Talk:Hundred Days' Reform

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Seagrave's view[edit]

It seems that Seagrave's position dominates the Historical Views section. Perhaps it should be separated into its own subsection, since it is quite specific and some parts do contrast more common perceptions. For example, such details as:

"False rumours spread amongst Western press that Cixi had imprisoned Guangxu, but this was not the case."

Are quite debatable, since the Guangxu article itself has an entire section dedicated to his house arrest.

Since it is appearing on the On This Day section of the main page, it would be imperative to look into this matter. My interest in Chinese history is mostly amateur, so I'm not well-versed enough in this area to say whether Seagrave is really far off from other Sinologists on this issue. -Kelvinc 04:23, 21 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Totally agree. The confusing thing is whether ALL last three paragraphs can be attributed to Seagrave. If so, this should be made clear, and precise citations provided. It might also be possible that the last two paragraphs are simply the unsourced views of some Wikipedia editor. Will therefore modify the wording to make it sound less POV, before precise citations are provided. Bona fide improvements are welcome. 06:37, 21 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sterling SEAGRAVE[edit]

Sterling SEAGRAVE is really not a noted, nor esteemed Historian. He is a journalist, and auther of a couple of popular mass market books. Why is he and are his views given so much credence and prominence?


The "Differing Interpretations" section is pretty disorganized. Many statements are reptitious, and others bring up new information about the events mentioned earlier. All undisputed information from this section should be moved up into the main timeline sections, and duplicative material should be excised. If no one else takes this on, I'll see what I can do, tomorrow. Mdotley 21:36, 21 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Indeed, the organization of the article in general isn't too good. I may rework it while keeping all the text i can. Bigdan201 (talk) 15:38, 21 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


What is this section? Is someone trying to translate the dynasty name Qing (清朝) into an older Latin-based script as Ching, or what? Somewildthingsgo 06:04, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Apparent plot to unite China, USA, UK and Japan[edit]

I am not sure what the second paragraph in the End section is going on about [1]. It's sourced to the work of one person and all the cites are in Chinese. It appears to be saying that the coup occurred because there was a plot to unite four said countries under the command of "hundred persons". I'm very much inclined to just remove this because it seems so outlandish. Feel free to convince me otherwise. Tombomp (talk/contribs) 09:58, 21 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed. Maybe something was lost in translation but it makes no sense and contradicts what we know about American history. If there was ever such a plot, it would have been known to the American public. Comatose51 (talk) 18:22, 21 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Alright it seems the editors over in the article for Cixi found the snippet of same text in that article to be very confusing and hard to believe. Some of the people cited in that section have no Wikipedia article on them. Those who do such as Timothy Richard, Guangxu Emperor, and Ito Hirobumi make no mention of these claims. Doing a Google search on "Yang Shenxiu" yielded only a discussion on this same issue that cites the same source the poster cites and the Chinese version of the Wikipedia, which probably has the same text in Chinese. The forum discussion also concluded that the claims are dubious. A search on "Song bolu" returns nothing. There simply is no corroborating evidence for this. At the very least there is no consensus on this issue and it seems that only one author is making this claim. I am inclined to remove that section again and ask the poster to provide the necessary citation and sources to back up his claim. Thoughts? Comatose51 (talk) 13:04, 4 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please don’t remove this paragraph.This interpretation is well-known in China and Taiwan.These notes are first hand and believable."On September 20, Yang Shenxiu suggested Guangxu Emperor unite China, USA, UK and Japan" and "On September 21, Song bolo suggested Guangxu Emperor unite China, USA, UK and Japan." are all base on original file of Qing dynasty, and were cited in Dr. Lei chiasheng's book,chapter 4.Lei is the professor of National Taiwan University.In Lei's book(, he cited more details.So the Explanation is believable.Do you have opposite evidences proved that the interpretation is wrong? I will put the paragraph on the section "Differing Interpretations". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:17, 8 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You have not met the requirements for verifiability. For something as controversial as what you're claiming you can't ask the editors to take it on faith because you claim it is true. The source you've cited is unreadable to most of the editors on the English Wikipedia. Furthermore, the section is so badly written that we're unsure of what you're claiming. It seems that you're claiming that there was an apparent plot to unite China, Japan, UK, and US into a single country. That's quite preposterous to anyone knowledgeable about American history. Is it not reasonable to think that such a plot would be known in America as well since it involved America? Lastly, you've ignoring the concerns of other editors and simply pasting your section back. This is not helpful to improving the article or Wikipedia.Comatose51 (talk) 01:04, 9 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The onus is on you to prove what you're saying is true, not the other way around. Original file of Qing dynasty falls under the category of primary research, which is not allowed on Wikipedia. Furthermore, how can we believe the source when none of us can read it? If I cite some text in an unknown language and say that it completely disputes your point, would you believe me if you can't read it? We can't take what you say on faith, especially when it contradicts what most of us know about American history. Any attempts to merge China and the US would have been worthy of a mention in our history books. There is none. Lastly, outside of the two Wikipedia articles you've edited, the articles about Japan, UK, China, and the US don't mention this episode in their history. Nor does the article on Ito Hirobumi say anything about this. The circumstantial evidence is so strongly against your claim and all you have to back it up are primary research and something most of the editors on the English Wikipedia cannot read and thus verify.Comatose51 (talk) 04:31, 9 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have rewritten the paragraph on Lei Chia-sheng on the basis of the Chinese Wikipedia entry on the same issue. I translated the book titles and the names of the documents cited so that other editors who don't understand Chinese can make up their mind on the value of Lei's claims. I know about Wikipedia's "no-primary-research" policy, but we have a problem here: there is no scholarly consensus on why the September coup happened. All the published sources I have read on this issue (none of which are cited here, by the way), are very vague about why Cixi decided to trigger a coup on Septmber 21 instead of earlier, later, or not at all. I think the answer to this question lies in the archives (Beijing or Taipei).
As someone already pointed out, Lei is an established professor, not a rookie or a wacko revisionist. For now, the paragraph on him quotes the primary sources that Lei himself cites. These documents show that Lei's claims are supported by evidence, not just opinion. (The excerpts cited in the footnotes say exactly what the English text claims they say. I can translate them if needed. I'm just wondering why Lei is citing Yang's and Song's memorials from a compendium published in 1959 instead of directly from the archives, where he should have been able to find the originals.) In his book, Lei also cites a memorial by a conservative official who told Cixi about the plot before Yang and Song memorialized about it. The conservative official's memorial was arguably the reason why Cixi came back from the Summer Palace on Sept. 19.
All these are serious scholarly claims supported by credible documentary evidence. Because Lei's claim is new and fairly revolutionary (Timothy Richard's wacky plot, Kang Youwei gullible and a traitor), his primary sources should be assessed very carefully, but we can't dismiss his claims lightly. I would also like to point out that Lei Chai-sheng's book is actually the only scholarly study cited in this entire article!!! Cheers, everyone.--Madalibi (talk) 07:40, 16 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have removed this section. A secret plot to unite China, the UK, the USA and Japan of which no one in the latter three countries has ever heard and of which only a single very dubious Chinese source (not even the Chinese wiki has an article about this supposed professor, google also comes up with nothing except the the text present here in the wiki entry) which claims to have "uncovered" this secret plot in 2004 (KMT and Communist historians never looked into the Qing archives before? Right.) exists sounds like complete nonsense and an unfounded conspiracy theory. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:11, 24 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

RfC: Can we accept claims made by a non-English source that is highly controversial and unverifiable by editors?[edit]

Please see above section on "Apparent plot to unite China, USA, UK and Japan" to see the current discussion.

Because the section is a part of Chinese history, using a non-English source could be unavoidable.If the theory is strange,surprising and uncommon,it is not suitable to put it on the page without discrimination.In this case,the theory has been removed to “differing interpretations”.This way is acceptable to make the readers know their differences.The writer has supplied some English sources to explain that UK and USA governments were unaware and innocent.The section have no relationship with American history. (talk) 01:39, 14 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I also know little about the subject. I have just added two wiki-links to bio articles, which may possibly help. As some one suggested above, I suspect that something has been lost in translation. I wonder whether "unite" refers to a diplomatic and military alliance, rather than to political union. I note that the article cites "British Foreign Office files 17/1718". This is creditble reference (though I do not know iof it is accurate). The correct citation would be The National Archives, London, FO 17/1718". This is an archival reference. Such references (though WP:RS are now discouraged (rather than prohibited) in WP nowadays, and should only be used where no secondary source is available. Peterkingiron (talk) 20:10, 5 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Song Bolu and Shang Shengxiu are mentioned in Wong, "Kang Youwei..." ('Journal of Asian Studies' 3/1982, p. 525). Apart from this, the discussion here is partially bizarre. If you do not want to accept sources other than English-language ones, don't undertake a project like Wikipedia. Do you want to imply that something is not relevant or credible if there is no English source? Such a view belongs to 19th century ethnocentrical thought, not in a publication of the 21st century. What would you say if Suaheli Wiki (does that exist?) would state that all sources outside of Suaheli are no credible sources? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:1205:C68C:9890:D09D:BB13:BD57:2BB3 (talk) 13:39, 4 May 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Real author - Sergei Witte[edit]

Real author Hundred Days' Reform is Sergei Witte. This correspondence is confirmed by the Ministry of Finance of the Empire and the Chinese emperor. Nicholas 2 was a personal friend of the Chinese emperor Guangxu and called Empress Dowager Cixi after 1898 "the whore of the dragon" - Nicholas II hated she. In 1901, he even ordered his troops to immediately executed if caught she. And in 1898 Nicholas proposed to Guangxu to send troops to overthrow the "mutineer whore and her lover." But Guangxu afraid of foreign interference. (talk) 00:13, 18 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dong fuxiang in the hundre days reform[edit]

Page 87

Rajmaan (talk) 23:03, 28 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Again, as on the Talk Pages of several other articles, we must thank you for your enthusiasm and dedication. Still, it would be even more useful to have information about what the link is.
The first link is to an energetic and detailed account by the London Times correspondent, Valentine Chirol, from the 10th (1902) edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. It reads very well, and is useful in showing the British view at the time, but it is a Tertiary source, which includes encyclopedias, while Wikipedia policy WP:Identifying reliable sources is to use WP:Secondary source when available. A Secondary Source is based on comparing and evaluating WP:Primary Sources, while a Tertiary Source relies on Secondary Sources.
Likewise, the second link is to an older text survey by Wolfram Eberhard, who was a terrific scholar but did not use primary sources for his treatment of this period. The third link is to snippet from a book by the photographer James Ricalton, a fascinating book but not a good source on this question.
Now at first it might seem better to use eye-witness or contemporary accounts, but the Wikipedia policy is clear and in general it is reasonable. Using primary sources is Original Research, which would be like a jury listening to only one witness, with no cross examination to challenge the testimony, or maybe like listening only to the prosecution's version of what happened. Primary sources can be used to give flavor or add color, but not to establish facts. I would argue that some textbooks are secondary sources. For instance, on this 100 Days of Reform question, textbooks by Jonathan D. Spence, Immanuel Hsu, or Peter Zarrow are in effect secondary sources because these scholars use primary sources from this period, while Eberhard relies on other secondary sources. Hope this helps! ch (talk) 00:02, 29 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm putting those into wikibooks or further reading.Rajmaan (talk) 00:12, 29 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Iron hats faction?[edit]

There's a red-link to Iron hats in the article. I was wondering if this was meant to be "Iron caps", and if so is it the same as Aisin_Gioro#Iron-cap_princes_and_their_descendants? Kiore (talk) 05:46, 4 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]