Modern China

“It was sometimes hard to believe that the Chinese has much commitment to Western progress… Once the novelty had worn off, few were interested in learning how the [telegraph] instruments actually work.” Why were the reformers facing difficulties and what were the repercussions for China?

Reforms refer to the self-strengthening period in late Qing China. You can kind of ignore the quote, and just look at the question of why the self-strengthening period was a failure, and what were the repercussions.