It is a story remembered by millions of Chinese in both the PRC and Taiwan, where he is still revered and honoured as the Father of the Chinese People.
Sun was a kindly man, a Christian and a trained doctor. His revolutionary work to overthrow the Manchu Qing Dynasty and rejuvenate China by uplifting the common people brought him to the attention of the Qing officials.
He fled to avoid capture and after many an arduous journey, found himself in London in 1896.
He caught up with his old friends, including one Sir James Cantlie, a doctor and missionary who trained him to qualify as a doctor in Canton. Cantlie and his kindly wife helped Sun find lodgings and provided him with all means of assistance to help him settle down.
His lodgings were not far from where the Qing Embassy was housed.
One morning, as he was walking towards the home of the Cantlies, he was tricked and shoved into the Qing Legation by three agents: the first agent engaged him in conversation, the second invited him for some “yamcha”, and the third muscled him past the door of the Qing Embassy.
Poor Sun was kidnapped and locked away!
The Qing officials planned to ship him back to China to face torture and eventual execution. Cantlie got word of the plot and contacted his friends at The Times newspaper but they showed a disgraceful lack of interest, saying they did not want any incident with China and that the Chinese sort out themselves. Sound familiar?
Cantlie, ever the ‘Good Samaritan’, lobbied...