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
Transition from Ming to Qing
The transition from Ming to Qing or the Ming–Qing transition known as the Manchu conquest of China, was a decades-long period of conflict between the Qing dynasty, established by Manchu clan Aisin Gioro in Manchuria, the Ming dynasty of China in the south. Leading up to the Qing conquest, in 1618, Aisin Gioro leader Nurhaci commissioned a document entitled the Seven Grievances, which enumerated grievances against the Ming and began to rebel against their domination. Many of the grievances dealt with conflicts against Yehe, a major Manchu clan, Ming favoritism of Yehe. Nurhaci's demand that the Ming pay tribute to him to redress the seven grievances was a declaration of war, as the Ming were not willing to pay money to a former tributary. Shortly afterwards, Nurhaci began to rebel against the Ming in Liaoning in southern Manchuria. At the same time, the Ming dynasty was fighting for its survival against fiscal turmoil and peasant rebellions. On April 24, 1644, Beijing fell to a rebel army led by Li Zicheng, a former minor Ming official who became the leader of the peasant revolt, who proclaimed the Shun dynasty.
The last Ming emperor, the Chongzhen Emperor, hanged himself from a tree in the imperial garden outside the Forbidden City. When Li Zicheng moved against him, the Ming general Wu Sangui shifted his alliance to the Manchus. Li Zicheng was defeated at the Battle of Shanhai Pass by the joint forces of Wu Sangui and Manchu prince Dorgon. On June 6, the Manchus and Wu entered the capital and proclaimed the young Shunzhi Emperor as Emperor of China; the conquest was far from complete, it required forty more years before all of China was securely united under Qing rule. The Kangxi Emperor ascended the throne in 1661, in 1662 his regents launched the Great Clearance to defeat the resistance of Ming loyalists in South China, he fought off several rebellions, such as the Revolt of the Three Feudatories led by Wu Sangui in southern China, starting in 1673, countered by launching a series of campaigns that expanded his empire. In 1662, Zheng Chenggong drove out the Dutch colonists and founded the Kingdom of Tungning in Taiwan, a Ming loyalist state with a goal of reconquering China.
However, Tungning was defeated in 1683 at the Battle of Penghu by Han admiral Shi Lang, a former admiral under Koxinga. The fall of the Ming dynasty was caused by a combination of factors. Kenneth Swope argues that one key factor was deteriorating relations between Ming Royalty and the Ming Empire's military leadership. Other factors include repeated military expeditions to the North, inflationary pressures caused by spending too much from the imperial treasury, natural disasters and epidemics of disease. Contributing further to the chaos was a peasant rebellion in Beijing in 1644 and a series of weak emperors. Ming power would hold out in what is now southern China for years, though would be overtaken by the Manchus; the Manchus are sometimes misdescribed as a nomadic people, when in fact they were not nomads, but a sedentary agricultural people who lived in fixed villages, farmed crops, practiced hunting and mounted archery. Their main military formation was infantry wielding bows and arrows and pikes while cavalry was kept in the rear.
The Jianzhou Jurchen chief, Nurhaci, is retrospectively identified as the founder of the Qing dynasty. In 1616 he declared himself Khan, his unifying efforts gave the Jurchen the strength to assert themselves backed by an army consisting of majority Han defectors as well as Ming produced firearms. In 1618 he proclaimed Seven Grievances against the Ming and the Ming General Li Yongfang surrendered the city of Fushun in what is now Liaoning province in China's northeast, after Nurhaci gave him an Aisin Gioro princess in marriage and a noble title; the Princess was one of Nurhaci's granddaughters. In a series of successful military campaigns in Liaodong and Liaoxi, the Jurchens seized a number of Ming cities including Shenyang, which they made into the capital of their newly founded "Later Jin" dynasty, named after a Jurchen polity that had ruled over north China several centuries earlier. Under the inspirational leader Yuan Chonghuan, the Ming used western artillery to defeat the Jin forces at the Battle of Ningyuan in 1626.
Nurhaci was injured and died soon afterwards, but the Ming failed to seize the chance to counter-attack. The Jurchens' nemesis Yuan Chonghuan was soon purged in a political struggle, while under the leadership of the new khan Hong Taiji the Jurchens kept seizing Ming cities, defeated Joseon, a crucial vassal of the Ming, in 1627 and 1636, raided deep into China in 1642 and 1643; the Chahar Mongols were fought against by Dorgon in 1628 and 1635. After the Second Manchu invasion of Korea, Joseon Korea was forced to give several of their royal princesses as concubines to the Qing Manchu regent Prince Dorgon. In 1650 Dorgon married the Korean Princess Uisun; the Princess' name in Korean was Uisun and she was Prince Yi Kaeyoon's daughter. Dorgon married two Korean princesses at Lianshan. During the second invasion, many Korean women were kidnapped and raped at the hand of the Qing forces, as a result were unwelcomed by their families if they were released by the Qing after being ransomed. In their years, the Ming faced a number of famines and floods as well as economic chaos, rebellions.
Li Zicheng rebelled in the 1630s in Shaanxi in the north, while a mutiny led by Zhang Xianzhong broke out in Sichuan in the 1640s. Many people were killed in this self-proclaimed emperor's reign of terror. Just as Dorgon and his advisor
Sino-Russian border conflicts
The Sino-Russian border conflicts were a series of intermittent skirmishes between the Qing dynasty, with assistance from the Joseon dynasty of Korea, the Tsardom of Russia by the Cossacks in which the latter tried and failed to gain the land north of the Amur River with disputes over the Amur region. The hostilities culminated in the Qing siege of the Cossack fort of Albazin and resulted in the Treaty of Nerchinsk in 1689 which gave the land to China; the southeast corner of Siberia south of the Stanovoy Range was twice contested between Russia and China. Hydrologically, the Stanovoy Range separates the rivers that flow north into the Arctic from those that flow south into the Amur River. Ecologically, the area is the southeastern edge of the Siberian boreal forest with some areas good for agriculture, and politically, from about 600 AD, it was the northern fringe of the Chinese-Manchu world. Various Chinese dynasties would claim sovereignty, build forts and collect tribute when they were strong enough.
The Ming dynasty Nurgan Regional Military Commission built a fort on the Northern bank of the Amur at Aigun, established an administrative seat at Telin, modern Tyr, Russia above Nikolaevsk-on-Amur. Russian expansion into Siberia began with the conquest of the Khanate of Sibir in 1582. By 1643 they reached the Pacific at Okhotsk. East of the Yenisei River there was little land fit for agriculture, except Dauria, the land between the Stanovoy Range and the Amur River, nominally subject to the Qing dynasty. In 1643, Russian adventurers spilled over the Stanovoy Range, but by 1689 they were driven back by the Qing; the land was populated by some 9,000 Daurs on the Zeya River, 14,000 Duchers downstream and several thousand Tungus and Nivkhs toward the river mouth. The first Russians to hear of Dauria were Ivan Moskvitin and Maxim Perfilev about 1640. In 1859/60 the area was annexed by Russia and filled up with a Russian population. December 1639-May 1640: 1st battle - the natives and the Qing: Battle of Gualar: between 2 regiments of Manchu and a detachment of 500 Solon-Daurs led by the Solon-Evenk leader Bombogor while the second native leader Bardači kept neutral.
September 1640: 2nd battle - the natives and the Qing: Battle of Yaksa: between the natives and the Manchus. May 1643: 3rd battle; the native tribes submitted to the Qing Empire. Winter 1643 - Spring 1644: a detachment of a Russian expedition led by the Cossack Vasili Poyarkov explored the stream of the Jingkiri river, present-day Zeya, the Amur rivers. Vassili Poyarkov traveled from Yakutsk south to the Zeya River, he sailed down the Amur River to its mouth and north along the Okhotsk coast, returning to Yakutsk three years later. 1650-1651: In 1649 Yerofei Khabarov found a better route to the upper Amur and returned to Yakutsk where he recommended that a larger force be sent to conquer the region. He returned the same year and built winter quarters at Albazin at the northernmost point on the river, he occupied the Daur's fort Albazin after subduing the Daurs led by Arbaši. The Russian conquest of Siberia was accompanied by massacres due to indigenous resistance to colonization by the Russian Cossacks, who violently suppressed the natives.
The Russian Cossacks were named luocha, after Demons found in Buddhist mythology, by the Amur natives because of their cruelty towards the Amur tribes people, who were subjects of the Qing. March 24, 1652: Battle of AchanskNext summer he sailed down the Amur and built a fort at Achansk near present-day Khabarovsk. Again there was fighting and the natives called for the assistance of the Qing. On 24 March 1652, Achansk was unsuccessfully attacked by a large Qing force; as soon as the ice broke up Khabarov built winter quarters at Kumarsk. In the spring of 1653 reinforcements arrived under Dmitry Zinoviev; the two quarreled, Khabarov was escorted to Moscow for investigation. March–April 1655: Siege of Komar 1655: Russian Tsardom has established a "military governor of the Amur region". 1657: 2nd Battle of Sharhody. Onufriy Stepanov was left in charge with about 400-500 men, they had little difficulty defeating the local Qing troops. The Qing responded with two policies. First they ordered the local population to withdraw, thereby ending the grain production that had attracted the Russians in the first place.
Second they appointed the experienced general Sarhuda as the garrison commander at Ninguta. In 1657 he built more than 40 ships at the village of Ula.. In 1658 a large Qing fleet under Sarhuda caught up with Stepanov and killed him and about 220 Cossacks. A few became freebooters. In the following operations significant Korean forces under King Hyojong were included into Manchu-led troops; the campaigns became known in Korean historiography as Naseon Jeongbeol. January 1654: the first time a Korean contingent arrived to join a Manchu army near Ninguta. July 1654: Battle of Hutong between a joint Korean-Manchu army of 1500 men led by Byeon Geup against 400-500 Russians. 1658: Big warships capable of fighting Russian ships were built by Han Chinese shipbuilders for the Qing forces. Sarhuda's Qing fleet from Ninguta, including a large Korean contingent led by
The New Armies, more called the Newly Created Army, was the modernized army corps formed under the Qing dynasty in December 1895, following its defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War. It was envisioned as militia trained and equipped according to Western standards. There was a forerunner to the effort of modernizing the Chinese army, created before the end of the Sino-Japanese War: in February 1895, the Qing court assembled its Dingwu or the Pacification Army, consisting of 10 battalions or ying, totaling 4,750 men; this was organized by Hu Yufen aided by German advisor Constantin von HannekenThe command of this Pacification Army was turned over to Yuan Shikai by mid-December 1895, within a few months was renamed the Newly Created Army and expanded to 7,000 men. The Newly Created Army, 7,000 men strong became the most formidable of the three army groups stationed near Beijing and proved effective against the Boxers in Shandong province. Yuan refused to obey the Imperial Court's orders to halt his suppression of the Boxers when the Eight-Nation Alliance invaded China during the rebellion and refused to obey orders to fight the alliance.
Instead Yuan helped the Alliance in their anti Boxer campaign after the fall of Beijing and killed tens of thousands. The New Army was expanded and upgraded in the following years. Yuan became disrespectful of the dynasty and only loyal to the party from which he benefited. After 1900, Yuan's troops were the only militia that the Qing court could rely on amidst revolutionary uprisings throughout China; the Chien Men gate refers to the Zhengyangmen. The successful example of the new army was followed in other provinces; the New Army of Yuan was renamed the Beiyang Army on June 25, 1902 after Yuan was promoted to the "Minister of Beiyang". By the end of the dynasty in 1911, most provinces had established sizable new armies; the Qing unified all of China's armies into one force, the "Chinese Army", still called the New Army. Two-thirds of the Chinese Army was Yuan's Beiyang Army. During the Xinhai Revolution, most of the non-Beiyang forces as well as some Beiyang units in the Chinese Army revolted against the Qing.
Yuan led the Beiyang Army into opposing the revolution while negotiating for the Qing's surrender and his ascendency to the presidency of the new republic. Yuan kept a tight grip on the command of the army after its establishment by installing officials only loyal to him; these army groups and generals played different roles in the politics of the Republic of China until the establishment of the People's Republic of China following the Communist Party of China's victory in the Chinese Civil War. One of the most important legacies of the New Army was the professionalization of the military and introduction of militarism to China. Any male could join and soldiers were poor and illiterate peasants; the New Armies moved beyond the personalized recruitment and patronage of Zeng Guofan and Zuo Zongtang, successful in the mid-century uprisings, but seemed discredited in the face of modern armies in Japan and the West. The New Army created modern military academies to train officers; the modernization and professionalization of the New Army impressed many in the gentry class to join.
The young Chiang Kai-shek, for instance attended Yuan's Baoding Military Academy, which thus influenced him in forming his Whampoa Academy, which trained a succeeding generation of soldiers. Yuan and his successors equated military dominance of the political sphere with national survival; the political army would become a dominant force in China for much of the twentieth century. Yuan Shikai Duan Qirui Wang Yingkai Wu Peifu Feng Guozhang Sun Chuanfang Xu Shichang Wang Shizhen Cao Kun Zhang Xun Feng Yuxiang Lu Yongxiang Xu Shuzheng Zhang Zhizhong Song Zheyuan Tang Shengzhi Qin Dechun Qi Xieyuan Chi, Hsi-sheng. Warlord Politics in China: 1916-1928. Stanford University Press. P. 13. ISBN 978-0-804-76619-7. Fung, Allen. "Testing the Self-Strengthening: The Chinese Army in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895". Modern Asian Studies. 30: 1007–1031. Doi:10.1017/s0026749x00016875. JSTOR 312957. Fung, Edmund S. K.. The Military Dimension of the Chinese Revolution: The New Army and Its Role in the Revolution of 1911.
Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. Li, Chien-Nung. Ssù Yü Têng, Jeremy Ingalls, eds; the Political History of China,1840-1928. Stanford University Press. Pp. 102–103. ISBN 978-0-804-70602-5. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter Powell, Ralph L.. The Rise of Chinese Military Power 1895-1912. Princeton: Kennikat Press. Pp. 102–103. Purcell, Victor; the Boxer Uprising: A Background Study. Cambridge University Press. P. 29. ISBN 978-0-521-14812-2. Wang, Jianhua. "Military Reforms, 1895-1908". Chinese Studies in History. 28: 67–
The Dzungar–Qing Wars were a decades-long series of conflicts that pitted the Dzungar Khanate against the Qing dynasty of China and their Mongolian vassals. Fighting took place over a wide swath of Inner Asia, from present-day central and eastern Mongolia to Tibet and Xinjiang regions of present-day China. Qing victories led to the incorporation of Outer Mongolia and Xinjiang into the Qing Empire, to last until the fall of the dynasty in 1911–1912, the extermination of much of the Dzungar population in conquered areas. After the collapse of the Yuan dynasty in 1368, China's Mongol rulers withdrew to Mongolia and became known as the Northern Yuan dynasty. Over time, the Mongol state disintegrated into a series of Khanates, ruled by various descendants of Genghis Khan; the Qing dynasty annexed Inner Mongolia. While the Eastern Mongols were ruled by Chingisids, the Oirats were ruled by the Choros clan; the Dzungar Oirats under Erdeni Batur and Zaya Pandita held a pan-Oirat-Mongol conference in 1640 with all Oirat and Mongol tribes participating except the Inner Mongols under Qing rule.
The conference ended in failure. By the 1650s, the Dzungar Khanate, an Oirat state centered in Dzungaria and western Mongolia, had risen to become the preeminent khanate in the region and was in conflict with Khalkha Mongols, the remnants of the Northern Yuan dynasty, of eastern Mongolia. Upon assuming the throne after the death of his brother Sengge in 1670, Galdan Boshugtu Khan launched a series of successful campaigns to expand his territory as far as present-day eastern Kazakhstan, from present-day northern Kyrgyzstan to southern Siberia. Through skillful diplomacy, Galdan maintained peaceful relations with the Qing dynasty while establishing relations with Russia. However, when Galdan's brother Dorjijab was killed in a skirmish with troops loyal to the Khalkha khan in 1687, Galdan took the pretext to launch a full-scale invasion of eastern Mongolia, he destroyed several Khalkha tribes at the battle of Olgoi Nor in 1688, sending twenty thousand refugees fleeing south to Qing territory. The Khalkha rulers, fled to Hohhot and sought Qing assistance.
Meanwhile, the Qing had secured a peace treaty with the Cossacks on their northern border, inclined to support Galdan. The Treaty of Nerchinsk prevented an alliance between Galdan and the Russians, leaving the Qing free to attack their Mongol rivals. Fearing a united Mongol state ruled by the hostile Dzungars, the Qing now turned their powerful war machine on the Oirats; the Dzungars had conquered and subjugated the Uyghurs during the Dzungar conquest of Altishahr after being invited by the Afaqi Khoja to invade the Chingisid Chagatai ruled Yarkent Khanate. Heavy taxes were imposed upon the Uyghurs by the Dzungars; this led to uprisings and Uyghur rebels from Turfan and Kumul who were rebelling against Dzungar rule joined the Qing in their war against the Dzungars. The Dzungars used. Gunpowder weapons like guns and cannons were deployed by the Qing and the Dzungars at the same time against each other; the First Dzungar–Qing War was a military conflict fought from 1687-1697 between the Dzungar Khanate and an alliance of the Qing dynasty and the northern Khalkhas, remnants of the Northern Yuan dynasty.
The war resulted from a Dzungar attack on the Northern Yuan dynasty based in Outer Mongolia, who were defeated in 1688. Their rulers and twenty thousand refugees fled south to the Qing dynasty, which feared the growing power of the Dzungar state. Motivated by the opportunity to gain control over Mongolia and by the threat posed to them by a strong, unified Mongol state such as the Oirats threatened to form, the Qing sent their army north to subdue the Dzungars in 1690. Qing scouts attacked a Dzungar party north of the Great Wall. However, this proved to be the main Dzungar army. A large Qing army under Prince Fuquan advanced North into Inner Mongolia, hoping to trap and crush the mobile Dzungar army. However, they were constrained by difficult terrain, it took some Qing troops twelve days to cross the Gobi Desert, the horses were left exhausted. Running low on supplies, the Qing confronted the Dzungars at Ulan Butung in September 1690. Although outnumbered 5 to 1, the Dzungars formed a camel wall, beat back a pair of artillery-supported Qing assaults, escaped into the hills.
The Qing commander claimed victory, but his failure to destroy the Dzungar forces led to his dismissal and early retirement. Galdan was left in control of Mongolia from the Selenga River in the north to Khalkhyn Gol in the south. A pause in the conflict ensued; the Khalkha rulers declared themselves Qing vassals at Dolon Nor in 1691, a politically decisive step that ended the last remnants of the Yuan dynasty. It allowed the Qing to assume the mantle of the Genghisid khans, merging the Khalkha forces into the Qing army; the Kangxi Emperor had now become determined to "exterminate" Galdan. Negotiations between the two sides bore little fruit; the Dzungars cast about for allies, making overtures to the Russians and various Mongol princes, but were rejected. Kangxi set about preparing the complex logistics necessary to support a planned 1696 expedition; this included procuring 1,333 carts, each carrying 6 shi of grain. Three armies advanced north in 1696. One, under the command of Fiyanggu, numbering 30,000 and to be reinforced with a further 10,000, was to trap Galdan, while Kangxi persona
Ronglu, courtesy name Zhonghua, was a Manchu political and military leader of the late Qing dynasty. He was born in the Guwalgiya clan, under the Plain White Banner of the Manchu Eight Banners. Favoured by Empress Dowager Cixi, he served in a number of important civil and military positions in the Qing government, including the Zongli Yamen, Grand Council, Grand Secretary, Viceroy of Zhili, Beiyang Trade Minister, Secretary of Defence, Nine Gates Infantry Commander, Wuwei Corps Commander, he was the maternal grandfather of Puyi, the last Emperor of China and the Qing dynasty. Ronglu was born in the Manchu Guwalgiya clan, under the Plain White Banner of the Manchu Eight Banners, his grandfather, served as an Imperial Resident in Kashgar. His father, was a zongbing. Ronglu was a yinsheng, a type of position awarded to civil service candidates who gained admission to the Guozijian, he started his career in the Ministry of Works as a yuanwailang and was tasked with constructing roads in Zhili Province.
In the early years of the Tongzhi Emperor's reign, he set up the Firearms Division and was rewarded with the position of a jingtang. He was appointed as a flank commander and zhuancao dachen before being transferred to be a zongbing of the left flank. Through Wenxiang's recommendation, he became the Vice Secretary of the Ministry of Works, he was reassigned to the Ministry of Revenue and concurrently appointed as Minister of the Imperial Household Department. The Tongzhi Emperor was succeeded by his cousin, the Guangxu Emperor. In the same year, Ronglu became an infantry commander. Three years he was reassigned to be a Left Censor-in-Chief and Secretary of Works. In 1878, Baoting wrote a memorial to the imperial court, pointing out that certain officials concurrently held too many appointments, hence Ronglu was relieved of his duties as Secretary of Works and Minister of the Imperial Household Department. Ronglu was accused of accepting bribes and was demoted by two grades, he offended Prince Chun and Shen Guifen and was forced to retire in early 1879.
However, in 1891, he was appointed as General of Xi'an. In 1894, Ronglu was recalled from Xi'an to the capital Beijing to attend Empress Dowager Cixi's birthday celebrations, he was appointed again as an infantry commander. During the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895, along with Prince Gong and Prince Qing, were in charge of military affairs. After the Qing and Japanese empires reached a peace settlement, Ronglu nominated Yuan Shikai to oversee the creation and training of the New Army. In 1896, Ronglu was appointed as Secretary of Assistant Grand Secretary, he proposed transferring Dong Fuxiang and his Gansu Army to Beijing to defend the capital and enhance the training of the New Army. In 1898, Ronglu was promoted to Grand Secretary and subsequently assumed the following additional appointments: Viceroy of Zhili Province, Beiyang Trade Minister, Grand Secretary of Wenyuan Cabinet overseeing the Ministry of Justice. Around the time, a group of officials led by Kang Youwei and Tan Sitong planned to carry out a series of reforms and get rid of conservative elements in the government.
The Guangxu Emperor supported the reformists. Yuan Shikai was appointed as a Vice Secretary. Ronglu felt uneasy. Acting on the advice of Yang Chongyi, Empress Dowager Cixi interfered in the situation and launched the 1898 Coup against the reformists. Ronglu was sided with the Empress Dowager in the coup; the reformists were defeated – six of their leaders were executed – and the Guangxu Emperor was placed under house arrest. After the coup, Ronglu was relieved of his appointments as Viceroy of Zhili Province and Beiyang Minister, reappointed as Secretary of Defence to oversee the Beiyang Army. In 1899, Ronglu was granted authority as Imperial Commissioner in charge of military training and put in command of the military units led by Nie Shicheng, Dong Fuxiang, Song Qing and Yuan Shikai, he established the Wuwei Corps, composed of five divisions led by himself. Around the time, Empress Dowager Cixi had the intention of deposing the Guangxu Emperor and replacing him with Prince Duan's son Puzhuan.
Ronglu was undecided on this issue, but he opposed the Empress Dowager's idea. She designated Puzhuan as "First Prince" instead. In 1900, when the Boxer Rebellion broke out, Prince Duan and others convinced Empress Dowager Cixi to support the Boxers to counter foreigners. Dong Fuxiang led his Gansu Army to attack the foreign legations in Beijing but was unable to conquer the legations despite a few months of siege. Ronglu was unable to stop him. Prince Duan and his followers continued to press the attacks against foreigners and kill any official in the imperial court who opposed them; when Beijing fell to the forces of the Eight-Nation Alliance, Empress Dowager Cixi and the Guangxu Emperor fled to Xi'an. Ronglu was denied permission. In 1901, Empress Dowager Cixi issued five imperial decrees; the first ordered Ronglu to "command various imperial forces, including the Beijing Field Force, the Hushenying, with cavalry and the Wuwei Corps, to suppress these rebels, to intensify searching patrol.