Tso Tsung-t'ang

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Tso Tsung-t'ang

(dzô dzo͞ong-täng), 1812–85, Chinese general and statesman of the Ch'ing dynasty. He directed (1852–59) resistance to the Taiping RebellionTaiping Rebellion,
1850–64, revolt against the Ch'ing (Manchu) dynasty of China. It was led by Hung Hsiu-ch'üan, a visionary from Guangdong who evolved a political creed and messianic religious ideology influenced by elements of Protestant Christianity.
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 in his native Hunan and later organized (1860) a volunteer corps that fought the Taipings in Jiangxi and Anhui provs. Appointed governor of Zhejiang (1862–63) and governor-general of Zhejiang and Fujian (1863–66), Tso drove the Taipings from those provinces and planned rehabilitation. He led troops that participated (1868) in the encirclement and annihilation of the Nian forces (see Nian RebellionNian Rebellion
or Nien Rebellion
, uprising that occurred against the Ch'ing dynasty of China. Bands [Chinese,=nien] of antigovernment rebels in the south part of the North China Plain (between the Chang and Huai rivers) coalesced in 1853 as government strength
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). As governor-general of Shaanxi and Gansu provs., Tso suppressed (1868–77) the Muslim rebellion on the northwest frontier. In the struggle for military funds between those officials who stressed coastal defense (notably Li Hung-changLi Hung-chang
, 1823–1901, Chinese statesman and general. His first success was as a commander of forces fighting the Taiping Rebellion. As viceroy of the capital province of Zhili (1870–95), he controlled Chinese foreign affairs for the Empress Dowager Tz'u Hsi.
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) and those who stressed frontier defense, he argued that Western powers fought for commercial privileges and could be contained by skillful diplomacy, whereas strong frontier defense was necessary to forestall Russia's territorial ambitions. In retirement after 1882, he was recalled in 1884 to plan defense of the Fujian coast during the war with France (1884–85) for control of Annam (Vietnam).

Bibliography

See biography by W. L. Bales (1937).