Dr. Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese patriot who led the revolution against the Qing monarchy. He led uprisings for nearly twenty years before they suceeded in 1911. The Chinese revere Dr. Sun, teaching that it is his principles, such as, “The rights belong to the people”, that underlie the governance of their country today.
I first became aware of Dr. Sun Yat-sen from a U. S. Postage sramp issued in 1966 to commemorate his birth. That stamp named him as the first President of the Republic of China. At that time, the U. S. was opposed to, and did not recognize the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The U.S. recognized the Republic of China (ROC) on the island of Taiwan.
Dr. Sun organized a military academy to train officers for an army to fight the Japanese who had invaded China. Among those cadets where Chaing Kai-shek, Chou Enlai, and Mao Zedong. In 1922 Chaing forced Dr. Sun from office as President of the ROC and leader of the Koumintang (KMT). Mao and Chou had formed a Communist Party in China. The people of China were now split in their politics, and in their opposition to the Japanese.
The U.S. chose to support Chaing rather than the Communists in opposing the Japanese. It is yet today difficult to support both factions against a common foe.