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Yuanpei Cai (Heqing, Jiemin, Jienong)

educator , politian , Revolutionary

Cai Yuanpei was a Chinese educator and the chancellor of Peking University, known for his critical evaluations of Chinese culture that led to the influential May Fourth Movement. In his thinking, Cai Yuanpei was heavily influenced by Anarchism. Cai Yuanpei proposed five types of education: military/citizenship, practical matters, morality, worldview, and aesthetics, which formed the foundation of the new education system.


Cai Yuanpei (AD 1868-1940), with the courtesy names Heqing and Jiemin and the literary name Jienong, was born in Shanyin of Shaoxing (today's Yuecheng).


In AD 1904, Cai Yuanpei established an anti-Qing revolutionary party in Shanghai and became its first president. He highly valued academic freedom, allowing different schools of thought to develop on campus. He practised intellectual freedom and had an all-embracing attitude towards education. He was in favour of wiping out feudalism, old customs, and classical Chinese.