Quotations: Nationalism, republican and warlord China

This page contains a collection of Chinese Revolution quotations about republican and warlord China, made by prominent leaders, figures, observers and historians. These quotations have been selected and compiled by Alpha History authors. If you would like to suggest a quotation for these pages, please contact Alpha History.

“The five years between 1895 and 1900 constituted the most difficult period in my entire revolutionary career… The Emperor Protection Society fought against revolution and republicanism for the Qing, much more vigorously than the dynasty itself.”
Sun Yixian

“The merit of an ideology does not lie in its logic. Whether it is good or bad depends on its suitability to a certain circumstance. It is good if it is beneficial both to China and to the world, otherwise it is bad.”
Sun Yixian

“The Revolutionary Army is again ascendant… Our army constantly exchanges fire with the revolutionary army so I cannot act rashly.”
Yuan Shikai, 1911

“The Chinese people have only family and clan solidarity, they do not have national spirit… they are just a heap of loose sand.”
Sun Yixian, 1924

“Yuan Shikai thought that it was human nature to tremble before a flashing knife and to go crazy for yellow gold. Both of these weapons he used to rule the empire.”
Liang Qichao, Chinese writer and reformist

“After mature deliberation and thorough preparation, I have decided upon a program of Revolution and a procedure of revolution in three stages. The first stage is the period of military government. The second stage is the period of political tutelage. And the third stage, the implementation of constitutional government.
Sun Yixian, 1918

“For China, the watershed between ‘yesterday’ and ‘today’ began on May 4th 1919. All my generation date ourselves from this year and this day… For it was on this day that China’s intellectuals turned away from the West.”
Han Suyin, Chinese writer, on the May Fourth Movement

“The Republic is my child. It is in danger of drowning. I am trying to keep it afloat and we are being swept down the river. I call for help to England and America. They stand on the bank and jeer at me. Then comes a Russian straw. Drowning, I clutch at it. England and America, on the bank, shout at me on no account to clutch the Russian straw. But do they help me? No. They jeer themselves and at the same time tell me not to clutch that Russian straw. I know it is a straw, but better that than nothing.”
Sun Yixian, 1921

“More than half of the Guomindang members are the intellectuals, called scholars during the old days. They are legislators, lawyers, journalists, teachers, government officials and soldiers… It is safe to say the Guomindang is a revolutionary party representing a people’s movement, rather than a political party representing a particular class.”
Qi Yen, Chinese writer, 1922

“If we want to achieve great things, building up Guangxi and restoring China, first we need money… to get money we must rectify our finances… to rectify finances we must first get hold of opium… Opium makes up almost half our revenue, once it is controlled the rest will follow.”
Li Zongren, Guangxi warlord

“The warlords have now become so arrogant and so unprincipled that like knives and swords hacking cattle and fish, they hack the people to pieces… The warlords conspire with foreign imperialists, while the so called republican governments, controlled by the warlords, abuse their authority to serve the pleasure of foreign powers.”
Declaration of the First National Congress of the Guomindang, 1924

“China is now suffering from poverty, not from unequal distribution of wealth. Where there are inequalities of wealth, the methods of Marx – a class war – can be advocated to destroy the inequalities. But in China, where industry is not yet developed, Marx’s class war and dictatorship of the proletariat are impracticable.”
Sun Yixian, 1924


Information and resources on this page are © Alpha History 2015.
Content on this page may not be copied, republished or redistributed without the express permission of Alpha History. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use.
This website uses pinyin romanisations of Chinese words and names. Please refer to this page for more information.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •