Biography in English

Tsou T'ao-fen (5 November 1895-24 July 1944), journalist known for his editorship (1926-33) of the Sheng-huo chou-kan [life weekly] and for his leadership in the national salvation movement. After working at Chungking in support of the Chinese war effort, he went to Hong Kong in 1941 because of difficulties with Kuomintang press censorship. He spent some time in the Communist-held areas of Kiangsu, but went to Shanghai in March 1943 because of illness. Although his native place was Yuchiang, Kiangsi, Tsou T'ao-fen was born in Foochow, Fukien. He was the eldest of six children born to Tsou Kuei-chen, a scholar-official who worked in various salt bureaus in Fukien and, after 1915, in the ministry of finance in Peking. At the age of five, Tsou T'ao-fen began to study the Chinese classics with a private tutor, and in 1910 he entered the Foochow Engineerng School. In 1912 his father, who wanted him to pursue an engineering career, sent him to the elementary school attached to Nanyang College in Shanghai. Within a year he had been promoted to its middle school, where he spent four years. In 1919, having had a one-year course in electrical engineering at Nanyang College, he decided to transfer to St. John's University as an English major.

After being graduated from St. John's in 1921, Tsou T'ao-fen worked as an English secretary in the Hou-sheng Textile Factory and the Shanghai Cotton Stock Exchange. He also taught English at a middle school sponsored by the YMCA. It was his ambition to become a journalist, and in 1922 he was appointed director of the editorial board of the China Vocational Education Society, headed by Huang Yen-p'ei. He also taught English at the China Vocational Institute and participated in other vocational guidance activities.

In October 1926 Tsou T'ao-fen became the editor of the Sheng-huo chou-kan [life weekly] which the China Vocational Education Society had founded a year earlier. He transformed the magazine, which had dealt primarily with vocational guidance, into a forum on social and political issues. He even created a column called "Hsin-hsiang" [mail box] to answer readers' questions. The effect of these changes was testified to by its rapid increase in circulation from 2,800 in 1925 to 80,000 in 1930. This expansion compelled Tsou to relinquish his posts as general manager and an editor of the Shih-shih hsin-pao. In October 1930 the Shenghuo chou-kan set up a department to supply books and periodicals to its readers. In July 1932 this department was reorganized as the Sheng-huo shu-tien [life publications company], and by the late 1930's it had 55 branches in major cities of China. Tsou ran both the magazine and the publications company on a cooperative basis, giving additional benefits and incentive to his staff.

At the time of the Japanese attack on Mukden in September 1931, Tsou T'ao-fen strongly criticized the conciliatory policy of the Kuomintang and urged strong resistance to the Japanese. His readers enthusiastically responded, and circulation jumped to 120,000. Under Tsou's direction, the magazine launched a fund-raising campaign in November, to which its readers contributed some China $129,000. The money was sent to Ma Chan-shan (q.v.), who was fighting the Japanese in Manchuria. In 1932 Tsou undertook another fund-raising campaign, this time in support of the Nineteenth Route Army {see Chiang Kuang-nai, Ts'ai T'ing-k'ai) . He also ordered his staff to organize a hospital for Chinese soldiers wounded at Shanghai. That year, the popularity of the Sheng-huo chou-k'an reached its pinnacle, with a circulation of 155,000. The Kuomintang began to impose censorship on the magazine. In January 1933 Tsou joined the China League for the Protection of Civil Rights (Chung-kuo min-ch'üan pao-chang t'ung-meng), which denounced the methods of the Kuomintang. He soon became a member of its executive committee. His activities soon placed him in a position where he stood in danger of reprisal. At the urging of friends, he left China. The Sheng-huo chou-k'an was closed by the Kuomintang on 16 December.

After leaving Shanghai, Tsou T'ao-fen went to Italy, Switzerland, and France. In September 1933 he arrived in London. He remained there until February 1934, when he went to Belgium, Holland, and Germany. In July, he went to the Soviet Union, where he attended the summer session at Moscow University and toured southern Russia and the Crimea. He then returned to London before going on to the United States, which he toured in May-July 1935. In August, he returned to Shanghai. During his travels, Tsou paid close attention to the social and political conditions of the countries which he visited, and he recorded his impressions in a series of articles which he sent back to China. These articles later were collected and published: P'ing-tsung chi-yü [words from the wandering duckweed], a three-volume work on his travels in Europe and Russia; and P'ing-tsung i-yü [reminiscences of the wandering duckweed], on his experiences in the United States. He was more favorably impressed by the Soviet Union than by Western Europe and the United States. The changes that had taken place in his thinking during his trip soon were reflected by the new weekly which he started in November 1935, the Ta-chung sheng-huo [life of the masses]. Its aims were "achievement of national liberation, eradication of feudal remnants, and suppression of individualism." He continued to call for a united front against the Japanese.

In December 1935 Tsou T'ao-fen was elected to the executive committee of the Shanghai National Salvation Association, and in January 1936 he joined a group of more than 200 writers, newspapermen, and lawyers in forming the Cultural Workers' National Salvation Association. On 31 May 1936 he was elected to the executive committee of the All-China Federation of National Salvation Associations. The greater part of his work on behalf of the movement was carried on through the Ta-chung sheng-huo, which, however, was banned by the Kuomintang on 29 February 1936, after having reached a circulation of 120,000. In March, he established another weekly called Yung-sheng [eternal life], which was forced to suspend publication in June. He then went to Hong Kong, where, on 7 June 1936, he founded the Sheng-huo jih-pao [life daily]. Because of technical and financial difficulties, he was forced to discontinue publication after only 55 days. He returned to Shanghai and started publishing the Sheng-huo hsing-ch'i-k''an [Sunday life], but it was banned by the Kuomintang in December.

Tsou T'ao-fen joined with Chang Nai-ch'i, Shen Chun-ju and T'ao Hsing-chih (qq.v.), who also were leaders of the national salvation movement, in publishing a petition in July 1936 entitled "A Number of Essential Conditions and Minimum Demands for a United Resistance to Invasion." It was addressed to all Chinese political parties, but in particular to the Kuomintang and Chiang Kai-shek. It called for the cessation of Kuomintang-Communist civil war and a united front against Japan. This document and Tsou's other pronouncements led to his arrest in Shanghai on 23 November 1936. Apprehended at the same time were Li Kungp'u, Wang Tsao-shih, Sha Ch'ien-li, Shen Chunju, Chang Nai-ch'i, and Shih Liang, all of whom were members of the executive committee of the All-China Federation of National Salvation Associations. The charges were "Communist behavior" and "suspicion of having instigated a strike in the Japanese-owned cotton mills." Because of insufficient evidence, they were released on bail, but within 24 hours they were rearrested on charges of having committed "acts with intent to injure the Chinese republic." They were handed over to the bureau of public safety of the Chinese municipal government in Shanghai. On 4 December, they were escorted to Soochow for trial before the Kiangsu provincial high court. In spite of efforts to keep the arrests and trial proceedings secret, the news spread quickly and aroused widespread shock and indignation. The group became known as the ch'i chün-tzu [seven gentlemen]. The trial began in April 1937, but it was suspended and the seven were released on bail after the Sino-Japanese war began that July.

During the months of imprisonment that followed his arrest, Tsou T'ao-fen made use of the enforced leisure to set down his memoirs in a volume entitled Ching-li [experiences]. It was also at this time that he wrote the last few chapters of P'itig-tsung i-yü and completed the Tu-shu ou-i [miscellaneous translations]. All of these were published by the Sheng-huo shu-tien between April and July 1937. On being released, Tsou and his associates went to see Chiang Kai-shek to pledge their support to the war effort. When the Japanese occupied Shanghai, Tsou left with Ho Hsiang-ning, Kuo Mo-jo (qq.v.), and others and joined the National Government in Wuhan, later following it to Chungking. Tsou became a member of the People's Political Council, but did not accept a position in the government. In the council, he presented a number of motions requesting freedom of the press and abolition of censorship. He centered his efforts on "whipping up popular enthusiasm for the war" through his new magazines: K'ang-chan [war of resistance], also known for a time as Ti-k'ang [resistance], which had been published in Shanghai and which then moved its headquarters to Hankow; and its successor, Ch'uan-min k'ang-chan [total war of resistance], published in Hankow and later in Chungking. Tsou also made a number of trips to the front to bolster the morale of the troops.

As the Kuomintang reinstituted a policy of censorship, Tsou T'ao-fen, with his repeated demands for political democracy and freedom of the press, became one of the first targets of repression. By June 1940 all but six branches of the Sheng-huo shu-tien had been closed and about fifty of its employees had been put in prison. When the remaining branches of the company were banned in February 1941, Tsou went to Hong Kong, where he wrote for a newspaper and revived the Ta-chung sheng-huo. That May, he joined with eight other leaders of the National Salvation Association in publishing a petition entitled "Our Stand and Opinion on National Affairs." In October, he urged the formation of a "League of Chinese Democratic Political Groups" (Chung-kuo min-chu chengt'uan t'ung-meng) . The articles he wrote during this period, which were severely critical of the Kuomintang policies and practices in Chungking, later were collected and published as K'ang-chan i-lai [since the war of resistance].

Following the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, Tsou T'ao-fen fled to Kwangtung in January 1942. He planned to proceed directly to Chungking, but wartime conditions forced him to remain for three months in Kwangtung with Communist guerrillas. He then learned that he was persona non grata at Chungking. Accordingly, he remained in a village on the Kwangtung-Kwangsi border during the summer of 1942, and in September he set out for northern Kiangsu, to the regions behind Japanese lines held by Chinese Communists. He reached Shanghai in October, by which time he had developed a serious ear infection. He went on to northern Kiangsu in November, where he was welcomed by the New Fourth Army and the local people. In spite of increasing illness, he went about delivering speeches and writing articles. He seems to have been impressed by what he saw in the Communist-held regions. But when his health continued to deteriorate and he was found to have cancer of the ear, he was taken back to Shanghai in March 1943.

Though confined to a sick-bed, Tsou continued to be deeply concerned with the affairs of the nation. In September 1943 he published an "Appeal on National Affairs," advocating continuation of the united front until the achievement of victory over Japan, the immediate establishment of democratic government, and the promotion of popular education in an atmosphere of freedom. In January 1944 he began work on his last book, Huan-nan yüsheng chi [records of a troubled life]. On 2 June, in the presence of some friends and relatives, he set forth his political testament, in which he emphasized the same points as in the "Appeal on National Affairs." He also expressed three personal wishes: that his body be given to a hospital for dissection; that his body then be cremated and the ashes sent to Yenan; and that he be made a member of the Chinese Communist party. Tsou T'ao-fen died on 24 July 1944. The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist party granted his dying wish for membership on 28 September.

As a journalist for almost two decades, Tsou T'ao-fen wrote copiously. In 1949 a collection of his articles written between 1925 and 1937 was edited by his friend Hu Yü-chih and published in Shanghai as T'ao-fen wu-lu [T'ao-fen's essays]. In 1959 his collected works were published in three volumes as the T'ao-fen wen-chi by the San-lien Publishers in Hong Kong.

Tsou T'ao-fen married twice. His first wife, nee Yeh, died less than two years after their marriage. He married his second wife, Shen Ts'ui-chen, in 1926. They had two boys and one girl.

Biography in Chinese

邹韬奋 原名:思润












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