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Guan Zhong---Prime Minister of Qi State of Ancient China
By Xinfajia
2008-06-18 12:34:07

Guan Zhong (Chinese: 管仲, Wade-Giles: Kuan Chung. 725 BC - 645 BC) was a Chinese politician in the Spring and Autumn Period. His given name was Yíwú (夷吾). Zhong was his courtesy name. Recommended by Bao Shuya, he was appointed Prime Minister by Duke Huan of Qi in 685 BC.

Guan Zhong renovated the state of Qi by starting multiple reforms. Politically, he centralized power and divided the state into different villages, each carrying out a specific trade. Instead of relying on the traditional aristocracy for manpower, he applied levies to the village units directly. He also developed a better method for choosing talent to be governors. Under Guan Zhong, Qi shifted administrative responsibilities from hereditary aristocrats to professional bureaucrats.

Guan Zhong also introduced several important economic reforms. He created a uniform tax code. He also used state power to encourage the production of salt and iron; historians usually credit Guan Zhong for introducing state monopolies of salt and iron. During his term of office, the state of Qi became much stronger and Duke Huan of Qi gained hegemony among the states.

He is listed as the author of the Guanzi encyclopedia, actually a much later (of the late "Warring States" period) compilation of works from the scholars of the Jixia Academy.

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