Category Archives: History

Interview: ‘People Were Eaten by The Revolutionary Masses’

Song Yongyi

Independent Chinese historian Song Yongyi, in undated photo. Photo courtesy of Song Yongyi.

As China approaches the 50th anniversary of Mao Zedong’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution this year, Chinese independent historian and former political prisoner Song Yongyi, now a university lecturer in California, has published an e-book based on official records. His research describes an era of government-sponsored political violence and turmoil that engulfed the country from 1966-1976. Song, who had unprecedented access to secret government files in the southwestern region of Guangxi, spoke to RFA’s Mandarin Service about his findings: Continue reading

Hu Ping: How the Tiananmen Massacre Changed China, and the World


Revealed for the first time this year, this photo is from a personal collection.

Translated by Matthew Robertson, June 2, 2015

“What we need to grasp is that the existence of a political system that is so perverse in its reason, and so unfair and unjust to its subjects, is an open taunt to the conscience and sense of justice of humanity. The international rise of that system, too, is perforce a threat to freedom and world peace.”  

Continue reading

Kong Tsung Gan: June 4th Stands for the World’s Unfinished Business

Tiananmen64“The brazen cynicism and lack of courage of the governments of democratic countries have been deeply disheartening – whether they know it or not, they live in the shadow of June 4, their actions and decisions trapped in the dialectic events that day set in motion.” Continue reading

Tienchi Martin-Liao: The Communist Party of China’s “Mother Beats Child” Syndrome

Fu Lei

Chinese intellectual Fu Lei. Image via: Wikimedia Commons.

At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, intellectuals committed suicide in defiance of Mao Zedong’s policies, which would take the lives of millions more. Continue reading

Zhou Enlai: Was Communist China’s first premier gay?

By Juliana Liu Hong Kong correspondent, BBC News

Li Fujing-Zhou Enlai

Tsoi Wing-mui argues that Li Fujing (left) and Zhou (right) were more than just close friends

Handsome and urbane, Zhou Enlai presented a modern, progressive face of China at home and abroad during more than 25 years as the country’s first premier. Continue reading

Yang Jianli: What Were Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communists Doing Around the Time of the Cairo Conference?

By Yang Jianli, published: September 1, 2015

“At the time of the Cairo Conference, although the US military had already gained the upper hand in the Pacific and was actively planning an Allied invasion of Europe, and despite the first glimmerings of hope for an Allied victory over Germany, Italy and Japan, another threat was already taking shape, this time within Allied ranks: it would grow to become the greatest and most persistent threat to global peace in the post-war era.”


On the eve of the 70th anniversary celebration of the victory over Japan in World War II, Continue reading

T.H. Tsien, Scholar of Chinese Written Word, Dies at 105

By MARGALIT FOX April 21, 2015

T. H. Tsien, a scholar of Chinese books and printing who in 1941 risked his life to smuggle tens of thousands of rare volumes to safety amid the Japanese occupation of Shanghai, died on April 9 at his home in Chicago. He was 105.

His death was announced by the University of Chicago, Continue reading

The Four Books review – Yan Lianke holds China to account for Maoist atrocities


Four fictional texts are bravely interwoven to tell the tale of the Great Leap Forward in this banned novel


June 1966: Chinese Red Guards and students wave copies of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book in Beijing, at the beginning of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Photograph: Jean Vincent/AFP/Getty Images
Isabel Hilton

Sunday 29 March 2015 02.00 EDT

The remarkable Chinese novelist Yan Lianke has explained what he calls “amnesia with Chinese characteristics” as a state-administered loss of memory that the regime Continue reading