This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925.
General Wang Chen-ping was born in Shantung Province. His parents were of the farming class, and not very well known. They later settled at Shencheng, Fengtien Province. At the age of ten, his father died, which left considerable responsibility on his shoulders. He was very diligent, and applied himself to his work, and took advantage of the first opportunity to take the Imperial Primary Examination. This he was prevented from completing because of the Boxer uprising; but, three years later, he again visited the capital, and passed the matriculation examination of the Imperial High Normal School in Peking. A short time later he joined the Peiyang Military Academy. After his graduation, he was promoted to the Imperial University of the Army. After his graduation from this university, he was appointed a Sergeant of the Imperial Palace Guard. In the following year, he was promoted to third class Aide-de-Camp of the Third Division I.C.A., which was then under the command of Marshal Tsao Kun.
After the establishment of the Chinese Republic, General Wang was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the Eleventh Regiment of the Fifth Brigade, and then made Colonel of Infantry. He was decorated by the Government with the Third Class Wenhu. A few months later he was given the rank of Major-General. General Wang was attaché to Marshal Tsao Kun during the recapture of Szechuan. In the same year he was promoted to Lieutenant-General of the Third Division, and was awarded the Fourth Class Chiaho. He was later transferred to the First Bridge of Chihli, and given the Fifth Order of Merit. Because of his successful participation in the restoration of the Republic, he was awarded the Fourth Order of Merit. During the heavy floods in North China, several years ago, General Wang was stationed at Tso Hsin, and through his efforts thousands of people were saved. As a token of esteem, they erected a tablet for him.
When trouble broke out in Hunan Province, General Wang assisted Marshal Wu Pei-fu, Commander-in-Chief of the Third Division, in coping with the situation; and shortly after the trouble was quieted, he was awarded the Third Order of Merit, and given the Second Class Chiaho. Whatever General Wang was entrusted with doing he performed to the admiration of his superiors, which accounts for his constantly being awarded new decorations.
When General Wang was appointed Commander of the Twenty-third Army Division, he was given the title of “Nie Wei Changchun”. He served as assistant to the Military Governor of Chihli. During the conflict between Marshal Wu Pei-fu and Marshal Chang Tso-lin, General Wang tried on several occasions, to bring about an amicable understanding, unfortunately without success. Failing in his efforts, he was obliged to assist in the defense of the Metropolitan District; although, as he repeatedly stated, he did not like to see his own people fighting each other, and always did his best to bring about a peaceful settlement of any disputes that arose.
On June 24, 1922, General Wang was appointed Civil Governor of Chihli, and October 23rd, 1923, was given concurrently the post of Military Governor of the same province. The following month, by presidential mandate, he was appointed Deputy Inspector-General of Chihli, Shantung, and Honan Provinces.
He is a strong military man, and has always been a loyal co-worker of Ex-President Tsao Kun.
A.R. Burt, J.B. Powell and Carl Crow, editors, Biographies of Prominent Chinese (Shanghai: Biographical Publishing Company Inc., c.1925), 148.