Wellington Koo

From Academic Kids

V.K. Wellington Koo (1887 - 1985) was a Chinese diplomat, educated at Columbia University.

Vi Kyuin Wellington Koo (顾维钧 Gu Weijun in Chinese) was born in Shanghai, China in 1888. In 1904 he went to the United States and studied Western culture, in order to help China with the problem of imperialism. He spoke perfect fluent English, and came to be interested in China's position in international society.

In 1912 Koo received his PhD in international law and diplomacy at Columbia. Immediately, he returned to China to serve the new Republic of China as the President's English Secretary. In 1915 Koo was made Chinese Minister to the United States.

In 1919 he was one of the Chinese delegates to the Paris Peace Conference for which he is most well known. Before the Western powers and Japan, he demanded that Japan return Shandong to China. He also began harassing Western countries for an end to all imperialist institutions such as extraterritoriality, tarrif controls, legation guards, and lease holds. The Western powers refused his claims and, consequently, the Chinese delegation at the Paris Peace Conference was the only nation that did not sign the treaty of Versaillies at the signing ceremony.

Koo also was involved in the formation of the League of Nations as China's first representitive to the League of Nations. He was the president of China from 1926-1927 during a period of chaos in Beijing. He served as Foreign Minister under Zhang Zuolin, and represented China at the League of Nations to protest the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. He served as the Chinese Ambassador to France from 1936-1940 until France was occupied by Germany. Afterwards he was the Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom until 1946. In 1945 Koo was one of the founding members of the United Nations Afterwards he was the Ambassador to the United States trying to maintain the alliance between the Republic of China and the United States as the GMD began losing to the CCP and had to retreat to Taiwan.

Koo retired from the Chinese diplomatic service in 1956 after 44 years and two world wars. He was China's most experienced and respected diplomat. In 1956 Koo became the Vice-president and judge in the International Court of Justice at The Hague. In 1967 he retired and moved to New York City where he spent the rest of his life with family and friends until his death in 1985 at the age of 98.

Preceded by:
Du Xigui
President of the Republic of China
Succeeded by:
Chang Tso-lin
(President of the Nationalists' Government of China)

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External links

  • Biography at Columbia (http://c250.columbia.edu/c250_celebrates/remarkable_columbians/v_k_wellington_koo.html)
  • Funny anecdote (http://www.bram.net/humor-archive/2000-Jul/msg00012.html)


  • Stephen G. Craft: V.K. Wellington Koo and the Emergence of Modern China. University Press of Kentucky 2004.de:Wellington Koo

fr:Wellington Koo ja:顧維鈞 zh-tw:顧維鈞 zh-cn:顾维钧


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