Yelü Chucai

or Yeh-lü Ch'u-ts'ai

born 1190
died 1244

Chinese statesman of Khitan extraction, adviser to Genghis Khan and his son Ögödei.

He established a formal bureaucracy and rationalized taxation system for the Mongol-controlled portions of China. By persuading Ögödei to spare the inhabitants of northern China in order to utilize their wealth and skills, Yelü gave the Mongols access to the Chinese weapons that later enabled them to conquer the Song dynasty. See also Mongol; Yuan dynasty.

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