Wellington Koo

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wellington Koo, 1945

Vi Kyuin Wellington Koo ( Chinese  顧維鈞  /  顾维钧 , Pinyin Gù Wéijūn , W.-G. Ku Wei-chün , also: Koo Vi Kyuin ; born  January 29, 1887 in Shanghai ; † November 14, 1985 in New York City ) was a trained Chinese diplomat at Columbia University . He served as President of the Republic of China in 1926/1927 and as a judge at the International Court of Justice from 1956 to 1967 .


Wellington Koo was born in Shanghai in 1887. In 1904 he went to the United States to study Western culture at Columbia University , mostly to help China deal with the imperialist threat. He spoke perfect English and was interested in China's position in the world. In 1912 he received his PhD in international law and diplomacy from Columbia University. He immediately returned to China to serve as the President's English Secretary for the new Republic of China . In 1915, Koo was appointed Chinese envoy to the United States.

Four years later he was one of the Chinese delegates at the Paris Peace Conference , which made him well known. Before the western powers and Japan , he demanded that Japan return Shandong to China. He also began to press the Western powers to end all imperialist institutions and measures, such as extraterritoriality , customs controls , embassy guards and leases. The Western powers rejected his demands and, as a result, the Chinese delegation was the only one at the Paris Peace Conference that refused to sign the Treaty of Versailles during the signing ceremony.

Wellington Koo was also the first representative of China to be involved in founding the League of Nations . He was President of China in 1926/1927, during a period of chaos in Beijing. He was then foreign minister in the military government of Zhang Zuolin and represented China at the League of Nations to counter the Japanese invasion of Manchuria . Until the occupation of France by Germany , he was the Chinese ambassador to France from 1936 to 1940. He then became the Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom until 1946 . In 1945 was involved in the creation of the United Nations . Later, as ambassador to the United States, he tried to maintain the alliance between them and national China when the Guomindang gradually lost control to the Chinese Communist Party and had to withdraw to Taiwan .

In 1956, Wellington Koo left the Chinese diplomatic service after 44 years and two world wars. He was China's most experienced and respected diplomat. In the same year he was elected Vice President and Judge at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, succeeding his compatriot Hsu Mo, who died in office . In 1967 he resigned and moved to New York, where he spent the last years of his life with family and friends and died in 1985 at the age of 98.

Web links


Commons : Wellington Koo  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
  • Stephen G. Craft: VK Wellington Koo and the Emergence of Modern China. University Press of Kentucky 2004.