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Sun Yat Sen elected president of new Republic of China

Sun Yat-sen in 1912 at one of the historic crossroads with the Five Races Under One Union flag and the Blue Sky with a White Sun flag. File Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Sun Yat-sen in 1912 at one of the historic crossroads with the Five Races Under One Union flag and the Blue Sky with a White Sun flag. File Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

SHANGHAI, Dec. 29, 1911 (UP) - The new republic of China sprang into being at Nanking early today, when Dr. Sun Yat Sen, who planned the revolution, was elected president by the provisional military assembly.

Dr. Wu Ting Fang, secretary of foreign affairs in the revolutionary cabinet is expected to be Dr. Sun's closest adviser in the new government. Dr. Wu, who was formerly minister to Washington and very close to the Manchu dynasty, deserted the throne at the first sign of rebel success.

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The election of Dr. Sun to the presidency foreshadows the absolute collapse of the monarchy. Already advices have been received from Peking that the members of the royal family are preparing for flight. They fear execution of numerous Manchu princes who have been most active in attempting to stamp out the revolution.

The election of Dr. Sun Yat Sen to the presidency of the new republic marks the culmination of a dream of 20 years. For at least 15 years he has been actively engaged in fostering the present revolt, making his headquarters in foreign countries and working in China through trusted lieutenants.

Ten years ago the throne began to be alarmed over Dr. Sun's activities and placed a huge price on his head. Manchu emissaries were sent to America, where Dr. Sun was then making his headquarters, with orders to kill him.

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Sometimes he would enter the Chinatown of San Francisco or New York, masquerading as a salesman for a Japanese silk firm. Again he would pose as a coolie laundryman or a laborer.

At first Dr. Sun was looked upon as a madman. Even the Chinese who lived in the occident for years and had seen the advantage of a democratic government could not understand him. China was one of the oldest countries in the world. It was only semi-civilized. Its people had always bowed to a monarch. They knew nothing but despotism.

Many times the little doctor was denounced as a fool. But he only shook his head and dreamed of the awakening of his countrymen. Years of exhortation in America by Dr. Sun and able work upon the part of his lieutenants in China revealed that the people were advancing.

Contributions began to pour into the revolutionary treasury. Drill sergeants from America and European armies were smuggled into the empire. A large army was recruited before the dynasty realized that the insurrectionists were about to strike.

When the rebels took the field they were the equal of the imperial troops. They fought with such heroism that even their foes admired them. Thousands of imperial soldiers deserted to the revolutionists. All of southern China was ablaze with revolt. The people had learned Dr. Sun's lesson well. They were through with the Manchus. Nothing would satisfy them but a republic.

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The dynasty summoned Yuan Shi Kai, the once powerful military leader whom it had disgraced, and urged him to save the throne. But even Yuan's popularity with the masses could not stem the tide.

Orders were given to show no mercy to "traitors." But the imperial troops could not terrify the people even by massacres. In many instances the Manchu soldiers were forced to sue for the quarter that they themselves had denied to others.

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