From the introduction:
In the wake of the arrival of aggressive Western imperialism in the mid-nineteenth century, great debates over reform swept across East Asia. The arguments swirled around questions of the best way to resist Western aggression and preserve independence. The range of opinion in all three countries of China, Japan, and Korea can be roughly divided into three major types: one, “Protect the True and Reject the False,” called for a return to original Confucian principles and the total rejection of what were seen as the pernicious influences of Western civilization; two, “Eastern Way and Western Machines,” argued for selective adoption of Western military technology in order to defend the Confucian Way; and three, “Civilization and Enlightenment,” advocated the rapid and wholesale Westernization of government, society, and economy. By the late 1860s, Japan had opted, via the Meiji Restoration, for a radical policy of Westernization and the Qing Chinese government had implemented a self-strengthening policy that called for limited use of Western technology while the Korean court continued to keep its doors shut, clinging adamantly to a position of protecting Confucian orthodoxy.