Li Fang received his early education in his native town and then studied at Griffith John College and Boone University (later Huachung University). When the 1911 Revolution broke out in Wuchang he joined the Revolutionary Army as a cadet and was sent to the Military College at Wuchang for two years. Then he went to England and France and studied economics and political science in 1918-1919.
When the World War broke out Mr. Li joined the Allied Army as technical officer. He returned to China in 1918 and entered the government service in Peking. He joined the Nationalist Government in Canton in 1923 and was made secretary-general and chief of the transportation department and the Commissariat attached to the 2nd Army Corps which took part in the northern expedition. After the capture of Wuhan and the establishment of the Nationalist Government he retired from the military service and was appointed Commissioner of Foreign Affairs for Hunan.
In 1929 Li Fang took part in the expedition against the Guangxi Clique in Wuhan, after which he was promoted a superintendent of Customs at Hankou and concurrently commissioner of Foreign Affairs for Hubei. He held the latter office until it was abolished and was then appointed as special inspecting commissioner of Foreign Affairs for the Central China provinces, manager of the Hankou Herald in Hankou and Chinese Consul-General in Novosibirsk, U.S.S.R., which post he resigned in October 1935.