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The Educational Background of the Chinese Foreign Envoys in the Latter Era of the Qing Dynasty

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2011, (47), pp.205-228
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : January 11, 2011
  • Accepted : February 14, 2011

Kim, Jong-Sung 1

1성균관대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

The Sinocentrism of Chinese people was visibly shaken by the Opium War(1840). Did the Chinese foreign envoys in the late 19th century have objective intellectual capacity that could relieve the shock of a world view and adapt themselves to their overseas place of work? This paper studied this subject. To solve this question, this paper investigated the educational background of the Chinese foreign envoys in the latter era of the Qing Dynasty. They were 61 persons. The first Chinese foreign envoy was Guo Chongdao, the diplomatic minister to the British Empire. He was dispatched to the British Empire in 1875. He had graduated from Yuelu Academy and passed the last examination for office. He was a typical traditional intellectual. The traditional intellectuals as him was 41persons. They hold a majority. They didn’t receive an education that was necessary for understanding the Western. Rong Hong was the first Chinese student studying in USA. He was dispatched to USA in 1875. The foreign envoys who had studied abroad as him was 7 persons. They received an education that was necessary for understanding the Western and performing their functions at their overseas post. Wang Fengzao was the first envoy who had graduated from Tongwenguan,a government school for teaching Western languages, founded Beijing in 1862. The foreign envoys who had graduated from Tongwenguan as Wang Fengzao was 12 persons. The education that they had received wasn’t suited to understanding the Western, but suited to performing their functions at their overseas post. As above, the Chinese foreign envoys in the latter era of the Qing Dynasty was mostly traditional intellectuals. The majority of them didn’t receive an education that was necessary for understanding the Western. Even if the graduates of Tongwenguan began to stand out since 1902, it was too late.

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