Three Principles of the People

Last updated
Three Principles of the People
Sun Yat-sen 2.jpg
Sun Yat-sen, who developed the Three Principles of the People
Traditional Chinese 三民主義
Simplified Chinese 三民主义

The Three Principles of the People, also translated as Three People's Principles, San-min Doctrine, or Tridemism, [1] is a political philosophy developed by Sun Yat-sen as part of a philosophy to make China a free, prosperous, and powerful state. The three principles are often translated into and summarized as nationalism, democracy, and the livelihood of the people. This philosophy has been claimed as the cornerstone of the Republic of China's policy as carried by the Kuomintang (KMT); the principles also appear in the first line of the Republic of China national anthem.

Contents

Origins

The concept first appearing in the newspaper Min Bao in 1905 appearing as "Three Big Principles" (San Da Zhu Yi ) instead of "Three Principles of the People" (San Min Zhu Yi ). The organ of Tongmen Hui.png
The concept first appearing in the newspaper Min Bao in 1905 appearing as "Three Big Principles" (三大主義) instead of "Three Principles of the People" (三民主義).

In 1894 when the Revive China Society was formed, Sun only had two principles: nationalism and democracy. He picked up the third idea, welfare, during his three-year trip to Europe from 1896 to 1898. [2] He announced all three ideas in the spring of 1905, during another trip to Europe. Sun made the first speech of his life on the "Three Principles of the People" in Brussels. [3] He was able to organize the Revive China Society in many European cities. There were about 30 members in the Brussels branch at the time, 20 in Berlin, and 10 in Paris. [3] After the Tongmenghui was formed, Sun published an editorial in Min Bao (民報). [2] This was the first time the ideas were expressed in writing. Later on, in the anniversary issue of Min Bao, his long speech of the Three Principles was printed, and the editors of the newspaper discussed the issue of people's livelihood. [2]

The ideology is said to be heavily influenced by Sun's experiences in the United States and contains elements of the American progressive movement and the thought championed by Abraham Lincoln. Sun credited a line from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, "government of the people, by the people, for the people", as an inspiration for the Three Principles. [3] Dr. Sun's Three Principles of the People are inter-connected as the guideline for China's modernization development as stretched by Hu Hanmin. [4]

The Principles

Mínzú or Civic Nationalism

The Principle of Mínzú (民族主義, Mínzú Zhǔyì) is commonly rendered as "nationalism", literally "Populism" or "rule/government of the People", "Mínzú/People" clearly describing a nation rather than a group of persons united by a purpose, hence the commonly used and rather accurate translation "nationalism". By this, Sun meant independence from imperialist domination or oppression. To achieve this he believed that China must develop a "China-nationalism," Zhonghua Minzu , as opposed to an "ethnic-nationalism," so as to unite all of the different ethnicities of China. These were mainly composed of the five major groups, Han, Mongols, Tibetans, Manchus, and the Muslims (such as the Uyghurs), which together are symbolized by the Five Color Flag of the First Republic (1911–1928). This sense of nationalism is different from the idea of "ethnocentrism," which equates to the same meaning of nationalism in Chinese language. To achieve this he believed that China must develop a "national consciousness" so as to unite the Han in the face of imperialist aggression. He argued that "minzu", which can be translated as "people", "nationality" or "race", were defined by sharing common blood, livelihood, religion, language and customs.

Mínquán or Governance Rights

The Principle of Mínquán (民權主義, Mínquán Zhǔyì) is usually translated as "democracy"; literally "the People's power" or "government by the People." To Sun, it represented a Western constitutional government. He divided political life of his ideal for China into two sets of "powers": the power of politics and the power of governance.

The power of politics (政權, zhèngquán) are the powers of the people to express their political wishes, similar to those vested in the citizenry or the parliaments in other countries, and is represented by the National Assembly. There are four of these powers: election (選舉), recall (罷免), initiative (創制), and referendum (複決). These may be equated to "civil rights".

The power of governance (治權, zhìquán) are the powers of administration. Here he expanded the European-American constitutional theory of a three-branch government and a system of checks and balances by incorporating traditional Chinese administrative tradition to create a government of five branches (each of which is called a Yuan (院, yuàn, literally "court"). The Legislative Yuan, the Executive Yuan, and the Judicial Yuan came from Montesquieuan thought; the Control Yuan and the Examination Yuan came from Chinese tradition. (Note that the Legislative Yuan was first intended as a branch of governance, not strictly equivalent to a national parliament.)

Mínshēng or Welfare Rights

The Principle of Mínshēng (民生主義, Mínshēng Zhǔyì) is sometimes translated as "the People's welfare/livelihood," "Government for the People". The concept may be understood as social welfare and as a direct criticism of the inadequacies of capitalism. He was influenced by the American thinker Henry George. Sun intended to introduce a Georgist tax reform. [5] The land value tax in Taiwan is a legacy thereof. Sun Yat-sen said that land value tax as "the only means of supporting the government is an infinitely just, reasonable, and equitably distributed tax, and on it we will found our new system." [6]

He divided livelihood into four areas: clothing, food, housing, and mobility; and planned out how an ideal (Chinese) government can take care of these for its people. Sun died before he was able to fully explain his vision of this Principle and it has been the subject of much debate within both the Chinese Nationalist and Communist Parties, with the latter suggesting that Sun supported socialism. Chiang Kai-shek further elaborated the Mínshēng principle of both the importance of social well-being and recreational activities for a modernized China in 1953 in Taiwan. [7]

Canon

"Portrait of Sun Yat-sen" (1921) Li Tiefu Oil on Canvas 93x71.7cm Li Tie Fu Sun Zhong Shan 12345.jpg
"Portrait of Sun Yat-sen" (1921) Li Tiefu Oil on Canvas 93×71.7cm

The most definite (canonical) exposition of these principles was a book compiled from notes of speeches that Sun gave near Guangzhou (taken by a colleague, Huang Changgu, in consultation with Sun), and therefore is open to interpretation by various parties and interest groups (see below) and may not have been as fully explicated as Sun might have wished. Indeed, Chiang Kai-shek supplied an annex to the Principle of Mínshēng, covering two additional areas of livelihood: education and leisure, and explicitly arguing that Mínshēng was not to be seen as supporting either communism or socialism. The French historian of Chinese history, Marie-Claire Bergère's view is that the book is a work of propaganda. Its purpose is to appeal to action rather than to thought. As Sun Yat-sen declared, a principle is not simply an idea; it is "a faith, a power." [8]

Legacy

A sign on Dadan Island near Quemoy (Kinmen) facing Mainland China proclaiming "Three Principles of the People Unites China" set by General Zhao in Aug. 1986, dismissed after 1987 Lieyu Massacre Three Principles of the People Unites China.jpg
A sign on Dadan Island near Quemoy (Kinmen) facing Mainland China proclaiming "Three Principles of the People Unites China" set by General Zhao in Aug. 1986, dismissed after 1987 Lieyu Massacre

The Three Principles of the People were claimed as the basis for the ideologies of the Kuomintang under Chiang Kai-shek, of the Communist Party of China under Mao Zedong, and of the Reorganized National Government of China under Wang Jingwei. The Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China largely agreed on the meaning of nationalism but differed sharply on the meaning of democracy and people's welfare, which the former saw in Western social democratic terms and the latter interpreted in Marxist and communist terms. The Japanese collaborationist government interpreted nationalism less in terms of anti-imperialism and more in terms of cooperating with Japan to advance theoretically pan-Asian, but in practice, typically Japanese interests.

Taiwan (Republic of China)

There were several higher-education institutes (university departments/faculties and graduate institutes) in Taiwan that used to devote themselves to the 'research and development' of the Three Principles in this aspect. Since the late 1990s, these institutes have re-oriented themselves so that other political theories are also admitted as worthy of consideration, and have changed their names to be more ideologically neutral (such as Democratic Studies Institute).

In addition to this institutional phenomenon, many streets and businesses in Taiwan are named "Sān-mín" or for one of the three principles. In contrast to other politically-derived street names, there has been no major renaming of these streets or institutions in the 1990s.

Although the term "Sanmin Zhuyi" (三民主義) has been less explicitly invoked since the mid-1980s, no political party has explicitly attacked its principles with practices under the Martial Law ruling era then except the Tangwai movement groups such as Democratic Progressive Party. The Three Principles of the People remains explicitly part of the platform of the Kuomintang and in the Constitution of the Republic of China.

As for Taiwan independence supporters, some have objections regarding the formal constitutional commitment to a particular set of political principles. Also, they have been against the mandatory indoctrination in schools and universities, which have now been abolished in a piecemeal fashion beginning in the late 1990s. However, there is little fundamental hostility to the substantive principles themselves. In these circles, attitudes toward the Three Principles of the People span the spectrum from indifference to reinterpreting the Three Principles of the People in a local Taiwanese context rather than in a pan-Chinese one.

Vietnam

The Vietnam Revolutionary League was a union of various Vietnamese nationalist groups, run by the pro-Chinese Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng. The Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng translates directly into Vietnamese Kuomintang, and it was based on the Chinese Kuomintang party. Its stated goal was for unity with China under the Three Principles of the People, and opposition to Japanese and French Imperialists. [9] [10] The Revolutionary League was controlled by Nguyễn Hải Thần, who was born in China and could not speak Vietnamese [ citation needed ] . General Zhang Fakui shrewdly blocked the Communists of Vietnam, and Ho Chi Minh from entering the league, as his main goal was Chinese influence in Indo China. [11] The KMT utilized these Vietnamese nationalists during World War II against Japanese forces. [12]

Tibet

The pro-Kuomintang and pro-ROC Khamba revolutionary leader Pandatsang Rapga, who established the Tibet Improvement Party, adopted Dr. Sun's ideology including the Three Principles, incorporating them into his party and using Sun's doctrine as a model for his vision of Tibet after achieving his goal of overthrowing the Tibetan government.

Pandatsang Rapga hailed the Three Principles of Dr. Sun for helping Asian peoples against foreign imperialism and called for the feudal system to be overthrown. Rapga stated that "The Sanmin Zhuyi was intended for all peoples under the domination of foreigners, for all those who had been deprived of the rights of man. But it was conceived especially for the Asians. It is for this reason that I translated it. At that time, a lot of new ideas were spreading in Tibet", during an interview in 1975 by Dr. Heather Stoddard. [13] Dr. Sun's ideology was put into a Tibetan translation by Rapga. [14]

He believed that change in Tibet would only be possible in a manner similar to when the Qing Dynasty was overthrown in China. He borrowed the theories and ideas of the Kuomintang as the basis for his model for Tibet. The party was funded by the Kuomintang [15] and by the Pandatsang family.

Singapore

The establishment of the People's Power Party in May 2015 by opposition politician Goh Meng Seng marks the first time in contemporary Singaporean politics that a political party was formed with the Three Principles of the People and its system of having five branches of government as espoused by Sun Yat-Sen as its official guiding ideology. [16]

The People's Power Party has adapted the ideas with a slight modification to the concepts of the Five Powers in order to stay relevant to modern contemporary political and social structures. The emphasis is put on the separation of the Five Powers which naturally means the separation of certain institutions from the Executive's control.

The Power of Impeachment (originally under the Control Yuan) has been expanded to include various contemporary functional government institutions. Examples include the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, advocacy of Ombudsman Commission, Equal Opportunity Commission, Free Press and Freedom of Expression.

The Power of Examination has been adapted and modified to fit the modern concept of Selection for both political leaders as well as civil servants. This involves institutions like the Elections Department and Public Service Commission.

The People's Power Party advocates that the institutions included in these two powers, namely the Power of Impeachment and the Power of Selection, to be put under the supervision of Singapore's Elected President. [17]

See also

Related Research Articles

Kuomintang Political party in the Republic of China (Taiwan)

The Kuomintang (KMT), often referred to in English as the Nationalist Party or Chinese Nationalist Party (CNP), is a major political party in Taiwan, based in Taipei. Formed in 1919, the KMT was the sole ruling party of the Republic of China from 1928 to 2000 and is currently an opposition political party in the Legislative Yuan.

Sun Yat-sen Chinese physician, politician and revolutionary

Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese philosopher, physician, and politician, who served as the provisional first president of the Republic of China and the first leader of the Kuomintang. He is referred as the "Father of the Nation" in the Republic of China for his instrumental role in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty during the Xinhai Revolution. Sun is unique among 20th-century Chinese leaders for being widely revered in both mainland China and Taiwan.

Flag of the Republic of China National flag

The flag of the Republic of China consists of a red field with a blue canton bearing a white disc with twelve triangles surrounding it. The disc and triangles symbolize the sun and rays of light emanating from it respectively.

Constitution of the Republic of China constitution

The Constitution of the Republic of China is the fifth and current Chinese constitution, ratified by the Kuomintang during the Constituent National Assembly session on December 25, 1946, in Nanjing, and adopted on December 25, 1947. Since 1949, the constitution, along with its Additional Articles, remains effective in ROC-controlled territories.

National Anthem of the Republic of China national anthem composed by Cheng Maoyun with lyrics by Sun Yat-sen

The "National Anthem of the Republic of China" is the national anthem of the Republic of China (ROC), commonly known as Taiwan. It was originally adopted in 1928 by the ROC as its national anthem and was used as such in mainland China until 1949, after which the central government of the Republic of China relocated to Taiwan. It replaced the "Song to the Auspicious Cloud", which had been used as the Chinese national anthem before. In mainland China, this national anthem serves a historical role, as the current national anthem of the People's Republic of China is the "March of the Volunteers". The national anthem was also adopted in Taiwan on 25 October 1945 after the surrender of Japan.

1911 Revolution Revolution in China that overthrew the Qing dynasty and established the Republic of China

The 1911 Revolution, also known as the Chinese Revolution or the Xinhai Revolution, was a revolution that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty and established the Republic of China (ROC). The revolution was named Xinhai (Hsin-hai) because it occurred in 1911, the year of the Xinhai (辛亥) stem-branch in the sexagenary cycle of the Traditional Chinese Calendar.

Dai Jitao Politician from China

Dai Jitao or Tai Chi-t'ao was a Chinese journalist, an early Kuomintang member, and the first head of the Examination Yuan of the Republic of China. He is often referred to as Dai Chuanxian or by his other courtesy name, Dai Xuantang.

Hu Hanmin Chinese politician

Hu Hanmin was one of the early conservative right factional leaders in the Kuomintang (KMT) during revolutionary China.

Nationalist government Government of the Republic of China between 1925 and 1948

The Nationalist government, officially the National Government of the Republic of China, also known as Second Republic of China but most commonly known as the Republic of China, refers to the government of the Republic of China between 1 July 1925 and 20 May 1948, led by the Kuomintang. The name derives from the Kuomintang's translated name "Nationalist Party". The government was in place until it was replaced by the current Government of the Republic of China in the newly promulgated Constitution of the Republic of China.

The First Legislative Representative Election of the Republic of China, and the preceding 1947 National Assembly Election were the Republic of China's first public direct elections since its founding. At the time most of China's territory was under the control of the Government of the Republic of China, using a direct voting system elected 759 Legislative Representatives. Using the Republic's then 461 million population to calculate, on average 600,000 people elected one representative in the Legislature. The election along with the one held for the National Assembly also made China the largest democracy at the time.

The Government of the Republic of China, commonly known as the Government of Taiwan, is the unitary government that exercises control over Taiwan and other islands in the free area. The president is the head of state. The government consists of Presidency and five branches (Yuan): the Executive Yuan, Legislative Yuan, Judicial Yuan, Examination Yuan, and Control Yuan.

History of the Kuomintang

The History of the Kuomintang is an article on the inception of the Kuomintang, a Chinese political party that ruled China 1927–48 and then moved to Taiwan. The name translates as "China's National People's Party" and was historically referred to as the Chinese Nationalists. The Party was initially founded on 23 August 1912, by Sun Yat-sen but dissolved in November 1913. It reformed on October 10th 1919, again led by Sun Yat-sen, and became the ruling party in China. After Sun's death, the party was dominated from 1927 to 1975 by Chiang Kai-shek. Though the KMT lost the civil war with the Communist Party of China in 1949, the party took control of Taiwan and remains a major political party of the Republic of China based in Taiwan.

The former socialist ideology of the Kuomintang is a form of socialism and socialist thought developed in mainland China during the early Republic of China. The Tongmenghui revolutionary organization led by Sun Yat-sen was the first to promote socialism in China.

<i>Dang Guo</i>

Dang Guo, or Party-State, is a version of the one-party state ideology that was formerly the official policy of the Republic of China under the Kuomintang.

<i>Zhonghua minzu</i> key political term that is entwined with modern Chinese history of nation-building and race

Zhonghua minzu is a key political term in modern Chinese nationalism related to the concepts of nation-building, ethnicity, and race in the Chinese nationality.

Republic of China (1912–1949) 1912–1949 country in Asia, when the Republic of China governed mainland China, prior to relocation to Taiwan

The Republic of China (ROC) was a sovereign state based in mainland China between 1912 and 1949, prior to the relocation of its government to the island of Taiwan. It was established on 1 January 1912 after the Xinhai Revolution, which overthrew the Qing dynasty, the last imperial dynasty of China. The Republic's first president, Sun Yat-sen, served only briefly before handing over the position to Yuan Shikai, the leader of the Beiyang Army. Sun's party, the Kuomintang (KMT), then led by Song Jiaoren, won the parliamentary election held in December 1912. However, Song was assassinated on Yuan's orders shortly after; and the Beiyang Army, led by Yuan, maintained full control of the Beiyang government. Between late 1915 and early 1916, Yuan proclaimed himself Emperor of China before abdicating not long after due to popular unrest. After Yuan's death in 1916, the authority of the Beiyang government was further weakened by a brief restoration of the Qing dynasty. Cliques in the Beiyang Army claimed individual autonomy and clashed with each other during the ensuing Warlord Era.

Tibet Improvement Party Tibetian politic party

The Tibet Improvement Party was a nationalist, revolutionary, anti-feudal and pro-Republic of China political party in Tibet. It was affiliated with the Kuomintang and was supported by mostly Khampas, with the Pandatsang family playing a key role.

Pandatsang Rapga Tibetan politician

Pandatsang Rapga was a Khamba revolutionary during the first half of the 20th century in Tibet. He was pro-Kuomintang and pro-Republic of China, anti-feudal, anti-communist. He believed in overthrowing the Dalai Lama's feudal regime and driving British imperialism out of Tibet, and acted on behalf of Chiang Kai-shek in countering the Dalai Lama. He was later involved in rebelling against communist rule.

The Grand Alliance for China's Reunification under the Three Principles of the People is a pro-Kuomintang political association in the Republic of China (Taiwan), dedicated to the reunification of the Chinese mainland with Taiwan. The association believes that the reunification will take place only on the basis of the Three Principles of the People of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and a de jure Taiwan should be kept. The association is active in the Republic of China, Canada and the United States.

The Second Revolution refers to a 1913 revolt by the governors of several southern Chinese provinces as well as supporters of Sun Yat Sen and the Kuomintang against the Beiyang Government of the Republic of China lead by Yuan Shikai. It was quickly defeated by Yuan's armies and led to the continued consolidation of Yuan's powers as President of the Republic of China.

References

  1. Stéphane Corcuff (editor) Memories of the Future: National Identity Issues and the Search for a New Taiwan. ISBN   0765607921
  2. 1 2 3 Li Chien-Nung, translated by Teng, Ssu-yu, Jeremy Ingalls. The political history of China, 1840–1928. Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand, 1956; rpr. Stanford University Press. ISBN   0-8047-0602-6, ISBN   978-0-8047-0602-5. pp. 203–206.
  3. 1 2 3 Sharman, Lyon (1968). Sun Yat-sen: His life and its meaning, a critical biography. Stanford: Stanford University Press. pp. 94, 271.
  4. "+{中華百科全書‧典藏版}+". ap6.pccu.edu.tw. Retrieved 2015-12-24.
  5. Trescott, Paul B. (2007). Jingji Xue: The History of the Introduction of Western Economic Ideas Into China, 1850-1950. Chinese University Press. pp. 46–48. ISBN   9789629962425. The teachings of your single-taxer, Henry George, will be the basis of our program of reform.
  6. Post, Louis Freeland (April 12, 1912). "Sun Yat Sen's Economic Program for China". The Public. 15: 349. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  7. "〔民生主義育樂兩篇補述〕". terms.naer.edu.tw. Retrieved 2015-12-24.
  8. Bergère, Marie-Claire (translated by Janet Lloyd) (1994). Sun Yat-sen. Stanford: Stanford University Press. p. 353. ISBN   0-8047-3170-5.
  9. James P. Harrison (1989). The endless war: Vietnam's struggle for independence . Columbia University Press. p.  81. ISBN   0-231-06909-X . Retrieved 2010-11-30. Chang Fa-Kuei vnqdd.
  10. United States. Joint Chiefs of Staff. Historical Division (1982). The History of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: History of the Indochina incident, 1940-1954. Michael Glazier. p. 56. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
  11. Oscar Chapuis (2000). The last emperors of Vietnam: from Tu Duc to Bao Dai. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 106. ISBN   0-313-31170-6 . Retrieved 2010-11-30.
  12. William J. Duiker (1976). The rise of nationalism in Vietnam, 1900-1941. Cornell University Press. p. 272. ISBN   0-8014-0951-9 . Retrieved 2010-11-30.
  13. Gray Tuttle (2007). Tibetan Buddhists in the Making of Modern China (illustrated ed.). Columbia University Press. p. 152. ISBN   978-0-231-13447-7 . Retrieved 2011-12-27.
  14. Melvyn C. Goldstein (1991). A history of modern Tibet, 1913-1951: the demise of the Lamaist state. Volume 1 of A History of Modern Tibet (reprint, illustrated ed.). University of California Press. p. 450. ISBN   0-520-07590-0 . Retrieved 2011-12-27.
  15. Hsiao-ting Lin (2010). Modern China's ethnic frontiers: a journey to the west. Volume 67 of Routledge studies in the modern history of Asia (illustrated ed.). Taylor & Francis. p. 95. ISBN   978-0-415-58264-3 . Retrieved 2011-12-27.
  16. http://www.tremeritus.com/2015/05/19/goh-submits-application-to-set-up-peoples-power-party/ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. "People's Power Party - PPP". facebook.com. Retrieved 2015-12-24.

Bibliography