Anti-Qing sentiment

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Sun Yat-sen, one of the leaders of the Xinhai Revolution which overthrew the Qing dynasty in 1912. Photo taken in 1907

Anti-Qing sentiment (Chinese: 反清, fǎn Qing) refers to a sentiment principally held in China against the Manchu ruling during Qing dynasty (1644–1912), which was often resented for being foreign and barbaric.[1] The Qing was accused of destroying traditional Han culture by forcing Han to wear their hair in a queue in the Manchu style. It was blamed for suppressing Chinese science, causing China to be transformed from the world's premiere power to a poor, backwards nation. The people of the Eight Banners lived off government pensions unlike the general Han civilian population.

In the broadest sense, an anti-Qing activist was anyone who engaged in anti-Manchu direct action. This included people from many mainstream political movements and uprisings, such as Taiping Rebellion, the Xinhai revolution, the Revive China Society, the Tongmenghui, the Panthay Rebellion, White Lotus Rebellion, and others.

Ming loyalism in the early Qing dynasty[edit]

Statue of Zheng Chenggong on Gulangyu Island in Xiamen, one of many in mainland China and Taiwan.

Muslim Ming loyalists[edit]

Main article: Milayin Rebellion

Hui Muslim Ming loyalists under Mi Layin and Ding Guodong fought against the Qing to restore a Ming prince to the throne from 1646-1650.


Main articles: Koxinga and Southern Ming

The Ming loyalist general Zheng Chenggong, better known by his title Koxinga, led a military movement to oppose the Qing dynasty from 1646 to 1662.


Joseon Korea was a tributary state of Ming China and was grateful for Ming assistance during the recent Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–98). This put Joseon in a dilemma when both Nurhaci and the Ming requested support. King Gwanghaegun tried to maintain neutrality, but most of his officials opposed him for not supporting the Ming, which had saved Joseon during Hideyoshi's invasions.

In 1623 King Gwanghaegun was deposed and replaced by King Injo (r. 1623–1649), who banished Gwanghaejun's supporters. Reverting his predecessor's foreign policy, the new king decided to support the Ming openly, but a rebellion led by military commander Yi Gwal erupted in 1624 and wrecked Joseon's military defenses in the north. Even after the rebellion had been suppressed, King Injo had to devote military forces to ensure the stability of the capital, leaving fewer soldiers to defend the northern borders.[2]

The Manchus invaded Korea twice, in 1627 and 1636, eventually forcing Joseon to sever its ties with the Ming and instead to become a tributary of the Manchus. However, there remained popular opposition to the Manchus in Korea. Joseon continued to use the Ming calendar rather than the Qing calendar, and Koreans continued to wear Ming-style clothing and hairstyles, rather than the Manchu queue. After the fall of the Ming dynasty, Joseon Koreans saw themselves as continuing the traditions of Neo-Confucianism.[3]

Anti-Qing rebellions[edit]

A drawing of Hong Xiuquan as the "Heavenly King" (ca. 1860)

Hong Xiuquan[edit]

Main article: Taiping Rebellion

Hong Xiuquan (洪秀全, Hóng Xiùquán) was a Hakka Chinese who was the leader of the Taiping Rebellion (1850–1864) against the Qing dynasty. He proclaimed himself to be the Heavenly King and called Jesus Christ his brother.[citation needed]

Du Wenxiu[edit]

Main article: Panthay Rebellion

The Panthay Rebellion leader Du Wenxiu declared his intention of overthrowing the Qing and driving the Manchus out of China.

Late-Qing revolutionaries[edit]

Sun Yat-sen[edit]

Main article: Xinhai Revolution
To restore our national independence, we must first restore the Chinese nation. To restore the Chinese nation, we must drive the barbarian Manchus back to the Changbai Mountains. To get rid of the barbarians, we must first overthrow the present tyrannical, dictatorial, ugly, and corrupt Qing government. Fellow countrymen, a revolution is the only means to overthrow the Qing government![citation needed]

Zou Rong[edit]

Main article: Zou Rong

Born in Sichuan province in West China in 1885 to a merchant family, Zou (1885–1905) received a classical education but refused to sit for the civil service exams. He worked as a seal carver while pursuing classical studies. He gradually became interested in Western ideas and went to Japan to study in 1901, where he was exposed to radical revolutionary and anti-Manchu ideas.

Here are some quotations of Zou Rong:

"Sweep away millennia of despotism in all its forms, throw off millennia of slavishness, annihilate the five million and more of the furry and horned Manchu race, cleanse ourselves of 260 years of harsh and unremitting pain"
"I do not begrudge repeating over and over again that internally we are slaves of the Manchus and suffering from their tyranny, externally we are being harassed by the Powers, and we are doubly enslaved."
"Kill the emperor set up by the Manchus as a warning to the myriad generations that despotic government is not to be revived."
"Settle the name of the country as the Republic of China."[4]

Overthrow of the Qing[edit]

The Xinhai Revolution of 1911 saw attacks and massacres on Manchu Banner garrisons in cities throughout China.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jing Tsu, Failure, Nationalism, and Literature, p. 42.
  2. ^ Ebrey, Walthall & Palais 2006, p. 349
  3. ^ Holcombe 2011, p. 176
  4. ^ "Zou Rong The Revolutionary Army". Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  5. ^ Rhoads 2011, pp. 188-204.]