But owing to his secret connection with the scholar Liang Chi-chao, who had thrown up his post of Minister of Justice and left the capital in order to oppose the new movement, he was watched more and more carefully his death being even hinted at. He was clever enough to meet this ugly development with a masterly piece of trickery conceived in the Eastern vein.
So much energy did he display in pushing military reorganization throughout the provinces that the Court, warned by jealous rivals of his growing power, suddenly promoted him to a post where he would be powerless. One day he was brought to Peking as Grand Councillor and President of the Board of Foreign Affairs, and ordered to hand over all army matters to his noted rival, the Manchu Tieh Liang.
For some time the friars have deceived many by making them believe that if these plantations were prospering, it was because they were under their care, and the indolence of the native was thus emphasized; but they forget that in same provinces where they have not been able for some reason to get possession of the best tracts of land, their plantations, like Baurand and Liang, are inferior to Taal, Balayan and Lipa, regions cultivated entirely by the natives without any monkish interference whatsoever.
This mainly Chinese realm was not very large, although it had admitted a broad stream of Chinese emigrants from the dissolving Chin empire; but economically the Liang realm was very prosperous, so that it was able to extend its influence as far as Turkestan. During the earlier struggles Turkestan had been virtually in isolation, but now new contacts began to be established.
No such reception awaited Buddhism in Japan when, in 522, a Chinese bonze, Shiba Tachito, arrived, erected a temple on the Sakata plain in Yamato, enshrined an image, of Buddha there, and endeavoured to propagate the faith. At that time, Wu, the first Emperor of the Liang dynasty in China, was employing all his influence to popularize the Indian creed.
Liang Ch'i-chao, a man of some forty-five years, had long been distinguished for his literary attainments and for the skill with which, though unversed in any Western language, he had expounded the European theory and practice of government to his fellow-countrymen.
Although the Peking administration was still nominally the Central Government of China, it was amply clear to observers on the spot that by a process of successive collapses all that was left of government was simply that pertaining to a city-state of the antique Greek type a mal-administration dominated by the enigmatic personality of Liang Shih-yi.
Hoo Wei-teh, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs; Chao Ping-chun, Minister of the Interior; Tan Hsuch-heng, Acting Minister of Navy; Hsi Yen, Acting Minister of Agriculture, Works and Commerce; Liang Shih-yi, Acting Minister of Communications; Ta Shou, Acting Minister of the Dependencies. 25th day of the 12th moon of the 3rd year of Hsuan Tung.
What he had to say about the art of the theatre, and about aesthetics in general, is still worth reading. About the middle of the nineteenth century the influence of Europe became more and more marked. With these two began the new style, which was soon elaborated by Liang Ch'i-ch'ao, a collaborator of Sun Yat-sen's, and by others, and which ultimately produced the "literary revolution" of 1917.
The striking power of his empire, which from 937 onward was officially called the Liao empire, grew steadily, because the old tribal league of the Kitan was transformed into a centrally commanded military organization. To these dangers from abroad threatening the Later Liang state internal troubles were added.