A HUNDRED years ago today, a young man stood surrounded by friends on a railway platform in Shanghai. Song Jiaoren was heading to Beijing to form a new government. He was to lead the largest electoral block in the new national Assembly.
Song never made it. Shortly before 11 o’clock on the night of March 20th 1913, an assassin slipped behind him and fired two shots at close range. Two days later Song, the man who would have become the first democratically elected premier of China, had died in a Shanghai hospital at the age of 30.