|Died||23 Aug 1946|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseChu Minyi was born into a scholar-bureaucrat family Wuxing, Zhejiang Province, Qing Dynasty China in 1884, although his father was a physician. Between 1903 and 1906, he studied economics and politics in Japan. In 1906, he went to France for further studies; en route, the ship made a stop at Singapore, where he would meet anti-Qing revolutionaries and be persuaded to join the Tongmenghui. While in France, he would continue to devote himself to the revolutionary cause, founding a newspaper advocating democracy in China. In Nov 1911, after the revolution had begun, he returned to Shanghai, China and joined the local Tongmenghui organization. While in Shanghai, he came to know fellow revolutionaries and married couple Wang Jingwei and Chen Bijun, through whom he was introduced to his future wife Chen Shunzhen, who was Chen Bijun's sworn sister. Chu and Chen would have three sons and two daughters together. In Apr 1912, he took on a leadership role in the Tongmenghui organization in Shanghai. When the Tongmenghui transformed itself into the Nationalist Party, his disagreement on the founding principals led to his self-imposed exile to Belgium, where he studied at the Free University of Brussels, earning degrees in medicine and pharmacology. Although he had at one time thought he would quit politics and follow his father's footsteps, he would ultimately never practice medicine. In 1915, he returned to China briefly to oppose Yuan Shikai's attempt to establish a monarchy. In 1921, for about one year, he was the Vice President of the Institut Franco-Chinois at the University of Lyon in France, an organization in support of Chinese students studying in France. In 1922, he began studying at the University of Strasbourg in France, earning a doctorate degree in medicine in 1924. Returning for China for good in late 1924, unable to turn away from politics, he rejoined the Nationalist Party in 1925. He successively served as a professor at National Canton University, the acting president of National Canton University, and then head of National Canton University's medical school. In Jan 1926, during the Second National Congress of the Chinese Nationalist Party, he became a member of the Central Executive Committee. As his long time friend Wang Jingwei gained power in the Nationalist Party structure, he became a member of his inner circle. Later in the same year, as the Northern Expedition military campaign began, he became the head of the medical division of the military headquarters. In 1928, he was sent to Europe to study public health; upon his return to China, he was made the Chairman of National Health Committee. In Jan 1932, Wang was made the head of the Executive Yuan, and Chu became his deputy. In 1934, he took on a concurrent role as the Chairman of the Xinjiang Infrastructure Planning Committee. In Nov 1935, resigned from his Nationalist Party positions due to political differences with Nationalist leader Chiang Kaishek, and Chu followed suit. Returning to Shanghai, he became the president of the Sino-French Institute of Business and Technology.
ww2dbaseWhen WW2 began for China in 1937, Chu was in Shanghai. Refusing to abandon his duties at the school, he remained in Shanghai as it came under Japanese occupation. In May 1939, he was recruited by Wang Jingwei, who was planning to establish a new government with Japanese support. In Mar 1940 the collaborationist government came into being in the city of Nanjing, and Chu was made the deputy head of the Executive Yuan and the head of the Foreign Ministry; in the latter role, he was responsible for all negotiations with the Japanese puppet masters. Between Dec 1940 and Oct 1941, he was the Nanjing regime's ambassador to Tokyo. He resumed the role as the head of the Foreign Ministry in Oct 1941. For his service with the collaborationist government, he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, First Class by Emperor Showa. When Wang passed away in Nov 1944, Chu clashed with Wang's successor Chen Gongbo, but remained in service with the collaborationist government. He stepped down from the Foreign Ministry of the collaborationist regime in Apr 1945. In Jul 1945, he was made the Governor of Guangdong Province for the puppet regime. A month later, when Japan surrendered, he was taken into custody by Nationalist forces. He expressed willingness to serve under Chiang Kaishek, but Chiang refused to grant him a pardon. A tribunal found him guilty of treason in Apr 1946. He was executed at a prison in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China four months later.
Last Major Revision: Oct 2020
Chu Minyi Timeline
|23 Aug 1946Â||Chu Minyi was executed at a prison in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.|
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Chiang Kaishek, 31 Jul 1937
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