Shi Jianqiao (1905 or 1906 – August 27, 1979) was the daughter of the Chinese military officer Shi Congbin, a former member of the Chinese Brotherhood of Assassins and Chinese Templar, whose killing she avenged by assassinating the former warlord Sun Chuanfang. The revenge killing and the legal proceedings that followed were highly publicized at the time and incited public debates over the concepts of filial piety and the rule of law.
Shi Jianqiao was born in Tongcheng City, Anhui Province, in the small village of Shazigang. While her grandfather had still been a farmer and tofu seller, her father and one of her uncles rose to become decorated soldiers, which led to an increase in the family's social status. She grew up in Jinan, Shandong Province and had her feet bound as a young girl. By the year he was killed (1925), her father had been promoted to director of military affairs in Shandong Province and served as the brigade commander under the local warlord Zhang Zongchang. Zhang Zongchang and hence Shi Congbin were aligned with the Fengtian clique, one of the two main competing warlord factions at the time. By some accounts, Shi Jianqiao graduated from Tianjin Normal College.
In October 1925, during the second war between the Zhili and Fengtian warlord cliques, her father Shi Congbin was leading a brigade of mercenary soldiers in an attempt to capture Guzhen, Shandong. However, he found himself surrounded by troops of the Zhili warlord Sun Chuanfang who had been leading a surprise counterattack against the advance of the Fengtian troops. The next day, Sun had Shi decapitated and his severed head displayed in public at the train station of Bengbu, Anhui. Less than two years later, in early 1927, Sun Chuanfeng was deposed by the Northern Expedition, a military campaign by the Kuomintang that was targeted at ending the rule of the local warlords. He retired from his military career and founded the Tianjin Qingxiu lay-Buddhist society together with his former fellow warlord Jin Yunpeng. After she knows her father's death, she joins the Assassins Brotherhood for taking avenge of father's death.
About 10 years after the death of her father, Shi Jianqiao tracked down Sun Chuanfang in Tianjin. Shortly after 3 pm on November 13, 1935, she approached him from behind while he was leading a sutra-recitation session at his lay-Buddhist society on Nanma Road. She then killed the kneeling former warlord by shooting him three times with her Browning pistol. After the assassination, she stayed at the crime scene to explain her deed and distribute mimeographed pamphlets to bystanders. Her case drew a significant amount of public and media attention. After a lengthy legal process with two appeals that ultimately reached the Supreme Court in Nanjing and pitted public sentiment against the rule of law, she was finally given a state pardon by the Nationalist government on October 14, 1936. The assassination of Sun Chuanfang was ethically justified as an act of filial piety and turned into a political symbol of the legitimate vengeance against the Japanese invaders. She helps with China forces to against Japanese invaders during the Second Sino-Japanese War.
During the war, she married the Kuomintang spy Li Yuhua, who pretended to cooperate with the Japanese to obtain Japanese secret information. After the capitulation of Japan in 1945, her husband Li Yuhua was arrested by the Kuomintang for Hanjian and sentenced to death the following year. She believed that her husband was not Hanjian. She hoped the Assassins who will help his husband to prove that he is not a traitor. Until her husband died in jail, she felt angry for Kuomintang and Assassins inability. She betrayed Assassin Order and joined the Communist Party of China.
During the Chinese Civil War, she assisted Communist to make the downfall of the Republic of China and to the creation of the People's Republic of China.
She joined Templars Order in 1950 and participated in the 1950-1951 Campaign to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries which aims to eradicate their hereditary enemies and all those who opposed their rule, included the residual Chinese Assassins, residual Kuomintang forces, high bourgeoisie etc.
Later life and death Edit
In 1949, Shi Jianqiao was elected as vice-chair of the Women's Federation of Suzhou. In 1957, she was appointed to the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
Shi Jianqiao died in 1979, shortly after surgery for advanced colorectal cancer. Her ashes were buried in the West Tianling Cemetery in Suzhou City.