Flood Tide in China

Flood Tide in China

Flood Tide in China

Flood Tide in China

Excerpt

'We invite your criticism', every organization in China today unfailingly makes this claim, and expects that it will be met. This book is therefore a response to such an invitation. In 1956 the author was asked to organize a party of Australian writers, artists, academic and professional men and women to form a cultural delegation which was invited by the Chinese People's Association for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries to make a short tour in China. To our hosts on that occasion I tender our thanks for providing an opportunity to revisit China and assess the great changes which six years of the People's Republic have brought about. Criticism, to be of value, must be both sincere and objective; while the impressions formed by ardent supporters or implacable opponents have their value, a more detached standpoint is appropriate for a historian. This book is consequently an attempt to make an objective appraisal of the achievements of the present regime in China, of the response which the Chinese people are themselves making to that regime, and of the future trend of thought and action.

Revolution is a long and continuing process; like the effect of a stone cast into a still pond of water, it is easier to mark the moment of the initial disturbance than to determine when at Last the final ripples have died away. No one can yet say that the Chinese Revolution has reached its final phase; the Communist Party itself looks forward to that perhaps distant day when the Party will 'wither away' and the Classless Society come into being. In the meantime it is possible to record the development of the process in intermediate stages, and if predictions prove as mistaken as they generally do, they at least provide for future historians evidence of what was thought to be likely at the time they were written, and so become part of the source material of history. In so far as this book incorporates the results of first hand observation by one to whom the . . .

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