China’s First Prime Minister Resigns
The Xinhai Revolution in China began in October 1911. There had been unrest due to Imperial favoritism to Western investors over Chinese interests and several smaller revolts but when a bomb exploded accidentally that implicated Imperial Army officers in Wuchang, China rather than wait to be arrested, the officers started a rebellion that spiraled out of control and resulted in the downfall of the Manchus that had ruled China for 300 years. In January 1912 Dr. Sun Yat Sen is named the first president of the Republic of China.
A former Imperial general Yuan Shi Kai controlled the Imperial Army and became the chief negotiator between the Imperial throne and the rebellious forces in China. He becomes prime minister and works out a deal with Sun Yat Sen to share power.
In February 1912 the Emperor abdicates and as previously agreed, Sun Yat Sen resigns and Yuan Shi Kai becomes president of the Chinese Republic.
Tang Shao Yi was educated at Queen’s College, Hong Kong and studied at Columbia University in New York. He was the first president of Shandong University, one of the oldest universities in China. He negotiated for Yuan Shi Kai with revolutionary leaders in Shanghai. Yuan made him the first prime minister of the Republic of China in March 1912. But yuan Shi Kai is more interested in consolidating power that establishing a democratic republic and Tang Shao Yi despairs at his blantant disregard for rule of law.
On June 29, 1912 it is formally announced that Tang Shao Yi has resigned as prime minister of the Republic of China. The reason given is that Tang Shao Yi has suffered a nervous breakdown. China’s Foreign Minister Lu Cheng-Hsiang will become the new Prime Minister of China.