Emperor Gaozong was led to believe that Empress Wang, motivated by jealousy, had most likely killed the child.
On one occasion, however, when Wang angered her by coming to the palace too much, she asked the official to batter Wang as punishment—but Li Zhaode exploited the opportunity to batter Wang to death, and his group of petitioners scattered.
In April of the same year, Wu Zetian recast the , the symbol of ultimate power in ancient China, to reinforce her authority.
Allying with the Korean kingdom of Silla with the promise of ceding Goguryeo's territory to Silla, Chinese forces after its defeat, and even began to occupy Silla territory.
Silla resisted the imposition of Chinese rule, and by allying with Goguryeo and Baekche, was able to expel its former ally from the peninsula.
Her claim of founding a new dynasty, however, was little opposed at the time 690.