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Zheng Guanying—famous reformist and industrialist of modern China

Zheng Guanying (1842-1922), native of Yongmo village in Shanxiang, was a famous industrialist and a great philosopher, the most famous one among all the earliest bourgeois philosophers. He went to learn business in Shanghai in 1858, where he was first hired as a comprador in Taigu Shop, soon he became the president of Taigu Shipping Company, after which he opened his own banking house named Henggu. He successfully bought his fame as Yuan Wailang (a Chinese ancient official title), in the second year, he again bought himself a position as Langzhong (another Chinese ancient official title), while in 1879, he bought second ranking official, which ranked him in the second place after chancellor. In 1880, he was assigned by Li Hongzhang as the general officer in charge of Telegraph Bureau, Machine Weaving Bureau, Shipping Merchants Bureau in shanghais, and he attended the famous Weixin Reform, too. He cared about the current policies, and he was very enthusiastic about the western culture. Gradually he became a reformist, and he claimed that they should make revolutions in order to defend the foreign invaders, and build schools to educate elites.

He has published Short Notes on How to Rescue China, Easy Words, the Warning in the Times of Peace and Prosperity, Dairy of Visiting South, etc, among which the Warning in the Times of Peace and Prosperity was the most influential one. The book contained more than 300,000 words and its content was so extensive that it played a pilot role in Kang Youwei’s Hundred Days Reform.

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