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Self-strengthening movernment in China - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: The Self-Strengthening Movement in China By any considerations of the great nation of China, let it be by Chinese or Western authors, regularly begins with a mention to china long history, and the Chinese national security questions cannot be ignored…
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Self-strengthening movernment in China
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Download file to see previous pages Modern scholars of Chinese national security questions would do well to give attention to a hundred-year period that marked a truly pivotal moment within that 4000-year span. The turning point in the Chinese history came in the nineteenth century, requiring as it does careful attention to the administration’s dealings with the great powers of Europe, the United States, and Japan. The Qing Dynasty which was in control more or less of the Empire since 1644, found itself at mid-century unable to ignore dealing with the foreign barbarians, and this required extensive review of its economic, diplomatic and military policies and procedures. The power to create change to these areas and modernize Chinese armed forces in particular can be remembered as the Self-Strengthening Movement1. The Self-Strengthening Movement, as the name indicates, advocated by a group of Qing officials who wanted to strengthen the weak leadership by learning technology from the western countries. The Self-Strengthening Movement was also a period of institutional reforms introduced during the late Qing Dynasty following a number of military defeats and concessions to western powers. Unfortunately, this movement can be considered as a failure because China did not be able to defend itself during the Sino-French and Sino-Japanese wars. The failure of the Self –Strengthening Movement can be connected to a number of reasons one being the limited number of skilled man power, which led to the collapse of the self-strengthening movement. Transmission of technology was small in 1881 when the project of sending boys to western countries like United States of America to study stopped. China did not realize that one of the real reasons was its corrupt system and government. There was wide spread corruption in the government of China which can be seen as a factor to the collapse of self-strengthening movement in China. An example is the Dowager Empress which spent over 30 million Taels of funds meant for the naval to constructing the Summer Palace for her own “amusement during retirement” as Hsu stated. The 30 million Taels meant to fund and support the navy of china. Hsu also noted that Li Hongzhang can be “not noted for high morals and character”. Apparently, Li left behind an estate estimated to be worth over 40 million Taels that the people close to him “milked and squeezed the factories and enterprises under their charge mercilessly.” Many more events led to the collapse of the self-strengthening movement in china one of them being the western merchants withdrawing their capital in China and ceasing to trade. The coastal merchants all became bankrupt and their original strength became extremely drained. The populace in turn, moved away and became vagrants. In some day, they may be frightened several times without being able to protect their own lives. The Chinese merchants even suffered more. In the self-strengthening movement which involved more wars, the Chinese merchants, merely caused trouble to themselves2. The Self-strengthening movement had a limited scope of activities to carry out. According to Hsu, the self-strengthening movement only went as far as improving “machines, ships, firearms, mining, light industry and communications. No efforts existed to integrate Western organizations, culture, arts, and philosophy.” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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