Yung Wing: Difference between revisions

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He persuaded the Qing Dynasty government to send young Chinese to the United States to study Western [[science]] and [[engineering]]. With the government's eventual approval, he organized what came to be known as the [[Chinese Educational Mission]], which included 120 young Chinese students, to study in the [[New England]] region of the United States beginning in 1872. The Educational Mission was disbanded in 1881, but many of the students later returned to China and made significant contributions to China's civil services, engineering, and the sciences.
Yung Wing was a lifelong supporter of reform in China. He had followed the lead of the [[Guangxu Emperor]], whom Yung described as the great pioneer of reform in China.<ref name="My Life">Yung Wing, My Life in China and America, p.83, Henry Holt Co., New York, 1909</ref> The coup d'état of 1898 by the [[Empress Dowager Cixi]] aborted the reforms, and many of the reformers were decapitated.<ref name="My Life" /> A price of $70,000 was placed on Yung's head and he fled [[Shanghai]] to [[Hong Kong]]. While in Hong Kong, he applied to the US Consul to return to the US. In a 1902 letter from the [[US Secretary of State]] [[John Sherman (Ohio)|John Sherman]], Yung was informed that his US citizenship, which he had held for 50 years, had been revoked and he would not be allowed to return to the United States. Through the help of friends, he was able to sneak into the United States in time to see his youngest son, Bartlett, graduate from Yale. In 1908, Yung joined "General" [[Homer Lea]], the former American military advisor to [[Kang Youwei]], in a bold and audacious military venture in China called the “Red Dragon Plan” that called for organizing a revolutionary conspiracy to conquer the two southern [[Guangdong|Guang]] provinces. Through Yung, Lea planned to solicit a united front of various southern Chinese factions and secret societies to organize an army that he would command for the revolution. If successful, Yung was slated to head a coalition government of revolutionary forces while Lea and his fellow conspirators hoped to receive wide-ranging economic concessions from the new government. The Red Dragon conspiracy subsequently collapsed and Yung lived his remaining years in poverty in [[Hartford, Connecticut]], and died in 1912.<ref>Chu, T.K., 150, Years of Chinese Students in America, p.9, Harvard China Review, Spring 2004; Lawrence M. Kaplan, Homer Lea: American Soldier of Fortune (University Press of Kentucky, 2010), 145-157.</ref> After the [[Wuchang Uprising]], [[Sun Yan Sen]] wrote to Yung Wing requesting help in help build the newly-founded [[Republic of China]], however Yung was unable to go due to old age and illness. He requested his two sons to go in his place.<ref>{{cite book|title=Pioneers of Modern China: Understanding the Inscrutable Chinese|first=Khoon Choy|last= Lee}}</ref>
Yung Wing's grave is located at [[Cedar Hill Cemetery (Hartford, Connecticut)|Cedar Hill Cemetery]] outside Hartford, Connecticut.