Three Principles of the People

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The Three Principles of the People, also translated as Three People's Principles, or collectively San-min Doctrine, is a political philosophy developed by Sun Yat-sen as part of a philosophy to make China a free, prosperous, and powerful nation. Its legacy of implementation is most apparent in the governmental organization of the Republic of China (ROC) (not to be confused with the People's Republic of China), which currently administers Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu Islands. This philosophy has been claimed as the cornerstone of the Republic of China's polity as carried by the Kuomintang (KMT). The principles also appear in the first line of the National Anthem of the Republic of China.




The Principle of Mínzú (民族主義, Mínzú Zhǔyì) is commonly rendered as "nationalism", literally "the People's relation" or "government of the People." By this, Sun meant freedom from imperialist domination. To achieve this he believed that China must develop a "civic-nationalism," Zhonghua Minzu, as opposed to an "ethnic-nationalism," so as to unite all of the different ethnicities of China, mainly composed by the five major groups of Han, Mongols, Tibetans, Manchus, and the Muslims (such as the Uyghurs), which together are symbolized by the Five Color Flag of the First Republic (1911–1928). This sense of nationalism is different from the idea of "ethnocentrism," which equates to the same meaning of nationalism in Chinese language. To achieve this he believed that China must develop a "national conciousness" so as to unite the Han in the face of imperialist aggression.He argued that "minzu", which can be translated as "people", "nationality" "race", were defined by sharing common blood, livelihood, religion, language and customs.

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