Wang Jingwei (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Wang, an early disciple of Sun Yat-sen and a founding member of the T’ung-meng hui, was contender for leadership of the Kuomintang after Sun’s death in 1925. He was initially identified with the left wing of the party, then became an anticommunist and favored appeasement of Japan as leader of the government between 1932 and 1936; in 1937, he defected to form a puppet government in Japanese-occupied China in 1940.
The Wang family came from Shao-hsing in Chekiang Province. Wang Jingwei was born in Canton, on May 4, 1883, the tenth and last child and fourth son of Wang Shu, and his second wife. His given name was Wang Chao-ming. The elder Wang, then sixty years old, was a government legal secretary and, because of his large family, was compelled to work until failing eyesight necessitated his retirement at age seventy. Although the family was not well-off, Wang had a happy childhood until he was twelve, when his mother died, followed by the death of his father the next year and of several siblings in the following years. Supported by his eldest brother, he continued his schooling and worked part-time as a tutor from age seventeen, in order to contribute to the family’s income. His early education was typical for the time; it emphasized training in the classics, history, philosophy, and literature. He was later noted for his persuasive writing style and fine calligraphy. He also wrote...
(The entire section is 2419 words.)
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