R E P U B L I C  O F  C H I N A  
  (1911-       )  




Calligraphy by Qi Baishi 1953


Partly due to the efforts and revolutionary zeal of Dr. Sun Yat-sen and his followers, the Qing emperor abdicated and the dynasty ended in 1911.  Intense struggles by diverse elite groups to refashion China into a modern state followed; chaos and wars among local warlords and political factions; bitter strife between the Nationalists (led by Chiang Kai-shek) and Communists (led by Mao Zedong).  Full-scale war of resistance against invasion by Japan from 1937 to 1945 when Japan was defeated by the U.S. and surrendered.  The struggle between the Nationalists and Communists restarted.  Defeated by the Communists in 1949, the Nationalists evacuated to the island of Taiwan and has since developed Taiwan into one of the most prosperous economies in Asia.


- Founding Father of Modern China, Jonathan Spence

- Chiang Kai-shek, Lori Reese


Sun Yat-sen, with his wife Song Qingling, en route by ship in late 1924 from Guangzhou to Beijing for talks with warlord leaders on national unification.  Dr. Sun became ill during the journey, and he died of liver cancer in Beijing on March 12, 1925.

Sun Yat-sen, the physician-turned-nationalist, is recognized by Chinese everywhere as the founder of modern China.  His dream of unification was not realized until after many more years of bloodshed.

Dates of His Life

1866 Born in Guangdong province on Nov. 12
1879 Studied medicine in Hawaii
1895 Led first insurrection against Qing dynasty
1905 Developed "Three Principles of the People"
1911 Qing dynasty was overthrown
1913 Kuomintang, the party he founded, won national election but was soon ousted from parliament
1925 Died on March 12 in Beijing