Hanyu Pinyin abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, written using Chinese characters; the system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters; the pinyin system was developed in the 1950s by many linguists, including Zhou Youguang, based on earlier forms of romanizations of Chinese. It was published by revised several times; the International Organization for Standardization adopted pinyin as an international standard in 1982, was followed by the United Nations in 1986. The system was adopted as the official standard in Taiwan in 2009, where it is used for international events rather than for educational or computer-input purposes, but "some cities and organizations, notably in the south of Taiwan, did not accept this", so it remains one of several rival romanization systems in use.
The word Hànyǔ means'the spoken language of the Han people', while Pīnyīn means'spelled sounds'. In 1605, the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci published Xizi Qiji in Beijing; this was the first book to use the Roman alphabet to write the Chinese language. Twenty years another Jesuit in China, Nicolas Trigault, issued his Xi Ru Ermu Zi at Hangzhou. Neither book had much immediate impact on the way in which Chinese thought about their writing system, the romanizations they described were intended more for Westerners than for the Chinese. One of the earliest Chinese thinkers to relate Western alphabets to Chinese was late Ming to early Qing dynasty scholar-official, Fang Yizhi; the first late Qing reformer to propose that China adopt a system of spelling was Song Shu. A student of the great scholars Yu Yue and Zhang Taiyan, Song had been to Japan and observed the stunning effect of the kana syllabaries and Western learning there; this galvanized him into activity on a number of fronts, one of the most important being reform of the script.
While Song did not himself create a system for spelling Sinitic languages, his discussion proved fertile and led to a proliferation of schemes for phonetic scripts. The Wade–Giles system was produced by Thomas Wade in 1859, further improved by Herbert Giles in the Chinese–English Dictionary of 1892, it was popular and used in English-language publications outside China until 1979. In the early 1930s, Communist Party of China leaders trained in Moscow introduced a phonetic alphabet using Roman letters, developed in the Soviet Oriental Institute of Leningrad and was intended to improve literacy in the Russian Far East; this Sin Wenz or "New Writing" was much more linguistically sophisticated than earlier alphabets, but with the major exception that it did not indicate tones of Chinese. In 1940, several thousand members attended a Border Region Sin Wenz Society convention. Mao Zedong and Zhu De, head of the army, both contributed their calligraphy for the masthead of the Sin Wenz Society's new journal.
Outside the CCP, other prominent supporters included Sun Fo. Over thirty journals soon appeared written in Sin Wenz, plus large numbers of translations, some contemporary Chinese literature, a spectrum of textbooks. In 1940, the movement reached an apex when Mao's Border Region Government declared that the Sin Wenz had the same legal status as traditional characters in government and public documents. Many educators and political leaders looked forward to the day when they would be universally accepted and replace Chinese characters. Opposition arose, because the system was less well adapted to writing regional languages, therefore would require learning Mandarin. Sin Wenz fell into relative disuse during the following years. In 1943, the U. S. military engaged Yale University to develop a romanization of Mandarin Chinese for its pilots flying over China. The resulting system is close to pinyin, but does not use English letters in unfamiliar ways. Medial semivowels are written with y and w, apical vowels with r or z.
Accent marks are used to indicate tone. Pinyin was created by Chinese linguists, including Zhou Youguang, as part of a Chinese government project in the 1950s. Zhou is called "the father of pinyin," Zhou worked as a banker in New York when he decided to return to China to help rebuild the country after the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, he became an economics professor in Shanghai, in 1955, when China's Ministry of Education created a Committee for the Reform of the Chinese Written Language, Premier Zhou Enlai assigned Zhou Youguang the task of developing a new romanization system, despite the fact that he was not a professional linguist. Hanyu Pinyin was based on several existing systems: Gwoyeu Romatzyh of 1928, Latinxua Sin Wenz of 1931, the diacritic markings from zhuyin. "I'm not the father of pinyin," Zhou said years later. It's a lo
Taiwan the Republic of China, is a state in East Asia. Neighbouring states include the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the northeast, the Philippines to the south. Taiwan is the most populous state and largest economy, not a member of the United Nations; the island of Taiwan was inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years before the 17th century, when Dutch colonialists opened the island to mass Han immigration. After a brief rule by the Kingdom of Tungning, the island was annexed in 1683 by the Qing dynasty of China, ceded to Japan in 1895. Following the surrender of Japan in 1945, the Republic of China, which had overthrown and succeeded the Qing in 1911, took control of Taiwan; the resumption of the Chinese Civil War led to the loss of the mainland to the Communists and the flight of the ROC government to Taiwan in 1949. Although the ROC government continued to claim to be the legitimate representative of China, since 1950 its effective jurisdiction has been limited to Taiwan and several small islands.
In the early 1960s, Taiwan entered a period of industrialisation. In the 1980s and early 1990s, it changed from a one-party military dictatorship to a multi-party democracy with a semi-presidential system; as a founding member, the ROC represented China in the UN until it was replaced by the PRC in 1971. The PRC has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and refused diplomatic relations with any country that recognises the ROC; as of 2019, Taiwan maintains official ties with 16 out of 193 UN member states. Most international organisations in which the PRC participates either refuse to grant membership to Taiwan or allow it to participate only as a non-state actor. Most major powers maintain unofficial ties with Taiwan through representative offices and institutions that function as de facto embassies and consulates. In Taiwan, the major political division is between parties favouring eventual Chinese unification and promoting a Chinese identity contrasted with those aspiring to independence and promoting a Taiwanese identity, though both sides have moderated their positions to broaden their appeal.
Taiwan is a high-income advanced economy, with a skilled and educated workforce. It has the 22nd-largest economy in the world, its high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy, it is urbanised, is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with most of the population concentrated on the western coast. The state is ranked in terms of civil and political liberties, health care and human development. Various names for the island of Taiwan remain in use today, each derived from explorers or rulers during a particular historical period; the name Formosa dates from 1542, when Portuguese sailors sighted an uncharted island and noted it on their maps as Ilha Formosa. The name Formosa "replaced all others in European literature" and remained in common use among English speakers into the 20th century. In the early 17th century, the Dutch East India Company established a commercial post at Fort Zeelandia on a coastal sandbar called "Tayouan", after their ethnonym for a nearby Taiwanese aboriginal tribe Taivoan people, written by the Dutch and Portuguese variously as Taiouwang, Teijoan, etc.
This name was adopted into the Chinese vernacular as the name of the sandbar and nearby area. The modern word "Taiwan" is derived from this usage, seen in various forms in Chinese historical records; the area occupied by modern-day Tainan represented the first permanent settlement by both European colonists and Chinese immigrants. The settlement grew to be the island's most important trading centre and served as its capital until 1887. Use of the current Chinese name became official as early as 1684 with the establishment of Taiwan Prefecture. Through its rapid development the entire Formosan mainland became known as "Taiwan". In his Daoyi Zhilüe, Wang Dayuan used "Liuqiu" as a name for the island of Taiwan, or the part of it closest to Penghu. Elsewhere, the name was used for the Ryukyu Islands in general or Okinawa, the largest of them; the name appears in the Book of Sui and other early works, but scholars cannot agree on whether these references are to the Ryukyus, Taiwan or Luzon. The official name of the state is the "Republic of China".
Shortly after the ROC's establishment in 1912, while it was still located on the Chinese mainland, the government used the short form "China" to refer to itself, which derives from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne, the name was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state during the Qing era. During the 1950s and 1960s, after the government had withdrawn to Taiwan upon losing the Chinese Civil War, it was referred to as "Nationalist China" to differentiate it from "Communist China", it was a member of the United Nations representing "China" until 1971, when it lost its seat to the People's Republic of China. Over subsequent decades, the Republic of China has become known as "Taiwan", after the island that comprises 99% of the territory under its control. In some contexts ROC government publications, the name is written as "
See Shashi for namesakesShashi is a district within the main urban area of Jingzhou, Hubei province, People's Republic of China. It is located on the left bank between Yichang and Wuhan. Shashi was founded during the warring states period as an extension of the Chu capital Ying, its port on the Yangtze. In modern history it is notable as one of the four ports specified to be opened to the Empire of Japan in the Treaty of Shimonoseki; the treaty port grew into because of this, gaining the moniker of "Little Hankow". Nonetheless, the opening of other coastal ports led to trade moving elsewhere and it declined. In 1994 it was combined with Jingzhou to form Jingsha city. Five subdistricts: Zhongshan Subdistrict Chongwen Subdistrict Jiefang Subdistrict Shengli Subdistrict Chaoyang Subdistrict Four towns: Luochang Cenhe Guanyindang Guanju The only township is Lixin Township The Roman Catholic Apostolic Prefecture of Shashi or Shasi / Shasien was established on 7 July 1936, on territory split off from the Apostolic Vicariate of Yichang, bordering on that, on the dioceses Hanyang and Puqi and on the Apostolic prefecture of Lixian.
It is a pre-diocesan Latin jurisdiction, exempt, i.e. directly subject to the Holy See and it missionary Roman Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, not part of any ecclesiastical province. No statistics available, it is indefinitely vacant, without Apostolic administrator, since the death of its sole incumbent as Apostolic Prefect of Shashi: Father Julian Edward Dillon, Friars Minor. List of Catholic dioceses in China Official website of Shashi District government GCatholic
Suzhou romanized as Soochow, is a major city located in southeastern Jiangsu Province of East China, about 100 km northwest of Shanghai. It is a major economic center and focal point of trade and commerce, the second largest city in the province, after its capital Nanjing; the city is situated on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and the shores of Lake Tai and belongs to the Yangtze River Delta region. Administratively, Suzhou is a prefecture-level city with a population of 4.33 million in its city proper, a total resident population of 10.58 million in its administrative area. Its urban population grew at an unprecedented rate of 6.5% between 2000 and 2014, the highest among cities with more than 5 million people. Founded in 514 BC, Suzhou has over 2,500 years of history, with an abundant display of relics and sites of historical interest. Around AD 100, during the Eastern Han dynasty, it became one of the ten largest cities in the world due to emigration from Northern China. Since the 10th-century Song dynasty, it has been an important commercial center of China.
During the Ming and Qing dynasties, Suzhou was a national economic and commercial center, as well as the largest non-capital city in the world, until the 1860 Taiping Rebellion. When Li Hongzhang and Charles George Gordon recaptured the city three years Shanghai had taken its predominant place in the nation. Since major economic reforms began in 1978, Suzhou has become one of the fastest growing major cities in the world, with GDP growth rates of about 14% in the past 35 years. With high life expectancy and per capita incomes, Suzhou's Human Development Index ratings is comparable to a moderately developed country, making it one of the most developed and prosperous cities in China; the city's canals, stone bridges and meticulously designed gardens have contributed to its status as one of the top tourist attractions in China. The Classical Gardens of Suzhou were added to the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997 and 2000. Suzhou is dubbed the "Venice of the East" or "Venice of China".
During the Zhou, a settlement known as Gusu after nearby Mount Gusu became the capital of the state of Wu. From this role, it came to be called Wu as well. In 514 BC, King Helü of Wu established a new capital nearby at Helü City and this grew into the modern city. During the Warring States period, Helü City continued to serve as the local seat of government. From the areas it administered, it became known as Wujun. Under the Qin, it was known as Kuaiji after its enlarged commandery, named for the reputed resting place of Yu the Great near modern Shaoxing in Zhejiang; the name Suzhou was first used for the city in AD 589 during the Sui dynasty. The character 蘇 or 苏 is a contraction of old name Gusu; the sū in its name refers to the mint perilla. The character 州 meant something like a province or county, but came to be used metonymously for the capital of such a region. Suzhou is the Hanyu Pinyin spelling of the Mandarin pronunciation of the name. Prior to the adoption of pinyin, it was variously romanized as Suchow, or Su-chow.
Suzhou, the cradle of Wu culture, is one of the oldest towns in the Yangtze Basin. By the Spring and Autumn period of the Zhou, local tribes named the Gou Wu are recorded living in the area which would become the modern city of Suzhou; these tribes formed villages on the edges of the hills above the wetlands surrounding Lake Tai. Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian records traditional accounts that the Zhou lord Taibo established the state of Wu at nearby Wuxi during the 11th century BC, civilizing the local people and improving their agriculture and mastery of irrigation; the Wu court moved to Gusu within the area of modern Suzhou. In 514 BC, King Helü of Wu relocated his court nearby and called the settlement Helü City after himself, his minister Wu Zixu was involved with its planning and it was this site that grew into present-day Suzhou. The height of his tower on Gusu Hill passed into Chinese legend. In 496 BC, King Helü was buried at Tiger Hill. In 473 BC, Wu was annexed by Yue, a kingdom to its southeast.
Remnants of the ancient kingdom include pieces of its 2,500-year-old city wall and the gate through it at Pan Gate. The city was laid out according to a symbolic three-by-three grid of nine squares, with the royal palace occupying the central position. During the Warring States period, Suzhou was the seat of Wu Commandery. Following the Qin Empire's conquest of the area in 222 BC, it was made the capital of Kuaiji Commandery, including lands stretching from the south bank of the Yangtze to the unconquered interior of Minyue in southern Zhejiang. Amid the collapse of the Qin, Kuaiji's governor Yin Tong attempted to organize his own rebellion only to be betrayed and executed by Xiang Liang and his nephew Xiang Yu, who launched their own rebellion from the city; when the Grand Canal was completed, Suzhou found itself strategically located on a major trade route. In the course of the history of China, it has been a metropolis of industry and commerce on the southeastern coast of China. During the Tang dynasty, the great poet Bai Juyi constructed the Shantang Canal to connect the city with Tiger Hill for tourists.
In AD 1035, the Suzhou Confucian Temple was founded by writer Fan Zhongyan. It became a venue for the imperial civil examinations and developed into the modern Suzhou High School in the 1910s. In Fe
The kilogram or kilogramme is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units. Until 20 May 2019, it remains defined by a platinum alloy cylinder, the International Prototype Kilogram, manufactured in 1889, stored in Saint-Cloud, a suburb of Paris. After 20 May, it will be defined in terms of fundamental physical constants; the kilogram was defined as the mass of a litre of water. That was an inconvenient quantity to replicate, so in 1799 a platinum artefact was fashioned to define the kilogram; that artefact, the IPK, have been the standard of the unit of mass for the metric system since. In spite of best efforts to maintain it, the IPK has diverged from its replicas by 50 micrograms since their manufacture late in the 19th century; this led to efforts to develop measurement technology precise enough to allow replacing the kilogram artifact with a definition based directly on physical phenomena, now scheduled to take place in 2019. The new definition is based on invariant constants of nature, in particular the Planck constant, which will change to being defined rather than measured, thereby fixing the value of the kilogram in terms of the second and the metre, eliminating the need for the IPK.
The new definition was approved by the General Conference on Weights and Measures on 16 November 2018. The Planck constant relates a light particle's energy, hence mass, to its frequency; the new definition only became possible when instruments were devised to measure the Planck constant with sufficient accuracy based on the IPK definition of the kilogram. The gram, 1/1000 of a kilogram, was provisionally defined in 1795 as the mass of one cubic centimetre of water at the melting point of ice; the final kilogram, manufactured as a prototype in 1799 and from which the International Prototype Kilogram was derived in 1875, had a mass equal to the mass of 1 dm3 of water under atmospheric pressure and at the temperature of its maximum density, 4 °C. The kilogram is the only named SI unit with an SI prefix as part of its name; until the 2019 redefinition of SI base units, it was the last SI unit, still directly defined by an artefact rather than a fundamental physical property that could be independently reproduced in different laboratories.
Three other base units and 17 derived units in the SI system are defined in relation to the kilogram, thus its stability is important. The definitions of only eight other named SI units do not depend on the kilogram: those of temperature and frequency, angle; the IPK is used or handled. Copies of the IPK kept by national metrology laboratories around the world were compared with the IPK in 1889, 1948, 1989 to provide traceability of measurements of mass anywhere in the world back to the IPK; the International Prototype Kilogram was commissioned by the General Conference on Weights and Measures under the authority of the Metre Convention, in the custody of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures who hold it on behalf of the CGPM. After the International Prototype Kilogram had been found to vary in mass over time relative to its reproductions, the International Committee for Weights and Measures recommended in 2005 that the kilogram be redefined in terms of a fundamental constant of nature.
At its 2011 meeting, the CGPM agreed in principle that the kilogram should be redefined in terms of the Planck constant, h. The decision was deferred until 2014. CIPM has proposed revised definitions of the SI base units, for consideration at the 26th CGPM; the formal vote, which took place on 16 November 2018, approved the change, with the new definitions coming into force on 20 May 2019. The accepted redefinition defines the Planck constant as 6.62607015×10−34 kg⋅m2⋅s−1, thereby defining the kilogram in terms of the second and the metre. Since the second and metre are defined in terms of physical constants, the kilogram is defined in terms of physical constants only; the avoirdupois pound, used in both the imperial and US customary systems, is now defined in terms of the kilogram. Other traditional units of weight and mass around the world are now defined in terms of the kilogram, making the kilogram the primary standard for all units of mass on Earth; the word kilogramme or kilogram is derived from the French kilogramme, which itself was a learned coinage, prefixing the Greek stem of χίλιοι khilioi "a thousand" to gramma, a Late Latin term for "a small weight", itself from Greek γράμμα.
The word kilogramme was written into French law in 1795, in the Decree of 18 Germinal, which revised the older system of units introduced by the French National Convention in 1793, where the gravet had been defined as weight of a cubic centimetre of water, equal to 1/1000 of a grave. In the decree of 1795, the term gramme thus replaced gravet, kilogramme replaced grave; the French spelling was adopted in Great Britain when the word was used for the first time in English in 1795, with the spelling kilogram being adopted in the United States. In the United Kingdom both spellings are used, with "kilogram" having become by far the more common. UK law regulating the units to be used when trading by weight or measure does not prevent the use of either spelling. In the 19th century the French word kilo, a shortening of kilogramme, was imported into the English language where it has been used to mean both kilogram and kilometre. While kilo is acceptable in many generalist texts
The Penghu or Pescadores Islands are an archipelago of 90 islands and islets in the Taiwan Strait. The largest city is Magong, located on the largest island, named Magong. Covering an area of 141 square kilometers, the archipelago collectively forms Penghu County of the Republic of China, is the second smallest county, after Lienchiang; the traditional name of the islands, the Pescadores, comes from the Portuguese name Ilhas dos Pescadores. The Modern European Portuguese pronunciation is but, in English, it is closer to Classical Portuguese's:; the islands have been called Pehoe from the Minnan name Phêⁿ-ô·. Pescadores was the name given by the Spanish expedition of Hernando de Grijalva in 1537 to the Micronesian atoll Kapingamarangi. Finds of fine red cord-marked pottery indicate that Penghu was visited by people from southwestern Taiwan around 5,000 years ago, though not settled permanently. Han Chinese from southern Fujian began to establish fishing communities on the islands in the 9th and 10th centuries, representatives were intermittently stationed there by the Southern Song and Yuan governments from around 1170.
Wang Dayuan gave a detailed first-hand account of the islands in his Daoyi Zhilüe. In the 15th century, the Ming ordered the evacuation of the islands as part of their maritime ban; when these restrictions were removed in the late 16th century, legal fishing communities were re-established on the islands. These fishermen worshipped at the Mazu Temple that gave Magong its name and themselves gave rise to the Portuguese and English name Pescadores; the Ming established a military presence in 1603. At this time, the Dutch East India Company was trying to force China to open a port in Fujian to Dutch trade and expel the Portuguese from Macau; when the Dutch were defeated by the Portuguese at the Battle of Macau in 1622, they seized Penghu, built a fort there, threatened raids on Chinese ports and shipping unless the Chinese allowed trading with them on Penghu and that China not trade with Manila. In response, the Chinese governor of Fujian demanded that the Dutch withdraw from Penghu to Taiwan, where the Chinese would permit them to engage in trade.
The Dutch continued to raid the Fujian coast between October 1622 and January 1624 to force their demands, but were unsuccessful. In 1624, the new governor of Fujian sent a fleet of 40–50 warships with 5,000 troops to Penghu and expelled the Dutch, who moved to Fort Zeelandia on Taiwan. For a period in the mid-17th century and the archipelago were ruled by the Koxinga kingdom, overthrown by the Qing dynasty in 1683 after the Battle of Penghu; the Penghu archipelago was captured by the French in March 1885, in the closing weeks of the Sino-French War, evacuated four months later. The Pescadores Campaign was the last campaign of Admiral Amédée Courbet, whose naval victories during the war had made him a national hero in France. Courbet was among several French soldiers and sailors who succumbed to cholera during the French occupation of Penghu, he died aboard his flagship Bayard in Makung harbour on 11 June 1885. Towards the end of the First Sino-Japanese War, having defeated the Qing in northern China, Japan sought to ensure that it obtained Penghu and Taiwan in the final settlement.
In March 1895, the Japanese defeated the Chinese garrison on occupied Makung. The Japanese occupation of Penghu, with its fine harbor, gave the Imperial Japanese Navy an advanced base from which their short-range coal-burning ships could control the Taiwan Straits and thus prevent more Chinese troops from being sent to Taiwan; this action persuaded the Chinese negotiators at Shimonoseki that Japan was determined to annex Taiwan, after Penghu and the Liaodong Peninsula had been ceded to Japan in the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Shimonoseki in April, helped to ensure the success of the Japanese invasion of Taiwan in May. Penghu County was called the Hōko Prefecture by the Japanese government of Taiwan. During World War II, Makō was a major base for the Imperial Japanese Navy and the embarkation point for the invasion of the Philippines. In the Cairo Declaration of 1943, the United States, the United Kingdom and China stated it to be their purpose that "all the territories that Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Formosa and The Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China".
On 26 July 1945, the three governments issued the Potsdam Declaration, declaring that "the terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out". However, the United States and the United Kingdom regard the aforementioned documents as wartime statements of intention with no binding force in law. Following the surrender of Japan on 2 September 1945, Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers Douglas MacArthur issued General Order No. 1, which directed Japanese forces to surrender to the Allied Powers and facilitate the occupation of Japanese territories by the Allied Powers. In the Treaty of San Francisco, signed in 1951 and coming into effect in 1952, Japan renounced sovereignty over Taiwan and Penghu, but left their final disposition unsettled; the archipelago has been administered by the Republic of China since 1945. Boat people from Vietnam who were taken in by Taiwan's ships in the South China Sea were sent to the Penghu. On 25 May 2002, China Airlines Flight 611, a Boeing 747-200 aircraft flying from Taipei to Hong Kong and exploded over the Islands.
The wreckage slammed into a couple of miles off the coast. All 225 passengers and crew on board were killed. Penghu County is administered by Penghu County Government headed by Magistrate Lai Feng-wei of the Kuomintang and headquartered at the Penghu County Hall
First Sino-Japanese War
The First Sino-Japanese War was fought between China and Japan over influence in Korea. After more than six months of unbroken successes by Japanese land and naval forces and the loss of the port of Weihaiwei, the Qing government sued for peace in February 1895; the war demonstrated the failure of the Qing dynasty's attempts to modernize its military and fend off threats to its sovereignty when compared with Japan's successful Meiji Restoration. For the first time, regional dominance in East Asia shifted from China to Japan; the humiliating loss of Korea as a tributary state sparked an unprecedented public outcry. Within China, the defeat was a catalyst for a series of political upheavals led by Sun Yat-sen and Kang Youwei, culminating in the 1911 Xinhai Revolution; the war is known in China as the War of Jiawu, referring to the year as named under the traditional sexagenary system of years. In Japan, it is called the Japan–Qing War. In Korea, where much of the war took place, it is called the Qing–Japan War.
After two centuries, the Japanese policy of seclusion under the shōguns of the Edo period came to an end when the country was opened to trade by the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854. In the years following the Meiji Restoration of 1868 and the fall of the shogunate, the newly formed Meiji government embarked on reforms to centralize and modernize Japan; the Japanese had sent delegations and students around the world to learn and assimilate Western arts and sciences, with the intention of making Japan an equal to the Western powers. These reforms transformed Japan from a feudal society into a modern industrial state; the Qing Dynasty had started to undergo reform in both military and political doctrine, but was far from successful. In January 1864, Cheoljong of Joseon died without a male heir, through Korean succession protocols Gojong of Korea ascended the throne at the age of 12. However, as King Gojong was too young to rule, the new king's father, Yi Ha-ŭng, became the Heungseon Daewongun, or lord of the great court, ruled Korea in his son's name as regent.
The term Daewongun referred to any person, not the king but whose son took the throne. With his ascendancy to power the Daewongun initiated a set of reforms designed to strengthen the monarchy at the expense of the Yangban class, he pursued an isolationist policy and was determined to purge the kingdom of any foreign ideas that had infiltrated into the nation. In Korean history, the king's in-laws enjoyed great power the Daewongun acknowledged that any future daughters-in-law might threaten his authority. Therefore, he attempted to prevent any possible threat to his rule by selecting as a new queen for his son an orphaned girl from among the Yŏhŭng Min clan, which lacked powerful political connections. With Empress Myeongseong as his daughter-in-law and the royal consort, the Daewongun felt secure in his power. However, after she had become queen, Min recruited all her relatives and had them appointed to influential positions in the name of the king; the Queen allied herself with political enemies of the Daewongun, so that by late 1873 she had mobilized enough influence to oust him from power.
In October 1873, when the Confucian scholar Choe Ik-hyeon submitted a memorial to King Gojong urging him to rule in his own right, Queen Min seized the opportunity to force her father-in-law's retirement as regent. The departure of the Daewongun led to Korea's abandonment of its isolationist policy. On February 26, 1876, after confrontations between the Japanese and Koreans, the Ganghwa Treaty was signed, opening Korea to Japanese trade. In 1880, the King sent a mission to Japan, headed by Kim Hong-jip, an enthusiastic observer of the reforms taking place there. While in Japan, the Chinese diplomat Huang Zunxian presented him with a study called "Chaoxian Celue", it warned of the threat to Korea posed by the Russians and recommended that Korea maintain friendly relations with Japan, at the time too economically weak to be an immediate threat, to work with China, seek an alliance with the United States as a counterweight to Russia. After returning to Korea, Kim presented the document to King Gojong, so impressed with the document that he had copies made and distributed to his officials.
In 1880, following Chinese advice and breaking with tradition, King Gojong decided to establish diplomatic ties with the United States. After negotiations through Chinese mediation in Tianjin, the Treaty of Peace, Amity and Navigation was formally signed between the United States and Korea in Incheon on May 22, 1882. However, there were two significant issues raised by the treaty, the first concerned Korea's status as an independent nation. During the talks with the Americans, the Chinese insisted that the treaty contain an article declaring that Korea was a dependency of China and argued that the country had long been a tributary state of China, but the Americans opposed such an article, arguing that a treaty with Korea should be based on the Treaty of Ganghwa, which stipulated that Korea was an independent state. A compromise was reached, with Shufeldt and Li agreeing that the King of Korea would notify the U. S president in a letter that Korea had special status as a tributary state of China.
The treaty between the Korean government and the United States became the model for all treaties between it and other Western countries. Korea signed similar trade and commerce treaties with Great Britain and Germany in 1883, with Italy and