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Once more a Harvard graduate appears in a remote corner of the world advancing radical ideas and bringing order out of choas. This time it is T. V. Soong '15 who has taken the position of Finance Minister of the Nationalist party in China. In 1915 when Soong took his degree here one would hardly have thought that the same frail, slight foreigner in ten years would be organizing the finance of a country with a population totaling over 300 millions.
When, however, the ominous rumblings of civil war increased in 1915 and Chinese patriots started to flock to the nationalist standard in the south, Soong found himself moving towards Canton with the rest of the revolutionists.
Born in Shanghal in 1893 he went to an English preparatory school in that city. Finding that the educational opportunities were limited there he came to Harvard and passed two and a half years here, taking his degree in 1915. Although his record here caused no especial comment as at that time it was in those two and a half years that he developed the knowledge and the ability which made his rapid rise later in China possible. He is one of the large group of students who, having obtained a foreign education, now form the back-bone of the Nationalist movement.
With his sisters' marriage to Sun Yatsen, Nationalist leader, he immediately cast in his lot with the southerners., Rising immediately to the head of the Finance Department he completely revolutionized the old method of tax collecting. The old system with all its red tape and abuses was completely scraped and a new organization started in which each collector was responsible directly to the Finance Minister for the taxes he raised. An immediate increase in revenue was necessary in order to pay for the battles, sieges and salaries which were necessary for the new southern forces which were combating armless backed by European capital. With the institution of Soong's new budget which abolished the old "farming out" process, the annual income increased to ten times its previous amount, and he gained the absolute confidence of the people for his government.
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