Down through the nineteenth century, the Confucian classics and their ethical teachings has been the core of Chinese education. To seek knowledge from any other source was considered a waste of time, and worst, a betrayal of cultural norms. However in 1872, the Qing government came to sanction the Chinese Educational Mission (CEM) — a combined result of the vision and lobbying of Yung Wing, the patronage of two influential Qing officials, and, probably, the recent example of Japan. The CEM was, by almost all accounts, the idea of Yung Wing. The United States was chosen as the site of the program on account of the so-called Burlingame Treaty that the Qing had signed with the United States in 1868. Another reason was Wing's familiarity with the country. The knowledge that Japan had recently embarked on a similar program was one of the motivating factors of the Qing court's willingness to sanction the said program.
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