This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925.
His Excellency Wang Keh-min was born at Hangchow, Chekiang Province, in 1879. He became a Chujen, or provincial graduate, during the Ching Dynasty. In 1900, Mr. Wang was appointed, by the authorities of the Province of Chekiang, as director of the students sent by that province to study in Japan; and, in 1901, he became a director of all of the Chinese students studying there. In 1902, he was appointed Councillor of the Chinese Legation in Tokyo; which position he retained until 1907. He then went to Peking, and received an appointment on the Board of Finance and also on the Board of Foreign Affairs.
Subsequently, Mr. Wang became Secretary to General Chao Erh-sun, who was then Viceroy of Szechuan. In 1908, he joined the Secretariat of Viceroy Yang Shih-hsiang, of Chihli, and was put in charge of the Foreign Affairs section.
In 1910, Mr. Wang was appointed Acting Commissioner of Foreign Affairs for Chihli Province. During the first Revolution, in 1911-1912, he assisted in maintaining order and peace at the port of Tientsin, during the hostilities there. He resigned from his post as Commissioner of Foreign Affairs, in the spring of 1913, to take a trip to Europe. During this trip, he visited principally in France.
Upon his return to Tientsin, in October 1913, Mr. Wang accepted the post of Managing Director of the Banque Industrielle de Chine. In July 1917, Mr. Wang was elected by the shareholders, and appointed by the government as Governor of the Bank of China.
In November 1917, he was appointed Minister of Finance, holding, concurrently, the posts of Governor of the Bank of China and Director General of the Salt Administration. In March 1918, Mr. Wang resigned from all of the aforementioned posts and went into retirement; although he accepted occasional special commissions from the government.
In December 1918, he was appointed a member of the Northern Delegation to the Internal Peace Conference, held at Shanghai. In June 1922, Mr. Wang was again elected President of the Bank of China. In January 1923, he was made a member of a commission formed to raise funds for educational purposes.
In July 1923, he was appointed Acting Minister of Finance; which position he did not accept and was officially relieved of in August 1923. However, in October 1923, he resigned from his position as Governor of the Bank of China; and, in November 1923, he acted temporarily as Minister of Finance. In January 1924, Mr. Wang was appointed Minister of Finance, in the Sun Pao-chi Cabinet, and given the concurrent post of Chief of the Salt Administration. These positions he held until November 1924, when General Feng Yu-hsiang effected his coup d’état.
Mr. Wang has been awarded the First Class Tashou Paokuang Chiaho, and First Class Wenhu decorations; and he has also been the recipient of many foreign decorations.
A.R. Burt, J.B. Powell and Carl Crow, editors, Biographies of Prominent Chinese (Shanghai: Biographical Publishing Company Inc., c.1925). 46.