Wei Yüan

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Wei Yüan

 

Born 1794; died 1857. Chinese thinker, historian, geographer, and poet.

Wei Yüan was the author of Maps and Descriptions of Overseas Countries (1844), one of the first Chinese books about European countries, as well as several works on Chinese history and philosophy. He called for the encouragement of private initiative. He advocated strengthening the defensive capacity of the country through the adoption of European military technology. He propagandized chauvinistic views on the superiority of China over other countries of the world. Wei Yuüan’s ideas greatly influenced the development of social thought in China and Japan.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.