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Saved by Zhou Enlai!


woodcutter

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woodcutter

There's a prof at the School of Oriental and African studies in London who claims that nearly everything of historical value in China, including the Forbidden City, was entirely demolished in the Cultural Revolution. He suspects that Zhou Enlai could never have used his influence to save so many buildings as is claimed, and one might even read that little plaque "this structure was saved due to the influence of Zhou Enlai" as a euphemism for "this actually got smashed up good and proper in the sixties".

Is he talking out of his pigu?

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I did a research paper on Zhou Enlai, and never happened to stumble upon any mention of an attempt to save/not save historical marks.

Perhaps the biography I read was filtered somehow by the chinese government?

I really don't know, the horror of the thought of going back to all those zhou enlai sites is bringing back the pain of those late nights I spent.. :shudder:

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How do people on the mainland today perceive Zhou Enlai in comparison to Mao Zedong? I heard he is respected even by the Nationalists in Taiwan.

Sorry Yuchi 8)

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I saw a lot of sights that were labelled 'saved by Zhou Enlai', and my understanding was that they actually were saved, not reconstructed after being destroyed. They certainly would have been destroyed if Zhou hadn't used his influence to stop the Hongweibing though. I doubt that the Forbidden City was ever at risk; it was reserved as a park for high ranking officials and visiting dignitaries, just like that compound close to Beihai today.

I think Wutaishan is one of the 'saved sites', as well as many Buddhist caves. Those things are pretty hard to reconstruct.

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skylee

We were (and still are) quite ignorant about communism. But I remember when I was little, my father told me that Zhou was 忠的, whereas Mao was 奸的. he he.

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  • 10 months later...
studentyoung
I saw a lot of sights that were labelled 'saved by Zhou Enlai', and my understanding was that they actually were saved, not reconstructed after being destroyed. They certainly would have been destroyed if Zhou hadn't used his influence to stop the Hongweibing though. I doubt that the Forbidden City was ever at risk; it was reserved as a park for high ranking officials and visiting dignitaries, just like that compound close to Beihai today.

Quite right! Zhou not only tried to protected those historical buildings, but also some celebrities in those days, such as the famous couple Mr. Wu Guangzu (吴光祖) and Ms. Xin fengxia(新凤霞), Ms. Song QingLing (宋庆龄)etc. Unluckily, Mao took it as Zhou’s action of seizing power, and took Zhou’s brother into prison to give Zhou a shock. (But in my opinion, Mao was nothing but a poor guy, for he was always afraid to be falling down from his throne, which I think is the main reason for his doing so many crazy things.)

How do people on the mainland today perceive Zhou Enlai in comparison to Mao Zedong? I heard he is respected even by the Nationalists in Taiwan.

Yes. Zhou was once the director of Political Department in Huangpu War College (黄埔军校政治部主任). Because of his charming personality, he won almost all the other teachers’ respect, though half of them worked for KTM.

I still remember Zhang Xueliang’s words, “Without Zhou Enlai, CCP would not win the final success.”

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I read in Sterling Seagrave's The Soong Dynasty that during the negotiations following the Xian Incident, Chiang called Zhou Enlai the only reasonable Communist he knew. Even Soong Meiling was impressed by Zhou's sophistication and grasp of world issues.

Kissinger and Nixon were also impressed by Zhou's astuteness and polished demeanor.

One of my two grandfathers (both went to Taiwan with the Nationalists and are anti-communist), spoke very highly of Zhou Enlai while bashing every other communist.

Zhou was the architect who devised a way for the CCP to break out of the tight KMT encirclement in Jiangxi province, thus beginning the Long March into Yenan.

However Zhou was not completely the perfect gentleman. During the mass executions of the communists in Shanghai in 1927, Zhou had a traitor and his entire family executed when the latter revealed the location of the communists to the KMT. But that was when Zhou was only 29 years old, and a very minor blemish on an otherwise urbane record.

Ok, enough with all this communist 'praising'. (Only for Zhou Enlai though) 8)

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If you read Philip Short's biography of Mao, Zhou Enlai comes over as a much more ambivalent figure - more like a constant acolyte to power without the guts to seize it himself. He was all chummy with Bo Gu after his return from Moscow and hostile to Mao for a while, but switched sides when he saw what way the wind was blowing after Mao's star rose in light of the debacle of fall of the Jiangxi Soviet.

You also get the impression that if figures in the Party like him had been more adept at handling Mao's retreat to the Second Line after the Great Leap Forward the Cultural Revolution could have been avoided.

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