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the Empress Dowager Cixi

Usually, when we refer to the Empress Dowager Cixi, we tend to compare her with the great empress Wu Zetian of the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907). Admittedly, these two powerful women indeed had much in common: they both assisted three successive emperors being their husbands and sons and they both held real imperial power for nearly half a century. However, what was different between the two was that Wu Zetian ascended to the throne herself and her reign was considered as an indispensable connection between Li Shimin's Zhenguan Reign and Li Longji's Heyday of Kaiyuan; whereas Cixi's ruling period was regarded as the weakest period of the Qing Dynasty. Hence, she has always been remembered as a notorious lady who even betrayed her country.