Biography in English

Sun Yat-sen 孫逸仙 Orig. Sun Wen 孫文 T. Ti-hsiang 帝象 H. Jih-hsin 日新 I-hsien 逸仙 Chung-shan 中山 Alias. Nakayama Sho (Chinese: Chungshan Ch'iao) 中山樵 Sun Yat-sen (12 November 1866-12 March 1925), leader of the republican revolution and of the Kuomintang.

The village of Ts'uiheng (Choyhung) in Hsiangshan hsien, Kwangtung, situated near the coast some 30 miles north of the Portuguese colony of Macao, was the birthplace of Sun Yat-sen. His ancestors had been farmers for generations, and his father, after spending some years in Macao as a tailor, had returned to his native village to resume the family's traditional occupation before Sun was born. At the age of six, Sun Yat-sen began his formal education in the Chinese classics at a village school. In 1879 he was sent to join his elder brother, Sun Mei (1854-1914; T. Te-chang, H. Shou-ping), who had emigrated to Hawaü several years previously and had prospered as a farmer and as a merchant. Sun Yat-sen enrolled at Iolani College, a boys boarding school in Honolulu operated under the auspices of the Church of England. His courses included English, science, and instruction in Christian doctrine. In 1882, after being graduated from Iolani, he returned to Ts'uiheng to live with his family. By that time, his knowledge of the Western world and his Christian training at Iolani had led him to look upon the traditional religious beliefs of the villagers as mere superstitions. Not long after his return, he demonstrated his skepticism by breaking off the finger of an idol in the village temple. This act of youthful bravado aroused the wrath of the local inhabitants and resulted in his expulsion from the village.

Having been banished from the family home, Sun Yat-sen went to Hong Kong in the autumn of 1883. Although detailed information about his life during the next few years is lacking, it appears that he studied for a short time at the Church of England diocesan school and that he entered Queen's College, a school operated by the Hong Kong government, in the spring of 1884. He soon met a young American missionary, Dr. Charles R. Hager, by whom he was baptized a Christian. About the same time as his conversion, he returned home briefly to submit to an arranged marriage to a local girl. In the spring of 1886 he returned to China from a visit to his brother in Hawaü. Having decided to take up medicine as his profession, he went to Canton to become a student at the medical school attached to the Pok Chai Hospital, the oldest Western hospital in China, which then was under the direction of a venerable American medical missionary, Dr. John G. Kerr. Sun left Canton in 1887 and went to Hong Kong to enroll as a student in the college of medicine affiliated with the newly established Alice Memorial Hospital. For the next five years, he studied under the general supervision of Dr. James Cantlie, the dean of the medical school. Upon graduation in June 1892 with a certificate of proficiency in medicine and surgery, Sun moved to Macao, but because he was unlicensed to practice there he was obliged by the Portuguese authorities to leave the colony. In the spring of 1893 he began to practice in Hong Kong.

It was apparently during his years as a medical student in Canton and Hong Kong that Sun Yat-sen began to take a serious interest in China's political affairs and to entertain ideas of overthrowing the ruling Manchu dynasty. According to some sources, his anti-Manchu sentiments had been aroused during his boyhood in Ts'uiheng when villagers had told him tales of the great Taiping Rebellion. Sun himself variously ascribed the origin of his revolutionary tendencies to his early training in Christian principles, to the contrast he observed between the relative efficiency of the British colonial government in Hong Kong and the corrupt and ineffective administration existing in China, and to the failure of the Manchu rulers to defend the frontiers of China from foreign aggression, particularly during the Sino-French hostilities of 1884-85. These early dissatisfactions were reinforced by contact with several young radicals in Canton and Hong Kong. In 1886, while studying medicine in Canton, he became friendly with a fellow student, Cheng Shih-liang (d. 1901; H. Pi-ch'en), who was a member of the Triads (San-ho-hui), one of the largest of the anti- Manchu secret societies in south China. At medical school in Hong Kong, Sun met other students, including Ch'en Shao-pai (q.v.), who shared his anti-Manchu sentiments. After his return from Macao to Hong Kong in 1893, Sun resumed contact with these former schoolmates and with Lu Hao-tung (1868-1895), a boyhood friend from his native village. They held secret meetings and discussed various schemes for China's regeneration, including the possibility of overthrowing the Manchu rulers. Despite the subversive tenor of these talks, Sun Yat-sen apparently was not yet prepared to commit himself openly to the cause of revolution; he decided instead to work for the reform of existing institutions. In February 1894 he abandoned his languishing medical practice and left for Tientsin to present a letter containing his reform proposals to Li Hung-chang (ECCP, I, 464-71), then governor general of Chihli (Hopei) and one of China's most influential exponents of modernization. The letter, a politically innocuous document, suggested in general terms the ways in which China could be strengthened. It gave special emphasis to the need for adopting Western scientific methods to improve agriculture in China. Li, however, was preoccupied with the hostilities that broke out between Chinese and Japanese forces in Korea that summer and had no time to consider such proposals. A disappointed Sun Yat-sen departed for Hawaü to raise private funds for an agricultural association to carry out the measures he had suggested in his letter. In November 1894, with the help of his brother and others of the overseas Chinese community, he organized the Hsing-Chung-hui [revive China society] in Honolulu. The stated aim of the society was to "revitalize China," and funds for this purpose were raised through the purchase of shares in the society by its members.

During the autumn and winter of 1894, Japanese armies in Korea routed the Chinese forces and advanced rapidly into southern Manchuria, threatening the city of Peking itself. To Sun's friends in China, the prospect of imminent collapse of the imperial forces in north China presented a favorable opportunity for starting a revolt to overthrow the Manchu rulers. In response to an urgent message from China, Sun left Honolulu in January 1895 and, after stopping briefly in Japan, proceeded to Hong Kong. He and his Hong Kong colleagues, Cheng Shih-liang, Ch'en Shao-pai, and Lu Hao-tung, decided to join forces with the Fu-jen Literary Society (Fu-jen wen-she), a secret revolutionary group that had been organized early in 1892 by Yang Ch'ü-yun (1861-1901; T. Chao-ch'un), an employee of a British shipping firm in Hong Kong. The new organization was made the main branch of the Hsing-Chung-hui. Although its ostensible purpose was the establishment of newspapers, schools, and new industries, and the promotion of other measures designed to make China strong and prosperous, the basic aim of the Hsing-Chung-hui was to organize a revolt against the Manchu dynasty and to establish a republican government in China. Its leaders proceeded to work out plans for an attack upon Canton in October. During the spring and summer of 1895, while Yang Ch'ü-yun remained in Hong Kong to raise funds and purchase arms, Sun Yat-sen went to Canton with Cheng Shih-liang and Lu Hao-tung to recruit supporters among former soldiers whose units had been disbanded in accordance with the terms of the Treaty of Shimonoseki, and among members of the secret societies, organizing a Society for the Study of Agriculture (Nunghsueh-hui) to serve as a cloak for their activities. However, the day before the uprising was scheduled, the plot was discovered by the authorities in Canton, and several of the conspirators, including Lu Hao-tung, were arrested and executed. Sun and a few others escaped to Hong Kong, but, at the behest of the Ch'ing government, the British authorities ordered them to leave the colony. At the end of October 1895 Sun left Hong Kong with a few of his comrades to seek refuge in Japan.

Revolutionary in Exile

The Canton revolt of 1895 marked the beginning of Sun's career as a professional revolutionist. Through his part in this venture he became a political fugitive with a price on his head, and for the next 16 years he was forced to carry on his revolutionary activities outside of China, beyond the reach of the Manchu authorities. On reaching Japan in November, he proceeded to Yokohama, where he set up a branch of the Hsing-Chung-hui under the direction of a local resident and sympathizer, Feng Ching-ju (see under Feng Tzu-yu). It was at that time that Sun, seeking to disguise himself as a modernized Japanese, cut off his queue, grew a mustache, and adopted Western-style clothing. He then went to stay with his brother in Hawaü where, in the spring of 1896, he was joined by his family. In Hawaü, Sun began to recruit new members for the Hsing-Chung-hui from among members of secret societies in Hawaü, and he succeeded in establishing connections with the local branch of the Hung-men Society. In June 1896 he went to San Francisco, where he sought to win the support of the Chih-kung-tang and other local Hung-men groups. At that time, however, the Hung-men members in America, despite the anti-dynastic origins of their society, believed that their interests as residents in the United States were best represented by the recognized government of China. Accordingly, they showed little interest in Sun's plans for revolution.

Sun Yat-sen left the United States and went to England to visit his old friend Dr. Cantlie, who had returned from Hong Kong to live in retirement in his homeland. For several months, Sun's movements had been kept under surveillance by agents of the Ch'ing government. As Sun was walking past the Chinese legation on Portland Place on 11 October 1896, he was dragged into the building and was held captive while the Chinese minister and his staff made arrangements to charter a ship to send him back to China for almost certain execution as a rebel. Sun managed to get word to Dr. Cantlie, who prevailed upon the British government to effect his release. The incident was given wide publicity, with the result that almost overnight Sun, up to that time an obscure political fugitive, acquired an international reputation as a notorious revolutionist. Following this adventure, he lived quietly in London for several months. During this time, he was a frequent visitor to the reading room of the British Museum, where he became acquainted with Western socialist literature, including the writings of Karl Marx, as well as the works of the American economist Henry George, whose ideas on taxation and land rents were to exert considerable influence upon the development of his social and economic thought.

In July 1897, after ten months in England, Sun Yat-sen returned by way of Canada to Japan to seek support for the revolutionary cause among the Chinese communities in Yokohama and Tokyo. To conceal his identity from the authorities, he adopted the common Japanese surname of Nakayama. The Chinese pronunciation of this pseudonym, "Chungshan," was to become the name by which he would be best known to his associates. Although he was able to make but little headway among his conservative countrymen in Japan at that time, he was more successful in enlisting the support of Japanese liberals. Shortly after his arrival in Yokohama, he was approached by Miyazaki Torazo, an adventurer and Sinophile who became one of his most devoted Japanese followers. Through Miyazaki, Sun was introduced to several prominent Japanese liberals, including Miyazaki's patron, Inukai Tsuyoshi (1855-1932), and Okuma Shigenobu (18321922). In the interest of Asian unity against the West they were eager to cooperate with Chinese progressives in strengthening China. Inukai was so favorably impressed with Sun that he provided him with living quarters in Tokyo as well as funds to carry on his activities. Another group which received the attention of Japanese liberals was the reform party led by K'ang Yu-wei and his distinguished disciple Liang Ch'i-ch'ao (qq.v.). After the conservative coup d'etat of September 1898 in China, K'ang, Liang, and other reformers fled to Japan, where they were approached by Sun and his Japanese friends with the proposal that the reformers join with the revolutionary party in working for the regeneration of China. K'ang, however, was an uncompromising monarchist. He forbade his followers to cooperate with Sun and the Hsing-Chung-hui and in 1899 organized the Pao-huang-hui, a monarchist society that was to become a bitter competitor of the revolutionary party for the support of overseas Chinese in Japan, Southeast Asia, and America.

Meanwhile, Sun Yat-sen, together with Ch'en Shao-pai, Cheng Shih-liang, and other Hsing-Chung-hui members in Japan, had begun to make plans for a new series of uprisings in conjunction with secret societies in central and southern China. During 1899 and 1900 they concentrated on preparations for a revolt at Waichow (Huichow), some 150 miles east of Canton. In Hong Kong, Ch'en Shao-pai established a propaganda newspaper, the Chung-kuo jih-pao [China daily], and Cheng Shih-liang enlisted the support of the Triad and other secret societies. Sun arranged with his Japanese collaborators for supplies of arms and ammunition. In October 1900, while Sun was in Taiwan awaiting Japanese military assistance, Cheng Shih-liang led an initially successful revolt in the Waichow area. However, the munitions expected from Japan failed to arrive, and, on receiving word from Sun, Cheng disbanded his forces and fled back to Hong Kong.

After the collapse of the Waichow revolt, Sun Yat-sen returned to Japan and lived quietly in Yokohama for three years. During this period, Tokyo became a center for Chinese political refugees and students seeking a modern education in Japanese colleges and universities. Many of the newcomers were attracted to the cause of constitutional monarchy as presented in the influential publications of Liang Ch'ich'ao. However, the successive humiliations suffered by China after the Boxer Uprising caused societies and newspapers organized by Chinese students in Japan to become increasingly radical in their political outlook. In these students Sun saw a new source of support for his revolutionary aims, and while residing in Yokohama he held discussions with a number of young radicals about the desirability of organizing their fellow students into revolutionary groups. The growing revolutionary sentiment among the Chinese students in Japan led Sun Yat-sen to renew his efforts to extend the membership of the Hsing-Chung-hui in overseas Chinese communities. Early in 1903 he went to Southeast Asia. After establishing a branch of the party in Hanoi, he proceeded to Saigon and to Siam, where he also recruited new members for the revolutionary organization. He returned to Yokohama in July, but set forth again two months later to raise funds and to gain new adherents in America. During his five months in Hawaü and his subsequent travels in the United States (April-December 1904), Sun was vigorously opposed by partisans of K'ang Yu-wei's monarchist party, which had many adherents in overseas Chinese communities. Nevertheless, he succeeded in winning considerable support for the revolutionary cause. In December 1904 he went to England, and during the first six months of 1905 he visited Brussels, Berlin, and Paris, where he set up new branches of his revolutionary organization.

The Founding of the T'ung-meng-hui

In June 1905 Sun left Europe to return to Japan by way of Singapore and Saigon. On arrival in Yokohama in mid-July, he found new political ferment among the Chinese students, whose patriotic feelings had been stirred to a high pitch by the example of Japan's stunning victory over Russia in the war of 1904-5. Also in Japan by that time were such political refugees from China as Huang Hsing and Sung Chiao-jen (qq.v.), the founders of the revolutionary Hua-hsing-hui. Through the introduction of Miyazaki Torazo, Sun made the acquaintance of these and other revolutionary leaders, with whom he discussed plans for the amalgamation of the Hua-hsing-hui, the Hsing- Chung-hui, and the radical student organizations in Japan into a single revolutionary league. A preparatory meeting was held in Tokyo on 30 July, at which the proposed league was named the Chung-kuo T'ung-meng-hui, and some 70 of those attending were enrolled as members. At the first formal meeting, held in Tokyo on 20 August 1905, more than 300 students and young revolutionaries joined the T'ung-meng-hui and, at the suggestion of Huang Hsing, elected Sun Yat-sen as its director.

The new T'ung-meng-hui differed in important respects from Sun's older revolutionary organization, the Hsing-Chung-hui, which had consisted of a number of widely separated and largely autonomous branches with little over-all coordination of purpose or action. In contrast, the T'ung-meng-hui was a more centralized and carefully organized group. Its main headquarters in Tokyo, divided into three separate departments — executive, appraisal, and judicial — was designed to coordinate operations of a network of regional branches in each province of China and in such special areas as Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. In membership as well as in organization, there were significant differences between the two societies. The Hsing-Chung-hui had been composed mainly of members of secret societies in south China and of Chinese merchants and workingmen overseas, while the core of the T'ung-meng-hui consisted of students and young intellectuals from almost every part of China, many of whom, such as Chu Chih-hsin, Hu Han-min, Liao Chung-k'ai, and Wang Ching-wei (qq.v.), were to replace the veterans of the Hsing-Chung-hui as Sun's closest associates. The most notable distinction between the T'ung-meng-hui and the older organization, however, lay in their respective revolutionary programs. The aims of the Hsing-Chung-hui had developed from Sun's early proposals to strengthen China by reform into three revolutionary tenets: expel the Manchus, restore the Chinese, and establish a republican government. By 1905 Sun, whose ideas had been modified by his studies of Henry George and others, had fashioned the san-min chu-i or Three People's Principles — nationalism, democracy, and the people's livelihood. He gave the first indication of the development in his thinking during the spring of 1905 in speeches to Chinese students in Europe. With the formation of the T'ungmeng-hui, a brief outline of Sun's revolutionary program, which was based on the Three People's Principles, was incorporated into the society's constitution. The principles and the program were explained in detail during the next few years in the Min-pao [people's journal], which was established in Tokyo in November 1905 as the society's official propaganda organ.

The founding of the T'ung-meng-hui marked the beginning of a period of intensified revolutionary activity by Sun Yat-sen and his colleagues. Almost immediately, they began working to raise funds for the new society and to expand its organization within China and among the overseas Chinese in preparation for new uprisings against the Manchu government. Sun left Japan in October 1905 for Southeast Asia, and during the following year he established branches of the T'ung-meng-hui in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and other places in British Malaya as well as in the Dutch East Indies. After returning to Japan in the autumn of 1906, he gave a rousing address to a rally of several thousand students who had gathered to celebrate the first anniversary of the Min-pao. By this time, the increasingly radical tendencies shown by the Chinese students in Japan had become a source of concern to the Japanese authorities, who decided to comply with a demand from the Peking government that Sun Yat-sen be expelled from Japan. His Japanese friends in the government, still wishing to remain on good terms with the revolutionary leader, secretly provided him with funds to continue his activities elsewhere.

Before leaving Japan, Sun Yat-sen conferred with Huang Hsing and other T'ung-meng-hui leaders about future military action against the Manchu regime in China. Although faced with increasing restrictions upon their activities in Japan and Hong Kong, the revolutionaries had learned that the French authorities in Indo-China were sympathetic to their cause and were willing to provide them with a secret base for their activities. Sun and his collaborators decided to set up military headquarters in Indo-China and to concentrate their operations at various points along the southwestern frontier of China. Early in March 1907 Sun left with Hu Han-min, Wang Ching-wei, and others for Hanoi, and with the help of a few French military officers they began to train a small revolutionary force, while at the same time arranging for supplies of arms and ammunition to be sent to them from the T'ung-meng-hui office in Japan. During the spring and summer of 1907 Sun and his staff attempted to take advantage of local unrest in Kwangtung province to foment a number of uprisings. Government troops crushed insurrections near Swatow in May and at Waichow in June. Another unsuccessful uprising broke out in September at Ch'inchow (Yamchow). In December, revolt broke out on the Kwangsi border, and Sun, accompanied by Huang Hsing and Hu Han-min, left Hanoi to join the insurgents, who had captured the frontier outpost of Chen-nan-kuan. After holding out briefly against imperial forces commanded by Lu Jung-t'ing (q.v.), Sun and his supporters were forced to retire into French territory. In these campaigns the strategy of the revolutionaries was to join forces with the secret societies and bands of local rebels in areas that were accessible from outside China and to infiltrate units of the imperial forces and win over the officers and men to the revolutionary cause. However, the revolutionary forces, consisting at most of a few hundred untrained adventurers and led by amateurs, had little hope of overcoming the well-armed and numerically superior imperial armies. Their strategy was vitiated by their failure to secure the necessary military supplies from Japan and to deliver them to their collaborators within China.

Late in 1907, while Sun was at Chen-nan-kuan, the Ch'ing government had persuaded the French authorities to expel the revolutionary leader from Indo-China; and in March 1908 he departed for Singapore to raise funds for munitions to send to Hu Han-min, whom he left in Hanoi to supervise further military ventures, and Huang Hsing, who returned to China to organize further uprisings. In the spring of 1908, after the failure of uprisings at Ch'inchow and Lienchow in Kwangtung and at Hokow in Yunnan, Hu, Huang, and several hundred of their troops also were deported from Indo-China. Hu and Huang rejoined Sun in Singapore in July 1908. By that time the fortunes of the revolutionary organization had reached a low ebb. Repeated military failure in south China not only had disheartened the revolutionary forces then stranded in Malaya but also had seriously damaged the prestige of the T'ung-meng-hui among the overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia. Thus, when Sun and other T'ung-meng-hui leaders toured Malaya and Siam in 1908 and 1909, they found the Chinese inhabitants reluctant to make further contributions to a seemingly lost cause. Although Sun established a Southeast Asian branch of the party, with Hu Han-min as director, and a Siamese branch, headed by Hsiao Fo-ch'eng (q.v.), his campaign was not a success. Added to these difficulties was the growing discontent with Sun's leadership among some members of the T'ung-meng-hui. Moreover, the Japanese authorities helped stifle the party's activities by banning the Min-pao in August 1908.


By the late spring of 1909 Sun Yat-sen had become persona non grata to the authorities in almost every region of Eastern Asia. Because his movements were restricted, he decided that he could work more effectively for the revolution by going to the West. In May 1909, before leaving for France, he ordered the establishment of a south China bureau of the T'ung-meng-hui at Hong Kong, with Hu Han-min as its director. On his departure, practical responsibility for planning revolutionary activities in China and for building up party support in Southeast Asia passed to Hu Han-min and Huang Hsing.

In Paris, Sun Yat-sen attempted to secure a loan for the T'ung-meng-hui, but without success. After making brief visits to Brussels and London, he left Europe for the United States in October 1909. To refute accusations by Chang Ping-lin (q.v.) and other T'ung-meng-hui dissidents in Japan that he had been misusing the society's funds, he published an itemized accounting of his expenditures in the Chinese- American newspapers. During his five months of travel through the United States and Canada he discovered that the strength of the monarchist party among the overseas Chinese was waning and that they were much more receptive to his arguments for overthrowing the Manchu regime in China than they had been in 1904. Sun raised considerable financial support and established branches of the T'ung-meng-hui in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. In March 1910 he went to Honolulu, and two months later he returned to Japan to reestablish contact with the T'ung-meng-hui leaders still in Tokyo and to set up a secret organization to coordinate the activities of revolutionary groups throughout China. Although he lived under an assumed name at the Tokyo home of his friend Miyazaki Torazo, his presence in Japan soon came to the attention of the Ch'ing government, which again demanded his expulsion. Thus, after only ten days in Japan, he was asked by the Japanese authorities to leave the country.

Sun sailed for Singapore and then went to Penang. In November, he summoned Huang Hsing, Hu Han-min, and other leaders to a meeting to discuss preparations for another uprising in China. Plans were made for a large-scale revolt in Canton, under the direction of Huang Hsing. Not long after the meeting, however, the British authorities took exception to one of Sun's speeches and ordered him to leave Malaya. Having been excluded from the last remaining refuge in the Far East, Sun embarked upon another tour of North America to raise funds. He left Penang in December and traveled by way of Europe to the United States and Canada, arriving in New York in mid-February of 1911. He was given an enthusiastic reception by the Chinese communities in San Francisco, Vancouver, and Victoria, and within a short time he had raised almost U.S. $80,000 in support of the uprising in Canton. Despite its failure, the Canton revolt, later known as the Huang-hua-kang uprising (for details, see Huang Hsing), aroused considerable interest among overseas Chinese. Because of their growing enthusiasm, Sun decided to remain in America to seek funds for further revolutionary attempts in China.

The T'ung-meng-hui and other revolutionary societies in China soon began to concentrate their attention on the Yangtze region, especially the Wuhan cities and Nanking. In July 1911 Chü Cheng, Ch'en Ch'i-mei (qq.v.), Sung Chiao-jen, and others established the central China bureau of the T'ung-meng-hui, with headquarters in the International Settlement at Shanghai. In Hupeh province, allied revolutionary groups infiltrated units of the imperial New Army stationed at the Wuhan cities. Although Sun Yat-sen was not unaware of these developments, he had little direct contact with his colleagues in China. His first knowledge of the Wuchang revolt of 10 October 1911 and the revolution came from reading a newspaper report while traveling on a train from Denver to Kansas City. From subsequent reports in the American press he learned that the revolutionaries in China were planning to establish a republican government with himself as its president. Realizing the importance of the proposed new government's relations with the Western powers, Sun, instead of returning immediately to China, went to Europe and, as the recognized head of the largest revolutionary organization in China, explored questions of diplomatic recognition and foreign loans with European political and economic leaders. He arrived in London at the end of October, where he succeeded in persuading the British government to lift its restrictions on his movements in its territories in the Far East and in obtaining from the Four Power Banking Consortium a verbal promise to suspend further loan installments to the Ch'ing government. He then proceeded to Paris. In an interview with Premier Georges Clemenceau, he broached the matter of French recognition of the republican government in China, but obtained no specific agreement. Sun set sail for China from Marseilles in the latter part of November 1911 in the company of Chang Chi, Li Shih-tseng, Wu Chih-hui (qq.v.), and other revolutionary sympathizers who had joined him in England and France.

By the time Sun Yat-sen arrived in China, Shanghai and Nanking had fallen to the revolutionary armies, and several provinces in succession had declared their independence from the Ch'ing government. In Peking, the Manchu court in desperation had turned the reins of government over to Yuan Shih-k'ai (q.v.) ; in Nanking, revolutionary delegates from 14 provinces had assembled to discuss the organization of a provisional republican regime; and in Shanghai, truce negotiations had begun, with Wu T'ing-fang (q.v.) representing the revolutionaries and T'ang Shao-yi (q.v.) representing the Peking government. Sun Yat-sen arrived in Shanghai on 25 December 1911 to receive a hero's welcome from a large and enthusiastic crowd of T'ung-meng-hui comrades and other well-wishers. Four days later, the convention of provincial delegates in Nanking elected him president of a provisional republican government, and on 1 January 1912 he proceeded to Nanking, where he assumed office and formally proclaimed the establishment of the Republic of China.

The Republic and the Kuomintang

Sun Yat-sen's inauguration as provisional president of the republican regime in Nanking, after 16 years of exile from China, marked a high point in his revolutionary career. But the political revolution he and his associates had labored to achieve was far from complete. The Manchu emperor still occupied the throne, and the imperial regime in Peking continued to be the government recognized by the foreign powers. Negotiations at Shanghai were deadlocked by the Nanking regime's insistance on the abdication of the Manchus and the establishment of a republic and by the Peking government's objection to Sun Yat-sen as president of a new republic. Furthermore, a stalemate existed between the revolutionary forces and the imperial armies; with foreign loans temporarily suspended, neither side was in a position to finance the military operations necessary to overcome the other. On 22 January 1912 Sun Yat-sen, in an effort to end this impasse, offered to resign his position as provisional president in favor of Yuan Shih-k'ai if the Manchus abdicated and Yuan openly declared his support of the republic. Yuan accepted these conditions, and on 13 February, the day after the announcement of the Manchu abdication, Sun tendered his resignation to the provisional National Assembly (ts'an-i-yuan) which had been established on 28 January 1912 in Nanking. Two days later, on Sun's recommendation, the National Assembly elected Yuan Shih-k'ai as Sun's successor. Yuan was formally inaugurated as provisional president of the republic on 12 March in Peking. In making his decision to relinquish the presidency, Sun was not without misgivings about Yuan's intentions. In an attempt to insure the latter's support of the republic, he had appended certain conditions to his resignation: that Nanking, rather than the old imperial capital, be the new seat of government; and that Yuan agree to be bound by the new provisional constitution then being prepared by the assembly in Nanking. Yuan, however, was reluctant to leave his stronghold in Peking, and by a series of shrewd political maneuvers, he was able to convince Sun and his T'ung-meng-hui associates not only that he should remain in the north but also that the Nanking provisional government itself should move to Peking.

By this time, the T'ung-meng-hui had become an open party, with Sun Yat-sen as its chairman and Huang Hsing as its vice chairman. After his retirement from the presidency, Sun Yat-sen turned his attention from political affairs to the questions raised by the principle of the people's livelihood and began to think about China's economic and social reconstruction. Huang Hsing remained in Nanking when the provisional government moved to Peking, and he held office as resident general at Nanking until 14 June 1912. While its two top leaders were thus engaged, the T'ung-meng-hui began to change. Some of its members in Peking, including Sung Chiao-jen, believed that the revolutionary society, having fulfilled its original aims, should be reorganized to function effectively within the National Assembly so that Yuan Shih-k'ai would be brought under parliamentary control. In the hope of dominating the National Assembly by gaining as many seats as possible in the coming national elections, Sung and his supporters joined with the leaders of four smaller parties—the T'ung-i kung-hotang [united republican party], the Kuo-min kung-chin-hui [people's progressive party], the Kung-ho shih-chin-hui [progressive republican party], and the Kuo-min kung-tang [people's public party] — to organize a large federated party called the Kuomintang. Yuan Shih-k'ai, aware of this potential threat to his power, invited Sun Yat-sen and Huang Hsing to Peking for a discussion of national affairs. Sun arrived in Peking on 24 August 1912, and the following day he attended the inaugural meeting of the Kuomintang. He was not overly enthusiastic about the new party because its membership included many ambitious politicians who had little sympathy for the social and economic ideals embodied in his principle of the people's livelihood. Although Sun was elected director of the Kuomintang, he left the management of party affairs to Sung Chiao-jen, for he had comparatively little interest in such political activities.

During Sun Yat-sen's stay in Peking from 24 August to 18 September 1912 he held discussions with Yuan Shih-k'ai about railroad development in China, a subject which had aroused Sun's interest. The cordial reception given him by Yuan dispelled Sun's doubts about the Peiyang leader and led him to endorse Yuan openly as the most suitable person to head the new republic. Yuan listened to Sun's railroad development proposals and, on 9 September, appointed him national director of railroad development. Although some contemporary observers suspected that this appointment was merely a gesture to win Sun's public political support, Sun assumed the duties of his new position with great enthusiasm. At the heart of his scheme for railroad development was a rather grandiose plan for three trunk lines, to be financed by large investments of foreign capital, which would link China to Burma, Tibet, and Sinkiang. In the autumn of 1912 Sun made an investigative tour of existing rail lines in northern and central China; early in 1913 he went to Japan to investigate its railways and to promote Japanese investment in Chinese railways.

The Second Revolution and the Constitution Protection Movement

While Sun Yat-sen was touring Japan in the winter of 1912, the struggle for control of the government in Peking led to increasing tension between Yuan Shih-k'ai and the Kuomintang. The national elections of February 1913 resulted in Kuomintang control of the National Assembly, and the party tried to limit Yuan Shih-k'ai's authority by winning control of the cabinet. On 20 March 1913 Sung Chiao-jen was assassinated, apparently by agents of Yuan Shih-k'ai. On hearing of Sung's death, Sun Yat-sen went to Shanghai, where he joined Huang Hsing in demanding a thorough investigation of the case and severe punishment of those responsible for the assassination. Kuomintang opposition to Yuan was increased by the floating of the "reorganization loan" (for details, see Yuan Shih-k'ai) in the spring of 1913. That Yuan intended to suppress the Kuomintang became clear in June, when he dismissed the Kuomintang governors of Kiangsi, Kwangtung, and Anhwei from office and ordered the Peiyang Army to move southward toward the Yangtze. As these forces advanced in a two-pronged drive on Kiukiang and Nanking, Li Lieh-chun (q.v.), the governor of Kiangsi, went to Shanghai to consult with Sun Yat-sen and other Kuomintang leaders. With Sun's approval, he returned to Kiangsi early in July, declared the province independent, and assumed the title of commander in chief of the Kiangsi Anti-Yuan Army [T'ao-Yuan-chün]. Thus began the so-called second revolution. Sun Yat-sen made a public denunciation of Yuan Shih-k'ai, and Yuan responded by dismissing Sun from office as director of railroad development on 23 July. The large and highly trained Peiyang forces soon routed and scattered the Kuomintang troops. Nanking fell to the Peiyang forces of Chang Hsün on 1 September, and orders were issued for the arrest of Sun Yat-sen and other Kuomintang leaders on 15 September. Sun Yat-sen remained in China and worked to organize resistance to Yuan Shih-k'ai until late November, when he decided to seek asylum in Japan. After stopping briefly in Taiwan, he reached Tokyo early in December 1913.

The optimism that had characterized Sun Yat-sen's outlook since the establishment of the republic was replaced by bitterness against Yuan Shih-k'ai and the foreign powers that supported him. Sun determined to overthrow Yuan at any cost, and he decided to reorganize the dispirited and ineffective Kuomintang. On 23 June 1914 the new party, the Chung-hua Ko-ming-tang, was inaugurated in Tokyo. Members were required to take an oath of personal obedience to Sun and to seal this pledge with their right thumbprints. Although such long-time associates of Sun as Chang Chi and Huang Hsing objected to the loyalty oath and refused to join the new party, most of Sun's supporters, including Ch'en Ch'i-mei, Chu Chih-hsin, Liao Chung-k'ai, and Tai Chi-t'ao (q.v.) remained loyal to him. Before long, a new propaganda organ, the Min-kuo tsa-chih [republican magazine], had been established and members of the new party had begun working to extend its membership throughout the Chinese communities of Southeast Asia and America. Sun Yat-sen unsuccessfully sought to enlist Japanese support for his anti- Yuan efforts by promising vast concessions in China in the future. He and his associates worked out a revolutionary program (Ko-ming fang-lueh), which provided for the establishment of a revolutionary army and of a military government to rule in China until the revolutionary army had overthrown Yuan's regime. As commander in chief of the new revolutionary army, Sun Yat-sen dispatched Ch'en Ch'i-mei, Chu Chih-hsin and other lieutenants to China to organize armed resistance to Yuan Shih-k'ai.

In December 1915, after Yuan Shih-k'ai had announced his intention to become monarch, Ts'ai O, T'ang Chi-yao (qq.v.), and other military leaders in Yunnan province initiated a revolt against Yuan that soon spread to other provinces in southwest China. Sun Yat-sen's followers in China sought to capitalize on this opposition by staging uprisings in Kwangtung, Anhwei, Kiangsu, and Shantung. In April 1916, when it became apparent that the tide was turning against Yuan, Sun left Japan for Shanghai. The campaigns ended with the death of Yuan Shih-k'ai on 16 June. Sun Yat-sen telegraphed Li Yuan-hung (q.v.), who assumed the presidency at Peking, and Tuan Ch'i-jui (q.v.), the premier, urging them to restore the provisional constitution of 1912 and the National Assembly that had been dissolved early in 1914. In September 1916 Hu Han-min visited Peking on Sun's behalf and met with Li and Tuan. Sun remained in Shanghai until the summer of 1917, devoting much of his time to setting down his ideas regarding the realization of popular sovereignty in China. Among his writings of this period was a pamphlet arguing against China's entry into the First World War, a question that was a source of bitter contention between Tuan Ch'i-jui, who favored a declaration of war, and the National Assembly. Increasing friction between Tuan and the National Assembly led to the political upheavals of May-July 1917, during which the Parliament was dissolved, Li Yuan-hung was forced to resign in favor of Feng Kuo-chang (q.v.), and control of the Peking government passed into the hands of Tuan Ch'i-jui and his followers.

When Tuan Ch'i-jui decided to convene a new "provisional National Assembly" dominated by his supporters, Sun Yat-sen objected to the dissolution of the old Parliament and to Tuan's seizure of power, saying that both of these actions violated the 1912 constitution. Sun and several members of the old assembly initiated the hu-fa, or constitution protection, movement, their aim being the restoration of the 1912 constitution and the old Parliament. Sun secured the support of the navy, then commanded by Ch'en Pi-kuang (1861-1918; T. Heng-ch'i; H. Yü-t'ang), and assurances of cooperation from the southern military leaders Lu Jung-t'ing and T'ang Chi-yao. In July 1917 Sun left Shanghai with a naval escort and went to Canton, where he and a large number of former members of the Parliament convened a rump parliament and established a military government on 31 August. Although Sun was elected commander in chief (ta-yuan-shuai) of the Canton regime, Lu Jung-t'ing and T'ang Chi-yao, the commanders (yuan-shuai), held the military power. T'ang had little liking for the new regime, and once Lu had gained his own territorial objectives in Hunan in October-November 1917, he, too, began to lose interest in the constitution protection movement.

Because Sun Yat-sen and his adherents were determined to carry on the struggle against the Peiyang militarists and because they realized that they needed a military power base to do so, they persuaded Chu Ch'ing-lan, the civil governor of Kwangtung, to place 20 battalions of garrison troops under the command of Sun's supporter Ch'en Chiung-ming (q.v.). The Kwangsi militarists made a number of attempts to prevent Ch'en from assuming command, but he finally managed to reorganize them as the Yuan-Min Yueh-chün [Kwangtung army to assist Fukien]. By the spring of 1918 T'ang Chi-yao, Lu Jung-t'ing and other southern military leaders had become dissatisfied with Sun and the military government; with the cooperation of several members of the rump parliament, they effected a reorganization of the government. Sun, instead of being commander in chief, became a member of a sevenman committee of directors general (tsung-ts'ai), which was headed by Ts'en Ch'un-hsuan (q.v.). The other members were T'ang Shao-yi, Wu T'ing-fang, Lin Pao-tse, Lu Jung-t'ing, and T'ang Chi-yao. Sun, having been deprived of his authority, announced his withdrawal from active participation in the Canton regime on 21 May.

After making a brief trip to Japan in an unsuccessful attempt to win Japanese support for the constitution protection movement, Sun Yat-sen established residence in the French concession at Shanghai. During the next two-and-a-half years he wrote some of his most important works, later published as part of the Chien-kuo fang-lueh [principles of national reconstruction]. On 1 August 1919 two of his close associates, Chu Chih-hsin and Tai Chi-t'ao, established the Chien-she tsa-chih [reconstruction magazine] to expound and discuss party ideology and Sun's proposals for national reconstruction. During this period, Sun also concerned himself with practical party affairs. The Chung-hua ko-ming-tang had failed to capture the popular imagination and thus had exerted little influence upon the political or intellectual life of China. Moreover, many members of the revolutionary organization, especially overseas Chinese, persisted in referring to it as the Kuomintang. To eliminate confusion arising from this problem of nomenclature and to strengthen the structure of the party, on 10 October 1919 Sun announced the reorganization of the party as the Chung-kuo kuo-min-tang.

At Canton, the Kwangsi militarists had been .using strong military pressure to increase their control of the military government. Sun had protested their actions by formally resigning from the government in August 1919. The growing dissension within the Canton government between adherents of the Kwangsi militarists and supporters of Sun Yat-sen led to the resignation and departure from Canton of such officials as Wu T'ing-fang, and the situation was complicated further in the spring of 1920 when friction developed between the Kwangsi faction and the Yunnan military clique headed by T'ang Chi-yao. In June 1920 Sun Yat-sen, T'ang Shao-yi, Wu T'ing-fang, and T'ang Chi-yao issued a public telegram declaring all future acts of the Canton military government to be null and void. In August, Ch'en Chiung-ming and his Kwangtung Army left Changchow, Fukien, to return to Kwangtung. After a three-month campaign, the Kwangtung Army, with the help of other pro- Sun units, defeated the Kwangsi militarists and occupied Canton on 26 October 1920. Sun then designated Ch'en governor of Kwangtung. After returning to Canton late in November, Sun reconvened the rump parliament.

The Canton Government and the Revolt of Ch'en Chiung-ming

The failure of the constitution protection movement and the disintegration of the military government at Canton had convinced Sun Yatsen that, rather than persisting in his efforts to wrest control of the Peking government from the Peiyang militarists, he should establish a new national government that would rival, and eventually replace, the northern regime. Kwangtung would be the military base for a campaign to unify the country. Sun believed that once the new government had been recognized by foreign powers as the legitimate government of the Chinese republic, it would receive sufficient loans and revenue from customs receipts to be able to carry out his program of national reconstruction.

In April 1921 the rump parliament at Canton abolished the military government, established a new government (the Chung-hua min-kuo cheng-fu), and elected Sun Yat-sen president extraordinary. On 5 May, when he assumed office, Sun notified foreign powers that the new government, as the only legitimate government of China, would respect all former treaty obligations and would welcome the investment of foreign capital in China ; he also announced the intention of the new government to unify all of China under its administration. A few weeks later, he announced plans for a northern expedition against the Kwangsi militarists and ordered Ch'en Chiung-ming's Kwangtung Army to take the field against the forces of Lu Jung-t'ing. The Kwangtung Army pressed steadily into Kwangsi; by the end of September, Lu's armies had been shattered and Kwangsi had been brought under the control of the Canton government. This victory encouraged Sun to make plans for extending the northern expedition into Hunan and Kiangsi. In December, he went to Kweilin, where he established headquarters and assumed personal direction of the campaign. He completed his plans for an invasion of Hunan early in 1922, joining in a military alliance with the Manchurian warlord, Chang Tso-lin (q.v.), and the leader of the Anhwei clique, Tuan Ch'i-jui, against their common enemy, the Chihli clique, headed by Ts'ao K'un and Wu P'ei-fu (qq.v.). At that time the Chihli clique controlled several provinces in north and central China as well as the Peking government.

In the meantime, a rift had occurred between Sun Yat-sen and his top military commander, Ch'en Chiung-ming. After his victorious campaign against the Kwangsi clique in 1920, Ch'en, as governor of Kwangtung and head of the Kwangtung Army, had come to favor consolidating his position within the province under a system, advocated by Chao Heng-t'i (q.v.) and others, of a decentralized federation of provinces, each with an autonomous administration. Accordingly, he had little enthusiasm for Sun Yat-sen's ambitious plans for a northern expedition to unify China under a centralized national government. In particular, he objected to Sun's plans for using Kwangtung as a central military base for this expedition. After the successful Kwangsi campaign of 1921, Ch'en, when informed of Sun's plans to advance into Hunan, opposed this decision. Sun Yat-sen went to Kwangsi and, after an unsuccessful attempt to win Ch'en over to his point of view, reached an agreement whereby he would supervise the Hunan campaign and Ch'en would return to Canton, where he would raise funds for the expedition but otherwise would have a free hand in Kwangtung. In December 1921, after Ch'en returned to Canton, Sun went to Kweilin and assumed personal direction of the campaign. It soon became apparent, however, that Ch'en was working to obstruct Sun's military plans. When Sun became aware of Ch'en's activities and when his staunch supporter Teng K'eng (q.v.) was assassinated at Canton in March 1922, he withdrew his troops from Hunan for a march on Canton. In April, he relieved Ch'en of his posts as governor and commander in chief of the Kwangtung Army after Ch'en retired from Canton with his personal forces to his stronghold at Waichow.

On 4 May 1922 Sun Yat-sen ordered the resumption of the northern expedition, confident that Ch'en Chiung-ming would trouble him no longer. He moved his troops from the vicinity of Canton to Shaokuan in northern Kwangtung. At this point, Ch'en's troops, led by Yeh Chu (b. 1882; T. Jo-ch'ing), occupied Canton and demanded that Ch'en be restored his posts. Sun hastened to Canton on 1 June to settle the matter personally, but Ch'en's subordinates, with the support of the Chihli clique in north China, on 16 June demanded that Sun resign from the presidency and prepared for an attack on the presidential headquarters in Canton. Sun was warned of their plans in time to escape to a gunboat on the Pearl River, from which he dispatched orders to his forces in Kiangsi to return home and attack Ch'en. They followed his orders, but were repulsed by Ch'en's supporters. After waiting for several weeks aboard the gunboat, where he was attended by a young officer named Chiang Kai-shek, Sun decided that further attempts to dislodge Ch'en would be useless. In mid-August, he went to Shanghai.

After the expulsion from Canton by Ch'en Chiung-ming and the collapse of the northern expedition, Sun Yat-sen was more determined than ever to acquire the power necessary to implement his revolutionary program. Upon arrival in Shanghai on 14 August 1922 he began to work out plans to regain Canton as a military base from which to unify China. He renewed his alliance with Chang Tso-lin and Tuan Ch'i-jui against the Chihli clique and sent emissaries to the remnants of the northern expeditionary forces in Fukien and Kwangsi with instructions to regroup for another campaign against Ch'en Chiung-ming. At the same time, Sun began to prepare for a radical transformation of the Kuomintang. Despite previous reorganizations, the revolutionary party had failed to become an effective political body. Ties with party branches, particularly overseas, had been weak, and some of the older party members, having little understanding of Sun Yat-sen's political and social ideals, often had stood ready to compromise with political groups that opposed Sun's aims. In addition to having defects in organization and discipline, the party lacked effective propaganda techniques. Although it controlled several newspapers and magazines, it had been unable to win firm attention and support from urban groups. Sun hoped to infuse new vigor and revolutionary spirit into the party by attracting new members from among students, merchants, and workers. He considered the support of the students particularly important. Early in September 1922 he called a meeting of the Kuomintang members in Shanghai at which he announced his intention to reorganize the party and named a committee to study the problem. In November, the committee elected Hu Han-min and Wang Ching-wei (q.v.) to draft a declaration on party reform. The process of reorganization was formally set in motion on 1 January 1923 with the announcement of a party manifesto reaffirming Sun's Three People's Principles as the basic aims of the Kuomintang.

During this period, while occupied with problems of reorganization, Sun Yat-sen made what probably was the most crucial decision of his life—to align the Kuomintang with the Soviet Union and the Chinese Communist party. He previously had looked to the Western powers and to Japan for help, but their continued refusals to consider his pleas for assistance had embittered him. After the Russian Revolution, agents of the new Russian government had been sent to China to seek the cooperation of military and political leaders and, later, to supervise the establishment of the Chinese Communist party in July 1921 {see Ch'en Tu-hsiu). The following month, Sun Yat-sen had written to G. V. Chicherin, the Russian minister of foreign affairs, to express his interest in Soviet political and military organization. The Comintern representative Maring had visited Sun later that year at his military headquarters in Kweilin to discuss the possibility of Kuomintang-Communist cooperation, but these discussions, though friendly, were indecisive. When Sun was approached by Russian agents in Shanghai after his flight from Canton in the summer of 1922, however, he firmly agreed to cooperate with the Chinese Communist party to the extent of allowing individual members to join the Kuomintang. He and the Soviet diplomat Adolf Joffe undertook negotiations that resulted in a joint manifesto, signed on 26 January 1923, which, while asserting that the Soviet system was not suitable for China, announced in general terms the willingness of the Soviet Union to cooperate with the Kuomintang in its struggle to unify China. Details of the new alliance, as well as preliminary plans for reorganizing the Kuomintang, were worked out in subsequent discussions, held in Japan, between Joffe and Sun's trusted lieutenant Liao Chung-k'ai.

In deciding to accept the cooperation of the Soviet Union, Sun Yat-sen apparently was influenced less by Communist doctrine, in which he had little interest, than by the need to obtain military assistance in the form of money, arms, and advisers if he were to regain Kwangtung as a revolutionary base for the unification of China. Even before the announcement of the Sun-Joffe manifesto, the East Route Anti-Rebel Army under Hsu Ch'ung-chih (q.v.), together with the Yunnan army of Yang Hsi-min and the Kwangsi army of Liu Chen-huan, had succeeded in driving Ch'en Chiung-ming from Canton. In mid-February 1923 Sun returned to Canton, where he established himself as head of a new military government with the title of ta-yuan-shuai [generalissimo]. To secure his position at Canton, he occupied himself during the spring and summer of 1923 with defensive military operations against the still powerful Ch'en Chiung-ming and against Shen Hung-ying (d. 1935), a former ally who had associated himself with the Chihli clique. The intervention of the Chihli militarists drew bitter condemnation from Sun, who denounced the leader of the clique, Ts'ao K'un, for having bribed his way into the presidency of the Peking government. Sun declared his intention to join with Chang Tso-lin and Tuan Ch'i-jui to overthrow Ts'ao's regime.

Reorganization of the Kuomintang

With military matters uppermost in his mind, it was not until October 1923 that Sun Yat-sen again directed his full attention to the reorganization of the Kuomintang. In the summer of 1923 he had requested that a Comintern representative be sent to Canton for organizational and advisory purposes. The Soviet adviser Michael Borodin (Grusenberg) arrived at Canton on 6 October and quickly won Sun's confidence. A few weeks later, Sun appointed Borodin special adviser to the Kuomintang, and in the following months Borodin and his staff played a decisive role in guiding the course of Kuomintang political and military reorganization. On Borodin's recommendation, Sun appointed a nine-man provisional central executive committee, which included Lin Sen, Teng Tse-ju, the Communist T'an P'ing-shan (qq.v.), and Liao Chung-k'ai. The purpose of the committee, which was established on 25 October, was to draw up a new set of party regulations, a constitution, and a manifesto; to supervise the organization of new party branches on provincial and local levels; and to prepare for a national party congress to be held early in 1924. The committee completed its tasks in less than three months, and on 20 January 1924 Sun Yat-sen convened the First National Congress of the Kuomintang. During a ten-day session in Canton, the 196 delegates to the congress approved and adopted the new constitution and other reorganization resolutions presented by Sun and the committee.

As constituted by the reorganization of 1924, the new Kuomintang clearly revealed the impress of Soviet policy, particularly in the areas of party organization and revolutionary tactics. The new constitution, drafted for Sun in English by Borodin and then translated into Chinese by Liao Chung-k'ai, transformed the Kuomintang into a tightly disciplined body organized along the lines of the Russian Communist party into a pyramidal structure, with channels of authority descending in successive stages from the highest party organ, the National Congress, down through lesser party organs established at the provincial, county, and local levels. Within the National Congress, which was to meet every two years, power was concentrated in the hands of the Central Executive Committee, elected by the congress and given the authority to act for the congress in the intervals between its sessions. Established by, and under the control of, the Central Executive Committee were bureaus which directed the various aspects of party activity—organization, propaganda, workers, peasants, youth, women, investigation, and military affairs. Equal in authority to the Central Executive Committee was the Central Supervisory Committee (chungyang chien-ch'a wei-yuan-hui), elected by the National Congress to inspect and audit the finances of the Central Executive Committee, to review the policies of the party, and to supervise the conduct of all party officials. Only in creating the position of party leader (tsung-li), held for life by Sun Yat-sen, did the new Kuomintang structure differ significantly from its Soviet prototype. Other evidences of Soviet influence were to be found in the restatement of Sun's Three People's Principles in the manifesto of the First National Congress. Without altering the basic tenets of Sun's political philosophy, this new formulation redefined the principle of nationalism as the struggle for liberation from the forces of foreign imperialism and placed new emphasis on the political leadership of a strong, unified party in carrying through the national revolution. Also indicated in the spirit, if not the letter, of the manifesto were those courses of action which the Chinese Communists later referred to as Sun Yat-sen's Three Great Policies (san ta cheng-ts'e) : alliance with the Soviet Union, cooperation with the Chinese Communist party, and support of the worker and peasant masses.

In accordance with this new orientation, the First National Congress of the Kuomintang at its final session on 30 January 1924 elected a Central Executive Committee which included three members of the Chinese Communist party; the following day, the Central Executive Committee elected T'an P'ing-shan to head the vitally important party organization bureau and another Chinese Communist, Lin Po-ch'u (q.v.), to head the peasant bureau. However, Sun and his immediate entourage remained in undisputed control of the party organization even though some Communists held influential positions within the Kuomintang. The strongest challenge to Sun's authority within the party came not from the Communists but from some of his oldest associates. Such conservatives as Chang Chi, Hsieh Ch'ih (q.v.), and Teng Tse-ju, three of the five full members of the Central Supervisory Committee, objected strongly to the decision to admit Communists to the Kuomintang membership. On 16 June 1924 these three men sent a resolution to the Central Executive Committee impeaching the Communists, but it was rejected on 3 July. In an attempt to allay the fears of these conservatives and to halt the growing division of the Kuomintang into right- and left-wing factions, the Central Executive Committee issued a statement on 7 July calling on party members to dispel misunderstandings and reiterating that the Three People's Principles were the sole means to success in the revolution. It was largely to ensure the effectiveness of Kuomintang-Communist cooperation and to keep the right-wing faction in check that Sun Yat-sen decided to increase the centralization of power and his personal authority by establishing, under his personal direction, the 12-man Central Political Council that was to be the ultimate determining authority of basic Kuomintang policies.

Military Establishment

With the reorganization of January 1924 Sun Yat-sen and his advisers laid the foundations of the formidable political-military machine that was to sweep to national power in 1927-28. However, at the time of the reorganization the party's position in Canton was precarious, and Sun, lacking sufficient military power of his own, still was obliged to rely on the uncertain support of the Yunnan and Kwangsi militarists in Kwangtung. Accordingly, one of the first tasks of the reorganized Kuomintang was to recruit and train a military force which would be directly under the authority of the party leadership and which would be dedicated to the party's aim of national revolution. Plans for a party academy had resulted from the 1923 discussions between Liao Chung-k'ai and Adolf Joffe, and the First National Congress of the Kuomintang had approved a proposal to establish the academy at Whampoa, some ten miles downriver from Canton. Early in May 1924, as the first class of cadets was being chosen, Sun designated Chiang Kai-shek the commandant of the Whampoa Military Academy. Because Sun was as concerned with indoctrination in the political principles of national revolution as with military training, he appointed Liao Chung-k'ai party representative to the academy and named Hu Han-min, Wang Ching-wei, Tai Chi-t'ao, and others among his closest followers as political instructors at Whampoa.

As these plans to build up Kuomintang military strength were being put into effect, the very existence of the revolutionary government at Canton was endangered. To the east, Ch'en Chiung-ming remained a constant military threat; in the vicinity of Canton, the leaders of the Kwangsi and Yunnan armies not only ignored the authority of Sun Yat-sen's regime but also expressed increasing suspicion and hostility toward the burgeoning party army being trained at Whampoa; within the city itself, the Kuomintang's position was jeopardized by the Canton Merchants Corps, a powerful militia organization maintained by local Chinese businessmen. Despite these threats, Sun Yat-sen in September 1924 decided to divert the troops then at his disposal to northern Kwangtung in preparation for another northern expedition into Kiangsi and Hunan—a decision prompted in part by Sun's desire to join with Chang Tso-lin, Tuan Ch'i-jui, and other militarists in a renewed attempt to overthrow the hegemony of the Chihli clique of north China. However, after Sun moved to his headquarters at Shaokuan, his preparations were delayed by an uprising of the Merchants Corps. Acting on orders from Sun, Hu Han-min, then the senior Kuomintang leader in Canton, placed all the forces in the Canton area under the command of Chiang Kai-shek. By mid-October, the Merchants Corps had been crushed and disarmed. However, by the time Sun was ready to launch the northern expedition, the Chihli faction had been defeated by the combined forces of Chang Tso-lin and Feng Yü-hsiang (q.v.), and Ts'ao K'un had been driven from the presidency.

The Final Journey

When Sun Yat-sen received an invitation from Chang Tso-lin and Tuan Ch'i-jui to take part in their deliberations at Peking about national affairs, he perceived in this gesture an opportunity to promote his proposals for a new national convention that would eradicate militarism and imperialism from China and would effect a peaceful unification of the nation. Accordingly, on 13 November 1924, after appointing Hu Han-min acting head of the Canton government, he left for north China in the company of Tai Chi-t'ao, Wang Ching-wei and a number of other followers. Traveling by way of Shanghai and Japan, Sun and his entourage reached Tientsin on 4 December and moved on to Peking at the end of the year. Meanwhile, Tuan Ch'i-jui, as provisional chief executive of the northern government, had already announced his intention of calling an "aftermath conference" in preparation for a national convention. Negotiations between Tuan and Sun, carried on by letter and telegram, soon broke down as Tuan, ignoring Sun's demands that labor, peasant, and merchant groups be represented at the forthcoming convention, moved ahead with his plans to hold the convention against the wishes and without the participation of the Kuomintang.

As he was conducting these fruitless negotiations with Tuan Ch'i-jui, Sun Yat-sen became critically ill. He had been ailing for several months before he had left Canton, and after his arrival in Tientsin his health had deteriorated so rapidly that a special ambulance was required to take him to Peking. On 26 January 1925 he was taken to the hospital of the Peking Union Medical College for exploratory surgery, which revealed inoperable cancer of the liver and other organs. He then was moved to the home of Wellington Koo (Ku Wei-chün, q.v.), where he passed his remaining days attended by close associates and members of his family. On his deathbed he signed both political and personal wills. The document that became known as the "political testament of Sun Yat-sen" was a brief injunction to his followers to carry the national revolution through to completion in accordance with the principles set forth in his major writings; it was drafted in Chinese by Wang Ching-wei. A farewell message to the Soviet Union, drafted by Eugene Ch'en (q.v.), reaffirmed the Kuomintang's policy of cooperation with the Soviet Union in the struggle to liberate China from Western imperialism and expressed "the hope that the day is approaching when the Soviet Union will greet in a free and strong China its friend and ally, and that the two states will proceed hand in hand as allies in the great fight for the emancipation of the oppressed of the whole world." This message later caused controversy within the Kuomintang, some members claiming that the dying Sun Yat-sen had not been able to study its contents adequately. Sun's personal will left his only belongings — his books and a house in Shanghai — to his second wife. On 12 March, the day after he signed these documents, Sun Yat-sen died at the age of 59. J. Heng Liu (Liu Jui-heng, q.v.) and Paul Stevenson of the Peking Union Medical College undertook to preserve Sun's body for perpetual exhibition. Then, on 19 March, a private Christian funeral service was held in the chapel next to the college's hospital. Tuan Ch'i-jui ordered a state funeral, and after Sun's body had lain in state for several days, it was moved to a temple in the Western Hills.

Sun Yat-sen was survived by his first and second wives, a daughter, and a son, Sun Fo (q.v.). Sun's first marriage, at the age of 18, was to Lu Mu-chen (1867-1952), the daughter of a merchant in his native village. She was the mother of his three children. The elder of their two daughters, Chin-yen, died in 1913; the younger, Chin-yuan (b. 1896), was married in 1921 to Tai En-sai (1892-1955), an American trained diplomat who served as Chinese minister to Brazil. During the greater part of Sun's pre-1911 peregrinations, his first wife, his children, and his mother lived in Hawaii with his elder brother. Later, most of his family moved to Macao. Sun's second marriage, to Soong Ch'ing-ling (q.v.), took place in Tokyo on 25 October 1914. Because he and his first wife had not been divorced and because of the obscure and perhaps irregular nature of the ceremony in Japan, this second union was the subject of controversy and adverse comment, especially among the Christian community in China. Nevertheless, Soong Ch'ing-ling remained Sun's constant companion until the end of his life, and as his widow she came to be esteemed as the living symbol of his doctrines.

The Writings of Sun Yat-sen

Throughout most of his career, Sun Yat-sen was a prophet with little honor in his own country. Although he was highly regarded at the time of the 1911 revolution, public opinion turned against him after the so-called second revolution. In the following years, his preoccupation with military ventures and his involvement in the warlord politics of the period were viewed with little enthusiasm by the warweary people of China, while his frequent and overblown announcements of new military expeditions won him the derisive epithet "Sun Ta-p'ao" [big gun Sun]. Among his personal following, however, Sun's will was law and his leadership was unquestioned. After his death, the Kuomintang leaders took steps to assure that his memory would be preserved in honor and reverence. At a special meeting of the Central Executive Committee on 16 May 1925, his "political testament" was unanimously adopted as the party's official guide for all future decisions; and at the Second National Congress of the Kuomintang in January 1926 it was decided that, out of respect for the departed chief, no successor should be elected to fill the position of tsung-li. Thus, Sun's posthumous reputation was closely bound to the fortunes of the Kuomintang, and after the establishment under its auspices of the National Government in Nanking, the growing cult of Sun Yat-sen spread from the ranks of the party to the entire country. His bust or portrait began to appear in all public buildings and offices, and his likeness on coins, banknotes, and postage stamps. The name "Chung-shan," by which he had been known to his early followers, became the official designation not only of the hsien in which he had been born but also of innumerable parks, streets, schools, and other institutions throughout China. In 1929 Sun's coffin was transferred from its resting place in the Western Hills to a massive marble mausoleum that had been constructed on Tzu-chin-shan near the tomb of the first emperor of the Ming dynasty. In ultimate tribute to his memory, the National Government decreed on 1 April 1940 that henceforth Sun should be revered by his countrymen as the "father of the republic" (kuo-fu). Sun's long career as a revolutionary leader, the socialistic ideals expressed in his writings, and particularly his policies of alignment with the Soviet Union and the Chinese Communist party, also secured him a place of special honor in the Communist roster of national heroes. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, he was accorded by Communist historians the unique appellation of "pioneer of the revolution" (Ko-ming ti hsien-hsing-che), and at many national (as distinguished from Chinese Communist party) functions, his portrait shared the position of public honor beside that of Mao Tse-tung.

Ideologically, the most significant step in the course of Sun Yat-sen's canonization by the Kuomintang was the decision to adopt as the party bible his political testament and his writings mentioned therein: the Chien-kuo fang- Tueh {Principles of National Reconstruction), the Chien-kuo ta-kang {Fundamentals of National Reconstruction), and the San-min chu-i { Three Principles of the People). Of these three works, the San-min chu-i was unquestionably the most important, both as a source book for Kuomintang propaganda during and after its rise to national power, and as a basic text in school curricula after the establishment of the National Government in Nanking. According to Sun, the formulation of his three principles—nationalism (min-tsu chu-i), democracy (min-ch'üan chu-i), and the people's livelihood (min-sheng chu-i) —was inspired by Abraham Lincoln's famous phrase, "government of the people, by the people, and for the people." They first appeared in writing late in 1905 in Sun's statement introducing the initial issue of the T'ung-meng-hui magazine, the Min-pao. However, little more than a vague outline was presented in this statement. Although he frequently referred to these principles in speeches and writings, Sun did little to elaborate upon them until about 1917, when he was living in Shanghai. According to official Kuomintang sources, he took his new writings with him when he moved back to Canton late in 1920 with the intention of completing and publishing them ; but following the coup of Ch'en Chiung-ming and Sun's flight from Canton in June 1922 these drafts, left behind in his office, were destroyed by fire. The final version of the San-min chu-i consisted of transcriptions of three series of lectures that Sun gave in Canton between January and August 1924. The first six lectures, which concerned the principle of nationalism, were published as a booklet by the Central Executive Committee's bureau of propaganda in Canton in April 1924, with a preface by Sun; the next six, dealing with his principle of democracy, were printed in August; and the final four lectures, expounding the principle of the people's livelihood, appeared in December, one month after Sun had left for Peking. Subsequently, the 16 lectures were published as a single work in innumerable editions.

During the period between their enunciation in 1905 and their final elaboration in 1924, Sun's Three People's Principles underwent several stages of development. In its earliest form, his principle of nationalism was a demand for the overthrow of the alien Manchu dynasty and the restoration of the Chinese as rulers of their own country. After the Manchus had abdicated in 1912, Sun had little to say about nationalism until the time of the 1922-24 Kuomintang reorganization when, as a result of his growing disenchantment with the Western powers and his new orientation toward the Soviet Union, he reinterpreted his first principle in terms of a nationalist revolution against the domination of the imperialists in China, the first step in this revolution being the abolition of the unequal treaties that the foreign powers had imposed upon China.

Sun's principle of democracy also underwent a number of modifications that reflected changes in his political attitudes. As originally outlined in the "manifesto of the military government" of the T'ung-meng-hui in 1905, Sun's concept of democracy closely resembled that of the Western democracies, particularly the United States. However, in traditionally monarchist China, Sun believed, it would be necessary to effect the transition to democratic government in three successive stages: first, a period of military government under the revolutionary party during which the forces of autocracy would be eradicated; second, a period of political tutelage in which the military government would gradually introduce the practice of democratic self-government to each locality in China; and finally, a period of constitutional government, at the beginning of which the military government would relinquish its powers to a national government consisting of a president and a parliament, both elected by the people of the entire country. As Sun became more critical of the West in later years, he revised and expanded his principle of democracy to include a number of concepts which he believed to be improvements upon the Western systems of representative democracy. In the final formulation of his second principle, he argued that the people should possess the rights not only of election but also of recall, initiative, and referendum, and he proposed that governmental functions be divided among five separate and equal bodies, adding to the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the American system the examination and the control, or censoring, functions that long had existed in Chinese political tradition. Although he stressed the political rights of the people, Sun also placed increased emphasis on the need for concentrating power in the hands of the revolutionary party during the periods of national revolution and political tutelage.

Sun's third principle—the people's livelihood — represented an amalgamation of ideas culled over a period of years from a variety of Western socialist writings. As it first appeared in 1905, it called for the reorganization of China's social and economic system into a socialist state and for the "equalization of land rights," a formula based on Henry George's thesis that private appropriation of increases in land values was the cause of modern social inequities. By 1912 Sun had added the concept of state ownership of railways and major industrial enterprises, an idea which in the next few years was restated in more general terms as the state control of capitalism. Although he claimed that his doctrine of the people's livelihood was both socialism and communism, Sun averred that Marxism, while meriting study as a form of Western socialism, not only was impracticable in China but also was demonstrably erroneous in its theses of surplus value and the class struggle. His own doctrine, Sun maintained, was a special branch of socialism suitable to Chinese conditions—a program by which China, in the course of its modernization, could avoid the social evils and injustices that had attended the industrialization of the capitalist nations of the West.

To the problems of China's modernization, Sun devoted the longest of his writings, the Chien-kuo fang-lueh, which was actually a collection of three separate works dealing with various aspects of China's reconstruction. The earliest of these, completed in Shanghai in February 1917, was the Min-ch'üan ch'u-pu [first steps in democracy] ; it was incorporated into the Chien-kuo fang-lueh under the title She-hui chien-she [social reconstruction]. Begun shortly after the death of Yuan Shih-k'ai, this work was concerned with the reasons for the past failure of the republic to establish democratic government in China. To Sun, the answer lay in the people's ignorance of the techniques of democratic political organization. The first step toward correcting this shortcoming was to familiarize the people with the practical procedures for organizing and conducting assemblies among themselves; with the experience thus gained, the people would learn how to exercise their political rights in a democratic republic. The next of Sun's three works on reconstruction was a treatise entitled Sun Wen hsueh-shuo [the doctrine of Sun Wen], completed at the end of 1918 and later renamed Hsin-li chien-she [psychological reconstruction]. An English translation of it appeared in Sun's Memoirs of a Chinese Revolutionary. In this work, Sun ascribed the failure of the Chinese people to accept his elaborate revolutionary program to a mental block induced in them by a long-standing belief in the adage "it is easy to know but difficult to do." To counteract this fallacious attitude, which he attributed to the teachings of the Ming dynasty philosopher Wang Yangming (1472-1529), Sun sought to prove the validity of his dictum that it is the doing that is easy and the knowing what to do that is difficult. In applying this notion to the problem of China's modernization, Sun stated that once the people were presented with the knowledge of what was to be done, it would be an easy matter for them to carry it out. In the belief that he himself had gained this difficult knowledge, Sun composed his third and longest treatise on China's reconstruction, Shih-yeh chi-hua [industrial planning], subsequently renamed Wu-chih chien-she [material reconstruction]. Originally drafted in English, this work was translated into Chinese and published serially during 1919 in the Kuomintang magazine Chien-she tsa-chih, and in 1920 it was published in English as The International Development of China. Sun set forth a series of programs, all conceived on a colossal scale, for the rapid industrialization of China. These included plans for the construction of railroads, roads, canals, modern cities, and port facilities, as well as programs for the development of water-power, steel mills, mines, and agriculture. Adding to the impracticability of these extravagant schemes was Sun's assumption that they would be financed by the investment of astronomical sums by the nations of Europe, which, however, had been exhausted economically by the First World War.

In contrast to this rambling, visionary work was the third of Sun's major writings noted in his political testament, the Chien-kuo ta-kang, a short, succinctly worded statement of 25 points outlining his plans for the future government of China. This work, dated 12 April 1924, redefined Sun's concept of the three stages by which the revolutionary party would lead the country from the period of military government through the period of political tutelage to the period of national constitutional government. Although Sun stressed the period of political tutelage, during which the party would instruct the people at the hsien level in the theory and practice of self-government, he also specified that in the final period the people should be governed in accordance with his concept of a five-power constitution, by which the central government would be organized into the five yuan described in his principle of democracy. These political principles later served as the basis for the organization of the National Government in Nanking in 1928.

Sun Yat-sen also was the author of many short writings, for the most part political in nature. These included the Chung-kuo ts'un-wang wen-ti [the question of China's survival], written in 1917 to explain his views concerning China's participation in the First World War, and the Chung-kuo ko-ming shih [history of China's revolution], completed in 1923. Also of interest were his very few autobiographical writings. His English-language account of his detention at the Chinese legation in London in 1896, Kidnapped in London, was published at Bristol in 1897 and later was translated into Chinese. Another short work, separately published as Tzu-chuan [autobiography] but later incorporated in the Sun Wen hsueh-shuo as the final chapter, is the most detailed record of his life to be found among all his writings.

Numerous collections of Sun Yat-sen's works have been published. The earliest of these, the four-volume Chung-shan ch'üan-shu, published in 1926, included his principal theoretical works and several of his miscellaneous political writings. Much more complete was a five-volume collection edited by Hu Han-min and published in 1930 as the Tsung-li Ch'uan-chi. In 1960 the Kuo-fu Ch'uan-shu was published in Taiwan under the general editorship of Chang Ch'i-yun. Both the Hu Han-min and Chang Ch'i-yun editions contain, in addition to Sun's three major works, a large number of his political essays, party manifestoes, lectures, and speeches, as well as hundreds of official telegrams and letters written to his political associates and others prominent in the political affairs of the early republic.

Although Sun Yat-sen in his major writings touched upon such varied subjects as natural science, psychology, history, and philosophy, his underlying interest was in the general field of political economy—a concern with the administration of the country and the welfare of the people which he shared with a long line of noted Confucian scholars of the past. Sun, however, had but little contact with that Chinese scholarship, and his roots in the intellectual and cultural traditions of his country were shallow. Most of his adult life had been spent either outside or on the periphery of China, and from an early age he had been trained exclusively in Western-operated missionary and medical schools. An eclectic but uncritical thinker, Sun haphazardly borrowed a variety of Western concepts, which he used to elaborate grandiose but unrealistic programs for China's modernization. Lacking intellectual maturity and inner coherence, his writings appear as conglomerations of unrelated facts and absurd inaccuracies, fuzzy reasoning and blatant distortions, interspersed, however, with emotional eloquence, high idealism, and flashes of genuine inspiration. Their positive qualities were sufficient to give Sun's major works, especially his San-min chu-i, enormous influence in China. But the sanctification of these writings as the official dogma of the Kuomintang and the nation contributed to an atmosphere of intellectual conformity which had the effect of discouraging truly creative thinking on the part of his followers after his death.

The Career of Sun Yat-sen

Well before the end of his life, Sun Yat-sen had established himself as the undisputed leader of the party which, after his death, was to become the dominant political force in China for more than two decades. In attaining this position, Sun showed himself to be a born leader of men. Endowed with great personal magnetism and a gift for profoundly moving oratory, he was able to attract and retain the loyalty of numerous followers and to inspire them with his own unmistakable courage and idealism, his self-assurance and selfless dedication to his cause. Nevertheless, the course of his career as a revolutionary leader was marked by an almost unbroken succession of abortive military ventures, demoralizing defeats, and hasty flights. While these setbacks may well have been due in large part to the magnitude of the political and military forces against which he pitted himself and his supporters, many of the failures must also be attributed to Sun himself. For all his undeniable qualities of leadership, he had little insight into human character and motivations, and in his dealings with others he was almost incredibly trusting and naive. In planning many of his undertakings he counted heavily and too frequently on vague assurances of support, often with disastrous results. Despite repeated miscalculations of this sort, Sun had the utmost confidence in his own judgment, and in his later years he grew to be convinced of his infallibility, a conviction that made him susceptible to the blandishments of sycophants and impervious to the remonstrances of even his most trusted and intimate associates. Headstrong, impulsive, and impatient for quick, dramatic successes, he plunged into many ventures without really considering the difficulties involved. In consequence, a great deal of effort and money was frittered away in futile, foolhardy escapades. Sun's capricious, unpredictable switches of his party's policies and alliances created bewilderment, confusion, and even resentment among his supporters.

His obvious weaknesses notwithstanding, Sun Yat-sen came to be esteemed by his countrymen as the greatest man of modern China. To understand this evaluation, it is necessary to view Sun's career against the background of his times. In a political atmosphere where lack of principle and scruple, venality and self-seeking, treachery and violence were accepted as matters of course, Sun stood out as a symbol of honesty and sincerity, undaunted idealism, and incorruptible integrity. It was this image of a man who had selflessly devoted his entire life to the cause of China and her people — an image which both time and the efforts of his party had expunged of his personal failings—that captured and held the imagination of his countrymen and that made him in their eyes the preeminent figure of China's long and arduous struggle to become a modern nation.

Biography in Chinese

原名:孙文 字:帝象 号:日新;逸仙;中山 化名:中山樵


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