LI HUANG, CHAIRMAN OF YOUNG CHINA PARTY, DIES AT 97
By Tsien Chung Chou (11-16-1991)
Li Huang, National Policy Advisor to the President of the Republic of China, and Chairman of the Young China Party died at midnight, Friday, November 15, at Taipei's Veterans General Hospital at the age of 97, after a short illness of jaundice.
He was the last surviving member of the ten Chinese delegates who signed the United Nations Charter at San Francisco's UN Conference on International Organization on June 26, 1945. Li was a scholar at heart, who co-founded the Young China Party with Tseng Ch'i while they were students in Paris in 1923. It became China's third political party, which attempted to avert civil war between the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party, and supported the united front against Japan during the 1930's.
Li Huang was born in Chengtu, Szechwan on January 14, 1895. He studied at the government foreign language school in Chengtu (1908-1912), and Aurora University, a French Jesuit institution in Shanghai (1913-15). Li left China for France in December 1918 to pursue graduate studies, and in February 1919, he headed the work-study program of a group of Chinese students who were entering the Collège de Montargis. Among them, were Chou En-lai and Deng Xiao-ping.
In the fall of 1919, Li Huang entered the University of Paris, Sorbonne to study European history, sociology, and comparative religion. Li wrote numerous articles for Chinese educational journals, and earned a reputation as an authority on Western educational methods. In December 1923 Tseng Ch'i and Li Huang became the co-founders of the Young China Party, in opposition to both the Kuomintang and the Communist bloc, and dedicated to the principle of nationalism (kuo-chia-chu-i).
After receiving his Licencié-ès-Lettres from the Sorbonne in 1924, Li returned to China to teach European history, French literature, and education at Wuchang University (1924-25), Peking University (1925-26), and Szechwan University (1926-27). In 1929, he moved to the French concession in Shanghai, and for three years, taught at Futan University, Chiangnan College, and Chih-hsing College.
In 1932, Li went to Peking, and with other members of the Young China Party established a base located between Chinchow and the Great Wall, as a center of guerilla operations against Japanese warlords who invaded Manchuria in 1931. Li's anti-Japanese activities were declared illegal by Chiang Kai-shek, who sent soldiers to arrest him as a trouble-maker. At the time (1933), Li was living at the home of his elder sister Li Chi and her husband, a professor of philosophy at Peking University. The soldiers didn't recognize Li Huang when he returned home, and asked him at the door, "Who are you?" Recognizing the danger of the situation, Li replied spontaneously in his characteristic quick-wit, "I'm the debt-collector. The owner of this house owes me money." The soldier scolded him, "Go away! This is no time to collect your debts. We're here to arrest Li Huang!" With no money on his person, Li went to Dr. Hu Shih's house in Mi-Liang-Ku for advice and help. Hu told him that Chiang's soldiers have surrounded the area, and gave Li thirty Chinese silver dollars to bribe the railway driver for hiding him in the coal-bin boxcar for his getaway from Peking to Tientsien. After the Sino-Japanese war in July 1937, the Young China Party modified its stern policies toward the Chinese Communist Party, and supported the united front. Li became deputy chairman of the central committee of the League of Chinese Democratic Political Groups in 1941. From 1938 to 1945, he also was co-chairman of the People's Political Council at Chungking.
In 1946, Li participated in the Kuomintang-Communist peace negotiations headed by General George C. Marshall. The efforts to end the Chinese civil war was unsuccessful. Li Huang declined Chiang Kai-shek's offers to be economics affairs minister in 1947, and his political advisor in 1948. After the Chinese Communists took the mainland in 1949, Li established residence in Hong Kong, where he taught European history and literature at Chuhai University in Hong Kong from 1959 to 1978. He visited the United States in 1967-1970, Europe in 1978, and Latin America, which he recounted in Hseuh tung shih yu-chi (Travel Journal) in 1987. With the urgings of friends, he established residence in Taiwan in 1980, assumed leadership of the Young China Party, and accepted the position of National Policy Advisor to President Chiang Ching-kuo, which he continued under President Lee Teng-hui.
Li Huang was the author of over two dozen books, the most important works were Fa-kuo wen-hsueh shih (History of French Literature) in 1920, Kuo-chia-chu-i ti chiao-yü (Nationalist Education) with Yü Chia-chü (1923), Li-shih hsueh yü she-hui k'o-hsueh (History of the Social Sciences) in 1932, Hseuh tun shih shih ts'ao hsuan shu pai shih (One Hundred Selected Poems) in his own calligraphy (1975), and Hsueh tun shih hui i lu (My Memoirs) in two volumes (1979, 1982).
Li Huang is survived by his wife Wang En-hui, 96 (they celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary earlier this year), two sons, Li Yin-yuan and Li Yin-chang, two daughters, Li Yin-lien and Li Yin-tang, eight grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.
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