Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Self-Strengthening Movement
(1,707 words)

Ziqiang (self-strengthening) was a maxim under which the Qing government subsumed a number of measures between 1861 and 1894 (i. e. between the Second Opium War and the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95). These measures aimed at countering the foreign predominance in China. One strategy of this policy was to adopt from foreign countries those methods and techniques which had the potential of remedying China's weakness. This led to a Western-type modernization of the country. At the time, anything that concerned the relations with foreign countries was referred to as yiwu ("barbarian matt…

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Bastid-Bruguière, Marianne, “Self-Strengthening Movement”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 23 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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