Soul of China

Pay your rent

Sun Yat-sen, after resigning as provisional president of the Republic of China, went to various parts of China in April 1912 in his capacity as national railway supervisor to propagate the importance of building railroads.
One day, passing by Jiu Jiang (九江) of Jiangxi province, Sun Yat-sen saw a lot of advertising boards of foreign companies.
He asked Jiu Jiang police chief Zhou Zhao Lin (周兆麟): “Did those foreign countries rent the advertising boards from our country?” Zhou Zhao Lin shook his head.
Sun Yat-sen continued: “Under foreign laws, no matter where you install an advertising board, you have to ask the permission of the landlord and pay rental. We should uphold this right.”
Zhou Zhao Lin adopted Sun Yat-sen’s opinion and asked the foreigners to pay back rental.
At first, the consuls of these countries and foreign firms dismissed the request. After a few days, Zhou Zhao Lin sent policemen to dismantle all the advertising boards.
The consuls of those foreign countries then buffed and blustered to make representation.
But since Zhou Zhao Lin had the support of Jiangxi governor Li Lie Lun (李烈鈞), the consuls eventually paid the back rentals.