Hu Hanmin

Hu Hanmin

[hoo hahn-min]
Hu Hanmin (Traditional:胡漢民; Simplified: 胡汉民; born in Panyu, Guangdong, China, December 9, 1879; died in Guangdong, China, May 12, 1936) was one of the early leaders of Kuomintang, and a very important right-winger in Kuomintang.


Hu Hanmin was qualified as juren at 21 years of age. He studied in Japan since 1902, and joined Tongmenghui as an editor of 《Minbao》 in 1905. From 1907-1910, he participated in several armed revolutions. Shortly after Xinhai Revolution in 1911, he was appointed the governor of Guangdong and chief secretary of the Provisional Government. He participated in the Second Revolution in 1913, and followed Sun Yat-sen to Japan after the failure of that revolution. There they established the Chinese Revolutionary Party. Hu lived in Guangdong between 1917 and 1921 and worked for Sun Yat-sen, as the minister of transportation first and principal consultant later.

Hu was elected to be a central executive committee member in the first conference of Kuomintang in January, 1924. In September, he acted as vice generalissimo, when Sun Yat-sen left Guangzhou to Shaoguan. Sun died in Beijing in March, 1925, and Hu was one of the three most powerful figures in Kuomintang. The other two were Wang Jingwei and Liao Zhongkai. Liao was assassinated in August of the same year, and Hu was suspected and arrested. After the Ninghan split in 1927, Hu supported Chiang Kai-Shek and was head of Legislative Yuan in Nanjing. Later in February 28, 1931, he was placed under house arrest by Chiang because of disputes over the new provisional constitution. Internal party pressure forced Chiang to release him. After that, he became a powerful leader in South China, holding three political principles of resistance: resistance against Japanese invasion and massacre, resistance against militarist Communists, and finally resistance against the self-proclaimed leader, Chiang Kai-shek. The anti-Chiang factions in the KMT converged on Guangzhou to set up a rival government. They demanded Chiang's resignation from his dual posts of president and premier. Civil war was averted by the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. Hu visited Europe and stopped his political attack on Chiang Kai-shek in June, 1935. In the first session of the fifth conference of Kuomintang in December 1935, he was absently elected as the Chair of Central Committee of Common Affairs. Hu returned to China in January, 1936, and lived in Guangzhou until he died of cerebral hemorrhage on May 12, 1936.

Hu's political philosophy was that one's individual rights are a function of one's membership in a nation.

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