When the duplicitous Hou Ching, the Eastern Wei satrap of Honan, declared his independence from the mother state, he invited both Western Wei and Liang to assume his allegiance and his territories. While Liang, capital at modern Nanking, eagerly accepted Hou Ching's bid, Western Wei, capital at Ch'ang-an, rejected it. But Western Wei did reluctantly allow one of its officers, the daring but personally insecure Wang Ssu-cheng, to occupy and try to hold Hou Ching's exposed city of Ch'ang-she in north-central Honan. After neatly sweeping Hou Ching and his Liang allies out of Honan, Eastern Wei turned its forces against Wang Ssu-cheng in Ch'ang-she. A long and costly siege ensued in which Wang Ssu-cheng brilliantly and doggedly fought against the overwhelmingly superior strength of Eastern Wei. Wang Ssu-cheng finally sur-rendered, not to save his own life but to save those under his command; he was honored both by his captors and by Western Wei.

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