Statue of Soong Ching Ling
Soong Qingling Shanghai Residence
Soong Ching-ling or Song Qingling Guju (1893-1981) is revered throughout China as a loyalist to the Communist cause. Born in Shanghai to a wealthy family, she married the founder of the Chinese Republic, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, in 1915. Unlike the rest of her family members (the most famous being her youngest sister Soong Mei-ling, who married Chiang Kai-shek) who all fled China after 1949, Soong Ching-ling stayed and was given many important political and cultural posts in the Communist government. This 1920s villa, built by a Greek sea captain in the French Concession, served as her residence from 1948 to 1963. Little is changed at this two-story house with white walls and green shutters, with many of the rooms much as Soong left them. The first floor houses the living and dining areas; her upstairs office, bedroom, and the bedroom of her devoted maid, Li Yan'e, are now open to the public. There are two black sedans in the garage, one presented to her by Stalin in 1952. An annex just inside the gate displays relics from her life, including her Wesleyan College diploma, phonograph records, family photos, and letters from the likes of Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and American correspondent Edgar Snow. Soong Ching-ling died in Beijing in 1981, but is buried with her parents and her maid in the Wanguo Cemetery in western Shanghai.