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Emperor Qian Long and Haining

Emperor Qian Long and HainingThe close relationship between Emperor Qian Long and Haining is mostly due to the myths and legends that said he was actually the son of Chen Yuanlong of Haining. Rumor had it that Yong Zheng’s own son was a weakling and he surreptitiously arranged his daughter to be swapped for Chen’s son. In recent years, as the rumor was going dramatically, this invented story has been woven into some novels, consequently more and more people Emperor Qian Long and Hainingaccepted it as a real fact. What’s more exaggerated, Qian Long’s several visits paid to Haining were regarded as returning home to look up his families and the poems in his calligraphy left in Chen’s house by him was said to be a hint that he showed his love to his own parents in return. It seems make sense; nevertheless it could not hold water. First of all, now that Yong Zheng should have ensured the Manchu’s everlasting reign over the country, why did he take a risk to adopt a Han’s son? Secondly, Qian Long visited Haining for four times in the purpose of inspecting the costly project of the Qiantang River Wall. Thirdly, Chen’s was a large and rich family, has a prominent position in politics. It was reasonable that the emperor always stayed in Chen’s residence during his visits to Haining. Although the rumor was overthrown by historians eventually, it was still picked into some novels and movies as an amusing anecdote. No matter how, story is merely fiction, we shouldn’t equal stories to histories.

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