Dear Patrick,


Please do not worry about not answering my mail promptly. Let’s not hasten with our communication. In middle age we should be prepared for anything that can crop up unexpectedly.

fu leng and chin blog 

Reading your family story is like seeing those black-and-white films in my childhood in the 1970s. In those films, the KMT and the Japanese are always portrayed as devils while the poor and the Communists are always heroes.


Born in 1971, I was exposed to propaganda of this nature just like my contemporaries. However, as I grew up, the mainland started to open up and the truth gradually came out. Actually in junior middle school, in my history book, there was hardly any good word about the KMT and Mr Chiang himself. But in senior high my history book started to mention the important part the KMT played in the Anti-Japanese War. There was a very detailed description of the campaign launched at Tai’erzhuang under the command of Mr Li Zongren.


As far as I am concerned, demonising the rival on either part is wrong. I bet the KMT across the strait did similar things with their rival the Communists. Luckily, today most Chinese on the mainland have balanced their picture of the KMT. I personally can look at that era more or less objectively. The Communist government has somewhat changed their attitude towards the KMT since a long time ago.


Throughout Chinese history political struggles never failed to cause havoc to civilian life. Whenever there was a civil war, it was the civilians who suffered the most. After a civil war ended and a new government was erected on the ruins of the former regime, the new rulers came to see that they faced the same problems as their former enemies had, concerning ordinary people’s life: The economy was to be developed, education provided, people’s livelihood ensured, and medicare improved. Therefore, I have come to realise that on either side of the strait the system has to be depoliticised further. There is still a long way to go on this matter, especially on our side.


I was shocked to read about your family’s misfortune. It is the first time I have ever read about it. Is it recorded in the local history? I doubt it. Do most ordinary people like Shengliver know it? I doubt it. Can Mr Leng possibly correct the wrong? There is a big question mark standing in my mind.


No one knows exactly how many innocent families underwent what your family did during those years, whether they were counted as KMT or the Communists. I can imagine what impact this family tragedy had on your father then. He was still a young man. Had he stayed behind on the mainland after the Civil War, he would have been subjected to more troubles later on.


More questions have arisen in my mind. Could you tell me exactly what members were shot dead? Does your father know exactly who organised and directed the killing? If so, is the man still alive on the mainland? Did your father have any other siblings left after it? After 1949, did your father still have any relatives living in Yunyang? Who does your father think was to blame for the murder? What is your father’s attitude towards the Communists and their governance? Did your grandfather live in the Town of Yun, or in the countryside? Was Mr Leng your father’s classmate in primary school or middle school? Did your father attend the normal high school in Fangxian as Mr Leng did in the 1940s? Does the present local government in Yunxian have any prejudice against your family?


I explore this issue simply out of my personal interest. I do not represent any organisation. And I am not a member of any political parties on the mainland. And do tell your dear father about it. Also give my best regards to the senior gentleman. If only he and I could communicate directly! Of course I appreciate your role in the communication, Patrick.





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