Saturday, November 12, 2011

Guangzhou and Dr Sun Yat-sen

The earliest recorded name is Panyu (番禺), named after the two nearby mountain Pan and Yu. It was the capital of the ancient kingdom called Nanyue(南越) in 206 BC, which included today's Vietnam. The Han Dynasty annexed the Nanyue Kingdom in 111 BC and Panyu became a provincial capital and remains so today. Today, Panyu is a district of Guangzhou south of Haizhu District separated from the rest of the city by the Pearl River.

Historically it was also known as Canton to the west, or Kwangchow. It is the capital and largest city of the Guangdong province(广东省)in the People's Republic of China. Located in southern China on the Pearl River(珠江), about 120 km (75 mi) north-northwest of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is today a key national transportation hub and trading port.

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Dr Su Yat-sen was born on 12 November 1866 to a Cantonese Hakka family, in the village of Cuiheng(翠亨村), Xiangshan(香山县), now known as Zhongshan county(中山市), Guangzhou prefecture, Guangdong province in Qing China. Xiangshan is not far away from Guangzhou(广州), at that time already a trading hub, a place of activities.

Dr Sun Yat-sen first come to Guangzhou in 1886 to study medicine at the Guangzhou Boji Hospital (博济医院)under the Christian missionary John G. Kerr. In 1887, Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese(香港西醫書院)was inaugurated; Sun Yat-sen was one of its first students. It was located at 81 , Hollywood Road. Ultimately,in 1892 he earned the license of Christian practice as a medical doctor from the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese, which was later formally incorporated into The University of Hong Kong(incorporated in 1911) in 1912.(source: It was in the medical college, he involved with a group of revolutionary thinkers,Chan Siu-bak (陳少白, 1869-1934), Yeung Hok-ling(楊鶴齡, 1868-1934), Yau Lit(尢列, 1864-1936), the group was named the "Four Bandits". He opened his first clinic at Macau(澳门). later moved to Guangzhou and opened a clinic at Xiguan/Sai Kwan in Guangzhou(广州西关冼基西开设东西药局). The clinic and Guangzhou was also the place he had meetings with his fellow revolutionists.

Dr Sun was actively involved in revolution movement after he closed his clinic in Guangzhou. He participated in the first Guangzhou uprising in 1895. He did not directly involved with New Army Uprising and Huanghuagang Uprising, but was the leader of Tongmenhui who started the uprisings.

Guangzhou was a significant place in the life of Dr Sun Yat-sen, the Father of China, who spent major part of his life in Guangzhou.

1895 Guangzhou first Uprising(第一次廣州起義)

In the second year of the establishment of the Revive China society on October 26, 1895, the group planned and launched the First Guangzhou uprising against the Qing in Guangzhou. Yeung Kui-wan(楊衢雲), directed the uprising starting from Hong Kong. However, plans were leaked out and more than 70 members, including Lu Hao-tung(陆皓东, 1868-1898), were captured and killed by the Qing government. Dr Sun, Zheng Shiliang(鄭士良, 1863-1901),Chan Siu-bak, Yau Lit and Yeung escaped and left Hong Kong. The uprising was a failure. Dr Sun later exiled in Japan.

1910- New Army Uprising(庚戌新军起义/廣州新軍起義) - The 2nd Guangzhou Uprising

The uprising was actually the first uprising by the new army. he New Armies (新軍) were the modernized Qing armies, trained and equipped according to Western standards. The first of the new armies was founded in 1895, following Japan's victory in the First Sino-Japanese War.On December 8, 1895, Empress Dowager Cixi appointed Yuan Shikai(who later become the President of ROC from 10 March 1912 - 22 December 1915) the commander of the 4,000 men who formed the basis of the first New Army. The New Army was gradually expanded and upgraded in the following years.The New Army of Yuan was renamed the Beiyang Army on June 25, 1902 after Yuan was officially promoted to the "Minister of Beiyang". By the end of the dynasty in 1911, most provinces had established sizable new armies; however, Yuan's army was still most powerful, comprising six groups and numbering more than 75,000 men. The Qing unified all of China's armies into one force, the "Chinese Army", which was commonly still called the New Army. Two-thirds of the Chinese Army was Yuan's Beiyang Army.

During the Xinhai Revolution, most of the non-Beiyang forces as well as some Beiyang units in the Chinese Army revolted against the Qing. The most famous was the Wuchang Uprising, which was actually New Army mutiny. However the first new army uprising was the 2nd Guangzhou uprising on 12-2-1910 at Guangzhou. It was also historically called New Army Uprising. This was the 9th failed uprising by Tongmenhui, but the first led by new army, the actual soldiers, and not secret societies or members of Tongmenhui.

Hu Han-min after failure in Yunnan Hekou Uprising(云南河口起义)reported the feedback to Dr Sun in Singapore, one of the main reason for many failures was lack of military soldiers in the uprising. Dr Sun instructed Hu to return to Hong Kong in March 1909 to prepare the ground work for the recruitment of the solders from the new army to join the revolution. The set up an office at Guangzhou(广州豪贤街天官里寄园巷5 号). Ni Yingdian was recruited, Zhao Sheng was no longer with the army, and already member of Tongmenhui. Together they form a team for the recruitment campaign to recruit soldiers who are on leaves. Many soldiers from new army joined the Tongmenhui.

The people behind the uprising were Huang Xing, Zhao Sheng(趙聲, 1881-1911),Ni Yingdian(倪映典 1885-1910) and Zhu Zhixin(朱执信,1885-1920). Ni Yingdian, who was the 2nd in command of Guangzhou New Army Uprising, was a former officer of new army. He died in the uprising. The other three escaped, and later participated in the next Huanghuagang Uprising(黃花崗起義). Zhao was the one who work underground to promote and recruited revolutionists in the new army. He was also a former officer in the new army. He recruited Ni Yingdian. Zhao Shen died of frustration after failure of Huanghuagang uprising in 1911.

The plan initially on 24/2/1910 was met with problems of finance and bullets. It was postponed until 24/2/1910, the Chinese new year day. But an event of dispute on 9/2/1910 , between a soldier from new army and trader, evolved into confrontation of the new army and local police, which accidentally sparked off the uprising. Ni Yingdian immediately rushed to Guangzhou from Hong Kong, took over the leadership and declared the uprising on 12/2/1910. Ni died in action, and the uprising end in failure.

The soldiers who died during the uprising was buried at Temple of the Ox King(牛王庙), now known as Xian Lie Zhong Lu(先烈中路).

1911- Huanghuagang Uprising(黃花崗起義/三二九起义)

Yellow Flower Mound revolt (黃花岡之役, 黄花岗起义) or (黃花崗起義/黄花岗起义) is an uprising led by Zhao Shen(趙聲, 1881-1911) and Huang Xing(黃興, 1876-1916) and his fellow revolutionaries against the Qing Dynasty in Guangzhou.

On 13 November 1910, Sun Yat-sen, along with several leading figures of the Tongmenhui—such as Zhao Shen, Huang Hsing, Hu Hanmin, and Deng Zeru, gathered for a conference at Penang in British Malaya. Having experienced countless failures in previous uprisings, they plotted a decisive battle in Guangzhou against the Qing Government.

On 27 April, Zhao Shen and Huang Hsing commenced the uprising in Guangzhou.

More than 130 people were led by Huang Xiang to attack the government offices for one day and a night. Lin Juemin(林覺民), Yu Peilun, Lin Shishuang and many other heroes gave their lives in the process. Revolutionaries fought fiercely with the Qing Army in the streets, but the rebels were eventually outnumbered and lost. Lin Juemin(林覺民), Yu Peilun, Lin Shishuang and many other heroes gave their lives in the process.

The remains of 72 rebels were later collected by members of Tongmenhui and interred together at Huanghuagang or Yellow flower Hill(黃花岡), originally known as Red Flower Hill. He was Pan Dawei(潘达微), a member of the Hongmenhui or Alliance Society, who risked his life to bury 72 of the martyrs at Huanghuagang in the Tomb of 72 Martyrs in Guangzhou. The martyrs were commemorated as the "72 martyrs". But actually it was more that 72, it reported 86 martyrs, but historically it is still popularly called 72 martyrs. Tomb of 72 Martyrs or Mausoleum of the 72 Martyrs in Guangzhou was built in 1918. The monument was to pay homage to the martyrs who died in the Huanghuakang Uprising, Guangzhou mutiny on April 27, 1911 against the Qing dynasty.

Dr Sun Yat sen, the Father of China, reported that the event is as important as Wuchang Uprising.Some historians believe that the uprising was a direct cause of the Wuchang uprising(武昌起義), which eventually led to the Xinhai Revolution(辛亥革命) and the founding of the Republic of China.

Huanghua Gang Commemoration Park (黄花岗公园), located at 79, Xianlie Zhonglu, Guangzhou(广州市先烈中路79号)was a park in Guangzhou to commemorate the uprising.


After the Xinhai revolution, the Republic of China was formed. On 29/12/1911, Dr Sun was elected as the Provisional President of the Republic of China. On 13/2/1912, however Dr Sun submitted his resignation to the Provincial Senate. On 14/2/1912, the Provisional Parliament accepted Dr Sun’s resignation and elected Yuan Shi-kai as the Provisional President. Dr Sun returned to Guangzhou at end of April 1912 to support the election of Hu Han-min(胡漢民) as the Governor of Guangdong(廣東都督).

Guangzhou become a power base of Dr Sun. Between 1917 to 1925 , Guangzhou was the administrative capital of two Constitution Protection movement started by Dr Sun. Dr Sun was in Guangzhou 3 times to establish revolutionary government.

Thereafter, Dr Sun was involved in the 2nd Revolution against Yuan, after its failure he was exiled in Japan. He formed the Chinese Revolutionary Party(中华革命党, 1914-1919) in Japan, as KMT had been banned by Yuan. Yuan died on 6-6-1916, and Li Yuanhong succeeded as president and Duan Qirui became the Premier. Duan later had conflict with Li on issue of China's entry into World War I. Li was against it, Duan who support the entry was dismissed, this started the war, and Duan regained his premiership with the support of the warlords. Duan Qirui's triumphant return to Beijing essentially made him the most powerful leader in China. Duan dissolved the parliament upon his return and declared war on Germany and Austria-Hungary on August 13, 1917

(i) 1917-1918 - Generalissimo of the Military Government of Nationalist China(海陆军大元帅).

In September 1917, Duan's complete disregard for the constitution caused Dr Sun Yat-sen and the deposed parliament members to establish a new government in Guangzhou and the Constitutional Protection Army (護法軍) to counter Duan's abuse of power. Ironically, Sun Yat-sen's new government was not based on the Provisional Constitution. Rather, the new government was a military government and Sun was its "Grand Commander of the Armed Forces" or "Generalissimo"(大元帥). Six southern provinces became part of Sun's Guangzhou military government and repelled Duan's attempt to destroy the Constitutional Protection Army. The Constitutional Protection War essentially left China divided along the north-south border, the north by Beiyang Government, and the south by Guangzhou Military Government.

1918, April- The Parliament forced by warlords in Guangxi to reorganize the military government in Guangzhou. Lu Rongting and his Black Flags of Guangdong and Guangxi forced Sun Yat-sen to abandon his military government. Sun announced his resignation as generalissimo on 4-5-1918. The Parliament’s extraordinary session on 18-5-1920 elected a directorate of seven members, including Sun. Dr Sun resigned and departed for Shanghai on 21-5-1918, to concentrate on writing. He left Guangzhou for Shanghai with hu Han-min after the first Constitution Protection Movement failed.

1919- 1920

On 17-8-1919, Dr Sun resigned his post as the Military Government was manipulated by the Guangxi warlords.

In October 1919, Sun reestablished the Kuomintang (KMT) to counter the government in Beijing.He spent his remaining years trying to consolidate his regime and achieve unity with the north. His efforts to obtain aid from the Western democracies were ignored, however, and in 1920 he turned to the Soviet Union, which had recently achieved its own revolution. The Soviets sought to befriend the Chinese revolutionists by offering scathing attacks on Western imperialism. But for political expediency, the Soviet leadership initiated a dual policy of support for both Sun and the newly established Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

(ii)1921-1922 - Extraordinary President of Nationalist China(非常大总统)- Single Party government

1920 Aug. 16, Chen Jiong-ming, acting on Sun’s order, commanded the Guangdong Army in Zhangzhou, Fujian to quell the Guangxi warlords. On 29-10-1920, Guangzhou was recovered by the Guangdong Army. Dr Sun arrived in Guangzhou on 29-12-1920 to restore the Military Government and extraordinary session of the Parliament.

1921- On 2nd April 1921, the extraordinary session of the Parliament decided to dismiss the military government. On 7th April, 1921, the Parliament passed the Organization Guidelines for the Republic of China and elected Sun as the "extraordinary president". 1921 May 5- Sun was sworn in as the President of the Republic of China and the government was formed.

On 1921 Oct. 8- Dr Sun proposed a northern expedition program to the Parliament.

1921 Dec. 4- Sun established general headquarters in Guilin, Guangxi

1922January- Sun moved the general headquarters from Guilin in Guangxi to Shaoguan, Guangdong. 1922 Feb. 27- The Northern Expedition Pledge Ceremony was held in Guilin.

1922Jun. 16- Chen Jiong-ming rebelled in Guangzhou. Sun fled to the Navy Headquarters and commanded the Navy to launch counter-attacks. Chen disagreed with Sun about the direction that reform should take. Dr Sun wanted to unite the country by force and institute change through a centralized government based on a one-party system. Chen advocated a multiparty federalism with Guangdong becoming the model province and the peaceful unification of China. Sun became suspicious that the federalist movement was being exploited by the warlords to justify their military fiefdoms. Relations deteriorated further when Sun became "extraordinary president", a move not condoned by the Provisional Constitution. Sun Yat-sen and Chen Jiongming soon split over the continuation of the Northern Expedition.

Chen led his forces to attack Sun's residence as well as office. Chen forced Sun to escape on a ship and delay his Northern Expedition.

1922Aug. 9- Northern Expedition troops retreated in defeat. On Nov. 14, Sun went to Shanghai where he issued an declaration denouncing Chen Jiong-ming on the next day.

1923- By this time Sun had become convinced that the only hope for a unified China lay in a military conquest from his base in the south, followed by a period of political tutelage that would culminate in the transition to democracy. In order to hasten the conquest of China, he began a policy of active cooperation with the Communist Party of China (CPC). Sun and the Soviet Union's Adolph Joffe signed the Sun-Joffe Manifesto in January 1923. Dr Sun received help from the Comintern for his acceptance of communist members into his KMT.

With the help of Tang Jiyao, the KMT retook Guangzhou in 1923. Chen fled to Huizhou in eastern Guangdong after Sun's army defeated him. From 1923 to 1925, the Guangdong government organized two eastern campaigns against him and he fled to Hong Kong as his remaining forces were completely wiped out in 1925. Ironically, Chen joined Tang Jiyao after Tang was expelled from the KMT following the Yunnan-Guangxi War.

(iii)1923-1925 - Generalissimo of the National Government of Nationalist China(大元帅)

1923Feb. 21Sun arrived in Guangzhou to establish the general headquarters and resumed as the generalissimo. 3 days later, he called for disarmament. 1923Mar. 2- The general headquarters was officially established and Chiang Kai-shek was appointed as the Chief of General Staff. 1923Oct. 6Michael Borodin, Representative of the Soviet Union, arrived in Guangzhou and was appointed as the advisor on party organizing by KMT.

With the Soviet's help, Sun was able to develop the military power needed for the Northern Expedition against the military at the north. He established the Whampoa Military Academy near Guangzhou with Chiang Kai-shek as the commandant of the National Revolutionary Army (NRA, 國民革命軍). Other Whampoa leaders include Wang Jingwei and Hu Hanmin as political instructors. This full collaboration was called the First United Front(第一次国共合作).

1924 September- Sun went to Shaoguan(韶關) to command the Northern Expedition and published The Northern Expedition Declaration. Hu Han-min was acting for him as Generalissimo.

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall(中山纪念堂), 广东省广州市越秀区东风中路259号

The premise was used by Dr Sun during the 1921 2nd Constitution protection movement. Chen Jiongming(陈炯明, 1878-1933) led his forces to attack Sun's residence as well as office in 1922. Chen forced Sun to escape on a ship and delay his Northern Expedition. The building was damaged.

The Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall is an octagon-shaped building in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China. The hall was designed by Lu Yanzhi (吕彦直, 1894-1929)and was built with funds raised by local and overseas Chinese people in memory of Sun Yat-sen. Construction work commenced in 1929 and completed in 1931. The hall is a large octagonal structure with a span of 71 meters without pillars, housing a large stage and seats 3,240 people.

Having been severely damaged it was repaired and improved several times until 1998, when it was comprehensively upgraded to its present-day condition. A statue of Sun Yat-sen was erected in front of the main entrance.

Memorial Museum of the Generalissimo Sun Yat-sen's Mansion(大元帅府, 廣東省廣州市海珠區紡織路東沙街18號)

It was located at No.18, Dongsha Street, Fangzhi Road, Haizhu District, Guangzhou.Dr Sun used the premise as his office in 1917 and 1923.

It was originally the Guangzhou Cement Factory that was set up in the Qing Dynasty in 1907 and was named the Generalissimo's Mansion because Dr. Sun Yat-sen established democratic revolutionary government twice in 1917 and 1923 respectively. In Nov, 1996 the State Council announced it as the national protected key relic. In October, 2003 it was listed as one of the patriotism education based in Guangzhou.
In October, 1998, the former site of Generalissimo's Mansion was prepared to construct the Memorial Museum of the Generalissimo Sun Yat-sen's Mansion. The Museum includes the South and the North Main Buildings, the Gate Tower, the East and the West Squares, It exhibits the Restoration of Generalissimo's Mansion through the hundred-years, illustration of the three establishments of government by Sun Yat-sen, photo show of Guangzhou in old China.

Whampoa Military Academy (黄埔军校/黃埔軍校)

The Nationalist Party of China Army Officer Academy (中国国民党陆军军官学校/中國國民黨陸軍軍官學校), commonly known as the Whampoa Military Academy (黄埔军校/黃埔軍校), was a military academy in the Republic of China (ROC) that produced many prestigious commanders who fought in many of China's conflicts in the 20th century, notably the Northern Expedition, the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War.
The military academy was officially opened on May 1, 1924 under the Kuomintang (KMT), but the first lessons began on June 16, 1924. The inauguration was on Changzhou Island offshore from the Whampoa dock in Guangzhou, thus earning its common name. During the inaugural ceremonies, Sun Yat-sen delivered a speech that was later to become the lyrics of the national anthem of the Republic of China.

Guangdong University(now Sun Yat-sen University(中山大學) or SYSU)

Sun Yat-sen University, originally known as National Guangdong University(國立廣東大學), was founded February 4,1924. by Dr. Sun Yat-sen (also called Sun Zhongshan), a great democratic revolutionary leader of the 20th century. The University is located in Guangdong Province, an area neighboring Hong Kong and Macao, which is at the forefront of China’s reform and opening up. It was renamed Sun Yat-sen University(中山大學)on July 17,1926.

Being one of the leading universities in the People’s Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen University is a comprehensive multi-disciplinary university, including the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, technical sciences, medical sciences, pharmacology, and management science. At present, Sun Yat-sen University covers a total area of 6.17 square kilometers and has 4 campuses: Guangzhou South Campus, Guangzhou North Campus, Guangzhou East Campus, and Zhuhai Campus.

Tianzi Pier or Tianzi Wharf or Tian Zi Matou(天字码头)- 广州第一码头

It is where Yanjiang Zhong Road(沿江中路)and Beijing Road(北京路)meet, or where Beijing Road South or Beijing Nanlu (South Bank of Pearl River),Yuexiu District, Guangzhou where Beijing Nan Lu meets the river.(北京路南端珠江堤岸(原址在北京路接官亭南侧,20世纪30年代迁至现址)

Guangzhou Tianzi Dock or Tianzi Pier, has the longest history of Pearl River ferrying. The dock was built during Qing Dynasty Yongzheng Period, more than 270 years ago. It used to receive officers of the feudalistic government, other boats were prohibited to pull in. So the people call it Tianzi (the number one) Dock.

After the dock was refurnished in the year 2000, the dock has served as the terminal of the Pearl River day and night cruise Pearl River tour, as well as running the local “water bus”, carrying passengers across the Pearl River to Binjiang East Road and the Sun Yat-sen University in Haizhu District. It is especially famous for the Pearl River Night Cruise tour.

At the invitation of General Feng Yu-xiang, Sun visited Beijing to discuss the strategy for peaceful unification. Before his journey, Sun issued a declaration calling for the convening of National Conference and the abolishment of all unequal treaties.

Dr Sun Yat-sen left Tianzi Pier, Guangzhou on 13-11-1924, this was the last time he was in Guangzhou. He passed away in Beijing on 12-3-1925.

If you ever visit Guangzhou, there is always interesting to visit the places that Dr Sun had once walk and lived ........

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