Xinhai geming (1911)  (2011)

 

 

 

 

Director:     Jackie Chan and Li Zhang.

Starring:     Jackie Chan (Huang Xing),  Bingbing Li (Xu Zonghan)Winston Chao (Sun Yat-Sen)Joan Chen (Longyu),  Jaycee Chan (Zhang Zhenwu).

birth of the Republic of China

 

Spoiler Warning:  below is a summary of the entire film. 

A Chinese woman walks down the streets with a block of wood strapped around her neck and her hands. She has been put into the stocks. She thinks to herself: "I will die for the revolution. No woman has shed blood for the revolution yet. I will be the first" The stocks are removed and the woman's head is cut off.

April 26, 1911, San Francisco, California, USA. Sun Wen, Tongmenghui President. [1905 (August 20) -- Sun joined forces with revolutionary Chinese students studying in Tokyo, Japan to form the unified group Tongmenghui (United League), which sponsored uprisings in China]

At a big meeting Situ Meitang makes sure that the donation boxes to raise funds for a coming Republic of China are placed where people can see them. He also wants his men to be vigilant for any disturbances. His other instruction is to tell the men to let Mr. Sun rest for now.

Five months ago, Ponang Pulau, Malaysia. A woman goes around among the many men sleeping on mats on the floor picking up clothes to be laundered. Lin Shishuang, Tongmenghui member, asks Lin Jusmin, another Tongmenghui member, who was that woman that just past by? They wake up all the fellows and hurriedly leave the room.

Sun goes to the one man left on the floor, Keqiang (aka Huang Xing), and tells him to get up. The woman doing the laundry is Xu Zonghan, another Tongmenghui member. She finds some literature in the pockets of the men, reads it and starts to cry.

Sun tells Huang Xing that he needs to go to Guangzhou for a planned uprising. Huang Xing becomes irritated and says the committee decided he would lead the uprising while Sun Wen will handle fundraising overseas. Zonghan comes over and gives the letters she found in the men's pocket to Sun Wen. Huang Xing asks who is the woman? She is a Tongmenghui member from Sun Wen's village. She coordinates the underground organizations in Guangzhou. Sun Wen adds that Huang Xing and the woman will pretend to be husband and wife. Huang Xing doesn't like the idea, but Xu Zonghan asks him what is he afraid of just because she's a woman?

The Guangzhou uprising will end the Qing Dynasty!, says Sun Wen.

"April 27, 1911, 28th day of the 3rd moon of the Xinhai Year, Guangzhous, Governor's mansion."  The governor and his family are being rushed away from the governor's mansion. Fang Shengdong, a rebel, searches for anyone in the mansion.

Zhang Mingqi, Acting Governor-General, Guangdong & Guangxi Provinces, can't find a way out, so he orders a hole be blown into one of the walls.

Fang is being kicked around by one of the governor's men. Huang Xing comes in and shoots the man in the arm. The man turns and rushes Huang Xing, pushing him up against a fence using Fang's rifle. Huang Xing is in trouble, but he manages to free his left hand enough to shoot the guy four times.

A hole in blown into the wall and the governor and his family pass through it.

The rebels are stopped temporarily by a machine gun nest. Huang Xing decides to use hand grenades and is able to throw the grenades close enough to knock out the nest. He throws another grenade to be sure, but return gun fire blows off of of his finger tips and another finger is just holding on.

Xu Zonghan falls on the street and spills bullets out of their container. She yells for help. A young man rushes to assist her. He tells her Xuang Xing wants her to leave Guangzhou if the rebellion fails. And she is to get word to Sun Wen about what happened.

Huang Xing is hit and he sits with his back to a wall. He puts his hand over where the pain is and finds that the pocket watch Sun Wen had given him had stopped the bullet. A young man sacrifices his life as he rushes among the governor's troops with a grouping of hand grenades that go off with a loud explosion knocking many of governor's troops out of position.

Sun Wen gets up to speak to his audience, He has to tell them the bad new that fighting in Guangzhou has ceased and the uprising has failed. The people are shocked. Homer Lea, an American strategist, is among the crowd. He listens carefully when Sun Wen tells the largely overseas Chinese people in the audience that the overseas Chinese people are the mother of the revolution.

Huang Xing is holed-up in a warehouse, still firing at the governor's troops. An artillery piece is fired and blows much of the warehouse apart.

A little boy in the Imperial Palace named Aisin Gioro Puyi , the Xuantong Emperor, runs to the Empress Dowager. The men around her are talking about why didn't they control that Sun Wen fellow for his is still going around raising money for the rebels with his speeches. One man says about Sun Wen: "What a trouble-maker!"

Aisin Gioro Liangbi, Minister of the Imperial Army, says if Sun Wen dares to enter the Forbidden City, their Manchurian army will kill him. The Empress Dowager is frustrated with all this quibbling about what to do. She asks the men to please let her and her son have some peace.

Pan Dawei, Tongmennghui member, takes photos of the bodies of the dead rebels. "After the failed Guangzhou uprising, Tongmenghui member Pan Dawei risked his life to collect the corpses of 72 revolutionary martyrs, burying them in Huanghuagang. After extensive research, the number of martyrs who could be traced was revised to 86."

Sir John Newell Jordan, British Ambassador to China comes driving up in an expensive car. He greets His Royal Highness and gives him the automobile as a gift. His Royal Highness knows the ambassador came because of the riots including those at the Sichuan railways. In order to get a big loan, China had to mortgage its railways. His Royal Highness has already sent troops to stop the riots in Sichuan.

Huang Xing cuts off the tip of the finger that is just hanging on.

Sun Wen comes looking for Homer Lea. The local kids show him the way to the house. Sun Wen tells Homer that the people in Sichuan are trying to protect railway projects against the hopelessly corrupt Qing government. Many of the officers in the army in that area are active members of Tongmenghui and the Restoration League.  Homer tells Sun Wen that he wants to join the Chinese revolution as a military advisor. He adds that Sun Wen should be China's first president.

"The Ghangzhou uprising failed, but the revolution carried on. To secure a loan from the Four Nations Bank, the Qing government mortgaged its railways, compromising the country's sovereignty, leading to riots. A few months later, members of the Hubei New Army, under Tongmanghuji leadership, joined forces in a new uprising."

On October 9 an underground revolutionary post in Hankou's Russin concession suffered an explosion, putting the uprising at risk. Three men of the uprising (Peng Chufan, Liu Fuji and Yang Hongsheng) are executed for mutiny.

A soldier tells the Governor of Hubei and Hunan Provinces, Horjigit Ruicheng, that they have found a list of leaders and participants in the uprising. The governor says he wants every person on the list killed.

The government troops are having their rifles inspected. Xiong Bingkun, a Gonginhui member, is one of the men waiting to be inspected. Li Yuanhong, Commander-in-Chief of the 21st Mixed Brigade watches the inspections. He notices Xiong Bingkun and his friend Jin Zhaolong and says that they don't need to be so hot-tempered.

Tao Qisheng, an officer, comes into the barracks and demands to know what is going on? He asks if they are going to mutiny? Xiong Bingkun grabs one of the rifles, puts a shell in it and says he wants a mutiny. Tao Qisheng starts running away and Xiong Bingkun shoots the man in the back.

"On October 10, revolutionaries from the New Army Eighth Engineering Battalion fired the first shot of the Wuchang Uprising, ringing the death knell for the Qing court."

Qu Zhaolin, Provisional Commander, Wuchang Uprising, tells Xiong Bingkun and Jin Zhaolong to tell everyone to bring gas canisters. They get the men to throw canisters of gas onto stacked-up bags and set them afire. This lights up the area and is the sign to start the artillery firing at the governor's mansion. Zhang Zhenwu, Gongjinhui member, gives the order to fire.

"On the night of October 11, the Hubei New Army Eighth Engineering Battalion took over the Huguang Governor's mansion."

Chinese men start pouring into a library to tell Sun Yat-sen that the revolution was a success! They insist that the revolutionary leader must take a ship to Shanghai. The voyage will take only 20 days. Sun Yat-sen tells the men to send a telegram to Huang Xing telling him to head to Wuchang and lead the revolution. Sun Yat-sen says he is going to Europe first.  Why?  He says:  "The unrest in China is closely linked to the Qing court's Four Nation Bank Loan.  The court may be out of money now, but if they still receive the loan, they can thwart the revolution."

Huang Xing tells Xu Zonghan that the fighting in Wuchang is going to be intense.  He leaves for the trip to Wuchang. 

An adviser to the Empress Dowager reminds her of the importance of finalizing the loan from the Four Nations Bank as quickly as possible.  The negotiations have stalled because the Westerners feel that the Chinese are very hesitant about mortgaging their railways.  Therefore, the negotiations have stalled. 

Qing military men try to convince General Li Yuanhong of the Mixed Brigade to lead the military government's troops.  General Li says he wants to go home, but the soldiers grab him and force him to where the fighting is taking place.  Army Minister Yin Chang fires at the rebels from a German battleship.   The General now commands for everyone to return to their stations.  He then orders the artillery to start firing on the battleship.  They get a direct hit on the deck of the battleship.  But then Li orders the firing to stop.  Yin Chang decides to retreat to save the ship. 

"On October 13, General Li Yuanhong of the Hubei New Army accepted the revolutionaries' request to become the Provisional Military Governor.  The news was telegraphed to the entire county."

"On October 27 Yuan Shikai arrived at the frontlines in full command of all Qing forces.  He appointed Feng Guozhang to lead the First Army and Duan Qirui to lead the Second.  Together they attacked Hankou."  [Hankou was one of the three cities which merged to form today's Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei province.  Its former sister cities were Hanyang and Wuchang.  Hankou is the main port of Hubei province.] 

Feng Guozhang (aka Huafu) of the Beiyang Army reports to Yuan Shikai, who tells him they will give the rebels a taste of their power.  The army has a lot of artillery and they start clobbering the rebel troops. 

"The revolutionary army loses Liujiamiao." 

Huang Xing arrives at the front.  He immediately starts getting his men back to their positions:  "Don't Run!  Stand your ground!" 

"Huang Xing was appointed Commander-in-Chief in defense of Hankou and Hanyang."

Yuan Shikai is very pleased by the burning of Hankou to the ground.  But now he decides to stop fighting for awhile.  He tells part of his staff that they themselves need to get some of the power held by the two different sides.  The Qing court must get that Four Nations Bank loan or there will be no more battle.  They need someone who can talk with the rebel leaders and that man is Zhaoming. 

In London Sun Yat-sen passes by the Qing envoy Tang Weiyong.  With the envoy is his daughter Tang Manrou.  He tells the head men of the Four Nations Bank that if they give the Qing court the loan they are asking for, they are declaring themselves as enemies of the future Republic of China.  Edward Hillier, member of the British Parliament, tells Sun Yat-sen to lower his voice.  The envoy's daughter intervenes between the two men.  She asks if Hillier knows this man from China?  No.  So she tells him:  "He's the man who will decide the future of China."  Her father is really mad when he learns that his daughter spoke with Sun Wen.  He slaps her across the face and says the man is a traitor and a criminal, as well as a revolutionary.  She says she knows who Sun Wen is and that's precisely why she helped him. 

Sun Wen comes to a brunch with the leaders of the Four Nations Bank.  He pleads his case before them.  The bankers think only in terms of profit, but Sun Wen says that this loan deal is a political deal.  The Qing government is going to use the loan money of 6 million pounds to buy weapons to use against the rebels.  The money is supposedly to be spent on  improving the railways, but it won't be. 

Nurses are trying to patch up the wounded rebel soldiers on the battlefield.   And the fighting goes on.  The rebels take out a machine gun nest and then charge.  In the charge Huang Xing is badly wounded.

"In early November, after the success of the Wuchang Uprising, Huang Xing led an attack on Hankou.  Heavy fighting lasted until November 26, when Hanyang was taken by the Qing army."

The generals tell Yuan Shikai of their victory at Hanyang and want to know if they should continue the fighting.  Yuan Shikai tells them to go slow, be patient.  He himself will go see the Empress Dowager about the loan.   Yuan Shikai adds:  "This time if the Qing court doesn't give me enough money, I won't fight their war." 

The general sees the Empress Dowager and exaggerates the seriousness of the situation.  This starts a big argument among her advisers and she starts crying.  A wise adviser says that Sun Wen spoke to the bankers and there will be no loan coming to them.  One man says he will die for the Qing dynasty.  This causes her little boy to start crying too.  And now they are both crying. 

"The defense of Wuchang lasted more than 40 days, successfully restraining the Qing army and protecting the new Republic.  Thanks to the efforts of Tongmenghui members, Hunan, Shaanxi, Jiangxi, Shanxi, Yunnan, Zhejiang, Guizhou, Jiangsu, Anhui, Gaungxi, Fujian, Guangdon and Sichuan declared independence.  The revolutionary spirit spread across the country."

The Chinese envoy tells Sun Wen that he received order to assassinate the rebel leader.  He adds that he won't kill Sun Wen, but rather persuade him.  He tries to persuade him, but it just won't work.  So the envoy tells him to go and never let him see Sun Wen again. 

Yuan Shikai has now settled into the capital city.  One of the bankers comes to visit him.  He asks why did Yuan Shikai not take Wuchang?  He says that Yuan Shikai was just playing off the Qing court against the rebels so he could get a good piece of the power at the end.  He also says that they all know that the Qing court will run out of money and will be finished.  Mr Jordan has come because he wants Yuan Shikai to be his collaborator in protecting both the interests of Britain and China.  Yuan Shikai is more than willing to collaborate with the banker. 

On November 27, when the battle of Wuchang became a stalemate,  Tongmanghui ordered Huang Xing to advance to Nanjing.  This victory became a breakthrough for the revolution. "

"Hanyang fell after 40 days of intense battle.  More than 4,000 Revolutionary soldiers were killed.  They paid a dear price for the success of the Revolution."

On board a ship Sun Yat-sen receives a telegram.  A nurse wrote a suicide note.  " . . . my final fate, like that of my father, is to die with the dynasty."

Huang Xing and Sun Yat-sen meet on the boat.  Huang Xing starts taking off his military uniform so Sun Yat-sen can wear it at the upcoming celebration of his home coming.  A bunch of revolutionary leaders now greet Sun Yat-sen on the boat.  When the ships docks there are thousands of well-wishers there to greet the revolutionary leader.  It's been 16 years since he left China. 

Huang Xing catches three plotters against the revolution, subdues them and has them locked up. 

"Tang Shaoyi led the negotiating team representing the North, and Wu Tingfang representing the South.  Yuan Shikai wouldn't negotiate without instituting constitutional monarchy.  Talks were at a stalemate from the beginning.  Soon after, Yuan Shikai tacitly agreed to establish a Republic.  Negotiations resumed."

Sun Yat-sen says the Republic has to elect a President.  One fellow says this may be the cause of renewed fighting.  And the international community backs Yuan Shikai.  Another man says that Yuan Shikai is not fit to be President.  Sun Yat-sen says if Yuan Shikai convinces the emperor to abdicate, he can indeed become President.  While they talk, an assassin opens fire on the assembly.  The men have to dive for the floor.  The would-be assassin is caught.  Huang Xing tries to talks with him but the fellow just goes on a rant, condemning the "evil" and "corrupt" man. 

Lin Sen, leader of the Nanjing Provisional Parliament, says that on December 27, provincial representatives voted and approved the Provisional Government Organizational Draft. Also approved was the Presidential system and the nomination of candidates.

Elections take place on December 29. Sun Yat-Sen gets 16 of the 17 votes and he will be President. The members of Parliament come out into the grand hall to tell Sun Yat-sen the news that he is now the first President of the Republic of China.

Yuang Shikai hears the news and immediately starts ranting and breaking things.  He says: "I recognize neither the Nanjing Provisional Government nor its so-called President Sun Wen."

Sun Yat-sen gives his pledge: "I swear to overthrow the Qing dynasty, strengthen the Republic of China, and foster a better livelihood for all." He causes quite a stir when he says that he looks forward to the day when he can relinquish his position as President to the person who overthrows the Qing Emperor.

There is talk of the Beiyang Army mobilizing and that war will soon start again. Huan Xing tells the President that they cannot comply with any of Yuan Shikai's demands. The President answers that Yuan Shikai has the power to depose the Qing court. Huang Xing says that man may be a future enemy of the Republic and try to become Emperor himself.

Huang Xing shows Xu Zonghan their rooms. She seems satisfied. She also mentions that "our" baby is growing inside her.

Sun Yat-sen says that they must come up with a system where no one man can become a dictator in the Republic of China.

Yuan Shikai tells the Empress Dowager and the Qing court the story of the French Revolution and how King Louis XVI's head was chopped off using the guillotine. The story really scares the Empress Dowager and she starts crying again.

She tells the court that Yuan Shikai has gone over to the rebel cause and for this she dismisses Yuan Shikai as Prime Minister.

Sun Yat-sen is furious that the Qing dynasty is still trying to hang onto power as long as possible.

The Empress Dowager listens to a report of mutinies in the Northeast, Xinjiang and Tibet. Forty-five generals now support the Republic. She is so fed up with all these problems the dynasty faces that she suddenly screams out: "Abdicate!"

"February 12, 1912, 25th day of the 12th moon of the Xinhai Year the Qing Emperor abdicated."

Yuan Shikai is now the President of the Republic of China.

Sun Yat-sen explains to Western representatives why he has resigned. He urges them all to accept the new Republic of China.

A letter written by Juemin and held by Sun Yat-sen is now given to Juemin's wife. His body was tossed into the sea with his shackles still on him. The wife screams over the loss of her husband.

Sun Yat-sen says that this day of February 13, 1912 is the day he keeps his promise and resigns his position as President.

Sun Yat-sen speaks of the public execution of Qiu Jin, a Tongmenghui member, in Shaoxing, who said that revolution helps form a peaceful and calm world for all children. Lin Juemin, one of the martyrs of Huanghuagang, wrote to his wife saying that the revolution seeks an eternal happiness for everyone in the world. "This is the meaning of revolution."

"The Xinhai Revolution of 1911 overthrew the corrupt Qing dynasty, ending two millennia of monarchical rules, opening the gate for progress. Yet the revolution did not change the tragic fate of the Chinese people, who continued to suffer under colonial hegemony and feudal pressures."


 

Good film.  It's a little tough keeping all the different names straight, but a little review of the main characters brings the story back into focus.  There are a lot of things happening in the movie that come one after the other.  A lot of this is because there were so many little uprisings to make the larger revolution.  The main thing to remember is that Sun Yat-sen was the diplomat of the two-man team and Xuang Xing was the soldier.  They both had their work cut out for them.  The diplomat had to travel a lot to bring in more monetary donations to help the cause, while the soldier had to deal with one uprising after another. 

Jackie Chan's part (as Huang Xing) was a very serious one and it was strange not to see Jackie Chan grinning or smiling.  Winston Chao (as Sun Yat-Sen) was also good in the film. 

I'm glad I finally got to watch a movie dealing with Sun Yat-sen, the first president of the Republic of China. 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.

 

 


Historical Background:

(from wikipedia)

 

1866 --  Sun Yat-sen was born on 12 November 1866 to a Cantonese family in the village of Cuiheng, Xiangshan (later Zhongshan county), Guangzhou prefecture, Guangdong province in Qing China.  He was the third son born in a family of farmers, and herded cows along with other farming duties at age 6.

1876  --  at age 10, Sun Yat-sen began seeking schooling. It is also at this point where he met childhood friend Lu Hao-tung.

1878   --  by age 13 in 1878 after receiving a few years of local schooling, Sun went to live with his elder brother, Sun Mei in Honolulu.  He studied at the ʻIolani School where he learned English, British history, mathematics, science, and Christianity.  He picked up the English language so quickly that he received a prize for outstanding achievement from King David Kalākaua.  Sun enrolled in Oahu College (now Punahou School) for further studies for one semester.

1883  --  at the age of 17 he was soon sent home to China as his brother was becoming afraid that Sun Yat-sen would embrace Christianity.  Sun met up with his childhood friend Lu Hao-tung at Beijidian a temple in Cuiheng Village

 They saw many villagers worshipping the Beiji (literally North Pole) Emperor-God in the temple, and were dissatisfied with their ancient healing methods.  They broke the statue, incurring the wrath of fellow villagers, and escaped to Hong Kong.  While in Hong Kong in 1883 he studied at the Diocesan Boys' School and from 1884 to 1886 he was at the government Central school.

1886 --  Sun studied medicine at the Guangzhou Boji Hospital under the Christian missionary John G. Kerr.

c. 1888  --  During the Qing Dynasty rebellion around 1888 Sun was in Hong Kong with a group of revolutionary thinkers that were nicknamed the Four Bandits at the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese.  Sun, who had grown increasingly frustrated by the conservative Qing government and its refusal to adopt knowledge from the more technologically advanced Western nations, quit his medical practice in order to devote his time to transforming China.

1891  --  Sun met revolutionary friends in Hong Kong including Yeung Kui-wan who was the leader and founder of the Furen Literary Society. The group was spreading the idea of overthrowing the Qing.

1892  -- he earned the license of Christian practice as a medical doctor from the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese (the forerunner of The University of Hong Kong).  Notably, of his class of 12 students, Sun was one of only two who graduated.

Sun was later baptized in Hong Kong by an American missionary of the Congregational Church of the United States to his brother's disdain. The minister would also develop a friendship with Sun.  Sun attended To Tsai Church, founded by the London Missionary Society in 1888, while he studied Western Medicine in Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese. Sun pictured a revolution as similar to the salvation mission of the Christian church.

His conversion to Christianity was related to his revolutionary ideals and push for advancement.

1894  --  Sun wrote an 8,000 character petition to Qing Viceroy Li Hongzhang presenting his ideas for modernizing China. He traveled to Tianjin to personally present the petition to Li but was not granted an audience.  After this experience, Sun turned irrevocably toward revolution. He left China for Hawaii and founded the Revive China Society, which was committed to revolutionize China’s prosperity. Members were drawn mainly from Chinese expatriates, especially the lower social classes. The same month in 1894 the Furen Literary Society was merged with the Hong Kong chapter of the Revive China Society.  Sun became the secretary of the newly merged Revive China society, which Yeung Kui-wan headed as president.  They disguised their activities in Hong Kong under the running of a "Qianheng Company".

1895 --  China suffered a serious defeat during the First Sino-Japanese War. There were two types of response. One group of intellectuals contended that the Manchu Qing government could restore its legitimacy by successfully modernizing.  Stressing that overthrowing the Manchu would result in chaos and would lead to China being carved up by imperialists, intellectuals like Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao supported responding with initiatives like the Hundred Days' Reform.  In another faction, Sun Yat-sen and others like Zou Rong wanted a revolution to replace the dynastic system with a modern nation-state in the form of a republic.

1895 (October 26)  --in the second year of the establishment of the Revive China society, the group planned and launched the First Guangzhou uprising against the Qing in Guangzhou. Yeung Kui-wan directed the uprising starting from Hong Kong.  However, plans were leaked out and more than 70 members, including Lu Hao-tung, were captured by the Qing government. The uprising was a failure.

Sun Yat-sen spent time living in Japan while in exile. He befriended and was financially aided by a democratic revolutionary named Miyazaki Toten.  Most Japanese who actively worked with Sun were motivated by a pan-Asian fear of encroaching Western imperialism.  

Sun was in exile not only in Japan, but also in Europe, the United States, and Canada. He raised money for his revolutionary party and to support uprisings in China.

1896 --  he was detained at the Chinese Legation in London, where the Chinese Imperial secret service planned to kill him. He was released after 12 days through the efforts of James Cantlie, The Times, and the Foreign Office, leaving Sun a hero in Britain. James Cantlie, Sun's former teacher at the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese, maintained a lifelong friendship with Sun and would later write an early biography of Sun.

by 1898  --  The Hundred Day's reform turned out to be a failure.

1900 (October 22)  --  Sun launched the Huizhou uprising to attack Huizhou and provincial authorities in Guangdong  This came five years after the failed Guangzhou uprising. This time Sun appealed to the triads for help.  This uprising was also a failure.

1902  --  Miyazaki who participated in the revolt with Sun wrote an account of the Huizhous uprising effort under the title "33-year dream".

A "Heaven and Earth Society" sect known as Tiandihui has been around for a long time.  The group has also been referred to as the "three cooperating organizations" as well as the triads. Sun Yat-sen mainly used this group to leverage his overseas travels to gain further financial and resource support for his revolution.

According to Lee Yun-ping, chairman of the Chinese historical society, Sun needed a certificate to enter the United States at a time when the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 would have otherwise blocked him. But on Sun's first attempt to enter the US, he was still arrested.  He was later bailed out after 17 days.

1904 (March)  -- Sun Yat-sen obtained a Certificate of Hawaiian Birth, issued by the Territory of Hawaii, stating he was born on 24 November 1870 in Kula, Maui. Official files of the United States show that Sun had United States nationality, moved to China with his family at age 4, and returned to Hawaii 10 years later.

1904  --  Sun Yat-sen came about with the goal "to expel the Tatar barbarians, to revive Zhonghua, to establish a Republic, and to distribute land equally among the people."  One of Sun's major legacies was the creation of his political philosophy of the Three Principles of the People. These Principles included the principle of nationalism, democracy and welfare.

1905 (August 20)  -- Sun joined forces with revolutionary Chinese students studying in Tokyo, Japan to form the unified group Tongmenghui (United League), which sponsored uprisings in China.

By 1906   --  the number of Tongmenghui members reached 963 people

Sun's notability and popularity extends beyond the Greater China region, particularly to Nanyang (Southeast Asia) where a large concentration of overseas Chinese reside in Malaya (Malaysia and Singapore). While in Singapore he met local Chinese merchants Teo Eng Hock, Tan Chor Nam and Lim Nee Soon, which mark the commencement of direct support from the Nanyang Chinese.

1906 (April 6)   --  the Singapore chapter of the Tongmenghui was established.  The villa used by Sun was known as Wan Qing Yuan.  At this point Singapore was the headquarter of the Tongmenghui.

1907 (December 1)  --  Sun led the Zhennanguan uprising against the Qing at Friendship Pass, which is the border between Guangxi and Vietnam. The uprising failed after seven days of fighting.

1907 -- in this year there were four uprisings that failed including Huanggang uprising, Huizhou seven women lake uprising and Qinzhou uprising.

1908 --  two more uprisings failed:  the Qin-lian uprising and Hekou uprising

Because of these failures Sun's leadership was beginning to be challenged by elements from within the Tongmenghui who wished to remove him as leader. In Tokyo 1907–1908 members from the recently merged Restoration society raised doubts about Sun's credentials.  Tao Chengzhang and Zhang Binglin publicly denounced Sun with an open leaflet called "A declaration of Sun Yat-sen's criminal acts by the revolutionaries in Southeast Asia".  This was printed and distributed in reformist newspapers like Nanyang Zonghui Bao. Their goal was to target Sun as a leader leading a revolt for profiteering gains.

The revolutionaries were polarized and split between pro-Sun and anti-Sun camps. Sun publicly fought off comments about how he had something to gain financially from the revolution.

1910 --  Sun took the time to establish the United Chinese Library in Singapore.

by 1910 (July 19)  --  the Tongmenghui headquarters had to relocate from Singapore to Penang to reduce the anti-Sun activities.

1910 (December)  --  in Penang Sun and his supporters launched the first Chinese "daily" newspaper, the Kwong Wah Yit Poh.

1910 (November 13)  --to sponsor more uprisings, Sun made a personal plea for financial aid at the Penang conference in Malaya. The leaders launched a major drive for donations across the Malay Peninsula.  They raised HK $187,000.

1911 (April 27)  --  revolutionary Huang Xing led a second Guangzhou uprising known as the Yellow Flower Mound revolt against the Qing. The revolt failed and ended in disaster; only the bodies of 72 revolutionaries were found. The revolutionaries are remembered as martyrs.

1911 (October 10)  --  a military uprising at Wuchang took place led again by Huang Xing. At the time Sun had no direct involvement as he was still in exile. Huang was in charge of the revolution that ended over 2000 years of imperial rule in China. When Sun learned of the successful rebellion against the Qing emperor from press reports, he immediately returned to Chinafrom the United States accompanied by General Homer Lea on 21 December 1911

The uprising expanded to the Xinhai Revolution also known as the "Chinese Revolution" to overthrow the last Emperor Puyi. After this event 10 October became known as the commemoration of Double Ten Day.

1911 (December 29)  --  a meeting of representatives from provinces in Nanking elected Sun Yat-sen as the "provisional president".

1912 (January 1)  --  the first day of the First Year of the Republic.  Li Yuanhong was made provisional vice-president and Huang Xing became the minister of the army. The new Provisional Government of the Republic of China was created along with the Provisional Constitution of the Republic of China. Sun is credited for the funding of the revolutions and for keeping the spirit of revolution alive, even after a series of failed uprisings. His successful merger of minor revolutionary groups to a single larger party provided a better base for all those who shared the same ideals.

Yuan Shikai was in charge of the Beiyang Army, the military of northern China. He was promised the position of President of the Republic of China if he could get the Qing court to abdicate.

1912 (February)  --  Emperor Puyi did abdicate the throne.  Sun Yat-sen stepped down as President.

1912 (March 10)  --  Yuan became the new provisional president in Beijing. The provisional government did not have any military forces of its own, its control over elements of the New Army that had mutinied was limited and there were still significant forces which still had not declared against the Qing.

Sun Yat-sen sent telegrams to the leaders of all provinces, requesting them to elect and to establish the National Assembly of the Republic of China in 1912.

1912 (May 1912)  --  the legislative assembly moved from Nanjing to Beijing with its 120 members divided between members of Tongmenghui and a Republican party that supported Yuan Shikai.  Many revolutionary members were already alarmed by Yuan's ambitions and the northern based Beiyang government.

 

1925 (March 12)  --  Sun died of liver cancer at the age of 58 at the Rockefeller financed Peking Union Medical College.

 

 

Return To Main Page

Return to Home Page (Vernon Johns Society)