This article is excerpted fromBiographies of Prominent Chinesepublished in Shanghai in c.1925.
His Excellency Chin Yun-peng was born in the Province of Shantung, in 1877, and has been in the military service practically all of his life. He trained himself toward becoming a military man, when he was a mere boy. After graduation from the Peiyang Military Academy, he was appointed to command a few soldiers. Gradually, he worked his way up.
In 1910, General Chin was transferred to Chekiang, and appointed by the Governor of that province, His Excellency Ts’eng Yun, to command a regiment. He served the Governor of Chekiang so satisfactorily, that he was recommended for the post of Commander-in-Chief of the troops in the province.
In 1911, when the revolution broke out, General Chin was detached for service under Marshal Tuan Chi-jui, who was then Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial troops for the suppression of the rebellion. On account of his merit, he was given the rank of Lieutenant-General, and later, in 1913, was appointed Military Governor of Shantung, his native province. One year later, he was given the rank of Tai-hu-chiang-chun, and specially ordered, by President Yuan Shih-kai, to take charge of the military affairs of Shantung.
The title of Count was conferred upon General Chin in the latter part of 1915, when His Excellency Yuan Shih-kai proclaimed himself Emperor of China. On account of his loyalty to President Yuan, General Chin did not take part in the Third Revolution, started for the Restoration of the Republic.
In 1916, General Chin was removed from the position of Military Governor of Shantung, and went to Peking, where he was given the rank of Ku-Wei-Chiang-chun, and appointed a member of the Chang-chun-fu, or Military Council, of the President’s Office.
In November 1917, General Chin was sent to Japan, by the government, together with General Chu Tung-feng, to witness the manoeuvres. When the War Participation Bureau was organized, with Marshal Tuan as its Director-General, he was appointed to control its force on behalf of his chief.
On January 11th, 1919, General Chin was appointed Minister of War, by President Hsu Shih-chang, in the reorganized cabinet. In September he was asked to serve as Acting Premier, and in November was appointed Premier. In December he was appointed to serve concurrently as Minister of War. In January 1920, he was awarded the First Order of Merit. In May 1920, he tendered his resignation, which was not accepted, but in July, of the same year, he gave up both theses posts. May 14th, 1921, he was again appointed Premier, and served until December 18th, 1921.
General Chin is the right-hand man of Marshal Tuan Chi-jui. He is a member of the Anhwei section of the old Peiyang Party, of which Marshal Tuan is the chief, and is regarded by both Chinese and foreigners as a suitable person heading the Cabinet. He is an enlightened militarist, wields considerable influence among military men in China, and is considered an honest officer.
A.R. Burt, J.B. Powell and Carl Crow, editors,Biographies of Prominent Chinese(Shanghai: Biographical Publishing Company Inc., c.1925). 22.