|Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, also known as Sun Chung-Shan and Sun Wen, was born on November 12, 1866, in a coastal village of Hsiangshan County, Kwangtung Province. In his early years of adulthood, Sun practiced medicine. Later on, indignant at the weakness and corruption of the Imperial Manchu government and at foreign encroachment, which had put China in grave danger, Sun gave up his medical career and devoted himself to the cause of overthrowing the Manchu dynasty and establishing a republic by starting a revolutionary crusade. In October 1894, together with a group of overseas Chinese youths, Sun set up his first volutionary organization, the Hsing-chung Hui (Society for Regenerating China), in Honolulu, Hawaii, to embark on his revolutionary career. In August 1905, he formulated the Three Principles of the People--nationalism, democracy, and social well-being, which he believed, were the guidelines for building a modern China. Over the next 16 years, Sun and his followers launched ten armed attempts to topple the corrupted Manchu government. The last stroke came on October 10, 1911, when Sun's supporters took over Wuchang, the capital of Hupei Province, and accordingly encouraged people all over the country to rise against the imperial government, thus putting an end to the Chinese monarchy which had lasted for about five millennia.|
On December 25, 1911, Sun was elected provisional president of the new republic in Nanking by a revolutionary alliance, which controlled 16 of the country's 22 provinces. He was inaugurated on January 1, 1912, the birthday of the Republic of China-Asia's first republic. Upon assuming office Sun requested all provinces to send delegates to Nanking, capital of the nation, to establish a provisional senate. Accordingly, they enacted an Outline for the Organization of a Provisional Government and a Provisional Constitution of the Republic of China as the fundamental nation-building laws. In 1919 Sun completed his able work titled Plans for National Reconstruction which was designed to build a peaceful, free and prosperous China in accordance with the Three Principles of the People. In 1921 Sun was elected president of the Republic of China. In 1923 he declared that the Three Principles of the People was the foundation of the nation and the Five-Power Constitution was the basis of the governmental system.
During the first two decades of the republic, China had been fractured by rival warlords to the extent that no one authority was able to subordinate all warlords and create a unified and centralized political structure. Having witnessed the collapse of the fledging central government he had worked so hard to create, Sun went south to his home province of Kwangtung where he established a military government in 1917. On November 10, 1924, he issued a manifesto calling for the convocation of a National Convention and the abolition of unequal treaties. Although he was ill at that time, two days later Sun, as head of the southern government, left Canton for Peking to hold talks with the northern regional leaders on the unification of China by peaceful means. Unfortunately, Sun died of liver cancer on March 12, 1925, at the age of 60 in Peking (Beijing).
Sun Yat-Sen (1866 ~ 1925) appears on the following banknote(s):