Li Shih-tseng (was first named Li Yu-ying). (Peking ? 1882 -

SHIH-TSENG, Li (formerly Li Yu-ying) (1882-....)

Born in a wealthy family,- his father a highly ranked civil servant,- Li Shih-tseng became a French educated Chinese chemist and scholar.

A vegetarian, he became an influential soyfood pioneeer. He also thought that there was nothing in Western civilization that was not scientific. He thus began a career as a remarkable inventor and innovator, as well as a propagandist.

In 1905, he presented in Paris a paper at the Second Dairy International Congress . He created a laboratory for soymilk research and a French society. He obtained several patents, tried to encourage the development of soybean, which till then was restricted to diets. He created Europe’s first tofu and the world’s first fermented French-style tofu cheeses in Roquefort and Camembert flavors. [1]

As a militant, Li Shih-tse also wrote with Chu Min Yi a booklet, La Révolution, which was published in Paris in 1907 and republished in Shanghai in 1947. In January 1912, he participated in the foundation in China of the "Jin Dehui", a society to promote ethics. That same year, another business was created, a "society for the promotion of economic studies" in France and in 1916 he concluded an agreement with the French government to help in the recruitement of students. He also succeeded in obtaining money from the Chinese government in 1922 for the student program.

He later joined the right wing of the Guomindang but spent most of his time in cultural activities, particularly the Franco-Chinese relations, stayed successively in Switzerland, the United States and Taiwan, where he was an adviser of the nationalist regime as from 1954. He died in Taipeh in 1973.

[1William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi, History of Soybeans and Soyfoods: 1100 B.C. to the 1980s,. Short biography by Fang Chao-ying in Hummel, Arthur, (ed.) Eminent Chinese of the Ch’ing Period, Washington, 1943, pp.471-2.