a buffer state between China and the Manchus, and in the withdrawal of the defenses to a point just outside Shanhaikuan where he advocated the erection of a second wall. These projects were opposed by Yüan Ch'ung-huan and Sun Ch'êng-tsung [qq. v.], and in consequence Wang was recalled on September 21, 1622. After holding a series of minor posts, he was again made president of the Board of War for six months in 1628, but owing to dismissal in connection with a bribery case, he remained thereafter in retirement until his death.

The index of banned books drawn up during the Ch'ien-lung period contains the titles of ten works by Wang Tsai-chin, of which two are known to be extant. The 三朝遼事實錄 San-ch'ao Liao-shih shih-lu, first printed in 17 chüan in the Ch'ung-chên period (1628–1644) and reprinted by the Kuo-hsüeh Library of Nanking in 1931, treats in chronological order and in detail the history of events in Liaotung from 1618 to the end of 1627. A group of Wang's memorials on administrative policy in Liaotung comprise chüan 32–40 of his 寶善堂集 Pao-shan t'ang chi. Others of his works, which deal with Liaotung, seem so far not to have been recovered.

[M.1/257/9b; T'ai-ts'ang chou-chih (1919) 19/18a; Ch'ing k'ai-kuo shih-liao k'ao (see bibl. under Abahai), 3/3h, 4/12b.]

George A. Kennedy