H. H. Kung

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K'ung Hsiang-hsi (Chinese: 孔祥熙; pinyin: Kǒng Xiángxī; Wade–Giles: K'ung Hsiang-hsi) (September 11, 1881 – August 16, 1967), often known as Dr. H. H. Kung, was a wealthy Chinese banker and politician in the early 20th century. He was the richest man in China at that time.

Born in Taigu, Jinzhong, Shanxi, he was educated at Oberlin College (B.A.) and Yale University (M.A. & L.L.D.).

Kung was an early supporter of Sun Yat-sen and later of Chiang Kai-shek. He long served in the Republic of China government. First as Minister of Industry 1927-1928 under the Wuyhan Nationalist Government); then as Minister of Industry and Commerce 1928-1931 under the Nanking Nationalist Government, minister of finance (1933–1944), and Governor of the Central Bank of China (1933–1945). He joined the central executive committee of the Kuomintang (KMT) in 1931. He served as Premier of the Republic of China from 1 January 1938 – 20 November 1939. Then He served as Vice-Premier of the Executive Yuan 1935-1945. Dr. K'ung attended as China's Chief Delegate to the International Monetary & Financial Conference in 1944 where he signed The Bretton Woods Accord during The Bretton Woods Conference at the Mount Washington Hotel, New Hampshire, United States. This established the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), which today is part of the World Bank Group. After the retreat of the KMT to Taiwan at the end of the Chinese Civil War, he moved to the United States.

In 1937 he and two other Chinese Kuomintang officials visited Germany and were received by Adolf Hitler.[1]

Kung married first (1910) Han Yu-Mei (d. 1913). In 1914 he married as his second wife Soong Ai-ling, the eldest of the Soong sisters. Their children were :

Kung is a 75th generation descendant of Confucius, as indicated by the generation name 祥 (Hsiang; pinyin: Xiáng).

See also

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