Random Notes on Red China (1936-1945)

Random Notes on Red China (1936-1945)

Random Notes on Red China (1936-1945)

Random Notes on Red China (1936-1945)

Excerpt

"Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder a part of experience," said Mr. Bacon. "He that travelleth into a co try before he hath entrance into the language, goeth to school, and not to travel."

The epigram is, like all good epigrams, an exaggeration, for the terms cannot be so sharply separated. But if we accept its modicum of truth then I might say that my own visit among the Chinese Communists at Sian in 1936 (the year with which this small volume is mainly concerned) was about halfway between education and experience and halfway between school and travel. I was then thirty--too aged to be "the younger sort" and yet not ancient enough to called "elder"--and although I had "some entrance" into Chinese it was not enough for me to do a professional Job without help.

Through the aid of Mme Sun Yat-sen I made contacts with the Chinese Communists who arranged for my trip by underground ways into the Northwest territory held by the Red Army in June 1936. I was told that I would find an interpreter at the Soviet "capital" (Pao-an) but that it would be well to bring in someone on my own. I sent to Peking for a young Chinese writer to join me and he arrived before I left Sian but at the last minute changed his mind and would not go. I therefore had to leave without an interpreter but I wrote my wife to ask her to try to get one of two Yenching University student friends to follow me. Wang Ju-mei (who later joined the Communist party and took the name Huang Hua) was the one who accepted. He eventually caught up with me after I had reached the Western "front" in Kansu.

The first English-speaking Chinese I encountered after entering the Red areas was Chou En-lai, who was in command of the Eastern "front," who I described in Red Star Over China and who reappears in these pages. He supplied me with an armed escort and I proceeded to Pao-an, where I met Ma Tse-tung and where there were several English-speaking Communists. Among them was Wu Liang-p'ing (see page 47), who was assigned to me as an interpreter in my official interviews. He could not accompany me on my travels to the West, however, and I was without an interpreter until Wang Ju-mei joined me. I returned to Pao-an without any interpreter and I also had none during . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.