Zhang Zhidong

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Zhang Zhidong

Zhang Zhidong ( Chinese  張之洞  /  张之洞 , Pinyin Zhāng Zhīdong , W.-G. Chang Chih-tung ; * 1837 ; † 1909 ) was an important reformer of the Qing dynasty , a civil servant writer, regional governor and founder of the Formula “Chinese learning for the substantial, Western learning for the useful” ( 中學 為 體 西學 為 用  /  中学 为 体 西学 为 用 , zhōngxué wèi tǐ, xīxué wèi yòng ). This philosophical formula was used during the self-strengthening era and also during the Hundred-Day Reform of 1898.

Political activity

Zhang acted as the governor general of Hunan and Hubei . In his sphere of influence, he promoted the adoption of western technology and organizational models in business and the military. His protection led to the fact that the city of three Wuhan blossomed into the second industrial center of the empire after Shanghai . In addition to the Beiyang Army , he also set up a provincial army in Hubei based on modern premises. This was organized according to the German model and used imported or Chinese-made modern weapons. This force also comprised its own fleet with dozens of gunboats and a few torpedo boats . The actions of this army finally led to the Xinhai Revolution in the Wuchang uprising , in which the Qing Empire was replaced by the Republic of China .


  • China's only hope. An Appeal by Her Greatest Viceroy, Chang Chih-Tung, with the Sanction of the Present Emperor, Kwang Su . Hyperion Press, New York 1975, ISBN 0-88355-164-0 (News from New York 1900 edition; translated by Samuel I. Woodbridge; with an introduction by Griffith John).


  • Jonathan Spence : China's Path to Modernity (“The search for modern China”, 1990). New edition Manser, Munich 2008, ISBN 3-446-16284-4 .
  • Jacques Gernet : The Chinese World. The history of China from the beginning to the present day (“Le monde chinois”, 1972). Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt / M. 1997, ISBN 3-518-38005-2 .
  • Dieter Kuhn : The Republic of China from 1912 to 1937. Draft of a political history of events . Publisher edition forum, Heidelberg 2004, ISBN 3-927943-25-8 (2 volumes).
  1. Text part, maps, illustrations and chronology . 2004.
  2. Notes, bibliography and index . 2004.

Individual evidence

  1. Dieter Kuhn: The Republic of China from 1912 to 1937: Draft for a political history of events. 3rd edition, Heidelberg, 2007, pp. 57-59 digitized