Li Hongzhang

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Li Hongzhang

Li Hongzhang (Chinese: 李鸿章), a leading statesman of the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), was born in Hefei, Anhui Province. A prominent but controversial figure in the late Qing Dynasty, Li was an entrepreneur and diplomat who played an instrumental role in the Westernization Movement and joined in numerous negotiations with foreign countries. His reputation was tainted when his non-resistance policies humiliated China in the unfair treaties.

His suppression of the Taiping Uprising in the 1860s won him continuous promotions in his political career. His power enabled him enough fortune to set up factories, manage coal mines, build railways and import arms. Although following Western ways in shaping up his entrepreneurial spirit, Li, who opposed both the Hundred Days' Reform in 1898 and the Yihetuan Movement (Boxer Rebellion), is regarded as politically conservative.

He died in 1901 at 78.

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