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 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]].