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Yu Qian
Minister of War

In office
Monarch Zhengtong
Preceded by Kuang Ye
Succeeded by Wang Ji
Personal details
Born 1398
Died 1457 (aged 58–59)

Yu Qian (Chinese: 于謙; pinyin: Yú Qiān; Wade–Giles: Yu Ch'ien) (1398–1457), a native of Qiantang (modern-day Hangzhou, Zhejiang province), was a Chinese Defence Minister during the Ming dynasty.


He is best known for saving China when the Zhengtong Emperor fought the Mongol leader Esen Tayisi in 1449 and was taken prisoner at the Tumu Crisis. The Mongol armies came within 80 km of the capital Beijing at which point the Jingtai Emperor was installed as ruler of China. Yu Qian, as the de facto Defence Minister, took control of troops, repelling the Mongol invasion. After the Zhengtong Emperor was released and his plot to regain the throne succeeded, Yu was slandered as a traitor and executed along with many of the highly ranked officials in the Jingtai Emperor regime, but his rank was restored posthumously. He is considered by many to be a Chinese hero.

Yu Qian Temple, Hangzhou

Entrance to the Yu Qian Temple in Beijing.

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