1301 – 1370
Who was Qi Empress?
Öljei Khutugh was born to Gi Ja-o in Haengju, Goryeo Korea. She had an elder brother named Gi Cheol. She became a concubine of Toghun Temür and mothered Ayurshiridar. After the primary empress Danashri was overthrown in 1340 because of the rebellion by her brother Tanggisi, Toghun Temür tried to install Öljei Khutugh as the empress. However Bayan, who held real power, opposed it. When Bayan was purged, Öljei Khutugh became the secondary empress in 1340. Her son Ayurshiridar was designated Crown Prince in 1353. Using her Korean eunuch Bak Bulhwa as her agent, she began a campaign to force the emperor to pass the imperial throne to her son Ayurshiridar. However her intentions became known to the emperor and he grew apart from her.
Depending on Öljei Khutugh's position in the imperial capital her brother Gi Cheol came to threaten the position of the king of Goryeo which was a client state of the Mongols. King Gongmin exterminated the Gi family in a coup in 1356. Upon this incident in her homeland Öljei Khutugh chose Tash Temür as the new king of Goryeo and dispatched troops to Korea. The Mongol troops were defeated by Goryeo army in crossing the Yalu River.