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The consort kin (Chinese: 外戚; pinyin: wàiqī) is the Chinese kin of, or a group related to an empress dowager or a spouse of a Chinese dynastic ruler or a warlord. The leading figure of the clan was either a (usually male) sibling, cousin, or parent of the empress or consort.

Consort kins can be seen as a manifestation of nepotism in Chinese imperial politics. While some were competent, only relying on their female relatives for their initial audiences with the emperor and then proving their worth at their positions (e.g. Wei Qing and Huo Qubing), many turned out to be corrupt and incompetent (e.g. Yang Guozhong). Corrupt and incompetent consort kins have been linked to the downward turn of fortunes for many dynasties.


Famous leading figuresEdit

Han DynastyEdit

Three KingdomsEdit

Jin Dynasty (265-420)Edit

Northern and Southern DynastiesEdit

Tang DynastyEdit

Song DynastyEdit