Still the Rice Grows Green: Asia in the aftermath of Geneva and Panmunjom

Still the Rice Grows Green: Asia in the aftermath of Geneva and Panmunjom

Still the Rice Grows Green: Asia in the aftermath of Geneva and Panmunjom

Still the Rice Grows Green: Asia in the aftermath of Geneva and Panmunjom

Excerpt

If the day be bright and clear, the pilot flying the lonely skies from Formosa westward to the China Coast sees the mainland of Enslaved China even before the lofty peaks of Free China recede into the haze.

First are the beaches, the mud flats, the myriad islands. Then, like a giant staircase, the mountains rise, green tier upon tier, to the horizon and on far beyond to the sterile heights of Tibet.

If one looks closely upon this unfolding panorama of China one sees alien gashes upon the land. Beginning at the very water's edge, trenches zig-zag across rice fields and hills, even cresting, here and there, to the very mountain tops. There are new trenches, lately dug by the men of Mao. There are older trenches, overgrown and weedy, built five years ago in defense against those who now rule the land.

And among the maze are even older diggings, the preparation of a decade ago, dug by ill-trained and poorly armed men in desperate hope that the Japanese invader could be stopped. If imagination takes over, still more and more futile trenches we see; those of the 1930's when Communist and Kuomintang first clashed in the green mountains of Fukien and Kiangsi. Too, there are those of still earlier times, when a young Generalissimo swept victoriously northward to victory.

So it is that the very face of the land shows the never-ending struggle of the people whose yearning has been for peace but whose lot has been war for as long as even the old men can remember.

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