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International trade & globalization, in the form of trading the abstract 'labor' in lieu of the physical flow of 'labor', had only thrived on miseries of the Chinese peasants, i.e., modern coolies. Bhagwati's immeserization growth theory explains why the more trade there is, the more worsening-off the living standards of the Chinese peasants will be. In one word, the Chinese communists ["national capitalists"], pre-occupied with "pleasure-seeking [hedonism] and literature-decoration" [inquisitions & censorship] like the Manchu rulers, had transferred the hardship of the Chinese peasants and their children into the huge export surplus. (Gordon Chang, who claimed in "Coming Collapse Of China", that China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) would lead to a shrinking export on the part of China and hence a collapse of the Chinese economy. Just note that the Chinese Communists do not know how to play a fair game, no matter W.T.O. or not.
Indeed, China re-valued its currency by 2% on July 24th, 2005. However, the old merchant saying goes like this: the wool grows on the sheep. The hardworking Chinese coolies would continue to elastically absorb the cost, including that from the appreciated currency, while China continues to export the goodies, women and "baby girls" to the world at the same price or even less. The U.S. government, in lieu of aiding the international currency gamblers, better knows where the root of the exchange rate problem is, i.e., China's caste system !!!
While the U.S. and Europe continue to subsidize their machine-operation farming industry, Communist China had lessened money input into the countryside from 1990 onward, and by 1994, dramatically cut the funds flow into the countryside, with the time period of 1994-1996 being of negative growth. This is on top of the early ripoff, from 1952 to 1978, of an 'Agri-industrial scissor price differential' of 632 billion RMB from peasants in addition to a collection of 726.4 billion agriculture tax, whereas its funds input into the countryside was merely 173 billion RMB for the same time period. (In the 1980s or earlier, US$1=RMB4 and less.)
Modern Coolies & the Immiserization Growth
The fascist Chinese communist regime, pre-occupied with "pleasure-seeking and literature-decoration" like the Manchu rulers, had created a monstrous "satiable" society by rewarding the few at the expense of the majority !!! There are credible sources to prove that the bank managers in China collude with the bank employees in embezzling funds or steering away funds to the overseas accounts like in HK, Switzerland, Japan, Australia and America. HK happens to be the paradise for "washing money", by the way. The corruption and crime going on in China, not merely restricted to the banks which are one of the "terminal illness", is fundamentally rooted in the crony personnel system in which parasites and thugs of each level, high or low, get entangled with each other in a spiderweb to pursue the hedonism while restraining the masses of people with the repressive state machine. In the name of "globalization", the communist regime had begun the process of liquidating the rotten and corrupt banking system by allowing Bank of America to invest $3B for 9 percent stake in China's state-owned Construction Bank. The United States government [e.g., the State Department] and the Senators, who had actively pursued the cross-border fund transfers by Chiang Kai-shek's cronies in the 1950s-60s and often tipped Chiang Kai-shek in person, are apparently turning a blind eye to the transnational financial crimes committed by the Chinese communists, but with an expectation of reaping the dramatic returns after their Wall Street proxies are to take the Chinese banks to the Initial Public Offerings in NYSE.
To understand how desperate the Chinese are, note that seven coolies, who were trafficked out of China by a smuggling ring, stranded into Iraq during the Easter weekend of year 2004, only to be caught by the Iraqi as some "Japanese hostages". More, on June 10th, 2004, while George W. Bush was playing with Saddam's trophy pistol, terrorists killed 11 Chinese construction workers of peasant background in northern Afghanistan of Kunduz. The ten peasants from Shangrao of Jiangxi Province left behind dozens of kids and 10 widows. China's Railway Shisiju [14th Bureau] Group Corporation paid those peasants merely US$10 per day !!! And, the Chinese insurance company refused to provide the indemnity to the families of the victims on the pretext that terrorism attack was not covered by the clauses of insurance policies.
For understanding China's "economic powerhouse phenomenon", go to section "China's Migrant Workers - Modern Coolies" for alternative theories and predictions on "boom or bust" as well as refer to Joshua Cooper Ramo's fabricated "asymmetrical strategy". With China's navy engaged in smuggling, army in profiteering & airforce constrained the number of flight hours for pilots, China does not have any arsenal to scare its opponents other than some missiles that, in the eyes of Martin Vandeer Wylder, could at most "make a pretty short fireworks display", no matter how Rumsfeld [who invested $500,000 in a venture capital fund in Shanghai] exaggerated the numbers to create a sensational "China menace" picture. Having noticed backlashes from Zhu Chenghu's A-bomb blackmail, retired communist diplomat Wu Jianmin, at http://news.wenxuecity.com/BBSView.php?SubID=news&MsgID=32387, proposed that China would need another 100 years for some catch-up work, with a faulty assumption that China's foes would pause to wait out the said timeframe. China's societal weakness, together with its racial ego & racial weakness, is no longer a "state secret".
This website having named the names of Gap, Nike, Addidas and Walmart since the domain registration in 1999, finally, someone raised the attention: Harold Meyerson, at washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A64806-2004Mar16.html , stated that AFL-CIO, on March 17, 2004, "filed the kind of unfair-trade petition that corporations commonly file, alleging that China's repression of workers' rights has displaced at minimum 727,000 U.S. jobs, and calling on the president to threaten China with tariffs until it stops artificially lowering its workers' wages". "Business Week", at businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D899H1T00.htm?campaign_id=apn_home_down , carried an article entitled "[American Textile] Industry To Seek More Limits On Imports [Of Chinese Clothing Products]".
With cheap "made-in-China" commodities floating around the world, people in the West might not recover their conscience till after reflecting on the tragedy of the 1911 Triangle Company's Fire Disaster in New York on which occasion 146 coolie girls of European immigrant background jumped off the 9th floor to escape from the locked up workshops (see Rose Friedman recital in PBS program). Recent statistics showed that cheap Chinese imports could have saved an average American family 2 to 3 times more than the tax cut benefits from George Bush coffer. While it was true that US manufacturing jobs had continued to shrink, the living standards of Americans does not necessarily deteriorate at all. Right here in northern California, a young Pilipino man, who makes a mere $2000 per month at a dentistry, claimed to have concubines in Mexico, the Philippines and China. A good example to illustrate the innate American advantages would be the "autobiographical drama" of a young bankrupt American who wrote of his losing his job, internet stocks and the shirts at year 2000 dot com bust, travelling overseas for a relaxation, and then bringing home a pretty "servile" Asian woman for living in his mother's house: the American passport and 'Caucasian' outlook might be probably the best innate asset after all.
Alan Greenspan, possibly the smartest American, had continued to express puzzlement over the "conundrum" of long term interest rate but did make clear that an appreciation of Chinese currency would not shrink the US import but to force US to import from the rest of countries other than China. What Greenspan does not know is that my countryside cousins, mostly women, had been going to Guam, Samoa and other Pacific islands for a decade as export of labor: what is coming to US market is merely a tag stating something not "made-in-China" but made-by-Chinese in nature. Do note that no country in this world could compete against China and its enormous cheap labor or escape from the diminishing living standards as exemplified by the loss of US manufacturing jobs; for people in India and Mexico etc, the same diminishing living standards would be inevitable since no labor in India or Mexico could compete against the Chinese coolies whatsoever.
China's foreign exchange reserve, incidentally, was heavily vested in United States treasury notes and bills. Those in power in China, other than immediately taking action to provide free textbooks to the countryside kids as they promised early in 2005, should think about using some of the "blood & sweat" foreign exchange to provide a free breakfast to the countryside kids. (In contrary, the "totalitarian capitalists" decided to make some lavish shopping in America, with a recent 19 billion offer on Unocal. Now having lost the Unocal bid, they still refuse to properly use it for the welfare of the common Chinese people, not knowing that they would eventually squander away US$711 billion [as of June 2005] the same way as Manchu China, after the 1839-1842 Opium War, had forfeited the silver [including that from the mines of Mexico] that were accumulated over 300 years of foreign trade [60,000 tons equivalent of silver].)
Berkshire Profit - Chicom's Hold Empty Bag, Plus 200+ Billion Subprime Loss!
ECON 101: US Interest Rate Down = China Exchange Rate Up !
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7092151/: "[premier] Wen [Jiabao] also promised that all farm taxes will be ended by next year [2006?] and that, by 2007, every Chinese child can receive nine years of schooling. Children from poor families will be exempt from most fees and receive free textbooks, Wen said, though he did not say whether they will have to pay tuition." -- Is that a joke? Countryside schools either abandoned by kids going into child labor or dilapidated due to ill funding, the government should instead fix the issue via two prongs: 1) terminating tuition at all public elementary and high schools; and 2) raising salary for countryside teachers. Communist China had now jacked up annual tuition cost of attending a provincial normal college or university to a minimum of RMB 6000 [US$770]. In contrast, Mao Tse-tung and etc were able to attend county-level middle schools and Hunan Provincial Normal College under Manchu Qing Dynasty's "New Administrative Measures" for free. Ordinary vocational or trade schools charged similar tuition, i.e., the byproduct of communist China's profit-driven "reform" in hospital and education systems. The daughter of my uncle, after having spent over 10000 RMB [US$1200], had to force the hospital into releasing the patient for 'herbal medicine' treatment in the countryside. Should you have no money in pocket, dare you enter the emergency room of a Chinese hospital. Here, I proclaim to commies: You commies are being cursed, and your commie sons and grandsons are being cursed, unless you reverse your track NOW. The curse is from my male countryside relatives, cousins and uncles who, at this moment, invariably suffer from liver problems of one sort or the other as a result of coolie labor for you all lifelong.
Knowing that Communist China, with its repressive policy against its majority peasant caste, would not spare a trickle of its foreign exchange reserve for the benefits of the modern coolies, the world had better embrace for more and more influx of Chinese goods. This is especially true when China's economic growth is unusually skewed to "foreign demand" [i.e., exports] rather than 'domestic demand'. Communist regime, having risked domestic inflation by printing extra RMB currency for sake of balancing the supply of US dollars from export gain, has no choice but to continue the yuan-dollar pegging, yielding to the inevitable consequence of "water overflowing over the bank" down the road. Fundamentally speaking, communist regime had adopted the same "block up" approaches economically and politically as Gun the father of pre-Xia dynasty founder Yu had undertaken as to the flood control. At stake is not a matter of the IQ or intelligence of the Chinese communist rulers and their "Harvard-educated" or "Stanford-educated" ministers and councilors but the stubborn and selfish greed for money, power, women and pleasure: There is no merit in Caoan Jushi's suggestion of some hideous agenda by some "disguised" ruling elites in deliberately corrupting China and the Chinese people to a final demise. Billion Chinese, in the opinion of the regime, had better work for menial pay than out of job. Any mishap in the currency fluctuation could disrupt the export-driven economy and subsequently lead to economic depression, social instability and political collapse.
Some mathematics for you: In today's China, ordinary Chinese could make no more than US$2-US$10 per day. One of my aunts, whose land was "enclosed" by the government around 2000, had been receiving for years a mere subsidy of RMB 300 [US$40] per month. Before the enclosure, she could net no more than the subsidized income after paying for the costs of seeds, fertilizer and taxes. Another aunt is now receiving about RMB 30 [US$4] per month in the form of a non-governmentally-sanctioned retirement benefits for peasants of her county. In the cities and towns, innumerable workers had been forced to retire at age 40-55 in exchange for a nominal severance pay and a monthly subsidy of around RMB400 [$50]. (For China's ECON101, refer to Yang Fan's article on bubbles.) In contrast, a bank employee in Yangtze area might receive a subsidy of RMB300,000 [US$40k] for purchasing a property; and a high school teacher may receive an annual bonus of RMB9000 [US$1100] in year 2004. To yield the bureaucratic position to some younger people of connections, a small potato official from a county-level taxation department, at age 55, could get a one-time severance payout of RMB500,000 [US$61,500] as well as a monthly subsidy of RMB3000 [US$400], i.e., a prevalent mode of collective & collusive 'communizing' and carving-up of state-owned assets and revenue streams. The city-dwellers of Shanghai could easily reap a profit of RMB200,000 [US$10k-30k] in a matter of 1-2 years from the real estate market that soundly beats even Tokyo, HK or New York. E.g., the cousin of my grandfather, who was allocated 50 square meters living quarter on 2nd floor of a detached house in the old French Concession territory, now boasts a real estate value of 1 million RMB [i.e., US$115,000]. And, behind the drive of real estate price in Shenzhen & Zhuhai [i.e., special economic zones] were certainly hotbeds of second-wife villages and flourishing meat-swap market that had provided at one time 300 prostitutes for a Japanese tour delegation, tens of thousands of young women for HK truck drivers, and innumerable others for the "wealthy, powerful and distinguished" Chinese men and international rascals.
China, The Caste Society
After obtaining power in 1949, the Chinese communists successfully set up, on the Chinese continent, a cruel caste system. Unlike the Mongols' caste society of 14th century which was ethnic in nature, the current one is political and power-driven, and it is hidden and disguised in nature, unknown to the outside world as a result of collusion, conscious or subconscious, of the people in upper castes in China. This caste system was created for sake of pitting one class or level of people against a lower level with a wider base or population, solely for sake of strengthening the grip of power of dictatorship as well as exploiting the hardworking Chinese masses in the lower levels, peasants and workers alike. We call this communist system 'caste society' because the Chinese system of class differentiation and the rigid policy of having babies register in mother's residency is a cruel system exactly mapping the notorious 'Indian Caste Society' where babies born are predestined to be of the same insurmountable castes (Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Sudras).
In the caste system, the people are born and bound, both physically and mentally. This kind of bondage had led to the unfair and unequal treatment of the Chinese people in terms of economic, political and social welfare, and directly caused the massive loss of brain power and intelligence as exemplified by the inadequate education 70-80% of China's population, peasants, have received. Though the caste society could be sub-divided into many levels, the main two groups would be the city-dwellers (not necessarily workers as used as a class in communist doctrines) versus the peasants. asiademo.org had included one extra caste, the "hei hukou" or "grey area households", namely, those Chinese who had no registration with the government whatsoever.
When I was asked to explain in details the situations of peasants versus city dwellers, I thought it hard and then derived a good analogy. I told people that you could probably think of the Chinese peasants as the 'invisible men' as depicted by a Black author in US (Ralph Ellison), and the kind of relationship between the Chinese peasants and city-dwellers would be equivalent to the Blacks versus the Whites in US in the 1960s. In today's world, you could find the segregation, physical and economical, in such countries as China and North Korea. In China, the babies born in the Chinese countryside had to register with their mother's locality and that they had no right to move to town, study in town or work in town. Worse than that would be the acquiesce of the city dwellers of China as well as the mockery at the miseries of Chinese peasants.
Among the city dwellers and the peasants, sub-castes abound in that communist cadres are divided into 25 levels, workers 8 levels and the peasants at least 4 levels. Movement between the levels in each caste usually difficult, inter-caste movements are almost impossible. Peasants in the countryside are never allowed to move to the towns and cities, township residents are not allowed to move into provincial or municipal cities, and people in the inner provinces are not allowed to move to the coastal areas where chances of livelihood and welfare are much better. Illustrative examples will be: city residents of a certain municipal district, like Minhang District of Shanghai Municipality, are not allowed to migrate to the Shanghai city proper, Shanghai residents not allowed to migrate to Beijing the capital, and the residents of Guangzhou not allowed to migrate to Shenzhen or Zhuhai the Special Economic Zones (SEZ). Now HK is and Macau are back in China, the kind of mechanism applies again here, namely, the Chinese children whose parents moved to HK or Macao would not be allowed to enter HK or Macau for permanent residency, and in most recent case, China intervened in HK's judicial affairs by overturning HK legislature which ruled that those mainland children could reunite with parents in HK and Macao. To understand how strict China's registration system is, just note that in today's Beijing the capital, a separate ruling is in effect, requiring that whoever male Beijing resident must undergo a DNA test to determine father-child relationship before their pre-marriage child could apply for registration of household in Beijing Municipality.
People may ask how could this kind of cruel pyramid-style system have survived in China for almost 50 years (from 1949 to 1999) and would for sure continue. The answer lies in the fact that this caste society had deliberately pitted one class or level of people against lower levels with a wider base or population, thus making the higher class or level of people into unconscious and subconscious safeguards of the regime in repressing the lower class or level of people. As long as the people in the upper castes do not realize the roles they are playing, there would be no self-liberation of the upper castes, not to mention the fate of those in lower castes. Besides, the government has police, military police (1 million strong, converted from army after the Tiananmen Massacre) and army, and it never hesitates to sacrifice human life for achieving its ends, power and dictatorship. While the Manchu dynasty, under constant attacks and revolts from Han Chinese, could still survive for hundreds of years (with ironically such military pillars as Han Chinese General Zuo Zongtang), there is no reason to doubt the determination of the Chinese communists in continuing their repression of the Chinese people via any means or tools they have on hand. Externally speaking, western economic powers, represented by their corporate interests, including Gap, Nike, Addidas and Walmart, would love to deal with the Chinese regime which never care about those Chinese coolies working in the sweatshops of Saipan, toured and touted by Tom Delay etc of the American Congress.
Northern Mariana Island legislation: "According to ABC's 20/20 television program, Abramoff lobbied DeLay to stop legislation banning sex shops and sweatshops that force employees to have abortions in the Mariana Islands when Abramoff accompanied DeLay on a 1997 trip to the island. While on the trip, DeLay promised not to put the bill on the legislative calendar". Chinese compatriots, look out! Those slaves in sex shops and sweatshops of Pacific Islands are staffed by our brothers and sisters !
All in all, in the siege of Shanghai during the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Rebellion, the Westerners supported the Manchu rulers, not the quasi-Christian brothers of Taiping. Another illustrative example would be the retention of Manchu Dowager Empress Ci-xi by the eight allied powers after quelling the 1900 boxer rebellion even though the said dowager empress had orchestrated the anti-West boxer rebellion as a result of European nations’ support for the restoration of deposed Emperor Guangxu. In early this century, the Chinese Republic founder, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who was rejected by the western powers, had to seek help from the Soviet Union, a fundamental cause in the "Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution". More available at the Century-long American hypocrisy towards China, the Anglo-American & Jewish romance with the Japanese and What Foreign Powers Did to The Flowery Republic Prior to, during and after the 1911 Revolution.
Note: The word caste was a social phenomenon in India. Hindu society is divided into castes and several thousands of sub-castes. Caste is a highly organized social grouping. A Hindu is born in a caste and dies as a member of that caste. As caste is determined by birth, one can never move from one caste to another. Castes are not equal in status but arranged in a vertical order in which one caste is at the top and is the highest (the Brahman), another at the bottom and in between them there are the Kshatriya, the Vashya and etc in a descending order. This inequality in status is said to be an outcome of a person's deeds (good or bad) accomplished in his previous life. In the words of S.D. Theertha, "... the Hindu social order is simply a menace to freedom, unity and peace. The three thousands and odd castes and the larger number of sub-castes, into which the Hindus are irretrievably divided, keep nearly ninety-five per cent of the Hindus in perpetual disgrace and permanently condemned to an inferior social status.
Early Crackdowns and Land-Reform Joke On Peasants
After obtaining power in 1949, the Chinese Communists (CCP) first launched so-called "Suppression of Reactionaries Movement" & "Elimination of Counterrevolutionaries" in early 50s. "Suppression of Reactionaries Movement" started in 1950, while "Elimination of Counterrevolutionaries" was launched in 1955 with the advent of 'Hu Feng Reactionary Clique'. The 1955 crackdown (which implicated 4 million people) was officially declared a so-called 'Kuo Da Hua', namely, over-implication, but the 1950 crackdown stood as 'justified' still today.
During the "Suppression of Reactionaries Movement", Chinese communists (CCP) required that every Chinese obtain three letters of reference from people in their hometown attesting to their past. Every Chinese citizen was made into a folder in the personnel file. The folder, a determinant in a person's future promotion, transfer and benefits, would be kept in the personnel department of the working unit. The household registration would be enforced, first handled by the Civil Administration Ministry, and then taken over by Public Security Ministry on Jan 13th, 1956. So-called 'referral letter' stamped by some working units would be required for sake of buying train tickets or staying in a hotel. In addition to physical and psychological control, rice or flour coupons would be used to maintain economic control of the people. Three kinds of coupons, i.e., national circulation, regional circulation, and local circulation, would allow township Chinese to travel to a destination of measured range. For peasants, they would have to exchange their uncooked rice for the coupons before they could walk outside of their domain.
Before the People's Liberation Army crossed the Yangtze River, the CCP declared a general amnesty for all officials and soldiers of the Kuomintang (KMT or GMD) government by stating that only the top 'war criminals' would be tried and punished. However, once the CCP took over the country, it began to round up small potato officials and officers of the ex-regime. During the time period from 1949 to 1952, landlords and wealthy peasants (one subcaste among the peasant caste), low-level ex-KMT officers, and other 'reactionaries' were rounded up in various kinds of camps, custody and prisons. Three distinctive stages could be distinguished: the initial voluntary surrender and registration, the consecutive targeted arrests, and the final investigations. Millions would be either executed on the massive scale or imprisoned for life. For example, in the spring of 1951, in Hetongxian county of Sichuan Prov, Xia Zhishi, a veteran of the 1911 Xin Hai Revolution, was executed together with his elder brother, junior brother [the 4th son in order] and a nephew. (See page 415 of Dong Zhujun's book "My One Century" [Sanlian Bookstore, Peking, China, Sept 1997 edition]. Dong Zhujun learnt of the execution details from the letter written by stepson Xia Shuyu, and for three years, provided the financial support to seven children born by her stepson.) 2-3 years after that, about 1953-4, Dong Zhujun received a letter from the daughter of another stepson born by her ex-husband Xia Zhishi, i.e., Xia Naigeng, stating that he [Xia Naigeng] was thinking about a flee to Shanghai's stepmother numerous times ... regretting that no decision was made ... seeing his wife and daughter at the prison cell at 11:00 am for a final bye ... hoping that stepmother could take care of his wife and daughter after he was to leave this world the next morning ... and wishing to become a dog or a horse to requite stepmother in the next life." Xia Zhishi was restored the reputation and rebuilt the tomb in 1988.
The 1950 crackdown started with the so-called "18 March 1950 Instructions As To Severely Cracking Down On the Reactionaries', and the 'Double 10 Instructions", namely, Decree on Oct 10th, 1950. By November of 1953, altogether 4 to 20 million people were executed. In whole year of 1954, 330,000 reactionaries and criminals were arrested nationwide, among whom 111,000 were classified as the "reactionaries" and 10,000 around were executed per Hua Min (whose "China Great Reversal" [Mirror Books, Flushing, New York, Dec 1996 edition, ISBN 1-896745-19-9] was a book analyzing China's society in 1956, and before and after 1956). Peasants, both poverty-stricken due to grain surrender and lacking motivation due to collectivization, certainly complained about the communist regime, with the result of about 100,000 peasants and agriculture cadres sentenced into "reactionaries". Mao Tse-tung disclosed in April 1956 that about 2-3 million were killed, imprisoned or supervised. Mao disclosed in Feb of 1957 that altogether 700 thousand reactionaries were executed from 1950 to 1952. Luo Ruiqing, minister for the public security, disclosed that 4 million were executed from 1948 to 1955. (These figures do not include the so-called 2.7 million KMT armed bandits who were destroyed from 1950 to 1952. Sichuan Prov, which had contributed the most to the 1937-1945 Resistance War, was also among the last provinces where the KMT remnant armies fought the guerrilla war against the communist forces persistently. Jung Chang's "Wild Swans" pointed out that the KMT guerrilla forces, at one time, surrounded Yibin of Sichuan Prov after Jung Chang's father led his bulk of the liberation army into the countryside for collecting the grains. http://www.secretchina.com/news/articles/4/11/27/76409.html carried an account of massive executions in Sichuan Prov, including that of Luo Guangying who had instigated cousin Luo Guangwen's uprising against the KMT in Chengdu city.)
Mao claimed that China did not have to undergo the 1956 Hungarian Rebellion as a result of the harsh crackdowns against the "Little Chiang Kai-shek" in 1950 and 1955. During the 8th Plenary Meeting of the Communist Party, Liu Shaoqi declared that the 'class struggle was over'. Jung Chang's "Wild Swans" recorded that KMT Colonel Ji, i.e., one time boyfriend of her mother, had been executed as a "Little Chiang Kai-shek" although the guy had assisted Jung Chang's mother in blowing up the ammunition depot during the Jinzhou Campaign.
Meanwhile, the farmland was seized and confiscated from the landlords and wealthy peasants and re-distributed to the lower level peasants. The land reform was also conducted for creating incentives to have the peasant families send in their sons to the "People's Volunteer Army" on the Korean Battlefield, with a slogan termed "safeguarding the victory's fruits". The communist government would use a quota for determining the 'class enemies'. Noteworthy would be the campaigns launched by Tao Zhu in Guangdong Province which boasted a large overseas Chinese population. A certain percentage of the 'wealthy' people would have to be filtered out as landlords to be shot to death or killed in barbaric ways in each and every village. This is called 'Cun Cun Jian Xue', namely, each and every village must have blood-letting. My father recalled that executions by rows occurred daily in a playground near the middle school of the town where he lived. A history teacher of his was pulled out of the classroom one day and never seen again. A high school student, son of a doctor and a good basketball player, was shot to death for enrolling in the Nationalist Party's so-called "Three People" youth organization, on a day my father could not forget because he defeated the street peddler for each draw in gambling on cigarette coversheets.
The Land Reform
According to the economic chronicles (edited by Ma Hong, published July 1982), by August of 1952, altogether 0.3 billion peasants were distributed the land and the land reform was completed in the 90% percentile nationwide. This land reform turned out to be a sick joke because the peasants would soon enter the collectivization phase of socialism, namely, the "Shining Path" (an euphemistic word to be used by the Marxist guerillas in Latin America), at which stage the land would be re-seized from the peasants to form the so-called "agricultural cooperatives", a precursor to the "People's Communes" which were to come during the Great Leap Forward of 1958-1960.
In the agriculture area, the Third Plenary of the Seventh National Session of the Chinese Communist Party (June 6th-June 9th of 1950) stated that the "land reform was the foremost key to achieving an upturn of the finance and economic status of the country", namely, killing the landlords and confiscating the landlords' assets and properties for sake of financing the operations of the government rather than waiting for the peasants to grow crops and produce output to be harvested one year later. The "Land Reform" was classified as No. One of the eight major tasks outlined by the Third Plenary of the Seventh National Session. On basis of the CCP National Session paper, Chen Yuansen concluded that altogether 2 million landlords and relatively wealthy peasants were executed during the 1950 land reform storm.
The land reform, first started with the CCP Central's "Instructions In Regards To Countering Spies, Liquidation [?] & Land Issues" [dubbed "May 4th Instruction"] on May 4th, 1946, was already completed in so-called "old [liberated] areas" before 1949; however, 70-85% of peasants automatically fell into the category of so-called 'medium or well-to-do families' and majority peasants had basically no interest in forming the "agricultural mutual-aid teams" or the "agricultural cooperatives". Liu Shaoqi pointed out in Dec 1951 that the so-called "agricultural cooperatives" for mutual assistance and cooperation in production could be "erroneous, precarious and utopian". Mao Tse-tung, however, demanded that CCP should launch "agricultural cooperatives" as a top issue. In late 1952, peasants were forced into 8 million 'mutual-aid labor groups' and 4 thousand 'agricultural cooperatives' through collectivization. Hua Min pointed out that by the end of 1952, there would be 8,300,000 "agricultural mutual-assistance groups" and 3600 "agricultural cooperatives". Early 50s was designated 'New Democracy-ism', while the time period prior to 1949 would be termed 'Old Democracy-ism'. (Mao Tse-tung devised this term to solve China's missing stage of capitalism as necessitated by Marxist societal developments, namely, a society must first go through capitalism before proletarian revolution leads to socialism.)
In 1953, Mao Tse-tung suddenly initiated the transformation to socialism. As pointed out by Bao Tong, in his article, Revealing the CCP, 1949 saw Mao upholding the so-called "Common Guiding Principles" which was submitted to CPPCC and conferred constitutional status. This document stated that "the state protects the private property of workers, peasants, small and domestic bourgeoisies", that "freedom of thought and freedom of migration" of the people was protected, and that "the members of the National People’s Congress (NPC) at all levels shall be elected by a direct election process." But in 1953, Mao suddenly initiated "the transformation towards socialism," and dealt a death penalty to the Common Guiding Principles according to Bao Tong.
Owning to the reluctance of peasants in forming "agricultural cooperatives", Deng Zihui advised against forcefulness in promoting the cooperative movement in Feb 1953. However, local communist officials threatened peasants with choice of 'socialist path' vs. 'capitalist path' and forcefully concentrated peasants' cattle, tools and other personal belongings. In Aug 1953, Mao Tse-tung called on struggles against "rightist opportunism" for safeguarding the success of socialist cause. In Dec, CCP issued a decree entitled "Resolution In Regards To Developing Agricultural Production Cooperatives". By the spring of 1954, nationwide, "agricultural cooperatives" numbered at 95,000, more than twice the target number of 35,000, with 80% cooperatives formed under coercion. By Jan 1955, "agricultural cooperatives" increased to 480,000. In March, Zhou Enlai & Liu Shaoqi advised that "agricultural cooperatives" should 'stop, contract and develop'. However, in May, Mao advocated 'foment' policy as to "agricultural cooperatives". In July 1955, CCP minister for agriculture, Deng Zihui, was criticized to be a 'feet-bound woman' by Mao. In Oct, CCP Sixth Plenary of Seventh National Session further attacked "rightist opportunism" and upheld the orientation of "agricultural cooperatives". At the meeting, Mao called for extermination of capitalism and 'petty production mode'. In Dec 1955, Mao authored "Socialist Peak In Chinese Countryside" and pushed for speeding up the reform of craftsmen industry and bourgeois industry/commerce towards socialism.
On Jan 21st, 1956, 500 thousand Shanghai citizens, on parade and under the rains, ran on the streets for 'entering socialism'. By 1956, in the countryside, small "agricultural cooperatives" were merged into big "agricultural cooperatives", and elementary "agricultural cooperatives" were elevated into advanced "agricultural cooperatives". By the end of 1956, CCP finished the transformation within 1.5 years, faster than its original plan of 10-15 years.
Political Crackdowns and Movements
The 1950 crackdown, "Elimination of Counterrevolutionaries", started with the so-called 'March 18 1950 Instructions As To Severely Cracking Down On Reactionaries', and 'Double 10 Instructions', namely, Decree on Oct 10th 1950. By November of 1953, altogether 4 to 20 million people were executed. Hua Min stated that in whole year of 1954, 330,000 reactionaries and criminals were arrested nationwide, among whom 111,000 were classified as "reactionaries" and 10,000 around were executed. (Mao disclosed in Feb of 1957 that altogether 700 thousand reactionaries were executed from 1950 to 1952. Luo Ruiqing, the minister for public security, disclosed that 4 million were executed from 1948 to 1955.)
Political crackdowns and movements would ensue further. The communists launched separate movements of "Three Anti & Five Anti". On Nov 30th, 1951, "Three Anti" [namely, anti-commingling, anti-waste and anti-bureaucratism] was launched. 'Land Reform' ensued in the same timeframe. In the culture and arts arena, an 'Arts Rectification Movement' was launched in Dec 1951. On Jan 26th, 1952, "Five Anti" [namely, anti movements in regards to bribery, tax evasion, larceny, cut-corner work and economic espionage] went into a full swing. The "Three Anti" movement was targeted at communists themselves, but the "Five Anti" was targeted at stranded and speculative capitalists and wealthy people who were accused of cutting corner in making products for dispatchment to the Korean battlefield. Numerous memoirs recorded that capitalist business owners jumped off high buildings or jumped into the Huangpu River of Shanghai to commit suicides. (The enterprises of those business owners would be converted into so-called 'Jiti' nature.) On Jan 5th, 1953, Mao launched a new "Three Anti" movement by issuing a 'Decree As To Anti-Bureaucratism, Anti-Order-ism, & Anti-Lawlessness'.
The Party internal fights will be Mao Tse-tung's routing the political enemies, like Gao Gang the communist party chairman of Manchuria, in Dec 1953. Earlier, Mao ordered the pilgrimage of five CCP Regional General-Secretaries to Peking. CCP used to have five secretaries in charge of five sections of China, including Gao Gang and Deng Xiaoping etc. Gao was recorded to have pulled out his gun and shot himself in the head to commit suicide. Gao Gang first tried suicide in vain by shooting himself with a gun from his bodyguard [refer to secretchina.com/news/articles/5/2/11/84979.html ], and after few attempts, finally succeeded in suicide by taking insomnia tablets [refer to secretchina.com/news/articles/5/2/11/84980.html ].) Few high profile communist officials (including Liu Shanqing?) were executed for alleged economic crimes. Army officers or soldiers who dumped their countryside wives for city bourgeoisie girls were heavily criticized as well. (This national wife-dumping movement, i.e., monopolizing women of relative beauty or robbing women of reactionary descent or background, was in the name of anti-feudalism, or against matchmaker or parents-assigned marriages, or in the name of 'revolutionary freely-matched love'.)
Additional casualties noteworthy would be two communist cadres called Pan Hannian & Yang Fan1, rumored to be the persons sent to Nanking for talks with then Japanese occupation commander Okamura Yasuji just as the French communists had endured under the Nazi when the news came that the Soviet Union signed a friendship treaty with Germany. Pan Hannian would be accused of corruption and sentenced to death on probation; he later died during the cultural revolution, only to be restored reputation in 1980s. Pan Hannian & Yang Fan1 were said to have been targeted for sake of burying treachery evidence. (Click http://www.panhannianguju.org/phncq8.htm to see how CCP slapped own face by describing the collusion details, i.e., Pan Hannian went to see Wang Jingwei without the knowledge of the Politburo and how Pan Hannian colluded with the puppet government during the resistance war time period. Per Yu Maochun's "OSS In China", Pan Hannian was both a Chinese communist spy as well as a Comintern spy, for which Mao purged him in 1955 as a way to route the Russian influence as well as cover up the communist treachery. Pan Hannian was restored reputation in 1982, five years after he died on a forced labor farm in Jiangxi Prov. Communists still prohibited the disclosure of its treacheries as shown in the banning of Zhong Kan's "Judgmental Biography of Kang Sheng" in 1981. Alternatively speaking, it was Yang Fan who implicated Pan Hannian for having reported on the 'actress' life of Mao's unofficial wife Jiang Qing, aka Lan-pin in 1937-38. More treachery could be seen at terror.htm. Jiang Qing, for her open sexuality on Shanghai Bund and implication in a KMT arrest in 1934, was given negative feedback by underground communists like Yang Fan, for which Jiang Qing & Kang Sheng, in Feng Zhijun's opinion, had routed Yang Fan & Pan Hannian in 1954 and put them to lifelong imprisonment.)
Religious suppression followed suits. On July 22nd, 1954, so-called 'Autonomous & Patriotic Christianity Committee' was established. On Aug 26th, 1954, polices in regards to 're-education via forced laboring' were enforced.
"Elimination of Counterrevolutionaries" was launched in 1955 with the advent of 'Hu Feng Reactionary Clique'. The 1955 crackdown, which implicated 4 million people, was now officially declared a so-called 'Kuo Da Hua', namely, over-implication. Hua Min pointed out that Mao had invoked the 1942 Yan'an Rectification Movement as a good example for launching a new wave of "purging reactionaries". On July 1st 1955, CCP issued "Instructions In Regards To Launching Struggle For Purging Hidden Reactionaries". Lasting two years, Mao Tse-tung was commented to have utilized this purge movement for enforcing the progress of "socialist reform" in the form of "agricultural cooperatives". CCP set a target number of 5% for the "hidden reactionaries", and this number was lowered to 1.43% after USSR exposed the crimes Stalin had conducted during the Purge at Soviet 20th Congress. CCP Central, for adjusting its over-implication, claimed that by 1956, among those investigated, about 1.43% had been classified as real reactionaries, and this number could amount to 1.5% with all cases to be investigated and tried. Hua Min cited CCP documents with the following wording: "For the 8.6 million people to be investigated for the second batch of 'purging reactionaries movement' in 1956, we [i.e., CCP] thought that we should lower the target to 2% from 5%." The end result of the 2nd batch, per Hua Min, yielded the number of 0.3% as reactionaries among statistics from 15 provinces and municipalities.
The Brief Spring (1956-1957) & China's Great Reversal
The period following the bloody crackdown would see some kind of revision in government policies. Some intellectuals began to question the severity of the executions, some other intellectuals began to challenge the agricultural policies, and some intellectuals demanded academic freedoms. Against this background, Mao would stage several political movements targeted at specific representatives of specific schools of thoughts. Mao insisted that the executions of 'Little Chiang Kai-shek Etc', in millions, were warranted; Mao personally cursed agriculturalist Liang Suming (Last Confucian of China) for more than one hour during the Sept 1953 National Agriculture Meeting; Mao classified Hu Feng (who wrote a thirty thousand word letter to Mao arguing for academic freedom) as an anti-party clique in 1954; and Mao sent Ding Ling (a communist writer) to labor camp in 1955. Mao launched, on Jan 20th 1955, the 'Movement For Criticizing Hu Feng Thoughts'. Hu Feng Anti-Party Clique implicated 2100 victims. Hu Feng was sentenced to "life imprisonment" and would not get out till 1978. Ding Ling, for her role in 'Ding Ling & Chen Qixia Anti-Party Clique', would be sentenced into exile for 22 years. The Movement of "Elimination of Counterrevolutionaries" in July 1955 would see 140,000 people rounded up in class struggle, and 81,000 of them identified as counterrevolutionaries (see http://www.indiana.edu/~workshop/wow2/publications/jun2199.pdf).
In the mid-1950s, changing in the international arena would be the event that Stalinism was negated in USSR in 1956 and the horrors of the Purge was exposed by Nikita Khrushchov. Some Chinese communists began to identify with the moderateness of new Soviet leadership. Numerous memoirs and writings had described the time period prior to the Anti-Rightist Movement as a relaxing interval. Parties with social dancing were popular all over the nation, and the party's headquarters, Zhongnanhai, would hold dancing parties at least twice a week, and Mao and Liu etc were said to exchange dancing partners (actresses from the PLA's troupe) several times during one tune. Intellectuals began to speak out again, and the political vase parties began to criticize the communists, too.
Facing various criticisms, Mao launched the 'Rectification Movement' on April 27th, 1957. Mao said he had successfully induced the snakes out of their hibernation and officially launched 'Anti-Rightist Movement' in June 1957. At some college in Nanking, students held criticism and debates for three days and three nights, continuously, and 20 out of one class of 40 were later dispatched to Manchuria for military farming. During the Anti-Rightist Movement, Mao said that Qin's First Emperor Shihuangdi just buried alive 460 Confucians but he had successfully eradicated 552,2887 "bourgeoisie rightists" nationwide in 1957. Ding Ling and rightists were exiled to Sub-farm No. 5 (i.e., Mt Yunshan Husbandry Farm) of Military Farm No. 850 in the Ussuri River border area. Xie Hegeng, once a top CCP mole inside of KMT nucleus, was spotted by rightist Yin Yi in picking up rotten vegetable leaflets for food in 1960. (Also serving terms together with the rightists on re-education farms would be former KMT tank battalion officers whom my father, as machinery technician, had worked together in machinery repair working unit. My father also recalled that the iron & cast team on Farm No. 850 mainly consisted of so-called "convicts". Former KMT tank battalion officers were exiled to the border much earlier than People's Volunteer Soldiers who were repatriated from Korea in 1958. Per Gao Wenjun's account, numerous KMT officers, including two of his Whampoa Cadet classmates, were exiled to the New Dominion Province right after communist taking over power in 1949.)
On Aug 8th, 1957, Mao launched 'Massive Socialism Education Movement' in the countryside. On Oct 9th, 1957, Mao proposed the so-called 'Four Mega Weapons', namely, Big Character Poster, Big Debate and etc. People's Daily, on Nov 13th, first proposed the 'Great Leap Forward' (GLF). On Nov 18th, Mao boasted of winning a nuclear war with sacrifice of half of China's population. In Feb 1958, "People's Daily", officially proclaimed GLF. In same month, a so-called patriotic hygienic movement was launched to exterminate flies, rats, swallows and mosquitoes. April 9th, 1958, "People's Communes" were proposed. 'High output satellites' were launched in July 1958. Aug 1958 Beidaihe Meeting officially endorsed the idea of "People's Communes". Early 1959, Tibetan rebellions were quelled. Lushan Meeting of July 2-Aug 16 1959 declared the 'Peng Dehuai Anti-Party Clique'. After 1959's Lushan Meeting, Mao went on the Anti-Rightist Trend to rout another 3,800,000 people. Dec 1959, the CCP Propaganda Department launched criticisms of 'humanitarianism' and the demography theories of Ma Yinchu. (Some of the dates listed here were corroborated with Bloody 50 Years.)
"The Household Registration System"
On April 17th, 1953, the State Council issued a decree called "Instructions As To Persuading and Desisting Peasants From Chaotic Relocation Into Cities". On March 12th, 1954, the government, seeing that the previous order had not much effect, issued a second decree dubbed "Instructions As To Continuously Enforcing The Persuasion and Desisting of Peasants From Chaotic Relocation Into Cities". Various provincial and local governments had been required to enforce the rulings. However, statistics showed that peasants numbering 570,000, from 1956 to 1957, had moved into towns and cities. This was, in fact, a direct result of the panic caused by the communist government which issued a 3rd decree on Jan 13th, 1956, i.e., "Instructions As To Transferring Of Agri-household Registration, Statistical Work and Household Registration To Public Security Ministry". Whow! Now the household registration was no longer enforced by the so-called "Civil Administration Ministry". On Jan 9th, 1958, the so-called First National People's Congress officially made a law entitled "The Rules and Regulations of Household Registration of the People's Republic of China", and the ruling was issued in the name of State President Mao Tse-tung. The CASTE was officially born !!!
This strict enforcement of the caste won't change till the early 80s when the local governments, short of cash as well as greedy of extra cash income, broke the ban by selling township registers to peasants as well as inner-province people. Lai'an County of Anhui Province was the first to take the "ransom", and they charged 5,000 yuan for selling a register. Within 6 days, altogether they sold out 773 household registers, cashing in a total of 3,863,000 yuan. 500,000 Anhui peasants followed suit shortly. Shandong Province is next, and a register would be sold for 5,000 to 12,000 yuan. In Jiangsu Province, 3,000 could buy it. Hubei Province, 6,000 yuan. Henan Province would be the next. By 1986, the Central Government decided that this must be stopped. A mutant form of business, however, would develop in early 90s, in such advanced regions as Guangdong, Shanghai and Zhejiang Province, in the name of payment for "city management fees", to exchange for a right to live in towns and cities. Guangzhou Municipality charged a fee of 3,500 to 13,000 yuan. The vampires grew on the daily basis. In Dec 1993, Shanghai Municipality decreed that its register could be obtained via an investment of 1,000,000 yuan or 200,000 US dollars, similar to the L-1 Visa in America. Shenzhen Municipality of Guangdong Province followed suit in early 1995 by asking for 1,000,000 yuan. On June 13th, 1995, Beijing the capital devised the first ruling against the mobile population. Bear in mind that today's peasants could only make 200 yuan per month excluding taxes, fees and fertilizers, and the peasant children could only make 2 yuan by inserting fuses into the fireworks per day. What a state-level joke!!! There should be no surprise about the "purchasing power" of those "lucky" peasants. In mid-80s, Chinese families and relatives would assemble an astronomical figure of money just for sake of sending their son or daughter to Japan and Australia for the so-called "overseas studies". They ended up doing "gold rush".
The kind of human control and organization could be traced to 2,500 years ago when counselor Guang Chong first organized Qi Principality's army into groups of 5, 10, 100, 500, 1000 etc. Reformer of Qin Principality, Shang Yang, was credited with enforcing a rule of neighborhood watch. Shang Yang made five households into a so-called 'bao', and ten 'bao' would be a collective unit for punishment should the neighbors fail to report the crime committed by one member. (Shang Yang had ordered the passes be closed at nights, and when he fled the capital, he could not sneak out of Hanguguan Pass at night. When he looked for rest in a commoner's residence, he was told that he could not stay because 'Prince Shang Laws' forbade it. Shang Yang became a victim of his own system.) In Tang Dynasty, Emperor Tang Taizhong had enacted some form of Bao Jia system. In Song Dynasty, reformer Wang Anshi proposed the 'Bao Jia Law'. In ancient times, the government could not afford to pay salaries to redundant bureaucrats, and the government would pay salaries to the county head, only. As exemplified by Yuan Dynasty's so-called 'Three Old Men System', each and every village would be responsible for human management on their own, and familial control was a way to alleviate the government of the administration and financial burdens, not for spying and monitoring. It would be in Ming Dynasty that we would see a "Li-Jia (Neighborhood Watch) System" that was devised solely for watching and spying on each other in the neighborhood for illegal activities. Ming Dynasty would appoint certain elders to supervise village communities, and collective responsibility and punishment would be imposed. This "Li-Jia or Bao-Jia System" was later adopted by Japanese in their colonial rule and suppression of people in Taiwan as well as in mainland China.
The Dual Township-Countryside Household System
By means of "Household Registration System", also dubbed the "Dual Township-Countryside Household System", the Chinese communists would divide the Chinese society into two major castes, namely, the township residents who would be paid a monthly salary together with benefits of housing, education, rice and meat coupons, and retirement benefits, against the "agricultural households" who must make their living out of the fields as well as contribute grains, cotton, vegetable oil, vegetables and other agricultural products to the cities at a pre-set price. While the government would allocate maybe 10 workers to a machine that might require only one to two persons, just for sake of creating the false phenomenon of "full employment" in socialist society, the peasants and their whole families, women and children included, would continue the toiling under the sun and in the rains, for 50 years, ending in death of at least 27-40 million peasants in the Great Famine of early 60s as a direct result of the Great Leap Forward (whereas today the government still blamed it on the repayment of Soviet debts incurred in the Korean War and natural disasters).
One economist had researched the pre-set price data and calculated the exploitation of peasants by the government in terms of Chinese currency, and his conclusion was that the Chinese government, from year 1952 to year 1978, had cheated out of Chinese peasants about 714 billion Chinese yuan via the price difference between industrial and pre-set agricultural products, a pricing mechanism dubbed "Industrial-Agricultural Scissor Differential" by the communists. This exploitation would be equal to 190 billion Chinese yuan from year 1978 to year 1991.
The "Industrial-Agricultural Scissor Differential" was widened in Oct 1953 when the CCP adopted a policy of "planned purchase by the State and planned distribution by the State", namely, the CCP exercising the absolute control over the harvest of grains, vegetable oil and cotton etc. This was supposedly for meeting the new challenge of 17,000,000 new township population. Hence, the CCP determined that the State would need to "purchase" 70.9 billion "jin" of rice for the period of July 1st, 1953, to June 30th, 1954. (Here, 2 "jin" is equivalent to 1 kilogram [kg].) The actual "purchase" figure was 78.45 billion "jin" of rice, an increase of 29.3% over prior year, at the expense of peasants' living standards. 78.45 billion "jin" of rice, Per Hua Min, was equivalent to one month grains supply for 0.5 billion Chinese peasants in 1954. Hua Min pointed out that the Chinese peasants, who surrendered 67 billion "jin" of rice in 1952, would be required to surrender 90 billion "jin" of rice by June 1956, with an increase of 35%, whereas the production had merely increased by 12% and the agri-population had increased by 2%. Peasants, both poverty-stricken due to grain surrender and lacking motivation due to collectivization, certainly complained about the communist regime, with the result of about 100,000 peasants and agriculture cadres sentenced into "reactionaries". (In whole year of 1954, 330,000 reactionaries and criminals were arrested nationwide, among whom 111,000 were classified as "reactionaries" and 10,000 around were executed.)
People may ask, "Why don't the peasants get married with city dwellers and hence leave the countryside once and for all?. The cruel reality here is that the communist "Household Registration System" mandates that all babies born would automatically get registered in the same household as the mother's. This basically means that peasant women would never be able to marry city dwellers to have their babies enjoy the rights afforded in the cities, the birthplace of the father, even though the father belong to the city caste. On the contrary, the city women would never ever consider marrying someone from the countryside, self-apparent in the benefits of housing, education, medical care and etc that would otherwise be lost should they marry men from the countryside. Some wise guy pointed out that Chinese communists had deliberately weakened the Chinese race physically as well as mentally. The stringent caste society had led to an unscientific inter-marriage among the peasants (comprising of 70-80% of the total Chinese population), with statistics showing that 80% of peasants inter-marry within the same county, 50% within the same xiang (shire equivalent, previously in the form of communes), and 30% within the same village. I simply could not imagine how short-sighted the communists are in weakening the Chinese Race and am extremely worried about the future of the Chinese People and Chinese Nation !!!
In the old days, peasants, once they entered the towns and cities, would not be able to buy a meal without the rice or flour coupons. Xin Hao-Nian's book, Which Is The New China, reminded me that there were in existence three kinds of coupons, national circulation, regional circulation, and local circulation. This is in addition to the requirement of a so-called 'referral letter' stamped by some working units for sake of buying train tickets or staying in a hotel. http://bloody50.freehosting.net/Histories/Tugai/Jianwen.html mentioned that Sichuan peasants, in the old days, would have to carry rice inside a towel whenever they visited some towns. Why? Because the peasants, without the coupons, would have to exchange their uncooked rice for some cooked food with the restaurant or shops.
What a joke here in that peasants, who produced the grains, could not buy any food while visiting towns and cities! With the recent economic reforms heralded by Deng Xiaoping, some benefits attached to a city household had become obsolete, namely, the rice coupons and the meat coupons etc are now forfeited, and there is now no more two price tiers for rice on the marketplace. However, the social and political rights like medical care, retirement benefits, and schooling, attached to the city households, did not and would not disappear, and the main item of economic rights, like housing, did not and would not disappear, either. Some special economic zones, like Shenzhen, have some flexibility in offering city household residency as long as working units provide the sponsorship. This certainly applies to skilled labor from some innerland cities and towns, but not to the poor teenager girls who were burnt dead in the confinement of some toy factories in Shenzhen SEZ as a result of the owner's security policy of preventing his manufactured toys from being stolen.
Recently, there are revelations of the hardship and tragedies of "migrant" workers, i.e., peasant workers and girls, in Beijing. Unfortunately, the general city public, more indifferent than sympathetic, paid more attention to the crimes committed by some of those "migrant" workers. To give a facelift for the 50th anniversary of the founding of PRC, the communist government launched waves of "taifeng" (Typhoon or policing hurricanes) to round up migrants, beggars and others deemed undesirable. People have to know that it is exactly those "migrant workers" who had been responsible for building the thousands of skyscrapers across China's cities. Prior to Oct 1st, 1999, the Jiang politburo, in order for the successful celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of PRC, had decreed that the unemployed and the retired would get a raise of 30% in their monthly allowance. Using the terms of economics, this would be called "wealth transfer". The victims of this decree would be the peasants who, never having had received a penny from the government, would be deprived of more wealth as a result of less purchasing power on the part of the peasants vs. more purchasing power on the part of the city dwellers, plus inflation from currency over-circulation.
'All-People Registers' vs. 'Collective Registers'
In the towns and cities, sub-castes would include the so-called 'Quanming' versus 'Jiti' household registers, namely, the 'All-People Registers' versus the 'Collective Registers'. In the alleys or streets of towns and cities, you would notice that some factories were of 'Quanming' or 'All-People' nature while others were of 'Jiti' or 'Collective' nature. The 'All-People' subcaste enjoyed a better status than the 'Jiti' group. Further, there would be 'contractor sub-caste', a term used for designating people working on temporary assignments. According to Ma Hong's Economic Annals, 'Quanming' versus 'Jiti' were differentiated in the areas of i) resource control and ownership by the government, ii) observing the orders of government planning on the macro level, iii) extent of surrendering income to the government, and iv) standard government-sanctioned wage level versus self-regulated pay level. No doubt is the fact that people like to work for 'All-People' enterprises for the apparent reason that it was previously a government-guaranteed 'iron bowl'; in contrast, 'Jiti' enterprises did not enjoy government subsidy and pay scale varied according to the output and profit from business operations. CCP created the two castes on basis of the historical background: 'Jiti' enterprises were converted from individual proprietorships either through 'peaceful reformation' or nominal redemption, while 'All-People' enterprises were converted, through straightforward forfeiture, from the so-called 'dealer-broker enterprises of foreigners', 'feudalist-owned enterprises' and 'national monopoly enterprises' of the ex-KMT regime. Shan Shaojie pointed out in Mao In Power 1949-1976 (Mirror Books, 2000, Carle Place, NY, ISBN 962-8744-31-3) that Mao Tse-tung had adopted this measure of property deprivation so that the individual proprietorships (i.e., petty-bourgeoisie), who had lost their quasi voting rights in the Chinese People's Consultative Committee, would forfeit their economic basis as well during this transformation to 'socialism' stage from the transitionery 'neo-democracy-ism'.
Peasants' Starvation & The Great Leap Forward
Chinese peasants, subdivided into at least four levels of wealthy, well-to-do, medium (including lower-than-medium or "xiazhong") and poor, plus a category called 'lease peasants' (gu'nong), did enjoy a few happy and merry communistic days in late 50s when Chairman Mao launched in 1958 the "Great Leap Forward" (GLF), the year the second five-year plan began. In August 1958, Mao assembled a meeting in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, which was attended by Robert Shapiro who, now a member of the Chinese Political Consultative Committee CPCC, wrote a book called "I Chose China: The Metamorphosis of a Man and a Country". The so-called "agricultural cooperatives" would undergo intensified collectivization to form 'people's communes', which would not be to dissolve till Deng's reform after Mao's death in 1976.
Peasants for the first time ate in public canteens of the communes. Mao launched a new wave of 'human sea tactics': Tens of thousands of peasants were ordered to make iron and steel (with a target of annual production of 10.4 million tons), and they would destroy almost all iron utensils for making steel to answer Mao's crazy call for catching up with the steel production of USA or Britain within 15 years. My maternal grandpa was ordered to go to Suzhou for making iron and steel, and when he returned home, he had to sell his bed sheet to pay for the ticket home. His village was classified to be under Suzhou Admin Circuit after Songjiang Circuit was revoked.
In northern Manchuria, by River Ussuri, my father and his No. 850 Farm (staffed by 100,000 Chinese officers repatriated from Korean Battlefield) dug through frozen ground to make a canal for one whole week, sleepless, using pickaxe for breaking the soil. Sitting with him on the tractor was a military convoy platoon chief, and supervising him would be a tank battalion chief who, a Mongol in ethnicity, often cursed his subordinate officers as a bunch of KMT bastards. (The reason for digging the canal was to empty the water in the swamp land which later turned into 1.05 million "Chinese acres" of farmland. Note that grain harvests on the military farms were completely surrendered to the government as peasants did. The excuse was to repay Soviet debts. My father had to mimic his colleagues in stealing soybean seeds for hungry stomachs, but he ate the soybean seeds processed by a fertilizer, leading to a diarrhea that 'luckily' killed all intestine parasites. The only occasion when my father and his folks felt happy would be free lunch or dinner while attending conferences at farm headquarters or inspecting sub-farm machinery. Army officers enjoyed better treatment. Hundreds of thousands of Sichuan Prov girls swamped into northern tip of Manchuria for convenient marriages with 100000 expatriated officers. Nearby, at Mt Yunshan Husbandry Farm, rightist Xie Hegeng still could find rotten vegetable leaflets for food in 1960. But, at Jiabiangou Gully Farm of Gansu Prov, a sand dune area next to Gobi, hundreds [up to possibly 1500 deaths] among 2400 rightists were starved to death or persecuted to death. KMT General Fu Zuoyi's brother, i.e., Fu Zuogong, died of hunger & persecution in March 1960 at Jiapigou.)
Farm No. 850 had an area covering ten train stops, with its headquarters inside of some buildings built by the Japanese Kwantung Army. Head of Farm No. 850 was an army division chief, by the name of Yu Yongqing [who was a Red Army veteran like his superior Wang Zheng], and heads of about nine sub-farms were mostly of regimental commander level. At one time, a deputy farm superintendent by the name of Bai retrieved my father from the sub-farm for a post at the farm headquarters, i.e., a machinery and technology division that was equipped with two jeeps and one motorcycle. Farm No. 850 was also responsible for supplying the Mount Wandashan wood for the People's Hall project in Peking, on which occasion the sub-farm head and my father drove the first shipment of diesel bins to the site and later shouldered the sleeper logs for the railway track that led to Mount Wanda. Numerous rightists joined the logging on Mt Wanda. Farm No. 850 also lent officer-farmers via navy transport ships to Chongmingdao Island at the outset of the Yangtze River. Part of Farm No. 850, including the my father's sub-farm chief as well as direct supervisor, were later relocated to Hai-la-er of Inner Mongolia for more farming projects. (Judging by the number of 100,000 Chinese officers, you could extrapolate how many field soldiers had been deployed on the Korean Battlefield. Over 2 million PLA soldiers had rotated their duty in Korea for covering up the casualties of up to 1 million. Note that lower-rank soldiers and officers, after working for Korea as coolies for free from 1953 to 1958, returned to their hometowns or home villages without the so-called government officialdom. Platoon chief or higher were mostly sent to Manchuria. Conventional saying is that Chairman Mao intended to eliminate KMT turn-coat soldiers and officers by sending them to Korea as "dust [fodder] of cannons blasting". About 14,000-15,000 Chinese prisoners of war made their way to Taiwan ultimately.)
Meanwhile, nationwide, the commune cadres would make up numbers of "per acre rice or wheat productions" to compete with fellow communes nationwide. This would be called "launch high grain output satellites". In early 1959, People's Daily and New China News Agency reported that in Zhuangxian County of Hunan Province some commune harvested 35000 kilograms of rice per acre, while some commune in Guangxi Province reached 65000 kilograms per acre. One communist official, ex-general Peng Dehuai, was the only one who stood out against Mao, hence lost his job and was classified as a "counter-reactionary". Peng was previously Mao's garrison general in the years in Yan'an and also the brave volunteer general fighting the Americans in Korea at the risk of atomic bombs. Peng wrote a letter to Mao criticizing the GLF, but Mao published his letter to the whole party which was convening on Mount Lushan in Jiangxi Province on July 17th, 1959. Peng was cheated into making a self-criticism for sake of party unity on July 23rd, but he fell into Mao's trap and was promptly classified into another anti-party clique, consisting of Zhou Xiaozhou [provincial party secretary, Mao's wartime secretary who later committed suicide during cultural revolution], Zhang Wentian [CCP secretary general of 1935-1945 who at one time deprived Mao of his leadership of the Red Army], & Huang Kecheng [PLA chief of staff]. Peng Dehuai, who had personally expressed loyalty to Mao as commander for Red Army 3rd Corps-Conglomerate during the 1930 Futian Incident (i.e., a mutiny resulting from the Purge of Anti-Bolshevik League), never realized that he had chosen a monster as his master in the very beginning. (Mao Tse-tung attacked Peng Dehuai by invoking the death of his senior son in Korea in Nov 1950, exclaiming a famous comment: "Wasn't it true that whoever manufactured the first prototype of pottery figurine [i.e., launching the Korean Relief War] would be doomed in losing his lineage?" -- This was a silly allusion to the fact that Qin First Emperor Shihuangdi, who had terra cotta soldiers buried in his tomb, would cause his family to be exterminated by General Xiang Yu in the aftermath of the uprising against Qin Dynasty.)
By 1959, national grain output was 30 million tons less than that in year 1958, and year 1960 output was 26.5 million tons less than that of 1959. (Numbers were from Ma Hong's Economic Annals.) The peasants would later see their grains, including their own quota and seeds, surrendered to the government for meeting the inflated per acre rice or wheat productions. 27 million peasants perished in the Great Famine. Unofficial figures would run as high as 40 to 60 millions. Deng Xiaoping, the party general secretary of the time, at first refused to open the army grain reserves, saying that the army might need it should the Soviet Union or the USA invade China. Later excuses were made for the cause of the death of the peasants whose numbers were never allowed to be publicized, one excuse being the repayment of Soviet debt with the worsening of Sino-Soviet ties in 1960 and the other being that 1) peasants ate too much in the commune canteens, 2) three-year-long natural disaster, and 3) peasants melted the hoes and etc, thus having no tools for tilling the fields.
The truth, according to one Chinese who came over to US from Anhui Province, however, is that the peasants surrendered the seeds to meet the inflated quotas (so-called output satellites) and the consequent disastrous harvests in 1959-1960. This Anhui fellow-countryman talked about how the peasants in their village, after finishing up all the grass, trees, roots and leaves, ate the mud, a kind of soft mud called "Guanyin Mud" which was rumored to be specially reserved by the Guanyin (female god of mercy, bodhisattva Amitabha, one of the four Mahayanist sects in China which propagates the salvation in the 'pure land' in the west) for famine years; hordes of peasants died of swollen stomach. Wei Jingsheng, in his autobiography, had mentioned the stories told by his Anhui cousins, namely, the party apparatus, in order to meet the inflated figures, would dig deep into the ground of villagers in search of grains, and Wei mentioned that majority of people in his hometown village had died and some families were exterminated altogether. The search-and-confiscate approach, according to one account, was the consequence of a widely-held belief that peasants, who had achieved the huge output as evidenced by the 'high grain output satellite', must have hidden their grains in underground vaults.
The famine also reached the cities. Robert Shapiro had descriptions of the rations he experienced during those years. Mao himself had later ordered a cut in the meat supply (giving up his favorite soy-sauce-cooked pork meat) and planted some vegetables in his Zhongnanhai white house. In contrast with the countryside, however, at least the people in the cities still had something to eat. There is an account by an Anhui countrymen who said that he was the only kid in his village to have survived the famine because he was attending the junior high school in the township capital and was entitled to the rations for the grains while his childhood pals in the village had all perished. Prisoners, like rightists, died in batches across the country. In Yunnan Prov, having barely escaped the execution storm in 1951, Lu Keng, whose family sent in two eggs during the timeframe of 1958-1960, would be starving almost to death, only to have survived after he was offered "intensive labor grain quota" after a security official from Kunming city visited him at prison with an anti-communist leaflet which floated around in Peking capital with a similar handwriting, stating something like "People who were starved to death did not do anything wrong to the communists, whereas the communists owed the people for the death".
The harvest situation posed some ambiguity here: According to Peng Dehuai, he personally saw rice not being harvested in 1959 because manpower was sent to producing iron and steel. Mr Robert Shapiro noted, however, that grain output dropped sharply and the year 1959 was the first of the so-called 'Three Bad Years', and he blamed it partly on the repayment of the Soviet Debt (see page 144, I Chose China). However, Nikita Khrushchov did not break with the Chinese communists till July 1960 when he abruptly broke all 343 contracts under the Sino-Soviet Friendship Treaty, cancelled 257 projects, and called home 1,390 Soviet experts (see page 147, I Chose China).
I am adding the following paragraph two and a half years after I began to inquire into the causes of famine and starvation. I asked my parents what they might think the causes for starvation and death of peasants from 1959 to 1961 would be, and they, around ages of 30 during the famine years, would still use the official wording 'Three Year Natural Disaster' to describe the causes of the peasants' death. I told my parents many experts had compared the three years with the rest of China's disaster history and concluded that nothing in particular had impacted the nation on a whole scale. This shows that when the lies are said one hundred times, it would become truth. President Liu Shaoqi said in a meeting in Jan-Feb 1962 that the mistakes in prior years should be attributed to 70% human errors and 30% natural disasters. Liu was said to have told Mao that cannibalism that occurred in the GLF years would be recorded in history.
According to the new information provided by Wang Weiluo on May 12th, 2001, as shown on www.epochtimes.com, grain output decreased by 17.6% in 1959, and 1960 output decreased by 18.5%, and it would be in year 1966 that the grain output was restored to the level as seen in 1958. (Figures also available in Ma Hong's Economic Annals.) The most commonly cited cause would be
In May 1960, another 'Three Anti' movement was launched in the countryside. On Nov 7th, 1960, the army was engaged in a movement of "mediating on the class hardship and national hardship". My maternal grandparents, like all commune members, surrendered all harvested grains to the government, in accordance with government policy as to "concerted purchase & concerted sale". Few months after the launch of the Great Leap Forward, commune canteens were shut down due to shortage of grain supply, and peasants had to eat miscellaneous stuff to survive the starvation. My mother recalled that she and her classmates had to eat to their full stomach at the junior school before going home because they had nothing to eat at home at all.
Mao himself did not know that Chinese peasants were dying till September 1960 when his personal bodyguard (Wang Dongxing) read to him the letters that families of the soldiers wrote. It was said that Premier Zhou and President Liu had asked Wang to read these letters to Mao because those high-ranking officials dared not tell Mao about the peasant death. (Another saying is that President Liu had deliberately waited so long so that Mao would have to acknowledge his mistake and resign some of his posts later.) What a tragedy !!! In April of 1956, famine caused 14.6 thousand Guangxi people flee across the border. In northern Manchuria, girls and women from Sichuan Province swarmed over for marriages with repatriated officers from Korea. In 1960, No. 850 Farm on River Ussuri, one of the border farms under Wang Zhen's Agriculture Ministry, people had to steal horse's fodder for food, and hordes of people fled the farm, with the deputy farm commissar picking up pistol to chase those escapees on one occasion. One of the escapees, who borrowed half of my father's stipend, tried to persuade my father into a flee with two other pals, and then fled to nearby Jixi Coal Mining. Numerous rightists escaped from hinterland provinces for a passage to the Central Asia. On April 16, 1962, 70 thousand minority people of the Ili-Tacheng areas defected to USSR.
Different numbers occurred here as to the people who starved to death; however, the general consensus is a range of 20 to 30 million. To solve the economic crisis, CCP ordered the massive shutdown of state enterprises which decreased to a total unit of 197,000 in 1962 from 318,000 in year 1959, a cut by 38%. By August of year 1963, nationally, salaried employees were cut by 18.87 million, and in addition, the township population were cut by 26 million. Forced migration into the countryside had caused the peasant labor to increase by 57.86 million, to a total peasant labor force of 212,780,000, namely, 0.213 billion, from year 1958 to year 1962. Once in the countryside, this new influx of 57.86 million people would have to get the food from the fields by themselves.
Cruel Ruling Far Worse Than The Danger Of A Tiger
In the countryside, the Chinese peasants are born and then die on their own for thousand years. What they hope for has been a lenient government with lower taxes. A times of difficulty, the peasants resorted to forbearance and constraints, and at most take flight to secluded areas: Confucius once met an old woman who cried for the loss of her grandson, son and husband to a tiger in the mountains and asked her why she chose to live in the mountains; the old woman replied that she would rather live near the tiger than to live under the cruel exploitation by the government; and Confucius commented that the cruel ruling is far worse than the danger of a tiger. At the times of famine and natural disaster times coupled with corrupted government ruling, Chinese peasants had resorted to rebellions. (Do note that peasants did not initiate buy follow the rebellion. In history, China's dynastic substitution was mostly the results of mutiny or foreign invasion, except for Yellow Turbans of Eastern Han Dynasty and Red Turbans of Yuan Dynasty: mutiny applied to Li Zicheng & Zhang Xianzhong rebellion in late Ming Dynasty, and Xin Hai Revolution in late Qing Dynasty, as well as applies to the scenario of 1927 Communist Revolution against the Nationalist Government.)
The rebellion in late Qin Dynasty resulted in the overthrow of the first Chinese empire and the enthronement of first Chinese commoner, Liu Bang, as the founder of Han Dynasty. Later, the Red Eyebrow peasant rebellions would overthrow the Xin Dynasty (intermittent between the Former Han and Latter Han Dynasties). The Yellow Turbans crippled the Latter Han Dynasty. At the times of Mongol rule, China produced another commoner, Zhu Yuanzhuang, as the first emperor of Ming Dynasty. Ironically, Ming itself was overthrown by the hungry peasants of Shaanxi (note difference from Shanxi Province), with the emperor hanging himself inside the Forbidden City when the peasants sacked the city of Beijing. They, again, as Taiping rebels, Nian rebels, had crippled the Manchu Qing Dynasty. Chairman Mao himself, son of a small landowner, founded the People's Republic of China via the peasant rebellions by calling on the peasants to kill the landlords. The PRC was founded on the bodies and bones of peasants who stacked up the battleground to the height of city defense walls of Jinan and Taiyuan, filled up the middle and lower Yangtze River, the straits of Zhoushan and Hainan Islands, and numbered 9000 deaths on the beach of Quemoy Islands. http://bloody50.freehosting.net/Histories/Tugai/Jianwen.html exclaimed that the CCP's net was so tightly knit that no peasants could resort to rebellion during the Great Famine, even with a death toll of dozens of millions of peasants.
One reporter mentioned his visit to the peasants along the Yellow River where the people's liberation army, in tens of thousands, under General Liu Bocheng and political czar Deng Xiaoping, had crossed via the wooden boats which were carved and hidden by peasants for months, on which occasion the peasants dug dozens of canals leading to the Yellow River from respective villages along the bank and later died in hundreds sailing the PLA soldiers across the river under the bombardment of nationalist army's planes. Those peasants told the reporter that they still had nothing from the government except for the so-called "liberation medals" awarded to them for the contribution to the Yellow River Crossing. The irony here is that the communists, who considered themselves peasants' army, would trample the peasants once they obtained the power and this trampling was unheard of in Chinese history.
Misfortunes of Chinese Peasants
Misfortunes of Chinese peasants would be economic, social and political. The lack of infrastructure like running water and electricity or the lack of medical care notwithstanding, the lack of education is most crippling. For it directly suppressed the development of the brains and intelligence of masses of Chinese peasants who previously constituted over 80% of the population. In the days prior to Deng Xiaoping's reforms, majority peasants would directly fetch waters from the rivers for usage; at most they may have access to well water. The water treatment plants and running water were non-existent. In the 70s, when I visited my grandmother in a medium-size town, I would see my uncle go to the river to fetch water, while the same river would be afloat with all dirties as well as the discharges from a nearby slaughterhouse. During the "Cultural Revolution", there were some films about "barefoot doctors" who were praised to have extended medical care to those poor peasants, and it's really a joke because the barefoot doctor's medical box was equipped with some medicines for outside injuries, only. Most of my relatives in the countryside rarely saw a doctor in those times, and my impression is that every commune which usually housed its administration in the biggest town of that particular commune, might have just one clinic. I myself, in order to do X-ray, would have to travel a distance to the clinic in the commune. But peasants never have the free medical care system as available to the city dwellers, and peasants had to pay for any treatment. Recently, the peasants in my grandparents' place began to receive from the government 15 Chinese yuan per month as a retirement subsidy. It was said that peasants in other provinces do not have this benefit yet.
Education would be the most important issue to be discussed. In the 50s, there seemed to be only one or two junior middle school in any county near Shanghai, and situations in inner provinces couldn't be much bleaker. My mother would become the first one to attend a junior middle school in the county and the price she paid would be walking a dozen Chinese lis (2 li = 1 kilometer) every day for school attendance. Later in my times, late 70s, in every commune there would exist one junior high school and some large communes might have some senior high school, but there were only two key senior high schools in the whole county in early 80s. Statistics show that China might have more than 250-300 million (or 0.25-0.3 billion) illiterate or semi-literate, and most of them are peasants and their kids.
In early 80s, limited number of city-level key senior high schools were open to disadvantaged countryside students on boarding basis. Encouraged by the news, I would often study till 2-3 am at night for the competitive entrance exam. I would be one of the two kids who had left for the city-level key senior high school in that year, after quite some frustrations. As a student from the countryside, I would take my entrance exam in the commune where I lived closest to, and I was said to have scored No 4 in the whole county. However, the county's education board, monopolized by people of connections in township capital, had deliberately left out me and sent a dozen of their own kids to city-level key senior high schools. My father would later travel to the city to complain to such party propaganda organs as Wen Hui Bao newspaper, and my parents also went to see principals of city-level key senior high schools, separately, and I finally entered the city-level key senior high school where my father had attended in the 50s, with the help of a school director who had worked on the same post since 50s. My name would be manually added to the class roster every time a new roster was used. Up to today, the county's education official who determined my fate is still in charge and corruption should still be rampant there.
After so many years, I had occasionally reflected on this episode of history, and said to myself that I would never have continued onto the college and later studied in America if I had forfeited the chance to enter the city-level key senior high school. Should I fail to come to USA, this website would never been set up and the bitterness and hardship of the Chinese peasants (who at this moment might be still sleeping in tens of thousands in and around the train stations in big cities like Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing, dubbed "Mang Liu", the aimless drifters who are actually the migrant peasant workers coming to the big city's construction site to sell their labor) would never be heard.
Phenomenon Of Subdivided Houses
In the cities, there had ensued a temporary vacancy when the capitalists, the landlords and wealthy people as well as common people, numbering over 2 million, followed the ex-KMT government all the way to Taiwan. There were stupid people during the time of power change. One adopted son of my great grandfather went out on a buying spree after borrowing life savings of my great grandfather and he took over large patches of land from fleeing landowners.
Meanwhile, the communist soldiers and the logistic support columns, who had originally enrolled in the People's Liberation Army (PLA) as peasants from the countryside in northern China, had been steadily migrating into cities. The workers on the docks of Shanghai or the women workers in the textile factories, and people living in the slum areas, i.e., Gundilong in Shanghai, would become official residents of the city. The inflow of peasants into the cities had much to do with the communist practice in recruiting those peasants for the earlier war efforts. Numerous reports point to the peasants being used as human shields in attacking the cities. On records would be that the logistical peasants, two to three times the number of the million strong PLA army, had been dispatched to battlefields, and those peasants marched from north to south alongside the PLA soldiers. Some communist films depicted the PLA soldiers dating or adultery with the so-called city bourgeoisie girls. Their countryside wives came to the cities to find out that they were dumped. In the 50s and 60s, city girls had a fashion of marrying soldiers because of the stable income and political career those soldiers will bring with them. (Note one more thing: In China's constitution, the wives do not have the right to divorce their army husbands.)
After the capitalists and the landlords, the nationalists and their followers, had mostly left the cities for Taiwan or elsewhere for fear of the communists, the influx of people would occupy the vacant houses and divide up the houses. That's why today there are still many families living in quarters of big detached houses in those extra-territorial districts of Shanghai, a phenomenon called subdivided houses. Certainly, most wealthy families had surrendered their houses to the government in the early 50s. The in-law families of two of my aunts had quite some properties which were donated to the communist government. Later in the 80s, some of those confiscated houses were returned to the heirs of the landlords for purpose of attracting overseas capital, and even the Hongkong-Shanghai Bank building was vacated for their old master. Ironically, the countryside landowners were mostly shot to death and nobody would be able to make a claim even if the communist government had the sincerity to return the confiscated land.
Certainly, the best detached houses were mostly distributed to high, middle or lower ranking communist officials. Example, Wei Jingshen's father, a PLA officer, had been distributed a detached house in Peking. One cousin of my grandfather, who, with his brother, were mere kids in late 30s playing with my grandfather's pistol but enrolled in underground communist party in late 40s, would now be distributed a detached house in the former foreign settlements. He, with the help of his contractor-father for St. John's University, had first worked as a mail sorter and gate keeper at the university and then joined ranks with the revolutionary students. His detached house would be confiscated during the cultural revolution when he and his St. John's gang were classified as traitors. After the end of the cultural revolution, as a kind of restoration of fame, he would get a piece of another detached house on the Huaihai Road, not far away from today's American and French consulates. The characteristics of this early time period of communist power is that whoever occupied or homestead-occupied a house or portion of a house would be the likely user (not owner as communist doctrines forbid property ownership) and whoever moved fast enough to get registered in the communist "household registration system" would likely become the "permanent resident" of the particular locality.
There ensued a second wave of "subdivided houses" when the "Cultural Revolution" started in 1966. Communist government, knowing that "foreign connections" meant for money, deliberately allowed some selected multi-national corporations [including Shell, British Chemicals, HK-Shanghai Bank] to continue their operations inside of China. Hence, quite some foreigners and their Chinese employees continued to enjoy the bourgeoisie lifestyle throughout the next 17 years, unscathed by numerous purge and persecution movements against so-called "national bourgeoisie". Zheng Nian, i.e., the author of "Life And Death In Shanghai", had detailed description of her kick-out experiences in July 1966. After she was set free six years later, she would find out that only two rooms on the second floor of her detached house would be returned. Worse than that would be the fact that communists converted the residents at the subdivided detached house into spies on Zheng Nian. Zheng Nian spent the next eight years relentlessly seeking for the truth of her daughter's "suicide" [i.e., murder by the "cultural revolution committee Shanghai branch"]. (A graduate of London Economics Institute [1935-1938], Zheng Nian married Zheng Kangqi who was ROC legation officer to Britain. When communist troops took over Shanghai in 1949, CCP cadre Zhang Hanfu persuaded Zheng Kangqi into a stay as a foreign affairs adviser. Zheng Nian herself returned to China with her daughter from Sidney, Australia. Zheng Kangqi left for the general manager post at Shell shortly afterward, and Zheng Nian took charge of some business operations at Shell after her husband passed away in 1957.)
By the time the Korea War ended, the communist government would implement the "Household Registration System" for sake of stemming further human migrations from the "lower" levels to the "higher" levels, namely, the countryside vs township, or the inner province vs. coastal area. Sensing a tightening of human population controls, some wise guys left China in early 50s for HK, the port still open to the outside world (without the requirement of a passport, just like old Shanghai during the times of extraterritoriality). Soon, the communist government would set up border post to restrict human outflows. The HK route would be shut off soon; however, Premier Zhou could somehow still be able to make arrangement for his relatives and a few family members of renowned nationalist party leaders and generals to leave China for Taiwan via HK. Those who stayed on in China would see their ex-colleague of 1930s, Jiang Qing (Mao's unofficial wife), to become the director of the cultural revolution committee in late 60s and prey on them to avenge the old feuds (as competing actress) or love and hate (as old mistress).
Chinese City-Dwellers & The Pyramid Scheme
Among the city-dwellers, the caste society will see further classifications and divisions inside the pyramid. First, the communist cadres will be divided into 25 levels, with the top level being the party general secretary, the party central committee chairman, the military committee chairman of the party, the presidents, and the premiers. It shouldn't be a surprise to have 4-5 vice premiers or vice-chairmen in the CCP apparatus, and it is commonplace for a city to possess one mayor and several vice-mayors, and each level of divisions, like bureau, division and department of city governing body, and county and its communes, to have multiple vice-heads. After all, the communist system is a bureaucratic system.
When Chairman Mao organized the military in late 20s, he had devised a system of multiple leadership, dubbed "Democratic Concentration System". Mao certainly borrowed some concepts from the nationalists whose system was first set up under Mikhail Borodin, a Comintern deputy sent by Lenin to Dr. Sun Yat-sen. Mao would insert a party secretary in each level of military commands beginning from the captains or the company equivalent. Thus, the communist military would have a party czar or gestapo beside the captain, major, lieutenant colonel, colonel, brigadier, major general, lieutenant general, and general. It's a dual responsibility to insure that "Party Directs The Gun Barrel" as the Mao saying goes. This duality would extend to all civil and administrative systems of Chinese society after they took over power in 1949. In each school and college, factory and mine, government branch and police unit, commercial unit and trade organization, there would always exist a dual leadership, namely an administrative head and a party gestapo. Examples, in the city-level key senior high school, we have the principal and his vice-heads as well as the party secretary called "Teaching Director". In the college where I spent four years in 80s, there was the party branch with party secretaries and vice-secretaries on the college level and on the department level, respectively.
In correspondence with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) structure in Beijing, the college level and department level party secretaries, not shadow leaders at all, are full-time professionals who are in charge of their own party apparatus which includes the "Division of Organization" etc, mirroring the "Ministry of Organization" of CCP in Beijing, said to be the arm in charge of training special agents, maybe overlapping some activities of the State Security Ministry. (The predecessor of State Security Ministry would be the 'Central Investigation Department' of CCP, a department in charge of assassinations and sabotage, with heads like Gu Shunzhang, Xiang Zhongfa, Deng Fa and Li Kenong.)
Note CCP has three ministries, i.e., Ministry of Organization, Ministry of Propaganda and Ministry of United Front. They are, in levels of bureaucracy and officialdom, equivalent to the seven ministries and/or committees of the State Council, including Ministries of Foreign Affairs, National Defense, Public Security, Justice, Finance, Planning Commission, and the People's Bank of China. CCP possesses a Politburo with party general secretary, an academy called 'CCP Central Party Academy', a Central Military Committee that is in charge of Defense Ministry of the State Council, a CCP secretariat (equivalent to State Council's secretariat), a party general secretary office, a rotating committee of party members across the country, a standing committee of selected party members, and a CCP "discipline committee". In the State Council, aside from each and every minister and deputy ministers, there would be assigned a so-called position of 'CCP Section Secretary'.
As to the workers, i.e., the general designation for people who work in factories, in mines, in shops, and in party or government apparatus, there would be levels like group head and vice heads, workshop head and vice heads etc. They are further divided into eight (8) levels, and every level of workers would enjoy different privileges and treatments as to housing and subsidy etc. In comparison with workers in towns and big cities, those working on military farms, oilfields and in mines fared just a little better than the peasants in that they were salaried while the peasants are not. However, working conditions for workers in mines are precarious. Once every few months, news of mine blasts or cave-in leaked to the outside world, with hundreds of miners dead. (In June 2000, there was a news report of government prosecution of a group of mine leaders who had deliberately created cave-ins and explosions to kill the contracted peasant miners for sake of insurance claims.) In one sense, the workers working in the oilfields and mines are not much better than those convicts who were sent to the border areas in ancient times, and once they were dispatched there, their residency register would get revoked by the towns where they originally dwelled. We noticed occasional "reciprocal-relocation", namely, one family in the oilfield of Shaobo in Jiangsu Province might switch with another family in some oilfield in New Dominion Province because they mutually agreed to do so. Other than that, the workers in the oilfields and mines, together with their descendants, are likely to stay put for the foreseeable future.
Privileges and treatments are really the game here. By creating different classes and levels in the caste society, the Chinese communists intend to offer one small level of people more incentives for serving the upper level of a small handful while suppressing the lower level of the masses. By not adopting the great civil services exam of imperial China which had been prevalent form of selection of administrators of China for 1500 years (not counting the university system set up in Han Dynasty), the CCP had resorted to the most wicked way of ruling, namely, nepotism, corruption and hypocrisy. To order to get promoted to a higher level, CCP members are constantly engaged in activities of serving the small handful at upper levels while suppressing the lower level of the masses. That's why we had and have the rampant corruption, bribery and cheating on the part of officials, and the inefficiency and waste of resources inside the government. (E.g., Year 2000 saw the vice-chairman of the Chinese Political Consultative Committee imprisoned.) The army is no exception. It was engaged in widespread profiteering, in cases of smuggling, nightclubs, and human organ joint ventures with American company. Jiang politburo had finally cracked down on the army by ordering them to be divested of commercial interests in year 1999. The police is no exception, either. In a documentary with similar name to "Miami Vice", i.e., "Shanghai Mice", we saw the widespread heroin trafficking, distribution and usage in China, mostly facilitated by the naturally-born tradesmen from the Afghanistan and Xinjiang areas (in addition to the supply from the Delta in Thai-Burmese-Yunnan areas), while the police fought an losing as well as apathetic battle. It was said that many counters in cities (owned by small proprietary business owners) are dealing with drugs as a more profitable alternative business these days. And, it's not rare to see couples being drug addicts together in Chinese families these days. We noticed occasional display of public destruction of plagiarized CDs and tapes, but rarely saw communists publicly burning cocaine and heroin as Governor Lin Zexu of Manchu Qing Dynasty did prior to the Opium War. (The above statements were written in late 1998 and early 1999, and we do give credit to Jiang Politburo for publicly burning heroin across the country on June 25th 2000.)
Town & Country Administration Layout, & Civilian-Army Equivalence
In America, we have the words "town and country" for the two facets of life in the cities and in the countryside. In China, the two words would be "cheng" (city or town) and "xiang" (countryside). An examination of the administrative system all over the world will yield the same result, namely, larger administrative unit overseeing the smaller one, except in China. China, before 1949, used the same administrative layout as the rest of the world, or in another sense, China acted as an example or model for neighboring countries like Korea, Japan and Vietnam in the areas of administration. In Korea and Japan, there still exists the administrative unit of "dao" or "do" (first adopted by Tang Dynasty's emperor Taizhong who redivided the nation into 10 Daos after conquering both Eastern Turkic Khanate and the Western Turkic Khanate) combining two or three provinces in China but just two or more prefectures in Korea or Japan, as exemplified by Japanese island of Hokkaido. People in Taiwan and in Japan, in addressing recipients living in either Tokyo or Taipei, would first write the name of the county and then the name of city, like the order of Taipei County and then Taipei City. This is the ancient Chinese system, first adopted by Qin Dynasty's first emperor Shihuang who devised thirty-six Jun, prefectures or commandaries (which would be the configurations for Han Dynasty's commandaries and so on).
However, the communists, deeply rooted in its hostility towards the peasants (whom Chairman Mao had praised as the true force in moving the history), possibly as a result of knowledge of its destructive force to an existing regime, would be intent on maintaining the dictatorship at all costs. They inverted the administrative system by initiating the leadership of town and city over the countryside, an exception not seen in history ever.
What the communist system did was to have a city control the multiple counties around it. Examples: For thousand years, the city or town of Suzhou (Suchow) had been under the county of Wuxian; however, in communist system, the city of Suzhou would supervise the county of Wu Xian plus several other counties in the region, including the county of Kunshan. The supervision of city over county would mean that county heads would have to report to the city mayor of Suzhou.
Kunshan county head was recently promoted to the peer of Suzhou mayor via a re-organization: Kunshan county was recently upgraded to the level as a city, just like many other upgrades the communists had promoted. After all, two thousand years of Chinese history talked extensively about the schemes of "winning promotion and getting rich" via the officialdom. When Kunshan county of Suzhou city was upgraded to a city, all officials, big and small, get lifted one level higher, thus enjoying better officialdom treatment in wages, cars, housing and other privileges. Likewise, the county of Jiading (an ancient town which once endured three rounds of Manchu slaughters) was upgraded into a municipal district under Shanghai city, with the result being that the Jiading township residents would now enjoy the so-called "city residence register", not tradable yet with the counterpart "city households" in Shanghai proper due to the restrictiveness of the communist caste system we discussed earlier.
County heads and usually several vice heads reporting to the city mayors, the essence here is the priority and scale of authority and caste-level. Chinese communist regime's nature is self-apparent here in that it treats city and the city-dwellers as a higher class in comparison with the peasants in the countryside. Whenever a county is elevated to a city, the word used will be "shengji", literally meaning rising to a higher level, which is derived from the incarnation conceptualization in the Buddhism. By making the county heads reporting to the city mayor who cares nothing about the agriculture industry and the peasants' welfare, the system just serves the purpose of perfecting the pyramid layout.
For the cadres, the system will decree that the county head is equivalent to the district chief of a city, thus enjoying the same treatment and benefits in housing, wages and vehicle service etc. Moreover, the caste system decrees that the PLA army colonel is equivalent to the status of that of a county head or a city district chief, paving the way for transfer to civilian services without losing the treatment and benefits accommodating each level while inside the army. This is to ensure that the bureaucrats and army officers would forever enjoy the same treatment and benefits no matter they are in the army or in civil services. For ordinary soldier veterans, they would be usually guaranteed employment. They, once graduated from the army as a CCP member, would be usually assigned positions in the security department of either government apparatus or business entities, and they would be indispensable component of the CCP apparatus in controlling the non-CCP-member populace. When Falungong claimed to beat the membership of CCP, the panic in Zhongnanhai's CCP nucleus was understandable.
"CowSheds", May 7th Cadre School & 'Educated Youth' Generation
The psychological animosity towards & disparagement of peasants by communists will be best exemplified by the usage of countryside as a place of banishment. Forced re-education of intellectuals and deposed political rivals in the so-called cowsheds and the May 7th cadre schools was the punishment those communist victims undertook, should those people being punished be lucky enough to have survived the beatings and persecutions in the first place. China's president Liao Shaoqi did not survive and he died in a small cell in the countryside, wrapped up by the dirty straw mat. Cowsheds, i.e., niu peng, is a derogatory designation for the places of confinement, not necessarily in a true cowsheds in the countryside, where the so-called niugui sheshen (cow ghosts and snake spirits, words first used by Mao in the Anti-Rightist Movement in late 50s) would labor in the fields, write self-criticisms, study party propaganda and clean up brains. In early stages of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), intellectuals and defeated political rivals would first spend their time in some cowsheds set up locally before they were massively shipped over to some concentration camps called "May 7th Cadre School" located in far away regions and provinces. May 7th Cadre School was named after Mao's poster on May 7th, 1968 in which Mao instructed that "vast number of cadres should be transferred to do manual labor in the countryside ... Cadres at their posts should be transferred in turn to the countryside to do manual labor."
For the intellectuals and defeated political rivals, going to May 7th Cadre Schools is not a matter of to and fro "in turn". As illustrated by the poor Rightists from 1958, those people would have their "Hukou Ben" (residence register) revoked from their towns and cities, and they would become just peasants themselves. "The Red Mirror", a book written by Chihua Wen and published by Westview Press in 1995, contains narratives from a dozen peoples from the time period of the cultural revolution, and one narrator recalled how one uncle was transformed into a family of peasants from a manager of a large petrochemical company in 1958. I myself have classmates whose parents were originally sent to the countryside as rightists. When I read the economic chronicles of China, I noticed one more thing about the modern banishment, namely, Mao and his cronies resorted to countryside banishment as a means of solving unemployment and underemployment in times of economic hardship.
Today, China's communist government pay salaries and subsidies to city dwellers, only. China's unemployment rate never counted the peasants. Among the census data of about 1.3-1.5 billion Chinese, 70-80 percent of China's population were peasants. Note that 20% of the Chinese peasants were unemployed, and that's equivalent to 160-200 million peasants. Southern China is said to be in need of 10 million labor at the present. Right after the Spring Festival of every year, 5.3 million peasant coolies would stream out of Canton train station, and about 100 thousand of them slept on the train station every night. While a city dweller might receive a couple hundred Chinese dollars as subsidy for doing nothing, countryside folks usually would not make much better income than the city subsidy after paying up the cost of seeds and fertilizer as well as surrendering various forms of taxes and levies.
On Dec 22, 1968, after the Red Guards lost the value of utilization, Mao sent a new Marching order. People's Daily would carry Mao's words that "school graduates will be going to the countryside to get re-educated by the peasants". Between 1968 and 1972, over 4 million youths nationwide (different statistical method showing different numbers and amounting to 20 million Red Guards in one report), barely graduated from junior high schools (because their schooling was interrupted by the cultural revolution which started two years earlier), would be sent to the countryside and the remote border provinces or hinterland areas. Among my father's five half brothers and half sisters, three would be dispatched, to Aksu military farm of New Dominion Province, to Yunnan Province bordering Burma, and to Inner Mongolia, respectively. The communist policy was to allow only one kid to stay with parents; my grandma was lucky in one thing: she had given the second youngest girl to some family in the town as "baby wife" in the 50s and hence not counted as her children. As to my father, he had been previously sent to River Amur to farm the land with the Chinese People's Volunteers repatriated from Korea in late 50s. It was not a long time ago, in the summer of 1966, when over 2 million youths traveled to Peking to be received by Mao and they had a really merry and happy time, free meals, free hotels and free tickets and took the time in visiting whatever cities, the sights and historic relics they wished to see, all for free. Now they would pay back and they would regret and repent in the countryside for at least ten years and would fail to recover their city residence register even after the end of the cultural revolution.
By late 1970s, the new communist policy, initially, would be to allow only single, divorced and unmarried 'youths' to return to the cities , and a wave of divorce followed in which husbands and wives, both youths sent to the countryside but usually from different towns/cities or one party locally born in the countryside and the other party sent from the towns/cities, would separate under false promises of re-marriages in the future or go through straightforward divorce. Years later, the moral impact would still be felt and children of those youths would be the victims, some of whom found their way into cities and visited their parents who usually had remarried with some step-parents. Some TV series had depicted about those poor kids, another lost generation, I would say. By late 70s, the newly arrived oversupply of labor, 'educated youth' generation from the countryside, would also compel Deng into launching some reforms which would allow those unemployed to open up restaurants, clothing shops and small businesses along the streets, something to change the face of old cities overnight.
Undoubtedly, Mao and his communists use the manual labor as a means of punishment rather something of glory as the propaganda goes. Their psychology towards peasants and manual labor in the countryside is obviously that of disparagement. The populace psychology in the cities is understandably that of inferiority vs. superiority, and the word the city folks use for the peasants would be "Ah Xiang", namely, bumpkins. The populace attitude could be said to have been vindicated by the regime's treatment of the peasant class. The discrimination will never be eliminated unless the regime change its policies which created the caste society in the first place.
Social Ladder For Peasants - Joining PLA
There is a need to touch on the most important ladder for the young men to leave the nest of the countryside. That will be the enrolment in the PLA (people's liberation army). Majority of the army recruits happened to be poor country boys who desired a change of life, and in one instance, the border war of 1979 with Vietnam, hundreds of country boys from my neighboring countries were killed, largely as a result of the PLA's usual way of drafting soldiers from a particular region and province and ship them altogether to a region and province in the opposite direction. Once in the army, they will become a graduate of party after training and brainwashing, with the possibility of either being sent back to the hometown communes as party leaders and successors or being relocated to the cities or state enterprises (like mines and oilfields) as policing or security cadres. Once graduated from the army, those ex-soldiers would enjoy lifetime benefits that would not be available to ordinary peasants. Among my countryside uncles, two had enrolled in the army. My elder uncle went to Korea in early 50s; he was injured by a bullet in the waist; after working as a coolie for North Korea for 4 years after the end of Korea War, he returned to his hometown in Jan 1958; and he forfeited government subsidy after losing his "disability certificate" which was never replaced by the government. The other uncle, after serving the army, had later been relocated to the county capital's center for frozen food management and hence enjoyed lifetime salaries while his wife would be responsible for tilling the fields for all those years and still today. The war veterans would enjoy a lifetime benefits in government subsidies that were not available to peace-time veterans. The communist system devised several levels of 'compensation': the Red Army Veteran, the 3-8 Rifle Veterans (namely, those who fought in the Anti-Japanese War during WWII), the Liberation Veterans, and the Korean War Veterans etc. Recent government adjustment of inflation coefficients would see those veterans' benefit increased as well. After the return of HK to China, my mother's elder brother got his retirement income raised to 600 yuan per month, a boost partially attributed to the surplus funds as a result of death of majority Red Army Veteran and 3-8 Rifle Veterans.
Going to the army happened to be the channel for kids of the "prince or princess party", too. Those kids from high ranking officials, in order to escape the yoke of their foolishly following Mao's call in going to the mountains and countryside during the cultural revolution, would be granted priorities in army recruitment. Army happens to be the above-all special channel for personnel trafficking as the army officers and their family members could play the procedural manipulations for transfers to and from different localities in the nation, a technique used to bypass the restrictions of the caste society we discussed earlier. Though many generals were criticized and deprived of rights in the cultural revolution, they still retained quite some influence in the army, and they helped out each other's kids by granting recruitment of their prince or princess and thus liberating them from the mountains and countryside where they were learning from the peasants as Mao had said. After several years in the army, they would relocate to the big cities where they originally belonged.
To find out how many retired army soldiers had relocated to the cities, we would just need to go to the college and university to find those people who occupy the positions as party branch secretaries, security cadres and education directors. It would not be strange to find that a large percentage of China's government officials, no matter in the executive or judicial or legal branch, happened to be army veterans.
ENDNOTE: Recent economic reform had led to a phenomenon of "mercenary" type of army recruiting in China. At about year 2003 or earlier, People's Liberation Army endorsed a policy of one time payout of about RMB20,000 [approx US$2,500] for recruiting the countryside youths with high school graduation. Apparently, the government was having difficulty recruiting soldiers without offering some incentives. With or without the incentive, peasant kids had always comprised of the bulk of the army. In one sense, the communists had employed the peasant background army as some sort of "mercenary" army in the same way as historical dynasties in China and elsewhere in the world, including Tang Dynasty's hiring the Shatuo Turks and the Tanguts, Han Dynasty's hiring the Qiangs and Yuezhi, American's hiring the French vs. British's hiring the Germans during the independence war, Ottoman Empire's hiring the young Greeks, Egyptian's hiring the Mamluks, and ancient Spain's hiring the Slavs [i.e., slaves]. Incidentally, the bloody crackdown during the "June 4th Massacre" could be said to be an illustrative example of the regime's utilization of a "slave" or "mercenary" army.
The Chinese Peasants' Blood Selling Saga & AIDS Epidemic
There was a report saying that a deputy minister of health of China had disclosed that some underground blood collection stations had used 'backward' methods in extracting blood from peasants in hinterland provinces around 1995 and that about 30,000 to 50,000 peasants had contracted AIDS as a result of 'blood donation'.
I first read about Chinese peasants' blood selling saga and their possibly contracting the AIDS as a result of unsterilized needles in year 1999. People may say the internet was so powerful in propagation of news. However, propagation alone does not matter. What is important will be people's minds. When the people do not care about the poor peasants who contracted AIDS as a result of blood selling, how could you expect the news to generate a ripple on people's minds? For the city-borns, it would not be strange to find some relatives of them contracting contagious diseases such as hepatitis during blood fusion in Chinese hospitals. The media monopolized by the government certainly would not allow this kind of news to spread. After I read a bit, I had found out that some Henan Province reporters had already visited Shang'cai County in October, 1999 to investigate the AIDS epidemic. But the Henan communist leaders suppressed the news from the beginning. More reporters followed the path. The reporters noted numerous tombs of the AIDS victims throughout villages they visited. One reporter said he visited Wenlou Village, Shang'cai County in December, 1999, and he wrote a report that was circulated among the members of the Standing Committee of the Henan Branch of the Chinese Communist Party. This reporter described the blood selling situations in China's hinterland like this:
"In Wenlou Village, a family of 8 sons and 2 daughters had sold blood. The eldest of the ten children of this big family would be around age 50, while the youngest daughter around age 30. The eldest brother was the first to sell blood, and then the 2nd and 4th brothers followed. Then the whole family and the children of the 10 brothers and sisters joined the rank. When the reporter visited the 4th son of the family, he was told by the wife that they had over a dozen family members lying on the bed and that she herself had contracted AIDS as well."
How sad it is to see Henan Province, the cradle of Shang China and its language and civilization, obliterated by AIDS as a result of poor peasants' selling blood for mere survival !
In China, there was and is only nominal blood 'donation'. I remembered that my mother would go to the hospital in the 70s to undergo a so-called 'glorious blood donation' for which she would be paid a dozen Chinese yuan plus two or three bun-like cakes. Being an ignorant as well as starving kid, I would have no hesitation to take the cake from mother and finish it with a few bites. My mother would later tell me that blood donation was something assigned by the leaders of their working units. For big working units, the likelihood of being picked for blood donation would be rare, but for small working units, people were more likely to be required to go to the hospital for blood donation. The blood donation in China is a business, not some donation like the Red Cross. People may ask what kind of society China had degraded into? What I could tell you folks would be the fact that there is no philanthropy in China today. Before the communist takeover, there had existed at least three kinds of venues for people to make donations: Christian churches, Buddhist monasteries and the native Chinese temples of earth (i.e., 'Tu Di Miao'). The communist power swept everything away. (Fortunately, the Temple of Earth and the Temple of Heaven in Peking were left intact.) The Cultural Revolution of the 1960-70s and the subsequent materialistic pursuits as a result of the economic reforms had made the Chinese society into something selfish and apathetic.
Peasant Women Suicide Rate In China
It was not a secret that China's peasant women often resorted to suicides as a solution to their oppressed status in the caste society. Peasant women often took their lives by means of usually pesticides called 'Di Di Wei' (namely, a sarcastic brand name of 'enemy enemy scared') and poisons for rats etc. As we know, across the world, men are more prone to suicides, but in China, peasant women took the abnormally high proportion versus the male population.
The World Health Organization is paying more and more attention to peasant women suicides in China. China's newspapers had reported on this phenomenon. In China, suicides happened to be the No. 1 cause for deaths among the age group of 15 to 34, with a percentage rate of 19%. Nationwide, suicidal rate is 3.6% of all deaths. Per news report, Huilongguan Hospital of Beijing estimated that 287,000 Chinese successfully committed suicides per year and that 2,000,000 failed their first suicide attempts. Moreover, Chinese women suicides are 25% more than the male population. Among those women, peasant women are 3-4 folds more than city women who committed suicides.
The abnormally high proportion is a direct result of peasant women's lowest status quo in the Chinese caste society. Two developments in regards to women did not contribute to betterment of women's well-being in general. One would be communist policy in regards to "women emancipation", namely, women, no longer foot-binded, could make a living via employment. A political slogan for this kind of Chinese feminism would be "Chinese women propping up half of the skies". The other advantage would be China's increasingly frightful male-female ratio, which was reportedly 116.86-100.00 for new-borns in year 2000. (Hainandao Island was said to be like 135.64-100.00) The dwindling supply of women, however, does not lead to a uplift of women's social status in an immoral society with proliferation of prostitution and abuse of women. And exacerbating it would be the overseas export of Chinese women who never hesitated to leave the Chinese continent at the first opportunity possible, whether it is some unknown Pacific island or another destination of unknown name. The system is to be blamed !
National Integration Or Further Segregation
Back in 1999, numerous publications had touched on the topic of China's migrant workers. Inside of Orville Schell & David Shambaugh's "The China Reader" [published by Random House Inc of New York in 1999] would be Cheng Li's article entitled "200 Million Mouths Too Many: China's Surplus Rural Labor". Mirror Books, in 2001, published Bai Shazhou's book "From Slave to Second-Class Citizen: The Peasants of Modern China".
National Integration Or Further Segregation
Cheng Li had first published the said article in 1997 under the title of "Rediscovering China: Dynamics and Dilemmas of Reform". At the time, he was talking about 100 million unemployed "peasants “of mid-1990s. Cheng Li had been dialectic in his discussions, without going either to the boom camp or the bust camp. On the one side, sociologist Jack Goldstone made the argument that "China's surplus laborers and internal migration pose a major threat to the country's political stability and economic growth" and prediction that China was to have a "terminal crisis" within the next ten to fifteen years. On the other side, Chinese demographer Gu Shengzu claimed that "flow of surplus laborers is a key step in China's transition from a dual to a modern economy, from a backward agrarian country to an industrialized state" and predicted that "the ongoing internal migration will affect China's national integration constructively" and "will contribute to the formation of a civil society [Dorothy Solinger's ver]".
In retrospect, we could tell neither camp was all right or all wrong. China is not a "civil society" but still a caste society; China underwent further polarization than a "national integration"; China might be "industrialized" but still acted as more a "world's factory" while inhibiting domestic consumer demand; China was a 'modern' economy that was still on shaky financial, banking and political foundations; and China's "terminal crisis" has trucked along on the only premise that Chinese peasants continue to be obedient and disciplined coolies. (Incidentally, communists did know how to get bug fixed via expedient way, e.g., solving the "terminal crisis" in Chinese banking systems by offering the Wall Street conglomerates a stake 20% to as high as 50% [a secretive number that might be acceptable to the commie for saving their face]".)
Cheng Li talked about the "cleanup campaigns" by the communists in the 1990s and pointed out that Shanghai government had caught 500 migrants in a single day should those lack either of the three cards, i.e., identification, temporary residence, and work permit. Separately, Cheng Li mentioned the routing of "Zhejiang Village" by Peking City Police and the 1995 intervention by Shenzhen City Police in disputes between locals and migrants. At the same time the government and police erected the guidelines to inhibit the migration of peasants, the real estate boom in coastal China had loosened the rules somewhat. As Cheng Li stated, Shanghai alone, in a matter of years, had witnessed over 1000 skyscrapers, a new tunnel, a city wide subway system, circular overpass highway, and two suspension bridges over the Huangpu River. Once the projects were over, i.e., the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Yaohan Building, among other things, the migrants were kicked out of the city right away. By 2002, a refined "temporary residency card" tied to the "national id card system" was to be implemented in Shanghai and further across the metropolitan towns and cities across the country.
Some reader questioned my statement in regards to calling the shot of caste as to China's society. My reply: "Unfortunately, China's problems only got worsened now than before, contrary to maybe wishful thinking. China's communists know no shame. They only know how to hide their dirty linens underneath their beautiful clothes. Why is the matter getting worse? Because Shanghai, beginning from year 2002, adopted the same rascal policy as Shenzhen and Beijing. Shanghai now requires so-called temporary residency card. Police could stop any person on the street for checking this ID. Police could throw any migrant into the van and send it to detention center. Recent newspaper report stated that some businessman was caught in Minhang area, thrown into a police van, trucked to Zhuanqiao's detention center, rerouted to Shanghai's dispatch center, and then packed into train with other migrants for their hometown province. --This only reminds me of the Nazi train that carried the Jewish victims for gas chambers, and I hope that this reader will someday realize the seriousness of the Chinese problem as well as the apathy of the privileged class." Half a dozen years had passed, but the fate of Chinese peasants remain the same. Whereas, the China's "economic miracle" had become an established 'buzz word'. Chinese, both on mainland China and overseas, were immersed in the ecstasy of being an "economic superpower". Some series of books were published, including a title called "China Could Say No" [by Song Qiang, Zhang Zangzang, Qiao Bian]. The "strategists" in Pentagon, meantime, had been blowing the whistle of an impending "Chinese military threat" that was assumed to an inevitable product of "economic expansion". There is no truth in any suggestion of impending "Chinese military threat" or in any existence of a Chinese national strategy of "asymmetry growth" as some folks in the Western news media proposed, i.e., Joshua Cooper Ramo's asymmetrical strategy. Chinese communists, no matter in the government or in the business or in the army, are plainly busy pursuing money, women, power and pleasure. The more they enjoy, the more cowardly, selfish and corrupt they would become.
A Fast Collapse Or A Chinese Century
At the same time when some people sing the tune of "Chinese economic powerhouse" and "Chinese military menace", numerous others had continued to talk about the impending "Chinese collapse".
Martin Vandeer Wylder, in 22 January 2005 edition of "Spectator", ridiculed the possibly concocted or orchestrated "Chinese military threat" by pointing out that "militarily, on the other hand, China is very big, at least in one sense — and it has unresolved territorial issues over Taiwan (which the US might feel obliged to defend) and the South China Sea that might one day lead to conflict. According to a helpful public website provided by the CIA, China has 208,143,352 men between the ages of 15 and 49 who are fit for conscript military service. But only 2.5 million of them are permanently in uniform, many of their senior officers are busy making fortunes in real estate, the defense budget is surprisingly small because Beijing is so bad at collecting taxes, and the national stock of long-range missiles of the sort which really make you a global player numbers only about 20, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies. That would make a pretty short fireworks display compared with what America has in its armory."
Communist China, like the 100-feet centipede Manchu China, might just drag and haul along the way for one hundred years if lucky enough not to have a bust. With a billion people on the subsistence level under both the exploitation of both domestic and international oppressors, China would not have a real boom when majority of her people are poor. In the first half of the 20th century, Harold Isaacs stated, in chapter 2 of his book 'The Tragedy of The Chinese Revolution', "More than three-quarters of China's population, ..., depend upon the land for their livelihood. The problems of these millions are the problem of China. Their poverty is China's poverty. ..." The same picture rings true for the billion Chinese peasants of the 21st century. Boom or bust, neither might turn into reality in the foreseeable future. The prevalent anticipation of a fast collapse of the Chinese communist regime had naively ignored two elements that applied and did not to the collapse of the Soviet Union, respectively:
What is the American hypocrisy this webmaster was referring to here? It was the hypocritical nature of America's Open Door Policy for China, which was originally an idea sold to the Americans by the British career customs officer working in Manchu China's customs office. The reason that China should remain open to all powers, in the opinion of the U.S. president Thomas Woodrow Wilson, was that the 'white civilization' and its domination in the world rested largely on the ability to keep China intact, in the sense that should China fall completely under the Japanese [or the Tsarist Russian or someone else] influence, then the massive Chinese manpower could be utilized like by Genghis Khan to conquer the world. This was the theme of the Yellow Peril, which was inverse to what the British ambassador claimed to Albert Wedemeyer during WWII that a strong and unified China would pose a threat to the Whitemen’s position in the Far East and immediately throughout the world. So to say that the nation of China should be managed delicately, that is, should not be allowed to grow too powerful to pose a threat to the white civilization, nor should it be allowed to be hijacked by a non-U.S. power since China's immense human labor could be turned against the white civilization. (During WWII, the Japanese, who was brought up by the Americans and the British, never realized that they could at most conquer half of China, not as a whole.)
In the past decade, a new generation of academics had emerged in mainland China and reflected on the communist ascension to power in the 1949, including Yang Kuisong, Gao Hua, Niu Jun, Zhang Baijia, Dai Chaowu, Shen Zhidan & Li Danhui and etc. But none of them wish to become China's Sakharov as Fang Lizhi had attempted prior to the 4 June 1989 Massacre. We could not put blame on the courage and conscience of people still in China, though; the mere mentioning of their names could give them trouble, and the banning of their personal websites.
The conscience of China, meanwhile, had undergone setbacks in the information age that would supposedly open up China. Yahoo, for instance, has admitted to sharing user information for journalist Shi Tao with Chinese authorities earlier this year in a move that landed him a 10-year jail term. In doing so, the firm 'complied with local Chinese law', according to Yahoo spokeswoman Mary Osako.
Outside of China, Yu Maochun, as late as in "OSS In China", still failed to see through the agenda of Joseph Stilwell [e.g., "Joe Stilwell's Authorization To Assassinate Chiang Kai-shek"], while craps about American aid to China continued to pop up everywhere in writings like "Foreign Military Aid and Assistance to China". Some overseas dissidents, like Cao Changqing et al., had a blind faith in so-called "American generosity" and the Republican Party's doctrines of 'democracy, freedom and liberty' as a result of delusion over intermittent American for-show statements, like the Monroe Doctrine, Wilson's 14 Points, the Hull "ultimatum" of Nov 26th, 1941, & the American opposition to British-Franco's colonialist activities in the Middle East, etc. In or outside China, almost all Chinese failed to see the in-depth of the Russian/Comintern conspiracies against China: They have not come to discern the American plays of the Chinese cards, and are still arguing among themselves about who was at fault, being blindfolded by Acheson's 2 Billion Crap aid to Nationalist China and Marshall's Dupe Mission To China & Arms Embargo. (What the Chinese side did not and does not understand about the Yalta Betrayal & Marshal Dupe Mission is that two factions of the Anglo-American interest groups, i.e., the ranks of innate cousins of the British colonialists and the ranks of American doctrinarians with advocacy for the "China [i.e., the Yellow Peril] containment", had joined hands with the Russian/Comintern agents to sabotage China, i.e., weakening the Nationalists and strengthening the Communists. The historical truth is that the invisible hands in the Far Eastern Division of the U.S. State Department had found an alternative way to advance the agenda of strengthening the Chinese communists and weakening the Chinese Nationalists after what Freda Utley called a "temporary setback" ensuing from the recall of Joseph Stilwell in Nov of 1944. Historically, other than America's selling out China at the Yalta and colluding with the Russians (Soviets) in subversion of Nationalist China, there were: i) American President Grant's attempt at making Manchu China divide Ryukyu into three parts with Japan, ii) John Watson Foster 's collusion with the Japanese in selling the Shimonoseki Treaty, iii) the American navy's sailing gunboats and warships in the Yangtze to protest against the 1911 Xinhai Revolution, iv) the American navy's sailing gunboats and warships into the 'White Swan Pond' of Canton to protest against Sun Yat-sen's threat of customs tax withholding, v) J.P. Morgan and the Wall Street's floating $263 million in loans to the Japanese by 1931 while refusing to aid China on the pretext of isolationism, and vi) America's continuing sale of scrap metals and petrol oil after the Japanese sinking of Panay in 1937. More available at What Foreign Powers Did To The Flowery Republic Prior To, During And After The 1911 Revolution, and Anglo-American & Jewish romance with Japanese.)
A word of caution deserves here against the prevalent anticipation of a fast collapse of the Chinese communist regime. Extra vigil must be paid to China's ferocious & predatory neighbors, far away or near by, for sake of guarding against the likely re-emergence of hundred-year intervals of historical turmoil because China of the 21st century is no longer living in a shielded environment juxtaposed against the predictable nomadic Hunnic, Turkic & Mongol invaders any more. Should China disintegrate into one dozen countries now, the same way as Iraq is to divest into three states, China would never have a chance to reunite as a single entity ever. Any structural or system change for China, internally or externally induced, has to be implemented in a rational and balanced way.
China's future is not a matter to be determined in 10 years or less, but could be up to 100 years, beyond which the uncertainty of its fate and fortune could set in. The essential endeavors should be exerted to the upbringing of a new generation of Chinese patriots of ideals and devotion for the nation. As the ancient Chinese saying goes, it takes 10 years to plant a tree and 100 years to raise a person. "Raising a person [i.e., an ordinary Chinese person]" is a task that should be undertaken from ground up inside of China. Only after restoring the baseline of China's societal foundations and values [which had been destroyed by the communist regime] would there be possibility of a resurrected Chinese Nation.
The Three Agri Issues
The so-called "Three Agri Issues" would be abbreviations of three sentences that relate to 'nong', i.e., i) "nong min" [the peasants] live an indeed bitter life; ii) "nong cun" [the countryside] is indeed extraordinarily poor; and iii) "nong ye" [the agriculture] is indeed a national crisis.
As Bai Shazhou had commented in the preface to "From Slave to Second-Class Citizen: The Peasants of Modern China" [Mirror Books, 2001], the Chinese peasants had staged countless protests against the fascist Chinese communist government but their voice was virtually unheard outside of the countryside or abroad whereas the Fa Lun Gong practitioners had attempted a 'silent protest' against the communist apparatus of Zhongnanhai and now have ascended to the position of a news conglomerate in America. In another word, this webmaster believes that China's crises had been masked by the emerging "Fa Lun Gong Movement" which was more to do with the "religious expression" and "freedom of assembly". The "Three Agri Issues", widely researched upon and propagated by the reformers and democracy activists before year 2000, had shifted to a lesser spot after the emergence of the "Fa Lun Gong Movement". Though, they both share the same root cause, i.e., the totalitarian rule of the Chinese communist party.
The "Three Agri Issues" is never a state secret in China. People simply don't talk about them. As explained above, China was and is a caste society in which the government had deliberately pitted one class or level of people against the lower levels with a wider base or population, thus making the higher class or level of people into unconscious and subconscious safeguards of the regime in repressing the lower class or level of people. Peasants, i.e., the invisible class in China, no matter on radio or TV or in newspapers, are the expendable. Communist China, from 1952 to 1978, had reaped an 'Agri-industrial scissor differential' of 632 billion RMB from peasants in addition to a collection of 726.4 billion agriculture tax, whereas its input into the countryside was merely 173 billion for the same time period (see Li Maolan's "Research Into Burden Issues of Chinese Peasants", Shanxi Economy Publishing House, 1996, Shanxi Province).
The defenders of Chinese peasants are few if any. Scholar Liang Suming, i.e., the last Confucian, was one. Communist general Peng Dehuai, in 1959, challenged tyrant Mao's 'Great Leap Forward' which led to the starvation death of 30-60 million peasants. Communist president Liu Shaoqi, who was persecuted to death during the cultural revolution, had rectified Mao's error in 1962 by restoring some "self-determination" rights to the peasants, i.e., lessening the "command economy" rigidity as to what crops peasants were to plant etc. In 1977, communist provincial leader Wan Li had adopted some of Liu Shaoqi's transitionary measures in Anhui Province. Wan Li enacted the policy after touring the Jinzhaixian county, i.e., the so-called 'old communist revolution enclave', and checking out i) that peasant girls dared not stand up from the furnace-beds because they did not have pants to wear at home and ii) that three nude kids were hiding in a big iron wok for keeping warm in the winter weather of Nov. Communist China, in its official annals and government websites, boasts of its "Agriculture Reform" that started in 1978, shortly after Wan Li's initiatives. Throughout the years of late 70s and early 80s, communist China, every once a while, published the news report of some peasant becoming a so-called "Wan [10,000] Yuan [RMB currency unit] Hu [household]". In 1993, Wan Li, before his retirement, was said to have adamantly advocated for i) the elimination of the term "People's Commune" from the constitution and ii) addition of the "family contractual responsibility system" to the constitution. (Incidentally, Communist China unscrupulously revised its "Constitution" in 1954, 1975, 1978, and in 1982, with newest modifications too numerous to trace for this webmaster.)
However, the reactionary nature of the Chinese communist government would soon doom the fate of Chinese peasants. While the United States government constantly subsidizes its mechanical-operation agriculture, as illustrated in "President George W. Bush told Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva that the US would work to reduce agricultural subsidies -- a key priority for Brazil -- if Europe does so as well", the Chi-coms did the opposite by continuously ripping off the peasants. Bai Shazhou cited the research by Zhu Gang & Zhang Zhongfang, entitled "The Domestic Subsistence Level of Chinese Agriculture In 1993-1995 - A Discussion On Agricultural Protection of Chinese Agriculture In WTO Framework" [China Countryside Economy, Issue 6 of 1997, pp 23-27], in pointing out that "at the current stage, the agriculture industry of our country is still at the stage of negative protection". By "negative protection", the fascist communist regime continued the predatory policies before the so-called "agriculture reform", i.e., extracting from the peasants and countryside hundreds of billions at the cost of 1/15th of the total RMB amount from 1952 to 1978. Per Zhu Gang & Zhang Zhongfang, communist China had lessened input into the countryside from 1990 onward, and by 1994, dramatically cut the funds flow into the countryside, with the time period of 1994-1996 being negative growth.
In 1998, female scholar Heh Qinglian wrote the book "The Chinese Traps" [i.e., "Modernization’s Pitfall"], with a call for social justice and fairness. The only noticeable person within the communist leadership would be someone called Li Changping of Yanlixian County of Hubei Province who spoke out on behalf of the peasants by publishing an article on the "Southern Weekly" in June of 2000. Li Changping, who wrote the article "Tell the Truth to the Premier", would be the person who propagated the warnings of i) "nong min" [the peasants] live an indeed bitter life; ii) "nong cun" [the countryside] is indeed extraordinarily poor; and iii) "nong ye" [the agriculture] is indeed a national crisis. Recently, Chen Guidi and Wu Chuntao had published a book entitled "An Survey Of Chinese Peasantry" [i.e., Zhongguo nongmin diaocha], which was a compilation of peasants' recitals across 50 counties of Anhui Province. (For details, see Yang Lian's DARK SIDE OF THE CHINESE MOON.)
In conclusion, the Chinese peasants had suffered both from the exploitation of Chinese communists and from the impact of 'globalism', which could be comparable to the massive bankruptcy of the Chinese peasantry before and after the 1839-1842 Opium War and the subsequent massive enslavement as a replacement of the Black slaves across the globe. The international trade, in the form of trading the abstract 'labor' in lieu of the physical flow of 'labor', had only thrived on the miseries of Chinese peasants, i.e., the modern coolies. The Chinese communists, no longer treating China's agricultural output as a key to the national security, had resorted to compelling the Chinese peasants into coolie labor of both domestic and international banking and industrial conglomerates. With the agricultural land deserted or polluted, communist China had trashed the ancient Chinese practice of "the making of a nation on basis of agriculture" and/or "the hoarding & embedding of a nation's wealth among the populace". Unfortunately, the shortsighted communist wisdom would be their expectation that the obedient Chinese peasants would continue to sell themselves and whatever their body parts [excluding those "harvested from death convicts in 10,000 or more annually"], which might someday stop to work for the Chi-com.
On Jan 17th 2005, reformer Zhao Ziyang, after 15 years of house arrest, passed away. Before his pass-away, Zhao Ziyang was said to have commented that there was "no cure " for China. People who had hoped for a change at this juncture might be disappointed should no significant mourning-related activity or political loosening happen in China. It is understandably so. Note that in history, China's dynastic substitution was mostly the results of mutiny or foreign invasion, except for Yellow Turbans of Eastern Han Dynasty and Red Turbans of Yuan Dynasty: mutiny applied to Li Zicheng & Zhang Xianzhong rebellion in late Ming Dynasty, and Xin Hai Revolution in late Qing Dynasty, as well as applies to the scenario of 1927 Communist Revolution against the Nationalist Government; hence, one would have to pessimistically expect that the Chinese communists would commit suicide by themselves one way or the other [e.g., attacking Taiwan] in order to see a revolution similar to the Xin Hai Revolution that had overthrown Manchu rule in 1911.
After we have closely examined the historical context of China's reforms from 1979 to 1989, we would understand that in today's China, i.e., year 2005, there will be void of any chance of change. This is because the "Enlightened Intelligentsia" had been routed since June 4th 1989 Massacre, while no significant regenerating force had ever emerged. The damage to China's fortune was many times worse than the abortion of late Manchu-era "Hundred Day Reformation" at which time incessant foreign invasions had sustained the fighting spirits and martialness of the Chinese people, as seen in Assassinations & Uprisings. China's fate, i.e., a continuous down-sloping in the context of past 500 years, continues unabated in the same line. Any Chinese technological advancement, no matter space rockets or atomic bombs, would look pale in comparison with Big-Bang-like accelerating speed of industrialized countries, not to mention the lost spirits among today's Chinese people. There is reason to believe that China is on a very wrong path, and China will have no time for any catch-up work should the current course stay.
Written by Ah Xiang
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