Zhang Zongxiang

Name in Chinese
Name in Wade-Giles
Chang Tsung-hsiang
Related People

Biography in English

Chang Tsung-hsiang ( 1 877- ?) studied law in Japan and served the early republican government in such positions as minister of justice. Tuan Ch'i-jui appointed him minister to Japan in 1916, and he helped to negotiate the Nishihara loans in 1917-18. When opposition to the secret agreements with Japan gave rise to the May Fourth Movement, he was branded a traitor.

Born in Wuhsing, Chekiang, in 1877, Chang Tsung-hsiang received a good classical education from tutors and in local schools in Chekiang. After passing the first government examinations for the degree of sheng-yuan in 1895, he went to Japan to study law at Tokyo Imperial University. He was one of the earliest Chinese students to seek a modern education in Japan, and at that time he became acquainted with Ts'ao Ju-lin (q.v.), who was also a student in Tokyo. When Hu Shih-lun, dean of the Ching-shih tahsueh-t'ang, the predecessor of Peking University, visited Japan on an inspection trip, Chang Tsung-hsiang served as his interpreter. Chang received the LL.B. degree from Meiji University in 1903.

After his return to China, he taught for a time at the Ching-shih ta-hsueh-t'ang at Peking, and he was granted the degree of chin-shih by the Ch'ing court. From 1905 until 1911 he held government posts at Peking. He first became a compiler in the law revision office and assisted Tsai Chen, president of the Board of Trade, in the field of commercial law. In 1907 he became an official in the Board of Trade at Peking. He also served in the bureau of laws and regulations of the Board of Interior and, concurrently, was chief of the bureau responsible for legal codification, part of the effort to prepare for constitutional government in China. When Hsu Shih-ch'ang (q.v.) was appointed the first governor general of the Three Eastern Provinces in 1907, Chang accompanied him on an inspection trip to Fengtien. In 1908, Chang became superintendent of police at Peking in the new police system then recently established by Lu Tsung-yu, who had been graduated from Waseda University in Tokyo. Chang held that post until 1910, and reportedly extended a measure of protection to Wang Ching-wei (q.v.) when Wang was arrested in April 1910 for the attempted assassination of the Manchu prince regent. Chang also made a trip to Germany about this time. In 1910, however, he returned to the field of legal work at Peking as assistant chief of the law compilation bureau. In June 1911 he was appointed deputy commissioner of the constitutional department of the Ch'ing cabinet. In these legal positions, Chang was again associated with his former schoolmate in Japan Ts'ao Ju-lin.

After the outbreak of the Wuhan revolt in October 1911 and the recall of Yuan Shih-k'ai to the service of the Ch'ing court, Chang was designated by Yuan to participate in T'ang Shao-yi's negotiations with the republican revolutionaries at Shanghai. When T'ang resigned his position as head of the northern delegation in January 1912, Chang also gave up his assignment. In April 1912, after Yuan Shih-k'ai had assumed the post of provisional president of the Republic, Chang Tsung-hsiang was named chief of the legal department of the cabinet. In July he was appointed minister of justice, but the Senate rejected his and five other cabinet appointments. He was then named chiefjustice of the Supreme Court in July 1912, and, concurrently, head of the law codification commission. In February 1914, when Sun Pao-ch'i succeeded Liang Ch'i-ch'ao as premier, Chang finally received the post of minister ofjustice at Peking. In April, he was designated by Yuan Shih-k'ai to serve as minister of agriculture and commerce as well. As Yuan Shih-k'ai approached the zenith of his political power at Peking during 1914, Chang Tsung-hsiang, as a loyal subordinate, appeared to have a promising political future.

Actually, although Yuan Shih-k'ai's power was in the ascendancy, his control over his principal military officers steadily diminished. As a result, Yuan was forced in the spring of 1916 to abandon his plans for restoring the monarchy. When Tuan Ch'i-jui (q.v.) organized a new cabinet in April 1916, Chang Tsung-hsiang remained briefly in the post of minister ofjustice, while his associate Ts'ao Ju-lin became minister of communications. With the death of Yuan Shih-k'ai in June 1916, however, considerable political reshuffling ensued at Peking, and Chang was dropped from his cabinet post. At the end ofJune 1916, Chang was appointed Chinese minister to Japan to succeed his friend Lu Tsung-yü. In October 1916, General Terauchi Seiki became premier at Tokyo in succession to Count Okuma Shigenobu, who had been associated with the chauvinistic nationalism of the infamous Twenty-one Demands which Japan had forced upon Yuan Shih-k'ai's government in 1915. Ts'ao Ju-lin in the autumn of 1916 presented a new proposal to Tuan Ch'i-jui, who then held much of the power that Yuan Shih-k'ai had formerly exercised at Peking. That plan envisaged the employment ofJapanese aid to assist the Peking government to attain the military unification of China under Tuan's direction. Chang Tsung-hsiang, because of his position as China's envoy in Tokyo and his intimate personal ties with Ts'ao Ju-lin, was the natural channel for negotiations. The discussions at Tokyo proceeded against the background of a power struggle at Peking between Tuan Ch'i-jui and Li Yuan-hung (q.v.), who held the presidency. That contest centered in a clash between the two men regarding the issue of war with Germany. Tuan Ch'i-jui, recognizing the benefits which might accrue to both China and his government through participation in a victorious war against Germany, finally succeeded in August 1917 in obtaining a formal declaration of war against Germany at Peking. Chang Tsung-hsiang thereby became involved in implementing the policy of collaboration with China's ally, Japan. Secret talks directed at obtaining large Japanese loans had started in the spring of 1917. Beginning in September 1917 and continuing until September 1918, a series of agreements, known as the Nishihara loans, was negotiated. Ts'ao Ju-lin and Lu Tsung-yü were prominent in the negotiations at Peking, while Chang Tsunghsiang was directly involved in the discussions in Tokyo. The resulting network of secret agreements made close ties between Tuan Ch'i-jui's government at Peking and Japanese military and financial interests. In return for substantial loans from Japan, Tuan granted Japan extensive railroad, mining, and other concessions in China and agreed to military cooperation between the two nations. Through these agreements, Japan's influence in China during 1917-18 reached a peak that was unsurpassed until after the occupation of Manchuria in 1931-32. As the Chinese minister to Japan, Chang Tsung-hsiang made one particularly unfortunate lapse in signing an exchange of notes with the Japanese foreign minister on 24 September 1918, stating that "the Chinese government gladly agrees" to Japan's proposal regarding her position in Shantung province. It was generally assumed that China had hoped, through her entry into the European war, to recover full sovereignty over Shantung, where Japan had moved in forcibly at the beginning of the conflict to occupy Germany's former privileged position. While the September 1918 exchange of notes effectively destroying that hope remained temporarily secret, the existence of that and other agreements with Japan became known at the Paris Peace Conference during the winter of 1918-19. The agreements made it virtually impossible for the United States to assist China in recovering the former German rights in Shantung.

The resulting wave of public indignation in China had major political consequences. Chang Tsung-hsiang, now charged with responsibility for the secret agreements with Japan, was recalled to Peking for consultation. On his departure from Tokyo in the spring of 1919, he encountered a large demonstration of Chinese students at the railroad station in Tokyo, charging him with treason. When Chang arrived back in China, he stopped for several days at Tientsin. Only after Lu Tsung-yu went there to meet him did he continue his journey to Peking on 30 April 1919. He maintained a residence in the capital, but chose to stay in the home of Ts'ao Ju-lin. When rumors circulated that Chang Tsunghsiang was going to Europe to replace Lu Chenghsiang as chief Chinese delegate at the Paris Peace Conference, popular indignation increased. In student meetings on the evening of 3 May, Chang, Ts'ao Ju-lin, and Lu Tsung-yu were condemned as the "three traitors" who had bartered Chinese rights and resources for Japanese loans. On the following day, a student demonstration turned into a march on the residence of Ts'ao Ju-lin. Lu Tsung-yü was not present when the demonstrators arrived, and Ts'ao Ju-lin succeeded in escaping and took refuge in the Legation Quarter. Chang Tsung-hsiang, however, was caught and beaten into insensibility. Initial reports stated he had been killed, but it was later discovered that he had been removed to the Japanese hospital in Peking and that his wounds, while painful, were not fatal. In the ensuing nationwide agitation known as the May Fourth Movement, one of the most persistent demands was for the dismissal of the three men who had become known as the "three traitors." Actually, the three had only acted as the agents of policies determined by Tuan Ch'ijui. Hsu Shih-ch'ang, who then held the presidency at Peking, at first refused to bow to the popular demand. Hsu issued orders for the arrest of the students involved in the attacks on Chang Tsung-hsiang and his associates and publicly praised those officials for their services. However, after the spreading of strikes and disorders, and particularly after the Shanghai merchants on 5 June declared a business strike and demanded the release of the students and the dismissal of the three officials, Hsu was forced to capitulate. On 10 June 1919, the Peking government relieved Chang Tsunghsiang and his associates of all official posts. In January 1920, Chang was awarded the Fourth Order of Merit at Peking. His political career, however, had already ended, since he was condemned in the public mind as a traitor. Subsequently, in 1925, he became general manager of the Peking Exchange Bank. In July 1928, after the overthrow of the Peking government, the new National Government at Nanking issued a formal order for his arrest. By that time, however, Chang Tsung-hsiang and other men in north China known for their Japanese connections had disappeared from public view. The place and manner of his presumed death during the 1940's is unknown. He left one unpublished volume, Tung-ching san-nien chi [a record of my three years in Tokyo] , which was later included in Wang Yün-sheng's work, Liu-shih-nien lai Chung-kuoyü Jih-pen [China and Japan in the past sixty years].

Biography in Chinese


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