Song Jiaoren

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Song Jiaoren (Chinese: 宋教仁; pinyin: Sòng Jiàorén; Wade–Giles: Sung Chiao-jen) (5 April 1882 – 22 March 1913) was a Chinese republican revolutionary, political leader and a founder of the Kuomintang (KMT).


An anti-Qing dynasty revolutionary and follower of Huang Xing, in 1904, Song fled China for Japan, where he studied western political thought and made contacts among the expatriate Chinese student population and Japanese Pan-Asianists. During this period, Song was a close friend of Japanese nationalist thinker Kita Ikki.

In 1905, together with Sun Yat-sen, Song helped found and was a leading activist in the Tongmenghui , which was an organization dedicated to the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty and the formation of a republic. Song returned to China in 1910 after the Xinhai Revolution, and after the declaration of the Republic of China, Song helped transform the Tongmenghui into the Kuomintang (KMT or Chinese Nationalist Party). Song spoke out against the increasing authoritarianism of Chinese president Yuan Shikai, and expressed concerns towards Yuan’s indications that he would like to restore a monarchial system to China with himself as emperor.

He led the KMT to victory in China's first nationwide election in 1912-13. The KMT garnered a majority in both houses of the National Assembly. Song was tipped to become the next prime minister but he caused controversy by saying his cabinet would be composed of Nationalists only. This angered President Yuan who felt such a cabinet would obstruct his policies and ambitions.

Song died of wounds two days after an assassination attempt on the night of 20 March 1913 at a Shanghai rail station's ticket booth when he was traveling to deliver speeches supporting a cabinet system. The assassins were caught with telegrams incriminating the interior minister and the prime minister, Zhao Bingjun. Song's death became one of the causes of the Second Revolution.

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