Biography in English

Teng Tse-ju (19 March 1869-14 December 1934), tin miner and supporter of Sun Yat-sen who was best known for his fund-raising activities in Southeast Asia on behalf of the Kuomintang. A native of Hsinhui hsien, Kwangtung, Teng Tse-ju was born into a peasant family. Because he went to work at an early age to help support the family, he received very little schooling. As a young man in his early twenties, he migrated to Singapore, where he worked as a shop assistant. A few years later, he left the island colony for mainland Malaya to join the "tin rush." He became a fairly successful tin miner in the Kinta valley in the state of Perak. It is not known precisely when Teng Tse-ju first became interested in anti-Manchu revolutionary activity. In December 1907 he became chief of the Malayan branch of the T'ungmeng-hui, and thereafter he quickly emerged as a strong leader and fund-raiser. To counter the effect of military failures in south China, Sun Yat-sen, Hu Han-min, and Wang Chingwei (qq.v.) visited Singapore and Malaya in 1908. By this time, Teng Tse-ju had moved his home and business to Seremban in the state of Negri Sembilan. The T'ung-meng-hui leaders visited him there before going on to such cities as Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, and Penang to raise funds and to boost morale through public lectures given by Hu and Wang.

In addition to his fund-raising activities, Teng Tse-ju now took up the task of providing shelter for revolutionaries who were forced to flee China because of their activities. Moreover, in 1909 the general branch of the T'ung-meng-hui for the British and Dutch colonies in Southeast Asia was moved from Singapore to Penang, and Sun Yat-sen entrusted Teng with the task of supervising its activities. At the time of the Wuchang revolt of October 1911 Teng launched a new fund-raising campaign. Sun Yat-sen passed through Penang and Singapore on his way back to China from Europe, and he met with Teng on board ship at Singapore on 16 December. After Sun became provisional president of the new republic, he sent a message to Teng asking for funds to be considered a subscription to state bonds for the republic. For once, Teng's task was easy—a Chinese millionaire in Kuala Lumpur pledged the entire amount. In February 1912, at Sun's request, Teng traveled to China with members of Sun's family who had been living in Penang. After visiting Nanking, Shanghai, and Hangchow, he spent several months in Kwangtung, where he investigated mining possibilities. On 24 July he returned to Malaya to resume his own mining operations. Early in 1913 Hu Han-min, then the military governor of Kwangtung, summoned Teng Tse-ju to China. When Teng arrived at Canton, Hu tried to persuade him to develop tin mining in the province and to serve as general manager of the provincial bank. Teng expressed interest in the mining part of the proposition and proceeded to tour areas alleged to have mineral deposits. In June, he agreed to head a mining enterprise which would be financed by the Kwangtung branch of the Kuomintang. Before arrangements could be made to establish this enterprise, however, Yuan Shih-k'ai appointed Ch'en Chiung-ming (q.v.) to succeed Hu Han-min as military governor of Kwangtung. Before relinquishing his post, Hu created an office to liquidate the Kuomintang's financial obligations to overseas Chinese and placed Teng in charge of it. Because the funds for this office and its activities came from the provincial treasury, a number of Kwangtung leaders objected to it. Ch'en Chiung-ming finally yielded to them, and the office was closed. When Ch'en was forced out of Kwangtung by Lung Chi-kuang (q.v.) during the so-called second revolution, Teng Tse-ju returned to Malaya. From September 1914 to November 1916 he served as chief of the finance department in the reorganized Kuomintang. He raised funds for the anti-Yuan movement in 1914-15 and for the so-called constitution protection movement in 1917. When Teng reached the age of 50 sui in 1918, his Kuomintang colleagues honored him. Hu Han-min composed a congratulatory message; Liao Ch'ung-k'ai wrote it; and such leaders as Wang Ching-wei, Ch'en Chiung-ming, Chü Cheng, Lin Sen, Hsu Ch'ien, Hsu Ch'ung-chih, Teng K'eng, Tai Chi-t'ao, and Chu Chih-hsin signed it. Sun Yat-sen sent him a tablet on which he had inscribed the characters meaning "long life for the benevolent." In 1921 Teng Tse-ju went to Kwangtung, where he served for a time as provincial salt commissioner. He also helped develop tin mines in Kwangsi. At the time of Ch'en Chiung-ming's revolt against Sun Yat-sen in June 1922, Teng escaped to Hong Kong. He immediately set to work raising funds to meet this emergency. Sun, then in Shanghai, appointed Teng head of the Kwangtung branch headquarters of the Kuomintang. A special office was established at Hong Kong to plan action against Ch'en Chiung-ming. Hu Han-min was the nominal head of this office, which was composed of a liaison section headed by Ku Ying-fen (q.v.), a military affairs section headed by Lin Chihmien, and a finance section headed by Teng Tse-ju. In October, Sun appointed Teng his special finance commissioner at Hong Kong. With Sun's return to power in February 1923, Teng became minister of reconstruction in the Canton government.

In the autumn of 1923 Sun Yat-sen began to implement plans to reorganize the Kuomintang along Leninist lines. On 25 October, he appointed a nine-man provisional central executive committee, which included Teng Tse-ju, Lin Sen, Liao Chung-k'ai, and the Communist T'an P'ing-shan (q.v.). Its task was to carry out the party reorganization. To the surprise of everyone, Teng, who hitherto had never expressed any political opinion other than complete support of Sun Yat-sen, began to speak out against cooperation with the Communists. Nevertheless, the reorganization of the Kuomintang proceeded according to plan. At the First National Congress of the Kuomintang in January 1924, Teng was elected a full member of the Central Supervisory Committee along with Chang Chi, Hsieh Ch'ih, Li Shihtseng, and Wu Chih-hui (qq.v.). On 16 June, Teng, Chang, and Hsieh sent a resolution to the Central Executive Committee impeaching the Chinese Communists, but it was rejected on 3 July. Four days later, the Central Executive Committee issued a directive calling on party members to dispel misunderstandings and reiterating the Kuomintang's requirement that all who joined it must submit themselves to party discipline. After Sun Yat-sen's death in March 1925, the Kuomintang decided to reorganize the Canton government. Teng Tse-ju took exception to the proceedings leading to that decision, and on 30 June he submitted, in the name of the Central Supervisory Committee, an impeachment of the Central Political Council and requested postponement of the reorganization. Despite his objections, the National Government was inaugurated at Canton on 1 July 1925. Although Teng did not participate in the activities of the so-called Western Hills faction of the Kuomintang, he reportedly gave financial support to this conservative group.

Teng Tse-ju was reelected to the Central Supervisory Committee at the Second National Congress of the Kuomintang in January 1926. After the Northern Expedition began and the Kuomintang split into factions, Teng gave his support to Chiang Kai-shek. On 9 April 1927 he joined with several other members of the Central Supervisory Committee in denouncing the left-Kuomintang government at Wuhan. This statement paved the way for the purge of radicals carried out by the Kuomintang at Shanghai on 12 April. Teng then joined the opposition government formed by Chiang Kaishek at Nanking. When the Kuomintang at Nanking organized a party purge committee on 5 May, he became one of its seven members. At the time of Chiang Kai-shek's temporary retirement in August in the interests of party unity, Teng resigned his posts and took a trip to Japan with Ku Ying-fen. Soon after their return to China, the Canton Commune {see Chang T'ai-lei) took place. On 16 December the National Government asked Teng and Ku to investigate Wang Ching-wei's role in this incident. The report they submitted on 31 December 1927 was highly critical of Wang. Teng then returned to Canton, where he lived in virtual retirement even though he retained membership in the Central Supervisory Committee of the Kuomintang and the National Government Council. He appeared on the political scene again, however, in April 1931 when he joined Hsiao Fo-ch'eng, Ku Ying-fen, and Lin Sen in issuing a statement which called for the impeachment of Chiang Kai-shek for Chiang's action in placing Hu Han-min under house arrest. In May, a secessionist government was established at Canton by such political leaders as Sun Fo, Wang Ching-wei, and Eugene Ch'en. It lasted until September 1931, when the national emergency created by the Japanese attack on Mukden led to a settlement with Nanking. At this time, Teng Tse-ju received appointments as a standing committee member of the Southwest Executive Headquarters of the Kuomintang and the Southwest Political Council. He died at Canton on 19 December 1934. Teng Tzu-hui =?&

Biography in Chinese










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