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Dr Sun Yat Sen

Updated: Apr 12

Sun Yat-sen (12 November 1866 – 12 March 1925) was a Chinese politician, physician and philosopher who provisionally served as the first president of the Republic of China; and the first leader of the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party of China).

He is referred as the "Father of the Nation" in the Republic of China due to his instrumental role in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty during the Xinhai Revolution. Sun remains a unique figure among 20th-century Chinese leaders for being widely revered in both mainland China and Taiwan.

Dr Sun's political life was one of constant struggle and frequent exiles. After the success of the revolution in which the Han Chinese regained power after 268 years of Manchurian rule (Qing dynasty), he quickly resigned from his post as President of the Republic of China and handed it over to General Yuan Shikai.

Dr Sun later led the Second Chinese Revolution to challenge the warlords who controlled much of the nation. Sun did not live to see his party consolidate its power over the country during the Northern Expedition. His party formed a fragile alliance with the Chinese Communist Party to fight the Japanese invaders.

Sun's chief legacy resides in his development of the political philosophy known as the Three Principles of the People: nationalism (independence from foreign imperialist domination), "rights of the people" (sometimes translated as "democracy"), and the people's livelihood (just society).


  • 1866: Sun Yat-sen was born on November 12, 1866, in Cuiheng village, Xiangshan County (now Zhongshan City), Guangdong Province, China.

  • 1879: Sun Yat-sen went to Honolulu, Hawaii, to attend Iolani School, an Anglican missionary school.

  • 1883: Sun Yat-sen returned to China to continue his studies in Hong Kong.

  • 1884: Sun Yat-sen started his medical studies at the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese.

  • 1894: Sun Yat-sen became involved in revolutionary activities and joined the Revive China Society, which aimed to overthrow the Qing dynasty and establish a republic.

  • 1895: Sun Yat-sen fled to Japan after a failed uprising against the Qing dynasty.

  • 1896: Sun Yat-sen founded the Hong Kong chapter of the Revive China Society.

  • 1900: Sun Yat-sen organized an unsuccessful uprising in Guangzhou, known as the Huizhou Uprising.

  • 1904: Sun Yat-sen formed the Tongmenghui (United League) in Tokyo, Japan, which aimed to unite all revolutionary groups and overthrow the Qing dynasty.

  • 1911: Sun Yat-sen returned to China after the Wuchang Uprising, which marked the beginning of the Xinhai Revolution.

  • 1912: Sun Yat-sen was elected as the first provisional president of the Republic of China.

  • 1913: Sun Yat-sen launched the Second Chinese Revolution after Yuan Shi Kai dissolved the National Assembly and attempted to establish a monarchy.

  • 1913-1915: Sun Yat-sen's government was plagued by internal conflicts, and he was forced to resign several times.

  • 1917: Sun Yat-sen formed a new political party, the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party), which aimed to unite all political factions in China.

  • 1921: Sun Yat-sen established a military academy in Guangzhou, which became known as the Whampoa Military Academy.

  • 1924: Sun Yat-sen launched the Northern Expedition, which aimed to reunify China under the Kuomintang's leadership.

  • 1925: Sun Yat-sen died of liver cancer on March 12, 1925, in Beijing.



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