Sun Yat-sen

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Sun Yat-sen (12 November 1866 – 12 March 1925)[1][2] was a Chinese philosopher, physician, and politician, who served as the provisional first president of the Republic of China and the first leader of the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party of China). He is referred as the "Father of the Nation" in the Republic of China for his instrumental role in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty during the Xinhai Revolution. Sun is unique among 20th-century Chinese leaders for being widely revered in both mainland China and Taiwan.[3]

He was both left-leaning and anti-imperialist, but not really socialist. As Lenin pointed out, Sun's economic program "amounts to the transfer of rent to the state, i.e., land nationalization, by some sort of single tax along Henry George lines."[4] Sun himself said in 1921, "The principles of President Lincoln completely coincide with mine. He said: 'A government of the people, elected by the people and for the people.' These principles have served as the maximum of achievement for Europeans as well as Americans. Words which have the same sense can be found in China. I have translated them: 'nationalism, democracy, and socialism.'" Despite this, Lenin praised Sun and his attempts at social reformation, and also congratulated him for fighting foreign Imperialism.[5][6][7] Sun also returned the praise, calling Lenin a "great man", and sent his congratulations on the revolution in Russia.[8]

Sun Yat-sen and the Soviets came to an agreement "that neither communism nor the Soviet system was suitable for China because of the absence of necessary conditions. This was an important point for Sun. . ."[9] Sun also regarded class struggle as something to be avoided. However, he did request the Comintern to ask the CPC to join the Kuomintang, feeling that CPC members and the Soviets could help organize the Kuomintang on more effective lines (via democratic centralism and such). The Kuomintang, under him, eventually degraded however as its left-wing members were either killed or sidelined by the right (or "left-wingers" swerved to the right like Wang Jingwei). Two decades later surviving left-wing elements of the Kuomintang (such as Sun Yat-sen's wife) formed the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang, which allied with the CPC and continues to exist in the People's Republic of China today.


  1. Singtao daily. Saturday edition. 23 October 2010. 特別策劃 section A18. Sun Yat-sen Xinhai revolution 100th anniversary edition 民國之父.
  2. "Chronology of Dr. Sun Yat-sen". National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  3. Tung, William L. [1968] (1968). The political institutions of modern China. Springer publishing. ISBN 9789024705528. p 92. P106.
  4. Democracy and Narodism in China
  5. Robert Payne (2008). Mao Tse-tung: Ruler of Red China. READ BOOKS. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-4437-2521-7. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  6. Great Soviet Encyclopedia. 1980. p. 237. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  7. Aleksandr Mikhaĭlovich Prokhorov (1982). Great Soviet encyclopedia, Volume 25. Macmillan. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  8. Bernice A Verbyla (2010). Aunt Mae's China. Xulon Press. p. 170. ISBN 978-1-60957-456-7. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  9. Uhalley, History of the Chinese Communist Party, p. 23