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The Oath of Brotherhood

9 January 2011  

Zhou Enlai, the first and the best Chinese premier, did not accomplish his outstanding achievement by himself alone. As the head of the administrative government, he was guided and assisted by his two sworn brothers: Mao Zedong (毛泽东), the head of the Party that leads the government, and Zhu De (朱德), the head of the army that protects the country.

In Chinese history there is an enchanting legend that tells of the oath of brotherhood in a peach garden (桃园三结义). The three men lived in the era of chaos and vowed to forge a bloodbound alliance (by mixing their blood together through drinking a bowl of wine flavoured with the blood from their finger tips) to save the nation. "We though were not born on the same day, but well wish to die in the same year." (不求同日生,但求同年死). With the help of Zhuge Liang, another celebrated Chinese premier in history, the sworn brothers established a kingdom based on fairness and justice that at a time indeed appeared brighter than the sun, and having attained shared prosperity and collective well being with spiritually uplifting and soothing music and songs heard everywhere, even from the city wall of an empty town. Although this kingdom of utopia situated in the region around today's Chongqing and Sichuan areas lasted only for 30 years, and the three sworn brothers also failed to die in the same year, their story has become a source of inspiration to Chinese historians, novelists, storytellers, opera singers, martial arts lovers and brotherhood followers for generations over generations and over generations.

Then over 1,700 years later, there in China lived three men, Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and Zhu De. It was an era of total chaos, and when the three met, they vowed to forge a comradeship to save the nation. They were not born on the same day, and did not drink the wine mixed with their blood, but they succeeded in establishing a brand new republic based on fair and just system and leaving this world in each other's companies. They died in the same year, that was 1976, a Fire Dragon year.

Among the three, Zhou Enlai was the youngest and the first to check out. This kung fu expert and qigong practitioner has passed all his tests and finished all his business on earth and is said to go back to his master Monk Xuyun at the backyard of a garden property in the forth Desire Heaven Tushita (兜率天), preparing for a hype jump towards the ultimate enlightenment. Half a year later, the eldest brother Zhu De bowed out. And another two months after, Mao Zedong bid farewell to his beloved people and troubled nation.

"But no," Mao Zedong then changed his mind, supposedly, and said to Zhu De who was waiting for him at the heavenward elevator and Zhou Enlai who was waiting for them at the inner paradise, "I can't just leave ... leave them to handle the mess on their own, and watch them to be taken down and broken up by wolves, foxes, tigers and eagles. Old Brother Zhu, you must go to yin world to summon a hundred thousand former warriors to prepare for a final showdown 30 years later, and Enlai, make sure you will drop a few hype links from above to help the fight."

So Zhou Enlai waits, for that crucial moment.

So Zhu De goes, to recruit yin armies.

So Mao Zedong has stayed, in the heart of the China dragon, keeping a watchful eye over the nation from the Gate of Tiananmen.

Mao Zedong: Enlai, see that, China in the 21st century?
Zhou Enlai: Oh, yeah, Chairman, I've seen it ... that's sooooo brilliant!

Mao Zedong: What's your time now? We still have a few unfinished business here.
Zhou Enlai:
Still quite a few years left, Chairman. I'll do my best to help.

Time was up, finally. But the blueprint of Four Modernization was laid down. Chinese people gathered in Tiananmen Square after they learned on 9 January 1976 the news of Premier Zhou's death .

The words on the banner read: We miss Premier Zhou.



He lived like a shaft of lightening, bringing the light to the sky of night.

He died like a comet, disappearing into the dark space, without a trace.

Had this man decided to return to the human realm, he should have been a 36-year old adult by now. But his assignment on the Earth is one-off, since he has other missions in other worlds.

Yet just this once, he has left a mark so striking that cut deep in the shared consciousness of Chinese nation. So, on 8 January 2012, the 36th anniversary of his death, tributes flow in Chinese cyber space.

What's the secret to the endurance of his positive legacy?

Here is the secret: “公者千古,私者一时” - He who lives to benefit others will live forever in the psyche of the humanity; he who exists for himself only will be evicted from people's memory soon after the funeral ceremony.

Yes, this man is Mr. Zhou Enlai (周恩来), the PRC's first and the best premier. He was a true man, never pretended to be someone that he was not; he was a disciplined man, never advocated a moral standard that he could not meet; he was an action man, never made a promise that he could not keep.

And, he never harboured a personal ambition at the expense of the nation by collaborating a square revolution; he never intended to boast his achievement at the cost of an entire generation by dumping the workers into a social rubbish bin; he never tried to curry favour with the foreign regime and enrich his own offspring at the price of a clearance wholesale auction of the country's collective fortune in production in construction and in the long term public health condition.

No. He never did all these. He only tried to help the population, and that's why he becomes an integral part of the nation. As long as Chinese people exist, the memory of him will forever be cherished.



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