Tsiang Tingfu
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

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

Early life and education

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 11. Having been urged to study in the US by his teacher from a missionary school, he was sent in 1911 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 took up a position at Nankai University and then at Tsinghua University.[1]

Academic career

Hu Shih (right) and Tsiang (left)
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 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 career

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 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, at 69.[3]

1954 television interview
1954 television interview

Selected writings


  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.


Diplomatic posts Preceded byQuo Tai-chi Permanent Representative and Ambassador of China to the United Nations1947–1962 Succeeded byLiu Chieh