Chen Lifu file photo [31291]

Chen Lifu

SurnameChen
Given NameLifu
Born21 Aug 1900
Died8 Feb 2001
CountryChina
CategoryGovernment
GenderMale

Contributor:

ww2dbaseChen Zuyan, known by his courtesy name Chen Lifu in adulthood, was born to father Chen Qiye (courtesy name Qinshi) in Zhejiang Province, Qing Dynasty China in 1900. His uncle Chen Yinshi (courtesy name Qimei) was a revolutionary, and had influenced his older brother Chen Guofu to join the Tongmenghui, thus also influencing Chen Lifu. In 1911, when the revolution took place, he was a student at a mining school on Nanyang Road in Shanghai, China. Upon graduation, he enrolled in the Peiyang University in Tianjin, China. Between 1917 and 1922, he studied at the prestigious Industrial and Mining College within Peiyang. He then studied at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, United States, obtaining a master's degree in 1924. After 8 months working in the mining industry in Scranton, Pennsylvania, he returned to the United States. Originally he was recruited for a US-based engineering position by the Zhongxing Coal Company, but through Chen Guofu's recommendation, who was a friend and ally of Nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kaishek's, Chiang sent two telegrams to Chen Lifu, asking him to enter politics. By the end of the year, he had arrived in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China and served as Chiang's private secretary. In 1929, he was made the Nationalist Party's chief secretary, the youngest person to hold that position, responsible for personnel and organization. In 1931, he was made the head of the party's Organizational Department. In the early 1930s, together with Chen Guofu, he supported the advancement of traditional Chinese medicine. In Jan 1938, he was made the Minister of Education. In this role, he relocated major universities in Japanese-occupied areas further inland; one such example was the relocation of Peking University (of Beiping), Tsinghua University (of Beiping), and Nankai University (of Tianjin) to Changsha in Hunan Province, Mengzi in Yunnan Province, and Kunming in Yunnan Provinces successively; in Kunming, the three universities combined to form the Southwestern Associated University. He also established loan programs to help students pay for tuition. To improve understanding of Chinese language, history, politics, and geography, he established 50 scholarship programs at several universities aboard, including University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, Yale University and Harvard University in the United States, and University of Calcutta in India. He stepped down as the Minister of Education in Nov 1944. In 1947, he was named the chief secretary of the Central Political Committee of the Nationalist Party. During the 1930s and 1940s, Chen Guofu and Chen Lifu together formed the backbone of the Central Club Clique, an influential clique within the Nationalist Party. In 1948, in an official capacity, he visited the United States to assist in Thomas Dewey's bid for US presidency. Later in the year, he was successively named the deputy principal of the Central Political School, National Congress representative, deputy head of the Legislative Yuan, committee member of the Executive Yuan, and senior advisor to the Office of the President. He relocated to Taiwan in 1949 as the Communist began to gain the upper hand in the civil war. In Jul 1950, he was nominated by Chiang Kaishek for important party positions, but he would not be elected. In Aug 1950, he moved to a farm western New Jersey, United States, retiring from politics. In 1951, Chen Guofu passed away from lung disease in Taiwan; Chiang sent a letter to Chen Lifu, asking him not to attend his brother's funeral due to the Chen brothers' political rivalry with Chen Cheng, who was by then a trusted lieutenant of Chiang's, and Chiang wish to avoid unnecessary conflicts. In 1961, he received permission to visit Taiwan to see his sick elderly father; he was surprised by a large welcome ceremony at the airport upon his arrival. To avoid giving the false impression of a return to Chinese politics, he returned to the United States shortly after his father's passing. In the subsequent years, he was recruited by Chiang several times, mostly for positions outside of Taiwan, such as representative to the United Nations, ambassador to Spain, and ambassador to Greece, but he turned them down each time. He lived a simple life in New Jersey, raising chickens and making preserved eggs, chili sauces, zongzi, and Chinese-style bread. After Chen Cheng passed away in 1965, Chen Lifu returned to Taiwan in 1966. Refusing high ranking government positions offered by Chiang, Chiang appointed him to be the chairman of the China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan. In 1982, he was awarded the Executive Yuan Culture Award for his contributions to traditional Chinese medicine. In 1988, after Communist China and Taiwan resumed some high level communications, he advocated for some degrees of compromise in principle in order to improve relations between the two Chinas, but the government opposed any such suggestions. In 1990, he established the Lifu Medical Research Cultural and Educational Foundation. In Oct 2000, he suffered from a heart attack and pneumonia, and was admitted to a hospital. He passed away in Taichung, Taiwan in 2001 and was buried at the Wugu Cemetery in Wugu Township (now Wugu District, New Taipei City) in northern Taiwan.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Nov 2021

Chen Lifu Timeline

21 Aug 1900 Chen Zuyan was born in Wuxing County, Zhejiang Province, Qing Dynasty China.
9 Jan 1926 Chen Lifu was made Chiang Kaishek's private secretary in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
27 Apr 1928 Chen Lifu was made a member of the Republic of China War Area Administration Committee.
30 Jun 1928 Chen Lifu stepped down as a member of the Republic of China War Area Administration Committee.
5 Oct 1933 Chen Lifu was made a committee member of the Chinese central government.
1 Jan 1938 Chen Lifu was made the Minister of Education.
5 Mar 1938 Chen Lifu stepped down as a committee member of the Chinese central government.
20 Nov 1944 Chen Lifu stepped down as the Minister of Education.
7 Apr 1947 Chen Lifu was named the chief secretary of the Central Political Committee of the Nationalist Party.
18 Jun 1948 Chen Lifu became the deputy head of the Legislative Yuan.
22 Dec 1948 Chen Lifu stepped down as the deputy head of the Legislative Yuan and transferred to the Executive Yuan.
21 Mar 1949 Chen Lifu stepped down as a committee member at the Executive Yuan.
25 Sep 1949 Chiang Kaishek met with Bai Chongxi, Yan Xishan, Chen Lifu, Gu Zhutong, and Gui Yongqing in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
27 Sep 1949 Chiang Kaishek met with Yan Xishan, Zhang Qun, Wu Tiecheng, Bai Chongxi, Yu Youren, Ju Zheng, Gu Zhutong, Chen Lifu, and Gui Yongqing in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
26 Jul 1950 Chen Lifu was nominated by Chiang Kaishek for important party positions, but would not be elected.
8 Apr 1982 Chen Lifu was awarded the Executive Yuan Culture Award for his contributions to traditional Chinese medicine.
20 May 1996 Chen Lifu stepped down as a senior advisor to the President of the Republic of China.
8 Feb 2001 Chen Lifu passed away at the China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan Province, Republic of China at about 2050 hours.

Photographs

Chen Lifu (front row, sixth from left), Yang HU (front row, third from right) and other officers and officials at Whampoa Military Academy, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, circa 1926Chen Lifu (second from left) and another official with officers of Nationalist 1st Army, Baoding, Hebei Province, China, 28 May 1928Portrait of Chen Lifu, date unknownPortrait of Chen Lifu, Feb 1937
See all 10 photographs of Chen Lifu



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