This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925.
His Excellency Sun Hung-yi was born in a small village near Tientsin, in 1870. After receiving his early schooling, he passed the various literary examinations and received high literary degrees.
During the Manchu régime, Mr. Sun was elected a member of the Chihli Provincial Council. He was strongly opposed to the Monarchy, and took an active part in the revolution to bring about its downfall. In connection with other political leaders, he denounced the Empress Dowager and was banished from the country.
Mr. Sun was always a strong advocate of the constitutional form of government, and became an influential member of the Kuomingtang, or People’s Party, having developed the northern wing of that party. After the establishment of the Republic, he became a member of the House of Representatives, having been elected a Kuomingtang representative. His influence in that party enabled him to control a large block in Parliament, whenever it met.
In 1916, when President Li Yuan-hung was in office, Mr. Sun was appointed Minister of the Interior in the cabinet formed by His Excellency Dr. W.W. Yen the Premier. Later, when President Li was driven out of office, Mr. Sun refused to go, claiming that only Parliament could dismiss him. He managed to escape to Shanghai, where he lived in retirement for some time. There, although not in the limelight, he was very active in furthering the constitutionalist cause.
Although a member of the Kuomingtang Party and a staunch supported of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, Mr. Sun is also a friend of Marshal Wu Pei-fu; and he has made many attempts to bring about an amicable understanding between these men, unfortunately, without success.
Mr. Sun was offered a post in the cabinet of the southern Constitutional Government under Dr. Sun Yat-sen; but, after spending some time in Canton, he decided not to accept it.
He is a well known literary man and an intensely practical reformer, undoubtedly one of the foremost political men in China, whose word carries much weight in present day politics.
A.R. Burt, J.B. Powell and Carl Crow, editors, Biographies of Prominent Chinese (Shanghai: Biographical Publishing Company Inc., c.1925). 37.