Glossary on Modern Chinese History
Amherst, Lord William (1773‑1857): Leader of the second British diplomatic and trade mission to China. In 1816 Amherst attempted to meet with the Jiaqing emperor, but due to misunderstandings in protocol, his mission was refused.
Anhui: Province in east‑central China, over 50,000 square miles in area, with a population of 52,990,000. Capital: Hefei (population: 930,000).
Anti‑Lin Biao, Anti‑Confucius campaign: Mass propaganda movement launched in late 1973 that linked the disgraced (and dead) Lin Biao to Confucius and called for mass criticism of the reactionary, feudal aspects of Chinese society that the two figures allegedly symbolized.
Anti-spiritual pollution campaign: Movement launched in 1982 by the CCP under Deng Xiaoping to criticize what was seen as Western‑influenced decadence in writing and other arts.
Autumn Harvest Uprisings (September 1927): Series of unsuccessful attacks made on Comintern orders by peasant forces on several small towns near Changsha, Hunan province, led by Mao Zedong.
Bandung conference (1955): Meeting of delegates of Asian and African countries held in Bandung, Indonesia, in which Zhou Enlai called for Asian‑African solidarity and won international recognition of China's new diplomatic role.
banner system: Method of military organization applied by the Manchus whereby fighting men (and their families) were grouped in divisions identified by different colored banners. Eight banners were devised, using the colors red, blue, yellow, and white: four solid and four bordered. The system, begun by Nurhaci, was phased out in the early twentieth century with the development of the Qing New Army.
baojia: Method of household organization and control, based on a system described in ancient texts and employed with varying degrees of success from the Song dynasty through the Qing. One hundred households were organized into a jia. Ten jia made a bao. The leaders of the units, elected on a rotating basis, were charged with maintaining local order, supervising community works, and enforcing tax collection.
bourgeois liberalization: General term used by the CCP to describe and criticize the demands made by those calling for democracy and human rights in the student protests of 1986 and 1989.
Boxer Protocol (1901): Demands of foreign powers agreed to by the Qing government (represented by Li Hongzhang) after the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion, which included the payment of an indemnity that amounted to almost half of the Qing annual budget. Indemnity payments were later used by the United States to establish a fund to allow Chinese students to study in America.
Boxer Uprising (1900): Anti‑Christian, antiforeign peasant uprising that originated in northern Shandong and ended with the siege of the foreign legation in Peking. Participants were mostly poor peasants who practiced a type of martial art that gave the name "boxer" to the movement. The uprising ended when a combined Western military expedition entered Peking, forcing the empress dowager Cixi and her court to flee to Xi'an.
Buddhism: Religion of compassion and salvation based to some extent on the teachings of the Indian prince Siddhartha ("the Buddha," 563‑483 B.C.). Influential in Chinese society since its introduction during the Han dynasty (206 B.C.‑A.D. 220), Buddhism at various times contested against and blended with the two indigenous schools of Chinese religious and philosophical thought, Confucianism and Daoism.
Burma Road: Overland passage running 715 miles from Lashio in Burma to Kunming in the southwestern province of Yunnan. Used by the Allies in the early part of World War II to send supplies to Chiang Kai‑shek's government in Chongqing. Closed in 1942 when Britain lost Burma to Japan.
Cai Yuanpei [Tsi Yu‑en‑pay] (1868‑1948): President of Peking University from 1916 to 1926. Important supporter of the May Fourth movement.
Campaign to Purify Class Ranks: Movement launched during the Cultural Revolution to investigate the class background of all cadres suspected of having "bad" elements in their past. Cadres "studied" their faults in May Seventh Schools set up throughout the country.
Canton: Major southern city in the Pearl River delta, known as "Guangzhou" in Mandarin. Capital of Guangdong province. Population: 3,420,000.
Canton commune (December 11, 1927): Communist‑led workers' uprising ordered by Qu Qiubai at the command of Stalin. Put down two days later by an antiCommunist warlord and Guomindang troops.
Central Committee: Central coordinating organ of the Chinese Communist party. The powerful Politburo and its Standing Committee are drawn from its members.
Chen Duxiu [Chun Doo‑shoe‑o] (1879‑1942): Important figure in the May Fourth movement; founded the journal New Youth in 1915 upon his return from studies in Japan. One of the earliest Chinese Marxists and, with Li Dazhao, a founder of the Chinese Communist party.
Chen Yonggui [Chen Yohng‑gway]: Leader of a production team in Dazhai; became nationally famous in 1964 when he was praised by Mao for using elements of Mao Zedong thought to achieve dramatic increases in agricultural production. Chen lost his high government appointments in the 1980 criticism of Dazhai.
Chen Yun (b. 1900): Shanghai typesetter who joined the Communist party in 1924 and went on to become the CCP's foremost economic planner after 1949. Helped orchestrate China's economic recovery after the Great Leap Forward. Criticized during the Cultural Revolution, he returned to high‑level government positions in the 1980s as a conservative opponent of rapid economic change in China.
Chiang Ching‑kuo [Jee‑ang Jing‑gwo] (1909‑1988): Soviet‑educated son of Chiang Kaishek. He served under his father in various Guomindang positions, including commissioner in charge of Guomindang financial reforms in the 1940s. Inherited his father's position as president of Taiwan from 1978 to his death ten years later.
Chiang Kai‑shek (1888‑1975): Military and political leader of the Guomindang after the death of Sun Yat‑sen. Joined the anti‑Manchu Tongmeng hui as a military student in Japan. Sent by Sun Yat‑sen to the Soviet Union for military training in 1923 and named leader of the Whampoa Academy upon his return. After leading the Northern Expedition, he set up a Nationalist government in 1928 and fought for the next twenty years against warlords, the Japanese, and the Communists for the control of China. President of the Guomindang government on Taiwan from 1949 until his death twenty‑six years later.
Chongqing: Port city on the Yangzi River in Sichuan province. Served as the location of Chiang Kai‑shek's Nationalist government during World War II. Population: 2,890,000.
Cixi [Tse‑shee] (1835‑1908): Concubine to Emperor Xianfeng; mother of Emperor Tongzhi; known to Westerners as "the empress dowager." From the time she became regent to the boy‑emperor Tongzhi in 1861 until her death forty‑eight years later, she held de facto power over the Qing government, naming two successive emperors to the throne.
Cohong [gong‑hang] ("combined merchant companies"): Chinese merchant guild, formally established in 1720, with a monopoly over maritime trade with Western countries. From 1760, when all trade was restricted to Canton, the Cohong acted as agents of the Qing government, collecting duties and handling all negotiations with foreigners. The system was abolished in 1842 with the Treaty of Nanjing.
Confucianism: System of ethics based on the teachings of Kongfuzi (tr. 551‑479 s.c.), who held that man would be in harmony with the universe if he behaved with righteousness and restraint, and adhered properly to specific social roles. With its emphasis on the study of the Classics, the worship of ancestors, and the submission to authority, Confucianism formed the dominant ethic of Chinese social units from the imperial government to the peasant family.
Cultural Revolution: Complex social upheaval that began as a struggle between Mao Zedong and other top party leaders for dominance of the CCP and went on to affect all of China with its call for "continuing revolution." Dates for the movement are usually given as 1966 to 1976.
Dalai Lama: Supreme spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism; also the supreme political leader of Tibet from 1642 to 1959. In various periods through Tibetan history, Chinese policy has had considerable influence on determining the placement and the power of the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 and now lives in exile in India.
danwei [dahn‑way]: Place of work in post‑1949 China; a company or an organization that functions as an employer and often provides housing and social services for its employees.
Daoism: School of philosophy based on the writings of Laozi (tr. 604‑521 B.C.) and Zhuangzi (369‑286 B.C.), which teaches that liberation is achieved when man is in harmony with the empty, spontaneous, and natural essence of "the way."
Dazhai: Rural brigade in Shanxi .province, led by Chen Yonggui. Used in the early 1960s and again in the mid‑1970s as a model for socialist agricultural production achieved through the application of Mao Zedong thought.
December Ninth movement (1935): Series of protests against Japanese aggression and Chiang Kai‑shek's inability to check that aggression. It was touched off by student demonstrations held in Peking on December 9, 1935, and helped generate a climate sympathetic to the second Communist‑Guomindang united front.
Democracy Wall: Stretch of wall edging the Forbidden City in Peking, where posters that called for democratic freedom were displayed in 1978‑1979. The most famous of these posters, composed by Wei Jingsheng, proposed the adoption of democracy as the fifth modernization.
Deng Xiaoping [Dung Shee‑ow‑ping] (b. 1904): Son of a Sichuanese peasant family, he joined the Communist party while on a work‑study program in France in the 1920s. A veteran of the Long March, Deng rose to high positions in the Central Committee during the 1950s and early 1960s, and returned to power after a period of persecution during the Cultural Revolution, replacing Hua Guofeng as premier in 1980. He was instrumental in implementing the Four Modernizations, and crushing the 1989 democracy protests.
Donglin ("Eastern Grove") Society: Academy founded in the early seventeenth century in Wuxi by a group of scholar officials. The society was dedicated to the restoration of "orthodox" Confucian morality as found in the Classics, which would counter what the members perceived to be the "degenerate" effects of the intuitive philosophy of Wang Yangming. As a political faction, members of the society struggled against the power of the eunuchs in the imperial court. Many from the academy suffered torture and death in a purge ordered by the powerful eunuch Wei Zhongxian in 1625.
Dorgon (1612‑1650): Manchu military leader, the fourteenth son of Nurhaci, and half brother of Hong Taiji. Led the first Manchu attacks on China inside the Great Wall, capturing Peking in 1644. Dorgon exercised power over the first Qing court in his role as coregent to Hong Taiji's son, the boy emperor Shunzhi.
Dream of the Red Chamber, The (Hong Lou Meng): Novel, also known as The Story of the Stone, written by Cao Xueqin during the reign of Qianlong. This tragic love story of the hero Jia Baoyu and Lin Daiyu is set amid courtyards of a large wealthy family in the Yangzi delta region.
Eighth Route Army: Name given to the Communist Red Army placed under nominal Guomindang command during the second Communist‑Guomindang united front against Japan (1937‑1945).
Elliot, Charles: Named in 1836 as second British superintendent of foreign trade after the death of Lord Napier. Dismissed during the Opium War for not extracting enough concessions from the Chinese in initial treaty negotiations.
Ever‑Victorious, Army: Foreign‑officered mercenary army that fought alongside Qing forces to repel Taiping attacks in the lower Yangzi delta. The army's successful use of steamdriven gunboats and advanced artillery helped cause the Qing to consider adopting Western military technology.
Fang Lizhi [Fahng Lee‑jir] (b. 1936): Prominent Chinese astrophysicist and dissident, expelled from the Communist party for "bourgeois liberalism"‑that is, he supported student demonstrations for democracy in 1986.
Feng Yuxiang [Fung Yu‑shee‑ahng] (1882‑1948): Warlord whose power base in the 1920s ranged from the northwestern province of Shaanxi to Peking. Influenced by the Soviet Union, he decided to join the Guomindang against other northern warlords during the Northern Expedition.
fifth modernization: Another name for "democracy," taken from the title of a wall poster written by Wei Jingsheng calling for the addition of democracy as the "fifth modernization," without which the Four Modernizations would not succeed.
Five Anti campaign: Struggle launched in 1952 by the Communist party against Chinese industrialists and businessmen who had stayed on in China after 1949. The movement ended the independent operation of capitalists and helped consolidate CCP power over the Chinese economy.
Five Classics: Five works (The Book of Rites /Li jiJ, Spring and Autumn Annals [Chun QiuJ, The Book of History [Shu jiJ, The Book of Poetry (Shi JiJ, and The Book of Changes (yi fngJ) said to have been edited by Confucius. Together with the Four Books, they formed the central canon of Confucian learning.
Flying Tigers: "Volunteer" force of U.S. Army‑Air Force pilots who fought for China against Japan in World War II. Led by former U.S. Army pilot and adviser to Chiang Kai‑shek, Claire Lee Chennault.
Four Books: Analects (sayings of Confucius (Lun Yu]), Mencius (MengxiJ, The Doctrine of the Mean [Zhong Yong], and The Great Learning [Da Xue), which formed the center of Confucian education along with the Five Classics.
Four Modernizations: Goal of Chinese domestic policy, announced in 1978, to develop the four areas of agriculture, industry, national defense, and science and technology. In pursuit of this goal, China under Deng Xiaoping implemented an open‑door policy toward the West, developing special economic zones and sending students abroad.
Gang of Four: Group consisting of Yao Wenyuan, Zhang Chunqiao, Wang Hongwen, and Jiang Qing, who were officially blamed for creating and directing the Cultural Revolution. Arrested under Hua Guofeng's orders in October 1976, the four were tried and convicted in nationally televised proceedings in 1980.
Gong, Prince (1833‑1898): Sixth son of Emperor Daoguang, important figure in the Qing dynasty's late attempts at revitalizing its powet and regaining its dignity in the face of foreign aggression. Was called upon in 1860 to negotiate the Convention of Peking with invading British forces on behalf of his exiled half brother, Emperor Xianfeng. In 1861 became adviser to the empress dowager Cixi and leader of the newly formed Office for the Management of the Business of All Foreign Countries (Zongli Yamen), a position he held until 1884 and then again from 1894 to 1898.
Grand Canal: System of waterways connecting Peking to the Yangzi River delta, allowing for the shipment of rice and other products from the south to the imperial capital.
Grand Council: Small chamber of highly trusted advisers to the emperor. First formed by Emperor Yongzheng as a secret council to expedite military planning and established as a formal institution under his son, Emperor Qianlong. The power of the Grand Council superceded that of the Grand Secretariat and the six ministries.
Grand Secretariat: Administrative body of the central imperial government, consisting of a small group of Manchus and Chinese whose function was primarily to handle routine memorials passed up from the six ministries.
Great Leap Forward (1958‑1961): Attempt launched by Mao Zedong to heighten economic productivity dramatically in China through mass organization and the inspiration of revolutionary fervor among the people. Exaggerated reports of the success of policies such as the radical collectivization of peasants into large "people's communes" and the decentralization of industrial production temporarily masked the actual economic disaster and widespread famine brought by the Great Leap.
Green Gang: Secret society that dominated organized crime in Shanghai before 1949. In the 1920s and 1930s Green Gang ties were exploited by business and Guomindang to control workers' strikes and suppress CCP activities.
Guangdong ("Broad East"): Province in southeastern China, 81,000 square miles in area, with a population of 64,447,000. Capital: Guangzhou (Canton) (population: 3,420,000).
Guangxi ("Broad West"): Zhuang autonomous region in southwestern China, 89,000 square miles in area, with a population of 40,230,000. Capital: Nanning (population: 1,000,000).
Guangxu [Gwang Shu] (1871‑1908): Reign name of Caitian, nephew of Emperor Xianfeng, chosen at the age of four by his aunt Cixi to be the ninth emperor of the Qing dynasty after the death in 1875 of his cousin, Emperor Tongzhi. Sympathetic to the appeals of Confucian reformers such as Kang Youwei, Guangxu helped launch the Hundred Days' Reforms of 1898, but was imprisoned by Cixi that same year for supposedly plotting to remove her from power.
Guizhou: Mountainous province in southwest China, 65,000 square miles in area, with its capital at Guiyang (population: 1,430,000). Many of its 30,730,000 people are members of the Miao and Zhuang minorities.
Hakkas (Kejia): Ethnic minority people of south‑central China. Famous Hakkas include Taiping leader Hong Xiuquan and the Soong family.
Hebei ("River North"): Province in northeastern China, 69,500 square miles in area, with a population of 57,100,000. Capital: Shijiazhuang (population: 1,220,000).
Heilongjiang ("Black Dragon River")` Northeastern‑most province in China, 180,000 square miles in area, with a population of 34,240,000. Capital: Harbin (population: 2,710,000). Place of vast wilderness and harsh, long winters.
Henan ("River South"): Province in east‑central China, 61,800 square miles in area, with a population of 79,690,000. Capital: Zhengzhou (population: 1,580,000). Much of Henan is situated on the broad, flat plain of the Yellow River.
Heshen (1750‑1799): Powerful minister and adviser to the emperor Qianlong, accused at Qianlong's death of corruption and contributing to the decline of the empire. In one year he rose from imperial bodyguard to the highest positions in the government, where he used his power to enrich himself and his followers. Arrested and forced to commit suicide after the death of Qianlong.
Hong Xiuquan [Hong Shee‑o‑chwen] (1813‑1864): Leader of the Taiping rebellion, an aspiring scholar from a poor Hakka family. Believing himself to be the brother of Jesus Christ, entrusted by God to drive the demon Manchus out of China, he formed the Society of God Worshipers in Guangxi province, proclaimed himself emperor of the "Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace" (Taiping Tianguo), and led a rebellion against the Qing that almost ended the dynasty.
Hoppo: Derived from Hubu, or "Ministry of Revenue." Official head of Maritime Customs for the Qing government before the Opium War. The Hoppo did not deal directly with foreigners, but received duties and all communiques from foreigners through Cohong merchants.
Hua Guofeng [Hwah Gwo‑fung] (b. 1921): Former party secretary of Hunan province who rose to the position of premier of China and head of the CCP after the death of Mao in 1976. Hua ordered the arrest of the Gang of Four in order to consolidate his power, but was in turn edged out of his central positions in 1980 by an ascendent Deng Xiaoping.
Huai River: One of the major waterways of China, approximately 625 miles long, flowing west to east through the central provinces of Jiangsu, Anhui, and Henan.
Hubei ("Lake North"): Province in central China, 69,500 square miles in area, with a population of 51,200,000. Capital: Wuhan (population: 3,570,000). The middle reaches of the Yangzi River run through this province.
Hunan ("Lake South"): Province in south‑central China, 81,000 square miles in area, with a population of 57,940,000. Capital: Changsha (population: 1,230,000).
Hundred Days' Reforms (Summer 1898): Three‑month period during which Kang Youwei and his supporters influenced Emperor Guangxu to issue edicts on political and economic reform. Ended when Cixi staged a coup, imprisoning the emperor and executing six reformers, including Kang Youwei's younger brother.
Hundred Flowers movement (1957): Brief period of liberalization begun in May 1957, when Mao encouraged the "blooming of a hundred flowers and the contending of a hundred schools of thought" and called for the nation's intellectuals to criticize the Communist party. The resultant outpouring of expression was swiftly cut off by the end of June, when an "antirightist campaign" was launched against those who had spoken out.
Hu Shi [Who Shir] (1891‑1962): Writer, philosopher, leading figure of the May Fourth movement. Later served as the Nationalist government's ambassador to the United States from 1938 to 1942.
Hu Yaobang [Who Yow‑bahng] (1915‑1989): Protege of Deng Xiaoping who rose from leader of the Communist Youth League in the 1950s to secretary‑general of the CCP in 1981. Dismissed from this position in 1987 for supposedly supporting the student democracy protests of December 1986. His death in April 1989 served as a rallying point for the renewed student democracy protests that culminated in the Peking massacre of June 4, 1989.
Inner Mongolia (Nei Menggu): Autonomous region of deserts and grassland in northern China, 463,000 square miles in area, with a population of 20,660,000. Inner Mongolia shares a long border with Soviet‑allied Mongolia to the north. Capital: Hohot (population: 830,000).
Inspectorate of Customs: Foreign‑managed service that collected maritime customs fees for the Qing court. Established in 1854 during the Taiping rebellion to reorganize the Chinese customs in accordance with Western international trade protocol. Under Robert Hart, the Inspectorate successively channeled large sums of money into the imperial treasuries.
Jehol (Rehe): City 100 miles northeast of Peking, site of the summer palaces of the Qing emperors. Now the city of Chengde in Hebei province.
Jiang Qing [Jee‑ahng Ching] (b. 1914): Third wife of Mao Zedong, a former Shanghai movie actress who rose in the late 1960s and early 1970s to become a major political figure of the Cultural Revolution. Arrested in 1976, after the death of her husband, on charges that as the leader of the Gang of Four she was personally responsible for directly persecuting hundreds of party members and indirectly causing the suffering of millions of Chinese. Her death sentence was commuted to life under house arrest.
Jiangsu: Province an the eastern coast of China, 38,000 square miles in area, with a population of 63,480,000. Capital: Nanjing (population: 2,390,000). Bordering the municipality of Shanghai, Jiangsu is traditionally a center of Chinese culture and business.
Jiangxi ("River West"): Province in southeastern China, 61,800 square miles in area, with a population of 35,580,000. Capital: Nanchang (population: 1,260,000).
Jiangxi Soviet: Experimental rural Communist government led by Mao Zedong, centered in the town of Ruijin on the mountainous border between Jiangxi and Fujian provinces. Established in 1928, it lasted until a Guomindang blockade of the area forced the Communists to escape north in 1934 on what became the Long March.
jinshi: Highest degree attainable through the imperial examination system. Candidates sat for the test in Peking, where it was given once every three years throughout the Ming and Qing dynasties until the abolition of the examination system in 1905. Holders of the jinshi degree were assigned to high offices in the provinces and the imperial capital.
Journey to the West (Xiyou ji): Major work of Chinese fiction, based on the pilgrimage of the Tang dynasty monk Xuan Zang to India in search of Buddhist sutras. First published in novel form in the late Ming.
Kangxi [Kahng‑shee) (1654‑1722): Reign name of Xuan Ye, third son of Emperor Shunzhi, who came to the throne at the age of seven and for sixty‑one years ruled China as the second emperor of the Qing dynasty. Saw to the consolidation of Manchu rule over China, personally leading successful military campaigns to the northwest border areas while his generals subdued the rebellious Three Feudatories in the south and captured Taiwan. During his reign China was the largest and one of the most prosperous unified empires on earth.
Kang Youwei (Kahng Yo‑way] (1858‑1927): Confucian scholar, influential in late Qing reform movements, who held that economic and political modernization could take place within a Confucian political and moral framework. His plans for reform were supported by Emperor Guangxu in the Hundred Days' Reforms of 1898.
Koxinga (1624‑1662): Naval commander, supporter of the Ming cause who fought the Manchus through the 1650s along the southeastern coast of China. Defeated by Manchu troops at Nanjing in 1659, Koxinga went on to establish a powerful miiaary and commercial base on Taiwan.
Lee Teng‑hui (b. 1923): Native Taiwanese politician who succeeded Chiang Ching‑kuo to the presidency of Taiwan in 1988. Concerned with reopening contacts between Taiwan and the PRC, one of the first major actions of his presidency was to lift all restrictions on Taiwanese traveling to the mainland to visit relatives.
Liang Qichao [Lee‑ahng Chee‑chow] (1873‑1929): Student of Kang Youwei. Exiled to Japan after the conservative coup of 1898, he used his writings to raise support for the reformers' cause among overseas Chinese and foreign governments. Initally a supporter of Kang Youwei's ideas of constitutional monarchy, he later split with his teacher and advocated a liberal republicanism.
Liaoning: Province in northeastern China, 54,000 square miles in area, with a population of 37,770,000. Its capital, Shenyang (Mukden) (population: 4,370,000), is one of the major heavy‑industry centers in China.
Li Dazhao [Lee Dah‑jowl (1889‑1927): Important figure in the May Fourth movement, early Chinese Marxist, and one of the founders of the CCP. Studied in Japan, returned to China in 1918 as director of the Peking University library and co‑editor of New Youth magazine. Went on to become an influential Communist party leader during its first united‑front alliance with the Guomindang (1923‑1927). Captured and executed in Peking by the warlord Zhang Zuolin.
Li Hongzhang [Lee Hong‑jahng] (1823‑1901): General/official in the service of the Qing dynasty and a major figure in the self‑strengthening movement of the late nineteenth century. Came to prominence in the 18605 under the tutelege of Zeng Guofan as leader of the provincial Huai army against the Taiping. Later went on in the 18705 and 18805 to help develop railways, telegraph lines, shipping companies, and arms manufacture.
Li Lisan [Lee Lee‑sahn] (1900‑1967): Early Communist labor organizer, selected in 1928 to replace Qu Qiubai as leader of the Communist party. Li was criticized and removed from his leadership position in 1930 for insisting that the urban proletariat, not the peasantry, would be the dominant force of the Chinese revolution.
Lin Biao [Lin Bee‑yow] (1908‑1971): Military leader who helped to transform the PLA into a conventional modern army; succeeded Peng Dehuai in 1958 as minister of defense. An ardent supporter of Mao, Lin compiled the influential Quotations from Chairman Mao and was named to be Mao's successor in 1969. Supposedly died two years later in an airplane crash after having escaped a failed coup against Mao.
Lin Zexu [Lin Dze‑shu] (1785‑1850): Scholar‑official from Fujian province, appointed in 1838 as imperial commissioner to end opium trade. He led a moral campaign aimed at domestic users of opium and at the same time attempted to stop foreign importation of the drug. His confiscation and destruction in 1839 of 3 million pounds of opium from British warehouses in Canton outraged British trading concerns and helped trigger the Opium War (1839‑1842).
Li Peng (b. 1928): One of several orphans protected by Zhou Enlai, he was a Soviet‑trained engineer who became premier of China in 1988. Initially seen as a supporter of Deng Xiaoping's policies of rapid economic change, he emerged as a major hard‑liner in 1989.
Liu Shaoqi [Lee‑o Shaow‑'chee] (1898‑1969): Soviet‑educated Communist organizer and theorist, author of How to Be a Good Communist. Publicly recognized in the early 19605 as Mao's successor to party leadership, Liu was severely criticized as a "capitalist roader" and purged from the party during the Cultural Revolution.
Li Zicheng [Lee Dze‑chung] (1606‑1645): Post‑station attendant and deserter from the Ming army who in 1644, with his own rebel forces, overthrew the Ming dynasty. From his base of power in Shaanxi province, Li established his rule over much of northern and central China. He finally marched unopposed into Peking in 1644, bringing to an end a dynasty already weakened by threats from the Manchus and from other rebel armies.
Long March (1934‑1935): Journey of 6,000 miles made by Communist forces escaping the suppression campaign of Chiang Kai‑shek. Only 8,000 to 9,000 of the original 80,000 who began the year‑long trek out of the Jiangxi Soviet area in 1934 lived to establish a new Communist base at Yan'an in the northwestern province of Shaanxi.
Lu Xun [Loo Shun] (1881‑1936): China's most famous short story writer. His works criticized, with dry, sardonic wit, the traditional culture and mentality of his fellow Chinese. Among his most famous works are "The True Story of Ah Q" and "My Old Home."
Macao: Port city in southern China, 50 miles southwest of Hong Kong, under Portuguese territorial rule since 1557. Population: 400,000.
Macartney, Lord George (1737‑1806): Leader of the first official British diplomatic mission to China. Sent in 1793 by the British East India Company with the cooperation of the court of George III to establish formal "Western‑style" trade and diplomatic relations with the court of Qianlong. Macartney managed to meet with the emperor in the Manchu summer palaces in Jehol, but his demands were politely refused and the mission returned a failure.
Manchukuo ("Land of the Manchus"): Name given by the Japanese to the puppet regime they established in Manchuria in 1932. The Japanese placed the deposed Qing emperor Puyi as "chief executive" of the government and retained control of the area until the end of WWII.
Mao Zedong [Maow Dzuh‑Dohng] (1893‑1976): Peasant from Hunan who became an early member of the CCP while working in the Peking University library under Li Dazhao. Rose to party leadership by the 1930s, advocating that China's Marxist revolution would be won by the peasants, not by an urban proletariat. Led the CCP on the Long March and then to establish the People's Republic of China in 1949. Until his death in 1976 he was the paramount political leader and theorist of Chinese communism.
Marco Polo Bridge incident: Refers to the Japanese taking of the Marco Polo railway bridge near Peking on the night of July 7, 1937. The fighting that followed this maneuver marked the beginning of open hostilities between China and Japan and can be seen as the first battle of World War II.
May Fourth movement: Term used to describe student demonstrations that took place in Tiananmen Square on May 4, 1919, in protest against the unfair terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Also refers to the period of iconoclastic intellectual ferment that followed the protests, which included movements to adopt the use of vernacular Chinese in literature and the exploration of different forms of Western cultural and political models.
Mukden: Manchu name for the city presently known as Shenyang, in the northeastern province of Liaoning. Made the capital of Nurhaci's Manchu Empire in 1625.
Mukden Incident: Refers to an outbreak of fighting between Chinese and Japanese troops on September 18, 1931, instigated by Japanese officers alleging that Chinese attacked them along a railway line outside of Mukden (Shenyang). Following this incident, Japan quickly mobilized its troops to take control of all of Manchuria.
New Fourth Army: Communist guerrilla forces that had been left behind in central China during the Long March, reorganized during the second united front. The tenuous nature of the united front was demonstrated in 1941 when 3,000 troops of the New Fourth Army were killed by Guomindang forces in an ambush that became known as the New Fourth Army Incident.
New Life movement: Set of beliefs, part fascist, part Confucian, part Christian, formulated by Chiang Kai‑shek's government during the 1930s to change the moral character of the Chinese and create an alert, "militarized" society.
Nian rebellion (1851‑1868): Led by Zhang Luoxing, a guerrilla war fought mostly by impoverished peasants against the Qing in the area north of the Huai River (including parts of Shandong, Henan, Jiangsu and Anhui). Defeated by the local Huai Army under the leadership of Li Hongzhang, proteg6 of Zeng Guofan, the general who had suppressed the Taiping rebellion.
Ningxia: Autonomous region in north‑central China, 60,000 square miles in area, with a population of 4,350,000. Capital: Yinchuan. Many of the people of this dry, barren region are of the Muslim hui minority.
Northern Expedition (1926‑1928): Military campaign, undertaken by allied GuomindangCommunist forces (the National Revolutionary Army) under the leadership of Chiang Kai‑shek, to free China from fragmented warlord rule and unify it under one government. Two years after the launching of the campaign from his base in Canton, China as far north as Mukden was under the nominal control of Chiang, who then established the capital for his Nationalist government in Nanjing.
Opium War (1839‑1842): Fought between Britain and China; triggered by British outcry against Lin Zexu's confiscation of British opium, and by Chinese anger at the murder of a Chinese by British and American soldiers. Hostilities were initially confined to Canton and to the east China coast as far north as Tianjin. When British forces threatened the Yangzi delta city of Nanjing, the Qing sued for peace, signing the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842.
Peking convention (1860): Treaty between Britain and China, "negotiated" between Lord Elgin and Prince Gong after British troops entered Peking, razed the summer palace, and forced the Qing court to flee to Jehol. In addition to reconfirming the terms of the Treaty of Tianjin, the convention stipulated the ceding of the Kowloon peninsula to Hong Kong, the opening of Tianjin as a treaty port, and the payment of an additional 8 million taels in indemnity to Britain.
Peng Dehuai [Pung Duh‑hwye] (1898‑1974): Communist general, leader of the Chinese forces in the Korean War. A trusted and venerated veteran of the Long March, Peng was purged in 1959 from his senior position in the party for criticizing Mao's Great Leap Forward policies at Lushan.
Peng Zhen [Pung Jen] (b. 1899): Mayor of Peking from 1951 to 1966, demoted and criticized during the Cultural Revolution. Returned to Chinese politics as member of the Central Committee. Known as a hard‑liner who opposes rapid change in China.
people's commune (renmin gongshe): Central unit of economic and political organization in the countryside, some consisting of tens of thousands of families, introduced in the Great Leap Forward and popularized again in the Cultural Revolution. Communes were further divided into brigades and production teams that directed labor and divided work points.
PLA (People's Liberation Army): Name given to the armed forces of China. Begun as the Red Army famous for its guerrilla fighting tactics in the 1930s, the PLA has evolved into a modern military organization of approximately 3 million soldiers in the late 1980s.
Pottinger, Sir Henry (1789‑1856): Appointed in 1841 as superintendent of trade and sole plenipotentiary of Chinese affairs for the British government, replacing the dismissed Charles Elliot. Presided over the signing of the Treaty of Nanjing.
Puyi [Poo‑ee] (1905‑1967): Tenth and last emperor of the Qing dynasty. Ascended the throne in 1908 at the age of three, formally abdicating four years later. Installed by the Japanese as the figurehead of their puppet regime in Manchukuo from 1932 to 1945. After 1945 he underwent over ten years of "rehabilitation" in a CCP prison, and ended his life quietly in Peking.
Qianlong [Chee‑en‑lung] (1711‑1799): Reign name of Hongli, fourth son of Emperor Yongzheng, who assumed the throne in 1736 as the fourth emperor of the Qing dynasty. His sixty‑three‑year reign saw a large growth in the Chinese population, the military conquest of Xinjiang, the compilation of the Four Treasuries, and the first British diplomatic mission to China under Macartney.
Qinghai ("Green Sea"): Province in west‑central China, 278,000 square miles in area, with a population of 4,280,000. Capital: Xining (population: 620,000). Most of Qinghai is covered by inhospitable mountains and desert.
queue: Manchu men's hairstyle that consisted of a high shaved forehead and a long braid down the back; originally developed to keep long hair out of the face in battle. By Manchu decree issued by Dorgon in 1645, all Chinese men had to adopt the hairstyle upon risk of execution. Anti‑Manchu activists would often cut the queue braid as an act of defiance against the Qing.
Qu Qiubai [Chew Chee‑o‑bye] (1899‑1935): Early Chinese Communist who lived in Moscow in the early 1920s. As head of the Communist party from 1927 to 1928, he bore the blame for a year of disastrous worker and peasant uprisings, including the Canton Commune. Too ill to join the Communists on the Long March, he was captured and executed by Guomindang forces in 1935.
Rape of Nanjing: Period of seven weeks in December 1937‑January 1938 during which Japanese troops plundered Chiang Kai‑shek's capital city, killing an estimated 50,000 and raping tens of thousands of women.
Rectification Campaign (1942): Political struggle launched by Mao Zedong in order to strengthen the dominant role of his ideology in the Communist party. Major targets of the criticism in Yan'an included rival party leader Wang Ming and the feminist writer Ding Ling.
Red Guards: Groups of university and middle‑school students who claimed allegiance to Mao and acted as the executors of the Cultural Revolution directives to attack "feudal" and "reactionary" elements of society. Lack of organization and overzealous revolutionary fervor led to violence among Red Guard factions and between Red Guards and the PLA in the late 1960s.
renminbi ("people's currency"): Official unit of exchange in China. Informally known as yuan.
revolutionary committees: Small groups created during the Cultural Revolution to lead local urban governments, rural communes, universities, and other institutions. Each group consisted of representatives from "the masses," the PLA, and select cadres.
rites controversy: Conflict between the Catholic church and Emperor Kangxi over the nature of Chinese rites of ancestor worship and homage to Confucius. Kangxi insisted, and Jesuits in the court agreed, that such rites were civil, not religious, and that missionaries should allow Chinese Christian converts to practice them. The Vatican disagreed and prohibited missionaries from following Kangxi's order. The controversy resulted in the expulsion of many Catholic missionaries from China.
Sacred Edict: List of Confucian maxims on morality and social relations compiled by the emperor Kangxi in 1670 and promulgated throughout China. Kangxi's son Yongzheng elaborated on his father's edict and had it read in colloquial Chinese to ensure its transmission to all his subjects.
Shaanxi: Province in north‑central China, 73,000 square miles in area, with a population of 30,890,000. Capital: Xi'an (population: 2,580,000). Located in the dry plain of the Yellow River.
Shandong ("Mountain East"): Province in eastern China, 58,000 square miles in area, with a population of 79,580,000. Capital: Jinan (population: 2,140,000).
Shanghai communique: Document issued on February 28, 1972, at the end of President Nixon's visit to China, stating the positions of China and the United States on questions such as the status of Taiwan and calling for the beginning of work toward the normalization of Sino‑American relations.
Shanxi ("Mountain West"): Province in north‑central China, 73,500 square miles in area, with a population of 27,170,000. Capital: Taiyuan (population: 1,980,000).
Sichuan ("Four Rivers"): Province in southwestern China. Its 220,000‑square‑mile area includes fertile river valleys farmed by Han Chinese and towering foothills of the Himalayas inhabited by ethnic minorities. The total population of this prosperous province is 104,540,000. Capital: Chengdu (population: 2,000,000).
Socialist Education Campaign: Movement begun in 1963 by the CCP under Mao to revive socialist values in Chinese society. Urban cadres were sent to work in the countryside, and emphasis was placed on class struggle and collective economic, activity.
Song Jiaoren [Soong Jee‑ow‑ren] (1882‑1913): Early leader of the Guomindang. An ardent critic of Yuan Shikai, Song was assassinated on his way to assuming his leadership role in the first nationally elected parliament.
Soong, T. V.: Harvard‑educated brother of the Soong sisters. Helped his brother‑in‑law Chiang Kai‑shek finance the Northern Expedition and later served as minister of finance in the Guomindang government.
Soong Ailing [Soong Eye‑ling]: Eldest of the three Soong sisters, wife of financier/industrialist H. H. Kong.
Soong Meiling [Soong May‑ling]: Youngest of the Soong sisters, wife of Guomindang leader Chiang Kai‑shek. An American‑educated Methodist, Soong Meiling played an active role in the Guomindang war effort in the 1930s and 1940s, sponsoring refugee relief efforts and women's organizations as well as acting as spokesperson to the West for her husband's cause.
Soong Qingling [Soong Ching‑ling): Middle Soong sister, became wife of Sun Yat‑sen in 1914. After the death of her husband, she supported the alliance of the Guomindang left with the Chinese Communist party. Soong Qingling remained in China after 1949 and was named to several nominal positions within the Communist government.
SEZ’s special economic zones: Cities targeted by the CCP to accept direct foreign investment; designed to increase Chinese exports and act as a bridge for the adoption of foreign technology. The first four special economic zones‑Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shantou, and Xiamen‑were established in 1979 and were followed by fourteen other cities plus the island of Hainan in 1986.
Stilwell, Joseph ("Vinegar Joe"): U.S. Army general; after Pearl Harbor was named commander in chief of U.S. forces in the China‑Burma‑India theater and acted as President Roosevelt's liaison with Chiang Kai‑shek. Personal animosity between Chiang and Stilwell was a factor that led to Stilwell's being replaced by General Albert Wedemeyer in 1944.
Sun Yat‑sen (1866‑1925): Considered the father of the Chinese republican revolution. Educated in medicine in Hong Kong, he became an anti‑Manchu activist and through his Tongmeng hui accomplished the overthrow of the Qing dynasty. As leader of the Guomindang, Sun struggled against warlord factions to try to unite China throughout the 1910s and early 1920s. Accepted the help of the Soviet Union and entered into a united‑front alliance with the CCP in 1923. Died in 1925; leadership of the Guomindang passed to Chiang Kai‑shek.
Taiping uprising (1851‑1864): Led by Hong Xiuquan, a military and social movement that sought to overthrow the Qing and establish a "Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace" (Taiping Tianguo) in China. With a combination of quasi‑Christian beliefs and communal vision, the Taiping armies spread northeast through the middle Yangzi valley from their base in rural Guangxi province, capturing Nanjing in 1853, where they made their capital for eleven years. They were finally defeated in Qing counterattacks spearheaded by the Xiang provincial army led by Zeng Guofan. It is estimated that as many as 20 million Chinese died in the thirteen yearg of the rebellion.
Three Anti campaign: Mass movement begun by the Communist party in 1951, aimed at eliminating the three vices of "corruption, waste, and obstructionist bureaucracy" among party members, government administrators, and factory managers. Held in conjunction with the Five Anti campaign.
Three Feudatories: Refers to (1) the area of south and southeast China, stretching from Sichuan to the eastern coast, left by the Qing government to the control of the three generals (Shang Zhixin, Geng Jingzhong, and Wu Sangui) who had helped subdue the region during the Manchu conquest, and to (2) the generals themselves. Wu rebelled against the Qing, announcing the establishment of his own "Zhou" dynasty in 1673. The ensuing civil war ended with Manchu victory in 1681.
Three Principles of the People: "Nationalism, democracy, and people's livelihood," formulated by Sun Yat‑sen as the basis of Guomindang ideology.
Tiananmen Incident: Mass demonstrations that occurred on April 5, 1976, in Tiananmen Square expressing grief over the death of Zhou Enlai, held on the traditional holiday of Qingming, when the Chinese pay respects to their dead ancestors. Interpreted as a criticism of Mao and the Cultural Revolution.
Tianjin massacre (1870): Incident sparked by conflict between Catholics and Chinese in Tianjin in which angry crowds killed the French consul Fontanier along with fifteen other French men and women.
Tibet (Xizang in Mandarin): Taken over by the Chinese in 1950 and named an "autonomous region." 1,200,000 square miles in area, with a population of 2,080,000. Capital: Lhasa. Tibetans protested violently against the Chinese in 1959, and again in 1988.
Tongzhi [Tongjir] (1856‑1875): Reign name of Caichun, only son of the emperor Xianfeng. Became the eighth emperor of the Qing dynasty in 1862, at the age of six. His mother, Cixi, ruled for him as regent until he reached his seventeenth birthday, and continued to exercise power over his decisions until his death at the age of nineteen.
Tongzhi Restoration: Period from the late 1860s to the late 1870s named after the Tongzhi reign of this time, during which the Qing attempted to revitalize the government and the nation through a combination of Confucian morality and Western technology. Major figures in this "self‑strengthening" movement included Zeng Guofan, Li Hongzhang, and Prince Gong.
Treaty of Nanjing (1842): Most important treaty settlement of Chinese history, signed by the British and the Qing governments to end the Opium War. Its twelve articles included the opening of five treaty ports (Canton, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Shanghai, and Ningbo) to unrestricted British trade and residence; the cession of Hong Kong; the payment of a 21 million tael indemnity; and the abolition of the Cohong monopoly. It was supplemented in the following year by the Treaty of the Bogue, which contained the mostfavored‑nation clause, automatically giving to Britain any privilege granted by the Qing to another nation in a treaty agreement
Treaty of Nerchinsk (1689): Treaty negotiated between the Qing court of Kangxi and Russia, setting the north‑south border between the two countries at the Gorbitsa and Argun rivers. A major departure from the usual Qing management of foreign affairs, the treaty was signed as an agreement between two equal sovereign states.
Treaty of Shimonoseki (1895): Disastrous treaty for China, ending the Sino‑Japanese War (1894‑1895). Under its terms Korea effectively became a Japanese protectorate. China ceded to Japan Taiwan, the Pescadores, the Liaodong region of Manchuria, added four more treaty ports, and promised to pay Japan 200 million taels in war indemnities.
Treaty of Tianjin (1858): Agreement between Britain and the Qing court after the British, angered by the Qing refusal to renegotiate the Treaty of Nanjing, sent forces north to threaten the port city of Tianjin. The treaty forced the Qing to accept the establishment of a British ambassador in Peking, the unrestricted preaching of Christianity, and the opening of ten new treaty ports both on the coast and inland.
Wuhan uprising (October 1911): Triggered when explosives kept by Revolutionary Alliance members accidentally went off in the city of Hankou, uncovering their activities and forcing them to launch their uprising. New Army troops joined the mutiny against the Qing, beginning the revolution that led to the fall of the dynasty in 1912.
Wu Peifu [Woo Pay‑fool (1874‑1939): Most powerful warlord in the east‑central area of Hubei and Hunan in the 1920s. Ordered the violent suppression of the Peking‑Hankou railway strike in 1923. His hold on central China ended when Chiang Kai‑shek's National Revolutionary Army took the city of Wuhan in 1926 as part of the Northern Expedition.
Xi'an Incident (December 1936): Refers to the kidnaping of Chiang Kai‑shek by the warlord Zhang Xueliang in Xi'an. Attempting to force Chiang to agree to a united Chinese effort against the Japanese, Zhang held Chiang until negotiations between the Guomindang and the CCP (represented by Zhou Enlai) resulted in Chiang's release on Christmas Day.
Xinjiang ("New Territories"): Autonomous region in northwestern China, 617,000 square miles in area, with a population of 10,424,000, including a number of central Asian Muslims known as Uighurs. The region's vast deserts contain valuable mineral resources and China's nuclear testing zones. Capital: Urumqi.
yamen: Word designating residence and office of Chinese provincial officials.
Yan'an: Poor mountain‑region town in Shaanxi province; base for CCP activities from the end of the Long March (1936) to its seizure by Guomindang forces in 1947.
Yangzi (Chang Jiang in Mandarin ["Long River"]): One of the major waterways of the world and the longest (3,430 miles) in Asia, flowing from Qinghai out to the East China Sea at Shanghai. Often thought of as the dividing line between north and south China, the Yangzi cuts through treacherous gorges in its upper reaches, while its fertile eastern delta fosters one of the most prosperous and populous regions of China
Yao Wenyuan: Colleague of Jiang Qing, author of an article attacking Wu Han's The Dismissal of Hai Rui from Office, which was considered the "first shot" of the Cultural Revolution. Tried and convicted in 1980 as a member of the Gang of Four.
Yellow River (Huang He): The second longest waterway in China, flowing 2,900 miles from Qinghai north through Inner Mongolia and then bending south and east out to the Gulf of Bohai at Shandong province. Heavy silting caused constant floods.
Yongzheng [Yong‑jung] (1678‑1735): Reign name of Yinzhen, fourth son of Kangxi, and third emperor of the Qing dynasty (ruled 1723‑1735). Deeply committed to direct involvement in government affairs, Yongzheng launched a vigorous reform of the Qing tax structure. To manage his military campaigns more efficiently in the northwest, he bypassed the cumbersome regular bureaucracy and formed a group of his most trusted grand secretaries which became known as the Grand Council under Yongzheng's son, the emperor Qianlong.
yuan: (1) "Institution" in Mandarin. Used for the five main bureaus of Chiang Kai‑shek's Nationalist government: the Executive, Legislative, Control, judicial, Examination yuan. (2) A monetary unit of China; also known as Chinese dollars.
Yuan Shikai [Yuen Shir‑kye] (1859‑1916): Leader of the powerful Beiyang (North China) army, initially loyal to the empress dowager Cixi, later instrumental in arranging the abdication of the Qing in 1912. Because of Yuan's military strength, Sun Yat‑sen offered Yuan the presidency of the new republic. Yuan abused the office, purging the Parliament and proclaiming himself emperor in 1915. He died six months later, in 1916.
Yung Wing (1828‑1912): First Chinese to graduate from an American university (Yale, 1854). With his knowledge of the West, he served in Qing self‑strengthening efforts such as assisting Zeng Guofan in buying machine equipment and arms from the United States.
Yunnan ("South of the Clouds"): Province in southwestern China, 168,000 square miles in area, with a population of 35,340,000. Capital: Kunming.
Zeng Guofan [Dzung Gwo‑fan] (1811‑1872): Confucian statesman/general/scholar; leader of the Hunan provincial army (Xiang) that defeated the Taiping forces in Nanjing and put an end to the rebellion. Played an important role in Qing self‑strengthening efforts, advocating the use of modern military technology and enlisting a group of talented men around him to serve the Qing cause. Adhered to strict Confucian standards of discipline, diligence, and loyalty to the emperor.
Zhang Chunqiao: Head of the Shanghai CCP and close ally of Jiang Qing in the Cultural Revolution. Tried and convicted in 1980 as a member of the Gang of Four.
Zhang Xueliang [ Jahng Shweh‑lee‑ang] (b. 1898): Son of the northern warlord Zhang Zuolin. In 1928, after his father's assassination, he was given the name "the Young Marshal," inherited his father's forces, and established his own power base in Manchuria. Pledged allegiance to Chiang Kai‑shek's Nanjing government in 1928, but kidnaped Chiang in 1936 (see Xi'an Incident) to force a united Chinese front against the Japanese.
Zhang Zuolin [Jahng Dzwo‑lin] (1875‑1928): Warlord who came to prominence during the presidency of Yuan Shikai and later went on to control Manchuria, eastern Mongolia, and finally Peking with his armies. Staunchly anti‑Communist, he ordered the execution of Li Dazhao in 1927. Defeated by Chiang Kai‑shek's New Revolutionary Army in 1928. Killed during an attempted escape to Manchuria by a bomb planted by Japanese army officers.
Zhao Ziyang [ Jow Dz‑yahng] (b. 1919): Prot6ge of Deng Xiaoping who rose from secretary of the Guangdong province CCP in the 1960s to premier of China and then secretarygeneral of the CCP in the mid‑1980s. Considered an advocate of economic change and expanded contacts with the West. Removed from his party posts in 1989 for supporting student demonstrations that followed the death of Hu Yaobang.
Zhejiang: Province in eastern China, 38,600 square miles in area, with a population of 41,117,000. Capital: Hangzhou (population: 1,290,000).
Zhou Enlai [Joe Uhn‑lye] (1899‑1976): One of the most powerful and respected leaders of the CCP from the days of the Long March to his death nine months before that of his colleague Mao Zedong. Served as premier of China from 1954 and was influential in Chinese foreign policy for three decades. In the Tiananmen demonstrations of April 5, 1976, the Chinese people expressed their admiration for Zhou as a moderating element in the Cultural Revolution.
Zhu De [ Joo Duh] (1886‑1976): Mao Zedong's chief military adviser from the days of the Jiangxi Soviet. Zhu was commander in chief of the People's Liberation Army and longtime member of the Standing Committee of the Communist party Politburo.
Zongli Yamen [Dzong‑lee Yah‑mun] ("Office for the Management of the Business of All Foreign Countries"): Established by the Qing in 1861 in an attempt to deal with the crises presented by Western foreign powers. Under the leadership of Prince Gong and Wenxiang, the Zongli Yamen was involved not only in treaty negotiations with Western countries, but in self‑strengthening efforts including the establishment of language schools with Western curricula, the research of Western forms of government, and the investigation of international law.