Chinese Business Groups in Hong Kong and Political Change in by Stephanie P.Y. Chung

By Stephanie P.Y. Chung

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Extra resources for Chinese Business Groups in Hong Kong and Political Change in South China, 1900-25 (St. Antony's Series)

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The value of his ‘head’ was about one-quarter of that of Liang Qichao. As the President of the newlyfounded Republic, his term of office lasted for only two months. As a Generalissimo (Grand Marshal), he commanded no army until 1924 when the Whampoa Military Academy was established in Canton with Soviet support. Before that, Sun had relied on the superficial loyalty of the unreliable ‘guest armies’ from Yunnan and Guangxi. As ‘President Extraordinary of China’ in Canton, Sun had to rely on the support offered by Chen Jiongming, whose subordinates, however, bombarded Sun’s residence and drove him out of Guangdong.

Moulded by the British presence and the national politics of China, Hong Kong society was, and is, too complex to be described as simply the product of imperialism. 54 British jurisdiction provided a safe haven for financiers who planned to do business in China. However, the traditions that the British brought to, or cultivated in, Hong Kong were overshadowed by those traditions invented in, and transplanted from, China. British rule in Hong Kong (1841–1997) coincided, and continues to coincide, with the proliferation of tradition in China and the widespread export of these new traditions to overseas Chinese communities.

The Canton government was a coalition of diverse regional elements united by their common opposition to the Peking government. The major civilian supporters of Sun’s regime were none other than Wu Tingfang and his descendants. In the 1920s, Wu’s son and son-in-law became prominent high officials in Sun’s Canton government. Together with Sun Yat-sen’s son, the younger Mr Wu and his brotherin-law were labelled by their contemporaries as the clique of Princelings in Republican politics. The really dominant elements in Sun’s regime, however, were the military leaders of Yunnan and Guangxi, who moved their troops to Guangdong, giving lip service loyalty to Sun, and dividing the province into separate spheres of influence.

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