|Intro||Emperor of the Song Dynasty|
|A.K.A.||Zhao Xu, Zhezong of Song|
|Birth||January 4, 1076 (Kaifeng, Henan, People's Republic of China)|
|Death||February 23, 1100|
Emperor Zhezong of Song (4 January 1076 – 23 February 1100), personal name Zhao Xu, was the seventh emperor of the Song dynasty in China. His original personal name was Zhao Yong but he changed it to "Zhao Xu" after his coronation. He reigned from 1085 until his death in 1100, and was succeeded by his younger brother, Emperor Huizong, because his son died prematurely.
Emperor Zhezong was the sixth son of Emperor Shenzong. He ascended the throne at the age of nine under the supervision of his grandmother, Grand Empress Dowager Gao. As the young emperor's regent, Grand Empress Dowager Gao appointed conservatives such as Sima Guang as Chancellor, who halted the New Policies set forth by Wang Anshi. Emperor Zhezong was powerless and it was not until Grand Empress Dowager Gao's death in 1093 that the emperor was able to reinstate Wang Anshi's reforms and reduce Sima Guang's influence.
Emperor Zhezong lowered taxes, stopped negotiations with the Tangut-led Western Xia state, and resumed armed conflict which eventually forced Western Xia to enter a more peaceful stance with the Song Empire. However, Emperor Zhezong was unable to stop fighting between conservative members of his government and the more liberal members who supported Wang Anshi's reforms. This split would eventually contribute to the Northern Song dynasty's demise in the 12th century.
Emperor Zhezong died in 1100 in Kaifeng at the age of 24 and was succeeded by his younger brother, Emperor Huizong.