Yuan Shikai was a Chinese military and government official who rose to power during the late Qing dynasty, tried to save the dynasty with a number of modernization projects including bureaucratic, judicial and other reforms. He established the first modern army and a more efficient provincial government in North China in the last years of the Qing dynasty before the abdication of the Xuantong Emperor, the last monarch of the Qing dynasty, in 1912. Through negotiation, he became the first official president of the Republic of China in 1912; this army and bureaucratic control were the foundation of his autocratic rule as the first formal President of the Republic of China. He was frustrated in a short-lived attempt to restore monarchy in China, with himself as the Hongxian Emperor. On September 16, 1859, Yuan was born as Yuan Shikai in the village of Zhangying, Xiangcheng County, Chenzhou Prefecture, China; the Yuan clan moved 16 kilometers southeast of Xiangcheng to a hilly area, easier to defend.
There the Yuans had built Yuanzhaicun. Yuan's family was affluent enough to provide Yuan with a traditional Confucian education; as a young man he enjoyed riding and entertainment with friends. Though hoping to pursue a career in the civil service, he failed the Imperial examinations twice, leading him to decide on an entry into politics through the Huai Army, where many of his relatives served, his career began with the purchase of a minor official title in 1880, a common method of official promotion in the late Qing. Using his father's connections, Yuan travelled to Tengzhou and sought a post in the Qing Brigade. Yuan's first marriage was in 1876 to a woman of the Yu family who bore him a first son, Keding, in 1878. Yuan Shikai married nine more concubines throughout the course of his life. Joseon Dynasty Korea, in the early 1870s, was in the midst of a struggle between isolationists under King Gojong's father Heungseon Daewongun, progressives, led by Empress Myeongseong, who wanted to open trade.
After the Meiji Restoration, Japan had adopted an aggressive foreign policy, contesting Chinese domination of the peninsula. Under the Treaty of Ganghwa, which the Koreans signed with reluctance in 1876, Japan was allowed to send diplomatic missions to Hanseong, opened trading posts in Incheon and Wonsan. Amidst an internal power struggle which resulted in the queen's exile, the Viceroy of Zhili, Li Hongzhang, sent the 3,000 strong Qing Brigade into Korea; the Korean king proposed training 500 troops in the art of modern warfare, Yuan Shikai was appointed to lead this task in Korea. Li Hongzhang recommended Yuan's promotion, with Yuan given the rank of sub-prefect. In 1885, Yuan was appointed Imperial Resident of Seoul. On the surface the position equalled that of ambassador but in practice, as head official from the suzerain, Yuan had become the supreme adviser on all Korean government policies. Perceiving China's increasing influence on the Korean government, Japan sought more influence through co-suzerainty with China.
A series of documents were released to Yuan Shikai, claiming the Korean government had changed its stance towards Chinese protection and would rather turn to Russia for protection. Yuan was outraged yet skeptical, asked Li Hongzhang for advice. In a treaty signed between Japan and Qing, the two parties agreed only to send troops into Korea after notifying the other. Although the Korean government was stable, it was still a protectorate of Qing. Koreans emerged advocating modernization. Another more radicalised group, the Donghak Society, promoting an early nationalist doctrine based upon Confucian principles, rose in rebellion against the government. Yuan and Li Hongzhang sent troops into Korea to protect Seoul and Qing's interests, Japan did the same under the pretext of protecting Japanese trading posts. Tensions boiled over between Japan and China when Japan refused to withdraw its forces and placed a blockade at the 38th Parallel. Li Hongzhang wanted at all costs to avoid a war with Japan, attempted this by asking for international pressure for a Japanese withdrawal.
Japan refused, war broke out. Yuan, having been put in an ineffective position, was recalled to Tianjin in July 1894, before the official outbreak of the First Sino-Japanese War. Yuan Shikai had three Korean concubines, one of whom was Korean Princess Li's relative, concubine Kim. 15 of Yuan's children came from these three Korean women. Yuan's rise to fame began with his nominal participation in the First Sino-Japanese War as commander of the Chinese garrison forces in Korea. Unlike other officers, however, he avoided the humiliation of Chinese defeat by having been recalled to Beijing several days before the outbreak of conflict; as an ally of Li Hongzhang, Yuan was appointed the commander of the first New Army in 1895. As the officer most directly responsible for training China's first modernized army, Yuan gained significant political influence and the loyalty of a nucleus of young officers: by 1901, five of China's seven divisional commanders and most other senior military officers in China were his protégés.
The Qing court relied on his army due to the proximity of its garrison to the capital and their effectiveness. Of the new armies that formed part of the Self-Strengthening Movement, Yuan's was the best trained and most effective; the Qing Court at the time was divided between progressives under the leadership of the Guangxu Emperor, conservatives under the Empress Dowager Cixi, who had temporarily retreated to the Summer Palace as a place of "retirement"
The Han Feizi is an ancient Chinese text attributed to foundational political philosopher, "Master" Han Fei. It comprises a selection of essays in the "Legalist" tradition on theories of state power, synthesizing the methodologies of his predecessors, its 55 chapters, most of which date to the Warring States period mid-3rd century BC, are the only such text to survive intact. One of the most important philosophical classics in ancient China, it touches on administration, diplomacy and economics, is valuable for its abundance of anecdotes about pre-Qin China. Han Fei's writings were influential on the future first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. After the early demise of the Qin dynasty, Han Fei's philosophy was vilified by the following Han Dynasty. Despite its outcast status throughout the history of imperial China, his political theory continued to influence every dynasty thereafter, the Confucian ideal of a rule without laws was never again realized. Shu Han's chancellor Zhuge Liang demanded emperor Liu Shan read the Han Feizi for learning the way of ruling.
Though differing in style, the coherency of the essays lend themselves to the possibility that they were written by Han Fei himself, are considered more philosophically engaging than the Book of Lord Shang. Han's worldview describes an interest-driven human nature together with the political methodologies to work with it in the interest of the state and Sovereign, engaging in wu-wei, systematically using Fa to maintain leadership and manage human resources. Rather than rely too much on worthies, who might not be trustworthy, Han binds their programs to systematic reward and penalty, fishing the subjects of the state by feeding them with interests; that being done, the ruler minimizes his own input. Like Shang Yang and other Fa philosophers, he admonishes the ruler not to abandon Fa for any other means, considering it a more practical means for the administration of both a large territory and personnel near at hand. Han's philosophy proceeds from the regicide of his era. Goldin writes: "Most of what appears in the Han Feizi deals with the ruler’s relations with his ministers, were regarded as the party most in practice, to cause him harm."
Han Fei quotes the Springs and Autumns of Tao Zuo: “'Less than half of all rulers die of illness.' If the ruler of men is unaware of this, disorders will be unrestrained. Thus it is said: If those who benefit from a lord’s death are many, the ruler will be imperiled." Devoting the entirety of Chapter 14, "How to Love the Ministers", to "persuading the ruler to be ruthless to his ministers", Han Fei's enlightened ruler strikes terror into his ministers by doing nothing. The qualities of a ruler, his "mental power, moral excellence and physical prowess" are irrelevant, he discards his private reason and morality, shows no personal feelings. What is important is his method of government. Fa require no perfection on the part of the ruler. Han Fei's use of Wu-Wei may have been derivative of Taoism, but emphasizes autocracy and Shu as arguably more of a "practical principle of political control" than any state of mind, he nonetheless begins by waiting "empty and still." Tao is the beginning of the standard of right and wrong.
That being so, the intelligent ruler, by holding to the beginning, knows the source of everything, and, by keeping to the standard, knows the origin of good and evil. Therefore, by virtue of resting empty and reposed, he waits for the course of nature to enforce itself so that all names will be defined of themselves and all affairs will be settled of themselves. Empty, he knows the essence of fullness: reposed, he becomes the corrector of motion. Who utters a word creates himself a name. Compare forms and names and see if they are identical; the ruler will find nothing to worry about as everything is reduced to its reality. Tao exists in invisibility. Be empty and reposed and have nothing to do-Then from the dark see defects in the light. See but never be seen. Hear but never be heard. Know but never be known. If you hear any word uttered, do not change it nor move it but compare it with the deed and see if word and deed coincide with each other. Place every official with a censor. Do not let them speak to each other.
Everything will be exerted to the utmost. Cover conceal sources; the ministers cannot trace origins. Leave your wisdom and cease your ability. Your subordinates cannot guess at your limitations; the bright ruler is undifferentiated and quiescent in waiting, causing names to define themselves and affairs to fix themselves. If he is undifferentiated he can understand when actuality is pure, if he is quiescent he can understand when movement is correct. Han Fei's commentary on the Tao Te Ching asserts that perspectiveless knowledge – an absolute point of view – is possible, though the chapter may have been one of his earlier writings. Han Fei was notoriously focused on what he termed Xing-Ming, which Sima Qian and Liu Xiang define as "holding actual outcome accountable to Ming." In line with both the Confucian and Mohist rectification of names, it is relatable to the Confucian tradition in which a promise or undertaking in relation to a government aim, entails punishment or reward, though the tight, centralized control emphasized by both his and his predecessor Shen Buhai's philosophy confl
The Qianlong Emperor was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. Born Hongli, the fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, he reigned from 11 October 1735 to 8 February 1796. On 8 February, he abdicated in favour of his son, the Jiaqing Emperor—a filial act in order not to reign longer than his grandfather, the illustrious Kangxi Emperor. Despite his retirement, however, he retained ultimate power as the Emperor Emeritus until his death in 1799; as a capable and cultured ruler inheriting a thriving empire, during his long reign the Qing Empire reached its most splendid and prosperous era, boasting a large population and economy. As a military leader, he led military campaigns expanding the dynastic territory to the largest extent by conquering and sometimes destroying Central Asian kingdoms; this turned around in his late years: the Qing empire began to decline with corruption and wastefulness in his court and a stagnating civil society.
A British valet who accompanied his diplomat master to the Qing court in 1793 described the emperor: The Emperor is about five feet ten inches in height, of a slender but elegant form. His dress consisted of a loose robe of yellow silk, a cap of black velvet with a red ball on the top, adorned with a peacock's feather, the peculiar distinction of mandarins of the first class, he wore silk boots embroidered with gold, a sash of blue girded his waist. Hongli was adored by both his grandfather, the Kangxi Emperor, his father, the Yongzheng Emperor; some historians argue that the main reason why the Kangxi Emperor appointed the Yongzheng Emperor as his successor was because Hongli was his favourite grandson. He felt that Hongli's mannerisms were similar to his own; as a teenager, Hongli possessed literary ability. After his father's enthronement in 1722, Hongli was made a qinwang under the title "Prince Bao of the First Rank". Like many of his uncles, Hongli entered into a battle of succession with his elder half-brother Hongshi, who had the support of a large faction of the officials in the imperial court, as well as Yinsi, Prince Lian.
For many years, the Yongzheng Emperor did not designate any of his sons as the crown prince, but many officials speculated that he favoured Hongli. Hongli went on inspection trips to the south, was known to be an able negotiator and enforcer, he was appointed as the chief regent on occasions when his father was away from the capital. Hongli's accession to the throne was foreseen before he was proclaimed emperor before the assembled imperial court upon the death of the Yongzheng Emperor; the young Hongli was the favourite grandson of the Kangxi Emperor and the favourite son of the Yongzheng Emperor. In the hope of preventing a succession struggle from occurring, the Yongzheng Emperor wrote the name of his chosen successor on a piece of paper and placed it in a sealed box secured behind the tablet over the throne in the Palace of Heavenly Purity; the name in the box was to be revealed to other members of the imperial family in the presence of all senior ministers only upon the death of the emperor.
When the Yongzheng Emperor died in 1735, the will was taken out and read before the entire Qing imperial court, after which Hongli became the new emperor. Hongli adopted the era name "Qianlong", which means "Lasting Eminence"; the Qianlong Emperor was a successful military leader. After ascending the throne, he sent armies to suppress the Miao rebellion, his campaigns expanded the territory controlled by the Qing Empire. This was made possible not only by Qing military might, but by the disunity and declining strength of the Inner Asian peoples. Under the Qianlong Emperor's reign, the Dzungar Khanate was incorporated into the Qing Empire's rule and renamed Xinjiang, while to the west, Ili was conquered and garrisoned; the incorporation of Xinjiang into the Qing Empire resulted from the final defeat and destruction of the Dzungars, a coalition of Western Mongol tribes. The Qianlong Emperor ordered the Dzungar genocide. According to the Qing dynasty scholar Wei Yuan, 40% of the 600,000 Dzungars were killed by smallpox, 20% fled to the Russian Empire or Kazakh tribes, 30% were killed by the Qing army, in what Michael Edmund Clarke described as "the complete destruction of not only the Zunghar state but of the Zunghars as a people."
Historian Peter Perdue has argued that the decimation of the Dzungars was the result of an explicit policy of massacre launched by the Qianlong Emperor. The Dzungar genocide has been compared to the Qing extermination of the Jinchuan Tibetan people in 1776, which occurred during the Qianlong Emperor's reign; when victorious troops returned to Beijing, a celebratory hymn was sung in their honour. A Manchu version of the hymn was sent to Paris; the Qing Empire hired Zhao Yi and Jiang Yongzhi at the Mili
Traditional Chinese characters
Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, in the Kangxi Dictionary; the modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, have been more or less stable since the 5th century. The retronym "traditional Chinese" is used to contrast traditional characters with Simplified Chinese characters, a standardized character set introduced by the government of the People's Republic of China on Mainland China in the 1950s. Traditional Chinese characters are used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau. In contrast, Simplified Chinese characters are used in mainland China and Malaysia in official publications. However, several countries – such as Australia, the US and Canada – are increasing their number of printed materials in Simplified Chinese, to better accommodate citizens from mainland China.
The debate on traditional and simplified Chinese characters has been a long-running issue among Chinese communities. A large number of overseas Chinese online newspapers allow users to switch between both character sets. Although simplified characters are taught and endorsed by the government of China, there is no prohibition against the use of traditional characters. Traditional characters are used informally in regions in China in handwriting and used for inscriptions and religious text, they are retained in logos or graphics to evoke yesteryear. Nonetheless, the vast majority of media and communications in China is dominated by simplified characters. In Hong Kong and Macau, Traditional Chinese has been the legal written form since colonial times. In recent years, simplified Chinese characters in Hong Kong and Macau has appeared to accommodate Mainland Chinese tourists and immigrants; this has led to concerns by many residents to protect their local heritage. Taiwan has never adopted simplified characters.
The use of simplified characters in official documents is prohibited by the government of Taiwan. Simplified characters are understood to a certain extent by any educated Taiwanese, learning to read them takes little effort; some stroke simplifications that have been incorporated into Simplified Chinese are in common use in handwriting. For example, while the name of Taiwan is written as 臺灣, the semi-simplified name 台灣 is acceptable to write in official documents. In Southeast Asia, the Chinese Filipino community continues to be one of the most conservative regarding simplification. While major public universities are teaching simplified characters, many well-established Chinese schools still use traditional characters. Publications like the Chinese Commercial News, World News, United Daily News still use traditional characters. On the other hand, the Philippine Chinese Daily uses simplified. Aside from local newspapers, magazines from Hong Kong, such as the Yazhou Zhoukan, are found in some bookstores.
In case of film or television subtitles on DVD, the Chinese dub, used in Philippines is the same as the one used in Taiwan. This is because the DVDs belongs to DVD Region Code 3. Hence, most of the subtitles are in Traditional Characters. Overseas Chinese in the United States have long used traditional characters. A major influx of Chinese immigrants to the United States occurred during the latter half of the 19th century, before the standardization of simplified characters. Therefore, United States public notices and signage in Chinese are in Traditional Chinese. Traditional Chinese characters are called several different names within the Chinese-speaking world; the government of Taiwan calls traditional Chinese characters standard characters or orthodox characters. However, the same term is used outside Taiwan to distinguish standard and traditional characters from variant and idiomatic characters. In contrast, users of traditional characters outside Taiwan, such as those in Hong Kong and overseas Chinese communities, users of simplified Chinese characters, call them complex characters.
An informal name sometimes used by users of simplified characters is "old characters". Users of traditional characters sometimes refer them as "Full Chinese characters" to distinguish them from simplified Chinese characters; some traditional character users argue that traditional characters are the original form of the Chinese characters and cannot be called "complex". Simplified characters cannot be "standard" because they are not used in all Chinese-speaking regions. Conversely, supporters of simplified Chinese characters object to the description of traditional characters as "standard," since they view the new simplified characters as the contemporary standard used by the vast majority of Chinese speakers, they point out that traditional characters are not traditional as many Chinese characters have been made more elaborate over time. Some people refer to traditional characters as "proper characters" and modernized characters as "simplified-stroke characters" (sim
The Song dynasty was an era of Chinese history that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou, ending the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period; the Song came into conflict with the contemporary Liao and Western Xia dynasties in the north. It was conquered by the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty; the Song government was the first in world history to issue banknotes or true paper money nationally and the first Chinese government to establish a permanent standing navy. This dynasty saw the first known use of gunpowder, as well as the first discernment of true north using a compass; the Song dynasty is divided into two distinct periods and Southern. During the Northern Song, the Song capital was in the northern city of Bianjing and the dynasty controlled most of what is now Eastern China; the Southern Song refers to the period after the Song lost control of its northern half to the Jurchen-led Jin dynasty in the Jin–Song Wars.
During this time, the Song court retreated south of the Yangtze and established its capital at Lin'an. Although the Song dynasty had lost control of the traditional "birthplace of Chinese civilization" along the Yellow River, the Song economy was still strong, as the Southern Song Empire contained a large population and productive agricultural land; the Southern Song dynasty bolstered its naval strength to defend its waters and land borders and to conduct maritime missions abroad. To repel the Jin, the Mongols, the Song developed revolutionary new military technology augmented by the use of gunpowder. In 1234, the Jin dynasty was conquered by the Mongols, who took control of northern China, maintaining uneasy relations with the Southern Song. Möngke Khan, the fourth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, died in 1259 while besieging the mountain castle Diaoyucheng, Chongqing, his younger brother Kublai Khan was proclaimed the new Great Khan, though his claim was only recognized by the Mongols in the west.
In 1271, Kublai Khan was proclaimed the Emperor of China. After two decades of sporadic warfare, Kublai Khan's armies conquered the Song dynasty in 1279; the Mongol invasion led to a reunification under the Yuan dynasty. The population of China doubled in size during the 10th and 11th centuries; this growth was made possible by expanded rice cultivation in central and southern Song, the use of early-ripening rice from south-east and southern Asia, the production of widespread food surpluses. The Northern Song census recorded double of the Han and Tang dynasties, it is estimated that the Northern Song had a population of some 120 million people, 200 million by the time of the Ming dynasty. This dramatic increase of population fomented an economic revolution in pre-modern China; the expansion of the population, growth of cities, the emergence of a national economy led to the gradual withdrawal of the central government from direct involvement in economic affairs. The lower gentry assumed a larger role in local affairs.
Appointed officials in county and provincial centers relied upon the scholarly gentry for their services and local supervision. Social life during the Song was vibrant. Citizens gathered to view and trade precious artworks, the populace intermingled at public festivals and private clubs, cities had lively entertainment quarters; the spread of literature and knowledge was enhanced by the rapid expansion of woodblock printing and the 11th-century invention of movable-type printing. Technology, philosophy and engineering flourished over the course of the Song. Philosophers such as Cheng Yi and Zhu Xi reinvigorated Confucianism with new commentary, infused with Buddhist ideals, emphasized a new organization of classic texts that brought out the core doctrine of Neo-Confucianism. Although the institution of the civil service examinations had existed since the Sui dynasty, it became much more prominent in the Song period; the officials who gained power by succeeding in the exams became a leading factor in the shift from a military-aristocratic elite to a bureaucratic elite.
After usurping the throne of the Later Zhou dynasty, Emperor Taizu of Song spent sixteen years conquering the rest of China, reuniting much of the territory that had once belonged to the Han and Tang empires and ending the upheaval of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. In Kaifeng, he established a strong central government over the empire; the establishment of this capital marked the start of the Northern Song period. He ensured administrative stability by promoting the civil service examination system of drafting state bureaucrats by skill and merit and promoted projects that ensured efficiency in communication throughout the empire. In one such project, cartographers created detailed maps of each province and city that were collected in a large atlas. Emperor Taizu promoted groundbreaking scientific and technological innovations by supporting such works as the astronomical clock tower designed and built by the engineer Zhang Sixun; the Song court maintained diplomatic relations with Chola India, the Fatimid Caliphate of Egypt, the Kara-Khanid Khanate of Central Asia, the Goryeo kingdom in Korea, other countries that were trade partners with Japan.
Chinese records mention an embassy from the ruler of "Fu lin", Michael VII Doukas, its arrival in 1081. However, China's closest neighbouring states had the greatest impact on its domestic and foreign policy. From its
Duan Yucai, courtesy name Ruoying was a Chinese philologist of the Qing Dynasty. He made great contributions to the study of Historical Chinese phonology, is known for his annotated edition of Shuowen Jiezi. A native of Jintan, Jiangsu, he resigned his government post at the age of 46 to concentrate on his studies. A student of Dai Zhen, he divided Old Chinese words into 17 rhyme groups, he suggested that "characters sharing the same phonetic component must belong to the same rhyme group ". He suggested that there is no departing tone in Old Chinese, his monumental Shuowen Jiezi Zhu, which he spent 30 years to complete, was published shortly before his death. Wang Niansun, in his preface to the work, says that "it has been 1,700 years since a work of the same quality appeared", suggesting that it is the greatest Chinese philological work since Shuowen Jiezi, published during the early 2nd century, he Jiuying 何九盈. Zhongguo gudai yuyanxue shi. Guangzhou: Guangdong jiaoyu chubanshe. Zhongguo da baike quanshu.
1st Edition. Beijing. On-line edition of Annotated Shuowen Jiezi
Zhang Xuecheng was a Qing dynasty historian and philosopher. His father and his grandfather had been government officials, although Zhang achieved the highest civil service examination degree in 1778, he never held high office. Zhang's ideas about the historical process were revolutionary in many ways and he became one of the most enlightened historical theorists of the Qing dynasty, but he spent much of his life in near poverty without the support of a patron and, in 1801, he died and with few friends, it was not until the late 19th century that Chinese scholars began to accept the validity of Zhang's ideas. His biographer, David Nivison, comments that while his countrymen did not think him a great literary artist, "the infrequent western reader will find his style both moving and powerful." Zhang developed, Nivison continues, "an organic view of history and the state that approaches Hegelian thought, built this view upon and into a theory of culture that sometimes suggests Vico," the Italian philosopher.
His magnum opus, On Literature and History, was published posthumously, in 1832. In Zhang's view, Confucianism developed over time in response to the concrete needs of the people for social organization; this developmental view contrasts with the view of the Neo-Confucians that Confucianism is the expression of timeless "principles" or "patterns" that are inherent in the human heart. Zhang's most famous quotation is that "the six classics are all history" 六經皆史; this means that the canonical texts of Confucianism are not to be understood as repositories of timeless wisdom, but as records of the actions and words of the sages in response to specific historical contexts. David S. Nivison, The Life and Thought of Chang Hsüeh-Ch'eng, 1738-1801.. Google Book Ivanhoe, Philip J. trans.. On Ethics and History: Essays and Letters of Zhang Xuecheng. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-6128-0. Mimose, Hiromu. "Chang Hsüeh-ch'êng". In Hummel Sr. Arthur W. Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period. United States Government Printing Office.
Eduard B. Vermeer, "Notions of Time and Space in the early Ch'ing", in: Junjie Huang, Erik Zürcher and Space in Chinese Culture, ed. BRILL, 1995 ISBN 978-90-04-10287-3, on Chang Hsüeh-ch'eng p. 227-233