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Deng Xiaoping's Lesson:
The Heroes and the Traitors

9 July 2011

One day in February 1983, late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping visited Hangzhou, the most beautiful lake city in China, and paid his respects at the memorial temple for General Yue Fei (岳坟), the most esteemed national hero in Chinese history. Deng went to a tablet corridor (北碑廊) where Yue Fei's celebrated poem "Full River Red" (满江红) is in display, and recalled how he learned to sing this verse when he was a little body. And he sang, quietly, to his daughter and grandson and granddaughter who accompanied him on the tour:


Leaning against the railing,
Watching the rushing rain easing,
My heart is raging.

Tossing my head towards the heaven,
Letting out an anguished wailing,
My blood is boiling.

Thirty years of exploit,
To me, just a pile of dust;
Eight thousand miles of expedition,
I lived rough under clouds and moonlight

With all these, I have no regrets,
For I didn't waste my youth
By doing something meaningless...

Deng Xiaoping then walked to the other side of the temple and paused to ponder before a pair of cast iron figurines that have their hands tied behind their back and their head bowed low and their bodies fallen upon their knees. These are the images of Prime Minister Qin Kuai (秦侩) and his wife, a most hated couple in Chinese history who driven by personal and family ambition committed high treason by secretly forging a traitorous deal with enemy force, the Manchu Tartars (女真). General Yue Fei was recalled to Hangzhou (杭州, by then it was called Linan 临安), the capital of Southern Song (南宋, 1127 - 1279), when he was engaged in the fierce battle defending the Middle Kingdom against Tartar's military invasion. Upon arrival in the capital, he was immediately arrested and tried with his hand cuffed and feet in the fetters for the "Unspecified Crime" (“莫须有罪”) by a corrupted high court loyal to the scheming and powerful PM, and later executed with poisoned wine, which became a tragic turning point that eventually led to the demise of Song Dynasty and the decline of Chinese civilisation.

Deng pointed at the spiteful figures and said to his daughter and grandson and granddaughter, "Heroes will be forever remembered by the nation, while evil people can never rest in peace." He then directed their sight to a couplet on a gate which read "What an honour for the blue hill to have the hero buried here; What a sham for innocent iron to be cast into the devils (‘青山有幸埋忠骨,白铁无辜铸佞臣)". He reminded his daughter, his grandson and his granddaughter, earnestly, "You should live like Yue Fei and prepare to sacrifice for our nation."

A good lesson from Deng Xiaoping. But if his spirit is still around watching this land, and especially the farmland, he might find in his dismay, disappointment and despair that some people on some key positions not only 闲白了少年头 (Having wasted their lives by devoting energies to accumulating material assets and building false reputations) but have made deals with contemporary Tartars that result 民众无辜成白鼠 (What a sham for innocent Chinese people to be turned into guinea pigs).

And, it could be particularly sad for Deng, that a particular descendant is particularly living a life exactly opposite to what he aspired on that particular day and trying to sacrifice the whole nation for the particular personal and family ambition.

Prev: The East Is Red
Next: Full River Red


大老虎猎杀小白兔一家,兔子们沿着鸡影小道跑得哧溜快,于是大老狼用最新科学技术又快又好地挖了个陷阱。乌鸦看见了,对兔子们说:“还往这儿跑,找死啊?不知道他们在前面挖了个高科技坑吗?”于是兔小三马上建议改道; 于是兔老二立刻义正词严:“做动物要厚道,不要让鸦识兔意变成阻碍科学发展的壁垒,不要让对别虎别狼的猜忌阻挡了我们前进的步伐。”




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