My g/f and I were trying to remember the name of a Russian novel that a mother devoted herself to the cause of the Russian revolution once her son died in jail … for Ding’s story rings an uncanny bell. She was a content professor in a fairly well known college, the only thing drew attention was her divorce: it wasn’t a common occurrence at the time, and they both were married to someone else. It’s quit scandalous. After 1989 she became outspoken, “I don’t remember if she’d gone to jail. Every June 4th there’ll be a police car parked outside of her apartment with few plain cloths milling around ..” preventing her from the foreign media then the hack havoc she could create. People tend to forget the incident, that’s the mentality in China. My g/f didn’t know if Ding’s been harassed – no one actually cared, sadly to say – but on surface, she’s fine, retired, living peacefully. Do what she pleases.
My g/f recalled that when her older son (she and him were classmate in primary school and once again in high school) from previous marriage was attending Physics at Beijing U, she’d sneak out visiting him (Beijing U and People’s U are just stone throw away), brought him some chocolate. The son took a teaching job after graduation and won some academy awards.
When I went to Beijing in 2003, since I needed to do some research for my genealogy project, visit relatives, so I bought a voice recorder. Golfer never been to China, the closest place was Hong Kong, his mom’s birthplace. Like the rest of the West, he doesn’t know much about China – schools was void of Chinese history in the US – so he asked me, “what would you say to the custom agent if they ask you the usage of this voice recorder?” I was bewildered. Understanding his knowledge of China, I teased him, “honey, I’ll say that CIA sent me …”
“Be serious, this is not a laughing matter,” he pleaded.
“What do you think your wife is? ..” I’m too unimportant to be noticed.
“Pls, I don’t want you to be arrested with two kids … “ he worried he’ll never find me?
“Hey, think this way, IF I get arrested, I’ll sure to have publishers lining up ..” that’ll solve my problem of finding an agent and sceure a publisher for my books.
The media could be acutely misleading. His view of China reflected the general sentiment in the West, which is wrong. When we landed in Beijing, clean, modern, wide open, after they stamped our passport, not a single soul had bothered us. I failed to located the luggage checking point. The Chinese are often ask, “The West say … we’re lacking freedom? We have freedom. What more freedom do you need?” I didn’t make this up.
Yes free election, democracy, . . . but pls does Washington really wish for a free election in China right now? India is democracy, Russia is heading that way, are they better off than China right now? Give China some time to mature, to progress at its own pace. Without the communist party, China is a hell of problem for the rest of the world. Not even the mighty US can contain. Don’t wish for something you have no control over …