On January 31, 1910, the Qing court issued an imperial rescript which officially abolished slavery throughout the empire.
It wasn’t the first time a government in China had tried to end slavery. Nor was chattel slavery unique to China. But throughout Chinese history, edicts, laws, and proclamations against slavery ran up against a system that perhaps uniquely conflated human bondage with criminality, social debasement, and cultural prejudices toward certain classes of people.
The first paragraph lists the dates for the Qing Dynasty as 1616-1911. That's not what I submitted. I would have written 1636-1912 or 1644-1912. Not sure why the editors changed it.