Self-Strengthening and Reform Essay

838 Words Mar 26th, 2006 4 Pages
In nineteenth-century China the idea of reform was beginning to develop, especially, with the introduction of the Westerners and their technology. Reform and self-strengthening in China were seen as a beneficial concept to some Chinese leaders. Many scholarly Chinese had different opinions about reform and Western methods. Woren greatly opposed Western reform and the self-strengthening movement, but several people felt that it was good in moderation, such as Xue Fucheng, Zhang Zhidong, and Wang Tao. Tan Sitong and Liang Qichao, who were considered "radical" reformers, loved the idea of reform and were all for the Western methods. These six reformers debated and fought for what they truly believed but the reform of China was inevitable and …show more content…
Throughout time the servants learned to lay a strong emphasis on rights and righteousness. Woren also believed that "Western technology was no substitute for the classical humanistic learning and China would be corrupted by doctrines of expediency." Woren thought that if the brilliant Chinese scholars had to put their regular studies on hold to learn the ways of the "barbarians" then the right way would be lost. These three reformers believe that some form of reform was beneficial, as long as traditional Chinese values and tradition were not forgotten and Western knowledge was taught in moderation. The diplomat and scholar Xue Fucheng eventually became a strong advocate for the reform of the Chinese people. He believed that in order for China to advance, the ways of the Westerners must be copied. According to Xue, China must follow the West in order to excel. In fact, he states, "If we compare the ability and wisdom of the Chinese with those of the westerners, there is no reason to think that we should be unable to surpass them." Zhang Zhidong was another man that was for reform as long as the Chinese ways were not forgotten. He thought, "the old learning is to be the substance; the new learning is to be for application." Wang Tao was considered the "father of Chinese journalism" and was an independent writer who traveled to different areas and focused on reform. He writes in one of his essays that China needs to focus on fixing the ways of the

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