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Li Hung Chang

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LI HUNG CHANG, le hoong ching, Chinese statesman and diplomatist : b. Lu-chow, province of Ngan-hwei, 16 Feb. 1823 (or per haps 1819) ; d. Peking, 7 Nov. 1901. He re ceived a thorough education, passing through the successive grades of scholarship, with the severe examinations which in China must be undergone before admission to the literary caste, "ahead of 15,000 competitors." In 1847 he received the third degree, and mitered the Hanlin College in 1849. In 1850, when the Tai-ping rebels invaded Ngan-hwei, he joined Tseng Kuo Fan's army as secretary. He was appointed judge of Chekiang province, and in 1861 governor of Kiang-su. In 1863, in conjunction with Col. ' (afterward Gen.) Charles George Gordon (q.v.), known as "Chinese Gordon," he retook Su-chow and drove the rebels entirely out of Kiang-su. Gordon's force, the "Ever-victorious Army," had previously been commanded by Frederick T. Ward, an American soldier of fortune, and was largely composed of foreigners. From them Li Hung Chang derived much informa tion concerning Europeans, and also acquired increased military knowledge and ideas of Western political ethics.

For his services in suppressing the Tai-ping rebellion Li was made commander of the Im perial forces, head of the navy, a hereditary noble and received the highest decorations in the gift of the emperor. In 1864 he was ap pointed the of the Kiang provinces. the Nien-fei rebellion (1868) he was degraded for apathy in the face of the enemy, but was soon restored to favor. In 1872. after the massacres at Tientsin, followed by his stern measures of redress, he was appointed viceroy of Chili, the metropolitan province. During his long service in that office he resided at Tientsin, where he displayed his progressive designs by many improvements, among which were a great canal and the forming of the Chinese Merchants' Steam Navigation Company. Here for 24 years (1870-95) he exercised a power in reality second only to the emperor's, controlling the foreign policy of the empire, and introducing modern tendencies from West ern civilization. He negotiated important treat ies with Japan, Peru and other countries, in creased the military strength of China in view of foreign encroachments, and may be said to have created the Chinese navy. He was impe rial commissioner of trade for the northern ports; the emperor entrusted to him supreme charge of the military and naval forces sent to Korea in the Chino-Japanese War; and though several times disgraced, he bore nearly the whole burden of the war, marine and finan cial departments of the Chinese government. During the war with Japan the disasters to the Chinese armies and navy were laid to his charge, and he was degraded and punished, but still retained his office of Prime Minister.

He was sent to Japan in 1895 to negotiate the peace treaty, and barely escaped assassination. Having represented China at the coronation of Nicholas II of Russia in 1896, he made a tour of the world, and was everywhere re ceived as a highly distinguished guest. On his return he was again at the head of foreign affairs, and governor exclusively of the Kiang and Chili provinces. After the suppression of the Boxer risings of 1900-01 he played a promi nent part in adjusting the relations of China with foreign powers.

The official integrity of Li Hung Chang has not gone unchallenged, although specific acts of corruption were never proved against him, but he amassed a huge fortune in the public service. Craftiness was conspicuous in his character and political acts; but however his conduct may have been inspired at different times, there is no question in regard to the great services which, through his extraordinary abilities and opportunities, he rendered to China and to the world. His shrewdness and thrift were shown in the curious fact that while acting great a part in China for so many years he also held control of all the paWnshops in the empire. If he were "the buffer between China and the rest of the world" on the side of practical usefulness to his own country the scope of his work is seen in the influence which he exerted in behalf of modern progress; in the machine-shops which he established; the cot ton-mills, fitted with foreign machinery; the bicycle factory that he built ; the telegraph lines he constructed; the coal mines he opened; the arsenals he erected; the fortifications which he equipped with foreign the modern firearms and military organization and instruc tion which he introduced; his gunboats and ironclads of foreign construction; railroads built under his direction; above all in the estab lishment of schools for the introduction of modern improvements and appliances; in the founding and endowment of a hospital, etc. These things showed in him a spirit and a pur pose new to the official world in China, and from whose initiative still greater results may be expected. Consult Douglas, R. K., 'Li Hung Chang> (London 1895), and Mannix, W. F. ed., 'Memoirs of Li Hung Chang' (Boston 1913).

or STONE OF DESTINY, a broad gray stone on which the kings of Scot land were crowned in the Abbey Church of Scone. In 1296 Edward I carried it to England and it still remains under the coronation chair in Westminster Abbey. Tradition says it is the stone which the patriarch Jacob used as a pillow.