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During the Yuan dynasty 360 official temples were included in the domain of the Commission for Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs, occupying thousands acres of civilian lands and depleting the wealth of the nation. During the Ming dynasty, emperors provided for numerous Tibetan monks in the capital, their daily expenses paid by the Court of Imperial Entertainments. Ming emperors also frequently held Buddhist ceremonies and built temples and stupas, which created a fiscal crisis. In comparison, during the Qing dynasty, expenses of lamas and their followers were paid by the Ministry of Revenue. In the Kangxi period, the Ministry of Revenue provided about ten thousand taels for lamas. After Qianlong, the amount rose to sixty thousand taels and twenty thousand pecks of grain provisions. Expenses for building temples and conducting ceremonies were paid by the Imperial Household Department. The moneys paid by the emperors were far more than the expenses covered by the Ministry of Revenue Ministry, and therefore did not cause fiscal problems for the state.
The Qing emperors allocated lands outside the Great Wall to Hutuktus as donations, not taking any civilian lands. After the mid-Qing, Han people moved outside the Great Wall to cultivate farmlands, thereby promoting the development of these areas. Moreover, since the Qianlong Emperor instituted the Golden Vase lottery system to choose lamas, the Qing government had increased its influence over religious matters, and more and more nobilities and lamas came to Beijing temples to make donations. At the same time, Hutuktus from the Qinghai and Gansu regions were given lands by the government; they gained large estates and cultivated new arable land. Because the temples of Tibetan Buddhism attracted numerous followers, areas by the temples became important markets, and lamas further gained income from commercial activities. Qing emperors believed that Mongolia was weakened because of Mongol belief in Tibetan Buddhism and that their donations to the lamas contributed to the decline of the Mongolian economy. From these observations, it is safe to say the Qing government successfully weakened Mongolia through Tibetan Buddhism.
The significance of the addition of policy questions (cewen) in the reform of the imperial examination system in the late Qing lay in their relationship to the reception of Western Learning. Policy questions reflected both social change and the transformation of scholarship. The reformed examinations required the “Five Questions on Politics and Industry of Various Countries” for both provincial and national exams. Wence (policy questions) on politics and industry of various countries provides a key to understanding how officials at all levels during the late Qing perceived the world, and yingce (the answers) written by hundreds of thousands of candidates who took the examinations reflected the general intellectual perspectives of the day. This article examines the reception of Western Learning in the examinations, based on Zhongwai Cewen Daguan (Full Collection of Domestic and Overseas Policy Questions) and other materials. It is clear that the adoption of policy questions in the exams paved the way for Western Learning and also helped to destroy the traditional knowledge structure of China. Reforming the examination system to rectify its problems was nothing new. The substitution of bagu (eight-legged essay) with celun, however, had a profound impact on academic studies. In other words, materials about cewen are not only representation of the Western Learning of the late Qing, but also contributed to the spread and “reproduction”of knowledge. Studying cewen’s relationship to the reform of the examination system and its role as a medium of Western Learning contributes to a new understanding of the special position of cewen in the late Qing.
In 1901 the Ch’ing government ordered a change in format for the civil examinations, replacing the eight-legged essay with ts’e lun (policy and discourse) questions, effective the following year. The “Chung-kuo cheng-chih shi-shi-lun” (discourses on the history of Chinese politics) and “ke-kuo cheng-chih i-hsueh-ts’e” (policy questions on world politics) thenceforth became the focus of preparation for all three sessions of the examinations. This change not only addressed the demand of officials and literati for reform of the examination system, but was also considered a critical transition for a future full-scale replacement of the examinations by the new schools. It was believed that the ts’e lun, with its pragmatic nature, was closer to the pedagogy of the new schools. However, regardless of their similarities, we can also see differences in methodology, attitudes and objectives for knowledge acquisition between ts’e lun and the new schools. Still, even though ts’e lun were only used for less than four years, they did play a significant role in the process of knowledge transformation in modern China. This article first discusses how ts’e lun in itself was gradually transformed from the information popular at coastal treaty ports into an institutionalized knowledge system based on materials such as hui-shi-luand hsiang-shih-lu (records of metropolitan and provincial examinations), t’i-ming-lu (civil service examination rolls), and chu-chuan and mo-chuan (scripts and copies of examination essays). Second, it analyzes how institutionalized ts’e lun led ultimately to the replacement of the civil examinations by the new schools.
Although the cooperation between Sun Yat-sen and the Soviet Union stemmed partly from the Kuomintang’s respect for the Russian Revolution, the basis of their original cooperation lay in diplomacy. Since the Guangdong government failed to gain international recognition, it became a mere negotiating chip for the Russians. The goal of the Kuomintang was “changing diplomacy into revolution.” The representatives of Soviet Russia showed time after time that they would negotiate with Sun Yat-sen in order to threaten the Beijing government, and then finally on the May 31, 1924 the Sino-Soviet Treaty was signed by Soviet Russia and the Beijing government. Restricted by public opinion and diplomatic strategies, the diplomatic intentions of Kuomintang leaders were always so covert and their attitudes toward the Mongolia issue so ambiguous that conflicts between the Communist Party and the Kuomintang—as well as conflicts among Kuomintang members—constantly erupted. The lopsided diplomacy between Guangdong and the Soviet Union, the collision of national interests between China and Russia, and the ideological tensions between Sun Yat-sen and the Bolsheviks led to the rise of the Kuomintang rightwing wishing to expel the Communists from the Kuomintang and crusading against the Soviet Union. Although this movement was quieted, it manifested the underlying reasons for the Kuomintang to later “purify the Party” and oppose Russia.
“Fraternizing with Soviet Russia” is different from “allying with Soviet Russia” in nature, but for several years they were woven together. Sometimes “fraternizing with Soviet Russia” triumphed over “allying with Soviet Russia” and sometimes “allying with Soviet Russia” overcame “fraternizing with Soviet Russia,” but overall the Kuomintang’s attitude toward the Soviet Union moved from fraternization to alliance. Fraternization is seen from the Soviet’s declarations to China to the Sun-Joffe Declaration. Fraternization and alliance varied with the state of Sino-Russian diplomatic negotiations from the Sun-Joffe Declaration to the May 31, 1924 Sino-Soviet Treaty. And after this, the period of real “allying with Soviet Russia” commenced.
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