This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925.
General Hu Han-ming was born in Fan-yu Hsien, Kwangtung Province, in 1886, (the home of his parents being in Chekiang province). After receiving his preliminary education in Canton, General Hu proceeded to Japan to study. While there, he made the acquaintance of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, and became familiar with the latter’s revolutionary doctrines. In 1905, the famous revolutionary party, known as the Chung-ko Tung-ming-hui, was organized in Japan; and a paper published by the party, known as the Ming Pao, was edited by General Hu and Mr. Wang Chao Ming. Some time afterwards, this publication was suppressed. General Hu and Mr. Wang then went to Singapore, where they published another revolutionary publication.
Prior to the outbreak of the revolution, in 1911, General Hu took a small party of revolutionists to Canton to prepare for action. After Kwangtung province declared its independence, General Chiang Tsung-kwei was appointed as Provisional Governor; but, he later relinquished this position in favor of General Hu.
In January 1912, when Dr. Sun Yat-sen was elected by the national council at Nanking as Provisional President of the Republic, General Hu was appointed his Chief Secretary, being succeeded by General Chen Chiung-ming, in his post as Provisional Governor. The following month, when Dr. Sun tendered his resignation form the Presidency in favor of His Excellency Yuan Shih-kai and returned to Canton, General Hu accompanied the former, and again became Governor of Kwangtung.
In July 1912, General Hu was appointed Military Governor of Kwangtung,—having been elected by the Kwangtung Provincial Assembly. This position he held until June 1913, when he was appointed Commissioner for the pacification of Tibet.
When the late President Yuan Shih-kai attempted to restore the monarchy, General Hu and his followers strongly opposed the movement, and were eventually forced to leave the country. They travelled between Japan and the South Sea Island, laying plans to overthrow Yuan Shih-kai.
When General Li Yuan-hung became President, after the death of Yuan Shih-kai, he withdrew all orders issued by his predecessor depriving the Kuomingtang leaders of their ranks; and thus these men returned to China. In July 1917, when Dr. Sun Yat-sen again declared the independence of Kwangtung, General Hu served as his Councillor and Secretary. In the following month, an extraordinary parliament was convened, at Canton, which elected Dr. Sun Yat-sen Generalissimo.
In May 1918, a military government was established at Canton. General Hu was appointed Chief Secretary of the Executive Council of this government. In the winter of 1919, Dr. Sun and his associates were forced out of power by Kwangsi militarists, and General Hu accompanied Dr. Sun to Shanghai where they remained during part of 1920.
In December 1920, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the late Dr. Wu Ting-fang, and His Excellency Tong Shao-yi returned to Canton and re-established the Constitutional government there. In April 1921, Dr. Sun was elected President of that government. General Hu was then appointed Civil Governor; and he held that post until June, 1922, when Dr. Sun was again forced out of power by General Chen Chiung-ming. Then once more, he returned to Shanghai.
Dr. Sun regained his position at Canton in February 1923. General Hu has, since that time, held several important positions in the southern government. In September 1924, he was again appointed Civil Governor of Kwangtung; and, shortly afterwards, he was given power to act for the Generalissimo, during the latter’s absence from Canton, as head of an expedition against the north, and, later, in attendance at a military conference at Peking.
A.R. Burt, J.B. Powell and Carl Crow, editors, Biographies of Prominent Chinese (Shanghai: Biographical Publishing Company Inc., c.1925), 151.