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Ho-shen (hô-shŭn) [key], 1750–99, Manchu official noted for symbolizing the widespread corruption of the Ch'ing dynasty of China during its decline. As a favorite of emperor Ch'ien-lung, he rose, within two years, from bodyguard to grand councilor and minister of the imperial household. Later, while president of the boards of revenue and civil office, he amassed a great fortune through extortion. After Ch'ien Lung's death, the new emperor Chia Ch'ing seized his wealth and ordered him to commit suicide.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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