1903 to 1910
: Donald arrives in Hong Kong to begin work with the China Mail.
1905: His scoop report on the Russo-Japanese war informs several Western newspapers.
1905: He becomes an informal adviser to the Viceroy of neighbouring province, Canton.
1908: Seeing other journalists receive medals for their "pro-Japanese" reports of the Russo/Japanese war, Donald lobbies for a similar honour - and gets it from Tokyo.
1908: He quits as Managing Editor of China Mail and continues to write for a variety of journals including the Manchester Guardian, New York Herald
and Australian newspapers. His reputation as a Far Eastern reporter rivals that of felow Australian Dr. George Morrison of the London Times.
Meanwhile: His decision "not" to learn Chinese, his undisguised dislike of Chinese food and a frank aversion to "saving face" oddly work in his favour.
1908: Donald writes an invaluable history of the press in China and Hong Kong.
1910/11: His first observations of Sun Yat-sen's future contesting 'heirs': Chiang Kai-shek and Wang Ching-wei. In 1910, Wang attempts to kill the Prince Regent - and narrowly avoids execution.
1911 - 1920
Donald moves to Shanghai where he befriends 'Charlie' Soong, father to a "dynasty" that will dominate national politics for 2 decades, straddling the 1920s, 30s & 40s.
Meanwhile: Don becomes a family 'uncle' to the Soong children, especially to his favourite, Soong Mei-ling (the future Mme. Chiang Kai-shek).
1911: Events on the "double 10" (October 10) precipitate a premature revolt by the followers of Dr. Sun Yat-sen against the Manchu (Qing) dynasty. Dr. Sun rushes back to China from abroad. Don
participates in the fighting, with friend and mentor, Roy Scott Anderson.
1911/12: He writes 'several proclamations' for Dr Sun, who becomes a very short-term provisional President of the Republic. Dr. Sun hands the reins of power to military strongman Yuan Shih-kei (d.
1916), a born-again 'republican' with a secret yen to be Emperor. Don's fellow countryman, Dr. G. Morrison, becomes adviser to President Yuan.
1911/12 - 1920: Don edits a key economic monthly, Far Eastern Review, based in Shanghai.
1915: He reportedly leaks Japan's infamous 21 Demands upon China to the Western press (the "or else" implications not being fully realised until 1937 - the beginning of world War Two).
1917: in concert with American Minister (Paul Reinsch) and others, Don urges Chinese participation in the Great War (1914-18) to help thwart Japanese territorial ambitions in the East.
Meanwhile: (1916-27) China's "warlord era" shatters the nation. Dr. Sun (d. 1925), still dominant in the south, plans to set up a military college under protege Chiang Kai-shek. It will lead to a
military "Northern Expedition" to fulfil Sun's dream of a united and independent China.
Meanwhile (1918): US intelligence and the British Foreign Office have approached Donald for "any information on Far Eastern Affairs.".
1919: The Far Eastern Review (presumably shaped by editor Donald) runs a very long editorial sympathetic to the May 4 movement (1919). "May 4" is (among other things) China's
greatest mass push for democracy since the 1911 revolution.
1920: Don resigns from the Far Eastern Review when publisher George Rea pushes a pro-Japanese line for the journal.
A Chinese life Pages 1 -