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The main objective of the self-strengthening movement in China was to restore values, implied by the term strength, to the weakened country through the introduction of western learning and technology. Kim (2004) identified that students, both at home and abroad, acquire western languages, thoughts and science. Shipyards, arsenals and factories, were based on the western models. Indeed, self-strengthening movement influenced uniquely to the cultural, social, economic and political situation in China (Twitchett 129).
The period between 1861 and 1895 is referred self-strengthening movement period of institutional reforms started during the late Qing Dynasty after a series of concessions and military defeat to foreign powers. Most of the ruling elites still subscribed to a conservative Confucian worldview. However, with China’s serious defeats in the first and second Opium Wars, officials debated on the way forward. Kim (2004) pointed out that the officials argued that in order to reinforce itself against the West, the adoption of western military armaments and technology was inevitable. They agreed that shipyards and arsenal shall be established and to hire foreign advisers to enlighten Chinese artisans to fabricate such wares in China (Fairbank 37).
Kim (2004) divided the activities of the movement into three phases. The first phase, which lasted from 1861 to 1872, accentuated the adoption of western machines, scientific knowledge, firearms, training of diplomatic and technical personnel through the development of a diplomatic college and office. The second phase lasted from 1872 to 1885. This phase concentrated its attention on modernizing industries, agriculture and commerce as well as to the creation of wealth in an attempt to strengthen the economy (Pong 79). Finally, during the third phase, which occurred between 1885 and 1895, modernization
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