In the 10th century, the nomadic Khitan, with their Liao dynasty, became the most dominant power in East Asia, posing enormous threats to the Chinese Song dynasty in the south. Based on an analysis of the traditional Chinese world view, this paper examines the two opposing views of the Song Chinese about their Khitan neighbours in the north. The Song Chinese acknowledged the military prowess of the Khitan and thus advocated flexible diplomatic policies based on realistic observation and careful assessment, demonstrated by the diplomatic parity set by the Treaty of Chanyuan in 1005. In the meantime, many held firm belief in their cultural superiority over the “barbarians”, which derived from the tradition of a cultural sino-centrism. The Song looked for Confucian sources to justify their concession by turning their attention to the cultivation of virtue and were confident that they were the centre of culture and civilisation.
Unlike their Han Chinese counterparts who were mainly sequestered to the inner quarters, many imperial Khitan women of the Liao 遼 (907–1125) were not only active in state aﬀairs, but they even rode astride and led their own armies to ﬁght on battleﬁeld. This article aims to investigate the lives and political careers of Empress Dowagers Yingtian and Chengtian, who ruled the empire as de facto sovereigns on behalf of their husbands and sons for over ﬁfty years, by focusing particularly on how they proved themselves as capable horsewomen and what strategies have they employed in order to gain access to power and to accomplish their ambitions. Such warrior women, exercising leadership and exhibiting personal bravery, drew their strength from their Inner Asian steppe traditions and therefore established themselves as another type of queenship in Chinese history.
Authors:H.Q. Zhao, L. Wang, J. Hong, X.Y. Zhao, X.H. Yu, L. Sheng, C.Z. Hang, Y. Zhao, A.A. Lin, W.H. Si, and F.S. Hong
Salt stress impaired Mn imbalance and resulted in accumulation of ROS, and caused oxidative stress to plants. However, very little is known about the oxidative damage of maize roots caused by exposure to a combination of both salt stress and Mn deprivation. Thus the main aim of this study was to determine the effects of a combination of salt stress and Mn deprivation on antioxidative defense system in maize roots. Maize plants were cultivated in Hoagland’s media. They were subjected to 80 mM NaCl administered in the Mn-present Hoagland’s or Mn-deficient Hoagland’s media for 14 days. The findings indicated that the growth and root activity of maize seedlings cultivated in a combination of both salt stress and Mn deprivation were significantly inhibited; the compatible solute accumulation, malondialdehyde, carbonyl, 8-OHdG, and ROS were higher than those of the individual salt stress or Mn deprivation as expected. Nevertheless, the antioxidative enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glutathione-S-transferase and antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, glutathione and thiol were lower than those of the individual salt stress or Mn deprivation. In view of the fact that salt stress impaired Mn nutrition of maize seedlings, the findings suggested that Mn deprivation at the cellular level may be a contributory factor to salt-induced oxidative stress and related oxidative damage of maize roots.