Zuo Zongtang

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Zuo Zongtang [File Photo]

Zuo Zongtang (1812-1885) was a Chinese statesman and military leader in the late Qing Dynasty.

Born in Hunan province, he served in China's northwestern regions and quelled many disturbances. He served during the Qing Empire's civil war against the Taiping Rebellion, in which about 20 million people died.

In 1874, Zuo was appointed the imperial commissioner to supervise Xinjiang. On his way there, Zuo ordered his soldiers to plant willows on both sides of the road from Jingchuan to Yumen. Although there is not much left of those trees 130 years later, his devotion to the ecological environment has been admired by later generations to this day.


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