This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925.
Mr. Tsung Yu-ching, is a native of Changsha, Hunan Province, where he received his early education. His parents were active in public affairs, and became well known by their generous support of philanthropic undertakings. Mr. Tsung was early gifted with an unusual memory and aptitude for learning. He took up the usual literary studies, but failed to become interested in them; and so, later, he turned his attention to philosophical works.
He passed the district examinations, and was given the degree of Shui Tsai, equivalent to the western degree of Bachelor of Arts. He was dissatisfied with what he had seen and heard of official life, and thus decided to enter the commercial world. He then went to Szechuen Province.
The officials of Szechuen were planning the organization of a modern bank at Chungking. Mr. Tsung assisted in the establishment of this bank and was appointed its Managing Director. He drafted and put into force the regulations and business methods for governing the conduct of the bank. Most of these regulations were entirely new to the people of that province. The systems which he incorporated into this bank were later copied by several other banking institutions which had been organized by his province. By his sound judgment and commercial ability, the business developed rapidly, until Mr. Tsung became known as one of the greatest bankers in the southwest.
Mr. Tsung has taken an active interest in the public welfare of Chungking, and enters whole-heartedly into undertakings intended to be of benefit to the community. He is Chairman of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce of Chungking, having served in that capacity for several terms. Throughout the various political disturbances of past years, he has rendered very valuable service in protecting the merchants of Chungking from personal danger and monetary loss. Through his efforts a fund was raised to erect a large modern building to house the General Chamber of Commerce. Adjacent to the building a large bazaar was established, containing a commercial school, a newspaper office, and a printing office, the purpose of which was to introduce to the people of the province the latest and most modern commercial and production methods. This undertaking won special praise from both Chinese and foreigners.
In order to facilitate water transportation, Mr. Tsung built the first steamer, the “Chu Tung”, for service on the upper Yangtse river, and encouraged the development of steam navigation on that river.
In 1913, and again in 1915, when the Government held industrial and commercial conferences, at Peking and Shanghai, respectively, Mr. Tsung, as special representative of the merchants of Szechuen Province, made many important proposals.
Mr. Tsung believes that in order to command the respect of society, a man should not only have a clear understanding of the old customs of China but should also be equipped with modern learning and sound administrative ability. Mr. Tsung is considered one of the most able commercial men in China’s great southwest.
A.R. Burt, J.B. Powell and Carl Crow, editors, Biographies of Prominent Chinese (Shanghai: Biographical Publishing Company Inc., c.1925), 85.