I was a bit surprised the first time I realized that Sun Yat Sen (孫中山, Sun Zhong Shan) is considered to be the founding father of the modern Chinese nation by both China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. From biographies I read about Mao and Chiang Kai Shek, I was led to believe that while Sun Yat Sen’s was pushing for the end of the warlord era and the reunification of China, he tended to have a slight tendency towards the more nationalistic direction, rather than the communist one. The Communists were (suspiciously) joined with the KMT by SYS during 1924 for the one year till the doctor died (though the official split was 1927). His three principals’ "The People’s Livelihood/Welfar", though socialistic, didn’t seem as extreme as the classic Communist ideology promoted by the Communist Party, as he was advocating the idea of a more nationalistic socialist republic. This idea was reinterpreted and redefined by both Chiang Kai Shek and Mao to fit their very different political directions in their dominance of China and Taiwan. I believe a similar more modern reinterpretation and redefinition of the Dr.’s alleged intent is reoccurring again in both China and Taiwan in support of much newer political agendas.
Either way, Sun Yat Sen can be found all over China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Guangzhou included. And so, in the heart of Guangzhou lies the grand Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall to honor the doctor.
Inside is a huge meeting hall, used on a number of historical occasions.
Movies in Chinese were showing some documentaries about Sun Yat Sen’s life, completely leaving out any mention of the Kuomintang (KMT), Chiang Kai Shek or the nationalists. This shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise as the more liberal Sun Yat Sen Museum in Hong Kong I visited a few months ago did a superb job of hosting a full scale museum about the Dr. without even one mention of the KMT or Chiang , something which I thought was absolutely remarkable.