Between 1872 and 1875, the Qing government sponsored the Chinese Educational Mission (CEM) which sent a total of 120 Chinese boys to America to receive western education and vocational trainings.
When many of them came back to China later, they became precursors in business fields such as mining and railway construction.
The CEM has been remembered as the first major government-sponsored program of China to send students overseas to acquire western knowledge and technologies.
A website, the CEM Connections, aims to bring this obscured history back to life. It gathers rich bibliographic information about CEM in its Resources page.