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China Shakes the World

30 June 2011
 

A Letter from V.S.:

Thanks for the information on China Vietnamese relationship.

Have you read 2 famous books on China by 2 American journalists? - "Red Star over China" by Edgar Snow (1938) and "China Shakes the World" (1949) by Jack Belden?

Edgar Snow's narrative had great impact on myself in understanding what it was all about. It was a slightly romantic account from the CCCP viewpoint which I retained. Jack Belden was more neutral. However, his book nevertheless also had an impact on many including myself in giving a more balanced view.

This is what Jack Belden said in 1949. He hit the bullseye about the way China could go...Which it did in the 1980s. Belden of course had the opportunity to see it happening before he died in 1989. Sometimes the truth is slightly unpleasant!

China Shakes the World

《中国震撼世界》

There are several books written by the Westerners that shaped Western understanding of the Chinese Revolution led by Mao Zedong and his Communist Party, which include Jack Belden's China Shakes the World, Edgar Snow's Red Star Over China, Graham Peck's Two Kinds of Time, and Theodore White and Annalee Jacoby's Thunder Out of China.

The first part of Beldon's book is based on eye-witness account from individuals - such as Gold Flower, an woman who was abused under the rule of Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-shet) and his highly corrupted Nationalist Party (Kuomintang); Field Mouse, a guerrilla commander; The Beggar Writer; and the Guerrilla Girl - which demonstrates convincingly that the Communists had the strong allegiance and sincere support from Chinese people.

However, the author also observed that while “the Communists took power by making love to the people of China,” and “won the people to their cause” by meeting their needs better, on the process the Party also built a “wholly new power apparatus", therefore despite the leaders of Chinese Communists have sincerely intended to represent the interests of the common people, the new power apparatus may also “elude their intentions and tend to exist for its own sake.” He warned that “there may arise a new elite, a set of managers standing above the Chinese masses”.

对西方读者影响比较大的关于中国共产党的著述包括杰克·贝尔登的《中国震撼世界》、爱德加·斯诺的《红星照耀中国》、葛锐目·配可的《两个时代》及斯尔多·歪特与安那里·杰克合著的《中国惊雷》。

贝尔登并不亲共,也从没去过延安。他的《中国震撼》以目击者自述的形式写成,那些被采访的人物包括金花姑娘,一位在国民党蒋介石统治下饱受凌辱的女性;田鼠,一名游击队长;还有一位乞丐作家和一位女游击队员。这些自述充分反映了中国共产党政权确实受到了红区周边群众的衷心支持。

但作者也指出,虽然中共取得政权是因为为民众谋利益,进而得到民众大力支持的结果,然而为了能有效地完成这些使命,共产党又不得不象所有其它政党一样形成一个权力阶层,而这种权力阶层是很容易异化为自我服务的利益集团的。所以尽管中共领袖们有着为大众服务的最大诚意,共产党有可能蜕变为高踞民众之上的新权贵阶级。

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