Li Hung-chang (lē hōng-jäng) [key], 1823–1901, Chinese statesman and general. His first success was as a commander of forces fighting the Taiping Rebellion. As viceroy of the capital province of Zhili (1870–95), he controlled Chinese foreign affairs for the Empress Dowager Tz'u Hsi. Li was the chief negotiator of the Treaty of Shimonoseki (1895), which ended the First Sino-Japanese War. In 1896 he negotiated the treaty that granted Russia the right to build the Trans-Siberian RR across N Manchuria. He protected foreigners when he was viceroy of Guangzhou during the Boxer Uprising (1900), and he was able to reduce the demands of the foreign powers for reparations. His moderately progressive internal policy included modernization of the army and railroad building.
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