Dictionary.com defines a republic as “a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.”
Sun Yat-sen remains unique among 20th-century Chinese leaders for having a high reputation both in mainland China and in Taiwan. In Taiwan, he is seen as the Father of the Republic of China. On the mainland, Sun is seen as a Chinese nationalist and proto-socialist, and is highly regarded as the Forerunner of the Revolution (革命先行者). He is even mentioned by name in the preamble to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
“Sun Yat-sen was born in 1867 and died in 1925. Sun was a nationalist revolutionary who believed that the only way for China to move forward in the early 1900’s was for the country to become a republic and adopt western ways in industry, agriculture etc. Unless China did this, Sun was convinced that she was doomed to remain backward by western standards.” – historylearningsite.co.uk
There you have it. Sun Yat-sen wanted a republic in China based on the American model. Has his dream been realized?
The easy answer is yes, but what Sun Yat-sen envisioned as a republic for China may have been exceeded by the Chinese Communist Party.
We will never know exactly what Sun Yat-sen wanted for a republic in China.
However, we can gain a better idea of what his vision may have been by discovering what it was like in Hawaii and America at the time Sun Yat-sen lived in Hawaii before it was a territory of the United States.
First, Hawaii was a Republic [1894 -1898] before it became a territory of the United States [1898 – 1959], and before it became a state in 1959.
In fact, a commission during the administration of President Grover Cleveland (1885–1889 and 1893–1897) concluded that the removal of Queen Lili’uokalani was illegal, and the U.S. government demanded that she be re-instated.
Then in 1993, a joint Apology Resolution regarding the overthrow of Hawaii’s Queen was passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton, apologizing for the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
In China today, there are more than 80 million voting members in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and China’s president—elected by the 2,987 members of National People’s Congress—is limited to two, 5-year terms. In addition, about 600 million rural Chinese are allowed to vote for elected village leaders and the candidates do not have to be a member of the CCP.
Did you know that the President of the United States is elected by the 538 members of the U.S. Electoral College and not by the popular vote? If you don’t know the answer to that question, watch the following video.
Continued on April 13, 2016 in Part 2
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the unique love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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