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QQSRX #14 Deng on TV, also Meng 锵锵三人行


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Episode #14

Date 2014 0929

Title: 小平表面像棉花 内心坚 On the outside Deng Xiaoping looked soft like cotton, on the inside he was hard as nails.


Link to video and transcript: http://phtv.ifeng.com/a/20140930/40827883_0.shtml

Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRajvk54iBs

Episodes list http://www.chinese-f...st-of-episodes/


Host: 窦文涛
Guests: 王蒙 and 査建英


In this episode they discuss the recent TV series about Deng Xiaoping. One of the guests, Wang Meng, is a famous -- and controversial? -- writer who was out in Xinjiang during the Cultural Revolution, but once the Gang of Four was ‘smashed’ he was able to leave and go home.


The other guest, Zha Jianying, actually wrote a long (English-language) piece a few years ago in the New Yorker about Wang Meng himself – i.e. the guy who’s sat opposite her, basically talking about his life and relationship with the Party and discussing if he’s a regime lackey or not. She goes on to contrast him with a well-known dissident. If you’re interested in that kind of thing I thought it was excellent: here: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/11/08/servant-of-the-state


From Wikipedia:

In 1956 Wang published a controversial piece, "A New Arrival at the Organization Department" (组织部来了个年轻人). This caused a great uproar and subsequently led to his being labelled a "rightist". In 1963, he was sent to Xinjiang to be "reformed" through labor. It was largely during this period of hardship that he accrued much of the experience that would later become the material for his short stories and novels. Not until 1979 was this injury redressed [sic].

He served as China's Minister of Culture from 1986 to 1989.


The rough translation below includes them talking about how people tried to escape China for Hong Kong and Taiwan during the Cultural Revolution. I then skip forward to an excerpt of the TV series where Deng gets news about the Gang of Four.


Question: Do you think Dou Wentao and Zha Jianying really didn’t understand about Deng and the tap, or were they just humouring Wang Meng?

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Blue = query, bold = vocab, square brackets = not sure of the translation


1    窦文涛:査老师,咱们俩都没看过电视剧,就是《在历史转折关头的邓小平》。

1    Dou Wentao: Zha Jianying, neither of us have seen this TV series, ‘Deng Xiaoping at History’s Crossroads and Key Moments’.


2    王蒙:没有关头吧。

2    Wang Meng: Not “Key Moments”


3    窦文涛:挺忠实。

3    Dou Wentao: Can always rely on you.


4    王蒙:历史转折中的邓小平。

4    Wang Meng: ‘Deng Xiaoping at History's Crossroads’.


5    窦文涛:你看这当过官的。

5    Dou Wentao: You can see he’s been an official.


6    王蒙:证明你更适合当官。

6    Wang Meng: It shows you are more suited to being an official.


8    窦文涛:但是我觉得有意思的是什么?这个电视剧我没有引起足够的注意,可是你看首先是许子东老师他很幸福,我发现某一类人,今天王蒙老师,我才发现,这部电视剧是引起了你们一些什么兴趣吗?

8    Dou Wentao: You know what I think’s interesting? It didn’t get me interested enough to pay it much attention, but you see, first it was Xu Zidong who really liked it … certain kinds of people … and today Wang Meng too … this TV series has got you all really interested?


9    王蒙:不,他是回忆,这些回忆其实,这一段时代对我来说也非常重要,从1976年到1982年,他大概写的是这个,7682,这历史转折,也是咱们个人的转折,当然印象太深了。

9    Wang Meng: No, it’s reminiscing. Actually this kind of reminiscence, for me this period was extremely important, from 1976 to 1982, [it’s basically about then], 76-82, this was a turning point in history and was also a turning point for us as individuals, of course the influence was extremely profound.


10    査建英:1976年您还在新疆呢?

10    Zha Jianying: In 1976 you were still in Xinjiang?


11    王蒙:在新疆,当然在新疆。

11    Wang Meng: Yes, of course I was in Xinjiang.


12    窦文涛:那你是听到粉碎四人帮的消息,当时正在干什么?

12    Dou Wentao: So when you heard the news about smashing the Gang of Four, what were you doing at that moment?


13    王蒙:听到粉碎四人帮的消息,我的激动的心情跟邓小平同志是一样的,虽然我这么说也许是挨骂,人家说你瞎高攀什么。

13    Wang Meng: When I heard the news about smashing the Gang of Four, I was just as excited as Comrade Deng Xiaoping. Although maybe I’ll get told off for saying that, people will say: you’re pointlessly trying to [show off] or whatever.


14    窦文涛:那你是当时是我能安度晚年了,还是说我还能再干二十年。

14    Dou Wentao: So at that time you could relax about life, or were you saying I’ve still got to do another 20 years?




15    蒙:我觉得有转机了,中国出现了转机了,从来这个就是越左越左,他有了转机了,再有你一看邓小平这个电视剧,你想象不到的有些事,有些画面出来了,没有这 个电视剧的话,你到现在为止,你也没有想到过,比如说他里面有爬网,就是一大批青年活不下去了,要往香港跑,在铁丝网上爬,真是一副惨状,他居然这电视剧 里头他就这么给,中央第一台给播出来了,我真是愣在那了。

15    Wang Meng: I thought things had taken a turn for the better. Things had got better for China. It had all been going further and further to the left. So it had got better. And [if you] look at this Deng Xiaoping series, there are certain things that you can’t believe are being shown on screen, [that if it wasn’t for the TV series, you wouldn’t have imagined/thought about.] For example there’s the [climbing over the net], when a whole lot of young people couldn’t cope any more, and wanted to run to Hong Kong. They climbed over the wire netting (fence), it was really a terrible sight. And such a surprise that this TV series showed it, CCTV1 broadcast this, I was really shocked.


16    査建英:他是真实的纪录的,还是靠演的。

16    Zha Jianying: This was real footage, or acted?


17    王蒙:演的,根据当时的事实。

17    Wang Meng: Acted, according to what happened then.


18    窦文涛:咱们可以看一下,当年叫网逃港。

18    Dou Wentao: We can watch it, what was called then [spreading] the net to flee to Hong Kong.


19    王蒙:铺网还是爬网。

19    Wang Meng: [spreading] the net or climbing the net?


20    窦文涛:爬网就翻过铁丝网,就这个场景,我们看一下。

20    Dou Wentao: Climing over the net is basically means getting across the wire mesh fence. It’s this scene, we’ll take a look.






21    査建英:这个大喇叭一响,就那个时代感觉的马上回来了。

21    Zha Jianying: The sound of that big loudspeaker, feelings from those days immediately return.


22    文涛:我大学毕业第一个工作是到广州,我一到广州就听广州当地人给我讲这个段子,说当时河南一个农民反革命,要逃香港,逃过来,但是他闹不清地理位置,然 后他就一路跑到了广州,跑到珠江边上,他以为河对面就是香港,脱了衣服就游过去了,游到对面沙面一岸冲这边喊,打倒共产党,沙面派出所就在后面,他讲的笑 话,没这个事,但是这反映出广东人都有这个记忆,而且不光是1976年,其实文革的时候,香港有一个电影叫《投奔怒海》,就是很多人,游泳淹死很多人,就 是逃香港。

22    Dou Wentao: My first job after university was in Guangzhou, once I got to Guangzhou I heard the locals tell me this story, that back then there was a counterrevolutionary farmer from Henan who wanted to escape to Hong Kong. He fled across, but because he didn’t understand the geography of the area, after he ran all the way to Guangzhou, ran to the edge of the Pearl River, he thought the opposite bank was Hong Kong, and took off his clothes and swam across. He swam to the shore of Shamian island and rushed up shouting: down with the Communists. Shamian police station was just behind him. They were joking, this didn’t actually happen, but just shows that people from Guangdong all have these memories, and not only about 1976, in fact during the Cultural Revolution, there’s a Hong Kong film called <Boat People> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boat_People_%28film%29 [is this really the film he means?] lots of people drowned, fleeing to Hong Kong.


23    査建英:但是这铺网当时是不是没有报道,我们只知道有水偷渡了。

23    Zha Jianying: But this [net crossing], it wasn’t reported at the time, right? All we knew was that there was a way to steal across the water.


24    王蒙:没有大规模报道,但是听说的类似的这些东西很多,我曾经在一个场合听福建的省委的领导人,就是项南先生,项南书记他说过,福建的有一批往大弹,小弹往台湾那边游泳过去的,因为他游泳夜里游。

24    Wang Meng: There was no large-scale reporting, but you heard about lots of this kind of thing. I once heard about a situation involving a leader on the Fujian party committee, Xiang Nan [could be this guy http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9%A1%B9%E5%8D%97], Secretary Xiang Nan, he  said, Fujian … [was a whole load of big bombs, small bombs], he said he swam to Taiwan, because he swam at night.




25    窦文涛:那得游多久,游台湾海峡。

25    Dou Wentao: That would be a long swim, to swim the Taiwan Straits.


26    王蒙:大概有四五公里,你要是水性好,不认为特别困难,游游游,方向稍微错一点,最后他游了一圈又回来了,看到解放军了,他就上去,我投奔国军来了,他说 一开头还判刑什么的,后来你也没法判刑,就遇到这个情况,你叫他爸爸或者叫他哥哥,他就过来,哥哥过来,当着警察扇他俩耳光,带着就走了,也就没事了,我们目的不是为了说这个,我就是让人回忆起那么一个年代,你不管怎么说,现在你要想去香港也很容易,又什么自由行,个人游,什么旅行,再也不会有这样的场面 了。 有一阵去台湾的事弄的也很厉害,整天是劫持飞机,你记得不记得,一个月还是两个月,以至于台湾说劫持飞机是共谍,匪谍,匪谍是为了故意用这种方法来打探台湾的军情和防空。

26    Wang Meng: About four or five kilometres. If you’re good at swimming I don’t think it’s that difficult. Swim swim swim, he got the direction slightly wrong, ended up swimming back round in a circle, he saw the PRC, [leapt] up, ‘I’m seeking refuge with the Republic of China’s army’.  At the beginning he was sentenced or whatever, then was no way to sentence him, he called his father or his brother, they came, boxed his ears in front of the police, and nothing more came of it.  Our aim isn’t to talk about this, I’m just letting people think back to that time. Whatever you say about it, nowadays if you want to go to Hong Kong is very easy. There’s the Individual Visit Scheme http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individual_Visit_Scheme or individual tourism or whatever kind of tourism, won’t have this kind of situation again. There was once a way of getting to Taiwan that was very serious, [spend a whole day hijacking an airplane / all the time people were hijiacking airplanes]. Do you remember? [for?] one month or maybe two months. So much that Taiwan said the hijackers were Communist spies, Party spies, Party spies were using this as a way of finding out about Taiwan’s military intelligence and anti-aircraft defences.


27    窦文涛:以至于你知道张艺谋拍过一个电影,可能很多人都忘了,叫《代号美洲豹》。

27    Dou Wentao: You know Zhang Yimou shot a film, maybe lots of people have forgotten, called Codename Cougar.


28    査建英:我还看过。

28    Zha Jianying: I’ve actually seen it.


29    窦文涛:葛优演的,我觉得那是中国唯一,其实你现在想想,中国唯一一个拍劫机的一个电影。

29    Dou Wentao: Ge You was in it. I think it’s the only Chinese film, thinking about it, the only Chinese film about hijacking.


30    査建英:那时候觉得特别新,我觉得新新潮这么一个电影,动作片

30    Zha Jianying: At the time it felt really new, a really new style of film, an action film.


31    窦文涛:好像是不是也是劫持台湾什么的。

31    Dou Wentao: Wasn’t it to do with a Taiwan hijacking?


32    査建英:我现在情节都忘了。

32    Zha Jianying: I’ve forgotten the plot.




33    王蒙:有一个有名的事,卓长仁,东北的,他劫机还成功了,台湾那还给他按反共义士对待,但最后这个人是台湾把他枪毙了,因为他搞绑票,搞绑票杀人,绑票、撕票,所以这就说到,联系到咱们上次谈美国这个,你不能说反对,你说反对的人,你就都是你的人,台湾也容不下他。但是我觉得这个很有戏剧性,共产党也没抓着他,要共产党抓着他绝对枪毙,因为他动了武力的,他使用暴力了,他不是说光扬言要劫机,威胁,可是最后真是国共一家亲,最后由国府那边,弄不好,说不定还是民进党时期,把他给枪毙了。

33    Wang Meng: The was a famous incident, Zhuo Changren, from Dongbei. His hijack was successful, Taiwan treated him as an anti-Communist freedom-seeker, but in the end Taiwan executed him, because he carried out a kidnapping, killed someone in a kidnapping, killed a hostage. So this is linked to what we were saying about America last time, you shouldn’t say everyone who is [opposed to your enemies counts as someone who is on your side]. Taiwan couldn’t control him either. But I think this was really dramatic, the Communist Party couldn’t catch him, if they caught him they’d definitely have executed him, because used armed force, he used violence, he wasn’t just using threats to hijack the plane, or intimidation. But in the end it was the Communists and the Nationalists, as one family, eventually it was the Nationalist government, who didn’t deal with him properly, it could have been during the time of the Democratic Progressive Party, they executed him.




34    窦文涛:而且我还记得那一阵,台湾那边也老开着飞机来,来了就上春晚。

34    Dou Wentao: I also remember back then, Taiwan often flew planes over, for the Spring Festival TV show.


35    王蒙:百两黄金,我还参加过给他们发黄金的聚会。

35    Wang Meng: 100 ounces of gold, I was involved in getting the gold together.


36    窦文涛:咱们给他的黄金。

36    Dou Wentao: We gave them gold?


37    王蒙:黄金。

37    Wang Meng: Gold.


38    窦文涛:真的金条。

38    Dou Wentao: Real gold?


39    王蒙:金条。

39    Wang Meng: Gold bars.


40    窦文涛:共产党还搞音乐。

40    Dou Wentao: And the Communist Party put on music.




59    好了,好了,快说吧。

59    Okay, talk quickly.


60    邓伯伯,今天一早,王震叔叔给我爸爸打了个电话,我爸爸接完电话,就立刻给我揪了起来,让我拿着茅台酒来见您,让你一醉方休。老爷子,您猜,我爸爸交给我一项什么重要任务?

60    Uncle Deng, early today, Uncle Wang Zhen phoned my father, as soon as my father hung up he held me tight, got me to take Maotai and come and see you, to get you properly drunk. Can you guess what important task my father gave me?


61    你卖什么关子?你说啊你。

61    Stop keeping us waiting. Tell us.


62    叶帅说,党中央一举粉碎了“四人帮”,是执行毛主席的遗志,他让王震叔叔想个最稳妥的办法,尽快把这个消息告诉您。

62    Commander Ye said, The Central Committee has smashed the Gang of Four in one go, carrying out Chairman Mao’s final wishes. He wanted Wang Zhen to come up with the most reliable way to tell you this news.


63    贺平,你把你刚才说的那个你再说一遍给我听听。

63    He Ping, Repeat what you’ve just told us for me.


64    老爷子,“四人帮”被粉碎了。

64    Sir, the Gang of Four has been smashed.




65    王蒙:他在厨房里头,拧开那水本来到了这儿呢他又底下他应该是邓小平说把水管子关上,是这么意思,你明白了吗?你明白没有?你们俩都不明白。

65    Wang Meng: He’s in the middle of the kitchen, with the tap turned on. It’s around here that Deng Xiaoping says, turn off the water. This means, do you see, do you understand? Neither of you understand?


66    查建英:对。

66    Zha Jianying: Right.


67    王蒙:哎呀没有王蒙怎么行,得特别感谢。他怕窃听,他为什么要到厨房里说话?他在限制他邓小平同志当时不管受的什么限制,那住房也比咱们宽敞,是不是?人家大客厅、小客厅、厨房、卧室都有,他进了厨房先放水,这响着再说话。明白了吧?

67    Wang Meng: Aha, you’re not as good as Wang Meng. Should be very grateful. They’re scared about being bugged. Even though Deng Xiaoping was kept in confinement at that time, his house had more room than any of ours, right? Got a living room, drawing room, kitchen, bedroom, everything. He went into the kitchen and the first thing he did was turn on the tap … for the noise of the water … only then did they talk. You got it?


68    查建英:明白。

68    Zha Jianying: Got it.


69    王蒙:当时他放水你说浪费水干嘛?这个事我们说话,说话又不需要水的滋润,他怕窃听。

69    Wang Meng: When he turns on the water you think what’s he doing wasting water. There’s not need [to have water when you’re talking]. He’s scared about being bugged.


70    查建英:这都一个什么时代,我看您刚才看这个的时候,虽然是重播我看您都好像要掉眼泪,因为这事太重要的一个转折了,整个一个时代。

70    Zha Jianying: This time …. I saw just now when you were watching it, although you’re watching it as a repeat, it looked like you still wanted to shed a few tears, because this event was so important, for the whole era.


71    王蒙:整个这个时代。

71    Wang Meng: The whole era.

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18 当年叫网逃港  Not sure what is doing here.


24 福建的有一批往大弹,小弹往台湾那边游泳过去的

24    he  said, Fujian … [was a whole load of big bombs, small bombs], he said he swam to Taiwan

Can't work out the sense of this at all: how are the 大弹,小弹 relevant?

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转折   zhuǎnzhé   1. shift in the trend of events; 2. plot shift in a book; 3. twists and turns

高攀   gāopān   1. social climbing; 2. to claim connections with people in higher social class

惨状   cǎnzhuàng   1. devastation; 2. miserable condition

场景   chǎngjǐng   1. scene; 2. scenario; 3. setting

段子   duànzi   1. item of storytelling or performed dialogue (folk arts); 2. sketch

地理位置   dìlǐwèizhi   1. geographical location

珠江   Zhūjiāng   1. Pearl River (Guangdong)

投奔   tóubēn   1. to seek shelter; 2. to seek asylum

偷渡   tōudù   1. illegal immigration; 2. to stowaway (on a ship); 3. to steal across the international border; 4. to run a blockade

省委   shěngwěi   1. provincial Party committee

水性   shuǐxìng   1. swimming ability; 2. characteristics of a body of water (depth, currents etc); 3. aqueous; 4. water-based (paint etc)

判刑   pànxíng   1. sentence (to prison etc)

自由行   zìyóuxíng   1. travel organized by oneself rather than in a tour group

以至于   yǐzhìyú   1. down to; 2. up to; 3. to the extent that...

防空   fángkōng   1. anti-aircraft defense

代号   dàihào   1. code name

美洲豹   měizhōubào   1. panther

劫机   jiéjī   1. hijacking; 2. air piracy

动作片   dòngzuòpiàn   1. action movie; 2. CL:部[bù]

义士   yìshì   1. high-minded and righteous person; 2. patriot; 3. loyalist

绑票   bǎngpiào   1. to kidnap (for ransom)

撕票   sīpiào   1. lit. to tear the ticket; 2. to kill a hostage (usually held for ransom)

戏剧性   xìjùxìng   1. dramatic

扬言   yángyán   1. to put about (a story, plan, threat etc); 2. to let it be known (esp. of threat or malicious story); 3. to threaten

国共   GuóGòng   1. Chinese Nationalist Party 國民黨|国民党[Guó mín dǎng] and Chinese Communist Party 共產黨|共产党[Gòng chǎn dǎng]


沙头角   Shā Tóu Jiǎo   1. Sha Tau Kok (town in Hong Kong)

卖点   màidiǎn   1. selling point

香港警察   Xiānggǎng Jǐngchá   1. Hong Kong Police Force (since 1997)

相向   xiāngxiàng   1. facing one another; 2. face-to-face

分界线   fēnjièxiàn   1. dividing line

年代初   niándàichū   1. beginning of an age; 2. beginning of a decade

通行证   tōngxíngzhèng   1. a pass (authorization through a checkpoint); 2. a laissez-passer or safe conduct; 3. to authenticate; 4. to confirm name and password on a website; 5. fig. a condition giving access to benefits (e.g. a diploma as a pass to a career)

偷情   tōuqíng   1. to carry on a clandestine love affair

敌台   dítái   1. defensive tower; 2. look-out tower; 3. enemy radio station

恍如隔世   huǎngrúgéshì   1. like a thing of the previous generation; 2. as if it were a lifetime ago

残废   cánfèi   1. deformity; 2. handicapped

批斗   pīdòu   1. (during the cultural revolution) to criticize and denounce sb publicly for their errors (often imaginary)

影视   yǐngshì   1. movies and television


一举   yījǔ   1. a move; 2. an action; 3. in one move; 4. at a stroke; 5. in one go

稳妥   wěntuǒ   1. dependable

拧开   nǐngkāi   1. to unscrew; 2. to twist off (a lid); 3. to turn on (a faucet); 4. to switch on (by turning a knob); 5. to turn (a door handle); 6. to wrench apart

放水   fàngshuǐ   1. to turn on the water; 2. to let water out; 3. to throw a game (sports)


大权   dàquán   1. power; 2. authority

枪决   qiāngjué   1. to execute by firing squad; 2. same as 槍斃|枪毙

真实性   zhēnshíxìng   1. authenticity; 2. truthfulness; 3. veracity; 4. reality; 5. validity

反动派   fǎndòngpài   1. reactionaries

右派   yòupài   1. (political) right; 2. right wing; 3. rightist

千钧一发   qiānjūnyīfà   1. a thousand pounds hangs by a thread (idiom); 2. imminent peril; 3. a matter of life or death

江青   JiāngQīng   1. Jiang Qing (1914-1991), Mao Zedong's fourth wife and leader of the Gang of Four

华国锋   HuáGuófēng   1. Hua Guofeng (1921-), leader of Chinese communist party after the cultural revolution

接班   jiēbān   1. to work one's shift; 2. to succeed to a position; 3. to take over a job (on the next shift); 4. to relieve sb as successor

绵里藏针   miánlǐcángzhēn   1. lit. a needle concealed in silk floss (idiom); 2. fig. ruthless character behind a gentle appearance; 3. a wolf in sheep's clothing; 4. an iron fist in a velvet glove

李先念   LǐXiānniàn   1. Li Xiannian (1909-1992), PRC general and politician

亲信   qīnxìn   1. trusted aide

靠得住   kàodezhù   1. reliable; 2. trustworthy

深思   shēnsī   1. to ponder; 2. to consider

一筹莫展   yīchóumòzhǎn   1. to be unable to find a solution; 2. to be at wits' end

炉火   lúhuǒ   1. the fire of a stove

编剧   biānjù   1. to write a play; 2. scenario; 3. dramatist; 4. screenwriter

平平   píngpíng   1. average; 2. mediocre

文献   wénxiàn   1. document

合法性   héfǎxìng   1. legitimacy

更深   gēngshēn   1. deep at night

闲在   xiánzai   1. at leisure

戏剧化   xìjùhuà   1. theatrical

不止一次   bùzhǐyīcì   1. many times; 2. on more than one occasion

公安部   Gōngānbù   1. Ministry of Public Security

真面目   zhēnmiànmù   1. true identity; 2. true colors

柳条   liǔtiáo   1. willow; 2. willow branches; 3. wicker (material for basketwork)

姚文元   YáoWényuán   1. Yao Wenyuan (1931-2005), one of the Gang of Four

丑化   chǒuhuà   1. to defame; 2. to libel; 3. to defile; 4. to smear; 5. to vilify

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The other guest, Zha Jianying, actually wrote a long (English-language) piece a few years ago in the New Yorker about Wang Meng himself – i.e. the guy who’s sat opposite her, basically talking about his life and relationship with the Party and discussing if he’s a regime lackey or not. She goes on to contrast him with a well-known dissident. If you’re interested in that kind of thing I thought it was excellent: here: http://www.newyorker...nt-of-the-state
She's also written a piece about her brother, a democracy activist who spent many years in prison: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/04/23/enemy-of-the-state
Question: Do you think Dou Wentao and Zha Jianying really didn’t understand about Deng and the tap, or were they just humouring Wang Meng?
I don't think made the connection.  Wang Meng might have heard about such bugging from others and made the connection with the scene from the TV series right away.
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Looks like an absolutely brilliant topic, thanks realmayo.


I've found Wang Meng a bit of a turn off in the past, and hard to understand (which is obviously my fault). This looks like a good introduction to him and his life. And to hear them address a bit of 20th century Chinese history is great.


Will add more when I've listened :)

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Youtube link now available, very good quality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRajvk54iBs


There's a second part to this one (next day broadcast, same guests):

王蒙:中国与美国思路不同 不干涉他国内政

(Title suggests that Wang Meng is not going to be ticking my boxes in this one, but will see if the reality is any more nuanced. The two articles by Zha Jianying above were both very interesting, thanks)

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Wang was a bit less overtly pro-CCP in that one than in another episode where he talked about the KMT before 1949. In this episode on the U.S., he expressed admiration for the US's idealism but also chastised it for the way it tends to make things worse with its foreign policy, something probably many of us can agree with.

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michaelS I know what you mean about Wang Meng being a bit of a turn-off and yeah part of that is because he's not easy to understand. But now I've learned a bit about him -- especially thanks to that long New Yorker article -- I'm more happy to give him a go. I guess one nice thing with 锵锵三人行 is how they rotate most of the guests so you see enough of them to get used to them. And, I must get out of the habit of skipping episodes where there are no pretty Taiwanese women! I don't want to turn into 马家辉....


Gato, thanks for pointing out that other article, also really good. 

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