Who's who in China; biographies of Chinese leaders
This edition of Who's Who in China, the fifth to be issued since 1918, contains the biographical sketches of more than 1,500 of the best-known men and women of China. Most biographies are accompanied by photographs, a unique feature of the book in that similar publications over the world do not contain photographs.
In order to conserve space and keep the book within convenient size the sketches, with few exceptions, have been reduced to standard outline form typographically similar to publications. of this type in the West, particularly the standard Who's Who in America which now contains more than 30,000 names.
This volume represents a complete revision of preceding editions, including supplements, plus a considerable number of new sketches of persons who have come into prominence in the past four or five years. The names of several who appeared in preceding editions, but were taken by death, have been omitted, — with one notable exception, the late Dr Sun Yat-sen, founder of the Kuomintang and "father" of the Nationalist movement.
The book, obviously, does not contain all of the prominent men and women of China, the nation of four hundred million people, one reason being that the Chinese, unlike occidentals, generally speaking, dislike submitting their records for publication in a book of general circulation. Many persons, particularly elderly men and women, widely known for public service, refuse to permit their pictures and life histories to be published.
However, more and more particularly those of the younger generations, are coming to appreciate the service rendered by a book of this character. The biographies were obtained from newspaper accounts, official records, directly from the individuals themselves or from personal friends.
The newspapers provide the best source of information regarding persons regarded as suitable for inclusion in the book, as practically every edition of every newspaper contains names of persons appointed to official or civil positions or who have come into prominence sufficiently to have their names printed in the papers.
Chief officials of all provinces, except Sinkiang, are included. Gen. Shen Shih-tsai, the border defence commissioner of Sinkiang, China's most western province, has resisted all registered letter appeals for the details of his life for publication. Special efforts were exerted to include in this edition all Chinese prominently identified with religious activities of all denominations.
With few exceptions, all officials of the National Government have been included. Almost all diplomats and leading consular officials abroad have been included. Practically all sketches have appeared previously in the pages of The China Weekly Review and in this connection, it should be stated that publication has entailed no obligation on the part of anyone, not even the purchase of a copy of this book by those whose biographies appear herein. Previous editions have provided a fertile source of information for those who are interested in China and its people.
In this connection, we desire to express appreciation for the work of Prof. Herbert D. Lamson, of the University of Shanghai, whose class for several years has made a practice of analyzing the book from the standpoint of occupations, educational attainments, places of birth, percentages to the general population, etc.
It is our hope that the present volume may prove an even more fertile source of information for those who would know China and its people. Under the heading, "Additional Biographies" there appears in the final pages a number of sketches which were received while the volume was in preparation and in consequence could not be included in alphabetical order. They are included in a separate index.the book details :