Wang Yitang (Chinese: 王揖唐; pinyin: Wáng Yītáng; Wade–Giles: Wang I-T'ang; October 17, 1877 – September 10, 1948) was a politician and military personnel in the Qing Dynasty and Republic of China. He belonged to Anhui clique and formed the Anfu Club (安福俱樂部). Later he became an important politician during the Provisional Government of the Republic of China and the Wang Jingwei regime (Republic of China-Nanjing).
His former name was Zhiyang (志洋) and his courtesy names were Shenwu (慎吾) and Shengong (什公). Later, his name was changed to Geng (賡) while his courtesy name was changed to Yitang (一堂). He was also known by his art name Yitang (揖唐). He was born in Hefei, Anhui.
In the end of the Qing Dynasty
In 1904 Wang Yitang passed Imperial examination and became Jinshi (進士), but he hoped to study about military. On September he went to Japan where he entered to Tokyo Shinbu Military Academy (ja:東京振武学校). After graduating, he entered to the 9th Artillery Regiment in Kanazawa. But his body couldn't suit for military personnel, so he transferred to the Hosei University.
In 1907 Wang Yitang returned to China, after that he successively held the positions of Director to the Department for Military Affairs (兵部主事), Military Councilor to the office for the Viceroy of Three Northeast Provinces (on that time, the Viceroy was Xu Shichang), Commander of the 1st Brigade of the Jilin Army (吉林陸軍第1協統統領) and Councilor to the Training Office of the Jilin. From 1909 he visited Russia and United States for watching foreign military affairs.
In the Anhui clique
After the Xinhai Revolution broke out, Wang Yitang through introduction of Xu Shichang, joined the secretariat of Yuan Shikai. In 1912 Wang Yitang successively belonged to several political party, Minshe (民社), Gonghe Cujinhui (共和促進會), United Party (Tongyidang; 統一黨) and Republican Party (Gonghedang; 共和黨). In 1913 he was elected to the Senator representing Tibet. In May, United Party, Democratic Party (Minzhudang; 民主黨) and Republican Party were merged, and established the Progressive Party (Jinbudang; 進步黨), where he was appointed Director of it. In May 1914 he was appointed a member of the States Council. In August 1915 he was transferred to Civil Governor Jilin. In April 1916 he was appointed Minister for Interior which post he held until the end of June on the 6th of which Yuan Shikai died.
Later Wang Yitang belonged to Duan Qirui's Anhui clique. In next November Duan formed the New Provisional Senate (臨時參議院), Wang was appointed President of it. On March 8, 1918 Wang and Xu Shuzheng established the Anfu Club engaged political works for the Anhui clique. On August 2, Wang was appointed Chairman of the House of Representatives, and led "Anfu Parliament" (安福國會). But in July 1920 Anhui clique was defeated by Zhili clique on Zhili–Anhui War, Anfu Club and Anfu Parliament were also dissolved, so Wang defected to Japan.
In November 1924 Duan Qirui became Provisional Chief Executive (臨時執政), Wang Yitang also returned to Beijing. From November 1924 to April 1925 he worked as Military Governor Anhui. In 1928 Beijing Government had collapsed, Wang escaped to Tianjin.
In the Provisional Government and the Wang Jingwei Regime
In 1931 Wang Yitang got his position on the National Government, later he successively held the positions of Member of the Beiping Political Affairs Readjustment Commission (駐平政務整理委員會), Member of the Hebei–Chahar Political Council, General Manager of the Tianjin Financial Bank (天津匯業銀行總經理), etc.
In December 1937 Wang Kemin established the Provisional Government of the Republic of China, Wang Yitang also participated in it. He successively held the positions of Executive Member of the Political Commission (議政委員會常務委員), Minister for Relief, Minister for Interior. In March 1940 the Wang Jingwei regime was established, Wang Yitang was appointed Minister of the Examination Yuan and Member of the North China Political Council (華北政務委員會). From June 1940 to February 1943 he worked as Chairperson of the same Council.
After the Wang Jinwei regime had collapsed, Wang Yitang was arrested by Chiang Kaishek's Government at a hospital of Beiping on December 5, 1945. At first, he was looked upon a serious case by illness, so authority ceased to try his case. But because of it was found that his illness was a fake, so court started to try his case from September 1946. Later because of the charge of treason and surrender to enemy (namely Hanjian), he was sentenced to death on Hebei High Court, and this judgment was fixed by Nanjing Capital High Court.
Wang Yitang was executed by firing squad at Beiping on September 10, 1948.
- Who's Who in China 3rd ed., p.809 wrote Wang Yitang went to Japan just before the Xinhai Revolution. But it was mistake.
- By Yu Zidao (etc.) p.1482, 1614. Xiao Dongliang, p.730 wrote he was arrested in "Summer, 1946".
- Shanghai Newspaper (上海新聞報), September 8th 1946. (from Yu (etc.) p.1482)
- Xu Youchun (main ed.) wrote Wang Yitang was executed in "Summer, 1946". But it was a mistake.
- Xiao Dongliang (萧栋梁), Wang Yitang. Institute of Modern History, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (2005). The Biographies of Republic People, Vol.12 (民国人物传 第12卷). Zhonghua Book Company. ISBN 7-101-02993-0.
- Who's Who in China 3rd ed. (中國名人錄 第三版). The China Weekly Review (Shanghai) (上海密勒氏評論報). 1925.
- Xu Youchun (徐友春) (main ed.) (2007). Unabridged Biographical Dictionary of the Republic, Revised and Enlarged Version (民国人物大辞典 增订版). Hebei People's Press (Hebei Renmin Chubanshe; 河北人民出版社). ISBN 978-7-202-03014-1.
- Yu Zidao (余子道) (etc.) (2006). The Complete History of Wang's Fake Regime (汪伪政权全史). Shanghai People's Press (Shanghai Renmin Chubanshe; 上海人民出版社). ISBN 7-208-06486-5.
- Liu Shoulin (刘寿林) (etc.ed.) (1995). The Chronological Table of the Republic's Officer (民国职官年表). Zhonghua Book Company. ISBN 7-101-01320-1.