Biography in English

Sun Pao-ch'i (26 April 1867-3 February 1931), diplomat who represented the Ch'ing government in France and Germany and who served the Peking government as minister of foreign affairs and premier.

The eldest son of Sun Yi-ching, an assistant imperial tutor, Sun Pao-ch'i was born in Hangchow. He received a traditional education in the Chinese classics. Upon completion of his studies, he was awarded the title of secondgrade yin sheng. About this time, he married a relative of I-k'uang, who in 1884 became Prince Ch'ing. In 1886 Sun, then 19, was made a junior secretary in the Board of Punishments. He held this post until 1895, when he became expectant tao-t'ai of Chihli (Hopei). In 1898 the Tsungli Yamen, headed by Prince Ch'ing, listed Sun as a candidate for a foreign post, but he did not receive an appointment abroad because of the disruptions caused by the Hundred Days Reform and the Boxer Uprising. After the imperial court fled to Sian, Sun was named telegraph commissioner of the Grand Council. The court returned to Peking in January 1902, and Sun, after a brief period as secretary of legation in Vienna, Berlin, and Paris, received an appointment as minister to France in June 1902.

In 1905 Sun Pao-ch'i demonstrated his sense of honor in a fashion that endeared him to supporters of Sun Yat-sen. At this time, Sun Yat-sen was in Europe to win new members for his Hsing-Chung-hui. Two Chinese students in Paris who had enrolled in the Hsing-Chung-hui became fearful of the possible consequences of their actions—especially because they were studying on government scholarships. To redeem themselves, they went to Sun Yat-sen's lodgings during his absence, took the membership register, and presented it to Sun Pao-ch'i in the hope that he would extricate them from their predicament. Sun Pao-ch'i scolded them for the theft, warned them about the possible consequences of stealing, and ordered them to return the register to Sun Yat-sen. Sun Pao-ch'i returned to China in the summer of 1906 to become chief secretary of the Grand Council, with responsibility for reorganizing the administrative system. In 1907 he was made minister to Germany. He returned to China in January 1909 after being appointed assistant director of the Tientsin-Pukow railway, and in June of that year he was made governor of Shantung. In 1910, as the clamor for constitutional government increased throughout China, he sent a memorial to the throne urging the prompt establishment of a cabinet system. In November 1911, a month after the Chinese revolution began with the Wuchang revolt, Sun responded to the urgings of his colleagues and of the gentry and merchants of Tsinan by permitting proclamation of the province's independence of Manchu rule. He was acclaimed tutuh [military governor], and he assumed that office on 15 November. In the meantime, however, Yuan Shih-k'ai had won commanding power at Peking. After Yuan demonstrated, by means of the capture of Hanyang from the revolutionaries on 27 November (for details, see Feng Kuo-chang), that he was in control of the situation, Sun Pao-ch'i cancelled Shantung's declaration of independence on 29 November. The imperial authorities magnanimously pardoned him for his temporary dereliction, but accepted his resignation in December.

With the Manchu abdication of February 1912, Sun Pao-ch'i went to Tientsin, where he and Prince Ch'ing went into partnership in a business enterprise. In December 1912 Sun returned to public life as co-director general of the Customs Administration, and in May 1913 he became acting director general. On 1 1 September, Hsiung Hsi-ling (q v.) appointed him minister of foreign affairs in what became known as the "first caliber" cabinet. Among Sun's first tasks was the negotiation of an agreement with Russia, signed on 5 November, by which Russia recognized China's suzerainty over Outer Mongolia, and China recognized Outer Mongolia's autonomy. Hsiung Hsi-ling resigned in mid-February 1914, and Sun served as acting premier until Hsu Shih-ch'ang (q.v.) assumed office in May. He continued to serve as minister of foreign affairs until January 1915, when Japan presented the Twenty-One Demands to Yuan Shih-k'ai. Sun resigned, and Lu Cheng-hsiang (q.v.) succeeded him. Sun Pao-ch'i became director of the bureau of audit in January 1916. From that time on, he was to be concerned chiefly with financial and economic matters rather than with foreign affairs. In April, he became minister of finance in the cabinet of Tuan Ch'i-jui (q.v.), with the concurrent post of director general of the salt gabelle. When the Central Bank of China and the Bank of Communications suspended note exchange operations in June, he resigned his posts. He remained out of office until the summer of 1917, when he was appointed director general of the Customs Administration. He also became director of the audit bureau, and in May 1920 he assumed additional responsibility as director of the economic information bureau. In October 1921 he accepted the chairmanship of the famine prevention commission and the associate directorship of the famine relief bureau, and in January 1922 he was made vice chairman of the Yangtze River commission. He became vice chairman of the commission charged with studying diplomatic questions arising from the Washington Conference and director general of the famine relief bureau in the spring of 1922. Ts'ao K'un (q.v.) appointed Sun Pao-ch'i premier at Peking in January 1924, but Sun's premiership was compromised from the start because the composition of his cabinet was determined by Wang Lan-t'ing, Ts'ao K'un's chief secretary. Nevertheless, Sun's government achieved the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union in May and the successful negotiations of the matter of German debts. Friction between Sun and his minister of finance, Wang K'o-min (q.v.), led to Sun's resignation in July 1924. After Feng Yühsiang (q.v.) occupied Peking in October and Tuan Ch'i-jui returned to power as chief executive, Sun became chairman of the foreign affairs committee at Peking. In February 1925, as the Fengtien forces were contending with Sun Ch'uan-fang (q.v.) for mastery of the lower Yangtze region, Sun Pao-ch'i refused the post of director general of the newly created special administrative area of Shanghai. He also refused appointment as ambassador to the Soviet Union. He became instead president of_the Han-yeh-p'ing iron and steel complex and of the China Merchants' Steam Navigation Company. In 1926 he was appointed general director of Sino-French University. Sun entered the service of Chang Tso-lin (q.v.) in December 1927 and retired to Dairen when the Northern Expedition reached Peking in 1928.

In 1929 Sun Pao-ch'i, who was suffering from a chronic intestinal disorder, went to Hong Kong for medical treatment. He went to Shanghai in the spring of 1930 and made a trip to his native Hangchow to sweep the graves of his ancestors. After he returned to Shanghai that autumn, his illness became progressively serious. Sun Pao-ch'i died on 3 February 1931. He was survived by six sons and sixteen daughters.

Biography in Chinese



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