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Liu Biao

Liu Biao (?-208 AD) was the governor of the Jing province in China towards the end of the Han dynasty. He was of the same family as the emperor, and thus extremely loyal to the Han cause.

Once the land began to divide (c.193 AD), His army managed to defeat Sun Jian, a local warlord. Later, this warlord’s two sons (Sun Ce and Sun Quan) caused him no end of trauma as they sought to avenge their father’s death. However, it was not they who defeated him. Whilst Cao Cao, in the north, was gaining renown, Liu Biao chose to neither help nor hinder his conquests.

Later, during Cao Cao’s battle against the Yuans (203-207 AD), he refused alliance to either side, despite being the only other warlord in a position to oppose the two powers. However, it was during this time that Liu Biao chose to shelter Liu Bei, an enemy of Cao Cao, after he fled the Yuans to unite with his brothers. This led him to become Cao Cao’s next target, and after the Yuan’s defeat, a huge army was sent south to conquer Jing. Together with Liu Bei, some early victories were won, but eventually, due to a disadvantage in numbers, and a decline in his relations with Liu Bei (due to the meddling of Cai Mao's family), he was defeated.

Although he died shortly before the war with Cao Cao, his sons (under the protection and guidance of Liu Bei) continued the fight several more years. Liu Biao’s country of Jing was the largest and most central Chinese province during the Han dynasty, and saw many important battles in decades to follow as Liu Bei, Cao Cao and Sun Quan contested their right to China. Had Liu Biao adopted a more aggressive policy, or had he not allowed himself to be controlled to such an extent by Cai Mao, the history of the Three Kingdoms could be very different indeed.

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