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Extra resources for Chinese Business Groups in Hong Kong and Political Changes in South China, 1900-1920s

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Who would England like to see Emperor? … I answered that in such an event the Powers would probably ask the advice of the strongest man in China that they could find as to what was best to be done. 45 His prediction proved correct. After passing through Hong Kong, Li travelled northward, and stayed in Shanghai for three months before departing for Peking. Li led a greatly respected life in the North before he passed away in 1901. Yuan Shikai, a recruit of Li’s, replaced Li and established himself as one of the most influential men in the Qing court.

Li led a greatly respected life in the North before he passed away in 1901. Yuan Shikai, a recruit of Li’s, replaced Li and established himself as one of the most influential men in the Qing court. For the Hong Kong Chinese, the plan for an independent South China eventually fell through but all kinds of possibilities were still ahead. Even though the endeavour in 1900 had no immediate effect, we learn from the incident that, as early as in 1900, the Chinese leaders in Hong Kong had shown interest in supporting an independent Guangdong.

This is especially true of things political. It was in the narrow streets of this southern city that the plots which resulted in the recent Revolutions were hatched, and during that brief but dramatic struggle, the principal parts were played by Cantonese. 30 In the northern part of China, various regional powers were held together under Yuan Shikai. Among other examples, an Anhui clique dominated the Ministry of War and a Cantonese clique dominated the Ministry of Communications. This Cantonese clique, known as the Communications Clique, was under the leadership of Liang Shiyi, a Cantonese recruited by Tang Shaoyi, and later Yuan’s private secretary.

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