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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


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”.




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