Two Chinese Christian Revolutionists
The key to understanding China before WWII is Sun Yat-sen (1866 – 1925), a Chinese revolutionary leader against Qin and the first president of the Republic of China).
Both the leaders, present and past, of Beijing and Taipei respect Sun. He was the greatest hero in China after the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911. It was not easy for Chinese politicians and leaders of any parties and camps to establish a new nation after the imperial Qin government was crushed through a series of battles. But it was so impressive that finally those revolutionary activists set Sun as their top leader, though not autocratic but symbolic, to lead new China. Even it looked possible that communist and nationalist Chinese camps got united under the authority of Sun who had learned in Hawaii and London (in the British Museum) and was even trusted by leaders of the Soviet Union.
However, the keys to understanding Sun Yat-sen were Christianity and Japan. Especially, the fact that the first modern president of China was a Christian is very significant.
When Sun was a child, he often met one of his uncles who had joined the insurgent army led by Hong Xiuquan (1814-1864).
Hong Xiuquan led the Taiping Rebellion against the Qing Dynasty, establishing the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom over varying portions of southern China, with himself as the "Heavenly King" and self-proclaimed brother of Jesus Christ.Young boy Sun liked to play the role of Hong Xiuquan when he performed a make-bedlieve play of the Taiping Rebellion with his friends. He respected self-professed Christian Hong Xiuquan who had claimed that one night he had heard a voice of God, which had led him to launching a large-scale insurgency against the Qing dynasty.
As for Japan's influence on Sun Yat-sen, it is said one of his last words on his deathbed in Beijing was Japanese.
Sun Yat-sen spent time living in Japan while in exile. He befriended and was financially aided by a democratic revolutionary named Miyazaki Toten. Most Japanese who actively worked with Sun were motivated by a pan-Asian fear of encroaching Western imperialism.
On 20 August 1905, Sun joined forces with revolutionary Chinese students studying in Tokyo, Japan to form the unified group Tongmenghui (United League), which sponsored uprisings in China. By 1906 the number of Tongmenghui members reached 963 people.
On 28 November 1924 Sun traveled to Japan and gave a speech on Pan-Asianism at Kobe, Japan.
Sun died of liver cancer on 12 March 1925 at the age of 58 at the Rockefeller financed Peking Union Medical College.
Sun (seated, right) and his wife Soong Ching-ling (seated, center) in Kobe, Japan in 1924.
So, as a lesson, when you became a great leader in China, you have to respect both Christianity and Japan.
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Mar 8:1 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,
Mar 8:2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:
Mar 8:3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.