Zheng Xiaoxu

Last updated
Zheng Xiaoxu
鄭孝胥
Zheng Xiaoxu.jpg
Prime Minister of Manchukuo
In office
9 March 1932 May 1935
Monarch Kangde Emperor
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Zhang Jinghui
Personal details
Born(1860-04-02)2 April 1860
Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
Died28 March 1938(1938-03-28) (aged 77)
Hsinking, Manchukuo
Political party Concordia Association

Zheng Xiaoxu (Cheng Hsiao-hsu; simplified Chinese :郑孝胥; traditional Chinese :鄭孝胥; pinyin :Zhèng Xiàoxū; Wade–Giles :Cheng4 Hsiao4-hsu1; Hepburn: Tei Kōsho) (2 April 1860 28 March 1938) was a Chinese statesman, diplomat and calligrapher. He served as the first Prime Minister of Manchukuo.

Contents

Early life and diplomatic career

Although Zheng traced his ancestral roots to Minhou, a small town near Fuzhou, he was born in Suzhou, Jiangsu. In 1882, he obtained the intermediate degree in the imperial examinations, and three years later he joined the secretariat of the prominent statesman Li Hongzhang. In 1891, he was appointed secretary to the Chinese legation in Tokyo, and in the following years he performed consular duties at the Chinese consulates in Tsukiji, Osaka and Kobe respectively. During his tenure in Kobe, he worked closely with the Chinese community and played an instrumental part in establishing the Chinese guild (Zhōnghuá huìguǎn 中華會館) there. In Japan, Zheng also interacted with a number of influential politicians and scholars, such as Itō Hirobumi, Mutsu Munemitsu and Naitō Torajirō.

Government service

Following the outbreak of the First Sino-Japanese war in 1894, Zheng was forced to leave Japan. Having returned to China, Zheng joined the secretariat of the reformist statesman Zhang Zhidong in Nanjing and followed him to Beijing, where Zheng obtained a position in the Qing foreign office, the Zongli Yamen. Following the abortive Hundred Days' Reform in 1898, Zheng left his post in Beijing and took up a number of important government positions in central and southern China. After the collapse of the imperial system in 1911, Zheng remained loyal to the Qing dynasty and refused to serve under China's Republican government. Instead he withdrew from public life entirely and retired comfortably in Shanghai, where he devoted his time to calligraphy, poetry and art, while also writing extensive articles critical of the Kuomintang leadership, whom he characterized as “thieves”.

Qing loyalist and Collaboration with the Japanese

In 1923, the former Qing emperor Puyi summoned Zheng to Beijing in order to reorganize the imperial household.[ citation needed ] Zheng became a close adviser of Puyi and helped arrange for his flight to the foreign concession at Tianjin after his expulsion from the Forbidden City. Zheng remained loyal to the throne and secretly met with Japanese officials and groups such as the Black Dragon Society to discuss a restoration of the Qing dynasty in Manchuria. Following the Mukden Incident and the invasion of Manchuria by the Imperial Japanese Army in 1931, Zheng played an important role in the establishment of Manchukuo, becoming its first prime minister the following year. Zheng also composed the lyrics of the National Anthem of Manchukuo. Zheng had hoped that Manchukuo would become a springboard for the restoration of Qing rule in the whole of China, but he soon found out that the real rulers of Manchukuo, the Japanese Kwantung Army, did not share his ambitions.

As Prime Minister of Manchukuo, Zheng frequently disagreed with the Japanese Army leadership. In May 1935, he was pressured to resign from his office. Three years later, he died suddenly under unclear circumstances, which led to speculation that he may have been poisoned by the Japanese. He was accorded a state funeral in April 1938.

Legacy

Although Zheng Xiaoxu is mostly remembered today for his collaboration with the Japanese, he is still recognized as an accomplished poet and calligrapher. Zheng was one of the most respected and influential calligraphers of the 20th century. His calligraphy brought high prices during his lifetime and he supported himself in later life with the proceeds from its sale. His calligraphy continues to be influential in China and his style has been incorporated into the logos of current Chinese corporations.

Zheng kept an extensive diary, which is still valued by historians as important source material.

Further reading

Government offices
New title Prime Minister of Manchukuo
1932-1935
Succeeded by
Zhang Jinghui

Related Research Articles

Puyi The 11th Emperor of the Qing Dynasty, Emperor of Manchukuo

Puyi was the last Emperor of China as the eleventh and final Qing dynasty ruler. Becoming the Xuantong Emperor at age two, forced to abdicate on 12 February 1912 due to the Xinhai Revolution, he later served as the nominal ruler of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo during World War II.

Yoshiko Kawashima

Yoshiko Kawashima was a Qing dynasty princess of Manchu descent. She was raised in Japan and served as a spy for the Japanese Kwantung Army and Manchukuo during the Second Sino-Japanese War. She is sometimes known in fiction under the pseudonym "Eastern Mata Hari". After the war, she was captured, tried, and executed as a traitor by the Nationalist government of the Republic of China. She was also a notable descendant of Hooge, eldest son of Hong Taiji.

Aisin Gioro

Aisin Gioro was the Manchu ruling clan of the Later Jin dynasty (1616–1636), the Qing dynasty (1636–1912) and, nominally, Manchukuo (1932–1945). The House of Aisin Gioro ruled China proper from 1644 until the Xinhai Revolution of 1911–1912, which established a republican government in its place. The word aisin means gold in the Manchu language, and "gioro" is the name of the Aisin Gioro's ancestral home in present-day Yilan, Heilongjiang Province. In Manchu custom, families are identified first by their hala (哈拉), i.e. their family or clan name, and then by mukūn (穆昆), the more detailed classification, typically referring to individual families. In the case of Aisin Gioro, Aisin is the mukūn, and Gioro is the hala. Other members of the Gioro clan include Irgen Gioro (伊爾根覺羅), Šušu Gioro (舒舒覺羅) and Sirin Gioro (西林覺羅).

Zaifeng, Prince Chun

Zaifeng, formally known by his title Prince Chun, was a Manchu prince and regent of the late Qing dynasty. He was a son of Yixuan, the seventh son of the Daoguang Emperor, and the father of Puyi, the Last Emperor. He served as Prince-Regent from 1908 to 1911 during the reign of his son until the Qing dynasty was overthrown by the Xinhai Revolution in 1911.

Politics of Manchukuo

Manchukuo was a puppet state set up by the Empire of Japan in Manchuria which existed from 1931 to 1945. The Manchukuo regime was established four months after the Japanese withdrawal from Shanghai with Puyi as the nominal but powerless head of state to add some semblance of legitimacy, as he was a former emperor and an ethnic Manchu.

Pujie Chinese politician and younger brother of Puyi

Pujie was a Qing dynasty imperial prince of Manchu descent. He was born in the Aisin Gioro clan, the imperial clan of the Qing dynasty. Pujie was the younger brother of Puyi, the last Emperor of China. After the fall of the Qing dynasty, Pujie went to Japan, where he was educated and married to Saga Hiro, a Japanese noblewoman. In 1937, he moved to Manchukuo, where his brother ruled as Emperor under varying degrees of Japanese control during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945). After the war ended, Pujie was captured by Soviet forces, held in Soviet prison camps for five years, and then extradited back to the People's Republic of China, where he was incarcerated for about 10 years in the Fushun War Criminals Management Centre. He was later pardoned and released from prison by the Chinese government, after which he remained in Beijing where he joined the Communist Party and served in a number of positions in the party until his death in 1994.

Jin Yuzhang is a Chinese civil servant, politician and former nobleman. Yuzhang is an heir to the Qing emperors of China, and the current nominal head of House Aisin Gioro, the former ruling noble house of Qing dynasty China.

Jin Youzhi, born Aisin Gioro Puren, was a politician and historian who was the nominal head of the Aisin Gioro clan, the imperial clan of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, from 1994 until his death in 2015. He was the fourth and youngest son of Prince Chun, and a younger half-brother of Puyi, the Last Emperor of China. Instead of using his Manchu clan name "Aisin Gioro" as his family name, Puren adopted "Jin" as his new family name. "Jin" means "gold" in Mandarin, as does "Aisin" in the Manchu language. His courtesy name was "Youzhi"; he is best known as "Jin Youzhi". The Chinese media referred to him as "The Last Emperor's Younger Brother" or "The Last Imperial Younger Brother (最后的皇弟).

Yuyan (1918–1997), courtesy name Yanrui, nickname Xiaoruizi, was a Chinese calligrapher of Manchu descent. He was a member of the Aisin Gioro clan, the imperial clan of the Qing dynasty. He claimed that he was appointed by Puyi, the last Emperor of China, as the heir to the throne. His claim is the subject of the travel adventure book The Empty Throne by British journalist Tony Scotland.

Chen Baochen

Chen Baochen Chinese official, hailing from Fuzhou, Fujian province in southeast China. During the last years of the Qing dynasty, he served as sub-chancellor in the Grand Secretariat and as vice president of the Ministry of Rites. Following the collapse of the imperial order and the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912, he remained loyal to the Qing dynasty and served as tutor and adviser of the former emperor, Puyi, who was allowed to stay in the Forbidden City for more than thirteen years under the "Articles of Favorable Treatment." In 1917, Chen supported the Manchu Restoration, the loyalist general Zhang Xun's abortive attempt to restore the Qing dynasty. Chen Baochen continued to serve Puyi after he was finally expelled from the Forbidden City in 1924, but unlike his rival Zheng Xiaoxu, he refused to collaborate in the establishment of Manchukuo.

Yuzhan, courtesy name Jungu, was a Chinese calligrapher of Manchu descent. He was a member of the Aisin Gioro clan, the imperial clan of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty. He was also the seventh son of Puwei (溥偉) and a great-grandson of Yixin.

Qigong (artist)

Qigong was a renowned Chinese calligrapher, artist, painter, connoisseur and sinologist. He was an advisor for the September 3 Society, one of China's recognized political parties.

Wanrong Empress consort of China

Wanrong, also known as Xuantong Empress, of the Manchu Bordered Plain White Banner Gobulo clan, was the wife and empress consort of Puyi, the Xuantong Emperor. She was titular Empress consort of Qing from 1922 until abolition of imperial title in 1924 and Empress consort of Manchukuo from 1934 until abolition of monarchy in 1945. She was posthumously honoured with the title Empress Xiaokemin.

Xi Qia

Aisin-Gioro Xiqia (Aisin-Gioro Hsi-hsia; Chinese: 愛新覺羅·熙洽; pinyin: Àixīnjuéluó Xīqià; Wade–Giles: Ai4-hsin1-chüeh2-lo2 Hsi1-ch'ia4; 1883–1950), commonly known monomymously as Xi Qia or Xi Xia (Hsi Hsia; Chinese: 熙洽; pinyin: Xīqià; Wade–Giles: Hsi1-hsia4; Hepburn: Ki Kō), was a general in command of the Kirin Provincial Army of the Republic of China, who defected to the Japanese during the Invasion of Manchuria in 1931, and who subsequently served as a cabinet minister in Manchukuo.

Puru (artist)

Puru, also known as Pu Xinyu 溥心畬, Xinyu being his courtesy name, and Xishan Yishi 西山逸士, which is his sobriquet, was a traditional Chinese painter, calligrapher and nobleman. A member of the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan, the ruling house of the Qing dynasty, he was a cousin to Puyi, the last Emperor of China. It was speculated that Puru would have succeeded to the Chinese throne if Puyi and the Qing government were not overthrown after the 1911 Xinhai Revolution.

Jin Yunying

Yunying (1913–1992), better known as Jin Yunying, was a Chinese princess of Manchu descent. She was the daughter of Zaifeng and Youlan, and a younger sister of Puyi, the Last Emperor of China. She was married to Runqi, the younger brother of Puyi's first wife, Wanrong.

Tong Jixu was a Chinese businessman and Manchukuo official from Fujian province in southeast China.

Yanguangshi, was the first Chinese publishing house to publish Photobooks of famous ancient painting and calligraphy from the imperial collections using the colophon photographic printing technique.

Aisin-Gioro Yinian (1916–1987), art name Rushiguan Ge (如是觀閣) was a Manchu nobleman, author and the last heir of the principality of Rui before the extinction of his line. He was also known by his Han Chinese name Jin Jishui.

Monarchy of China Form of government in historical China

China was a monarchy from prehistoric times up to 1912 CE, when the Xinhai Revolution overthrew the Qing dynasty in favor of the Republic of China. The succession of mythological monarchs of China were non-hereditary. Dynastic rule began in circa 2070 BCE when Yu the Great and his son Qi established the Xia dynasty, and lasted until 1912 CE when dynastic rule collapsed together with the monarchical system.