Towards the Republic - A Chinese Historical Drama Television Series on Republic
Towards the Republic or For the Sake of The Republic is a 60-episode Chinese historical drama television series produced by CCTV. It was broadcast in 2003 on CCTV and cut to 59 episodes.
The series feature some important events of the late Qing Dynasty and early Republican times in 20th century China, such as the Sino-Japanese War in 1894/95, the Hundred Days Reforms in 1898, the Boxer Rebellion and the 1911 Revolution.
The series narrated historical events and portrayed the private lives of key political figures such as Li Hongzhang, the Guangxu Emperor, Yuan Shikai and Sun Yat Sen. There are monarchists, reformers and revolutionaries who provide different answers to addressing the deteriorating situation of the Qing Dynasty but all these answers point towards a common goal - to prevent China from being carved up by foreigners like a melon.
Historical figures who are remembered as villains in Chinese history are reappraised in this TV series. The rehabilitation of former villains such as Li Hongzhang, who handled China's foreign relations, the notorious Empress Dowager Cixi and Yuan Shikai sparked heated debates, prompting the censors to first cut parts of the series and eventually to stop the plan of a rerun on regional stations.
The final scene censored is the conclusive lecture by Sun Yat-Sen on his "Three Principles of the People" and "Five-Power Constitution", which constitutes the final five minutes of the entire series. It is about the collapse of the Qing Dynasty and the creation of the Republic of China.