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Qianlong

(1711—1799)


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(1710–99)

Qing Emperor of China (1735–95). During his rule China reached its greatest territorial extent with campaigns undertaken in the Turkistan (Xinjiang) region, Annam, Burma, and Nepal. In 1757 Qianlong restricted all foreign traders to Guangzhou (Canton), where they could trade only from November to March. He rejected in 1793 the requests of a British delegation led by Lord Macartney for an expansion of trade and the establishment of diplomatic relations. Towards the end of his reign his administration was weakened by corruption, financial problems, and provincial uprisings, notably of the White Lotus Society in 1796. He gained a reputation as a philosopher-king, patronizing the arts, writing poetry, and overseeing the compilation of literary collections (in which anything thought critical of the Qing was expunged). Four years before his death he abdicated in favour of his son.

Subjects: World History.


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