Dear Patrick,


Thanks for writing so much in the last mail. I read it three times. I watched the YouTube vid from Phoenix TV which features General Wu, who led the taskforce in the Tai’erzhuang Campaign. I read your comments under the vid too. Some websites like YouTube and WordPress are blocked from mainland users. But it does not prevent seasoned Web users from accessing them. Two Phoenix TV channels are available on my home TV, perfectly legal. Their shows are distinctively different from most mainland TV programmes. Last year I happened to watch two interviews done by them with Mr Hao Bocun, a KMT veteran. From his mouth I can feel that on mainland China the KMT efforts in the Anti-Jap War are underrepresented, or in many cases misrepresented. He personally visited some museums or war memorials over here on his visits.


Another KTM leader I was lucky to know about on CCTV-4 is Mr Wu Boxiong. His words convinced me that he was wise and practical. Compared with a lot of communist leaders over here, he was concrete and down-to-earth.


Obviously I need to learn more about your family tragedy from Mr Leng on my next visit. But out of concern about his personal life, I would not disturb him very much. He is 96 years old. Every day he still has a schedule for his writing and research. Nonetheless I will make the next visit at the earliest opportunity possible.


Meanwhile make sure you keep the relevant facts in store: your grandfather’s name, and the names of those uncles, the name of the person who organised the killing and more. Since your father was far away in Wuhan when the tragedy happened, most of what he knows must have been heard from some second-hand or third-hand sources. There is still chance that more truth could come out. The best way is to go and interview those who witnessed the killing or who heard about it at the time. Those people, should they still be alive, must be senior citizens. There might be some records in the local official archives. But official archives can get it wrong too, since they were written by the Communists. I checked Mr Leng’s books and the YYHS history. It seems that your family roots are in a village called Houdian, located in a town called Dayan. Should any opportunity arise, I could go and make some personal investigations. Hopefully some witnesses are still alive. But I cannot promise anything at the moment.


I was shocked by the fact that someone in Yunxian should have written and published some articles against your father or your family in the 1990s. At that time the popular sentiment on the mainland towards people like your father was to extend a welcoming hand. I was wondering who the author was and what his motive was. I hazard a guess but it might not be true. The person or his family might have had some issues with your grandfather or your family. Hopefully Mr Leng might shed some light on the person.


Since mentioning the past hurts your father, please do not trouble him anymore. Thank you very much for the two photos. I have saved them in my digital archives. Last week, Professor Fu sent over a photo of his and Mrs Fu taken at their birthday celebrations in 2014. I have got photos of the three senior gentlemen: Mr Leng, Mr Chin and Mr Fu.


Next I I’ll direct my attention to the status of Taiwan or ROC. My personal hope is that the motherland should be reunified someday. That is the way Chinese matters have been sorted out throughout Chinese history. However, I do not expect the relationship in the future reunification between Beijing and Taipei will be the same as that between Beijing and its provincial capitals. The Communists should know well the importance of preserving the robust political, economic and cultural establishments on the island. We ordinary mainland Chinese have been keeping an eye on the development of the Taiwanese political system. It has eye-catching advantages over its mainland cousin. Our one-party system has inherent weaknesses that the current government has been trying to overcome: corruption and the inefficiency of the cumbersome bureaucracy for example. Corruption, if not curbed or cured, would topple the Communist, just the way the KMT was in the Civil War. The fatal fault of one-party politics is the lack of supervision and discipline on the party itself. Without balance and counterbalance within the political framework, graft goes rampant like a wild fire in dry winter. With so large a population and so extensive a territory, the current highly centralised system would only lead to inefficiency and bad governance. Local leaders are not held responsible to the citizens they govern; they are more responsible to their superiors at the higher level, for those bosses are where they derive their power from.


The question of Taiwan is, to a large extent, pending on the development of mainland China in its political, economic and scientific aspects. Should mainland China outstrip USA in more and more areas in the coming decades, its influence over Taiwan would be unquestionable. Both sides need each other to develop, but the truth is that Taiwan would need its big brother more for further growth and stability, considering the huge markets and human resources on the mainland.


Whatever may come out regarding the reunification, I will keep my fingers crossed, praying that no more wars take place. In my eyes, the Taiwanese are more Chinese. More traditional Chinese elements exist over there than here. If you guys are not Chinese, who will be?


History cannot be relived. What is done cannot be undone. Should Chairman Mao come back to life and rule China again, he might change his tactics. Given the circumstances of his era and his own knowledge and expertise, how could he have avoided those tragedies? He brought earth-shaking changes to Chinese society. A lot of changes have been very positive indeed. No one can deny that. On the other side of the coin, some changes have hurt Chinese society beyond measure. The Cultural Revolution is a good example.


I do not have the power to change Chinese society. But I have come to see, from my 43 years of life on this earth and from the people around me, that a good political system, honest Chinese willing to work for the public good and better citizenship are the key to a better life on the mainland and in Taiwan as well.


Patrick, we will have a lot more to discuss in the days and weeks to come.


Give Shengliver’s best regards to your parents, please.




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