Keen Lung Was Engaged In Many More Wars Than Those In Central Asia.
side of Burmah he found his borders disturbed by nomad and predatory
tribes not less than in the region of Gobi.
These clans had long been a
source of annoyance and anxiety to the viceroy of Yunnan, but the weakness
of the courts of Ava and Pegu, who stood behind these frontagers, had
prevented the local grievance becoming a national danger. But the triumph
of the remarkable Alompra, who united Pegu and Burmah into a single state,
and who controlled an army with which he effected many triumphs, showed
that this state of things might not always continue, and that the day
would come when China might be exposed to a grave peril from this side.
The successors of Alompra inherited his pretensions if not his ability,
and when the Chinese called upon them to keep the borders in better order
or to punish some evildoers, they sent back a haughty and unsatisfactory
reply. Sembuen, the grandson of Alompra, was king when Keen Lung ordered,
in the year 1768, his generals to invade Burmah, and the conduct of the
war was intrusted to an officer in high favor at court, named Count
Alikouen, instead of to Fouta, the hero of the Central Asian war, who had
fallen under the emperor's grave displeasure for what, after all, appears
to have been a trifling offense. The course of the campaign is difficult
to follow, for both the Chinese and the Burmese claim the same battles as
victories, but this will not surprise those who remember that the Burmese
court chroniclers described all the encounters with the English forces in
the wars of 1829 and 1853 as having been victorious.
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