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Sun Yat-sen

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Sun Yat-sen

1st July 1923: Sun Yat-Sen, the Chinese revolutionary born near Canton, became provisional President of China in 1912 after it was declared a republic. Soon he was back in exile and only became full president in 1923.

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Sun Yat-sen was the founding father of the Republic of China and is referred to in Taiwan as the ‘father of the nation’ (國父). In mainland China, Sun is viewed as a forerunner of the Communist revolution. He is generally revered by Chinese throughout the world as the father of modern China.

Name: Dr. Sun Yat-sen (孫中山/孫文/孫逸仙)

Gender: Male

Date of Birth: November 12, 1866

Place of Birth: Xiangshan, Guangdong Province, China

Who Is Dr. Sun Yat-sen?:

Dr. Sun Yat-sen was a physician and a revolutionary political leader. After 10 unsuccessful attempts to overthrow the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) government, Sun helped lead the Xinhai Revolution which led to the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty and China’s last emperor Puyi. Sun founded the Republic of China in 1912. He was the first president of the Republic of China.

Why You Should Know Dr. Sun Yat-sen::

Sun developed a political philosophy known as the Three Principles of the People (三民主義). The three principles were nationalism, people’s rights, and people’s livelihood. These principles became the official ideology of the Chinese Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang (國民黨), which Sun founded in 1912. The principles were incorporated into China’s constitution in 1946.

Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Life:

Sun was born in Guangzhou (then Canton) and lived in Honolulu and then in Hong Kong, where he studied to be a physician at the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese. While abroad, he formed the Revive China Society (興中會), which joined overseas Chinese committed to revolution to restore China’s strength and prosperity.

Sun was married three times. He had one son and two daughters with his first wife Lu Muzhen (盧慕貞). While married to his first wife, Sun also married Kaoru Otsuki, a Japanese woman 23 years his junior. They had a daughter that was later put up for adoption. Sun’s third wife was Soong Ch’ing-ling (宋慶齡), one of the three famous Soong sisters.

Sun died of cancer in March 12, 1925. Sun is still revered after his death with memorials named for him in China and Taiwan. Though the Nationalists were defeated by the Chinese Communists led by Mao Zedong, Mao was a fan of the suits Sun often wore. What is known as the Mao suit in the West was actually named for Dr. Sun Yat-sen and is known in Mandarin as the Zhongshan suit (中山裝, zhōngshān zhuāng).

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