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The tempest is coming in his name
Except the Ming Dynasty, which did not have a zhai-xiang due to the personal idiosyncrasies of Zhu Yuan-chan, each major dynastic cycle was characterized by an extremely capable personality totally dedicated to the First Emperor and playing the role of the Indispensable Balancer.|
Emperor Qin Huang had Li Si; Han Wu had Dong Zhong-su; Tang Zhong had Wei Jin and Sung Zu had Zhao Pu as their zhai-xiang in the most arduous period of the new regime. In other words, each of the emperor-zhaixian duo was an inseparable entity accounting for the initial successes of the dynasty. You must view the Mao-Zhou interaction in the same perspective.
In other words, it didn't matter who was serving whom in this instance. Each has his own role to play to propel China forward in the world. One was the Great Leader and the other was his Indispensable Balancer. Before the Tsunyi Conference in January, 1935 in Gweizhou, Zhou had in fact been Mao's political superior.
It shouldn't have come as a surprise therefore that Mao Zedong, whose poems often alluded to his self-awareness that he was in the line of succession of these ancient greats, regarded Zhou En-lai as his indispensable zhai-xian after 1935 when the intra-party pecking order was finally taking shape.
In modern China, it was certainly no easy task to be the first zhai-xian of the new Revolutionary Government. Such a person had to play a delicate balancing act neutralizing all tangential shearing forces that threatened to tear the nation apart with each factional leader claiming to represent the vanguard political impetus of the period.
Because of China's suffering at the hands of foreign powers since the Opium War, aspirants to positions of power in the Revolutionary Government had to appear onstage as a member of the Extreme Left, and their presence transcended all traditional imagery of power-holders of previous dynasties.
In outward appearance, such claimants always wore dreary, baggy clothes of the indigents and had none of the trappings of royalties, but in the true essence of their souls, they had no inkling of an idea how to enrich the country economically, nor did they truly know how to return the nation to her past pre-eminence. In their unguarded moments, they even fancied themselves as rags-to-riches royalties.
While many of the most capable high officials had already been sent away from the power center in Beijing, Zhou En-lai was the only one left who could still make a difference as to what could happen to the few that he could protect, Deng Xiao-ping being an exceptionally capable one amongst them.
His job was rendered more difficult because of his failing health, and in June of 1975, at which time the above note was allegedly written to Mao, he was only six months away from taking his last breath.
I would therefore say that one would be expecting too much of our beloved Premier if his motivation behind every move during this extremely testing period be second-guessed or his every word be scrutinized and used as evidence against the gritty content of his character.
Premier Zhou En-lai -- such a man of dauntless courage is hard to find anytime anywhere. That's why so many Chinese people came out on their own to cry openly on that stretch of Chang An Boulevard as his hearse slowly passed on the way to Babaoshan.
The entire nation had wept like a child that day, the day after, and the week after.
The emotive force that his memory engenders in each and every Chinese man and woman on the street is only dormant today. It is not dead. Nothing can stand in the way of such an avalanche of righteous wrath. Not the Taidus, not the Americans, and certainly not the Japanese -- for whose long-term welfare the Premier had painstakingly invested so much of his time and energy.
I can assure you that once the time is ripe and Taiwan Province is back to our rightful embrace, we shall hold the grandest celebration in his honor.
[ Last edited by wchao37 at 2006-1-16 07:46 PM ]