Towards the Republic, also known as For the Sake of the Republic and Zou Xiang Gong He (Chinese: 走向共和), is a Chinese historical television series first broadcast on CCTV in China from April to May 2003. The series is based on events which occurred in China in the late 19th century and early 20th century, and led to the collapse of the Qing dynasty and the founding of the Republic of China. Because the series portrayed historical issues to which the current Chinese government remains politically sensitive, the series has been subjected to censorship in mainland China.

Chinese Censorship[]

The politically sensitive issues which likely triggered the heavy censorship of the series included issues such as the more sympathetic and complex portrayal of Empress Dowager Cixi, Yuan Shikai and Li Hongzhang, who are usually portrayed in a negative light in official Chinese historiography. Historically accurate but politically inconvenient quotes, such as Sun Yat-sen's speech on inequality and the suppression of democracy, were cut from the series.

The censorship has significantly reduced the length of some episodes. The final episode was cut to nearly half of its original duration of 50 minutes, and the series was reorganised from scripted 60 to aired 59 episodes. The censors also blocked plans for a rerun. The censorship, however, did not prevent the international distribution of the series on VCD and DVD (these versions also suffered less from censorship than the version aired on CCTV).