Liang Ch'i-ch'ao (lyäng chē-chou), 1873–1929, Chinese reform leader. Liang was a disciple of K'ang Yu-wei. Stunned by China's disastrous defeat by Japan (see Sino-Japanese War, First), K'ang and Liang launched (1895) a movement for constitutional and educational reform. The movement received the backing of Emperor Kuang-hsu in 1898, but the
"hundred days' reform"
was aborted by the Empress Dowager Tz'u Hsi. Liang fled to Japan where he continued to promote gradualist reform and constitutional monarchy. Although his writings had a great influence on the constitutional movement within China, the large Chinese student community in Japan increasingly favored an anti-Manchu revolution as espoused by Sun Yat-sen. Following the republican revolution of 1911, Liang returned to China and led the Progressive party in parliament, generally supporting the regimes of Yüan Shih-kai and Tuan Ch'i-jui and opposing the Kuomintang.
See studies by J. R. Levenson (2d rev. ed. 1967) and C. Hao (1971).