Friday, October 7, 2011

Huang Xing(黃興)

Whenever people talk about Chinese Revolution and founding of Republic of China in 1911. They often give credit to Dr Sun Yat-sen. He was glorified as Father Of Modern China(國父). The Xinhai Revolution(辛亥革命)was not only Wu Chang Uprising(武昌起义),it consists of more than 10 uprisings, and ultimately by an event of misfire by a soldier, that sparked the Wu Chang Uprising of soldiers, that spread over the whole China. The result was the fall of Manchu empire in history. Many lost their life, many lost their wealth, just because of their faithful support to revolution. It was 100 years ago. Their names will never mention again, even the famous Huanghuagang Park has been forgotten.

The main revolutionary leaders were Sun Yat-sen (孫中山), Huang Hsing (黃興), Sung Chiao-jen (宋教仁), Ts'ai Yuan-p'ei (蔡元培), Zhao Sheng (趙聲), Zhang Binglin (章炳麟) and Tao Cheng Zhang (陶成章)...and many...most were educated in Japan.

Huang Hsing/Huang Xing (黃興)(b 25-10- 1874 - d 31-10-1916)

Huang Xing was born on 25-10-1874, in the village of Gaotang, Shanhua County(湖南省长沙府善化县高塘乡(今长沙县黄興鎮涼塘), now part of Changsha, Hunan. Like many other Chinese men born before 1949, Huang was known by many different names during his life. His birth name was "Huang Zhen(黄軫), but this was later changed to "Huang Xing(黄兴). He was also known as "Huang Keqiang(黄克強)" and "Qing Wu"(慶午,競武). In the period after 1911 he also used the names "Li Youqing(李有庆)" and "Zhang Shouzheng(张守正)". In Japan, he used the names of Okamoto(冈本义一)、Imamura(今村长藏).

Huang Xing began his studies at the prestigious South Changsha Academy(长沙城南书院) in 1893, and received his Jinshi degree in 1896 when he was only 22 years old. In 1898 Huang was selected to complete further study at Wuchang Lianghu College(两湖书院), from which Huang graduated in 1901. In 1902 Huang was selected by Zhang Zhidong(張之洞)to study abroad in Japan, and was enrolled in the Tokyo Kobun Institute(东京弘文学院), Teacher training(师范科).

Huang also learn Chinese martial art, Wu Style boxing( 巫家拳)under Master Li Yongqiu(李永球)when he was 14 years old.

The Huaxinghui, translated as the China Revival Society, was founded by Huang Xing on February 15, 1904, in Hunan for the explicit goal of overthrowing the Manchu dynasty. Many of its members later became key figures of the Tongmenghui. The Huaxinghui was dominated by students from Hunan who had returned from Japan. Nevertheless from the very beginning it had strong ties with secret societies, especially with the Ko-Lao Hui whose organizational structure the Huaxinghui paralleled, particularly in the field of the military chain of command. This connects to the primary goal of the Huaxinghui: to "kick out the Tartars" through assassinations of important Manchu officials.

After two failed plots, in November 1904 and early 1905, Huang Xing fled to Japan. There he met Sun Yat-sen in the summer of 1905 for the first time in Tokyo, in order to discuss the possibility of the merger of Sun's Xingzhonghui(興中會),and the Huaxinghui. A compromise was reached, and Huang decided to support Sun fully. At this point the Huaxinghui had ceased to exist. On August 20, 1905, Sun Yat-sen was elected Tsung-li (premier) of the new party named Tongmenghui(中国同盟会). Today historians generally agree that without the Huaxinghui's participation, the founding of the Tongmenghui would not have been possible.

On 13 November 1910, Sun Yat-sen, along with several leading figures of the Tongmenhui—such as Zhao Shen, Huang Hsing, Hu Hanmin, and Deng Zeru—gathered for a conference at penang in the Malaya. The meeting was known as Penang Conference. The Penang Conference was held On Nov 13, 1910, at 404, Datuk Keramat Road, Penang to plan the Second Guangzhou Uprising.

The Yellow Flower Mound revolt on 27-4-1911, where many were killed, only 86 bodies found, but 72 only were identified. They were commemorated as the "72 martyrs.". The uprising was led by Zhao Shen(趙聲)as leader, Hwang Xing(黃興) as second commander. Many remember Hwang Xing, but forgot others. The dead were buried together in one grave on the Yellow Flower Mound or Huanghuagang(黃花崗), a mound near where they fought and died which has lent its name to the uprising, Huanghuagang Uprising(黃花崗起義/黄花岗起义). After the Chinese revolution, a cemetery was built on the mound with the names of those 72 revolutionary nationalists. They were commemorated as the "72 martyrs.". The cemetery now has developed into a memorial park, called Huanghuagang Park(黃花崗公園(黃花崗七十二烈士墓) in Guangzhou. Some historians believe that the uprising was a direct cause of the Wuchang uprising, which eventually led to the Xinhai Revolution and the founding of the Republic of China.

Other than Huanghuagang Uprising, Hwang Xing also directly participated in Zhennanguan Uprising(鎮南關起義), Qinzhou and Lianzhou Uprising(欽州、廉州起義), Hekou Uprising(河口起義). After Wu Chang Uprising(武昌起义), he was the Commander of war affairs for The Xinhai Revolution(辛亥革命). He was the one that takeover the Nanking city on 2-12-1911.

On 1 January 1912, Sun Yat-sen announced the establishment of the Republic of China in Nanking, and he was inaugurated as the Provisional president. In the "Inaugural Announcement of Provisional President", the unity of Chinese races as one was greatly emphasized. Huang Xing was appointed both as the Minister of the Army and as Chief of Staff.

Sun did not have military power and ceded the provisional presidency of the republic to strongman Yuan Shikai, who arranged for the abdication of the Last Emperor on February 12, 1912.

On August 25, 1912, the Kuomintang or KMT(中國國民黨) was established at the Huguang Guild Hall in Beijing, where the Revolutionary Alliance and five smaller pro-revolution parties merged to contest the first national elections. Dr Sun Yat-sen, was chosen as the party chairman with Huang Xing as his deputy. The most influential member of the party was the third ranking Song Jiaoren, who mobilized mass support from gentry and merchants for the KMT on a democratic socialist platform in favor of a constitutional parliamentary democracy. The party was opposed to constitutional monarchists and sought to check the power of Yuan. The Kuomintang won an overwhelming majority of the first National Assembly in December 1912.But Yuan soon began to ignore the parliament in making presidential decisions and had parliamentary leader Song Jiaoren(宋教仁)assassinated in Shanghai in 1913.

Members of the KMT led by Sun Yat-sen staged the Second Revolution in July 1913, a poorly planned and ill-supported armed rising to overthrow Yuan, and failed. In 1913 Yuan Shikai expelled KMT members from all government offices and moved the government to Beijing. Huang stayed in Nanjing, and attempted to reorganize the South Army in order to oppose Yuan. Because a shortage of money Huang's army later mutinied, and Huang had to abandon Nanjing and retreat to the foreign concession areas of Shanghai. Dr Sun Yat-sen again fled to Japan in November 1913.

While exiled in Japan in 1914, Sun established the Chinese Revolutionary Party, but many of his old revolutionary comrades, including Huang Xing, Wang Jingwei, Hu Hanmin and Chen Jiongming, refused to join him. The party was undemocratic as it required members to take an oath of personal loyalty to Sun, which contrary to the spirit of the revolution.

Huang went into exile in the United States in 1914, and Yuan Shikai proclaimed himself emperor in 1915. While abroad, Huang raised funds in order to raise a Yunnan National Protection Army to suppress Yuan.

After the death of Yuan, in June 1916, Huang returned to China.

                                      [The tomb of HuangXing at Yuelu Mountain, Changsa, Hunan]

On 31st October 1916, Huang died in Shanghai at the age of 42. On April 15, 1917, Huang was given a state funeral, and was buried in Changsha on Yuelu Mountain(岳麓山). As right hand man of Dr Sun, he should at least buried at Nanking, like Lim Nee Soon(林義順)from Singapore who buried in Nanking together with Dr Sun(The Straits Times, 12 April 1936, Page 1). He was not even buried in Huanghua Park together with the fellow revolutionaries in Guangzhou. He buried at Changsha, capital of his home province, Hunan. Even at his burial ground, it revealed the characteristic of Hwang Xing, he is a real humble revolutionist, to change his country for the good future. He was not pursuing his personal ambition, nor go after political power, and personal wealth. He just give his whole life for the sake of his beloved country. Just simple as that, a real patriotic, a real national hero of China.

What Zhang Tai-yan(章太炎) wrote in the funeral banner(挽联), " There will not have Republic of China without Hwang Xing, history of China will surely record the heroic act of Hwang Xing" (无公乃无民国,有史必有斯人). This provide a fair conclusion on the life of Hwang Xing.

Hwang Xing and Dr Sun Yat-sen

Both Dr Sun Yat-sen and Hwang Xing are commonly called "Sun-Hwang"(“孫黃”)by Chinese people. The term revealed that Hwang is acknowledged equally as heroes and leaders of Chinese Revolution. Some people called Hwang Xing, the 2nd father of modern China.

Dr Sun Yat-sen was the most celebrated personality in history, he was accepted as the leader. However there is another leader, Huang Xing(黃興). He was one of the hero with contribution equal to Dr Sun, and many times he was offered to take over as leader, but he humbly rejected the offer, and give the confirmation on his support for the leadership of Dr Sun Yat-sen. He preferred to play as No 2. He once say to party supporters in San Francisco who asked him to form a new party, "The only leader is Dr Sun Yat-sen, I do not know others"(“领袖惟有孙中山,其他不知也!”). How single minded and faithful, Hwang Xing is to Dr Sun.

Dr Sun was full of ideas, from his western education and oversea exposure, his power of influence is at Guangdong and Guangxi areas. He is more a thinker. Hwang Xing was educated in Kobun Institute, Japan, he started Hua Xing Hui (華興會) in Hunan(湖南) and active in the area along Yangtze River(長江) area. He is man of action. They supplement each other.

At time they have conflicts, but was able to resolve for the sake of their ultimate agenda, to overthrow Manchu. The most critical split was on the incident when Song Jiaoren(宋教仁) was murdered. Hwang Xing insisted on taking legal action, but Dr Sun was in favour of military action against Yuan. Song Jiaoren was the closest friend of Hwang Xing since formation of Huaxinghui(華興會). The other incident was on the selection of national flag for the new China.

Huang Xing in Penang
Huang Xing had been to Penang few times, especially at Penang Conference. He first come to Penang on 12-7-1906, attended Penang Conference on 13-11-1910. It was also in Penang that he first met his companion wife, Miss Xu Zonghan(徐宗汉), a female pioneer member of Tung Menhui in Penang. In 1907, Xu Zonghan(徐宗汉) was offered a teaching post in Penang, the proposed Chung Hwa Girl School(中华女学). But she joined Tung Menhui and left Penang in 1908 to prepare for Huanghua Kang Uprising in Guangzhao.

His family received no financial gains nor honour, as family of hero of Chinese revolution. They are a commoner like other Chinese citizen. That is the spirit of Huang Xing....

But people remember Dr Sun Yat-sen, yet forget Huang Xing.....

The personality of real hero....Huang Xing, the leader behind Dr Sun....

That is Huang Xing, a man worthy of our salute; a man that worthy to call the 2nd Father of Modern China.....a man with real love for his country, China.


                                     [Huang Xing's statute at Huang Xing Road,Changsha, Hunan]

1. In Changsha, Nanzheng Street was renamed to Huang Xing Road in 1934. There are also roads named in honor of Huang Xing in Shanghai and Wuhan.
2. The town where Huang Xing was born was renamed "Huang Xing Town" in his honor.
3. Similar to the Zhongshan Parks, the Huang Xing Park in Shanghai is named after Huang Xing.

Suggested readings:
1. Grandchildren of the revolution ,

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