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Thread: How did SF and his Khitan troops at Shaolin not cause an international incident?

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Default How did SF and his Khitan troops at Shaolin not cause an international incident?

    Some questions regarding the presence of Siu Fung (Kiu Fung) and his Khitan cavalrymen at Shaolin for the great Heroes Conference:

    1. How did their presence not cause a MAJOR international incident between the Liao Empire and the Sung Kingdom? Three decades earlier, Siu Yeun San and his wife and infant son's otherwise inconspicuous visit resulted in a massacre, but nobody worries about a wulin pariah leading a Khitan army across the border and to the doorstep of the Shaolin Temple?

    2. Why were Siu Fung and his troops at Shaolin anyway? They hadn't received invitations, and Siu Fung should have known better than to show his face at Shaolin again...*especially* with a Khitan army in tow.

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    Junior Member sceonn's Avatar
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    1- Probably cause he rode quick and avoided military outposts. Also Liao would have been pretty close to Henan, Shaolin Temple, so it didn't take him too long. I think it was only about the size of a squadron so no need for military alert on Song's part. Though I doubt Jin Yong thought all this out while he wrote the novel.

    2- Xiao Feng wouldn't have fear danger according to his character. As for the army he said they were his personal Cavalry so kinda like his own sect. Everyone had they're men at the meeting. As for why he went I don't really know, but that part of would have been boring if he hadn't. It could be that because he still felt part of Wulin, and wanted to prove that along with finding Ah Zhi.
    Last edited by sceonn; 02-01-12 at 08:01 AM.

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    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    Wasn't he looking for Ah Zhi?
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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suet Seung View Post
    Wasn't he looking for Ah Zhi?
    I think he was, but not sure why he'd think she'd be at Shaolin (although as it turned out, that was *precisely* where she was).

    In any case, going up to Shaolin with a contingent of Khitan troops wasn't a good idea.

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    Senior Member PJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    1. How did their presence not cause a MAJOR international incident between the Liao Empire and the Sung Kingdom? Three decades earlier, Siu Yeun San and his wife and infant son's otherwise inconspicuous visit resulted in a massacre, but nobody worries about a wulin pariah leading a Khitan army across the border and to the doorstep of the Shaolin Temple?
    This is actually a good question. The novel doesn't address this issue. Probably it didn't cross JY's mind. Good job out-considering JY

    2. Why were Siu Fung and his troops at Shaolin anyway? They hadn't received invitations, and Siu Fung should have known better than to show his face at Shaolin again...*especially* with a Khitan army in tow.
    He found out her whereabouts from Xixia searchers and Beggars Clan disciples.
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ View Post
    This is actually a good question. The novel doesn't address this issue. Probably it didn't cross JY's mind. Good job out-considering JY
    TVB actually got around this issue in DGSD '81 by showing that Siu Fung received a proper invitation to the Heroes Conference, but that creates other inconsistencies: why would wulin, which had made a pariah out of Siu Fung, now invite him to a Heroes Conference (in the status of a Khitan warlord, no less)?

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    Didn't he only bring 40 riders with him? I don't think the Sung government would step into the affairs of wulin if the involved people numbered so few. Could they even identify them as Khitan to report back?

    After all, I don't think there was any mention of there being (government) recourse for the absolute slaughtering of Xiao Yuansan thirty years ago.

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    Senior Member PJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tape View Post
    Didn't he only bring 40 riders with him?
    He brought 18 riders.

    I don't think the Sung government would step into the affairs of wulin if the involved people numbered so few.
    The bigger problem is that everyone in China hated Liao ppl, so everywhere these 19 ppl went, people would have wanted to slice them. Maybe they did have many fights which were not mentioned by the novel, but then you would think that would trigger additional resources from China to intervene.

    Could they even identify them as Khitan to report back?
    I would think so. For one, QF's face is pretty famous in China. Liao ppl have distinct physical features. 19 of them riding together would have raised eyebrows. It didn't say they were in disguise.
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

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    Is it really that hard for Xiao Feng not to want to be seen? If he wanted to travel in small group without being seen, he could probably do that.

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    Senior Member PJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banh Mi View Post
    Is it really that hard for Xiao Feng not to want to be seen?
    By himself, not hard. But traveling with 18 other muscular men + muscular horses = kinda hard. But who knows, maybe they did something really smart like spread out, each traveling a different route, and met up in the destination.
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

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    I imagine 19 riders riding swiftly might cause some murmurings and gossip, but if they were in a hurry and didn't cause any damage, there shouldn't be any repercussions or action taken. People would be more worried about random bandits and hoodlums that are actually doing damage.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tape View Post
    I imagine 19 riders riding swiftly might cause some murmurings and gossip, but if they were in a hurry and didn't cause any damage, there shouldn't be any repercussions or action taken. People would be more worried about random bandits and hoodlums that are actually doing damage.
    What's also curious is how they were able to cross the Liao/Sung border without incident. Imagine today, if armed Russian troops crossed the border into China. It probably wouldn't result in war, but at the very least, it would exacerbate any existing tensions.

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    Senior Member PJ's Avatar
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    IIRC, those 18 riders didn't get to do anything in the novel except hand XF some wine and form a circle to protect DY (which he voluntarily exited to help XF). But they were supposed to be the best fighters in Khitan. It was said that one of them equals ten ordinary people/fighters. One then wonders how good their martial arts were. Too bad we didn't get to see it.

    JY ELOC'ed them.
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

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    Senior Member Ace High's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    What's also curious is how they were able to cross the Liao/Sung border without incident. Imagine today, if armed Russian troops crossed the border into China. It probably wouldn't result in war, but at the very least, it would exacerbate any existing tensions.
    We have to consider during most of Northern Song Dynasty, from the year 1005 until 1125, China is a tributary to Liao. The Emperor of China address the Emperor of Liao as the elder brother. Should the Song Goverment raised a fuss when the sworn brother of their own emperor's elder brother wanted to visit their country?

    Furthermore, the number of XF's escorts is very small. There are ways people in small groups could use to cross borders without using official check-points.
    You plant a garden and the flowers do not bloom, you poke a stick in the mud and it grows into a tree

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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ View Post
    By himself, not hard. But traveling with 18 other muscular men + muscular horses = kinda hard. But who knows, maybe they did something really smart like spread out, each traveling a different route, and met up in the destination.
    I would imagine with XF's sharp senses he'd be able to hear if there are people nearby, then they'd travel off the roads until the coast is clear again to go at full speed on the roads. Or something to that effect.

    Also, if they were travelling at full speed and avoided check points and any other troublesome areas. Who could get word fast enough of their approach to aprehend them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    What's also curious is how they were able to cross the Liao/Sung border without incident. Imagine today, if armed Russian troops crossed the border into China. It probably wouldn't result in war, but at the very least, it would exacerbate any existing tensions.
    Borders can be indistinct even today. There are numerous instances of soldiers in one exercise or another finding themselves miles from where they were supposed to be. One such incident saw British marines storming the beaches of Gibraltar, only to be informed by a puzzled local policeman that they were in Spain, and that Gibraltar was in that direction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pannonian View Post
    Borders can be indistinct even today. There are numerous instances of soldiers in one exercise or another finding themselves miles from where they were supposed to be. One such incident saw British marines storming the beaches of Gibraltar, only to be informed by a puzzled local policeman that they were in Spain, and that Gibraltar was in that direction.
    This is true, but by the time that Kiu Fung and his troops were at the Shaolin Temple, there was no more disputing that they were on the Sung side of the border.

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