Baoding 1882: Mesny meets Li Hongzhang

David LeffmanBaoding, Li Hongzhang, Mesny Leave a Comment

In late January 1882 Mesny arrived at Baoding, the capital of Zhili province. Wrapped protectively around Beijing, Zhili was heavily militarised and only absolutely trusted ministers were put in charge; its viceroy was Li Hongzhang, a scholar-turned-general who had fought his way to Imperial recognition during the Taiping Rebellion. Li had since become one of the most powerful men in …