I though they deliberately don't want modernization as proposed by Kang Youwei they only want to bring modern industry without changing the social and institutional aspect of Qing dynasty which is half hearted attempt . Since doing that will end the Manchu monopoly on power. I mean emperor Guanxu know what need to be done and he agree with Kang but prevent from doing institutional change due to resistance of Manchu noble who worry they will lost power. I have theory being non Han exacerbate the Qing decay.The only critique I have of the article are the 400 years part and the portrayal of China as some backwater s**thole that somehow made it to the top. The Qing dynasty was one of the largest or possibly the largest economic powerhouse in the world. Western intellectuals all wanted to copy China’s philosophy and culture until the First Industrialization in the early 19th century. The only mistake made by the Qing was that they didn’t do their own investigation of the West. Such an investigation would have made them realize the threat the West posed. China has never been a beggar like many other countries have been. In its history, many of its dynasties were one of the major players in the world. The Chinese just made a mistake which is the one I said above. They aren’t victims/prey; they just let down their guard due to their complacency.