Cheng-ting Wang received his early education in schools of Chekiang after which he attended Pei-yang University, Tientsin, China in 1895-1900. He also studied at Tientsin Anglo-Chinese College and Hunan Provincial High School in 1900-05. Then Mr. Wang went to Japan to study for two years, at the same time acting as Y.M.C.A. (Young Men's Christian Association) secretary in Tokyo.
He studied at University of Michigan from 1907 till 1908 and at Yale from 1908 till 1911 where he obtained an Bachelor of Arts degree in 1910 and was elected to Phi Beta Pappa.
In June 1911 Cheng-ting Wang returned to China and was appointed secretary of the Chinese Y.M.C.A.(Young Men's Christian Association,). He actively identified himself with the revolution in 1911, serving under the late President Li Yuan-hung, and then he became revolutionary commander in Wuchang, China.
Mr. Wang represented Hupeh at the conference of representatives of the provincial military governments which adopted the Provisional Government Organization Law at Hankow on Dec. 3 in 1911 and was a signatory of the paper. He assisted in organization of the Provisional Government early in 1912. In Feb. 1913 when Yuan Shih-kai succeeded Dr. Sun Yat-sen as President and the First Republican Cabinet was formed in Peking under Tang Shao-yi, he was appointed vice-Minister of Industry and Commerce and in May the same year was ordered to act as Minister of Industry and Commerce resigning in July.
He was was a member of the First Parliament convoked at Peking on April 8, 1913 and elected vice-president of the Senate on April 26. Parliament was at that time practically in control of the Kuomintang, of which he was a prominent member. In November 1913 Yuan Shih-kai declared the Kuomintang a seditious organization, dissolved it and unseated all its members in Parliament in January 1914, the Parliament was dissolved and he retired and was appointed general secretary of the National Committee Y.M.C.A. of China. After the death of Yuan Shih-kai in June 1916, the First Parliament was reconvoked and he resumed office as vice-President of the Senate in which position he remained until June 1917, when Parliament was again dissolved and he went to Canton with other parliamentarians.
Cheng-ting Wang affiliated himself with the movement leading up to the inauguration of the Extraordinary Parliament at Canton in August 1917 and in 1918 the Southern Government sent him to Washington to present its case before President Wilson and secure American recognition of its belligerency. During his mission he was appointed by the Northern Government, Jan. 1919, as one of China's chief delegates to the Paris Conference. He returned to China in February, 1920 and organized an export and import company at Shanghai. He also founded the Hua Feng Cotton Mill Co. at Woosung and became its managing director. In Jan. 1920, he was given the honorary degree of LL.D. (Doctor of Laws) by St. John's University, Shanghai, China and in September of the same year the Peking Government appointed him president of a commission to study the peace treaties.
In March 1922 he became director-general of the Shantung Rehabilitation Commission and was awarded the 1st Class Tashou Chiaho decoration in April 1922. In June of the same year he was appointed China's chief commissioner to the Sino-Jnpanese joint commission to settle the Shantung question.
In July 1922 he was awarded the 1st Class Tashou Paokuang Chiaho. After that in October 1922 he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and in December was ordered to hold concurrently the post of chief of the Bureau for the Preparation of the Special Tariff Revision Commission. Then on Dec. 11 he was appointed to act as Prime Minister and in January 1928 when the Cabinet underwent a change, he was appointed Minister of Justice, but declined the post.
In the same month he was appointed a member of the Educational Sinking Funds Commission, in February 1923 he was awarded the First Class Wenhu and in March was ordered to make preparations for the Sino-Russian negotiations.
In November 1928 he was commissioned to visit Japan to investigate condition of Chinese students and merchants after the earthquake and after his return he commenced the Sino-Russian negotiations with Kharakan and the preliminary agreement was signed in March 1924. Mr. Wang was attacked by opponents and the Sino-Russian negotiations were taken over by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Shortly after this he accepted the post of managing director of the Liu Ho Kou Coal Mining Co. Following the defeat of the Chihli Party he served for a time as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance in the government established by Feng Yu-hsiang.
In February 1925, he was again appointed by the Peking Government to conduct the Sino-Russian negotiations and in 1926 he served concurrently as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance director-general of the Sino-Russian Conference and delegate to and chairman of the Customs Conference. Cheng-ting Wang assumed the office of director-general of the Lung-Hai Railway in August, 1927.
Early in 1928 he was appointed a member of the Committee of Foreign Affairs of the Nationalist Government and was Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1928-31. He was a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang, a member of the Central Political Council and a member of the Foreign Affairs Division of the Central Political Council, President of the China National University at Peiping since 1922, member of the National Government and Chairman of the Board of Directors and concurrently Managing Director of the Liu Ho Kou Mining Co., Ltd