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Tsiang Tingfu (Chinese: 蔣廷黻; pinyin: Jiǎng Tíngfú; 17 February 1895 – 9 October 1965) who publish in English under the name T.F. Tsiang, was a historian and diplomat of the Republic of China.

Tsiang Tingfu
Jiang Tingfu.jpg
Born(1895-12-07)7 December 1895
Died9 October 1965(1965-10-09) (aged 69)
NationalityRepublic of China
Known forQing, Modern Chinese history
Scientific career
Tsiang Tingfu


Early life and educationEdit

Tsiang was born in Shaoyang in Hunan Province. Tsiang's education from his teenage years had been Western and largely Christian, and he converted to Christianity at the age of 11. Having been urged to study in the U.S. by his teacher from a missionary school, in 1911, he was sent to study in the United States, where he attended the Park Academy, Oberlin College and Columbia University. His dissertation, "Labor and Empire: A Study of the Reaction of British Labor, Mainly as Represented in Parliament, to British Imperialism Since 1880," led him into issues in the relation of foreign relations and domestic politics which would structure his scholarship after he returned to China. After obtaining a Ph.D., he returned to China in 1923, where he first took up a position at Nankai University and then at Tsinghua University.[1]

Academic careerEdit

Hu Shih (right) and Tsiang (left)

At Tsinghua, Tsiang became the head of the History Department, where he edited and published a number of works on Chinese history and edited the English-language journal Chinese Social and Political Science Review. Using newly opened Qing dynasty archives and diplomatic publications, Tsiang argued that China should adopt Western approaches if it wanted to score diplomatic victories. Tsiang blamed China's unequal treatment by Western powers after the First Opium War (1839–42) on the Chinese unequal treatment of Western powers before the war. During his tenure at Tsinghua, he mentored a number of historians in the study of Qing history, including John K. Fairbank.[2]

Diplomatic careerEdit

Following mounting tensions in China's relations with Japan, Tsiang left academia in 1935 and joined the Chinese Nationalist government, which he served in many different capacities throughout the Sino-Japanese War. In 1945, Tsiang became the Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, and he subsequently also served as the ambassador of China to the United States. Following the establishment of the People's Republic of China on the Chinese mainland, Tsiang defended the exclusive right of the Taipei-based Republic of China to represent China in the United Nations and in the Security Council. He died of cancer in New York City on 9 October 1965, aged 69.[3]

1954 television interview

Selected writingsEdit

  • Tingfu F. Tsiang, "Labor and Empire; a Study of the Reaction of British Labor, Mainly as Represented in Parliament to British Imperialism since 1880," Issued also as thesis (PH D) Columbia university Columbia university,, 1923).
  • "New Light on Chinese Diplomacy, 1836-49," The Journal of Modern History 3.4 (1931): 578-591.
  • "The Extension of Equal Commercial Privileges to Other Nations Than the British after the Treaty of Nanking," The Chinese Social and Political Science Review 15.3 (1931): 422-44.
  • "The Present Situation in China: A Critical Analysis," International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1931-1939) 14.4 (1935): 496-513.
  • "Chinese and European Expansion," Politica 2.5 (March 1936): 1-18.
  • 'Zhongguo jindaishi dagang (Outline of Modern Chinese History) (Chongqing: Qingnian shudian, 1939; rpr. Beijing: Dongfang chubanshe, 1996).
  • Jiang Tingfu Xuanji 蔣廷黻選集 (Selected works of Jiang Tingfu) (Taibei: Wenxing, 1965 4 vols. Reprinted)


  1. ^ Boorman (1967), p. 354.
  2. ^ "T.F. Tsiang and Modernization," John King Fairbank, China Bound: A Fifty Year Memoir (New York: Harper & Row, 1982), 85-93
  3. ^ "Events From Day to Day". Taiwan Today. 1 November 1965. Retrieved 5 April 2018.


  • T.F. Tsiang, (Crystal Lorch, ed.), Reminiscences of Ting-fu Fuller Tsiang: Oral History (New York: Columbia Center for Oral History, 1965.
  • Charles Ronald Lilley, "Tsiang T'ing-Fu between Two Worlds, 1895-1935," (Doctoral Thesis University of Maryland, College Park, 1979).

External linksEdit