Han Dynasty

Peace with the Xiongnu
Xiongnu Chieftain ©JFOliveras
200 BCE Jan 1

Peace with the Xiongnu

Datong, Shanxi, China

After the defeat at Baideng, the Han emperor abandoned a military solution to the Xiongnu threat. Instead, in 198 BC, the courtier Liu Jing (劉敬) was dispatched for negotiations. The peace settlement eventually reached between the parties included a so called Han "princess" given in marriage to the chanyu; periodic tribute of silk, liquor and rice to the Xiongnu; equal status between the states; and the Great Wall as mutual border. This treaty set the pattern for relations between the Han and the Xiongnu for some sixty years, until the Emperor Wu of Han decided to revive the policy to wage war against Xiongnu. The Han dynasty sent random unrelated commoner women falsely labeled as "princesses" and members of the Han imperial family multiple times when they were practicing Heqin marriage alliances with the Xiongnu in order to avoid sending the emperor's daughters.