I was surprised to learn the following about the Japanese and Korean languages:
Japanese used a lot of Chinese characters in their language and had no phonetic system, until around the year 800 when they made their first Kanakana. (They still use a lot of Chinese characters, but the point is they originally had no phonetic system, then made one.)
Korean also used a lot of Chinese characters in their language and had no phonetic system until around the year 1443 when they made Hangul. (I'm not sure if they still use a lot of Chinese characters, but the point is the same as Japan.)
So you can see how this brings up my question. Did China ever consider a phonetic writing system? In other words, are there any emperors, scholars, court eunuchs or other offices, or just wise men of some school like confucionismConfucianism or daoismDaoism or something...who who wrote down some thoughts on considering a phonetic writing system?
Did any of them at least note what Japan and Korea did, and explicitly reject it? And most crucially, did they state their reasons for rejecting it?
The time period I'm interested in is pre-modern China. In other words, ancient times to 1912.
EDIT: The analyses are fascinating, but they're not what I'm asking. I'm just asking for examples of some written record of some Chinese person, writing down his thoughts on a phonetic system, why he considered it and why he rejected it...if if such a record exists. I would really like to see what were his own thoughts.