Part II. Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925) In 1911, Sun Yat-sen was in the United States when the revolution broke out in China. Returning, he was sworn in as the first provisional president of the embryonic Republic of China. Sun Yat-sen was shunted aside by Yuan Shikai, a Manchu general, who quickly lost popularity when he schemed to be declared emperor. In 1921, Sun Yat-sen returned, formed the Kuomintang-Communist alliance, hoping for help and aid from the Soviet Union. Sun Yat-sen died in 1924.