Sun’s Second People’s Principle

Sun’s second principle concerned “the rights of the people,” minquan zhuyi (民权主义). Here Sun laid out his vision for China’s political system to come, a mixture of democratic and autocratic elements.

“The individual should not have too much liberty, but the nation should have complete liberty,” he proclaimed. “When the nation can act freely, then China may be called strong, To make the nation free, we must each sacrifice our personal freedom…”

While nominally a pro-election republican, Sun was hardly a democrat. Sun believed a strong, Leninist brand of centralized leadership would give China the strength and cohesion it needed.