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 under the control of the Board of Justice.
In 1908, Mr. Hsu was appointed Associate Chief of the High Court of Justice for the Province of Fengtien. Some time later, he was transferred to the post of Judicial Commissioner of Shansi.
In 1910, Mr. Hsu accompanied Mr. George Hsu Chien, then a high judicial official of Peking, to Europe on a special mission to investigate and study judicial procedure in different European countries. These two men were also sent to the United States to attend the Eighth Conference on Prison Reforms.
Early in 1912, Mr. Hsu served in the Secretariat of General Chang Hsi-luan, who was then Military Governor of Chihli. In May 1912, Mr. Hsu was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court at Peking; and in July 1912, he was appointed Minister of Justice. He resigned from the latter Ministry in September 1913; and in October of the same year, he was appointed Civil Governor of Fengtien; and in May, of the same year, he was appointed Civil Governor of Fukien Province.
In April 1916, Mr. Hsu returned to Peking and was appointed Minister of the Interior. In the following month, he was transferred to be the Minister of Communications. In May 1917, he became involved in a dispute regarding the purchase of rolling stock for the Tientsin-Pukow Railway, and so resigned from his post as Minister of Communications.
In December 1918, Mr. Hsu was awarded the Second Class Tashou Paokuang Chiaho; and in March 1920, he received the Fourth Order of Merit. In September 1921, he was appointed Civil Governor of Anhwei and Director-General of the Anhwei Famine Relief. In September 1922, he was awarded the First Class Tashou Chiaho. In November, of the same year, he was appointed Acting Minister of Justice; but he did not take up the appointment. In January 1923, he was appointed Director of the Government Aeronautic Department; but he declined this offer as well.
Mr. Hsu has since spent most of his time in travelling between the north and south consulting with political leaders in an effort to bring about an amicable understanding between the various factions.
In 1924, after the coup d’etat, which was effected by General Feng Yu-hsiang, and through which the Chihli Party was forced out of control, Mr. Hsu was appointed Chief Secretary to Marshal Tuan Chi-jui who had assumed the office of Chief Executive of the Provisional Government of China.
A.R. Burt, J.B. Powell and Carl Crow, editors, Biographies of Prominent Chinese (Shanghai: Biographical Publishing Company Inc., c.1925). 35.