A press summary of the Hundred Days Reforms (1898)


In 1898 the Peking Times published a summary account of the Guangxu Emperor’s plans for reform and liberalisation, later known as the Hundred Days Reforms:


1. The establishment of a university at Peking.

2. The sending of imperial clansmen to foreign countries to study the forms and conditions of European and American government.

3. The encouragement of the arts, sciences and modern agriculture.

4. The Emperor is willing to hear the objections of the conservatives to progress and reform.

5. Abolition of the literary essay as a prominent part of the governmental examinations.

6. Censure of those who attempted to delay the establishment of the Peking Imperial University.

7. Urging the Lu-Han railway should be prosecuted with more vigour and expedition.

8. The adoption of Western arms and drill for all the Tartar troops.

9. The establishment of agricultural schools in all the provinces to teach the farmers improved methods of agriculture.

10. The introduction of patent and copyright laws.

11. The Board of War and Foreign Office ordered to report on the reform of the military examinations.

12. Special rewards offered to inventors and authors.

13. The officials ordered to encourage trade and assist merchants.

14. School boards ordered established in every city in the empire.

15. Bureaus of Mines and Railroads to be established.

16. Journalists encouraged to write on all political subjects.

17. Naval academies and training-ships ordered.

18. The ministers and provincial authorities called upon to assist and understand the Emperor in his efforts at reform.

19. Schools ordered in connection with all the Chinese legations in foreign countries for the benefit of the children of Chinese in those places.

20. Commercial bureaus were ordered in Shanghai for the encouragement of trade.

21. Six useless Boards in Peking abolished.

22. The right to memorialise the throne in sealed memorials granted to all who desired to do so.

23. Two presidents and four vice-presidents of the Board of Rites dismissed for disobeying the Emperor’s orders that memorials should be allowed to come to him unopened.

24. The governorships of Hupeh, Kuangtung, and Yunnan abolished for being a useless expense to the country.

25. Schools of instruction in the preparation of tea and silk to be established.

26. The slow courier posts abolished in favour of the Imperial Customs Post.

27. A system of budgets as in Western countries approved.”