Reading into the Past

Reading into the Past is a selection of English-language materials relevant to the China Story originally published in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In reprinting these essays we intend to not only preserve them and make them more easily accessible, but also to augment the modern day China Story by providing perspectives from the past on critical issues that continue to be debated. More than mere curios, Reading into the Past illuminates and contextualises the present.

Tuan Chi-kwei (Duan Zhigui) 段芝貴

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925. General Tuan Chi-kwei is a native of Hohfei, Anhui. He was born in 1869. In the Twelth Year of Kwang Hsu, the late Ching Dynasty, he enlisted in the Peiyang Military Academy. After his graduation, he was attached to the Embassy of His … more

Tsao Ju-ling (Cao Rulin) 曹汝霖

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925. His Excellency Tsao Ju-ling, a native of Shanghai, was born in 1876. While very young, he passed the Imperial Examinations. He did not approve of the old system of education; and therefore entered the Hupeh Railway School, where he studied mathematics and French. … more

Li Shih-hou (Li Sihao) 李思浩

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925. His Excellency Li Shih-hou, a native of Ningpo, Chekiang Province, was born in 1880. Being successful in the government examinations, he obtained the coveted literary degree of Chu-jen (equivalent to the western degree of M.A.) in 1902. His early scholastic attainments qualified him … more

Sun Hung-yi (Sun Hongyi) 孫洪伊

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925. His Excellency Sun Hung-yi was born in a small village near Tientsin, in 1870. After receiving his early schooling, he passed the various literary examinations and received high literary degrees. During the Manchu régime, Mr. Sun was elected a member of the Chihli … more

Li Kin-yuan (Li Genyuan) 李根源

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925. His Excellency Li Kin-yuan, a native of Teng Chun, Yunnan Province, was born in 1880. After passing the literary examinations, he was awarded the degree of ‘Hsiu Tsai’ and became a candidate for a provincial post. To further his studies, he went to … more

Hsu Shih-ying (Xu Shiying) 許世英

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925. His Excellency Hsu Shih-ying was born at Chiu-pu Hsien, Anhwei Province, in 1872. At the age of twenty-five, he was made a Pa Kung, or Senior Licentiate; and then began his official career as a member of the Law Compilation Bureau, which was … more

Huang Yuan-pei (Huang Yanpei) 黃炎培

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925. Mr. Huang Yen-pei, a native of Chuensha, Kiangsu Province, was born in 1877. Having successfully passed several literary examinations during the Ching Dynasty, he obtained the degree of Chu-jen. For his Western knowledge, he attended the Middle School of the Nanyang University. Mr. … more

Tsai Yuan-pei (Cai Yuanpei) 蔡元培

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925. Dr. Tsai Yuen-pei, one of the formemost educational leaders in China, was born in Chekiang province, in 1866. His brilliant literary career was signalized when he passed the highest Imperial Examinations, at the age of twenty-four, with the degree of Han-lin. His scholarship … more

Liang Chi-chao (Liang Qichao) 梁啟超

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925. His Excellency Liang Chi-chao, a native of Kwangtung Province, was born in 1873. He is considered a brilliant scholar, and is known as the most prominent follower of Kang Yu-wei, the famous scholar and reformer. He started the first Chinese daily newspaper in … more

Wang Yi-tang 王揖唐

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925. His Excellency Wang Yi-tang was born at Hofei Hsien, Anhwi Province, in 1877. He became a Metropolitan graduate during the Ching régime. In 1907 and 1908, he served as Military Councillor to His Excellency Hsu Shih-chang, who was then Viceroy of Manchuria: and … more