Zou Rong

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Zou Rong
Zou Rong Portrait.png
Born 1885
Died 1905
Nationality Chinese
Known for Writing The Revolutionary Army
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Zou.

Zou Rong (Chinese: 鄒容; pinyin: Zōu Róng; Wade–Giles: Tsou Jung; 1885-1905) was a Chinese nationalist and revolutionary martyr of the anti-Qing movement. Born in Chongqing, Sichuan Province, he was sent to Japan at an early age, where he studied the successful Japanese way of modernization. When he returned to China, he started to write essays on how to free the Chinese nation from the Manchu-Regime and foreign imperialism. In 1903, he published a little book on this topic: The Revolutionary Army. Closely associated with Zhang Binglin he was implicated in the Subao incident, which rendered him a prison sentence of two years. He died in prison.

Zou found the Qing government unable to deal with the contemporary crisis of colonization, weakness and corruption. For Zou, the Manchu were the source of China's inability to overcome traditional obstacles for modern reforms and he analyzed their mistakes and weaknesses point by point. He was also influenced by racialist Han ideology, as evidenced in his distaste for the Manchu governing class, as he advocated “annihilation the five million and more of the furry and horned Manchu race, cleansing ourselves of 260 years of harsh and unremitting pain, so that the soil of the Chinese subcontinent is made immaculate, and the descendants of the Yellow Emperor will all become Washingtons.”

His calls for sovereignty of the Chinese people included the establishment of a parliament, equal rights for women, freedom of speech and freedom of the press. They were spread internationally by Sun Yat-sen. The Qing officials tried to arrest and silence Zou Rong. Ironically, he lived in a Foreign concession in Shanghai, where he enjoyed extraterritorial rights and could not be sentenced to death by a Qing Court. Instead, he was sentenced to a two years in prison, where he fell ill and died in April 1905 at the age of 20.