Biography in English

Huang Hsing 黃興 Orig. Huang Chen 黃軫 T. K'o-ch'iang 克強 H. Chin-wu 廑午 Huang Hsing (28 October 1874-31 October 1916), revolutionary who founded the Hua-hsing-hui [society for the revival of China], which merged with other groups in 1905 to form the T'ung-meng-hui. Huang directed such uprisings as the Canton revolt of 27 April 1911. He continued to act as one of Sun Yat-sen's most important deputies until 1914, when he broke with Sun over party reorganization. A native of Changsha, Hunan, Huang Hsing was the son of a school teacher who held the honorary position of tu-tsung, or head of a district subdivision. After receiving a traditional education in the Chinese classics at the Yo-lo shu-yuan, he passed the examinations for the sheng-yuan degree in 1892. He enrolled at the Liang-hu shu-yuan in Wuchang in 1897 and studied there for five years. This academy had been founded by Chang Chih-tung (ECCP, I, 27-32) to put into practice his belief in "Chinese learning for fundamental principles, Western learning for practical application." After being graduated with distinction in 1902, Huang was among the students chosen by Chang Chih-tung to study normal school education in Japan.

Huang Hsing arrived in Tokyo in May 1902 and enrolled at the Kobun Institute, which offered Chinese students short-term courses in law, physics, political science, and normal-school training. Huang became interested in military education and spent much of his leisure time in target practice and military drill. That autumn, Huang, Yang Tu (q.v.), and other Hunanese students established a monthly magazine, Yu-hsüeh i-pien, to publish translations of Japanese and Western writings on government and politics. Huang came to share the anti- Manchu sentiments of many Chinese students in Japan, and in May 1903 he helped form the Chün-kuo-min chiao-yü-hui [society for the promotion of military education]. Although organized ostensibly to protest Russian encroachment in Manchuria, the real purpose of the society was to overthrow the Manchu dynasty. Members returning to China were to further the cause of revolution in their native provinces through propaganda, armed revolt, and assassination.

Huang Hsing left Tokyo to return to China on 4 June 1903. After arriving at Shanghai, he accepted an appointment at the Ming-te School in Changsha, headed by Hu Yuan-t'an (q.v.). That autumn, he made full use of his position to spread revolutionary propaganda among the students. These activities soon led to his resignation from the school.

In late 1903 or early 1904 Huang founded the revolutionary society Hua-hsing-hui [society for the revival of China] in Hunan. Among its members were Sung Chiao-jen, Chang Chi, Chang Shih-chao (qq.v.), Liu Kuei-i, and Ma Fu-i, a local leader of the Ko-lao-hui [society of elders and brothers]. Huang also established the T'ung-ch'ou-hui [association against the common enemy] to maintain liaison between the secret societies in Hunan and the Hua-hsing-hui. He and his associates made elaborate plans for simultaneous uprisings at Changsha, Yochow, Hengchow, Paoking, and Ch'angte to be touched off by the bombing of leading provincials as they gathered at Changsha in November 1904 to celebrate the empress dowager's seventieth birthday. The plot was discovered, however, and Huang was forced to flee. He reached Shanghai on 20 November, but was arrested a few days later on suspicion of involvement in an attempt to assassinate Wang Chih-ch'un, a former governor of Kwangsi. After being released four days later, he fled to Japan. In early 1905 he returned to Hunan with firearms to be used in an uprising by Ma Fu-i and the secret societies of western Hunan. However, the firearms were discovered and Ma was captured by government troops. Huang took refuge in Japan once again. Huang Hsing soon became a popular leader of the Chinese revolutionary movement in Japan. In the spring and summer of 1905 he was visited in Tokyo by many young Chinese revolutionaries and by Japanese sympathizers, including Miyazaki Torazo, a close friend and admirer of Sun Yat-sen. Through Miyazaki, Huang met Sun immediately after his return to Japan in July 1905. The two men held preliminary discussions and agreed that it was necessary to unify the various revolutionary groups in China and Japan. On 30 July, at a meeting of the revolutionaries in Tokyo, it was decided to form a new revolutionary organization, the Chung-kuo T'ung-meng-hui. The T'ung-meng-hui was formally inaugurated on 20 August 1905, with Sun Yat-sen as its head. Huang Hsing was second in command, and many of his close associates in the Hua-hsing-hui, such as Chang Chi, Sung Chiao-jen, and Liu Kuei-i, also held important posts in the new party. A magazine founded by Sung Chiao-jen was renamed the Min-pao [people's journal] ; it became the party's official organ.

In the autumn of 1905, following Sun Yat-sen's departure for Saigon, Huang Hsing and other members of the T'ung-meng-hui left Japan for China to set up branch organizations and to seek support for the revolutionary movement among the people. From past experience, Huang realized that, even with the help of the secret societies, the T'ung-meng-hui had little prospect of success without support from the Chinese army. It was with the aim of converting army ofl[icers to the revolutionary Cause that Huang traveled in secret to Kwangsi and other parts of the country. However, he had little success, and, after consulting briefly with Sun in Singapore and spending a few months in Hong Kong, he returned to Japan in September 1906. Three months later, news of uprisings in Hunan and Kiangsi reached T'ung-meng-hui headquarters in Tokyo. In January 1907 Huang went to Kwangtung to establish contact with the rebels, but the alertness of the government authorities there obliged him to return to Japan. The renewed vigilance of the Manchu authorities had led to the arrest and execution of many T'ung-meng-hui agents in the Yangtze provinces. Discouraged by the successive misfortunes of the revolutionary party in central China and the failure of Sung Chiao-jen's venture in Manchuria planned by Sung, Huang, and others in March 1907), Huang Hsing turned his attention to Kwangtung and Kwangsi. He left Japan in the summer of 1907 and went to Hanoi, where he helped Sun Yat-sen and Hu Han-min (q.v.) to make preparations for insurrections in western Kwangtung. Early in September, Huang took part in an unsuccessful assault on Ch'inchow. Three months later, with Sun Yat-sen, Hu Han-min, and a small force of adventurers, he advanced from Annam a few miles into Kwangsi province in an effort to assist a band of local guerrillas, led by Huang Ming-t'an, which had captured the mountain fort at Chen-nan-kuan. After this futile venture, Sun decided to return to Hanoi. However, the French authorities discovered his identity and expelled him from Indo-China in March 1908, leaving Huang and Hu Han-min to carry on the work in Hanoi. Huang advanced with a force of 200 men into the western Kwangtung districts of Ch'inchow and Lienchow. After an inconclusive 40-day campaign, his men, out of ammunition and demoralized by the tropical climate, returned across the Kwangtung border into Indo-China. After returning to Hanoi early in May, Huang left immediately by train for the Yunnan border, where a revolt had broken out at Hokow. A few days later, he returned to Hanoi for a conference with Hu Han-min. On the trip back to Hokow, his identity was discovered by the French frontier police. He was deported from Indo-China. Huang went to Singapore and remained there for several months. In the autumn of 1908 he went to Japan, where he lived with Chang Ping-lin (q.v.), then the editor of the Min-pao. In Tokyo, Huang found that the repeated failures of the revolts in China during 1907-8 not only had exhausted the finances of the T'ung-meng-hui but also had seriously impaired the morale of the party. An increasing number of party members began to favor terrorism and assassination instead of the hitherto unsuccessful strategy of armed revolt. Although personally averse to this course, Huang agreed to set up a secret cell, in Tokyo to experiment with the making of explosives. These years of adversity had also increased personal friction among party members. Sun's leadership had been attacked at the party headquarters in Tokyo by Chang Ping-lin, Chang Chi, Sung Chiao-jen, and others. In the summer of 1908, after the failure of Sun's efforts in Kwangtung and Kwangsi, a movement had begun in Tokyo to oust Sun from chairmanship of the T'ung-meng-hui and to replace him with Huang Hsing. Huang, however, was anxious to avoid dissension within the party, and he urged his supporters to cease their attacks on Sun.

Although Huang Hsing and other revolutionaries had sought to infiltrate the regular army and to persuade army officers and their men to join in the anti-Manchu cause, they had not been successful. By the end of 1909, however, conditions for subversion in the army seemed more favorable. In the modernized New Army division then being formed at Canton, more than 2,000 officers and men were said to have secretly joined the T'ung-meng-hui. In the autumn of 1909, a south China bureau of the T'ung-meng-hui, headed by Hu Han-min, was set up in Hong Kong with the immediate purpose of organizing s revolt of the troops in Canton. Working with Hu was Chao Sheng (1881-191 1 ; T. Po-hsien), a former regimental officer in the New Army who had been deprived of his command on suspicion of revolutionary sympathies. Preparations for the coup were well under way when Huang Hsing arrived in Hong Kong from Tokyo on 29 January 1910 to take charge of military operations. But several days before the scheduled date of the revolt, a mutiny broke out among the troops of the New Army which was soon put down by forces loyal to the Manchu government, and the plans for the coup were thwarted. Although this venture was disappointing to the revolutionaries in its outcome, it marked the first occasion on which Huang and his associates succeeded in inciting government troops to take action against the government itself.

The T'ung-meng-hui still had many secret sympathizers in the government forces at Canton. For this reason, Huang Hsing believed that Canton was the best place to stage a new revolutionary uprising; and during the remainder of the year he worked to mobilize funds and men for another revolt. Late in March 1910 he left Hong Kong for Singapore with Chao Sheng, Hu Han-min, and others to raise money for the new venture, but soon hastened back to confer with a secret Japanese military mission which had arrived in Hong Kong. He then left for Japan, where he consulted briefly with Sun Yat-sen in Yokohama on 10 June. After receiving funds collected by Sun in the United States, he went to Burma to organize a revolt in Yunnan province. This attempt was soon abandoned, however; and Huang left Rangoon for Malaya to attend a conference of T'ung-meng-hui leaders in Penang on 13 November. At this meeting, attended by Huang, Sun Yat-sen, Chao Sheng, Hu Han-min, Teng Tse-ju (q.v.), and leaders of the overseas Chinese community in Malaya, plans were made for an all-out assault on Canton. The military initiative was to be taken by 500 volunteers from the T'ung-meng-hui, aided by revolutionary sympathizers among the troops of the New Army in Canton. In the next two months, Huang and his colleagues succeeded in gathering more than HK$ 80,000 from overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia, the Netherlands East Indies, Canada, and the United States to finance the revolt. On 18 January 1911 Huang returned to Hong Kong from Singapore and set up an elaborate headquarters with himself as chief of staff, Chao Sheng as his assistant, and Ch'en Chiung-ming fq.v.) acting as chief of the secretariat during the absence of Hu Han-min. The uprising was originally scheduled for 13 April 1911, but it had to be postponed to await the arrival of more guns and men in Hong Kong and Canton. In the meantime, government authorities learned of the plot and instituted new security measures in Canton. On 23 April, Huang left Hong Kong for Canton. Because he feared that further postponement would delay the revolt indefinitely and thereby destroy the confidence of overseas Chinese financial backers of the T'ung-meng-hui, he decided to attack on 27 April. Partly because of lack of coordination among the various units and partly because some of the participants lost their nerve at the last minute, only the group led by Huang Hsing carried out the attack as planned. He and his unit stormed and set fire to the governor general's residence. In the street fighting that ensued the insurgents were defeated and about 85 people were killed. Huang lost one of the fingers of his right hand. He fled to the countryside south of the city, where he was hidden by Hsü Tsung-han, a widow who had been active in the revolutionary underground. On 30 April, Huang and Hsü escaped to Hong Kong. She subsequently became Huang's secondary wife.

More than for any other contribution he made to the Chinese revolutionary movement, Huang Hsing was known for his role as leader of the Canton revolt of 27 April 1911. The most ambitious and costly military operation organized by the T'ung-meng-hui up to that time, it has been celebrated in the annals of the Chinese Nationalists as the "Three Twenty-nine Revolution" according to the Chinese lunar calendar, the uprising occurred on the twenty-ninth day of the third moon). Unlike the previous revolutionary attempts, it took place in one of the most important cities in China. In 1918, six years after the establishment of the republic, a magnificent memorial was erected north of Canton at Huang-hua-kang [yellowflower mound] on the site where the bodies of 72 "revolutionary martyrs"' were buried shortly after the uprising.

When organizing the Canton revolt, Huang had sent T'an Jen-feng to organize uprisings in Hunan and Hupeh. Huang had come to agree with the T'ung-meng-hui members of Hunan and Hupeh origin, including T'an Jen-feng and Sung Chiao-jen, who pressed for more action in central China. They were not satisfied with the party's military strategy, which had been focused on the provinces on China's southern border. Huang had promised to act in their support if funds were available. It was one of the secret groups set up with funds given by Huang which was responsible for the bomb explosion that precipitated the Wuchang revolt in October 1911.

While Huang was brooding over the death of his comrades in Hong Kong after the failure of the Canton revolt in April, T'an Jen-feng, Sung Chiao-jen and others formed the central China bureau of the T'ung-meng-hui in Shanghai on 31 July 1911 to instigate revolution in the Yangtze area. Meanwhile, the local revolutionaries in the New Army of Hupeh had become very active. When the revolution was imminent, they and the central China bureau leaders repeatedly requested Huang to assume leadership. After the outbreak of the Wuchang revolt on 10 October, Huang left Hong Kong hurriedly and arrived in Shanghai on 24 October. Huang, Sung Chiao-jen, and a number of other T'ung-meng-hui leaders proceeded upriver to Hankow disguised as Red Cross workers.

When Huang arrived in the Wuhan area, the revolutionary forces had been fighting for more than two weeks without over-all military leadership. After a brief interview with Li Yuan-hung (q.v.), a former imperial military officer who had been forced to join the revolt and who became the military governor of Hupeh, Huang was designated commander in chief of the revolutionary army, which then was defending Hankow against imperial army units of Feng Kuo-chang (q.v.). By the time of Huang's arrival, however, street fighting had broken out within the city. On 2 November 1911 Huang's forces were defeated; they retreated across the Yangtze to Wuchang, leaving Hankow in the hands of the imperial troops. The same day, at an emergency meeting of the new military government at Wuchang, Huang was put in charge of the defense of the city of Hanyang. Huang and his forces held the city against overwhelming odds for more than three weeks, thus giving revolutionaries in other parts of
he country adequate time to organize uprisings. By the time Hanyang fell to imperial troops on 27 November, more than ten provinces had declared their independence of imperial rule. After retiring with his battered army from Hanyang to Wuchang, Huang decided to leave for Shanghai, which had fallen to the republican revolutionaries early in November. On 2 December 1911, the day after his arrival in Shanghai, revolutionary forces captured Nanking. A representative body of delegates from 14 provinces met at Nanking, named Huang generalissimo in charge of organizing a provisional government, and gave him the authority to act as provisional president until elections could be held. By this time, the military situation in Wuchang had been stabilized, and Li Yuan-hung was ready to make a bid for power. Huang knew that the military commanders who had recently defected from the Manchu government and who were responsible for the capture of Nanking wanted Li Yuan-hung to take charge at Nanking. Accordingly, he tactfully declined the post in Li's favor. Li, however, insisted that Huang accept the post, and the resulting impasse delayed the formation of a provisional government until Sun Yat-sen returned from abroad.

On 1 January 1912, a week after his arrival in Shanghai, Sun Yat-sen was inaugurated provisional president in Nanking. Huang Hsing became minister of war. Later, he also served as chief of general staff. He seems to have exercised predominant power in the provisional government except in matters of finance and diplomacy, which were handled personally by Sun Yat-sen. After Sun's resignation in March in favor of Yuan Shih-k'ai and the subsequent transfer of the provisional government from Nanking to Peking, Huang remained in Nanking as resident general (with the title of liu-shou, an ancient title given to an official left in charge of civil and military affairs during the emperor's absence from the capital) in command of the revolutionary forces and civil affairs in south China. Partly because of financial difficulties in maintaining these forces and partly as a gesture of sincerity in support of the central government at Peking, Huang asked to be relieved of his command. On 14 June, the post was abolished, and Huang disbanded his troops.

The T'ung-meng-hui had become an open party early in 1912, with Sun Yat-sen as chairman and Huang Hsing as vice chairman. After the establishment of the republican government at Peking, uneasy relations developed between Yuan Shih-k'ai and the provisional National Assembly, then controlled by the T'ung-meng-hui. On 25 August 1912 the T'ung-meng-hui was reorganized as a parliamentary political party, the Kuomintang, through amalgamation with four other parties. Sun Yat-sen, Huang Hsing, and seven others served as its directors. Sun Yat-sen was the titular head of the new party, with Sung Chiao-jen in charge of the party headquarters. With a view to ending political differences between north and south, both Sun and Huang accepted Yuan Shih-k'ai's invitation to come to Peking for a discussion of national affairs. In Peking (11 September-5 October), Huang sought to stabilize the political situation by bringing the cabinet ministers of the new republican government into the Kuomintang and by impressing upon Yuan Shih-k'ai the importance of adhering to the principles of parliamentary government. He refused offers of the premiership and other honors, including the title General of the Army. Huang then turned his attention to the economic reconstruction of China. While making plans for the development of mines in Hunan, he was appointed by Yuan on 28 November as director general of the Hankow-Canton and Szechwan railways. He resigned at the end of January 1913.

As a result of the national elections held early in 1913, the Kuomintang was returned to the new National Assembly as the majority party, but it did not plan to challenge Yuan Shih-k'ai's hold on the presidency. It aimed instead to capture control of the cabinet. The assassination of Sung Chiao-jen on 20 March 1913 and the opposition of the Kuomintang to the "reorganization loan" (see Yuan Shih-k'ai) led to increasing hostility between Yuan and the Kuomintang. Huang was reluctant to resort to force or to break with Yuan. He was firmly convinced that in a democracy political differences should be settled by legal and political means rather than by force. However, he also wished to gain time to make military preparations in case legal or political methods failed, for he was well aware of the military weakness of the Kuomintang.

In June 1913 the Kuomintang military governors of Kiangsi, Kwangtung, and Anhwei were dismissed from their posts by Yuan, whose intention to crush the Kuomintang now became unmistakably clear. Resistance to Yuan's move by Li Lieh-chün (q.v.), the military governor of Kiangsi, and by Huang Hsing and other provincial Kuomintang leaders marked the outbreak of the so-called second revolution in July. After hastening to Nanking on 15 July, Huang assumed command of the anti-Yuan forces in Kiangsu and compelled Ch'eng Te-ch'üan (1860-1930; T. Hsueh-lou), the military governor, to declare war against Yuan. But Yuan's armies, which were superior to those of his adversaries, moved rapidly southward, and Huang became convinced that further resistance would be useless. He left Nanking on 28 July and sailed from Shanghai in mid-August to seek asylum in Japan.

After the failure of the second revolution, Huang was criticized in Tokyo by Sun Yat-sen and other party associates for his hesitation in moving against Yuan Shih-k'ai. The constant bickering between their supporters in the Kuomintang placed an increasing strain upon the relationship between Sun and Huang. Sun, in an attempt to strengthen party discipline, announced his intention to reorganize the Kuomintang as the Chung-hua ko-ming-tang and demanded that members take an oath of personal loyalty to him and seal the pledge with their thumbprints. Huang Hsing and many other important Kuomintang leaders refused to comply because they considered this demand a violation of the spirit of the republican revolution. When the reorganized party was formally inaugurated in June 1914 with only eight provinces represented, Huang was already on his way to the United States. The vice chairmanship of the new party was left vacant in Huang's absence.

Huang Hsing remained in the United States for almost two years, and devoted much of his time to propaganda and fund-raising activities directed against Yuan Shih-k'ai's plan to make himself monarch. In April 1916 he left the United States for Japan so that he could maintain closer contact with political developments in China. Yuan Shih-k'ai died on 16 June, and Huang returned to Shanghai in early July. He reconciled his differences with Sun Yat-sen, who had quietly dropped the requirement of personal obedience. Three months later, on the fifth anniversary of the Wuchang revolt, Huang became ill when an old stomach ailment recurred. He died, at the age of only 42, on 31 October 1916.

Huang Hsing was survived by his wife, nee Liao Tan-ju (1873-1939), also a native of Changsha; his secondary wife, Hsü Tsung-han (1876-1944), who had helped him escape from Canton to Hong Kong in April 1911 after the Huang-hua-kang uprising; and his five sons and two daughters. His eldest son by Liao, Huang I-ou (1893-), later served as a member of the Legislative Yuan, and their eldest daughter, Huang Chen-hua (1896-), became a member of the Legislative Yuan in 1948. Huang Te-hua, their youngest daughter, married Chün-tu Hsüeh, who later taught at the University of Maryland and who wrote Huang Hsing and the Chinese Revolution, which was published by the Stanford University Press in 1961. Huang Hsing's sons by Hsü Tsung-han were Huang I-mei (1913-1949), who married a daughter of Chang Chi, and Huang I-chiu, who married a daughter of Ch'eng Ch'ien (q.v.).

Biography in Chinese

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