The Feishui Campaign-Sequel І
The last few years of Emperor Hui Di (r. 290-307) witnessed the mounting internal discontent and resentment, leading to riots and insurrections that ultimately contributed to the fall of his dynasty. Meanwhile, nationalities beyond China's northwestern frontiers began to pour in, taking advantage of the social and political instability of the Han. In the 136 years from AD 304-439, states founded by these nationalities rose and fell in northern China and Sichuan. It was a period of much confusion, when different peoples intermingled and interacted, considerably altering the ethnological map of China. Historians refer to this period as the period of the "Sixteen States," after the sixteen most significant states of these ethnic groups.
The Qian Qin (351-394) was one of those states. In 382 King Fu Jian of Qian Qin subdued all other states in northern China and established his dominance. In 383 King Fu Jian, despite his officials' counsel against it, rallied his million-strong army for a campaign against the Eastern Jin, which had retreated south of the Yangtze River. His army and fleet advanced triumphantly. Within a month, the pioneering troops arrived at the Huaihe River, standing by for an attack on Shouyang (today's Shouxian County, Anhui Province).
The good news from the front inflated Fu Jian's ego. Leaving his main force in Xiangcheng, he personally led a cavalry of 8,000 to Shouyang, anxious to destroy the Eastern Jin in a single battle.
Convinced the Eastern Jin was too weak to stand up against him, King Fu Jian dispatched an envoy through the front lines, with the view to calling on the enemy to surrender. But his envoy, named Zhu Xu, turned out to be an Eastern Jin commander who had been captured after surrender.