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 for the various important posts which he subsequently held under the Chinese Government.
In 1905, he went to Peking, and began his official career with an appointment as junior secretary in the Board of Revenues. When this board was reorganized, three years later, and became known as the Board of Finance, Mr. Li was appointed Director of the Bureau of Statistics.
In the reorganization of the salt administration, Mr. Li was no less instrumental. After an extended trip through the southeastern provinces of China, where the production of salt is most extensive, Mr. Li made a thorough investigation of that staple commodity, and thereupon submitted a plan for improving the salt revenue service. This was later adopted.
Mr. Li served, for a time, as Chief of the Department of taxation; then, concurrently, as Chief Auditor of the Financial Reorganization Bureau. In 1912, after the establishment of the Republic he was appointed Junior Secretary to the Ministry of Finance.
In 1916, he was appointed Vice-Minister of Finance, and, concurrently, Director of the Salt Administration and Chinese Director of the Salt Inspectorate. The following year, while acting as Minster of Finance, he also served as Governor of the Bank of China.
During the monarchical movement, in 1917, when General Chang Hsun attempted to restore the Manchu Emperor to the throne, Mr. Li left the capital in disguise; and he assisted in financing the Republican army, which very quickly succeeded in suppressing the movement.
After the defeat of the monarchist forces, Mr. Li was again called upon to serve as acting Minister of Finance. In January 1919, he was relieved of his duties as Director of the Salt Administration, but he continued to hold the post of Vice-Minister of Finance. Towards the end of that year, he was appointed Minister of Finance, and, concurrently, Director-General of the Currency Bureau and Salt Administration. These posts he held until July 1920, when he resigned and retired to private life.
For meritorious services rendered in the various government offices, which he has held, Mr. Li has been awarded the First Class Tashou Chiaho, and the Second Class Wenhu decorations, by the Central Government.
November 25th, 1924, Mr. Li was appointed Minister of Finance in the provisional cabinet formed by Marshal Tuan Chi-jui.
A.R. Burt, J.B. Powell and Carl Crow, editors, Biographies of Prominent Chinese (Shanghai: Biographical Publishing Company Inc., c.1925). 38.