Virtuous Minister Refuses to Give False Testimony
(Minghui.org) Zhao Liangbi (1216 – 1286 AD) served as a minister in the imperial court of the Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368 AD). He took full responsibility for all his decisions and one knew that he would bear the consequences if necessary when it came to important decisions. Regardless of pressure, he refused to give false testimony against innocent officials.
Two deputies of Hunduhai, head of the rebel forces, were caught. Zhao Liangbi and two inspectors were dispatched by the imperial court to decide if the two should be executed immediately.
The two inspectors--Lian Xixian and Shang Ting--worried that they might overstep their authority if they ordered the two to be executed. They sent a letter to Kublai Khan, founder of the Yuan Dynasty, expressing their willingness to accept any blame or punishment for the unauthorized killing.
Before the messenger headed to the imperial court, Zhao drafted a secret petition. He told the messenger to submit it in case Kublai Khan blamed Lian and Shang. He said that he would assume full responsibility. It turned out Kublai Khan simply dropped the issue.
Fei Yin, a powerful official from Sichuan, out of personal grudges, filed a report in which he listed nine criminal offenses and illegal activities that Lian Xixian and Shang had supposedly committed. Fei went on to claim that Zhao Liangbi could give testimony in support of these charges.
Kublai Khan called on Zhao to explain the issue. Zhao replied, “Both Lian and Shang are loyal and virtuous. They would never do anything to betray your trust. If carving out my heart could convince you, I wouldn't hesitate to do it!”
Kublai Khan was still suspicious of Lian and Shang's loyalty. He accused Zhao of lying and threatened to cut off his tongue. Zhao said he would rather die than to give false testimony, which eventually removed Kublai Khan's suspicion.
Fei Yin, who sought personal revenge by making false charges, later rebelled against Kublai Khan, which resulted in his death.
Adapted from the History of Yuan, Volume No. 159, Biographies No. 46