Biography in English

Tai Chi-t'ao (6 January 1891-11 February 1949), journalist and personal secretary to Sun Yat-sen who, after Sun's death in 1925, became one of the most authoritative anti-Communist interpreters of the Three People's Principles. He was president of the Examination Yuan from its inception in 1928 until 1948. In his later years he became a devout Buddhist and gradually withdrew from politics.

The forebears of Tai Chi-t'ao migrated late in the eighteenth century from the family home in Wuhsing, Chekiang, to Szechwan, where they operated a business in porcelains in Hanchou (Kwanghan), some 30 miles north of Chengtu. Tai attended a private school in Hanchou, where he received a traditional education in the Chinese classics. After failing the sheng-yuan examinations in 1901, he enrolled at a school in Chengtu for students who intended to study in Japan. His father, a medical practitioner and surgeon, died in 1903 when Tai was only 13. In 1904 Tai obtained a post as the private assistant and interpreter to a Japanese middleschool instructor, and in 1906 he went to study in Japan. The family raised the money for this venture by selling some land. In Tokyo he enrolled in the department of law at Japan University. He made many friends, both Chinese and Japanese, and he soon became active in student groups at the university. In 1908 he founded the Chinese Students Association in Japan and became its president.

After being graduated from Japan University in 1909, Tai Chi-t'ao returned to China, where he served for several months as an instructor in Soochow. Early in 1910 he found employment as editor in chief of a Shanghai newspaper, the T'ien-to pao. Writing under the name T'iench'ou, he soon became known as the author of editorials that were bitingly critical of official corruption and mismanagement in the Ch'ing government. Tai also contributed articles to the Min-hu-pao, edited by Yü Yu-jen (q.v.). His attacks on local bureaucrats prompted them to secure a warrant for his arrest from the authorities of the International Settlement. He escaped to Penang, where he joined the T'ungmeng-hui and became the editor of the Kuanghua pao, the local organ of the revolutionary party.

Tai Chi-t'ao returned to Shanghai after the Wuchang revolt of October 1911 to join the revolution. In late December, he met Sun Yat-sen, who had just returned to China, and he accompanied Sun and his party to Nanking for Sun's inauguration as provisional president of the Chinese republic. Tai then returned to Shanghai to attend to the affairs of the Min-ch'üan pao, a magazine that he and an associate had established near the end of 1911. After Sun Yat-sen's resignation in favor of Yuan Shih-k'ai, Tai, in contrast to the conciliatory attitude taken by many T'ung-menghui leaders, sharply criticized Yuan and his supporters at Peking. In the editorial columns of the Min-ch'üan pao heaccused Yuan ofplanning to sabotage the new republic and heaped abuse on T'ung-meng-hui members who, in his view, had compromised with Yuan and had betrayed the ideals of the revolution.

With Sun Yat-sen's appointment as national director of railroad development in September 1912, Tai Chi-t'ao became his personal secretary, a post he was to hold until Sun's death in 1925. After the so-called second revolution of 1913 (for details, see Li Lieh-chun), Tai joined the general exodus of republican revolutionaries to Japan. He worked with Sun and such other revolutionary leaders as Ch'en Ch'i-mei, Chu Chih-hsin, Hu Han-min, and Liao Chung-k'ai (qq.v.) in reorganizing the Kuomintang as the Chung-hua ko-ming-tang, inaugurated in June 1914. He then became the editor of the new party's propaganda organ, the Min-kuo tsa-chih [republican magazine].

In April 1916, as opposition to Yuan Shihk'ai increased throughout China, Tai Chi-t'ao returned to Shanghai with Sun Yat-sen. In addition to his secretarial duties, Tai traveled to Peking and to Japan to keep Sun informed of the attitudes of Chinese and Japanese political leaders toward such matters as China's entry into the First World War and the restoration attempt of Chang Hsun (q.v.). In August 1917, following the ouster of Li Yuan-hung (q.v.) from the presidency at Peking by the Peiyang militarists, Sun went to Canton to head an opposition military government as part of the so-called constitution-protection movement. In that new regime Tai became secretary general of Sun's military headquarters, chairman of the law codification committee, and, in April 1918, vice minister of foreign affairs. When Sun withdrew from the Canton government in May 1918, Tai accompanied him back to Shanghai. For the next two-and-a-half years, while Sun Yat-sen remained in Shanghai formulating his ideas of national reconstruction, Tai devoted much of his time to disseminating these ideas and to popularizing Sun's political and social philosophy. In August 1919 Tai joined with Chu Chih-hsin, Hu Han-min, and Liao Chung-k'ai in establishing the Chien-kuo tsa-chih [reconstruction magazine]. He also cooperated with Shao Li-tzu (q.v.) and others in publishing the Hsing-ch'i p'ing-lun [weekly review]. Tai's articles for these two magazines reveal his growing interest in Marxism. His introductory exegesis of Das Kapital (Ma-k'o-ssu tzu-pen-lun chieh-shuai) , based on a Japanese translation, appeared serially in the Chien-kuo tsa-chih between November 1919 and April 1920; it was one of the earliest Chinese efforts to interpret this work. In "Ts'ung ching-chi shang kuan-ch'a Chung-kuo chih luan-yuan" he attempted to explain Chinese history and contemporary conditions in terms of Marxist economic theory. During this period Tai came to know the group of young Marxist, socialist, and anarchist intellectuals which had formed around Ch'en Tu-hsiu (q.v.). According to Chang Kuo-t'ao (q.v.), one of the earliest Chinese Communists, Tai strongly supported Ch'en's decision to form a Communist nucleus in Shanghai and even attended the organization meeting held in August 1920. However, he refused to join the new organization because of his commitment to Sun Yat-sen, and he soon parted ways with Ch'en and his Communist associates.

While thus engaged in the study and practice of Marxism, Tai also was active as a member of a group of Sun Yat-sen's followers, including Chang Jen-chieh, Ch'en Kuo-fu (qq.v.), and Chiang Kai-shek, which established the Shanghai Stock and Commodity Exchange to raise funds for Sun's revolutionary enterprises in Kwangtung. Their operations were highly successful in 1920-21. In the spring of 1922, however, a business recession wiped out most of their profits.

After his expulsion from Canton by Ch'en Chiung-ming (q.v.), Sun Yat-sen returned to Shanghai in August 1922 to consider plans for the recovery of Canton as a military base from which to unify China. In October, he dispatched Tai Chi-t'ao to Szechwan as his personal emissary to negotiate a peaceful settlement between rival military leaders of that province. On reaching Hankow, however, Tai learned that civil war was already brewing in Szechwan. Overcome, perhaps, by the futility of his mission, he attempted suicide by throwing himself in the river, but he was rescued and brought ashore by river fishermen. Tai reached Chengtu in November and stopped to visit his mother, whom he had not seen for 18 years. His efforts to persuade the local militarists to end the civil war in Szechwan were in vain, and during his eight months in the province the city of Chengtu was attacked four times. It was during this period that Tai took up the study of Buddhism.

By the time Tai Chi-t'ao returned to Shanghai in the autumn of 1923, important decisions had been made about the future of the revolutionary party. Sun Yat-sen, who had succeeded in reestablishing himself at Canton in February 1923, had concluded an alliance with the Soviet Union and had agreed to admit members of the Chinese Communist party to the Kuomintang. An extensive reorganization of the Kuomintang along Leninist lines was under way, and a national party congress was scheduled to convene in Canton early in 1924. Although Tai had previously favored the organization of a Communist party in China, he strongly disapproved of Sun's decision to admit Communists into the Kuomintang and thus was unwilling to attend the congress. However, he eventually was persuaded by Liao Chung-k'ai to go to Canton as one of the three delegates from Chekiang to the First National Congress of the Kuomintang in January 1924. At the congress, he was elected to the party's Central Executive Committee and to the Central Political Council. He also became head of the party's propaganda department, in which capacity he was responsible for the creation of the Central News Agency (Chung-yang t'ung-hsün she). Soon after the congress ended, Tai was appointed chairman of the law codification committee attached to Sun Yat-sen's military headquarters, and in May he was named director of the political department of the Whampoa Military Academy, with Chou En-lai (q.v.) as his deputy. Nevertheless, Tai grew increasingly dissatisfied with his role in the Canton regime. He left Canton for Shanghai early in July. Tai served in the Kuomintang executive headquarters in Shanghai until November, when Sun Yat-sen arrived in Shanghai on his way to Peking. After accompanying Sun to Japan as secretary and interpreter, he returned to Shanghai. However, on learning of Sun's soon-to-be-fatal illness early in 1925, he rejoined the party leader in Peking. Tai was among those who witnessed Sun's political testament on the eve of Sun's death on 12 March 1925.

With the passing of Sun Yat-sen, the cleavage between right- and left-wing elements within the Kuomintang became increasingly pronounced. Although in the past Tai had privately objected to Sun's policy regarding the Communists, he had refrained from publishing his opinions out of deference to Sun's wishes. After Sun's death, however, he had no such inhibitions. He returned to Shanghai in the spring of 1925 and set down his views in two important books. Sun Wen chu-i chih che-hsueh chi-cKu [the philosophical foundations of Sun Yat-senism] was an interpretation of the Three People's Principles in which Tai sought to demonstrate that Sun's thought constituted a moral philosophy that was rooted in the traditional ethical concepts of Confucius and thus was wholly distinct from the alien ideology of Communism. It was in the second work, however, Kuo-min ko-ming yü Chung-kuo kuo-min-tang [the national revolution and the China Kuomintang], that Tai made his major attack upon the Communists and their participation in the Kuomintang. He argued that the Three People's Principles formed the sole doctrine of the Kuomintang and that the Kuomintang was the only party working for the national revolution. All those who, like the Communists, were not dedicated to the Kuomintang and its principles should be excluded from membership in the party. He went on to denounce the parasitic policy of the Chinese Communist party, by which Communist members of the Kuomintang used that party's organization to expand the membership and influence of the Chinese Communist party and sought to weaken the Kuomintang by sowing dissension among various groups within the party. Briefly put, Tai called for an end to the policy of Kuomintang-Communist cooperation that had been adopted by Sun Yat-sen during the reorganization of 1923-24. The publication of these two books in the summer of 1925 elicited a strong reaction from the Communist leaders, who worried about the possible influence of Tai Chi-t'ao's views on non-Communist Kuomintang members. At an enlarged plenum of the Chinese Communist party's Central Committee, held at Peking in October, Tai was singled out for denunciation as the leader of an emerging "new right wing" of the Kuomintang. His theories, later dubbed "Taichitaoism," were deemed the spearhead of a counterrevolutionary movement of the bourgeoisie against the proletariat. Tai had not associated with the Kuomintang old guard before this denunciation, but in November 1925 he accepted an invitation from Lin Sen and Tsou Lu (qq.v.) to attend a plenum of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee in Peking—a meeting later known as the Western Hills conference. Although he left Peking before the meeting began, Tai permitted the use of his name in the public telegram announcing the conference. In January 1926 the Second National Congress of the Kuomintang was held in Canton. Although disciplinary action was taken by the congress against most of the other participants in the Western Hills conference, Tai Chi-t'ao was reelected to the Central Executive Committee, reportedly with the backing of Chiang Kai-shek. Tai also was warned by the congress to refrain from publishing his views for the next three years. After the Northern Expedition began in 1926, the National Government at Canton called Tai Chi-t'ao to Kwangtung to serve as the head of National Chung-shan (Sun Yat-sen) University. By the end of 1926 the Kuomintang had split into a left-wing faction at Wuhan and a rightwing faction headed by Chiang Kai-shek. In this period of intra-party dissension Tai found the political atmosphere at Canton far from congenial, and he left his university post in December to join Chiang Kai-shek at Lushan, Kiangsi. Early in 1927, as the Kuomintang's Northern Expedition forces advanced eastward toward Nanking and Shanghai, Chiang Kaishek and his supporters decided to send a goodwill mission to Japan. Tai was chosen to head the mission because of his knowledge of the country and the language. He left in February and spent more than a month in Japan, where in public lectures and in meetings with Japanese political, military, and industrial leaders he sought to gain Japanese understanding and sympathy for the aims of the Northern Expedition. He returned to Shanghai at the end of March, shortly before the beginning of the socalled party purification movement. Although he did not take an active part in the purge of the Communists from the Kuomintang, his writings of 1925, with their emphasis on party purity and doctrinal orthodoxy, gave the movement ideological justification. In May 1927 Tai Chi-t'ao went to Nanking, where he joined with Ch'en Kuo-fu, Ting Weifen, and Yeh Ch'u-ts'ang (qq.v.) in preparing for the establishment of the Chung-yang tang-wu hsueh-hsiao [central party affairs institute], a civil-service training center for the National Government. In the meantime, Tai had been reappointed president of Sun Yat-sen University, and in July he went to Canton to assume the duties of this post. After the Canton Commune of December 1927 (for details, see Chang T'ai-lei), during which the university campus suffered extensive damage, Tai's absences from Canton became frequent, for he found this sort of turbulence difficult to stomach. When at the university, he delivered a series of lectures in which he stressed the need for building a strong and orthodox party ideology based exclusively upon the Three People's Principles and traditional Chinese moral values. The lectures were published early in 1928 as CK'ing-nien chih lu [the road for youth] .

Tai Chi-t'ao went to Nanking in February 1928 to attend a plenum of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee. He was elected to its standing committee and, with Yu Yu-jen and Ting Wei-fen, was chosen to assume responsibility for the affairs of the secretariat of the Central Executive Committee. A few months later, he attended a plenum in Nanking at which he, Hu Han-min, and Wang Ch'ung-hui (q.v.) were appointed to prepare a draft of an organic law incorporating Sun Yat-sen's theories of a five-power system of government. Late in September, Tai was among those who presented the draft to the Central Executive Committee, which adopted it after making some revisions. With the promulgation of the Organic Law in October and the creation of the five-yuan system in the National Government, Tai was designated president of the Examination Yuan, a position he was to hold continuously for the next two decades.

Provision for the establishment of the Examination Yuan was made by Kuomintang leaders in accordance with Sun Yat-sen's concept of a five-power constitution, by which the examination of the qualifications of candidates for government service was to become one of the five independent functions of the National Government (the others being the legislative, executive, judicial, and control functions). Tai and a preparatory bureau spent more than a year in intensive planning to overcome organizational and administrative problems before the Examination Yuan was inaugurated in January 1930. It consisted of two main administrative units, the examination commission (k'ao-hsuan wei-yuan-hui) and the board of personnel (ch'uan-hsü pu). Tai himself was chairman of the commission, which formulated regulations governing the examinations and saw that these regulations were administered properly throughout the country. The functions of the board of personnel were the supervising of registration by successful examination candidates and by men already in the civil service, and the reviewing of the records of officials and of all appointments, promotions, and dismissals.

For all its elaborate organization and large administrative staff, the Examination Yuan was a politically impotent body which was unable to carry out many of its intended duties. During the 20 years that Tai headed the Examination Yuan, the total number of examinations held was relatively small and many of the appointive posts at the higher levels were secured through personal influence or family connections. Moreover, as Tai became increasingly conservative in his outlook, he sought to use the authority of his office to revive both the form and the spirit of the traditional examination system. Like his predecessors in imperial China, he endeavored to tie the aims of education to those of officialdom by emphasizing the candidates' conformity to the ideology of the regime in power. For these and other reasons, many of the more promising graduates of schools and colleges tended to seek careers elsewhere. In addition to his duties as president of the Examination Yuan, Tai Chi-t'ao took part in various party and government activities. In 1931 he helped prepare for a national convention, held in May, and as a member of the convention's presidium, he chaired the final session. The so-called tutelage constitution of 1 June, adopted during the final session, was said to incorporate many of Tai's views. After the Mukden Incident of September 1931, he served as chairman of a special committee on foreign affairs. In November of that year, he submitted a report recommending that war with Japan be avoided at all cost and that the National Government continue to seek a peaceful settlement by negotiation. Although Tai's recommendations found little favor among the Chinese people, they were approved and adopted as government policy at the Fourth National Congress of the Kuomintang in November. After the Japanese military action at Shanghai early in 1932 and the temporary removal of the National Government to Loyang, Tai was sent on a tour of China's northwestern provinces in the hope that he could propose government measures to encourage the future development of that region. One result of his recommendations was the establishment in 1934 of the Northwest Institute of Agriculture and Forestry in Shensi.

Although Tai Chi-t'ao retained his high rank in the Kuomintang and remained on good terms with Chiang Kai-shek, during the 1930's he receded into the background of Chinese political life. As an "elder statesman" of the Kuomintang, his functions became largely ceremonial in nature. In part, this withdrawal from politics appears to have been Tai's own choice. He had become increasingly preoccupied with the study of Buddhism; and to many in Nanking who knew him well, he seemed more concerned with Buddhist sutras than with party affairs and ideology. His interest in Buddhism and in its origins in India led to efforts to promote Sino-Indian cultural relations. In 1935, with others of similar interests, he organized the Chung-Yin hsueh-hui [Sino-Indian institute] in Nanking. One of its chief purposes was to purchase Chinese Buddhist works and to donate them to centers ofBuddhist study in India. Tai's growing preoccupation with the doctrines of China's past was not limited to Buddhism; in the 1930's he promoted the revival of the cultic veneration of Confucius at a number of temples in various parts of China. During this period Tai also became interested in such activities for young people as the Boy Scouts, and he became vice president of the China Boy Scout Association in 1932. He was China's official representative to the 1936 Olympic Games at Berlin, in which capacity he spent four months visiting several European capitals. After the Sino-Japanese war broke out in 1937, Tai Chi-t'ao moved with the National Government to Szechwan. In 1940 he was sent on a special mission to India soon after the opening of the Burma Road. One of the purposes of his trip was to attempt to ease the tensions that had grown up between Indian nationalists and the British administration in India. He had met Jawaharlal Nehru in Chungking in August 1939, and through Nehru he met Mohandas Gandhi. He also met Rabindrinath Tagore, with whom he had corresponded with reference to the Chung-Yin hsueh-hui and Buddhist studies in India. Tai visited many ancient Buddhist temples and other points of interest in India and Burma before returning to Chungking in December 1940.

During the war years Tai Chi-t'ao's health, which had never been robust, became poor indeed. Because of nervous agitation and insomnia he resorted to sedatives and then to stronger sleeping medicines. After his return from India, his health was impaired further by malaria and dysentery. He had to be carried to and from the plane that took him from Chungking to Nanking in April 1946. Nevertheless, he continued to serve on the Kuomintang's Central Executive Committee and in the National Government until July 1948, at which time he was relieved at his own request of his post as president of the Examination Yuan. At year's end he accompanied the National Government to Canton, where he became increasingly despondent about chaotic conditions in China and the Chinese Communist successes in the north. He took an overdose of sleeping tablets on the night of 1 1 February 1949 and was found dead the following morning.

Tai Chi-t'ao was a prolific writer, and his shorter articles appeared in the many newspapers and periodicals with which he was associated as a working journalist. A collection of his writings was published in 1921 in Shanghai, together in one volume with a collection of writings by Sung Chiao-jen (q.v.), as the Sung Yü-fu Tai T'ien-cliou wen-chi ho-k^an. A four- volume collection of Tai's lectures, speeches, and correspondence, most of which dates from after 1926, was published as the Tai Chi-Vao hsien-sheng wents'un in Taipei in 1959 by the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee. These writings reveal much about his later life as an educator, a government and party official, and a devotee of Buddhism.

Tai Chi-t'ao married Niu Yu-heng in 1911. They had a daughter and a son, Tai An-kuo (191 3-). The younger Tai studied mechanical engineering in Germany and during the 1950's served as a director of the Foshing Aviation Company in Taiwan. He then took charge of the West German office of the Central Trust of China, a government trade agency. Tai Li T. Yü-nung

Biography in Chinese




























戴季陶在1911年与钮有恒结婚,有子女各一人。儿子戴安国在德国学机械工程,于五十年代任台湾复兴航空公司董事,后任官办的商业机构中央信托局 西德办事处主任。

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