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New China: An Insider’s Story

Aria

2020-01-15 06:33

Wang Meng

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Title: New China: An Insider’s Story

Author: Wang Meng

ISBN: 9787510465703

Press: New World Press

Abstract:

I Want to Talk Politics with You

From the age of five to eleven, I aspired to be a good student. Then, when I was eleven, I decided that I wanted to be a revolutionary, and a professional one to be precise. Before I turned fifteen, I had already left school and become a young official engaging in local work. The age of nineteen saw me embarking on my pursuit of literary writing. At twenty-three, however, I was dismissed from my official position and labeled a “Rightist” during the 1957 Anti-Rightist Movement.

Through these ups and downs, I became entangled with politics. Should I regard this as good luck or is fortune?

A staunch follower of the Chinese revolution, I have borne witness to the advance of Chinese history. I have participated in the construction and development of thePeople’s Republic of China. Throughout this process, I have both benefited and suffered from my involvement. As a part of my desire to testify and bear witness to, I am also an author of the Chinese revolution, Chinese history, and the construction and development of the PRC. I like to recall, reflect on, and discuss the political life of China. I feel it my responsibility to speak the truth and reveal “untold secrets” as an insider, rather than falling for fabrications of any kind.

Finally, to my delight, just before I turned eighty, I had the opportunity to write Zhongguo Tianji, or New China:An Insider’s Story, in which I was able to write, to my heart’s content, an account of what I have seen and heard in the political arena, along with my discoveries in political life including my own views.

Only childlike minds could regard the modern history of China as a children’s game like playing house. Rascals may view political life as an adventure entailing high risk, but people of excessive ambition believe there are great, and surprising benefits to be wrought through cruel power struggles based only on the “law of the jungle.” Such is the nature of human beings, who, by adjusting their wavelengths and frequencies, accept and interpret messages about political life in line with their own views and vision. When they discuss China, there are biased distortions as well as many genuine narrations.

I hope to at least be able to share a few secrets with readers that provide a wider and deeper view, with honest insider insights into Chinese politics.

Can such untold intricacies and secrets be revealed? There are many instances of distance between a henomenon and essential truth. Strategies diverge from conceptions, so special attention needs paid to what to say, do, keep in mind, or ignored. There are various ways to beat around the bush, or play cat and mouse, while making oblique accusations, testing the waters, or putting up a front all the while hiding one’s capacities through slights of hand to bide one’s time.

Yet politics remains a great enterprise. There are the loving hearts of benevolent people and the great sacrifices of patriots. Philosophical revelations and poetic passions become involved, with the wondrous foresight of strategists admired as related fates and contingencies may become clear. There is the weight of history. There are the hopes and interests of people throughout the country, and around the globe, that constitute the commanding themes among ordinary and extraordinary political actors.

The mediocre, who cannot sense the solemnity and magnificence of history’s power,peep out at history with shameful glimpses, distorting political life with scant insight. Lying, exaggeration, empty talk, and banal remarks will take away whatever credibility is left in politics.

Never assume that Chinese politics alone entails such untold secrets and intricacies. I witnessed audio and video proof while abroad, when George W. Bush claimed he would not impose higher taxes in his US presidential campaign speech, but then defended doing the exact opposite after winning the election. Bush pointed at his

mouth and said: “Read my lips.” I said, “No, no, no. No new taxes.…” Then, Barack Obama, during his election campaign, proclaimed: “One voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, then it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a state, and if it can change a state, it can change a nation, and if it

can change a nation, it can change the world. Your voice can change the world.” This is like the traditional Chinese saying: “Cultivate oneself, put family in order, govern the state, and bring peace to the world,” which was deemed illogical by John King Fairbank. When I attended a speech delivered by Hillary Clinton, then First Lady, at Trinity College in Connecticut, though the venue was packed before the speech began, she arrived over twenty minutes late, proving her a true VIP.

Another example: I met Francois Mitterrand, before he became France’s president.During his visit to China in 1982 as leader of the Socialist Party, he gave me a signed book as a gift,D’Ore et d’espace. I then sent the rench version of my book to him. He kindly replied with a personally signed letter. Several years later, he came to China again, now as the President of France, and was so heavily guarded that even a handshake became a luxury.

Yet, generally speaking, politics has moved forward in more transparent, open, democratic, and law-abiding directions. There are no easy tasks when it comes to politics. Giscard d’Estaing, former French president, said to a Chinese leader during a visit here: “France has millions of people, making politicians feel overwhelmed. I feel so much sympathy for you at the thought of over one billion people in China.” US politicians have also expressed similar sentiments.

One German chancellor said politicians are just like tropical fish in a tank, with each act and move closely watched and amplified. Nevertheless, I have still recorded in writing the secrets and intricacies I think can and

should be revealed. I believe this is constructive and am convinced that if I do not write these down, nobody ever will.

I have written views I believe are worthy of reference and open to further discussion.Perhaps such views are impractical in today’s terms, but they still involve clearly interesting and important themes. Views imply what has been seen and experienced. I have experienced my share,and provided my service, in a Beijing urban district, state-owned factory, rural production brigade, and government ministry office. I know there is a big difference

between actually managing an office and getting involved, or taking part, in discussing governance. However, the very least we can do is to foster healthy relationships between those who govern and civilians, between and intellectuals, as well as between adherents and opponents, through greater communication, mutual understanding, mutual complementariness, and mutual support. To this end, I do not fear disclosing certain experiences and ideas, and even secrets.

I also fully-understand people’s indignation and frustration when it comes to certain political issues. They become envious or mocking, grumble and rage, feel helpless or admiring, and even itch to have a go at control and power. They itch to have the right person for certain positions, make preferential policies and related adjustments, allocate resources, experience the opportunities and risks presented by certain political events,

watch a politician’s ups and downs, be riveted by the idea of volatile political struggle, and take political gambles. After all, politics, unlike mathematics, mechanics, philosophy and linguistics, cannot be discussed in overly cold or calm ways.

Contents:

Chapter 1   A Sense of Youth: As an Old Regime Nears Its End……………………..9

Chapter 2   Mao Zedong Said: “What Is Left But Revolution?”………………………21

Chapter 3   Reveling in the Joys of Victory…………………………………………….37

Chapter 4  Did State-Controlled Purchase and Sales Necessarily Mean Tighter Policies?...............................................................................................55

Chapter 5   Communist Party Flags Flutter over China………………………………71

Chapter 6   A Critique of The Life of Wu Xun Ushering in Continuous Struggles in Culture and Thought……………………………………………………….89

Chapter 7   The Great Wonder of All the People Killing Sparrows…………………109

Chapter 8   Engaging in Campaigns after Campaigns……………………............. 123

Chapter 9   Pen in Hand, My Mind Lost in a Maze in 1957…………………………139

Chapter 10  The Great Leap Forward, 1958-60……………………………..............161

Chapter 11  Difficult Times: Moving Forward or Backward?...................................181

Chapter 12  Mao Zedong, Che Guevara and Ho Chi Min in the 1960s…………..199

Chapter 13 Zhao Puchu’s Literary Grace and Dagger-Sharp Verse against Revisionism………………………………………………………………..217

Chapter 14  We Must Carry Out the Cultural Revolution……………………………237

Chapter 15  Tightening while Loosening, Adhering while Relaxing………………..255

Chapter 16  Everlasting Memories of 1976…………………………………………...271

Chapter 17  The Beginning of the Post-Cultural Revolution Era……………….…..289

Chapter 18  Crossing the River by Feeling the Stones………………………….…..303

Chapter 19  Prolonged Intense Literary and Arts Debates at the End of the 20th Century………………………………………………………………….… 323

Chapter 20  Awkwardness and Innovation in Ideology……………………………...341

Chapter 21  A Flourishing of New Words and Expressions in the 1980s………… 357

Chapter 22  Material Life, Money, Corruption………………………………….……. 377

Chapter 23  The Dance between Ideology, Authority and Actual Performance….. 391

Chapter 24  A Determinant: The CPC and Democratic Process………………….. 407

Chapter 25  Evolution and Scrutiny of Political Rhetoric…………………………… 423

Chapter 26  More Depth and Clarity………………………………………………….. 443

Chapter 27  Give Leaders Truth rather than Just Pleasing Them………………… 463

Chapter 28  Appreciation, Challenges and the Future……………………………... 483

 


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2020-01-15 02:30
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