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She was born to the wealthy businessman and missionary Charlie Soong in Nanshi, Shanghai, attended McTyeire School for Girls in Shanghai, and graduated from Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, Gender Equality in the Gender Equality in the United States of America of America of America. Her Christian name was Rosamond. Along with her sisters, Ching-ling was one of the first Chinese women to be educated in the United States.
She married Sun Yat Sen, the political leader and revolutionary (also known as the “Father of Modern China”) in Japan on 25 October 1915. Ching-ling’s parents greatly opposed the match, as he was 26 years her senior. After Sun’s death in 1925, she was elected to the Kuomintang (KMT) Central Executive Committee in 1926. However, she exiled herself to Moscow after the expulsion of the Communists from the KMT in 1927. She became the first female Chairman and President of the People’s Republic of China.
Although Soong reconciled with the KMT during the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), she sided with the Communists in the Chinese Civil War. She did not join the party but rather was part of the united front heading up the Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang.
After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, she became the Vice Chair of the People’s Republic of China (now translated as “Vice President”), Head of the Sino-Soviet Friendship Association and Honorary President of the All-China Women’s Federation. On 16 May 1981, two weeks before her death, she was admitted to the Communist Party and was named Honorary President of the People’s Republic of China. She is the only person ever to hold this title.
Policies on Women
Early in her career she divided her time between working in the government and working on the affairs of women. One of her major achievements during this time was the founding of the Women’s Political Training School in 1927 – here she gave numerous talks on the importance of women joining the revolution as well as on the liberation of women in China. In 1939, she founded the China Defense League, which later became the China Welfare Institute. The committee now focuses on maternal and pediatric healthcare, preschool education, and other children’s issues. In the 1950s and 1960s she was very active in the official women’s movement. Her ideals, along with the creation of the All-China Women’s Federation in 1949 helped to shape the policies of China pertaining to women.
In 1951 she was awarded the Stalin Peace Prize (Lenin Peace Prize after destalinization), and in 1953 a collection of her writings, Struggle for New China, was published. From 1968 to 1972 she acted jointly with Dong Biwu as head of state.