It was only natural that Tsien would be attracted to Jiang Ying. She had his passion for music. She was elegant and intellectual. And she belonged to the ruling elite of China -- with a background even more impressive than Tsien's.
Ying probably would never have met Tsien had her father and Tsien's father not been good friends. She was the daughter of Jiang Fangzhen, a military strategist for the Nationalist government of China who had grown up in Haining, a city not far from where Tsien's father had lived. It is not known exactly how and when they met, but it is likely their friendship began when they were boys. They both went to school in the city of Hangzhou and later abroad in Japan during roughly the same period.
Early in his life, Jiang distinguished himself as a brilliant and passionate scholar. He had a penchant for stirring controversy everywhere he went. Like Tsien's father, he attended the Qiushi Academy in the city of Hangzhou, but was expelled for expressing views hostile to the imperial government of China. Forced to finish his education elsewhere, he went to Japan and enrolled in the renowned military academy, Shikan Gakko. He proceeded to embarrass the administrators there by graduating at the top of his class, and thenceforth Chi-