Wang Yitang (Who's Who in China 3rd ed., 1925)
17 October 1877|
Hefei, Anhui, Qing Empire
|Died||10 September 1948
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 leader 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 in the Provisional Government of the Republic of China and the Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China. 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
A native of Hefei in Anhui Province, Wang Yitang passed the Imperial examination in 1904 and became Jinshi (進士); however, he hoped to study about military. In September, he was sent on a government scholarship to Japan where he attended the Tokyo Shimbu Academy, a military preparatory school. After graduating, he entered the Imperial Japanese Army’s 9th Artillery Regiment based in Kanazawa; however, he found that military life was not to his liking, so he transferred to Hosei University.
He returned to China in 1907, 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 the Empire of Russia and the United States as a military attaché.
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 parties, Minshe (民社), Gonghe Cujinhui (共和促進會), Unity Party (Tongyidang; 統一黨) and Republican Party (Gonghedang; 共和黨). In 1913 he was elected to the National Assembly as the representative for Tibet. In May, United Party, Democratic Party (Minzhudang; 民主黨) and Republican Party merged, becoming the Progressive Party (Jinbudang; 進步黨), and Wang Yitang was appointed Director. In May 1914 he was appointed a member of the State Council. In August 1915 he was appointed Civil Governor of Jilin. In April 1916 he became Minister of the Interior, and held that post until the end of June.
Following the death of Yuan Shikai, Wang Yitang joined Duan Qirui's Anhui clique. In next November, Duan formed the New Provisional Senate (臨時參議院), with Wang as President. On March 8, 1918 Wang and Xu Shuzheng established the Anfu Club which engaged in political works for the Anhui clique. On August 2, Wang was appointed Chairman of the House of Representatives, and led the "Anfu Parliament" (安福國會). However, in July 1920 Anhui clique was defeated by Zhili clique in Zhili–Anhui War, and the Anfu Club and Anfu Parliament were dissolved. Wang fled into exile in Japan, where he remained for the next four years.
In November 1924 Duan Qirui became Provisional Chief Executive (臨時執政) following the Beijing Coup, and Wang Yitang returned to Beijing. From November 1924 to April 1925 he was Military Governor of Anhui. He resisted the Kuomintang’s Northern Expedition; however, with the collapse of the Beiyang Government in 1928, Wang fled to the foreign settlement in Tianjin and found refuge within the protection of the Japanese Concession.
In the provisional governments
In 1931 the Nationalist Government offered Wang a political settlement, 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. Following the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War, Wang Kemin established the Provisional Government of the Republic of China in December 1937. Wang Yitang successively held the positions of Executive Member of the Political Commission (議政委員會常務委員), Minister for Relief, and Minister of the Interior. In March 1940, the collaborationist Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China was established by Wang Jingwei, and Wang Yitang was appointed Minister of the Examination Yuan and a member of the North China Political Council (華北政務委員會). From June 1940 to February 1943 he served as Chairman of the North China Political Council.
Following the surrender of Japan in World War II, and subsequent collapse of the Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China, Wang Yitang was arrested by Chiang Kaishek's men at a hospital in Beijing on December 5, 1945. At first, it was believed that he was seriously ill, so the authorities decided not to continue prosecution on charges of treason. However, when it was found that he was only faking illness, his trial as a hanjian resumed from September 1946. He was sentenced to death on Hebei High Court, and again by the Nanjing Capital High Court.
- 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wang Yitang.|
- Wang Yi-tang 王揖唐 from Biographies of Prominent Chinese c.1925.
- 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.