CHAPTER IV. THE SUNGS AND THE KINS
But if it fared badly with the Chinese, the armies of Akouta continued to be victorious, and the Khitans fled not less precipitately before him than the Chinese did before them. Their best generals were unable to make the least stand against the Kin forces. Their capital was occupied by the conqueror, and the last descendant of the great Apaoki fled westward to seek an asylum with the Prince of Hia or Tangut. He does not appear to have received the protection he claimed, for after a brief stay at the court of Hia, he made his way to the desert, where, after undergoing incredible hardships, he fell into the hands of his Kin pursuers. With his death soon afterward the Khitan dynasty came to an end, after enjoying its power for two hundred years, but some members of this race escaped across the Gobi Desert, and founded the brief-lived dynasty of the Kara Khitay in Turkestan. Akouta died shortly before the final overthrow of the Leaoutung power, and his brother Oukimai ruled in his place.
The ill-success of Hoeitsong's army in its joint campaign against Leaoutung cost the emperor his share in the spoil. The Kins retained the whole of the conquered territory, and the Sung prince was the worse off, because he had a more powerful and aggressive neighbor. The ease of their conquest, and the evident weakness of the Chinese, raised the confidence of the Kins to such a high point that they declared that the Sungs must surrender to them the whole of the territory north of the Hoangho, and they prepared to secure what they demanded by force of arms. The Chinese would neither acquiesce in the transfer of this region to the Kins nor take steps to defend it. They were driven out of that portion of the empire like sheep, and they even failed to make any stand at the passage of the Hoangho, where the Kin general declared that "there could not be a man left in China, for if two thousand men had defended the passage of this river we should never have succeeded in crossing it." Hoeitsong quitted his capital Kaifong to seek shelter at Nankin, where he hoped to enjoy greater safety, and shortly afterward he abdicated in favor of his son Kintsong. The siege of Kaifong which followed ended in a convention binding the Chinese to pay the Kins an enormous sum - ten millions of small gold nuggets, twenty millions of small silver nuggets, and ten million pieces of silk; but the Tartar soldiers soon realized that there was no likelihood of their ever receiving this fabulous spoil, and in their indignation they seized both Hoeitsong and Kintsong, as well as any other members of the royal family on whom they could lay their hands, and carried them off to Tartary, where both the unfortunate Sung princes died as prisoners of the Kins.
Although the Kins wished to sweep the Sungs from the throne, and their general Walipou went so far as to proclaim the emperor of a new dynasty, whose name is forgotten, another of the sons of Hoeitsong, Prince Kang Wang, had no difficulty in establishing his own power and in preserving the Sung dynasty. He even succeeded in imparting a new vigor to it, for on the advice of his mother, who pointed out to him that "for nearly two hundred years the nation appears to have forgotten the art of war," he devoted all his attention to the improvement of his army and the organization of his military resources. Prince Kang Wang, on becoming emperor, took the name of Kaotsong, and finally removed the southern capital to Nankin. He was also driven by his financial necessities to largely increase the issue of paper money, which had been introduced under the Tangs. As both the Kins and the Mongols had recourse to the same expedient, it is not surprising that the Sungs should also have adopted the simplest mode of compensating for a depleted treasury. Considering the unexpected difficulties with which he had to cope, and the low ebb to which the fortunes of China had fallen, much might be forgiven to Kaotsong, who found a courageous counselor in the Empress Mongchi, who is reported to have addressed him as follows: "Although the whole of your august family has been led captive into the countries of the north, none the less does China, which knows your wisdom and fine qualities, preserve toward the Sungs the same affection, fidelity, and zeal as in the past. She hopes and expects that you will prove for her what Kwang Vouti was for the Hans." If Kaotsong did not attain the height of this success, he at least showed himself a far more capable prince than any of his immediate predecessors.