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Profile of Dr Sun Yat-sen

Dr Sun Yat-sen(also called Sun Wen) was a world-renowned revolutionary who devoted his entire life to overthrowing the Qing Dynasty and setting up the Republic of China. His achievements were recognized and admired not only by the local and overseas Chinese, but also by the global community.

Sun Yat-sen (Nov.12th,1866-Mar.12th 1925) was born in the Cuiheng Village, Xiangshan County (now Zhongshan City), Guangdong Province.

Sun Yat-sen began to do farm work at the age of six due to his poor family. At 10 he was enrolled in a small private school. In 1878, Sun Yat-sen followed his mother to Honolulu, where his elder brother Sun Mei worked.

After studying in Honolulu for five years, Sun Yat-sen returned to China in 1883. In the next few years he studied at the Canton Hospital Medical School and the College of Medicine for Chinese in Hong Kong. In 1892, Sun Yat-sen graduated with excellent marks from the College of Medicine for Chinese in Hong Kong and thereafter began to practise medicine in Macao and Guangzhou (formally called Canton).

The beginning of 1894 found Sun Yat-sen on his way north where he submitted a petition to Li Hongzhang, proposing that China model herself after the Western countries and carry out reforms to bring about independence and prosperity. However, his proposal was turned down. This, Plus China's miserable defeat in the Sino-Japanese War, destroyed Sun's remaining illusions about the Qing Government. Gradually he embarked on the road toward democratic revolution.

In November 1894, Sun Yat-sen founded the Xing Zhong Hui (The Society to Restore China's Prosperity), the first bourgeois revolutionary organization in China, among overseas Chinese in Honolulu. It vowed to "expel the Manchus, restore China and establish a republic," for the first time putting forward to the Chinese people the revolutionary idea to overthrow the Qing government and establish a bourgeois republic. The next year, Sun set up the head office of the Xing Zhong Hui in Hong Kong and its branches in Guangzhou, Yokohama of Japan, and other places. In cooperation with other revolutionary organizations, he launched the Guangzhou Uprising in 1895 and the Huizhou Uprising in 1900.

To realize the great goal of the democratic revolution in China, Sun Yat-sen did a lot of propaganda, agitation and preparatory work abroad, and waged heated debates with the monarchists headed by Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao. Sun Yat-sen clearly pointed out that revolution and monarchism were two different courses which were mutually exclusive. This fully expressed his clear-cut stand as a revolutionary democrat.

In August 1905, uniting the Xing Zhong Hui, Hua Xing Hui, Guang Fu Hui and other revolutionary organizations, Sun Yat-sen founded the Zhong Guo Tong Meng Hui (Chinese Revolutionary League) in Tokyo, China's first bourgeois revolutionary party. It put forward the political program to "expel the Manchus, restore China, establish a republic and equalize land rights." The founding of the Tong Meng Hui accelerated the process of the Chinese democratic revolution and marked the beginning of a new stage in the Chinese bourgeois democratic revolution.

After the founding of the Tong Meng Hui, Sun Yat-sen committed himself to propaganda and organizational work. In November 1905, the Tong Meng Hui founded its official newspaper Min Bao, People's Report. In his introduction to the first issue of Min Bao, Sun for the first time summed up the league's program as the Three People's Principles--the principle of nationalism, the principle of democracy, and the principle of people's livelihood.

On October 10, 1911, the 19th day of the eighth month in the year of Xinhai on the Chinese Lunar Calendar, two revolutionary bodies in Hubei Province--the Wen Xue She (Literary Association) and the Gong Ji Hui (March Together League) inspired by the Central China General Branch of the Tong Meng Hui, staged an armed uprising in Wuchang. They captured the tri-city of Wuhan (Wuchang, Hankou and Hanyang) and set up the Hubei Military Government.

After learning of the victory of the Wuchang Uprising in the United States, Sun Yat-sen returned to Shanghai on December 25,1911. On 29th, the 17 provinces in response to the uprising, held a congress in Nanjing to elect Sun provisional President of the Republic of China. On January 1, 1912, Sun Yat-sen was inaugurated in Nanjing and announced the founding of the Republic of China.

After the founding of the Nanjing Provisional Government, Sun Yat-sen drafted the Provisional Constitution of the Republic of China, and a series of decrees favorable to the development of democracy and capitalism. Meanwhile, supported by the imperialist powers, Yuan Shikai secretly incited his subordinates to oppose the republic. Under the pressure of both the Chinese and foreign reactionaries, the weak Chinese bourgeoisie was forced to compromise and make concessions. Sun Yat-sen resigned as the Provisional President after the abdication of the Qing Emperor. As a result, the fruits of the revolution fell into the hands of Yuan Shikai.

After his resignation, Sun Yat-sen was devoted to the problem of industrial construction, planning to build 100,000 kilometres of railways within 10 years. He made an inspection tour of the country and visited Japan in 1913.

Just as Sun Yat-sen was busy considering the construction of the republic, Yuan Shikai, to consolidate his autocratic rule, secretly dispatched his agent to assassinate Song Jiaoren, acting Director of the KMT, in Shanghai in March 1913. The assassination opened Sun's eyes to the true reactionary colours of Yuan Shikai. He immediately returned to China and called for an armed punitive expedition against Yuan.

In June 1913, Yuan Shikai sent his troops south to attack Jiangxi and Nanjing, hoping to wipe out the KMT. Propelled by Sun Yat-sen, on July 12,1913, Li Liejun first declared the independence of Jiangxi Province and launched a punitive expedition against Yuan, thus lifting the curtain of the Second Revolution. This was followed by the independence of Nanjing, Anhui, Shanghai, Guangdong, Fujian and Hunan. Owing to laxness within the KMT and the lack of a unified command of the anti-Yuan armed forces, "The Second Revolution" was soon defeated and Sun Yat-sen was forced to flee to Japan. In July 1914, he organized the Zhong Hua Ge Ming Dang (Chinese Revolutionary Party) and prepared for an armed anti-Yuan campaign. He launched attacks in Jiangsu and Guangdong. However, little progress was made.

Swollen with temporary victories, Yuan Shikai speeded up his restorationist and traitorous activities. By the end of 1915, he brazenly restored the monarchy with himself as emperor. In March 1916, Yuan Shikai was forced to rescind the monarchy.

After the death of Yuan Shikai, Duan Qirui followed in his steps. He blatantly violated the Provisional Constitution and refused to recall the parliament. In July 1917, Sun Yat-sen led some parliamentary members to Guangzhou and launched the movement to protect the Constitution.

On August 25, 1917, the Emergency Session of Parliament was opened in Guangdong. Sun Yat-sen was elected Generalissimo of the Military Government of the Republic of China. To the warlords of Southwest China, however, protecting the constitution meant nothing but taking advantage of Sun Yat-sen's high prestige to expand their Own power. After colluding with the Zhili warlords, they did their upmost to squeeze Sun Yat-sen out. Indignant, Sun resigned on May 4, 1918, In his telegram of resignation he pointed out with deep grief: "Warlords, north and south, are jackels of the same ilk." Sun Yat-sen returned to Shanghai in June.

After the failure of the movement to protect the constitution, Sun Yat-sen was at the crossroads, beset by frustrations and defeats. However, the Russian October Socialist Revolution and the patriotic May Fourth Movement brought him new hopes. In Shanghai, while engaged in writing a summary of these experiences of struggle and seeking new revolutionary ways, he actively planned a new anti-warlord campaign.

On May 5, 1921, Sun Yat-sen assumed the post of the Emergency President in Guangzhou, established a revolutionary government and actively prepared for the northern expedition. However, encircled as it was by warlords, the Guangzhou government was extremely unstable. In collabration with the warlords of Zhili, Chen Jiongming, the commander of the Guangdong Army, staged a rebellion in June 1922. Sun Yat-sen was forced to return to Shanghai.

Then just as hope seemed lost, he met the Chinese communists. Since August 1922, the Communist Party had on several occasions sent envoys to see him. Meanwhile, the Soviet envoy Adolph Joffe had also held talks with him. Sun Yat-sen now sincerely accepted the help of international supporters and the Chinese working class, thus bringing about a great transition in his life.

In September 1922, Sun Yat-sen set about reorganizing the Zhong Kuo Kuomingtang. The January of 1923 saw the issuing of the "Manifesto of the Zhong Kuo Kuomingtang" and the "Sun-Joffe Accord." In February Sun returned to Guangdong. While administering Guangdong's military and civil affairs, he continued to restructure the KMT. In January 1924, Sun Yat-sen presided over the First KMT National Congress, made his three great policies of alliance with Soviet Russia, co-operation with the communist party and assistance to the workers and peasants, and reinterpreted the three people's principles.

In that same year Sun Yat-sen founded the Huangpu Military Academy. He invited Soviet advisers to China to help train revolutionary forces after the example of the Soviet military system. He said: "To carry out the revolution we must learn from Russia.... Unless we follow Russia's example, the revolution that our party is undertaking can never be successful!"

In November 1924, Sun Yat-sen was invited to Beijing. There he suggested the opening of a national congress and the abrogation of unequal treaties.

He died of illness in Beijing on March 12, 1925. On his deathbed, he left a will in which he declared: "For forty years I have devoted myself to the revolutionary cause. My aim is to obtain for China freedom and equality. Form my forty years' experience, I see that to carry out this aim, we must rouse the whole nation and ally with those nations who will treat China on an equal footing. Then let us rise and fight together! The revolution is not yet accomplished!" In his last letter to the Soviet Union he expressed the hope that "the day will soon dawn when the Soviet Union, as friend and ally, will welcome a strong, independent China and that in the great struggle for the liberation of the oppressed peoples of the world our two countries will go forward hand in hand to win victory."

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