The Birth of an Exile Movement

Cracking down on her nephew’s brief reforms, Cixi ordered the executions of reformers like Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao. Kang and Liang escaped to Japan, the first in a line of exiled dissidents. Sun Yat-sen, Chiang Kai-shek, Chen DuxiuLu Xun and many other important Chinese reformers would follow in their footsteps, some on the run from the state, others as students, eager to learn from the successful Japanese model and express their dissatisfaction with China’s progress.