Ti Yong Distinction Essay

1961 Words 8 Pages
With the Industrial Revolution and Age of Imperialism intensifying among Western nations in the 19th century, China faced an impending threat to its ancient cultural values. Pressured to adapt to the changing global environment but fearful of losing its traditional identity, China and its reform leaders have since attempted to incorporate a “ti-yong” distinction between utilizing Western function and preserving Chinese values, most notably in the Self-Strengthening movement beginning in 1860 and Deng Xiaopeng’s economic reforms of the 1980s. The Qing’s attempts at self-strengthening proved unsuccessful with humiliating defeats in the Sino-French and Sino-Japanese Wars in the late 1800s. However, Deng’s utilization of Western market …show more content…
But, the Qing also suffered from an inability to organize and unite the nation. While the Qing emperor and high court ruled from Peking, the rest of China was divided among diverse provinces, ruled by local elites who passed the Civil Service Examinations, creating an alienated, independent polity with only Confucius teachings to unify them. As the Opium trade broke out into a military skirmish between China and the Britain, the disorganized effort by Chinese forces revealed the disunity of the state, arising from these provincial differences. Official Wei Yuan wrote a first hand account of the War and described the disorganization, “Our soldiers, who had been detached, regardless of what Province they came from, in such a way that men and officers were strangers to each other, broke and fled.” The Qing state lacked the power to unite members of different provinces to fight for the central government. Further, Wei explains a Qing general found “all the Cantonese people disloyal…and all Cantonese soldiers marauders” and “a number of Chinese braves were discharged and went over to the English.” Wei’s account portrays a central Qing state that was detached from its citizens. Unable to implement policy or organize its officials from various provinces, the weak Qing state faced many difficulties when trying to implement reform. This disorganization among the Qing state guaranteed failure for the self-strengthening movement as its piecemeal

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