Sun Yat Sen



Sun Yat Sen (Dr) (b. 12 November 1866, Guangdong, China1–d. 12 March 1925, Peking, China2) was a Chinese revolutionary who successfully toppled the Qing dynasty and established the Republic of China.

Early life and education
Sun was born in 1866 as Sun Wen3 to peasant parents.4 He received traditional elementary education in China and later studied in Hawaii and Hong Kong, graduating from the College of Medicine for Chinese, Hong Kong, in 1892.5

Revolutionary activities
After China’s defeat in the first Sino-Japanese War (1894–95), Sun gave up his medical practice to become a revolutionary.6 He advocated for the complete overthrow of the Qing dynasty and Manchu regime to pave the way for a modern Chinese nation.7 On 24 November 1894, Sun established the Xingzhonghui (兴中会; Revive China Society8) in Honolulu, Hawaii.9 Following an abortive revolt in Canton in 1895, he lived life as an exile for 16 years, travelling around the world to garner support for his revolutionary movement.10

Activities in Singapore
Between 1900 and 1911, Sun made nine visits to Singapore11 with the aim of recruiting supporters and raising funds for his cause. During his fourth visit in 1906,12 Sun set up the Singapore branch of Tongmenghui (Chinese Revolutionary Alliance) at a villa known as Wan Qing Yuan (today’s Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall).13 Teo Eng Hock, a Chinese businessman in Singapore and supporter of Sun’s revolutionary cause, had provided the villa to Sun as Tongmenghui’s headquarters and base.14 Wan Qing Yuan became the Southeast Asian headquarters of Tongmenghui in 1908.15


The uprisings in Chaozhou (May 1907), Zhennanguan (December 1907) and Hekou (April 1908) were organised surreptitiously at the villa.16 Between 1908 and 1911, 58 revolutionary reading clubs were formed in Singapore and Malaya where supporters could acquire knowledge through reading revolutionary publications. The clubs also provided venues for public talks given by prominent revolutionary leaders.17

Later developments
Sun’s actions generated a sense of nationalism and patriotism towards China among overseas Chinese communities, and ignited hope for a Republican China that would eventually move towards progress and modernisation.18 However, it became increasingly difficult for Sun to carry out his work in Singapore, where his revolutionary activities were met with heavy surveillance and there was internal dissension within the Tongmenghui.19 In August 1910, Sun relocated the Southeast Asian headquarter from Singapore to Penang.20


After the successful Wuchang uprising in October 1911,21 the Qing dynasty fell, and Sun passed through Singapore for the last time in December while travelling to China where he was celebrated as the leader of the Chinese revolution.22 As head of state, Sun spread his “Three Principles of the People” political ideology – nationalism, democracy and livelihood –which he believed would bring freedom and equality in China.23

Sun died in China on 12 March 1925 at the age of 58.24



Author

Michael Mukunthan



References
1. 孙穂芳 [Sun, S. F.] (Ed.). (2003). 国父孙中山先生纪念集 / 孙穂芳主编 = A great man and epoch-maker: An album in memory of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. 澳门: 华人国际新闻出版集团, p. 6. (Call no.: Chinese R 951.08092 ALB)
2. Dr. Sun Yat Sen dead. (1925, March 13). The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884–1942), p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. 孙穂芳 [Sun, S. F.] (Ed.). (2003). 国父孙中山先生纪念集 / 孙穂芳主编 = A great man and epoch-maker: An album in memory of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. 澳门: 华人国际新闻出版集团, p. 241. (Call no.: Chinese R 951.08092 ALB)
4. Lamley, H. J. (2016). Sun Yat-sen (Sun Yixian) (1866–1925). Encyclopedia Americana. Retrieved from Grolier Online.
5. 孙穂芳 [Sun, S. F.] (Ed.). (2003). 国父孙中山先生纪念集 / 孙穂芳主编 = A great man and epoch-maker: An album in memory of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. 澳门: 华人国际新闻出版集团, pp. 6–8. (Call no.: Chinese R 951.08092 ALB)
6. 孙穂芳 [Sun, S. F.] (Ed.). (2003). 国父孙中山先生纪念集 / 孙穂芳主编 = A great man and epoch-maker: An album in memory of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. 澳门: 华人国际新闻出版集团, p. 241. (Call no.: Chinese R 951.08092 ALB)
7. Khoo, S. N. (2008). Sun Yat Sen in Penang. Penang, Malaysia: Areca Books, p. 24. (Call no.: RSEA 951.08092 KHO)
8. Yen, C.-H. (1978). The role of the overseas Chinese in the 1911 revolution. Singapore: Chopmen Enterprises, p. 14. (Call no.: RCLOS 951.03 YEN)
9. 孙穂芳 [Sun, S. F.] (Ed.). (2003). 国父孙中山先生纪念集 / 孙穂芳主编 = A great man and epoch-maker: An album in memory of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. 澳门: 华人国际新闻出版集团, p. 9. (Call no.: Chinese R 951.08092 ALB)
10. Lamley, H. L. (2016). Sun Yat-sen (Sun Yixian) (1866–1925). Encyclopedia Americana. Retrieved from Grolier Online.
11. 杜南发 [Du, N. F.]. (2011). 孙中山到底来新几次?In 周兆呈 [Z. C. Zhou] (Ed.). 《百年辛亥: 南洋回眸》 (pp. 10–17). Singapore: 联合早报: 八方文化创作室, p. 16. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 951.08 BNX)
12. 杜南发 [Du, N. F.]. (2011). 孙中山到底来新几次?In 周兆呈 [Z. C. Zhou] (Ed.). 《百年辛亥: 南洋回眸》 (pp. 10–17). Singapore: 联合早报: 八方文化创作室, p. 16. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 951.08 BNX)
13. 陈丁辉 [Chen, D. H.] (Ed.). (2012). 百年晚晴 = Wan Qing Yuan: A hundred years. 新加坡: 晚晴园–孙中山南洋纪念馆, p. 24. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 951.08092 WAN); Hall of fame. (2005, December 29). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
14. Hall of fame. (2005, December 29). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
15. 陈丁辉 [Chen, D. H.] (Ed.). (2012). 百年晚晴 = Wan Qing Yuan: A hundred years. 新加坡: 晚晴园–孙中山南洋纪念馆, p. 24. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 951.08092 WAN)
16. 陈丁辉 [Chen, D. H.] (Ed.). (2012). 百年晚晴 = Wan Qing Yuan: A hundred years. 新加坡: 晚晴园–孙中山南洋纪念馆, p. 24. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 951.08092 WAN)
17. Yen, Ching Hwang. (1976). The overseas Chinese and the 1911 revolution, with special reference to Singapore and Malaya. Kuala Lumpur; New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 114–115. (Call no.: RSING 301.451951095957 YEN)
18. 陈丁辉 [Chen, D. H.] (Ed.). (2012). 百年晚晴 = Wan Qing Yuan: A hundred years. 新加坡: 晚晴园–孙中山南洋纪念馆, p. 125. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 951.08092 WAN)
19. Khoo, S. N. (2008). Sun Yat Sen in Penang. Penang, Malaysia: Areca Books, p. 63. (Call no.: RSEA 951.08092 KHO); Dr Sun Yat Sen. (1911, October 16). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
20. Khoo, S. N. (2008). Sun Yat Sen in Penang. Penang, Malaysia: Areca Books, p. 122. (Call no.: RSEA 951.08092 KHO)
21. 孙穂芳 [Sun, S. F.] (Ed.). (2003). 国父孙中山先生纪念集 / 孙穂芳主编 = A great man and epoch-maker: An album in memory of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. 澳门: 华人国际新闻出版集团, p. 41. (Call no.: Chinese R 951.08092 ALB)
22. Dr Sun Yat Sen. (1911, December 18). The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884–1942), p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
23. Books received. (1927, December 10). The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
24. Dr. Sun Yat Sen dead. (1925, March 13). The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884–1942), p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



The information in this article is valid as at 2016 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

Subject
Revolutionaries--China
Law and government>>Political process>>Leadership
Politicians
Personalities>>Biographies>>Political Leaders