A new Chinese republic took shape after the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911. Nationalists like Sun Yixian set the goal of “catching up and surpassing the powers, east and west.” But that goal would remain a distant dream as China suffered the turmoil of civil war and foreign invasion.
Mao was introduced to communist ideas while he was working at Peking University as a librarian's assistant. He later became the leader of the Chinese Communist Party.
Sun Yixian, the “father of modern China,” hoped to rebuild China on the Three Principles of the People—nationalism, democracy, and economic security for everyone. But he made little progress. One problem, he noted, was that the Chinese people felt more loyalty to families and clans than to the nation.
Therefore, even though we have four hundred million people gathered together in one China, in reality they are just a heap of loose sand. Today we are the poorest and weakest nation in the world and occupy the lowest position in international affairs. Other men are the carving knife and serving dish, we are the fish and the meat.