This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925.
His Excellency Dr. C.T. Wang was born in Ningpo, Chekiang Province, in 1882. After having acquired the rudiments of an education, in his native province, he entered the Peiyang University, Tientsin, which was then considered the most up-to-date institution of higher learning in China. After his graduation, in 1900, Dr. Wang taught in various schools, for a time, and then went to Japan as a Y.M.C.A. Secretary. He did much good among Chinese students studying in that country; and while there he continued his studies.
In July 1907, Dr. Wang went to America as a self-supporting student. During his first year in the United States, he studied liberal arts at the University of Michigan. From 1908 to 1911, he attended Yale University. In 1910, he received the degree of B.A. Upon his return to China, in 1911, Dr. Wang was appointed Secretary of the Chinese Y.M.C.A. at Shanghai. Shortly afterward, the first revolution broke out which resulted in the establishment of the Republic. Dr. Wang became actively identified with the revolutionary leaders. He worked for a time under General Li Yuan-hung, Ex-President of China, who was then a powerful revolutionary commander. During the peace negotiations, Dr. Wang acted as General Li’s Chief of Diplomatic Affairs and participated in some important discussions that were held at Shanghai.
After the abdication of the Manchu Emperor and the organization of a provisional republican form of government, Dr. Wang was elected a member of the Provisional Legislature which met at Nanking, the centre of the revolutionary administration. In 1912, Dr. Wang went to Peking, when the National Government was transferred there and Dr. Sun Yat-sen had resigned the Presidency in favor of His Excellency Yuan Shih-kai. Dr. Wang was then appointed Vice-Minister of Commerce and Industry. Later he was directed to act for the Minister, who had resigned.
When the first Parliament met, in 1913, Dr. Wang was elected Vice-Speaker of the Senate, which was then practically in the control of the Kuomingtang, or the People’s Party of which he was a member.
After a six months session, the Parliament was dissolved by President Yuan Shih-kai. With the dissolution, Dr. Wang retired to private life. Afterwards, he was invited by the Shanghai Y.M.C.A. to rejoin its services. He was appointed Secretary of the National Committee of the Y.M.C.A. and, in that capacity did much for that institution.
After the death of Yuan Shih-kai, in 1916, the old Parliament was recalled, and Dr. Wang resumed his office as Vice-Speaker of the Senate. He remained in that position until Parliament was again dissolved, in 1917. This was done by President Li Yuan-hung, upon whom pressure was brought to bear which forced him to sign the Mandate. Dr. Wang then went to Shanghai and joined the constitutional forces.
As Dr. Wang was popular in America and was an eloquent speaker, the Southern Government dispatched him, in 1918, to Washington to present its case before President Wilson and to secure American recognition of its independence. During his mission he was requested by the Peking Government to attend the European Peace Conference, in 1919. Dr. Wang proved to be one of the best informed and most popular members of the Chinese Delegation to that conference. Upon his return to China, in February 1920, he was active in organizing various industrial and banking enterprises. He also started a movement for the construction of better roads in China.
He was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and, concurrently, Acting Premier, in December 1922; which posts he held until January 1923. He also held, for a short time, the office of Minister of Justice. He was later commissioned to represent the Chinese Government in its negotiations with Russia and at a conference on Sino-Russian affairs.
In November 1924, when President Tsao Kun left the office of the Presidency, in the Provisional Cabinet, created after the coup d’etat by which General Feng Yu-hsiang occupied Peking, Dr. Wang was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance. He left these offices November 24th when Marshall Tuan Chi-jui became Chief Executive.