• I was born to a family of scholars in Xingyi, Guizhou, in 1837
  • As a precocious student I excelled from a young age, passing my first civil service examination aged 12 and completing them all by age 26.
  • Between 1862 and 1882 I worked as an educational scholar, but after this rose steadily to become a national leader in China, achieving the post of grand secretary and grand councilor by 1907.
  • A noted reformer, my achievements in various roles include a comprehensive reform of the Chinese education system, moves to industrialise regions under my control and some reforms to the Chinese army in Nanjing.
  • A major feature of my career was an apparent immunity to major political setbacks, even managing to survive the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 with credit.

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