Born Feb. 23, 1873, in the district of Hsinhui, Kwangtung Province; died Jan. 19, 1929, in Peking. Chinese political figure, writer, philosopher, and historian.
Liang Ch’i-ch’ao was one of the leaders of the reform movement in China in the late 19th century. After the defeat of the reformers in 1898, he went to Japan, where he and K’ang Yu-wei established the constitutional-monarchical Alliance for the Defense of the Emperor. He opposed the revolutionary-democratic movement led by Sun Yat-sen, and after the Hsinhai Revolution (1911-13), he joined the government of the reactionary Yuan Shih-k’ai. However, in 1915-16 he actively opposed Yuan Shihk’ai’s plan to restore the monarchy.
Liang Ch’i-ch’ao wrote lyric poetry and patriotic dramas, notably New Rome (1902). He proclaimed a “revolution in prose,” laying the groundwork for it with the novel The Future of a New China (1902), one of the few Utopian works in Chinese literature of social protest of the early 20th century. His articles on literature—“Introduction to Translations of Political Novels” (1898), “On the Connection Between Prose and Popular Rule,” (1902), “A Reprimand to Prose Writers” (1915)—were important landmarks in the development of Chinese enlightened aesthetics. Liang Ch’i-ch’ao was one of the ideologists of Chinese bourgeois nationalism, a neo-Kantian philosopher, and a popularizer of social Darwinism in China.
WORKSYin ping shih ho chi, vols. 1-40. Shanghai, 1936.
In Russian translation:
Likhunchzhan, Hi Politicheskaia istoriia Kitaia za poslednie 40 let. St. Petersburg, 1905.
REFERENCESTikhvinskii, S. L. Dvizhenie za reformy v Kitae v kontse XIX v. i Kan lu-vei. Moscow, 1959.
Petrov, N. A. “Patrioticheskaia dramaturgiia Lian Tsi-chao.” Kitai i laponiia. Moscow, 1960.
Levenson, J. R. Liang Ch ’i-ch ’ao and the Mind of Modern China. Cambridge, 1959.