Deng Sui

Deng Sui (Chinese: 鄧綏; AD 81–121), formally Empress Hexi (Chinese: 和熹皇后; lit. 'moderate and pacifying empress') was an empress during the Han dynasty of Chinese history. She was Emperor He's second wife, and after his death "ruled the Empire for the next decade and a half with conspicuous competence."[1] As empress dowager, she served as regent for Emperor He's son Emperor Shang and nephew Emperor An in 106-121, and she was regarded as an able and diligent administrator. She is also considered responsible for the world's first official adoption of paper, and was a patron of the arts.[2] During her regency, she cut palace expenses, provided relief for the poor, was able to meet the challenge of natural disasters including crippling floods, droughts and hailstorms in several parts of the empire, as well as largely quelling wars with Xiongnu and Qiang. She was praised for her attention to criminal justice. Well educated, Empress Deng created new positions for scholars, encouraged original thinking, and was responsible for the standardization of the five classics.[3] She called 70 members of the imperial families to study the classics and oversaw their examinations herself.[4] She is seen as the last effective ruler of the Han Empire, as the later Emperors and Empress Dowagers are pulled into internal power struggles and corruption, leading to the fall of the Empire.