Chinese Writer Liao Yiwu and “The Whole World is a Narrow Bridge”

In an online passage “The Whole World is a Narrow Bridge”  from Liao Yiwu’s book of Tiananmen June 4th interviews Bullets and Opium (in Chinese online and published in German but not yet in English),   Liao Yiwu mentions how in July 2011 while crossing a bridge on the China – Vietnam border on his way to exile in Germany he thought of a song that an Israeli fisherman had taught him, a song the Israeli told him was sung by Jews in the death camps.

The song, about living with fear but not being overcome by it, must have resonated with Liao Yiwu who had been jailed and then harassed by the police “inviting him to drink tea with them for a talk”, forbidden to go abroad, and subject to all kinds of intimidation.

The song he quotes had been taken the works of a Jewish rabbi and put to music: Kol ha’olam kulo gesher tsar m’od v’haikar lo l’fached klal: The whole world is a narrow bridge, but the essence, (really… the crux of the matter), is not to be afraid.

— Rabbi Chaim Nachim of Breslav

There are many discussions and sermons online taking that song/quotation as their topic.

For example, from the webpage of Congregation Shimei Torah of Santa Rosa, California:

The Whole World is a Narrow Bridge

Sermon by Rabbi George Gittleman
Rosh Hashanah 5770

Kol ha’olam kulo gesher tsar m’od v’haikar lo l’fached klal: The whole world is a narrow bridge, but the essence, (really… the crux of the matter), is not to be afraid

(Rabbi Chaim Nachim of Breslav)

These days, this saying is best known as a Jewish camp song, but it is actually a very serious and deep teaching. Kol ha’olam kulo gesher tsar m’od v’haikar lo l’fached klal: The whole world is a narrow bridge, and the essence is not to be afraid. Fear. Rabbi Nachman teaches that the essential thing in life is not to be afraid. The focus of my thoughts this evening is fear because we are plagued by fear. In Hebrew the Holy Days are called the yamim noraim, which is often translated as the “Days of Awe.” But it turns out that in Hebrew the word for “awe” and the word for “fear” are the same. Traditionally the Holy Days were in fact a fearful time for our ancestors, and maybe it is so for some of us as well. …..

Another Jewish scholar argues that the song doesn’t reflect accurately the thought of the author of the original text.   The argument is that the difficult bridge that one has to pass is a crisis in one’s own life rather than the whole wide world itself. I suppose though, that for people caught up in the Holocaust, one view was about the same as the other.


The whole world is a very narrow bridge, but the important​​ thing is not to fear at all
[Orig​inal context in the writings of Rabbi Nachman of Braslav:
“Unde​rstand: that when a person must cross a very, very narrow bridge, the most important​​ and essential​ thing is that he not have any fear at all.”]
(User​-contribu​ted translati​on)
While the first, briefer version of the song presented above is that which is popular, it is both a misquotation and a misrepresentation of its source, section 48 of the second part of the seminal oeuvre of Breslov chassidus, לקוטי מוהר”ן.
The distinction resides in the characterization of existential reality (in English: is the universe a bleak “very narrow bridge” OR is the metaphor reserved for a person’s perception of his or her situational reality). A careful consideration of Breslov chassidus as presented by Rebbe Nachman and his student Reb Noson may reveal that the popular version of the song is in substantial conflict with its proported source.
The conditional tone of the passage (“that *when* a person must cross…”) is evident from a simple reading of the entire passage:
כְּשֶׁיֵּשׁ חַס וְשָׁלוֹם, אֵיזֶה דּחַק וְעֵת צָרָה, חַס וְשָׁלוֹם וְדַע, שֶׁהָאָדָם צָרִיך לַעֲבר עַל גֶּשֶׁר צַר מְאד מְאד וְהַכְּלָל וְהָעִקָּר שֶׁלּא יִתְפַּחֵד כְּלָל
The textually faithful version is covered by Rav Yosef Karduner in his double album: Simanim Baderech-Road Marks & Kol Haolam (2000), track 11.

My own draft translation of the brief passage (followed by the Chinese text) in which the song appears goes  like this.

“The World is a Narrow Bridge

On July 2, 2011 at 10 PM as I crossed crossed the international border from Hekou in Yunnan Province, when I arrived as if in a dream in the old streets of Vietnam and looked back at the my own native land, a poem came to my mind:

This world is like a narrow bridge
Don’t be afraid

You can cross it

 That is an old poem that popular along the shores of the Mediterranean. A few years ago I met by chance and a European fisherman who visited Lijaing, Yunnan on a trip. We felt like old friends on our first meeting and he taught me how to sing that song in Hebrew. People say that many Jewish people sang that song during the Second World War as they walked calmly into the Nazi crematoriums.

I didn’t walk into a crematorium. What I did was to pass the border to steaming hot Vietnam, change planes in Warsaw and then land at the Berlin airport. I stuck out my tongue to taste the fresh air. It tasted sweet. The air of freedom is sweet. Peter, a tall man from the S. Fischer Verlag, stretched out his hand to me. How can I describe what I have gone through and the people that I have met now that I am in a foreign land where I do not speak the language?”

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Li Woteng: China Should Fill the Leadership Void Left by the United States

When I saw this article in the Chinese language edition of the Financial Times by independent scholar Li Woteng   黎蜗藤,  it made be think of the interview that former U.S. Embassy Beijing Chargé d’affaires David Rank had on the PBS NewsHour on U.S. television.  The interview on the PBS NewsHour website is entitled:

How Trump’s Paris decision drove the top U.S. diplomat in China to quit

and includes both the interview video and transcript including

DAVID RANK: You know, Judy, up until the day he — in fact, I would say the day before, I — it kind of caught me off-guard. It seemed so improbable that the U.S. would pull out, because Paris is a symbol of U.S. leadership in the region, in the world.

I mean, the benefits that accrue from being a leader and being in Paris just seemed to be so obvious that it sort of caught me off-guard.

JUDY WOODRUFF: What were the benefits, in your mind?

DAVID RANK: Look, the — how many agreements are there in the world where two countries, now all but three countries in the world, are members, countries that are sort of the closest partners we have had for 70 years?

It’s one of the most important issues to those countries. And so the benefits of being the leader in that, of, as you said, working together with China to bring about, to make the Paris agreement possible, and being the true leader on climate issues, really is a remarkable benefit.

See also:

China Should Fill the Leadership Void Left by the United States

Li Woteng: China should continue to support the Paris Climate Accord in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal to show leadership. China Should also play the role it should in accepting refugees and in world military governance



Financial Times Chinese Website article in Chinese

In early May, US President Trump announced at the White House that the U.S. was withdrawing from the “Paris Climate Agreement”. Predominantly liberal U.S. punditry all moaned.

Looked at objectively, however, Trump’s withdrawal did indeed have a political basis. He had criticized the Agreement from the start of his campaign and said many times that he would withdraw. An important part of his constituency is blue color workers (such as coal miners) who have lost their jobs with the transition in the energy economy. They had been waiting for Trump to fulfill his pledge. U.S. oil companies looking with covetous eyes on U.S. oil reserves near the seacoasts are also among his supporters. The right wing of the Republican Party has long expressed skepticism about climate change and always opposed this kind of agreement. Trump has procrastinated on this issue; it can be said that by withdrawing from the Agreement only now he is late.

From an economic standpoint, withdrawing from the Agreement has more advantages than disadvantages. In the short term, the U.S. will because of this be able to bolsters its manufacturing sector, and become self-sufficient in energy and perhaps even a major exporter. Lower energy prices also benefit the U.S. investment and manufacturing sectors. Over the medium term, the U.S. is at a disadvantage in developing the new energy sector. Europe and China lead in both technology and markets. The “next piece of cake” that a latecomer could get would be smaller. Moreover, over the long term, global warming will make Alaska a more suitable place for human habitation and so expand the “useful area” of the United States. The Arctic Ocean will become navigable, and the U.S. as the master of the Bering Strait and the Aleutian Islands will draw regional political advantage from the limitless potential of those new trade routes.

However, as the former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said, this move affects not just U.S. domestic politics, not just the climate change issue and not just economic issues. The most important issue is the strength of the leadership that the United States now exercises in the world. The most important manifestation of this is the U.S. first signing and now withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement. This has seriously damaged the reputation of U.S. diplomacy. Trump is always criticizing international agreement saying how unfair they are to the United States. Not only does he refuse to reduce emissions, he also refuses to help countries suffering harm from emissions. This reveals his essential nature as a small businessman who haggles over every trifle and who is selfish and self-centered. This move shows that the United States in the age of Trump has fundamentally changed. It has retreated from universal human values to America First. The U.S. has unilaterally given up its world leadership role.

Although the world does not have a generally acknowledged “leader”, over the two decades following the end of the Cold War, the United States has been the leading power. The United States has vigorously promoted globalization. It has has in act acquired the “actual” (de facto) position of leader. The reality of the U.S. leadership arises from its top ranking in five categories: the biggest economy, the biggest military, the leader in science and technology, the strongest politically, and having the most influential value systems and soft power.

Equally important, the United States has provided the entire world with an attractive vision for the future. During the era of the “Cold War”, the United States created a vision of opposition to tyranny and democratization. In the “Post Cold War Era”, the U.S. has not only continued to promote democratization but globalization as well. To speak plainly, to be a “world leader” one must be able to inspire the entire world to pursue a common goal. This must be the kind of goal that will benefit the entire world. Obama strongly supported globalization. He proposed the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and called on the entire world to fight global warming. This is an important part of creating a political vision and having a voice in world affairs. Obama’s fight against global warming are an even more important part of creating “a community of interests for the benefit of humanity” that legitimizes the U.S. leadership role.

In several areas, such as the economic, military, political and science and technology — that is in areas where “money can solve problems” the U.S. in recent years has felt threatened by China. In other areas, however, just those areas where “money only can’t solve problems” such as values and establishing an attractive political vision — China lags far behind the United States. After China proposed its “One Belt One Road” policy, it has provided an option for a “China vision”. The Chinese vision however is only a discussion about economics. It pales in comparison with Obama’s globalization. What Obama emphasized was a fight against global warming that did not make boosting GDP a top concern. Obama did all he could to fight global warming. It will be part of his historical legacy. Many people don’t understand this. In fact, it is only in this way that the United States, although its relative power is declining, has still kept its strong voice as the world leader. China in the end became a follower and not the manager of the Paris Climate Agreement. On setting the agenda for the Agreement, it was the U.S. that led China by the nose.

Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement reversed Obama’s policy. Trump completely changed the U.S. line on globalization. Maintaining U.S. leadership will be difficult. The U.S. may become a “hegemon” but already it cannot be a “leader”. The “America First” faction of people like Steve Bannon opposes globalization and don’t care about at all about a “world leadership” role.

This is nothing but a gift from heaven to China which wants to replace the United States as the world leader.

After Trump pulled out of TPP, the issue of whether the mantle of globalization has now fallen on China was a hot topic of discussion at the Davos Economic Forum. But that wasn’t all. The day after Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, visiting Europe, announced that both China and Europe will continue to observe and support the Paris Climate Agreement. This is how a “leader” should act.

Some people still look at the world with old eyes and think that China only talks big and doesn’t do anything may now be able to recognize their error. During the time of Hu Jintao, China was indeed courteous but insincere. However, in the “Kyoto Protocol”, China relied on its status as a “developing country” and did not have any emission reduction duties. As everyone knows, Chinese statistics can always be fudged to make them look better. During the president of George W. Bush, although the U.S. and China argued about trifling matters, they jointly stood up to European pressure as international observers understood at the time.

Things changed however in the era of Xi Jinping. First of all, China itself is facing and economic transition. Production greatly exceeds domestic consumption and so China must find various ways to export productive capacity. From another point of view, this means moving the emissions from China to some other country. Secondly, China has found a great commercial opportunity in new energy industries. China already has a large market share in the world new energy industry. Thus it was reasonable for China to become a big supporter of new energy. Thirdly, China’s environmental problems are steadily worsening. Chinese people are getting angrier about it and so the government must pay attention to this issue. Reducing emissions and environmental protection are closely linked (the coal industry is also a highly polluting and high emissions industry). The key point is that Xi Jinping doesn’t share Hu Jintao’s old conservative way of thinking. He is thinking in terms of getting his historical position as a world leader. Moreover, according to the Paris Climate Agreement, China pledged that its emissions would peak in 2030. To be frank, that is a fairly low bar. China could do achieve peak emissions earlier than that without much difficulty. Therefore, China can is entirely capable of “making up for” the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. It could win world acclaim by doing so. It is simply a heaven-sent opportunity for China.

In fact, in addition to the emissions issue, China can also on two globalization issues can take the initiative to fill in to fill the void left by the United States or even more.

The first of these is the refugee issue. North American countries, including the U.S. and Canada, have been active in accepting refugees. According to the refugee report issued by the United States in 2015, the United States has accepted three million refugees in the three decades since it promulgated its laws on refugees. During the eight years of the Obama Administration, the United States took in 60,000 to 70,000 refugees each year. China has been conspicuous by its silence on refugee issues. China a rising, rich and powerful responsible major power, and the proponent of the “one belt one road” plan to built a community of common interest. What leaves one very disappointed, however, is that China has shown on interest in refugee issues. The government is not active on the issue and Chinese people in general just aren’t interested. Even in Hong Kong with its broader perspective, people aren’t at all interested in refugee issues. The Chinese media mostly discusses about how refugee problems arise and how the western countries should assume a greater responsibility for solving refugee problems. Almost nobody, however, says that China should play a larger role in world refugee issues.

Do refugee issues really have nothing to do with China? You might say that the refugees of the Middle East and Africa are a long way from China. However even in the case of refugees from a country well within reach like Myanmar, China pays no attention. That is not consistent with the behavior of a country that wants to be a responsible major power.

The Rohingya people live in Myanmar but they have never had Myanmar citizenship. According to the United Nations, they are one of the most oppressed minorities in the entire world. Over the past few years, many Rohingya people have fled Myanmar in large numbers. The surrounding countries such as Bangladesh, Thailand, and Malaysia all set up large refugee camps for them as their first point of refuge. All these countries are making a great effort to help the refugees. But now they are having great difficulty in continuing to accept so many refugees and so have no alternative to returning refugee boats that land illegally. Many refugees as then so dejected that they throw themselves into the sea resulting in a humanitarian tragedy. Currently, many Rohingya people are waiting in the Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia refugee districts for other countries to accept them. The international community was very disappointed that the situation of the Rohingya people did not improve after Aung San Suu Kyi came to power in Myanmar. The situation of the Rohingya people has historical roots but now it has become a vital matter for international society. This is not a matter of blaming one party or another but of asking how to protect the most fundamental right of these refugees — their right to survive. There really isn’t any hope left that Aung San Suu Kyi will help, but now shouldn’t China extend a helping hand?

Just think how the United States, which has no connection at all the to the Rohingya people, has been accepting Rohingya refugees for many years. In 2014 alone, the United States accepted 1000 Rohingya refugees. Myanmar is China’s friendly neighbor. It is also the most strategically important country for China in its quest for access a seaport on the Indian Ocean. Aung San Suu Kyi also has a good relationship with China. Xi Jinping has proposed a community of shared interests with the ASEAN nations. He has also said that Asian issues should be decided by Asians. Therefore China should not believe that the Rohingya refugee issue is only the business of Myanmar or of neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia and so ignore the issue entirely. The anti-immigration stance of Trump and Bannon is a good opportunity for China to show that its is a major power taking on global responsibilities.

The next issue is participating in solving world military governance issues. In 2009, Chinese warships took part in international activities to protect the Sumatra maritime region. That was the first step in China’s military participation in international governance. We should recognize nonetheless that China has been a laggard in assuming military responsibilities in fighting terrorism. China has participated in many United Nations peacekeeping missions but it has had nearly no responsibility for military combat activities. In the fight against global terrorism, China has only been interested in “clearing away the snow in front of its own door”. During the Obama Administration, China was repeatedly criticized for being a “hitchhiker”. Perhaps the tangle of interests in the Middle East is too complicated but China also has wide interests in Africa and Africa also suffers from terrorism and the regional politics are relatively uncomplicated. China has great potential for providing anti-terror assistance in Africa. Moreover fighting terror internationally also helps China fight terror at home.

Some people say that China will pay a price whether it accepts refugees or takes part in world military governance. But there aren’t any leadership roles that can be won without paying a price. The rewards will be far greater than the price that China pays. No matter whether we are speaking at the rational level or on the emotional level, there is just no reason why China should keep itself aloof from these matters.

When Trump came to power, the United States gave China a rare and precious opportunity. There is only a brief window of a few years during which China can take advantage of this opportunity. Whether China can now succeed to the position of international leadership that Trump dropped will depend upon whether China is capable of meeting the challenges of leadership.

(Note: The author is an independent scholar. This article represents his personal views. Responsible editor:

More on Chinese refugee policy or lack thereof from a 2015 Chinese magazine article in the Netease (wangyi) magazine Re Guancha article “How do China, the United States, Germany and Other Countries Respond Treat Ethnic Chinese Refugees?  Straight Talk”  written by Luo Jialiang discussing intake of ethnic Chinese refugees from Vietnam and some other SE Asian countries after the Vietnam war by the US, Europe and China.

According to the article, the Chinese government accepted 265,000 refugees from SE Asia between 1978 and 2005.  Ninety-nine percent were Vietnamese refugees.
The article mentions that during the North Korean famine of the late 1990s, many Koreans fled to China.  According to UN statistics, there as of 2003, between 150,000 and 300,000 North Korean refugees in China. The article adds that China does not recognize these people are refugees and so has disputes with the UN on that issue.  Possibly the Chinese government does not want to use the word refugee so as to avoid triggering some obligations.
The article mentions that some African students from some wartorn countries have been allowed to stay indefinitely but not given permanent residence. They are not allowed to work and so need to rely on some support from the UN.
At the end of the article,  a Chinese scholar Liang Shuying is quoted saying that China need to establish a law on refugees to create a system for handling refugee matters.
Posted in Environment 环境, Foreign Relations 外交, Military 军事, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Model Communist Murders His Wife: Kong Lingping’s “Bloody Chronicle”

Another excerpt from my draft translation of Kong Lingping’s Bloody Chronicles 

You can find other excerpts in the column at right or by typing Kong Lingping in the blog search box.

(3) The model communist Zhang Jianbo

In 1969, a discipline and education cadre named Zhang Jianbo transferred in from the Beiwu Company. Zhang, from Neijiang County in Sichuan Province, had a pair of cruel eagle eyes and a hawk-like nose pasted on his ugly, ferocious face. His face was usually a ghastly shade of pale. Never smiling, he looked fearsome. He had a mole on his left eyelid. Looking at people with a blank expression, he confirmed the old saying, “If someone is dishonest, you can see it in their eyes”.

– 359 –

据说原来他是内江法院刑侦处的预审员,因为善于用诡计和毒刑逼供犯人,所以曾被内 江法院多次表彰过。并号称模范共产党员,在他的办公室里悬褂着“无产阶级忠忱卫士”的锦 旗。

文革时调住西昌,因为他办案有功,特别擅长对付“思想犯”,六队又是全场出名的“反 改造份子”集中处。加上在严打运动中突击办案的需要,便专门把他调到六队来。

长期的淫威,使残害无辜的职业杀手,养成一种捕风捉影、无限上纲、无中生有的吃人 野牲。

在盐源农场办理集体枪杀蒋正均的反革命集团案中,他初试牛刀,仅从该案人犯的口供, 就定下反革命集团结论,挥下屠刀一次就处决了五名“反革命”成员,那一个案子所处理的同 案人员达四十余人!他自己就说过:

上面既然要杀一小批,还有什么手软的。我们办案人员就是要紧跟毛主席的战略部署, 杀人不杀人,杀多少人,都只能以政治形势的需要决定!至于思想这个罪,不一定要什么证据, 藏在人的脑子里谁说得清?有个一两句言论便可以定罪!”

正因为他颇能精通文字狱做办案的主导思想,所以在文革中凡是办不下的案子都请他专 门定罪,由于职业需要,渐渐养成习惯,使他丧失了人性,发展到连自己的妻子也成了他杀对 象。

It was said that before Zhang Jianbo was a preliminary hearing officer of Neijiang Court’s criminal affairs department, the Neijiang Court had decorated several times for his skill at using trickery and torture to get people to confess. He had also been a model Communist Party member. In his office had hung a silk banner inscribed with the words “Loyal Guardian of the Proletariat”.

He had been transferred to Xichang during the Cultural Revolution. For his successful casework and in particular for his skilll at handling “thought offenders”, the Sixth Brigade had become known throughout the farm for specializing in cases of people who “resisted personal transformation”. One other reason for his assignment to the Sixth Brigade was that he was good at quickly preparing cases when a crack down hard campaign suddenly started up again.

Long held absolute power had so corrupted this professional murderer and mutilator of innocent people that there grew up in him a cannibalistic wild lust for blood that made him make up groundless accusations, to wildly exaggerate people’s mistakes and to fabricate crimes out of whole cloth.

During his handling of the case that culminated in the execution by firing squad of the Jiang Zhengjun counter-revolutionary group at the Yanyuan Farm, Zhang Jianbo took out his butcher’s knife. From the confessions he forced that way, he came to his own conclusions about the counter-revolutionary group. With one wave of his butcher’s knife, he five members of that “counter-revolutionary” group executed. Over forty people were implicated in that case. He said himself:

“The government wants us to kill a few people in order to intimidate the others. Then how can we be lenient? We who are handling this cases must march in lock-step with the strategic plan laid down by Mao Zedong. Everything we do — killing people or not killing people and just how many people we do kill all need to be done according to the political situation. No evidence is needed to convict political prisoner! Who can see what is hidden in someone’s mind? A few words are enough to find them guilty!

Zhang Jianbo understood very well the ideology behind the literary inquisitions. Therefore during the Cultural Revolution it was Zhang who was assigned to find people guilty in difficult cases. He got so used to finding people guilty entirely because of his professional needs that he gradually lost all his remaining vestiges of humanity. He even reached the point that even his own wife became the object of his homicidal fury.

到六队来以后,他的作风是深居简出,行踪诡秘。平时并不像何庆云那样抛头露面,唠 唠叨叨,与流放者很少交谈,当他的眼睛盯上了你,便在背地调集卷宗。每到这种时候,他便 用内江人常用的话:“内江的老招牌,告才晓得!”那么,你就得留神,你的名字已在他的“生 死簿”上勾销了。

六队近年来案子中,枪杀陈力、蒋正君等人,都有他提供的预审口供和签署的处决意见, 他还审讯过潘朝元、蔡先禄等人,并签署了死刑意见,只是因为在上报到西昌地区中级法院时 未被核准,而免去刀下鬼的厄运。

我也是他下过屠刀的人之一,当时杀人真是太容易了,凡是有反革命言论的,具体的说, 只要沾着三面红旗、文化大革命的“反动”言论,都可以整理材料上报处决。

他之所以狂批杀人的预审报告,出自他那升官的欲望,以及为满足自己兽欲的追求,只 要用一两句话,甚至似是而非的编造,便下了恶毒攻击伟大领袖,诬蔑无产阶级司令部的结论, 判决死刑的意见也就出来了。

After he arrived at the Sixth Brigade, Zhang Jianbo lived in seclusion. He kept his comings and goings secret. Unlike He Qingyun, he did not often go out and have casual conversations with the exiles. If he looked at you, that meant he was already deep in your dossier. When things got to that point, he would use a common Neijiang saying, “In Neijiang, you only know if you are famous if someone tells you so!” You always had to be careful lest your name should already have been crossed off in his “Book of the Living and the Dead”.

At the Sixth Brigade recent years, he had handled the cases of Chen Li, Jiang Zhenjun and others whom he had had shot to death. All those executions were based on confessions that he had extracted and death warrants the had signed. He also interrogated Fan Chaoyuan, Cai Xianlu and others. He signed their execution recommendations too but it was only because the Xichang Intermediate Court had rejected his recomendations that they were not executed.

He used his butcher’s knife on me too. In those days, executing people was very easy. Any counter-revolutionary statement or more specifically any “reactionary” words that touched on the the Three Red Banners campaign or on the Cultural Revolution could be weaved into an execution recommendation report.

His desire to get himself promoted fed the mad fury of his interrogations and the reports he wroted designed to get groups of people executed. To satisfy his animal lusts, all he needed was a few words, or failing that, he could even make some up, then then send on to headquarters his recommendation that the accused had viciously attacked the glorious leader and slandered the proletariat and so should be executed.

然而杀人太多会造成心理上的极度虚弱,庭审陈力时,陈力怒目极视,严词批驳的态度 深深振憾了他,陈力牺牲后使他经常通夜恶梦,梦见陈力,提着他的头来向他讨命债,吓得他 无处藏身,惊出一身冷汗从梦中惊醒。

第二天,他的邻居马干事问他昨夜又梦见了谁?半夜三更的在屋子里怪叫,他却不与回 答。神经上的负压,梦境中的恶鬼见多了,使他歇斯底里,无法控制。在这种扭曲的心态下,

Killing so many people however left him in a extremely brittle psychological state. During his interrogation of Chen Li, Chen had fiercely stared him down. Chen Li’s strenous refutations of Zhang Jianbo’s accusations shook Zhang profoundly. After the execution of Chen Li, Zhang often had nightmares. He dreamed that Chen Li was carrying his head and demanding compensation from Zhang for wrongful death. This frightened him so badly that he felt that he had nowhere to hide. Those dreams so frightened him that he would wake up in a cold sweat.

After one of those dreams, his neighbor Cadre Ma asked him whom he had seen in his dreams? Zhang had screamed in his own bedroom in the early morning hours. Zhang didn’t answer. Zhang had been feeling a lot of pressure. The many evil ghosts he was seeing in his dreams brought on an uncontrollable hysteria. In this twisted mental state, his moral character, which had been abysmal to start with, sunk even lower. He had always been interested in sex but now he used sex more and more so that heterosexual stimulation would blot out his fears and bury his troubles so that he could get to sleep.

– 360 –

他原来就十分堕落的道德更加堕落,他本来就生性好色,为了解除晚上的失眠,越来越用异性 的剌激来解除他的恐惧和烦恼。

在盐源农场,多年有一个女人暗中陪伴他。他对于老家带到农场来的结发前妻感到乏味, 由乏味干脆把她送回老家,以免留在身边,“碍手碍脚”。结发老婆回老家后,他就同这个骚女 人由暗地转为半公开同居。

张剑波从这个女人的奸宿中,用刺激来减少他的精神压力。但是自从他们变成了半公开 同居以后,那女人越来越不满意这种不明不白的关系,虽然张剑波的工资大半归她掌握。

为了公开的名份,她几次催促张剑波与“前妻”离婚,可恨的是,他妻子两个在当地公 社颇有势力的弟弟,却坚决反对舅老倌这种陈世美作风,离婚遇到了无法抗拒的阻力,在那个 时代,办理正式离婚手续,只要有一方不同意,便会维持原来婚姻。

林彪事件以后,“杀一小批”的严打运动暂时停了下来,以此为专职的张剑波也开始闲起 来了,他便借这个机会向盐源农场的管教科请了两个月“探亲假”,心里盘算着怎么来解决他 的婚姻烦恼,经过与姘居女人的商量,在他的心中萌生了一个神不知鬼不觉的计划。

For several years, a woman had been his secret companion. Even before Yanyuan Farm, he had felt his hometown wife colorless and boring. Tiring of her, he sent her back to her home so that she would not be “binding him hand and foot”. After his wife returned home, his relationship with the homewrecker changed from clandestine to more of less open cohabitation.

Zhang Jianbo used the excitement of his adulterous liaisons with her to relieve the pressure he felt. Once they started living together more or less openly, however, she became more and more dissatisfied with the uncertain relationship they had even though Zhang Jianbo handed most of his income over to her.

So that she her relationship with him could be publicly known, she repeatedly demanded that Zhang Jiango divorce his “previous wife”. What he really hated about his situation now was that his wife’s two younger brothers, who were very influential in their own commune, strongly opposed their brother-in-law’s ungrateful behavior. The divorce had met an insuperable obstacle. In those days, if one party objected the divorce, the orginal marriage would remain valid.

After the Lin Biao Incident, the “kill a few people to intimidate the others” Strike Hard campaign paused. Zhang Jianbo, by now specializing in these cases, began to complain. He took of the break by asking the Yanyuan Farm discipline and education department for two months of leave “to visit relatives”. He thought that he could solve his marital problems. After talking things over with his lover, he hatched a plot.

在老家的故居,这几年一直寡居的老实巴交的妻子,意外在乡下家中迎接突然归来的丈 夫。她虽然已经耳闻她的丈夫在盐源已经同一个野女人私住在一起,但怎么敢去阻止这个凶恶 “丈夫”的私情?所以一直以息事宁人的态度,容忍了张剑波。

几次她收到张剑波寄来要她签字的离婚书,但却因两个兄长的反对,只好以不理睬的态 度装成什么也没收到。




取出一瓶精装泸洲大曲,说是农场春节团聚时,发给干部们的,一直留着舍不得吃,这次特地 带回家,同久别的妻子共饮。

女人经不住丈夫端着酒杯殷勤相劝,便接过酒来半杯下肚,不出半个时辰酒力发作,那 女人感到口舌麻木,腹中绞痛,面如死灰,七窍流血倒在地上一命呜呼了。(关于张剑波杀妻 属实,但其过程是听来的不能保证没有讹传。)

His good-natured wife, living alone like a widow for a few years in her old family home, happened to hear the news that her husband would soon return. She already knew that her husband was living with a woman on the Yanyuan Farm, but how could she ever dare to do anything to place obstacles in the way of the personal relationships of that evil “husband”? So she had always thought that she should try to patch up their quarrels and find a way to get along with Zhang Jianbo.

Several times she had received the signed divorce documents that Zhang Jianbo had sent her. Since her two elder brothers strongly opposed a divorce, however, she had always pretended that she had never received them.

When he suddenly returned home she felt as happy as if she had been “overwhelmed by an unexpected blessing” and so did not have any doubts or make any precautions.

Several days after he returned home, Zhang Jianbo went to the commune restaurant to buy several bottles of dinner wine. He took out of his bag a package of Luzhou Daqu licquor, saying it was a Spring Festival gift that had been given to the cadres. He had always been reluctant to drink it and so he had brought it home so that he could share it with his wife from whom he had been separated for so long.

The woman could not resist his urgings to toast with a cup of licquor. She drank down a half glass of the licquor. The licquor took effect in less than half an hour. Her tongue went numb and she had stomach pains. She got deathly pale, bled from her eyes, nose and mouth and soon died. (This is what I was told about Zhang Jianpo’s murder of his wife but I can’t be sure that there are no mistakes in this account.)

张剑波见事已得手,连忙取出预先准备好的锄头铁锹,把床搬开就床下连夜挖了一个深 坑,将她的尸体推入坑中掩埋,面上还铺了一层石灰,到天亮才收拾完毕。

第二天向邻人放出风声,说她回娘家,已两天没有回家,装着很焦急的样子去她的兄弟 家“寻找”。

经过一番紧张表演,他自认为可以瞒过这些村里人,最后以他的妻子离家出走,到公社 武装部报案了结。

Zhang Jianbo saw that his plan had succeeded. He took the hoe and iron shovel he had prepared, removed the floorboards and through the night to dig a deep hole. He buried her corpse in the hole and laid a layer of ash over it. He didn’t finish until dawn.

The next day, he told the neighbors she had gone back to her family home but hadn’t come back for two days. He pretended to be worried and went to her brothers’ home to “look for her”.

Having made this show of anxiety, he thought that he could trick these village people. Finally he went to the commune armed police to report that his wife had run away from home.

– 361 –

她的两个兄长虽然心里一团疑惑,但因为弄不清到底发生了什么事,便去他们姐姐家, 里外找寻,村民们七嘴八舌的议论,谁也说不准,她是外出遇到意外事故,还是什么原因失踪。

活生生的一个人突然失踪,暂被张剑波编造的谎言瞒过去。然而,一个女人为什么在张 剑波回来以后失踪,引起了村民们的怀疑。

被妻子阴魂附着的张剑波,怀着惴惴不安回到了盐源。然而内江市的军管会在这个女人 的两个兄弟督促下,成立了专案调查组,将张剑波列为重大嫌疑人。对张剑波平时为人霸道作 风十分不满的当地村民,在张剑波回盐源后,自发去她家的房前房后,寻找蛛丝马迹。

Although the two brothers were suspicious, but they couldn’t figure out what had happened. They went to their ancestral home and looked around elsewhere as well. The villagers had many theories but they couldn’t tell whether she might have had an accident while travelling outside the village or had been gotten lost for some other reason.

The lies that Zhang Jianbo had fabricated covered up for a time the real reason for her sudden disappearance. However, the question of just why that woman would disappear so soon after the return of Zhang Jianbo made the villagers suspicious.

Zhang Jianbo, pursued by the ghost of his wife, returned to Yanyuan an anxious man. Meanwhile, the Neijiang City military management committee, urged on by the woman’s two brothers, formed a special investigative team that listed Zhang Jianbo as the prime suspect. Villagers were very resentful of Zhang Jianbo’s customary overbearing ways. After Zhang Jianbo returned to Yanyuan, they went to her house on their own to look around for some tiny clue to what had happened.

有人发现,张剑波家里常有金头苍蝇绕屋不去,根据这个现象他们发现,女人床底下有 新土痕迹,而且怀疑那新土上面为什么盖有一层生石灰?最后终于从那里挖出了早已腐烂的尸 体。恶贯满盈的张剑波,到了死期来临的时侯。

管盐源农牧场军管会,竟在接到内江报来的材料后仍取遮掩态度,要内江当局考虑到张 剑波的身份,不要过份张扬,不要造成不良影响。

后来,又把张剑波划在隐藏在共产党内的蜕化变质份子,悄悄把这个“模范”党员办公 室里悬挂的“无产阶级忠忱卫士”锦旗摘了下来。拒不介绍这个凶恶的杀人犯的犯罪事实。但 内江他的老家,老百姓早已将这起凶杀案沸沸扬扬的“传开了”。

死者的娘家,在祭奠她的会上抚尸恸哭,要求当地政府将张剑波押回内江召开公审大会, 并交给她的家属们处理,但却遭到了政府的断然拒绝,虽然张剑波被很快处死,但他的罪行远 远没有揭露,民愤远远没有平息。

当局可以因“言论”罪,“思想”罪,把无辜的老百姓拉到斗争会上,一连几天无休止的 批斗,却对杀人凶犯保护有加。

They found that Zhang Jianbo’s home there were often bluebottle flies buzzing around that wouldn’t leave. Looking more closely into that, they found newly disturbed ground underneath the woman’s bed. They wondered why on that newly disturbed earth there was a layer of quicklime? Finally they dug out of the ground a corpse that had already begn to rot. Death was about to close in on Zhang Jianbo who was already guilty of countless terrible crimes.

Surprisingly, the Yanyuan Farm military management committee wanted a cover-up after it got the report from Neijiang. They asked the Neijiang authorities to consider Zhang Jianbo’s position and not to do anything that would have a bad effect on the Yanyuan community.

Later, they changed their minds, deciding that Zhang Jianbo had become a morally degenerate character lurking inside the Chinese Communist Party. They quietly removed from his office the pennant proclaiming that this “model” Communist Party member was a “Guardian of the Proletariat”. Yet still they refused to disclose the facts of the crime that that brutal murderer had committed. In his old hometown of Neijiang, however, people were already been sharing sensational rumors about this murder case.

The murdered woman’s family weeped over her body at the memorial ceremony. They asked the local government to bring Zhang Jianbo back under guard, put him on trial, and then turn him over to the woman’s family for them to dispose of. The local government refused point blank. Although Zhang Jianbo was quickly executed, the news of his crime was not disclosed and so popular indignation was not appeased.

The authorities would drag innocent common people to struggle meetings for “speech” crimes and for “thought” crimes. They would struggle them for days on end but still they were willing to protect the reputation of a murderer.

中共大小官员凭手中掌握的权力,天天在对手无寸铁的无辜受害者犯罪,他们比封建专 制的统治者有过之而无不及,古代的士大夫阶层可以拿着皇上赐给的免死牌,横行乡里,还过, 所能免去的也仅仅只有死罪。

而中共的党员干部靠掌握在手中的特权,犯了罪可用降职革官相赎,一般党员还可以用 党籍换得豁免。今天,腐败和贪污成风,与这层豁免的保护密切相关。在他们的罪恶还没有充 份暴露时,连“检举”他们都要倍加小心。

像张剑波这样的刽子手,所以能大胆毒杀前妻,就是因为这种特权所提供的保护作用, 全国像这类似的凶案,也不知有多少没有披露出来?

小秋收中,从这些拾包谷的女人口中,知道这些女人相当多生活得极不幸福,那些平时 对犯人虐待成性的狱吏们,养成了他们残暴的习惯,回到家对自己的女人也一样施行暴力。平 时把他们当作发泄性欲的奴隶,遇到不顺心的事,便把她们当成随便打骂的“出气筒”。

Chinese Communist Party officials both big and small used their power every day to commit crimes against their innocent unarmed victims. They were even worse than the feudal rulers of old imperial China. There was no crime that they not commit. The old literati officials might take advantage of the exemption from the death penalty that the emperor had bestowed upon them and commit all sorts of crimes. The only punishment that imperial indulgence shielded them against however was the death penalty.

Chinese Communist party members and cadres relied on their special privileges. If they committed a crime, they could pay for it with a demotion or firing. An ordinary party member could be dismissed from the party rather than face other punishment for their crimes. The graft and corruption have become common today have much to do with the special privileges that these kinds of people enjoy. Unless their crimes have already been fully exposed, even the people who report their crimes to the authorities must be very careful.

Thanks to those special privileges, a butcher like Zhang Jianbo dared murder his wife. How many similar cases took place throughout China but never saw the light of day?

Among those women who followed behind the harvesters collecting grain in the minor harvest many who lived in abject poverty. The jailers, who had formed their brutal habits in their dealings with prisoners, often brought those habits home and treated their own women with that same brutality. They treated their wives as slaves and as objects to satisfy their sexual passions. When they suffered some misfortune, they battered and cursed their wives as a way of “blowing off steam”.

当然,这些基层狱吏们的家属,毕竟靠自己的男人。在全国还在饥饿的时侯,过着丰衣 足食的生活,她们有吃不完的粮食,还有吃不完的鸡兔肉,她们是一群受人欺侮的“幸运儿”。

Naturally the families of those low-ranking jailers were forced to rely upon their men. Even all of China was hungry with famine, they still had enough food to eat and clothes to wear. Not only did they have all the food they could eat, they had in addition all the chicken and rabbit meat they could eat. They were a band of bullied “lucky ones”.

– 362 –

盐源农场的各劳改中队,因为全关押的男犯,客观上没有这些干部对被关押者,施行性 侵犯的条件。

在就业中队就发生过多次丑闻。就业人员在当时条件下,能娶妻成家的人本来就不多, 但那里的管教人员往往利用职务便利,趁就业人员的亲友,姐妹,女儿来队探亲时,发生借安 排住宿的机会,趁夜潜入招待所,对她们实行奸污的事。

碰上这样的事情,女方经常吃了哑巴亏,不敢对外张扬,除非产生了不可挽回的后果。 可以说,由毛泽东建立起来的“无产阶级”专政,一方面,使大批的无辜者论为淫威下



All the members of the reform through labor brigades at the Yanyuan Farm were male and so the jailers did not sexually abuse the prisoners.

There were several times rumors of sexual abuse among the brigades of free employees. Although the circumstances of the brigades of employed people often did not permit their members to marry and start a family, discipline and education department officers would often take advantage of their easy official access to farm facilities to come into guesthouses used by visiting friends, sisters and daughters of employed workers to seduce or rape them.

When that happened, the women usually had to swallow their complaints since they dared not tell anyone unless there were unavoidable consequences. We could say that ever since Mao Zedong founded the dictatorship of the “proletariat”, a great number of innocents were enslaved to lust and a privileged class of officials arose who could get away with anything. Under the protective umbrella of that dictatorship, they committed many terrible abuses. This protective umbrella also concealed a profound social crisis.



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A Chinese Migrant Worker’s Story: “I Am Fan Yusu” 《我是范雨素》英文翻译

The autobiographical essay “I Am Fan Suyu” by Chinese migrant peasant author Fan Suyu caused a sensation when it spread across the Internet in China in April 2017.

Fan Yusu took part in a year-long writing course at a migrant worker’s school in Pi Village on the outskirts of Beijing where she lived that helped train budding writers.

According to a December 2016 Radio Free Asia report, that same migrant worker cultural organization, the Beijing Pi Village Workers’ Home  北京皮村工友之家 which Fan Yusu, author of the famous April autobiographical article “I Am Fan Yusu”, credits with helping her grow as a writer was as of this December 2016 report, being forced out of the rooms  they had rented by the local authorities, supposedly for a construction project that would involve tearing down their building, even though their lease has another two years to run. The authorities cut off their electricity and water to make their position  abundantly clear.

Fan Yusu’s story was relayed on many Chinese language websites both inside and outside of China in late April.  The text I translated below can be found is on and many other websites.

Fan Yusu picture from web

Fan Yusu 范雨素

An Appreciation of “I am Fan Yusu”

April 25, 2017

Last year I published Fan Yusu’s essay “My Big Brother the Peasant”. Fan Yusu, a 44 year old junior middle school graduate, comes from Dahuo Village, Xiangzhou District, Xianyang City in Hubei Province. She is now a child caregiver in Beijing. In her leisure time, she has written true stories in manuscript totaling 100 thousand characters about her old and new homes.

She says that child care keeps her busy. She says that “I can never find the time, I am just too busy” to edit and enter those 100,000 characters worth of manuscripts into a computer. She does feel however, that “People need to more in life than just eating. She wants to satisfy some of her spiritual needs.”

She has a light and graceful literary style and an inimitable sense of humor. Sometimes her writing erupts with great force. She is like an anthropologist writing down stories about her village, her family, the Beijing suburbs, and life in the high rent districts to describe her personal views about destiny and self-respect. Today’s essay is her own story.


I am Fan Yusu 《我是范雨素》

by Fan Yusu

My life is like a book that cannot bear to read. Fate has given me a very clumsy binding indeed.

I am from Xiangyang in Hubei Province. I was 12 years old when I became a teacher in a primary school set up by local people. If I hadn’t left home and kept to it, I probably could have converted my position and become a regular teacher.

I couldn’t stand the dull rural life that was like being a frog living at the bottom of a well so I came to Beijing. I wanted to see the world. I turned twenty that year.

Things didn’t go well for me after I arrived in Beijing. The problem was mostly that I was lazy, awkward and dumb. A job that someone else could do in half an hour could work on for three hours and still not get it done right. My hands were awkward, more awkward than most people. When I went to a restaurant to work as a server, I would be carrying food and get distracted and break the dishes. I earned only just enough money to keep myself from starving to death.

I wasted two years in Beijing. I thought that I was a little person who would never be able to make her dreams come true. I made a hasty marriage with a man from Northeast China. I had two girls in a marriage that only lasted five or six years. Their father’s business got worse and worse. He drank too much and beat us every day. I couldn’t put up with all that domestic violence so I went with the two girls to my old home in Xiangyang to ask my mother for help. The man never came to look for us. Later I heard that he went from Manchuria to Russia. Now he is probably staggering falling dead drunk on the streets of Moscow.

I returned to my old home and told my mother that from now on I would bring up the two girls myself.

When I was little, Next Eldest Sister and I would lie together on the bed reading novels. Our eyes would get tired and then we would just talk. I asked Next Eldest Sister, “Now that we’ve read so many biographies of famous people, which famous person do you admire most?” Next Eldest Sister answered, “I can’t see or feel of the famous people in the books so I can’t admire them. The person I most admire is our second-oldest brother.”

When I heard her say that I couldn’t agree. Of course we can’t see or feel the famous people in the books. The person I admire most is my mother. No doubt at all that our second oldest brother is a child prodigy.

My mother’s name is Zhang Xianzhi. She was born July 20, 1936. When she was 14 years old, because she had the gift of gab and was good at resolving personal conflicts, she was chosen at the female leader of the village. She got that position in 1950 and held it for another 40 years. That was longer than many of the tough guys in politics like Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. That was not, however, the reason I admired my mother.

When my mother was only a few years old, my maternal grandfather arranged for her to be married the boy in the house next door — my father. Later my mother helped my uncle, her brother. F father was elegant and handsome as a young man but my parents never got along. They fought every day.

My earliest memories are of my father looming like the shadow of a tall tree. You can see it but it is not of any use. Father never spoke. He was in poor health and so couldn’t do any strenuous work. My mother had to take care of the five children all by herself.

My mother was born a village woman amidst all the great evils of the old society. She never went to school, not even for one day. Nonetheless she was the one who picked out the names of all five of us. Mother picked the name Fan Cloud (Fan Yun) for my big brother and Fan Flying (Fan Fei) for second brother. She hoped that her two sons would grow up to be fine men and move easily in the upper realms just like spiritual beings do. Mother was much more casual about the names she chose for we three girls. Big sister was Fan Laurel Girl (Fan Jiaren) meaning that she would bloom like a laurel tree into an adult. Nex sister was born when the plum blossoms were blooming and so she should have been named Fan Plum Girl (Fan Meiren) but unfortunately Plum Blossom Girl has the same sound as Mildew Girl and that would be unlucky. Mother then decided to call her Fan Plum Blossom (Fan Meihua). I, the youngest, was born when the chrysanthemums were starting to bloom so mother gave me the name Fan Chrysanthemum Girl [Fan Juren]. The year I turned twelve I read the most popular love story that year “Fire and Rain”. That novel was written by Auntie Chiung Yao. So I decided to change my name myself and had myself called Fan Rain [Fan Yusu].

Big Brother from early on loved to study on his own but was not a gifted student. He stayed up every night missing sleep to study but he flunked the university entrance examination. He study to take it the next year but failed again. Big brother got angry, saying that he wouldn’t be able to escape peasant life by passing the university entrance examination. Big brother wanted to become a writer and leave farming behind. Our family was very poor. Both my elder sisters were handicapped and were often sick through the years so our family was very poor. But big brother wanted to become a writer. People need to invest to become a writer. Big brother traded our rice and grain from money that he could us to buy literary publications and classical works. We didn’t have any grain so we ate sweet potatoes. Fortunately, none of mother’s five children became a hungry ghost who moved on to reincarnation in a new body and none of the children ever complained that they weren’t eating well enough.

Big brother read and wrote for many years. Although he never became a writer, he did cultivate a strong literary air about himself. He was slovenly and pedantic. In the village that kind of person is called someone who “drinks in culture”. Like Lu Xun’s character Kong Yiji he was despised.

But Big Brother was different from Kong Yiji in some ways. Big brother had a brave mother. Just because he had her for a mother, nobody gave big brother a disparaging glance.

Mother could really talk. All she had to do was to open her mouth and she could win anyone over. A longtime matchmaker, Xiangyang people called her “Red Leaf”. Mother didn’t charge anyone for her services as Red Leaf. She did it simply to help people. These days people would call her a volunteer. In the early 1980s, all the families in the village had a lot of children. When boys and girls grew up they wanted to find someone and get married. Everyone appreciated a talented person like mother.

Big Brother didn’t become a writer and so didn’t escape the village but that was not serious. Big brother wanted to get married. Now that was a serious matter. People like my big brother were called literary lunatics in our village so they weren’t thought of as possible matches. But my amazing mother she could convince people that black was white so she turned big brothers shortcomings into his strengths. Thanks to mother’s awe-inspiring gifts, our very poor family was still able to find a sincere and honest girl who was as beautiful as a locust tree flower in the springtime.

Big Brother was still overly dogmatic. He said to mother, even though village officials are very low-ranking, they still part of that mass of corrupt officials. He said that if he let mother remain a village official, he would lose face. Even though I was small at the time, I thought my brother was being stupid. Who ever heard of a corrupt official who eats sweet potatoes all the time?

Mother didn’t say anything. She quit her job as a village official after 40 years.

Five months after Eldest Sister was born, she got a high fever. It was meningitis. Transportation was poor in those days so mother had her brother, who could run fast, carry her 40 kilometers to the Xiangyang City Central Hospital. She stayed in the hospital but they weren’t able to cure Eldest Sister’s serious illness. Her fever went down but she had become mentally handicapped.

Mother said that it was because they had injected her with drugs that were too strong and the drugs poisoned big sister.

Big sister had become an idiot but mother didn’t give up on her. Mother had faith that she could change this reality. She believed in Western medicine, in Chinese medicine and in highly skilled physicians. She tried everything that had the faintest glimmer of hope. People would often come to the house and say that atop a certain mountain there is an Immortal with magical powers. Then mother would have father take big sister along with a talisman and beg for magical healing water. When they returned home with the talisman burnt to cinders, the water near it became magic water. Big sister drank it down. One hope after another. One disappointment after another. Mother never gave up.

Next Eldest Sister got polio when she was little. When she was twelve years old, she had an operation and then started to get better.

Mother had five children. She worried about all of them.

Fan Yusu mother

The author’s mother.  Photo provided by Fan Yusu

I used to be very proud of myself.

My mother gave birth to me at 40 — I was her only healthy daughter. When I was little, my mother was so busy she didn’t have time to pay much attention to me. When I was six or seven years old, I learned to read novels on my own. That wasn’t really anything to brag about. My big sister, Next Eldest Sister and I all learned how to read a big brick-sized book. The only that I was really proud of in my childhood was that by the time I was eight years old I was able to read the novel “Journey to the West” printed in traditional Chinese characters. Nobody noticed and nobody praised me for it. I was just proud of it myself.

At that age, it was very easy to be proud of myself. I had the best grades in my class. I never paid attention in class, I just went over in my mind the novels that I had read. One of them was Zhou Xiao’s “Plum Blossoms of the Twelfth Lunar Month” (Mei Layue). I must have gone through that novel a thousand times.

When I was a pupil in primary school, what literary publications printed the most of were stories of educated youth who had been sent down to the countryside during the Cultural Revolution. Those stories taught you tricks like how to get onto a train without paying, steal vegetables from your fellow villagers, pick the apples from your fellow villager’s trees, how to beat the dog guarding a peasant household, and how to cook dog meat.

After reading those novels, I appreciated how lucky I was to be living where I could eat two sweet potatoes at every meal. I didn’t need to steal or rob, and I didn’t need to beat people up. Not only that, I got those two sweet potatoes and even had time for light reading!

My childish self drew a conclusion about this: if you don’t feel satisfied and fortunate in your life it must because you weren’t reading enough novels.

Not only did I read the literature of the intellectual youth sent down to the countryside, I also read “Robinson Crusoe”, “The Mysterious Island”, “Great Expectations”, “Oliver Twist” , Maxim Gorky’s “In the World”, “The Story of Uncle Lei Feng”, the story of a PLA soldier “The Song of Ouyang Hai”, and Hao Ran’s novel “The Golden Road”. Through novels I learned a lot about Chinese and world geography and about both Chinese and world history. If you told me a place name, I could tell you which continent it was on. If you gave me the name of a river, I could tell you which of the world’s oceans it flowed into.

I was only twelve years old and I was so proud of myself that I almost burst open. On blank paper in my room, I wrote my own “Walking to the Far Corners of the Earth Barefoot”. In the summer of my twelfth year, I took off without telling anyone. I went south to see the world.

I decided to head south because I had read a story in a magazine that came out in 1982. A kind woman in Beijing dedicated himself to taking in street kids. She took in a wandering boy in the winter. That child had in a cement pipe in the winter. His legs froze and they had to be amputated. That story made quite an impression on me. I knew that if I were to go north to Beijing to wander around, I might freeze my legs off.

I made good use of the seventy-two tricks that the educated youth novel had taught me and went to Hainan Island without paying for a ticket. Flowers bloom all year round in Hainan. Papaya trees and coconut trees grow along the road. I could lie beneath the trees eating papaya and drinking coconut juice. When I got tired of eating fruit, I raided trash cans to get things to eat. That is how the main character in my novel lived. My hair was short and I was so dirty — I never washed my face — that I looked just like a vagrant boy that nobody pays any attention to. Human traffickers couldn’t tell that I was a girl so they didn’t pay any attention to me.

But I got tired of that life. There was no school where I could study, no novels for me to read and no mother. After spending three months wandering around in Hainan, I decided to head home. I didn’t pay for any tickets on the way back. I went back to my village and returned to my mother’s side.

Once I returned home, mother was the only one who still looked at me with kindly loving eyes. Father and big brother hated me with a passion saying that I had let them down. The clan elders came to mother and said that I had disgraced the entire Fan clan. They wanted mother to beat me and kick me out.

Then at the age of twelve, I came to realize a few things. In rural Xiangyang, it wasn’t any big deal for boys my age could wander off for a few days and come back home. But for a girl to go off like that was tantamount to the crime of eloping like in the classical novels. A girl had never done that in our village. When I left home to wander, I became damaged goods and a disgrace to my relatives.

I was too ashamed to go out in public and too ashamed to go to school. Most important was that I wasn’t brave enough to be a vagrant. How could I survive? Everybody needs to survive.

Mother didn’t give up on me. By then my boy wonder Big Brother had graduated from his three year college. He had become a talented person who was both smart and good at working with people. Mother got my boy wonder big brother to find a job teaching in a locally run school at a faraway elementary school.

Time passed by little by little. All mother’s children had grown up and left home. My mother for twenty years searched for a physician and medicine that could cure Eldest Sister’s illness. The year my Eldest Sister turned twenty she ran a high fever. The treatment she got in the hospital didn’t work and she died.

After my Next Eldest Sister grew up, she taught Chinese language and literature at a rural middle school. While she was teaching there, Next Eldest Sister’s talented boyfriend when to Shanghai to seek his fortune. Next Eldest Sister, who had in her mind an internal storage card that contained thousands and thousands of ancient poems, said angrily “The only true poets are illiterate!” Next Eldest Sister took up with a young man who had never gone to school a day in his life and casually gave up on herself.

Big Brother was still in the village planting crops and working in the fields with hoe, pickaxe and shovel. His dreams of becoming a writer had been dashed. Now Big Brother was only working the earth living a hard life. No longer did he scratch his head and gaze up at the sky and wail about how unfortunate he was.

Second Brother who had enjoyed success as a young man got addicted to gambling the year he turned forty. Perhaps because he had enjoyed such good fortune as an official, when he went to the gambling parlor only one word applied to him — “lose”. Second Brother lost money and so took out big loans. Soon he wasn’t able to repay his loans. Every day he was darting from place to place hiding from his creditors. His lost his job as an official and human relationships being as variable as they are, soon he had no friends and no relatives. Second Brother at night would pace back and forth across the Hanjiang River Number Two Bridge.

Just then mother stepped forward. She was constantly consoling Second Brother. Mother said that her forty year old son was a good man. It wasn’t his fault. When Second Brother became an official, the other officials led him astray.

Mother said she was sorry that she hadn’t let Second Brother study another year for the college entrance examination when he was young. If he had studied another year for the university entrance examination, he would have gotten into a university in the big city and become a big city official. Big city officials has good moral character. They wouldn’t have led Second Brother astray. That way Second Brother would not have become an inveterate gambler. Mother said as long as there is life, there is still a chance to repay the debt. There is nothing to worry about. Just go on living. Bolstered with her mother’s love, he became determined to go on living.

I left behind the domestic violence of my home and my drunken husband and took the two girls back to Xiangyang. Mother didn’t complain. She just said don’t worry. Big Brother, however, treated me like the plague and wanted me to leave and not give him any trouble.

According to the traditions of Xiangyang villages, a grown daughter is water that has been sprinkled away. Mother had no right to help me. Mother was strong politically but she still didn’t dare to oppose five thousand years of the Three Cardinal Guides — the ruler guides the minister, the father guide the son and the husband guides the wife — and the Five Constant Virtues — benevolence, justice, courtesy, wisdom and faithfulness. My loving mother told me, my big child, you can’t go to school. Don’t worry, mother will pray to the Old Man in Heaven for you and ask him for a way for you to make a living. I already knew by then that I didn’t have a home. The poor people of my village could just barely get by and they naturally had little family feeling for me. I didn’t hate Big Brother but I knew very well that I was just a temporary guest in the village where I had been born and raised. My two children were even more like duckweed floating helplessly in the water than I was. Mother was the only one in this world who loved me.

I took the two children to Beijing and found a job as a nurse raising other people’s kids. I had every Sunday off. My elder daughter was in Pi Village beyond the Fifth Ring Road where she took care of a her little sister in a rented room.

I was very lucky. The family where I was a nurse for a family that was one of the most wealthy and powerful in the area. The wife of my male employer had two grown children. I looked after the babies my male employer had with his mistress.

My male employer and his mistress had a boy and a girl. Their elder child, the boy, went to the nursery school of the International School. The baby girl was just three months old. The male employer hired a martial arts instructor who had graduated from the Shaolin Academy and dedicated a 300 square meter space in the office building that his family had built furnished with stakes in the floor, sandbags and single and double exercise bars for the son he had with his mistress.

In addition to the martial arts instructor, he also found a scholar graduated from People’s University of China to be his live-in personal tutor who would take him to and from school and supervise him as he did his homework. He not only helped the child practice his martial arts but also taught that six-year-old boy how to write computer programs.

I was responsible only for the three month old baby girl. The baby didn’t sleep regularly. She would often wake up in the middle of the night. I would feed her baby formula and coax her back to sleep. I would think then of my own two daughters in Pi Village. Would they have nightmares, those evenings when their mother did not sleep with them? Did they cry? I thought about them over and over as tears trickled down my cheeks. Fortunately no one saw me since it was the middle of the night. My female employer was 25 years younger than my male employer. Sometimes when I got up in the middle of the night to console the baby, I would run into female employer as she dressed herself carefully or was waiting on the sofa for her old man to come home.

Female employer was slimmer and more graceful than a model. Her face was more beautiful than the movie star Wang Bingbing. She was still however like a high-level imperial concubine you see in those TV dramas about palace infighting. She was assiduous in her service to the male employer and didn’t seem to have any self-respect. It was as if she were lying flat on the ground begging for food. Perhaps her early life had been very hard and she didn’t want to fight any useless battles. Whenever this happened, I would feel lost. I just couldn’t tell whether I was living at the height of the Tang Dynasty, or in the Great Qing Empire or in socialist New China. I don’t have supernatural powers though and I cannot jump through into those bygone times!

My elder daughter made friends with two children her age who did not go to school. One was named Ding Jianping and the other was named Li Jingni. Ding Jianping, from Tianshui County in Gansu Province, couldn’t go to school because her father was angry that her mother had left him. Her father said that public schools wouldn’t accept the children of peasant migrant workers. She could only go to the worker’s school. That school changed teachers many times during the school term and the quality of the education there was poor. Anyways, the school isn’t any good so I’ll just not send her to school and save the money.

The reason Li Jingni did not go to school was that ha her father had a wife and child back home but still deceived Li Jingni’s mother who gave birth to Li Jingni. After Li Jingni’s mother discovered that the father of the child had deceived her, she walked out in anger. Li Jingni’s father was a good man. He did not abandon her. But father said Li Jingni is a black child — a child who does not have a household registration. The worker’s schools in the city could not officially accept school for children who did not have a household registration. If she went to school there, the Ministry of Education would not recognize her studies and would not be allowed to take the examination for high school or university even if she returned to his old hometown. Li Jingni was a black child. There was no need for her to go to school only to be an unrecognized student and so become a doubly black student.

I thought to myself, the Ministry of Education is to blame for this misfortune. Who set down this policy that ruins the lives of the children of migrant workers? According to the newspapers, the Ministry of Education does this so that schools will not misreport the number of students enrolled in order to falsely claim an extra allocation of compulsory allocation funds. But why doesn’t the Ministry of Education just supervise schools closely and not abuse the children of migrant workers in this way?

Thanks to my mother’s prayers to the old man up in Heaven, my two children grew up healthy and happy. Three big children looked after a small child was not hard. The children were good every day. Every day the three children sang to the little girl “My Motherland is like a garden, the flowers in the garden have bright colors”. They sang cheerfully and played together very happily all day long.

Fan Yusu and daughter on trip to Lhasa

Fan Yusu and her daughter during their trip to Tibet. Photo provided by the author.

The village I lived in, Beijing’s Pi Village, was a very interesting place. All Chinese people know that the peasants on the outskirts of Beijing are millionaires. Their homes have long been worth a lot of money. The newly rich big shots like to show off, flaunting their cars, flaunting their watches, flaunting their pocketbooks, and flaunting their food and clothing. We in Pi Village don’t like that. In Pi Village what the people flaunt are their dogs and that they have more dogs than anyone else. In Pi Village I met a fellow worker named Guo Fulai from Wuqiao County in Hebei Province who did construction work in Pi Village and lived in a work shed. One villager took an army of 20 dogs out for a walk every day. When the dogs came near the worksheds, they would harass and humiliate the peasant migrant workers who lived in the work shed. Guo Fulai calmly wrote an article “The Dogs of Pi Village” that was published in “Beijing Literature” that conveyed the feelings of the migrant workers.

My landlord was the former secretary of the Pi Village Communist Party Committee. In Pi Village he was something like a former president. The landlord was a politician and didn’t like the dog armies. He only raised two dogs, a Scottish Sheepdog and a Tibetan Mastiff. My landlord told me that the Scottish Sheepdog is the smartest dog in the world and the Tibetan Mastiff is the bravest and fiercest. An alliance between the smartest and the fiercest dogs in the world can beat anything. My children, who lived beneath the president’s apartment, enjoyed the best security under heaven. My children and I felt very lucky.

After my elder daughter learned to read novels, I often went to the Panjiayuan Market, many used goods markets, and to recycling stations and collected over a thousand pounds of books for my daughter. Why buy so many? Two reasons — first buying them by the pound is very cheap and there were many new books that had been recycled from people’s trash. The plastic wrapping hadn’t even been taken off many of the books. A book that had never been read, just like someone who has never really lived, is a sorry sight to see.

I had never written an article before. Sometimes I would pick up pen and paper to write a novel. I would write about the pasts and presents of the people I knew. I had very little education and no confidence in myself. I wrote for myself. I thought up a title for my novel. It would be entitled “Meeting Again After a Long Separation”. The story was not made up. It was all real. Art comes from life and the lives we are living are absurd. Every person in the story can be verified. I have always wanted to do a better job with that novel that I was writing for fun.

A literature class was starting at the Pi Village “Workers’ Home”. I took it for a year. That year I had time because someone was looking after my younger daughter so I got a temporary job teaching at the worker’s schools at Pi Village and neighboring Yinge Village. The pay as a temporary teacher at the worker’s school was low, just 6000 RMB a month. Later, when my daughter got a little older, she could go to school, come home and buy some food all by herself. I stopped teaching and became a home nurse earning 6000 RMB a month. I came back once a week to see my daughter. I didn’t got to the “Workers’ Home” anymore.

Workers Home in Pi Village Beijing

January 7, 2015 The Beijing Pi Village Cultural Activities Center can be considered the headquarters of the Workers’ Home. Photo by AudioVisual China. 201517日,北京,皮村社区文化活动中心算是北京工友之家的大本营。来自视觉中国。

Writers' class is in the worker museum and library in the Pi Village Beijing

January 7, 2015 The Manual Laborers’ Art Museum and Worker’s Library are in the courtyard of the Beijing Pi Village district Cultural Activities Center. Photo from AudioVisual China.  201517日,位于北京皮村社区文化活动中心大院里的打工文化艺术博物馆和工友图书室。来自视觉中国。

Pi Village Workers Home Library Exhibit Workplace Injury Stories January 2015

January 7, 2015 The worker painting exhibit “Workplace Injury Stories”  at the Beijing Pi Village Manual Work Culture and Art Museum. Photo from AudioVisual China. 201517日,北京皮村,打工文化艺术博物馆里收藏的工友绘画作品《工伤故事》。来自视觉中国。

Fan Yusu reading her story written in the migrant worker writers class April 2015

April 2015 worker group class in Pi Village. Teacher Zhang Huiyu has each of the peasant migrant worker read their works aloud. Fan Yusu is reading her story aloud. Photo provided by the author.  2015年四月在皮村工人小组上课,老师张慧瑜让农民工学员朗诵各自的作品,范雨素在朗诵中。由作者提供。

Fan Suyu manuscripts

The author’s manuscripts. The author has continued to write essays and long documentary reports. 作者的手稿。她一直在写随笔和长篇纪实。

I have always thought of myself as a cowardly, apathetic person. I am always reading the newspaper but I am not content with just a superficial understanding of the news. If you think of the connections between several decades of news reports, you can discover that before peasant migrant workers came to the city to perform manual labor, that is before about 1990, Chinese village women had the world’s highest suicide rate. They cried, they made a scene and then they hung themselves. According to the newspapers, rural women aren’t killing themselves anymore. But you can find the oddball phrase “motherless village”. Village women aren’t killing themselves. They have all run away. In 2000, I read an article “Illicit Lovers are Easily Separated” that discussed that marriages formed between peasant migrant workers who met far from home are very fragile. Women who run away from their home village are just the kind of women who marry far away from home.

In an urban village like this in Beijing, there are many motherless migrant worker children like this. Perhaps it is because people gather together with people like them and like attracts like. The two children my elder daughter made friends with are both like that. They also will most likely suffer a terrible fate.

My daughter learned Chinese characters by watching the subtitles on television programs and leaned to read newspapers and novels. My elder daughter at age 14 when her younger sister no longer needed her care, started to do hard work. She learned many different things while working. Now twenty years old, she is a white collar worker who earns 90,000 RMB a year. Her two friends of the same age, Ding Jianping and Li Jingni, because they didn’t have relatives praying to the old man in Heaven for them, both became screws in the factory of the world. They sit arranged along an assembly line like funerary statuettes living the life of a puppet.

Anyone who has raised a cat or a dog knows how they protect their young. This goes for people since we are mammals too. All women who abandon their children go through life bleeding in their hearts.

From long years of doing odd jobs I had learned that I couldn’t trust other people. Everyone was just a nodding acquaintance. Sometimes I was even afraid to greet people. I compared what different psychology books said to try to cure my illness. All I could figure out was that I had “social anxiety disorder” sometimes also called “social phobia”. Soon it got worse and became “depression”. Only kindness can cure it. I thought of my mother’s love for me and how she was the only one in the world who loved me. I concentrated on that every day and so my mental illness stopped getting worse.

This year mother telephoned to tell me that our production brigade was taking land to build a train station for a stop on the Zhengzhou to Wanzhou high speed railroad line. The household registration of myself and my daughters as well as my big brother was in the village where we had land. Land was taken in the village for just 22,000 RMB per mu. This was unfair. The brigade leader sent out a notice asking that each family sent a rights protection representative to higher levels of government and fight for our rights. Big Brother had gone away to work outside the village so our mother was the only one who could be our rights protection representative.

Mother told me that she had gone with rights protection representatives to the township government, the county government and the city government. Wherever they went, they were shoved around by young social stability kids. The sixty year old brigade leader was the youngest in the rights protection group. The social stability kids broke four of his ribs. Mother was 81 years old and the young social stability people had a conscience. They didn’t push here. They just tied a rope to her arm and pulled her away. Mother’s arm was dislocated.

All the land went for 22,000 RMB per mu. There had only been a little bit of land per person to start with. How would people unable to work ever be able to survive? The people in power weren’t willing to think about that. Nobody was willing to think about those souls. Things like that go on in every nook and cranny of China. It was just our fate.

I thought about how my eighty-one year old mother was still braving the cold winds of January running around and fighting for the interests of her useless sons and daughters, while I was here writing down these words saying how guilty I felt. What more could I do?

What could I do for mother? Mother is a good person. When I was a child, most people would insult the refugees from Junzhou forced to relocate when the Danjiang Reservoir was built. They were now reduced to looking for crop stubble in the fields behind our home.

The most famous person from Junzhou was Chen Shimei who had been beheaded by the famous Song Dynasty judge Justice Pao. Junzhou had now sunk to the bottom of the water.

Mother as one of the strongest people in the village, a person at the peak of the pyramid, would often go out and stop people from insulting the immigrants. After I grew up, I went to the big city to make a living and I myself became one of the weak people at the bottom. Even though I was the daughter of a powerful person in my home village, city people would often look at me with disdain and insult me. When that happened, I would think, could it be that people get some kind of physical pleasure when they insult people weaker than themselves? Or was it something that was copied in their genes? From that time onward, I kept in my mind the thought that whenever I met someone weak like me I would always give them kindness and respect.

We all need to do something meaningful in life. I am an incompetent person. I am poor. But I can still do something!

I can embrace a handicapped exile on the streets of Beijing. I can embrace a person suffering from mental illness. In my embrace of those people I convey my mother’s love. I am reciprocating my mother’s love.

My elder daughter told me the every morning when she goes to the cultural company where she works, she bring along a bottle of Huiyuan juice. My elder daughter doesn’t drink beverages but every day after work she hands it respectfully with two hands to a wandering old woman she sees near the door of her building or picking through trash that people have thrown away.

— The End —

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Bai Juyi’s Zen Poem ‘Flowers are not Flowers’

A Zen poem by Bai Juyi 白居易 aka “The Hermit of Xiangshan”   香山居士

Flowers are not Flowers   

Flowers are not flowers

Mists are not mists.

Like shadowy appearances coming at midnight

And leaving at first light

They come like a spring dream but for how long?

Parting  nowhere to be found in the morning clouds


1. 花非花,雾非雾。夜半来,天明去。来如春梦几时多?去时朝云无觅处

as quoted in Kong Lingping  Bloody Chronicles p. 506 in the Chinese text available online and in the Chinese edition of Epoch Times online at

2. 花非花,雾非雾。夜半来,天明去。来如春梦几多时?去似朝云无觅处。

… Parting like a morning cloud nowhere to be found

This is a bit of an interpretive translation.  I interpolated”Like shadowy appearances” to make the meaning clearer.  The giveaway is 来如春梦 coming like a spring dream.  This is not about a spring dream, it is about “reality” being like a spring dream.  The shadows — our perceptions — is what is real, not the imagined thing in itself.

Flowers are not Flowers   

Flowers are not flowers

Mists are not mists.

[Like shadowy appearances] Coming at midnight

And leaving at first light

They come like a spring dream but for how long?

Parting  nowhere to be found in the morning clouds

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Kong Lingping’s “Bloody Chronicle”: The Privileged and a Tragic Love Story

Another excerpt from my draft translation of Kong Lingping’s Bloody Chronicles 

Section Three Privileged classes within the communal slave system

Xu Shikui, the top leader in the Sixth Brigade administration, understand both his role and how to play his role within the privileged groups. He well understood that the Communist dictatorship tightly circumscribed his authority. Only if he respected those limits could he retain his own special privileges. He knew that his own position and property that he could make use of were quite different than that of the traditional autocrats of ancient and backwards Chinese dynasties.

– 353 –

在他管辖下,分布在三坡夹两沟足有两千亩的旱地,以及谷底的五百亩水稻田,上百头 大小牲畜,在名义上属于国家的公有财产,但是没有主的财产,是根本不会有的。抽象属于全 民所有制的生产资料,是无法运行并保存下去的。

实际上,农六队所有的生产活动的指挥权,基本上都掌握在他的手里。日常安排两百多 号劳动力的苦役,决定什么时候从事农耕,什么时间新修水利,什么时候安排通知场部的拖拉 机来翻耕土地,什么时候买什么化肥,饲料种子和农药,怎样分配所收的农副产品,蔬菜瓜果, 连什么时候把出槽的肥猪送给场部等等全都要经过他的批准,或直接由他定夺。


(一)特权 不过,权力形成的过程中不断翻新的运动,使他养成了按规矩办事的习惯,他明白弄得

不好,“走资派”的帽子可以随时套在自己头上,丢官不说,还要使他倾家荡产,被人抓住政 治上的把柄,抓进监狱使他遭到灭顶之灾。

Under his jurisdiction were 2000 mu (330 acres) including including three hillsides, two gullies of dry land, 500 mu (80 acres) of rice paddy on the valley floor as well as a hundred head of livestock large and small. In principle this was all state-owned communal property but there could not really be property without an owner. Production material which abstractly belonged to the state could not be managed or maintained.

He in fact managed all the production of the Sixth Agricultural Brigade. He managed every day a labor force of 200 people. He gave permission to others to decide or decided himself just when to work the land, when the irrigation system was to be improved or repaired, when the farm headquarters tractors came to plow the land, when the fertilizer would be applied, when the seeds for the animal feed were sown, when pesticides were applied, how to distribute the harvested agricultural by-products and vegetables and even when fat pigs were to be sent to farm headquarters.

He was called the brigade leader but in actual fact he was the master of a small farm.

(1) Special privileges

The process by which power was constituted was however in a constant state of flux. This made him adhere strictly to the rules because he knew that if he did not do well, he was vulnerable at any moment to accusation that he was a “capitalist-roader”. Not only would he lose his job but his family would lose all they possessed and he would be arrested on some political pretext and thrown into prison.

所以他做的所有事,都必须按中共中央的规定办。他可以任意地奴役和驱使两百多号劳 动力,但必须表现他的忠于职守;在政治上,他只要严格管住自己的嘴,从不产生与组织相悖 的丁点想法,不说任何有违党中央的话,不做任何规定之外的事,也不超越他的党给他的那份 待遇,虽然,他的组织发生最高权力的交替,连他自己都捉摸不定。

在平均主义低工资的标准下,他过的日子远远超过了农场的普通员工。1969 年他把老婆 孩子以及丈母娘从偏辟农村里迁到这里来,一家四口凭他每月仅四十元钱的工资,过着应有就 有的日子。

举一个同样一家四口,工资仅比他少六元一个月的高士清一家作一对比,高士清的一家 四口,加上一个能干勤劳的老婆金梅拼命的干活,还不能维持一家人最穷苦的生活,1964 年 金梅大闹管教科,是在连饭都吃不上的情况下,被逼着为生存而发生的,便足可勾画出普遍就 业人员的穷愁潦倒,金梅带着孩子要上邓扬光家讨饭吃的悲剧,是农场里尽人皆知的事。

然而同样四口之家,同样工资收入的徐世奎,却过着完全不同的日子,住着两间一厨的 套房,按照国家的标准只收了每月五角钱的像征性的水电房租,房间里装修用的高档木料,油 漆得光亮亮的家具,都按场部的内部价格支付。

Therefore he did everything according to the regulations laid down by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. He could do anything he wanted to enslave and spur his slave labor force of two hundred to greater efforts but he had to be devoted to duty. In politics, he had to be very careful about everything he said so he get into trouble with the party organization. He could not say anything that contradicted the policies, guidelines and regulations of the Communist Party Central Committee and not nothing beyond what the party allowed him in compensation. He did all this although he himself had simply no idea about how changes in the upper leadership in his own organization were carried out.

By the low salaries prevailing under communalism, he had a much more comfortable life than the the ordinary farm workers. In 1969, after his wife, children and mother-in-law had all moved to the farm. His family of four relied on his salary of just 40 renminbi a month.

For the sake of comparison, consider the family of Gao Shiqing who earned 6 RMB less each month less than he did. Gao’s family of four, including his hardworking wife Jin Mei, were still unable to provide for their family at even the most miserable standard or living.

In 1964, Jin Mei had gotten into a big argument with the Discipline and Education Department since her family didn’t have enough to eat. She was forced to get into that argument in order to survive. That is enough to make you understand how desperate were the miseries and worries of the ordinary workers on the farm. The story of the tragedy of Jin Mei, who then had taken her her children to beg at the door of Deng Yangguang, is all you need to know about how difficult things were for the farm workers.

Another family of four with the same income, the family of Xu Shikui, lived at a completely different standard of living. They lived in a home with two rooms and a kitchen. They only paid the state a symbolic half RMB per month for rent, water and electric power. Their rooms were constructed of high quality wood and they had fine quality gleaming bright painted furniture purchased at a concessionary price from farm headquarters.

毛泽东那个全民穷人的年代,特权者的福利待遇是按照“供给制”的标准供给的。一家 人的伙食除了按国家定量的粮食、布匹之外,每天所消费的蔬菜肉类油类统统按内部价格计算, 中共这种“内部”价格的供应,是特权的人们才能享受的待遇!所以,他们的日常生活完全不 符合商品社会公平交易原则。

我在这里无法列举徐队的所有经济活动,仅仅列举了公开暴露的部份。 至于徐队还要经常在家里款待周围的生产队长和厂部的同事们,吃酒划拳,馈赠亲友可


– 354 –


During the era of Mao Zedong while the entire nation lived in poverty, welfare and special compensation were provided to privileged people according to a “rationing system”. Except for the food and cloth provided for family members in state-specified quantities, all the vegetables, meat and the vegetable oils they consumed daily were all purchased at internal prices and provided according to the “internal” pricing system established by the Chinese Communist Party. This system provided special compensations enjoyed by privileged people! Therefore they lived their daily lives completely outside the ordinary commodities market system in which goods were exchanged under the principle of fair pricing.

I can’t list for you all the economic activities of brigade leader Xu. I can just tell you that part of it that was became known later. Since Brigade leader Xu needed to often entertain at his home his counterparts — production brigade leaders and factory leaders from the surrounding area — the food and the licquor consumed during parties, the games, and the gifts given could all be expensed and paid for according to a special uniform standard. Although the Sixth Brigade was not officially his private property, as long as he did not go against the Party organization, he could make use of it of its property as he saw fit.

他可以以工作名义报销额外开支,这些开支根本是他的那点工资无法支付的;他可以从 一个队调到另一个队去当队长继续维持着他的权力。

中共公有制,实际上是一个社会小集团,占有表面属于公有,实际上属于一批人私有的 经济,这是毛泽东想建立的初期专制社会经济基础。

每天早上他都站在监狱的大铁门边,看着一个又一个从他身边走过的作业组,心中马上 盘算起每一个组今天的作业地点,检查各组在出工时是否做好了今天劳动的准备,带上该带的 工具,种子和化肥。

在铁门边最后送走了蔬菜组的组员,便叫住了从岗楼里出来的夏守愚,问当天驻军要他 送什么菜,叮嘱他必须在九点钟准时把菜办好给他们送去。

同时还将一只早已准备好的菜篮子交给他,要他在办老管的菜时,顺便也带办他家一天 所需要的菜蔬。

Brigade Leader Xu Shikui could charge all his additional spending as his work expenses. These expenses went far beyond what his own personal compensation could provide for. He could transfer from one brigade to another and continue to maintain his authority and privileges.

The public ownership system of the Chinese Communist Party was in fact the private property economy of a small social group run under the pretense of being a communal system. That was the socio-economic foundation for the initial phase of the autocracy that Mao Zedong established.

Every morning Xu stood outside the big iron prison gates and watched the work groups walk by him one-by-one. He had calculated where every work group would go each day. He checked whether each group had prepared for work the work of the day by along the tools, seeds and fertilizer that they would need in the fields.

When the members of the vegetable garden group were the last to go out the iron gate, he would ask Xia Shouyu who had just come from the watchtower what vegetables the garrison wanted that day. He would then tell the vegetable group to deliver those vegetables promptly to the garrison at 9 AM.

He asked them to also to deliver to him a specially prepared vegetable basket. When he had to have food prepared for the prison officials, he would have the vegetable group take the food that would be needed to his home that day.

这夏守愚,之所以一直处在比六队任何囚奴特殊的环境里,就因为他像一条狗一样监视 着蔬菜组的犯人,同时他能准确地领会队长交给他的特殊差事。

仅就他给队长家送去的菜,绝对是菜园地最好的品种,价格是由场部规定的,但在数量 和品种上都是象征性的开了个数,仅这项每天所消耗的蔬菜,几乎是没花钱就由这夏守愚源源 不断供给的。

在目送着夏守愚走后,他习惯的顺脚走下大监铁门前面那条通向一号沟的小道,这是一 块二十亩的高产包谷地。最近他便在这块最肥沃的旱地上,种上了一片由他最先重新疆引进的 核桃林。

五年前场部林场的果木专家组,在为农场规划今后所发展的果木栽培计划时,根据这里 的土壤和地理气候条件,提出了一个培植核桃和板栗的种植计划。

为了取得从来没有在这里种植新品试种依据,林业组提出了小面积试种的计划。颇有心 计的徐世奎,主动承接了这个试种的计划:划出一号沟包谷地,组织了专门的试种人员,从场 部接回五十颗树苗,从栽插到施肥,治虫剪枝经过了两年时间,这批树苗长到了两米多高,长 势很好,到了第三年以后,便正式的封林结果。

自从一号沟栽上这片核桃林后,他每天早上守着大家出工后,都要先在这里转上一转, 晚上吃过晚饭后,他还要带上自己的老婆孩子在这里散步。

Xia Shouyu held such a privileged position amongst the slaves of the Sixth Brigade because he was entrusted with watching closely all prisoner activities in the vegetable garden. He also ran special errands that the brigade leader had given him.

Xu gave the brigade leader the best vegetables in the vegetable garden. Prices were set by farm headquarters but those numbers were just notional prices chose various kinds and quantities of vegetables. The vegetables that Xia Shouyu provided daily were essentially free of charge.

After watching Xia Shouyu leave, Xu usually walked along the small path in front of the prison gate to the first ravine. These three acres of highly productive land on the valley floor. Recently he had planted on that fertile dry land a grove of walnut trees he brought with him from Xinjiang when he first arrived.

Five years earlier, the fruit tree expert group from farm headquarters, when they drew up the plan for planting fruit trees, had proposed a plan to plant walnut trees and chestnuts.

In order to get evidence that new varieties that had never been planted there would do well, the forestry group proposed a plant to polant a small area. Xu Shikui, who was always making plans, took on this plan for an experimental plot. He set aside some land in the valley bottom of the first ravine and organized a special group to create the experimental plot. He got fifty seedlings from farm headquarters. In the two years since they had been planted, fertilized, protected from insects and pruned, these seedlings grew two meters tall. The were growing well so by the third year they had formally proved out the original forestry plan.

Ever since that walnut grove was grown on that land in the first ravine, he liked to walk over there after he had seen off all the work groups on their way to their worksites. Evenings after supper he liked to go out there and walk around with his wife and children.

1972 年,他的核桃林开始结果,这一年秋天五十颗核桃树回报了总共四百斤的核桃,试 栽成功后,他便将一号沟的包谷地全部栽上了核桃。在结果时派专人日夜守护,到了九月份临 近核桃的收获季节,园子里便增派了一条大狼狗,并向六队的囚奴们宣布,任何人禁止随意进


In 1972, his walnut grove started to produce walnuts. In the autumn of that year the fifty walnut trees repaid them with a harvest of 400 pounds of walnuts. After the trial planting had proved successful, he had the entire valley floor of the first ravine planted in walnut trees. At harvest time he send people to watch over the walnut groves day and night. In September when the walnut harvest season approached, he put a big dog in the walnut grove and announced to the slaves of the Sixth Brigade that they were all forbidden to enter the grove area without first getting permission.

– 355 –

收获的时候,整个的打桃、捡桃他都专门派蔬菜一组的人去完成,他自己亲自带着大狼 狗,守在从铁门到一号沟的唯一很窄的过路上。直到装满核桃的大箩筐在严密监视下,一箩一 箩的运进他指定堆放的队部办公室,并亲自上锁。

核桃从栽树,浇水,中耕管理流过汗水的奴隶们,谁都没有尝过这核桃是什么味。 在那个年代,核桃是在市场上绝迹许多年的滋补品!价值高达每公斤五十元。从此掌握



当然,他还必须注意对六队的干部们一碗水端平,免得因分脏不均,造成他的同事们相 互“狗咬狗”。

除了核桃的开发取得成功,大片的苹果树早已成林,在山地上繁衍大片的果林并不容易。 盐源风季特长,在第二年雨季尚未到来时,山上红土地里经过几个月干旱没有一点水份,



At harvest time, at special group within the vegetable did all the knocking down and inspection of walnuts. His own big German Shepherd was kept guard on the very narrow path between the iron gate and the first ravine until the big baskets full of walnuts had been carefully inspected and moved, one-by-one, to the designated brigade office and he had personally locked them in the office.

The slaves who had sweated to plant and water the walnuts and to intertill in the walnut grove never got to taste the walnuts. In those days, walnuts were a delicacy that hadn’t been on the market in years! Walnut prices went as high as 50 RMB per kilogram. The several tons of walnuts in Old Man Xu’s hands because a social currency that he used to fawn on his superiors. Every year he gave walnuts not only to his superiors and to the brigade but also to built relationships with guests who had regular work connections to the Sixth Brigade.

Naturally, he had to take care to treat the Sixth Brigade cadres fairly so as to avoid dog-eat-dog jealousies and fights breaking out between colleagues if he favored one over the other. In addition to the successful with walnuts, there was also the big now-mature apple orchard. Spreading groves of fruit trees on the mountainsides was not easy. Yanyuan’s windy season was longer than most and so by the time the rainy season began in the next year, the red mountain soil had not had a drop of rain for several months. The seedlings depended completely on slave-carried water humped up the mountain from the small stream in the ravines a bucket at a time. If it were not for that water, all the fruit tree groves would die of thirst.

靠水近的果树苗,两年后就开花结果,到夏天长得郁郁葱葱的果树,带给徐世奎丰收的 窃喜。于是他将所属的几千棵果树用竹篱围成了果林,每到夏季果子成熟季节,便派人巡回防 守。

为防止饥饿的囚奴摘未熟果子充饥,他增加了两头训练有素的恶犬,来回巡守,并宣布 严厉的纪律。

从每年六月份结果,到十月份收摘时,果园的竹篱笆上挂着:“闲人严禁入内”的警示牌, 规定凡私自超越篱笆偷摘苹果,一切后果自负。但是成天在地里干活的奴隶们那能禁得住?凡 捉住偷吃苹果者都要抓到岗楼下进行“反省”,轻则挨打重则挨捆。

八月中旬,果子已渐成黄橙色,每遇大风雨之夜,满地落果,奴隶们就是看见了,也不 敢私自偷越那警示牌。那些落果徐世奎都派饲养员专门去捡来喂猪,也不准成天劳累的流放者 吃一个!邓自新们又成了新的受罚者。


Seedlings that depened upon nearby water supplies bloomed in their second year. The groves were greenery and lushness of the groves in summer made Xu Shikui happy. Therefore he had the groves of several thousand trees surrounded by a bamboo fence. When the groves matured in the summer, he would send patrols to guard them.

In order to prevent slaves from picking and eating immature fruit, he put two well-trained vicious dogs on patrol in the grove and announced strict rules.

From June when the trees started to bear fruit until harvest time in October, there was a warning sign posted on the bamboo fence that read “No entry to unauthorized persons”. He ordered that anyone who went through the bamboo fence to steal apples would bear responsibility for the consequences. But how could that stop the slaves who worked there all day long? Anyone caught eating stolen apples would be seized immediately and sent to the circle for “meditation” on their misdeeds beneath the watchtower. The would be beaten for less serious offenses and tied up for more serious offenses.

1969 年开始,六队的果木林就在充满血腥味的环境下,由每年收摘几百斤,达到年产 几十吨水平。这些果子是不属于粮食类的三类物资,不必上交场部,全部留给了队长们变卖和 “内部调剂”。


(二)小秋收 权力在他的手中运用得十分得体,凭他掌握的农产品,在这里换来所需的东西,他虽不


From 1969 onwards, under the Sixth Brigade orchard’s regime of bloody terror harvests climbed from several hundred kilograms per year to several tens of tons per year. Since the fruit did not fall into the third category of food products, they did not have to be consigned to farm headquarters. The brigade leader could sell or “distribute internally” the entire harvest.

Xu Shikui learned how to build public relations and how to bribe his superiors.

(2) The harvest of “minor crops”

He effectively used his power. He traded his agricultural products for what he needed. Although he was not a landlord or a capitalist, he was even more greedy and rapacious than all those exploiters.

– 356 –

六队的狱吏,基本是六十年代从部队退役的军人,退役后,头一件事便是从家乡或附近 农村中,挑选一个农家女结婚成家、生儿育女,在劳改队里扎下根。

五月下旬和九月秋收,忙坏了从农村迁来的狱吏“家眷”。初来六队的家属胆子还很小, 捡了地里的一株麦穗,也要看看周围有没有人看见。

后来跟着徐世奎的媳妇一道下地。那女人说:“看,这些抛洒在地里的庄稼多可惜,我们 如果不捡还不是被周围的农民捡去了。”

她们管这种将抛洒地里的庄稼,捡回自己家里的行为叫“小秋收!”一年下来,一个人可 以拣到几百斤粮食,比供应的口粮还多!

分到队里担任干事的男人们,跟着徐世奎,学会如何无情驱使奴隶们从早到晚干活;学 会了利用各种“狗们”给他们提供各种“情报”,对付那些不听话的“反改造份子”。更多学会 了如何利用本队资源,为老婆孩子们过得更富裕一点创造条件。

The Sixth Brigade jailers were all military men who had retired during the 1960s. Their first task after demobilization was to choose a girl from their hometown or a nearby village to marry and start a family, had children and put down roots in the reform through labor brigade.

The second half of May and the September harvest exhausted the wives and family who have moved there from the countryside. At first the Sixth Brigade families were still timid and would look around to see if anyone was watching when they picked an ear of wheat.

Later, they would go out to work in the fields with the wife of Xu Shikui. She would say to them, “Look, there crops left behind in the fields scattered all around here. If we don’t pick them then the peasant families all around here will pick them.” They learned more about how to take advantage of brigade resources to give their wives and children a better life.

当他们看到徐老大不花一分钱,就为自己的小家庭修了“土别墅”,于是利用当年闹地震, 场部专门调拨用来修地震棚的材料和资金,紧靠徐老大的“别墅”,新修起一幢幢新的土别墅, 比徐老大更气派更适用。

在这些新的土别墅外围,修起了饲养鸡、兔的圈。两口子配合得非常默契,用从地里捡 回的粮食,不花一分钱地养起了家禽牲畜。在六十年代被割去的“资本主义”尾巴,到这时, 便公开在自己的特权下,迅速长起来了。

至于每天这些小家庭所消耗的蔬菜,那是徐老大按“供给制”规定好了,只要向夏守愚 打一声招呼,那人就会将上好的蔬菜,准时的送到各家去,这些菜只是像征性的记了一个斤两。

每年抢收季节,徐世奎用一切办法,驱使瘦弱的奴隶们完成超强度的劳动定额,但奴隶 们只将成熟的庄稼砍倒在地,没有割净没有收完的麦穗谷刁到处都是,尤其是借包谷杆隐藏的 包谷就更多了。

开始,郭川小把饲养员叫去,跟在收割的大队伍后面,明确规定,捡到的粮食,由各饲 料房自行使用。但是饲养员捡这些东西对他们本人没有任何用处,何况同干部家属争抢又何 苦?得罪了这些女人等于得罪了这些管自己的干部,于已十分不利。

When they saw how Xu Shikui, without spending any money at all, build a small “simple country villa” for his small family, and made use of relief funds and materiel that farm headquarters had sent after an earthquake to repair earthquake shelters, they followed the example of Old Xu’s “villa” to expand their own homes into “country villas” that were even bigger and more comfortable than Xu’s.

They built gardens next to these country villas and fenced off areas to raise chickens and rabbits. Husband and wife had a tacit agreement to use the food they found on the picked over fields to feed their chickens and livestock without spending any money. During the 1960s, the tail of “capitalism” had been cut off. By now, by openly taking advantage of their special privileges, they were quickly growing it back again.

The vegetables that these small households consumed each day had been all arranged by Xu within his “supply system”. They only had to say a word to Xia Shouyu to have someone would deliver the best vegetables to their homes. The quantity delivered was recorded as a symbolic one pound.

Every year during the rush to bring the harvest in, Xu Shikui did everything he could to force the thin and weak slaves to fulfill and exceptionally demanding labor quota. The slaves however, would simply cut down the mature crops and leave them on the ground. Everywhere there were ears of wheat that hadn’t been cut or hadn’t been brought in. Hiding ears of corn was a particularly serious problem.

At first, Guo Chanxiao would call together the people raising animals to follow after the harvest brigade. He ordered that any food that they picked was to be put into the animal feed storage sheds. But the feed people had no personal use for the feed and moreover, why should they be competing with the cadre families? Offending those women was the same thing as offending the cadres who managed them and so would certainly not be to their advantage.

偏偏徐世奎又将饲养房调来捡麦穗的人,调到晒场上担任粮食收藏的工作。他之所以作 这样安排,不无他的私心作祟,收割人抛洒在地里的粮食,是这些队部家属最丰富的小秋收收 获啊!

抛洒在地里的粮食,偏又被在附近放牧的老乡们发现了。不知从什么时候开始,农场收 割的地盘上引来了越来越多的公社社员,他们背着大箩筐也跟在小秋收的队伍里,与这些干部 家属争抢着洒在地上的谷刁,徜被徐老大看见后,便叫值班士兵驱赶这些社员们。

山里人生性粗野,这些年人民公社造成的饥饿逼迫他们!直到七十年代,社员从公社土 地上挣得的口粮,长期不敷果腹。生存使他们对政府忍无可忍。

Perversely Xu Shikui transferred people who were collecting ears of wheat for the feed shed to the wheat threshing ground where they took charge of storing food. He did that entirely to serve his own purposes. The food that the harvesters left in the fields was the most generous harvest of “minor crops” that the cadre families ever had!

The food scattered in the fields was also discovered by nearby peasants who were grazing their livestock. I don’t know what it all started, but more and more commune members started coming to the area of the farm where wheat was being reaped. Carrying big baskets, they followed the “minor crops” harvesting group. They were completing with the cadre families for the grain left behind in the fields. When Old Xu found out what was happening, he sent soldiers on duty to drive out those commune members.

The mountain people lived a rough life. They suffered terribly from the starvation that the people’s communes had forced on them. For a long time, even into the 1970s, the food that the commune members won from their hard work in the fields wasn’t enough to fill their bellies. Their determination to survive made them put up with the government’s unbearable treatment of them.

– 357 –

他们把自己的穷苦,部份归罪于来这里开办农场的劳改队,口口声声说盐源农牧场从他 们手中占去了他们的土地;山坡上被开垦出来的红土地,使他们失去了放养牲口的天然牧场。

所以,他们一开始就怀着敌意,注视着农场的一举一动。平时,在农场的土地上偷成熟 的庄稼,成了极平常的事。现在在收割的土地上,捡一点洒在地里的包谷、穗株是天经地义的!

所以,他们对徐世奎的禁令置若罔闻,捡庄稼的农民反而有增无减。有一天徐老大带着 人,从捡山的妇女手中没收了她们的背兜。

可是徐老大没有料到,这些被搜去背兜的女人并没离开,而是守在徐老大的归徒必经的 过道口,等收工后,趁他只有一个人回队时,十几名妇女便拦住了他的归路,向他索要被“没 收”的背兜,她们拿着棍棒,捏着石头块,如果不是看山人及时赶到,徐老大定会遭到她们一 顿暴打。

The reform through labor brigade operating there was responsible for some of the poverty which they suffered. They often complained that the Yanyuan Farm was occupied part of their land. Developing the red earth on the mountainsides made them lose natural pasturelands for raising livestock.

Therefore they always saw the Farm as their enemy and watched its every move. In ordinary times, stealing mature crops from the fields was a common occurrence. Now it became a very common occurrence. Now picking corn or ears of grain in fields being harvested was perfectly right and proper!

Therefore they paid no attention to the prohibitions posted by Xu Shikui. The number of peasants only kept increasing. One day Old Man Xu brought along some people who confiscated a sack from a woman who was collecting food on the mountain.

Perhaps Old Man Xu hadn’t realized that that woman from whom the backpack had been confiscated not only wouldn’t leave, she would block the path that Old Man Xu would have to pass through to go home. After work was done, taking advantage of a moment when he was the only one returned from the brigade, a dozen or more women blocked his way home and asked him for the backpack that he had “confiscated”. The carried clubs and held stones in their hands. If some mountain men had not arrived on the scene in time, the women would have beaten up Old Man Xu.

经过这次惊赫,徐老大通过上司,同公社武装部的民兵协商,达成协议,公社的社员们 可以捡掉在地里的庄稼,但一定要与六队的收割队保持三十米的距离,跟在队上小秋收队伍后 面才被允许,这种现象一直延续到文革结束。

人生来就想富裕起来,在农场的土地上,狱吏的家属在地里捡到的庄稼,除供给他们喂 鸡、养兔所需外,还拿到市场上与农民们交换成粮票寄回他们老家,这恐怕也只有毛泽东时代 的狱头,才有这种得天独厚的额外收入。

这种“小秋收”也给长期关押狱中的男奴隶,一次接触异性的机会,跟在奴隶们身后的 干部家属,本来就是一群从农村里来的女人,平时他们被监狱的隔墙所阻,在严密监视下没有 和囚奴接触的机会。

被专政划定的界线,使她们同她们男人一样,对这些奴隶保持着冷竣的态度。可是在小 秋收“战场”上,这种近距离的收割,完全打破了彼此不知不理的屏障,提供了男人群体与紧 跟其后的女人群体有说有笑的交流机会。

After several scares like this, Old Man Xu working through his superiors, made an agreement with the people’s militia of the armed department of the commune, that commune members were allowed to collect crops that were lying in the fields but that they had to keep a distance of at least 30 meters from the crop harvesters of the Sixth Brigade. Harvesting minor crops was finally allowed on Brigade lands. That kind of thing continued right up to the end of the Cultural Revolution.

People naturally want to get richer. Jailer families not only used the crops that collected crops on the land of the Farm to feed their chickens and rabbits but also took them to the markets to exchange with the peasants for ration coupons. During the Mao Zedong era they may have been the only ones to enjoy the great privilege of getting outside income.

This kind of “minor crop” harvesting also gave male slaves who had been imprisoned for a long time an opportunity for contact with the opposite sex. In addition to the family members of cadres, there was a group of women who came from the village. Ordinarily they were blocked by the wall around the prison and so they had no opportunity to meet the prisoner who were under strict surveillance.

The strict boundaries set by the dictatorship made them have, like the men, a cold attitude towards the slaves. However, on the “battlefield” of minor crop collection, when they were following them closely during the harvest, completely broke down this barrier that had made the two groups unaware of one another. This gave the the group of men a chance to talk and to laugh with the group of women who were following close behind them.

本来就已被高额劳动折磨得精疲力竭的奴隶们,发现与异性的“交流”,有剌激神经达到 消除疲劳的作用,奴隶中本来就有许多刑事份子,他们中不乏相貌英俊的小伙子,而干部家属 的女人中也有敢于打破“封建观念”,举行突围的风情女子,他们在同一块地里,不免眉眼传 情发生莞尔一笑的时候。

有时,女人们对向她们有意投来的包谷注视良久,时间久了便有难以克制的冲动,在包 谷林中靠茂密的庄稼作掩护,双方第一次牵手,并迅速交换了相约的纸条,使这种久积的感情 得到突破,超越在常人眼里很难突破的禁区。

但是男女间这种极令人敏感的突破,最容易被其它的女人查觉。日子久了,麻雀飞过都 有影子,扉闻便在女人中传开了,也预示着一场预想不到的灾难悄悄地逼近了牵手者。

在农六队最后几年岁月里,暂时拘禁过几个刑期很短的刑事犯,按照共产党的政策,这 些刑事犯法者,仍被当成“内部矛盾”看待。

“Exchanges” with the opposite sex stimulated the spirits that had been worn down by their high work quotas so that they no longer felt tired. Among the slaves were many criminals including many handsome young men. Some of the women from the cadre families dared to break with “feudal ideas” and give vent to their amorous feelings. Working at close quarters in the fields they sometimes ogled and smiled at the men.

Sometimes women would watch attentively the men who were throwing ears of corn to them. After a long while, they felt hard to control their impulses. Under the cover of the tall cornstalks they held hands and quickly exchanged notes on where they would meet next time. These breakthroughs of long pent up emotions smashed through taboos that would ordinarily be very hard to break.

This kind of very sensitive breakthrough in the the relationship between men and women was however easy for the other women to discover. After a while, since even flying birds have shadows, news about these things spread among the women. This was to bring a disaster that the couples had not anticipated.

During the last few years of the Sixth Agricultural Brigade, people who had been imprisoned for very brief periods for criminal offenses, were according to the policy of the Communist Party, treated as criminals guilty only of “contradictions among the people”.

– 358 –

为了某些利用目的,允许他们能单独出入六队大门,并容许他们在监狱之外过夜。其中 有一个小伙子,白净的脸皮和周正的五官,颇受家属们注目。

六队自张事务长被老管们用棍棒打出六队后,接替他的位子是一个姓王的干事,此人因 小儿麻痹症成了先天性跛子,偏偏他的妻却是一个性欲很强的女子,为什么要嫁给一个跛子我 不知道,其中定有她难以启齿的原因,她因自己的男人在生理上无法满足自己,在场部家属圈 就有各种关于她的蜚言。

王跛子主动请求调来六队,恐怕就含着割断这个女人同场部相好们的联系,平息她各种 风言风语的目的。

本来,王跛子可以甩掉这个女人,可是他却偏偏要缠住她,尽管她一再提出离婚,却遭 到王跛子的拒绝。在那种条件下,与狱吏的女人私通是要以“破坏”军婚罪名论处的。

For certain purposes, these people were allowed to enter on their own the main gates of the Sixth Brigade by themselves and were allowed to live outside the prison at night. Among them was one well made young fellow who got special attention from the cadre families.

The cadre who took the place of Administrator Zhang after the older cadres drove him out with clubs was surnamed Wang. Wang was lame because he had had polio as a child. Unfortunately, his wife who had a very strong sex drive. I don’t know why she married a lame person. There must have been some reason which she didn’t want to say. There was a lot of gossip about her among the cadre families because her husband was unable to satisfy her physically.

When Lame Wang asked to be transferred to the Sixth Brigade, I suspect that he did it to cut off that woman’s contact with people she was on intimate terms with at farm headquarters and so to put end to all the slanderous gossip.

Lame Wang could have gotten rid of that women but instead he wanted to tie her down. Although she repeatedly asked for a divorce Lame Wang always refused. Under those circumstances, if she had sexual relations outside of marriage it could be treated as the “crime of breaking up the marriage of a soldier”.

调六队没有多久,这女人在秋收中遭遇了同这小白脸的“秋波战”,不久双双坠入情网。 也不知什么时候两人突破禁区,有了秘密的约会!小白脸利用他可以单独行动的机会,



十月间一天中午,小白脸被五花大梆地捆回了六队,并且关进了反省室。送来的那一天 他已被打得头破血流,遍体鳞伤。据说,当天中午时分在农三队后面的草树中,两人赤身裸体 被王跋子在这里来了个“捉奸”拿双。

王跛子找来的帮手,将小白脸痛打了一顿。女人反正已撕破了脸,只受了一顿羞辱。而 吃亏的当然是“罪上加罪”的小白脸,好大色胆的囚犯,竟敢动到狱吏的头上来了,肯定不会 轻饶!

Soon after being transferred to the Sixth Brigade, that woman was the harvest time object of a good-looking young man’s “battle to win a woman’s heart”. Soon the two fell to love’s snare. I don’t know just when the two broke taboo and had a secret meeting! The handsome young man took advantage of his ability to move freely and so the two met frequently in the dark for their adulterous affair. However, since even a flying sparrow has a shadow, and even more because that woman was well known on the farm, she was bound to get into trouble. The news that they two were meeting secretly on the farm spread by word of mouth about the gossipy women on the farm. Disaster finally struck the “handsome young man”.

不过,两类人员中,广为传播这一则“佳话”,沸沸扬扬的人言,首先幸灾乐祸取笑那六 根不全的王跛子。若按他先天的残疾本可赢得人们几声同情,但他却属于令人痛恨的狱吏,反 而替女人说话的人占了上风!说她是一个敢顶着专政压力,寻求自我解放的女人。

从那以后,我就再没有看见过她,有人说她被王瘸子五花大绑的捆回了她的原藉。有人 说,她失踪了,八成被王瘸子黑办了。而等待小白脸的是法院的严厉判处。不过这一事件的主 人公,在关押囚奴的劳改场所,上演了一幕悲剧。

他们敢于藐视“无产阶级专政”的血盆大口,以血的代价唱出他们追求幸福的一曲。值 得盐源农场失去一切的人们称赞。

However this “much-told tale” spread among the two types of personnel on the farm. Everybody was talking about it. The one who came off worst was handicapped Lame Wang who was ridiculed by people who took pleasure in other people’s misfortunes. Although people might have sympathized with him because of his handicap, he did nonetheless fall into the hated category of jailer and so instead those men who took their wives’ part won out! They said she was a woman who strove to liberate herself from dictatorial oppression.

I didn’t see her after that. Some people said that Lame Wang tied her up thoroughly and sent her back to her home village. Some people say she disappeared and that it was very likely that Lame Wang was the one responsible. We heard that the handsome young man had been punished severely in court. He had turned out to be the lead in the tragedy that occurred during his imprisonment with the slaves of the Sixth Brigade.

Those who ignore the bloody mouth of the “dictatorship of the proletariat” pay a price in blood for trying to find happiness. This is one reason why the Yanyuan Farm was such a terrible place.

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With Help of US Private Eye, Chasing Down Corrupt Chinese Officials in Southern California

According to a news report in the Chinese-language Overseas Chinese Daily Qiaobao datelined Los Angeles May 1, 2017,  Chinese anti corruption “fox hunting” squad has used the services of at least one US detective starting several years ago to track down corrupt officials.  The detective they hired commented in an anonymous interview that the Chinese corruption fighter seem to be corrupt themselves.  They only work two days a week and often go to Las Vegas to gamble.  One of the corrupt official chasers even asked him how to best smuggle money out of China to the USA.

An anonymous LA private eye of Chinese ancestry told the reporter that a Chinese anti-corruption has used his services to track down escaped corrupt Chinese officials now living in Southern California.  The US private eye concluded that the thieves trying to catch thieves games these anti-corruption officials are playing is ridiculous. Thinking about this and the Guo Wengui revelations, he quoted the words of the Chinese national anthem “The Chinese nation is now at its most dangerous moment..” (中华民族到了最危险的时候…)

Naturally, the Chinese corruption chasers could also be chasing down political dissidents. The Party doesn’t like them either.
An anonymous interview with no other sources so interesting but to be taken with some reserve.  Seems plausible given the Chinese Communist Party’s renewed determination under President Xi to crack down on corrupt officials.  China certainly needs that.  Corrupt officials in the US might be persuaded to return home by traditional methods including applying severe pressure or sanctions on family members or colleagues. To do that, they need to find them first.
 This article makes me wonder, just how much ‘extraordinary rendition’ is going on by Chinese government operatives in the US to get suspected corrupt officials back to China?  Applying pressure and harassing phone calls to get them to come back ‘voluntariily’ seems a more likely tactic.
Reminds me of the anti-corruption TV series In the Name of the People  now popular in China.  Some episodes are available on YouTube with English subtitles)  In the Name of the People


In the TV series honest officials from the Party center are chasing corrupt local officials.  The center is good, the local ones  bad.  Like the old Soviet saying “If Only Stalin Knew” Chinese style. 
 The LA story suggests that it could well be corrupt officials chasing other corrupt officials.  Sometimes things don’t work out as well in real life as they do on TV.


京港台:2017-5-3 05:34| 来源:侨报










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