This article is excerpted fromBiographies of Prominent Chinesepublished in Shanghai in c.1925.
His Excellency Dr. Wang Chung-hui, a native of Kwangsheng, Kwangtung Province, was born in 1882. He received his preliminary education at Peiyang University, Tientsin, where he studied from 1895 to 1900. During the Boxer Revolution, he went to Japan to study political affairs. While there, he edited the “Kuomingpao”, an organ of the Chinese Revolutionary Society. Upon the completion of his studies there, he proceeded to the United States; and in 1904, was graduated from the Yale University with the degree of D.C.L. While in America, he translated the German Civil Code into English, and acted as Co-Director of the “Journal of the American Bar Association”.
In 1905, Dr. Wang studied jurisprudence and international law in England, France, and Germany. In the course of his post graduate work, he was called to the English Bar at the Inner Temple, London; and in 1907, he was appointed by the Chinese Government as assistant to His Excellency Lu Cheng-hsiang, China’s representative to the Second Hague Conference.
At the outbreak of the First Revolution, in 1911, Dr. Wang was appointed to represent Kwangtung Province at the conference in Nanking for the discussion of a new form of government in China. Later, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Nanking Provisional Government; and in 1912, he was appointed first Minister of Justice of the newly formed republican government at Peking.
In July of 1912, Dr. Wang gave up the office of Minister of Justice, upon the resignation of His Excellency Tong Shao-yi from the Premiership, after which he was offered the position of Chief Adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Dr. Wang did not accept this office, and left for Shanghai, where, soon afterward, he became Chief Editor of the Chung Hwa Book Co., Ltd.
From 1914 to 1916, Dr. Wang served as Vice-President of the Fu Tan College. Although taken up with educational work, he was active in national affairs. He played an important part in suppressing His Excellency Yuan Shih-kai’s monarchical movement of 1915. In April 1916, he was appointed to take charge of the Bureau of Foreign Affairs for Kwangtung.
Dr. Wang’s views upon constitutional law influenced to a considerable extent the drafting of the Provisional Constitution; and, in the course of the year 1917, he was made President of the Law Codification Commission. In 1920, Dr. Wang held the office of Chief Judge of the Supreme Court; and he was a Delegate to the Washington Conference, in November 1921.
In 1921, Dr. Wang was appointed Minister of Justice. He served as Acting Premier from July to December 1922. In January 1924, he was again appointed Minister of Justice; but, after a few months, resigned in order to continue his work as a representative of China at the Hague International Tribunal. He has been awarded the Second Order of Merit. Dr. Wang is one of the most prominent judicial and intellectual leaders in China.
A.R. Burt, J.B. Powell and Carl Crow, editors,Biographies of Prominent Chinese(Shanghai: Biographical Publishing Company Inc., c.1925). 23.