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Zhedong choufang lu 浙東籌防錄

Mar 4, 2016 © Ulrich Theobald

Zhedong choufang lu 浙東籌防錄 is a report on the defence activities in the eastern part of the province of Zhejiang during the Sino-French war 1884-1885. It was written by Xue Fucheng 薛福成 (1838-1894), courtesy name Shuyun 叔耘, style Yong'an 庸庵. Xue hailed from Wuxi 無錫, Jiangsu, and belonged to the general staff of Zeng Guofan 曾國藩 (1811-1872) during the suppression of the Nian rebellion 捻 (1853-1868).

In 1875, he submitted to the throne six suggestions for the pacification of local turmoils (Zhiping liuce 治平六策) and ten measures for coastal defence (Haifang miyi shi shi 海防密議十事). Li Hongzhang 李鴻章 (1823-1901) thereupon hired him for his general staff and Xue took over official correspondence of this modernizer of China. In 1884, he was appointed circuit intendant (daotai 臺道) of Ningshao 寧紹, Zhejiang, and was given the honorary title of provincial administration commissioner (buzhengshi 布政使). In 1888, Xue was made surveillance commissioner (anchashi 按察使) of Hunan. In 1889 he visited Great Britain, France, Italy and Belgium, and was deluged with highest honours back home. He died in Shanghai.

During the conflict French gunships advanced to Fuzhou 福州, Fujian, where they destroyed the shipyards. They also attacked Jilong 基隆, Taiwan, and blocked the Yangtze aestuary. Xue was during that time governor of Zhejiang and organized the coastal defence. After the peace treaty of June 1885 he selected documents on the conflict and edited a 4-juan long volume. The first part includes reports to higher levels of administration (bingdu 稟牘, xiangwen 詳文), the second part letters (shudu 書牘), the third official communication on various levels, and the fourth telegrams (dianbao 電報).

This collection was printed in 1886. It book is included in the reprint series Jindai Zhongguo shiliao congkan 近代中國史料叢刊, Zhongguo fanglüe congshu 中國方略叢書 and Zhongguo yeshi jicheng 中國野史集成.

Source:
Zhongguo fanglüe congshu 中國方略叢書 (Chengwen Publishing), www.chengwen.com.tw/tc/cat/str/guo24.htm.