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The famous “Ta Kung Pao” in the early Republic of China ushered in a hell (photo) – Traces of the past – – (AMP version)

The famous “Ta Kung Pao” in the early Republic of China ushered in a hell (photo) – Traces of the past – – (AMP version)
The famous “Ta Kung Pao” in the early Republic of China ushered in a hell (photo) – Traces of the past – – (AMP version)

2023-11-12 09:25 Author: Tie Liu

During the Anti-Japanese War, Zhang Jiluan took a group photo with colleagues from Ta Kung Pao. (Web image)

Editor’s note: Mr. Tieliu was classified as a rightist by the Chinese Communist Party in 1957 and imprisoned in a labor camp. He suffered injustice and injustice for 23 years. He is also one of the founders and one of the main contributors to the “Micro Traces of the Past” column on this website. The contents are all events that the parties personally experienced and witnessed during the anti-rightist, cultural revolution and other movements.

Inscription: A philosopher once said: “Recalling the severe winter is like praising spring.” Recalling the painful years that have passed is the yearning and expectation for the future era. Overnight, 550,000 national intellectual elites were reduced to political “untouchables”, and they disappeared and were buried for the rest of their lives. However, each of their names is an evergreen tree, and they are all devotees of “New China”… An awakened person once cried out in agony: What we built was a red new world, but what we got was a dark hell!

The “anti-rightist struggle” 57 years ago turned 550,000 national intellectual elites into political “untouchables” overnight, and they disappeared and were buried for the rest of their lives. However, each of their names is an evergreen tree. Devotees of “New China”! In those passing years, they used their passion-burning blood and life, and their sincere and selfless youth to strive to pursue and create the ideal and perfect republic in their minds, but what they got was whips, shackles, hunger, fatigue, and even death. It’s a cramp-and-flaying killing. An awakened person once cried out miserably: What we built is a red new world, but what we got is a dark hell!

Mr. Wu Yongliang was once a famous reporter for Beijing’s “Ta Kung Pao”. The younger generation living today, even dating back to their parents’ generation, still have no idea what kind of newspaper “Ta Kung Pao” is? What role did it play in China’s democratic process and in the duel between Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong in the Central Plains? What kind of reporting and editing team did it have? Which famous journalists could be regarded as world-class?

Let’s talk about the history of Ta Kung Pao first. In the first half of the 20th century, Ta Kung Pao was a famous newspaper in China. It was founded in 1902, at the end of the Qing Dynasty, and was jointly taken over by Wu Dingchang, Hu Zhengzhi and Zhang Jiluan. With the purpose of running a newspaper “not party-minded, not blind, not selfish, and not selling out” and adhering to the folk character characterized by literati discussing politics, it is unique in the history of Chinese journalism. This had an important impact on the evolution of the political situation at that time, so it was In 1941, he won the Medal of Honor from the School of Journalism of the University of Missouri in the United States. This was the only newspaper in China to receive this honor. During the heyday of Ta Kung Pao, it was the only Chinese newspaper to publish the Tianjin, Shanghai, Wuhan, Chongqing, Guilin and Hong Kong editions simultaneously or successively. During the Anti-Japanese War, the circulation of the Chongqing edition was greater than that of other newspapers in Chongqing combined, which shows its reputation among readers.

After 1949, Tianjin’s “Ta Kung Pao” was renamed “Progress Daily”. Shanghai’s “Ta Kung Pao” continued to be published, but its original features no longer existed, thus losing a considerable number of readers. In 1953, Shanghai’s “Ta Kung Pao” moved north and merged with “Progress Daily”, and moved its headquarters to Beijing in September 1956. In accordance with the planned economy model, the newspaper divided its labor to report on financial work. Not long after the Cultural Revolution began, on September 14, 1966, this newspaper with a remarkable history of 65 years was forced to cease publication. Today, only Hong Kong still publishes this newspaper. It exists as a local newspaper in Hong Kong and continues the surviving life of “Ta Kung Pao”. However, it no longer has the spirit of the past “Ta Kung Pao” and is just a branch of the CCP in Hong Kong. Sound represents.

“Ta Kung Pao” no longer has the fighting spirit of the past and is only a voice representative of the CCP in Hong Kong. (Image source: Public domain)

Such a newspaper with a gathering of talents and shining stars has attracted the attention and love of the world. Among them was Zhu Qiping, who was dispatched by the newspaper to serve as a reporter for the U.S. Pacific Fleet during World War II. On September 2, 1945, he participated in the Japanese surrender ceremony to the Allies on the battleship Missouri and published the widely read newsletter “Sunset”. He was stationed in the United States again; Xiao Li was a Peking University student before the Anti-Japanese War. After the outbreak of the Anti-Japanese War, he had been active in the anti-Japanese cultural front. After the victory of the Anti-Japanese War, he worked at the Pingming Daily in Peking. After 1954, he served as the leader of the reporter department of Ta Kung Pao. He was quick-thinking. , with humorous language and friendly treatment, and has many popular articles; Gao Fen was a strong female reporter active during the Anti-Japanese War. In the late 1930s, Xia Yan presided over Guilin’s “National Salvation Daily” and later worked at Chongqing’s “Xinmin Daily”. After the victory of the Anti-Japanese War, she served as “Ta Kung Pao” correspondent in Nanjing reported political and cultural news in the Kuomintang capital and was very successful.

Unexpectedly, during the anti-rightist movement that destroyed the country in 1957, a total of twenty of these Ta Kung Pao elites who had made great contributions to the process of democracy and freedom of the Chinese nation would be classified as “anti-rightist”. He was a “hostile element of the Party and against the people” and became a “pariah” in the world, suffering humiliation for more than 20 years. They are: Editor-in-Chief Yuan Yuming, Deputy Editor-in-Chief Zhao Enyuan, Deputy Director of the Reporting Department Xiao Li, reporters Xiao Feng, Ge Yandi, Shan Yuyue, You Zai, Wu Yongliang, Gu Guoquan, Theory Department Editors Zhu Peiren and Mao Jianwu, Supplement Department Editor Gao Fen (who was classified as a rightist while studying at the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China and later reported to the news agency), international department editor Xu Meifang, editor-in-chief Cao Ming, communications team editor Yu Yue, Hong Kong “Ta Kung Pao” Beijing reporter Zhu Qiping; the management department includes: deputy Manager Zhao Yingda, deputy section chief of the business section Feng Junmin, finance section chief Xu Wenlan, business section section chief Shi Wenhua, etc. These people are all senior members of the press, such as Zhu Peiren, who served as deputy editor-in-chief of the Nanjing Kuomintang’s “Central Daily News” and Peking’s “World Daily”; Mao Jianwu, who served as the president of “Ta Kung Pao” during the Anti-Japanese War; Yuan Yuming, who once served as the editor-in-chief of “China Daily” in Beijing; Jinsui Daily”, and later served as the editor-in-chief of “Southwest Xinhua Daily”; Zhao Enyuan, after the victory of the Anti-Japanese War, served as the editorial director of Tianjin’s “Ta Kung Pao”.

Mr. Wu Yongliang wrote in his book “Rain and Snow Falling”: “I have worn the hat of a rightist for more than 20 years, and I have been suppressed for a long time and unable to get rid of anxiety… No matter when and where I am, I always feel anxious. A person of “status” is always in the position of a political pariah who suffers cold discrimination and is often scolded and ridiculed, so that he is criticized and punished at every turn. Sima Qian said in “Bao Ren An Shu” that “the intestines turn nine times in a day” I have a deep understanding of what it feels like. Especially in the first three years of rightist life, they were sent to work in the Great Northern Wilderness. It was the three years of the Great Leap Forward. It was later officially called the “Three Years of Natural Disaster Period”, and the common people clearly called it This is the period of hunger. I have personally experienced what it means to be hungry and cold, and I have also personally experienced the tragedy of some of my friends losing their young lives.”

When talking about why he was classified as a rightist, he wrote humorously and ridiculed: “There are five or six reasons why I am classified as a rightist, some of which are ‘agreeing with rightist remarks’, ‘sympathizing with rightist remarks’ and ‘ The rightists advocate “” and other crimes, which seem to be used to make up the number. For example, my so-called crime said that I echoed the rightist remarks of Xu Ying, Zigang and others. In fact, I have never read such remarks by them, and they have already left The newspaper office, and I have never had any contact with them again. This is not legal at all. Only the first charge imposed on me was justified, that is, it was published at the bottom of the front page of “Ta Kung Pao” on May 12, 1957. An article titled “Obstruction, Restriction, Difficulty, and Discrimination—Some Encounters of Our Journalists’ Complaints and Interviews.” Although this article is not signed, I compiled the materials provided by more than a dozen reporters of this newspaper.” Excerpts from his book are as follows:

“This article has been designated as a poisonous weed that is anti-Party and anti-socialist. It is actually quite ridiculous. Because the content described is nothing more than reporters going to some units to interview and encountering difficulties, or going to certain places to read materials and eating them. The fact that this article has been accused of such a big crime shows that the person responsible for it is really a weakling and has a weak nerve. Moreover, when I wrote, I was purely motivated by the desire to make up for it, and it was nothing more than an appeal to the relevant departments. Pay attention to overcoming shortcomings to facilitate the reporter’s interview, as if to say, there is some dirt on your shoes, please wipe it off, pay attention to erase the edges and corners, it can be said that it has reached a level of stability. Unexpectedly, it happened to be that the higher-level party organization was furious When the time comes, loyalty leads to offence.”

“I heard later that this article was reprinted (or excerpted) by foreign news agencies or overseas newspapers. According to the formula of ‘We must oppose whatever the enemy supports,’ the problem would be huge, so it was appended My case was settled on some trivial things. What are the facts? Time has changed and I have long lost interest in researching the origins.”

The anti-rightist movement in 1957 classified a total of 20 members of the Ta Kung Pao elite as “anti-Party and anti-people hostile elements” and became “untouchables” in the world, suffering humiliation for more than 20 years. (Web image)

The book also records the desolate situation of several famous journalists who were killed, like ink paintings: “On March 25, 1958, the rightists designated by the “Ta Kung Pao” – Zhu Qiping, Xiao Li, Xu Wenlan, Gao Eight people including Fen, Yu Yue, You Zai, Wu Yongliang, and Shi Wenhua were included in the ranks of about 600 “landlords, rich, rebels, bad, and rightists” from several central departments and were sent to farms in eastern Heilongjiang to reclaim wasteland. People there were accustomed to It is called Beidahuang locally and is a famous labor camp.”

“A poem by Meng Haoran, a poet of the Tang Dynasty: Visiting talented people in Luoyang, becoming exiles in Jiangling. The scene now is not about talented people, but a group of dejected rightists who went to Beidahuang to become exiles. Gao Fen and Sister Xu Wenlan, in Beidahuang They have been working in the kitchen, long-term fatigue and malnutrition, and they are haggard, with a veritable “face full of dust and fireworks.” In early 1959, due to hunger, news continued to spread that they were also suffering from edema, especially Gaofen’s facial edema. Paraphrased The reporter added: “Men are afraid of wearing boots (that is, swollen feet), and women are afraid of wearing hats (that is, swollen faces).” Her partners have been worried about her. Fortunately, Gao Fen was transferred back to Beijing in the summer of that year, and Xu Wenlan was also there At the end of the year, we will transfer back together with all the female rightists.”

“Yu Yue is about thirty-four or five years old, slightly younger than the two eldest sisters mentioned above, and is relatively lucky. After she arrived in Beidahuang, due to her poor health, she was not able to adapt to life, and everyone was worried. Fortunately, between June and July 1958 , a group of people from “Ta Kung Pao” were sent to Guizhou Province, including her husband Chen Chuxiong. As a result, she was able to leave Beidahuang as soon as possible, and both she and Chu Xiong went to Guiyang. In 1980, I was transferred to the “Financial and Trade Front News” (“Economic News”) (the predecessor of the Daily) Guizhou reporter station, once visited their house. She was recovering from cerebrovascular disease at home. When she talked about what happened in the Great Northern Wilderness in 1958, she couldn’t help but feel grateful that she could escape death.”

“The reporter, in particular, is two years older than me. He was self-taught as an orphan and has the temperament of a wanderer. He is often able to get to the bottom of things during interviews, and his reporting articles are quite powerful. He speaks freely. In 1957, At a press conference in the company, I summarized what I saw during an interview somewhere in Sichuan into three sentences: there is no freedom of speech, no protection of human rights, and unequal social status. At that time, this kind of situation did exist in some places. It was definitely not a lie. However, he was labeled as a rightist because of this statement.”

“You Zai’s body is thin and small, and he is often unable to do his job in the forced labor in the Great Northern Wilderness. He has a sallow complexion and thin muscles, and the word ‘earth-colored face’ is very appropriate to describe him. Film actor Zhang Ying, a fellow prisoner in the same group, has a humorous language. He once joked: ‘You Zai, No matter when a piece of yellow paper is put on your face, you can cry.’ But he finally survived the long night and returned to Beijing more than two months before me in the autumn of 1960. The following year, he was sent to labor in Hunan Province by the newspaper. The base raises pigs. I am ranked second to last in age. I was thirty-two years old in 1958 and was a veteran on the football field. As a refugee, I was still young. My physical strength and mentality were slightly stronger than You Zai’s, but in the ordinary people’s In the eyes, I am one of the vulnerable people. In the past few years, I have heard the news twice with my own ears that I have died in the Great Northern Wilderness.”

“One evening in the spring of 1983, I was drinking tea with my classmate from the Department of Journalism at Fudan University, the poet Zhang Tianshou, across from me in a small teahouse in Chongqing. I was sitting opposite him, but he frowned and said to me : ‘Someone did tell me that you had died in the Great Northern Wilderness a long time ago.’ I felt a little funny, but also a little surprised. I thought that it was probably because some of my friends made this judgment based on my situation at the time, and they didn’t expect me. With great fortune and great fortune, I escaped safely.”

“Another person who spread the rumor was brother Jiao Yongfu from the Ministry of Culture. We were fellow refugees in Beidahuang. Although we had very few contacts, we knew each other. Until 1985, he and a colleague from the Economic Daily went to Europe together. During the interview, he learned during the conversation that I worked at the Economic Daily. He was a little surprised and said: “I heard that he was dead long ago, but he is still here. “This shows that my image at that time was not an ordinary mess. However, I survived and entered the 21st century safely. This is the so-called “the world is in chaos, and survival happens by chance”… I was a refugee in the Northern Wilderness for nearly three years. For years, they worked about twelve to sixteen hours a day. In winter, they braved the severe cold of minus 40 degrees Celsius, fought hard, and fought at night. Coupled with about two years of famine, humans ate dogs and dogs – beans and corn leaves. There were many people who served as part of the food supply until they became bloated and eventually died in the black soil.”

History, history, a terrible history of bitter blood and tears! I want to forget but I can’t. It’s been more than fifty years, half a century!

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Editor-in-Chief: Fu Longshan Source: China Column — All rights reserved. Reprinting in any form requires authorization from China.

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