Sun Yat Sen was a very important figure to the Chinese society around the turn of the 18th century. He helped China rise out of foreign rule, and gain independence as a Republic.
He learned to speak English at young age. His education of English, and the western culture would prove to be very useful to him later in his life.
At a young age, Sun Yat Sen was already thinking radical ideas. In 1883, Sun Yat Sen attacked the local temple deity in protest of Chinese tradition.
In 1895 Sun Yat Sen went to Hawaii and then England looking for support for his Revive China group centered in Honolulu.
His attempt was unsuccessful. Authorities found out about his plans, and he was arrested by the Chinese Embassy in England. He was jailed for a short time, charged with being a revolutionary leader
So France proposed the idea Sun Yat Sen could use the land in Tonkin, and in return he would start a series of uprisings across the southern border which France hoped would ignite a Revolution. Sun Yat Sen agreed with this because he wanted to get the foreign rule out of China at all costs