War between kingdoms occurred frequently to gain control of the central plain for legitimacy and then over the rest of China.
The last of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms states, Northern Han, was not vanquished until 979.
Within a few years, he had consolidated his power by destroying neighbours and forcing the move of the imperial capital to Luoyang, which was within his region of influence.
In 904, he executed Emperor Zhaozong of Tang and made his 13-year-old son a subordinate ruler.
They had their own armies rivalling the "palace armies" and amassed huge wealth, as testified by their sumptuous tombs.