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Making good use of resources real journalists have, the Guardian has joined the fray in the controversy regarding Ping Fu's autobiography, Bent, not Break: A Life in Two Worlds.

Joining in the criticism of her book are some of the most respected China experts in the world, including Prof. Perry Link, a world renowned expert on modern Chinese literature at the University of California at Riverside and Emeritus Professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton University, Prof. Yinghong Cheng, a professor of history at Delaware State University, and Prof. Therese Hesketh of University College London, an expert on population controls in China.

With the help from these experts, the article raised new questions about the book, not raised in my previous series of diaries. Anyone following this controversy should read the article.

Below is a short summary of the key points in the Guardian article.

For background information, please read my previous diaries: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, and Part VIII.

In my previous diaries, I had to rely mostly on Ping Fu's own words and common knowledge such as the history and geography of Nanjing and Shanghai to refute Ping Fu's lies. Some events described in her book, including the Red Maple Society and the infanticide thesis, I could not refute because I did not have any concrete evidence, although those claims looked suspicious. The article in Guardian was able to refute these claims with the help of experts.

About the Red Maple Society, Ping Fu said in the book that they sent a representative to Beijing for a meeting organized by publishers:

The government decided at the last minute to ban the gathering of the ten universities, deeming it illegal. Instead, it was announced that china's de facto leader, Deng Xiaoping, would receive the representatives for a private meeting.

This was when things went terribly wrong.

The Guardian article showed that the above claim was completely false:
Perry Link, an expert on modern Chinese literature at the University of California at Riverside, said student magazine representatives met in 1979, but added: "I do not believe for a moment that Deng Xiaoping ever came near the group."

Neither he nor others knows of a representative from Fu's group, Red Maple, attending. Fu said she believed the article was selected for This Generation, the joint publication from the meeting, but Link's copy shows it is not included.

And even the existance of the Red Maple Society was questioned by someone who was there:
Yinghong Cheng, now a professor of history at Delaware state university, studied at the same time and in the same building at Suzhou as Fu, and had his own literary group. He told the Guardian: "I am completely unaware of that group [Red Maple] and publication, and if it had been that popular I would have known about it."
Ping Fu countered this criticism with another ridiculous lie:
Fu, who supplied a copy of her magazine, said her contemporaries might not have heard of the society because it was underground. She said Deng met the representatives at the same time as Communist Youth League leaders, noting that she was told about the meeting and was not present.
Sure, an underground magazine would send a representative to Beijing to be received by the paramount leader himself, bringing with him a copy of the magazine that was supposed to be secret. It makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?

As for Ping Fu's claim that she personally witnessed hundreds of baby killings:

I witnessed the horrifying consequences with my own eyes: female infants drowned in rivers and lakes, umbilical wounds still fresh; baby girls flushed down the sewage system or suffocated in plastic bags and tossed into garbage bins
The glaring out of time, out of place errors notwithstanding (in 1982 there were few plastic bags in China, and most places did not have garbage bins), here is what Guardian says about the claim:
The entrepreneur claims she was ordered to leave China after exposing female infanticide in the early 80s, writing that in a few months of research she "witnessed with her own eyes" drowned and suffocated female infants. Last month, she told a radio station she watched "hundreds of baby girls being killed in front of my eyes. I saw girls being tossed into the river."

Therese Hesketh of University College London, an expert on population controls in China, said: "I have never heard stories of this kind. Infanticide did of course occur, but was not commonplace … It certainly was not done in public as even at that time to be caught meant a possible murder charge."

Finally, perhaps the most ridiculous claim in the whole book, as described by the Guardian:
One of her most striking claims is that Sun Yat-sen, revered as the father of modern China, "raised my grandfather and granduncle as his own sons" – akin to a Briton being reared by Winston Churchill. Prof John Wong of the University of Sydney, an expert on Sun's life, said he had no knowledge of such wards.

Fu told the Guardian: "That was what I was told by my family before I left China. I believe this is true. My mother says it's in history books." She then added that Sun was attentive towards them, rather than actually adopting them.

I had not noticed this detail myself. Good catch, Guardian!

I am glad that finally journalists are starting to do their job in this case. We can tell Chinese people now that free press indeed works. Thank you!

Originally posted to xgz on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 06:15 AM PST.

Also republished by Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter.

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Comment Preferences

  •  At the Daily Beast (6+ / 0-)

    ...Harold Evans takes the opposite view.

    -8.88, -9.59 In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher. -Tenzin Gyatso, H.H. the Dalai Lama

    by BobSoperJr on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:17:31 AM PST

    •  Keep in mind that Harold Evans is not an (8+ / 0-)

      impartial party. His wife Tina Brown is good friend of Ping Fu. She promoted Fu's book on NPR.

    •  Oh, and he knows little about China (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hqc, Buhui, hailanzhiguang, Haoshen

      Perry Link, on the other hand, is the heavy weight when it comes to modern China.

    •  Professor Perry Link is a great Chinese expert. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xgz, Buhui, Pluto, hqc

      He is respected by Chinese dissidents here. He is also on the blacklist of the CCP government and he is forbidden to go to mainland China.

    •  Yinghong Cheng, of Delaware State, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HamdenRice, Sharon Wraight

      only says that he was not aware of the Red Maple club while at Suzhou. He makes no claim bearing on the truthfulness of the statements in the book.

      Therese Hesketh says that her never heard of public disposal of females. The confusion likely goes to whether these bodies were produced by killing new-born females or by abortion. Ping Fu thought she was seeing newborns, but accounts at the time favor abortion.

      China has aborted an extra 40,000,000 or so female fetuses.

      (It's an experiment to see how many of the extra boys change sexual orientation ??? China does everything Super Sized.)

      The utter savagery of the Red Guards and the Cultural Revolution are what deserve attention. Mao and his Gang of Four used the late teens and twenty-somethings of the Red Guards to murder 3,000,000 people. Rape and property theft were rampant. Today's CCP never apologizes, never states the truths of what happened.

      Kids such as Ping Fu, 8 in 1966, bore the brunt of this organized mob violence. Millions and millions were ripped from their parents.

      Take everything the Catholic priest pedophiles did to kids and multiply by 1,000. That was the cultural revolution.

      "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

      by bontemps2012 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 01:38:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yinghong Cheng, of the same college, same time (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xgz, hqc, ScienceMom

        as Ping Fu, with his own literary group, was not aware of Fu's group, even though they studied in the same building, because her club was 'underground'. Meanwhile, she edits for her underground club's 'popular magazine', and an article she edits gets seen by Deng and ires him. Her underground club gets selected to a national meeting, and representative from her club meets Deng. The article she edited gets published in the meeting's publication. Only the copy anyone could find today doesn't contain it.

        Anything that can be checked, does not turn out to be true. Same old same old for poor Ping Fu.

      •  aborting females is a more recent phenomenon (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mythatsme, xgz, Catte Nappe

        I'm far from a chinese expert, but let's just say that the 1 child policy was instituted sometime in the mid-to-late 70's- well after the Red Guard era. Ultra sound technology (for sex prediction) started to be available only in the 80's, and probably not popularized in China until later.

        The cultural Revolution was cruel and stupid, but I don't think rape was used in a systematic way.  Let's not get carried away here.

      •  Based on the information provided by Fu's... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xgz, Buhui, hqc

        critics, it would appear that Fu was a member of the Red Guard and was part of the political elite.

        Far from being a victim of the Chinese Government or the cultural revolution, it appears more likely she was a participant and beneficiary of these policies.

        Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

        by LiberalCanuck on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 07:01:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  She was too young to be a Red Guard (0+ / 0-)

          Her family were wealthy merchants in Shanghai, which continued to have a capitalist sector into the 1960s. Her family was persecuted because they were wealthy merchants. She definitely was NOT a member of the RG (she was only 8) and her family did not benefit from the Cultural Revolution.

          I think the more valid criticism of her portrayal of herself is that when she left China, she was still discriminated against. When she left China the Deng government had spent an enormous effort reversing the results of the GPCR. Those who were persecuted were rehabilitated, so a capitalist family like hers would have had some clout and connections, even if she had gotten into some trouble.

          In fact much of Deng's domestic politics were in reaction to the CR and excesses of the RG. Deng's regime is I think best understood as a counter-revolution. His colleagues had been murdered or imprisoned, and while he personally escaped physical harm, his son was tortured and thrown out of a window by the Red Guard, and made a paraplegic for life. (Deng's son, who is today wheelchair bound, is now one of China's leading disability advocates.)  Deng killed hundreds of people during the Tiananmen Square movement because he hated and feared student movements -- especially if they seemed to be getting out of control.

          Who was an elite or beneficiary of various eras in China is extremely complicated. I would classify the current rulers and second generation princelings are people who are extremely bitter about how Mao, Jiang Qing and the Red Guard destroyed their lives and families, even though they were mostly loyal communist party cadres, and feel China owes them.

          Bo Xilai, the Sichuan politician at the center of the recent murder and corruption scandal is a good example. His father was Bo Yibo, a high level military commander and minister of finance up until the GPCR. He was denounced by the Red Guard, "struggled," thrown in prison and tortured for 12 years so badly that he lost use of his hands and had to eat food off the floor like a dog. Bo Xilai as a youth had been forced to denounce him. Bo Xilai's mother was "struggled," imprisoned and tortured to death. Hence the somewhat mercenary approach of Bo Xilai to politics, as well as many other elites who suffered under Mao.

          •  Who said she was a red guard at 8? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            On the other hand, Fu claims she was persecuted for all of 10 years in the cultural revolution. Are you saying that she was too young to be a red guard all the way until she was 18?

            The photo she provided clearly shows her wearing a red guard arm band. She provided its link and said it showed she didn't have an arm band. What's she betting on? That all non-blind people wouldn't bother to look?
            And she claimed that the photo was taken in the school she attended (which she never did in other versions of her story), but it's such a famous park in Nanjing that any people familiar with Nanjing would immediately recognize.


            In the same article, she provided a link to a blog post that she claimed was a response to Fang Zhouzi's criticism of her book and that the post agrees with her account. Anyone that reads Chinese would see that the post is calling her out as a habitual liar. What's she betting on? That nobody who reads Chinese will see it? Or everyone who doesn't read Chinese won't even bother with a google-translated version of the blog post?

          •  Also Deng Pufang wasn't thown off a building. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            He was 'struggled' and decided to kill himself. The building he jumped off was the same building that I personally had classes in. He hasn't been much of an advocate for the disabled, though he was director of the national federation of the disabled for 20 years.

            Bo Yibo didn't lose any use of either hand. His injury was his broken back. There are rumors floating on the internet that Bo Xilai not only denounced him but also stomped on him and broke several of his ribs, but that story never checked out.

            You seem to think that people in China don't know about what happened in the CR. In fact most Chinese people know more about the horrors of the cultural revolution than you. They would also know about the horrors closer to reality than you.

  •  Yes, I am glad too! Our fight for truth finally (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xgz, Sychotic1, Buhui, Pluto, hqc

    gets attention and support from the western free media and China experts. "We can tell Chinese people now that free press indeed works." Thank you, Guardian.

  •  I think some of the criticism of a bit nitpicky (4+ / 0-)

    This is a bit on the fly because I haven't read the book or all the criticism, but have for personal reasons been somewhat immersed in the history of the Cultural Revolution for the last six months or so.

    I think my main suspicion is that she is too young to have been caught up in the Cultural Revolution. That generation was born around 1950 and were teens in 1966 when the disaster started. She would only have been about 8.

    On the other hand, maybe when she says "work camp," she is simplifying or misremembering. The time she says she was sent to a work camp corresponds pretty well with when Mao turned on the Red Guard and sent them "down to the country to learn from the peasants," in order to end the chaos of student Red Guard activities. The memories that those kids have of being sent down to the country are almost as severe as memories of people sent to actual work camps. They really didn't go to school, and they really did work like animals.

    The stuff about her being a member of a black class is not really inconsistent with her also being marginally Red Guard. In fact, the GPCR became super hyper violent in part because children of the black classes saw it as a chance to take revenge on the red classes and advance themselves. Mao had ordered the Red Guard to attack the headquarters -- ie his own Communist Party -- and the children of black classes used that as an excuse to engage in horrific street fighting, and in many places they won. It was complicated and it's impossible to sort out who was who. You might take a look at the overthrow of the provincial government of Fukien by Red Guard children from Xiamen (Amoy).

    Also as has been pointed out admission to college at the end of the GPCR without formal schooling wasn't that impossible. There was a sort of counter-revolution with many of the kids who had been under-privileged under the Gang of Four getting privileges especially if Deng thought the parents had been badly treated during the CR. (I know, her dates are off by a year or so).

    Also, it's not unlikely for her to have met Deng. He was a real worldwind and met hundreds of thousands of people -- but maybe her error is to make it sound like a sit down rather than Deng passing through and shaking hands and asking questions and moving on. I read a memoir by a Red Guard kid who "met" Mao at a mass rally, but later had a real sit down with Zhou Enlai who was mediating ceasefires between hundreds of ultra violent Red Guard factions.

    I dunno, it sounds more like simplification and faulty memory than outright fraud and lies.

    •  If you read my previous diaries, you would know (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Buhui, Haoshen, hqc, lotlizard

      how wrong you are.

      For example, she never lived in Shanghai in reality. Yet she claimed a wealthy and comfortable life in Shanghai in her book.

      Almost every major event in her book is a lie. The Red Maple Society was supposed to be her college club. You cannot blame that on faulty childhood memory, can you?

      •  I was an editor of a small college magazine (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        absdoggy, Sharon Wraight

        If you asked anyone who went to that college at that time about it other than those of us who were on it, they would say they never heard of it also.  

        •  Not if you get invited to Washington DC to meet (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Buhui, Haoshen, hqc, lotlizard

          president. Then everyone would know.

          Besides, she clearly tried to explain the inconsistency with another lie (underground magazine), which you somehow are overlooking. This alone proves that she was lying about the society.

          •  Ironically I met a head of state at the time (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elfling, bontemps2012

            Actually he was a former head of state. My African History professor introduced me to Namdi Azikiwe, the former president of Nigeria, at the time I was an editor.

            Not sure how they are related.

            No one would remember my magazine because I met former president Azikiwe.

            •  If you say so about Nigera (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              xgz, Haoshen, hqc

              I wouldn't disagree with you unless I study enough about the country.

              We knew what China was like, and that's why we can tell that she has been lying. It's hard to process information that is beyond our life experience. I think that an important step is set up a procedure and look at the derivatives of the information.

            •  Did anyone know who Azikiwe was? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I'm not sure how they are related either.

              Are you comparing what Deng was to the Chinese people, to what Azikiwe was to (I suppose) the Americans? Really?

              •  That's the point - it isn't related at all (0+ / 0-)

                anymore than the fact that the author met Deng while she was the author of an obscure magazine is relevant at all.

                •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  The point is that there is a world of difference between some obscure figure and the most important political figure in your own country. How many of your peers even heard of Azikiwe even then? Are you saying that if you personally interviewed Nixon (or whichever president was in power) and published in your campus newspaper, or that Nixon personally mentioned your article in a paper, nobody would know about it?

      •  Looked through more of your diaries (6+ / 0-)

        They have a strange quality -- like you set up straw men and knock them down.

        First, let me recommend an excellent first hand account of the CR -- Ken Ling's, "Revenge of Heaven: Diary of a Young Chinese." It's a first hand account of a young student in the Red Guard.

        If I had read it when I was in grad school studying Chinese history, I would have dismissed it as Taiwanese propoganda. In the intervening years, everything he said that was challenged has been verified. Ken Ling is a pseudonym of a person who escaped China to Taiwan and eventually settled in the US. I was so awed by the book that I tracked the real author down and plan to interview him. Unfortunately, the book was banned in both China -- and then in Taiwan for portraying too good a picture of mainland China before the CR -- an important point given something you wrote.

        As you know there is a large literature about China during the CR sometimes called "scar literature." Ling's account was the first, written immediately after he had escaped, around 1970, based on diaries and is very immediate. Ling was an ultra violent Red Guard who eventually went from being the hunter to the hunted.

        So first off, Ling confirms that gang rape was very, very common during the CR by rival Red Guard factions. You wrote:

        The reason that rapists often murdered their victims during the Cultrual Revolution, was that they knew that the punishment for rape was death penalty. Everyone knew this.
        This may be true of common criminals but it was not true of Red Guard rival factions who Ling in graphic detail recounts used mass gang rape. These occurred during street battles between rival RG factions.

        The reason they did not fear punishment was that Mao gave explicit orders that neither the police nor army were (at first) to interfere with the actions of the "little generals." Ling describes his faction having such impunity that they raided local police and army barracks for weapons while soldiers and police stood by helplessly. Within a year, rival RG were fighting each other with heavy military hardware, including grenades, machine guns, howitzers and armored personnel carriers and the like -- all of which has since been confirmed. The Taiwan press at the time confirmed this -- writing that the military were dumping the dead bodies of thousands of bodies of RG faction fighters, too many to bury, into Xiamen's harbor. So gang rape would have been completely plausible during the CR, considering that ultra violence was common, and such rapes have been described first hand.

        You also wrote that you didn't think her story about middle class life in Shanghai could be true because they were eating so much food:

        That puts the scene between 1961 and 1965. What happened in China during that time? A great famine in which 30 million people died of starvation during the beginning of this period. Food ration was imposed everywhere in China, including Shanghai, and continued until after Mao's death in 1976.
        Actually between 61 and 66, China had recovered. The famine ended in 1961, the Great Leap Forward ended, and Mao was secretly deposed. The leadership, Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiopeng, were astoundingly effective in ending the famine and increasing food production. Ling, from a lower middle class family, describes Xiamen and Beijing awash in cheap street food, which was outside the coupon system. In fact, Ling's book was banned in Taiwan for the comical reason that he painted too nice a picture of Xiamen before the CR began with his mother cooking elaborate meals and him feeding his kitten (Taiwan allegedly banned the book over the kitten, which they argued no one in China could afford to feed!)  

        Again, your argument seems strawman-ish to me. Ling describes plenty of food during his Red Guard meet up in Shanghai.

        I could go on, but it just seems that a lot of your objections are speculative.

        •  You never lived in China (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Buhui, Haoshen, hqc

          I did.

          And you are using someone who escaped to Taiwan as an authoritive source. This would be laughed off by anyone who knows about China.

          1970's Taiwan was a dictatorship. There was no freedom of speech. It's propaganda was as unreliable as any other propaganda from a dictatoship.

          Food shortage did not disappear until after Mao died. Ask anyone who lived in China.

          •  It wasn't Taiwanese propoganda (5+ / 0-)

            It was suppressed in Taiwan because it wasn't nationalist enough. Anyway, the author is real, and real east Asian scholars have corroborated everything Ling wrote.

            As for food shortage, you are missing the point entirely. The famine ended in 61. Liu and Deng produced abundant food surpluses from 61 to 66. Then Mao destroyed the country all over again. You are claiming there was no food between 61 and 66 and that's factually wrong.

            And yes, I have worked and traveled in China although not during the period under discussion.

            Perhaps you could step back and explain just what so offends you about this book? I think the author explains that almost all the discrepancies she is accused of are not actually in the book but in blog entries like yours which mischaracterize what she wrote.

            And rape was common among rival factions of the Red Guard.

            •  See the table below for grain production in China (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Haoshen, hqc, quill, hailanzhiguang

              You are certainly not correct to say that the famine ended in 61.

              Almost everything Ping Fu said in the book is not correct. She has not been able to explain any of the discrepancies. The "underground magazine" type of explanation is just an insult on people's intelligence.

              Rape among rival factions of the Red Guard? Are you serious? Do you know that most of these Red Guard leaders were put in jail, many were sentenced to death, when Mao was done with them? They were accused of many crimes. If any of them had raped rival Red Guards, it would have been an automatic death penalty. Do you think their rivals would not be publicizing such heineous crimes?

              I suggest that you read Life and Death in Shanghai, by Cheng Nien, for a more realistic description of Shanghai life before and during the Cultural Revolution.

              There were massive rapes of the Red Guards, but it did not happen at the time, in the form that was described by Ping Fu. The massive rapes happened after the Red Guards were sent to the countryside to receive "re-education" from the peasants.

              What offends me about this book, is that her Shanghai life didn't exist, her gang rape didn't exist, her factory work didn't exist (in reality, it was after she graduated from the middle school), her infanticide paper didn't exist, and her deportation to the US didn't exist.

              If you take away these, there is almost nothing left about her life in China.

              I have a strong suspicion that parts of her life in the US in this book are also fake. Maybe we will find out.

            •  It wasn't suppressed but promoted in Taiwan (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              xgz, terrybuck

              instead. Then it got too popular and some of the details didn't chime with the Taiwan gov propaganda, then the gov shut it down. There were actually television programs promoting the book before that was shut down too.

              I'm curious when you said a few times that "real east Asian scholars have corroborated everything Ling wrote". How did they check everything? The rape stories, for example.

        •  Grain production in China in million tons (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Haoshen, hailanzhiguang

          1967-12-31 146.72
          1966-12-31 141.94
          1965-12-31 130.27
          1964-12-31 121.39
          1963-12-31 108.61
          1962-12-31 99.56
          1961-12-31 91.88
          1960-12-31 90.00
          (source: Earth Policy Institute)

          The famine clearly would not have ended in 1961 if the production didn't start to increase until the end of 1962. And the grain production did not reach 1958 level until after 1964, but still below "normal" considering the population growth.

          The point is, a lot of us lived through that period. We know what it was like.

          •  Your data disagrees with you (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            beaky, elfling, Sharon Wraight, absdoggy

            You wrote:

            That puts the scene between 1961 and 1965. What happened in China during that time? A great famine in which 30 million people died of starvation during the beginning of this period.
            Your own data shows that grain production began recovering. All historical accounts show that the actual famine ended in 1961-62.

            A "great famine" did not happen between 61 and 65. That's just plain dead out wrong -- which is supported by your own data. And btw, Chinese production data was notoriously bad. Suffice it to say that even though rural people were perpetually hungry, the markets of the big cities were full of food during the period under Liu Shaoqi and Deng before the GPCR.

            Grain production isn't the only issue, however; like most famines, this famine was caused mostly by mismanagement (over collection of grain tax). As the Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen famously observed, famine is not a problem of there not being enough food; it's a problem of people not having the income to buy the food that is available. The Great Leap Forward famine was a man made management famine, with many grain warehouses full of food while people starved and that mismanagement ended by 61-62.

            You claim there would have been famine still in 1965. No historian agrees with this. Your own data show that grain production was almost 50% higher in 1965 than 1961.

            For someone with such high standards of perfect accuracy for the memoirist, your own arguments are not particularly convincing fact wise.

            I still don't get what your objections are to this memoir which seems to conform to the consensus historical record -- while your assertions don't.

            •  You are misquoting me (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Buhui, hailanzhiguang
              That puts the scene between 1961 and 1965. What happened in China during that time? A great famine in which 30 million people died of starvation during the beginning of this period.
              And the grain production did not reach 1958 level until after 1964, but still below "normal" considering the population growth.
              There were still food shortages in 1965. I never said that the famine lasted til 1965.

              I hope you did not intentionally distort my words.

              Since you are not interested in a real debate, I will not argue with you any more. The facts are all here for everyone to see.

              •  Sorry, but you are distorting your words (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sharon Wraight, terrybuck

                You wrote:

                between 1961 and 1965. What happened in China during that time? A great famine in which 30 million people died of starvation during the beginning of this period.
                By normal English interpretation, you are saying that between 61 and 65, "what happened"? and answer "A great famine." You then modify this to say that 30 million died during the beginning of this great famine. You clearly implied that the famine lasted until 1965, which is the only way to read what you wrote because you are arguing that the author could not have had decent meals.

                Sorry, but like much of what you've written it is much more factually inaccurate than anything you've been able to demonstrate the author claiming.

                Another example is when she discusses her injuries. You claim that she could not have had an x-ray. But she never claimed to have had an x-ray, just a diagnosis, which is perfectly consistent with China's mix of modern, traditional, and low-cost "barefoot doctor" type medical practice. They didn't need modern equipment to give her the diagnosis she received. It goes on and on like this and it's very difficult to figure out what your point actually is.

                •  My poor English (0+ / 0-)

                  The sentence should have been:

                  A great famine during the beginning of this period in which 30 million people died of starvation.
                  A great famine in which people only died during the beginning of the period makes no sense whatsoever. But what can I say. After all it's not my native language...
        •  I wonder if FU's book would've been banned (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xgz, hqc

          in Taiwan had it been written in the 1970s, because, you know, it paints too nice a picture of pre-CR China. None of the things in her book that could be checked out, were actually checked out to be true. Many turn out to be fake. Now it's just those details that can't be checked that she's still not maintaining as true.

        •  Also, Ken Ling (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xgz, HamdenRice

          Or 凌耿 in Chinese, psudonym of 郭坤仁.

          The wiki page lists his birth date in 1943. This is not sourced, and couldn't be right. According to his book and other accounts, he was born in 1950.

          The Chinese version of his book can be found here:

          An interview of him as an NTU alum is here from just last year:

          •  Yes I read that - also here is ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sharon Wraight

            the original news account of his escape by swimming to Taiwanese controlled islands off Amoy. His real name in English (as then transliterated) is Kuo Kun-jen. He was 19 in 1968, so he was born in around 1949.


            Youths Who Swam from Mainland Tell of Atrocious Life

                Publication Date:09/01/1968

            Four Chinese youths who swam from the coast of Fukien province to Kinmen (Quemoy) Island told a Taipei press conference on Aug. 28 that Mao Tse-tung's cultural revolution has caused the deathes of "hundreds of thousands" and driven "innumerable" others into slave labor camps in the last two years.

            They confirmed reports received in early July that more than 8,000 bodies were found floating on the West River following a series of factional clashes and armed fights between the supporters and opponents of Mao Tse-tung in Kwangsi and Kwangtung provinces.

            The foursome who escaped to freedom are Kuo Kun-chung, 31, his brother Kuo Kun-jen, 19, Chen Ching-tse, 27, and Hsieh Hsiang-ling, 24. All four are natives of Fukien.

            It's an amazing story. It suggests that the violence was as much because of factional fighting and the Mao government "unleashing" angry youths rather than actually directing the most violent episodes, which was mostly factional.

            In a context in which they were killing each other by the thousands and breaking into government armories, without fear of punishment, it's not hard to believe that they also used rape, as Ling documented. In fact, the climax of Ling's story is that one of his "girl comrades," a returned Chinese from Indonesia, was brutally raped and her body desecrated, and then his girlfriend was murdered and those were among the reasons he determined to leave.

            •  See the comment below by hailanzhiguang (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Your source is a fiction.

              If you read Chinese, follow the link provided by masterpork. It says clearly that it was a work of fiction.

              •  The Chinese website is wrong (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bontemps2012, elfling, Sharon Wraight

                It wasn't even initially published in Chinese, but in English with the help of two US university professors, and then excerpted in the NY Times magazine.

                •  The two coauthors (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  xgz, fromohio, Buhui, hqc

                  One of the coauthors, Miriam London, was probably not a professor. All available sources say she was/is a researcher on Soviet Union and China. No mention of her title or her institution could be found. The other coauthor Ta-Ling Lee, was "professor of history at Southern Connecticut University (retired). He has written exensively on human rights in China." London's husband, however, was indeed "a professor of psychology at Brooklyn College who wrote about social conditions in the Soviet Union and China", who was also heavily involved in the book, but was not on the author list.

                  Mr London's psychology background was quite crucial in the making of the book. I don't think a 'dairy wrapped in plastic' was the source of the book, or that it existed at all. The Chinese version was actually translated from the English version.

                  •  Ling presented London with the manuscript (0+ / 0-)

                    Ling already had a 500,000 character manuscript when he and London met. They then did 300 hours of formal interviews with the researchers cross checking against available documents and news accounts.

                    The book is footnoted with the researchers cross checking of Lling's account.

                    •  Where in the book did he say that? (0+ / 0-)

                      Near the end of the book, he clearly said that he burned all his journals of all 8 years.

                      •  It's in the Preface (0+ / 0-)

                        by the American based researchers.

                        Also, the entire argument is becoming circular. Why is it necessary to attack Ken Ling's account, which is considered among academics as factual, in order to preserve your attack on Fu? Is it because Ling shows that there was food in the major cities like Shanghai and the famine was over (even though the poor were still hungry)? Is it because Ling discusses gang rapes by Red Guards?

                        What exactly is your point?

                        Is every source that corroborates anything Fu said now suspect?

                        I honestly don't get your objection to Fu or Ling at this point -- and just saying it's all lies doesn't really explain anything.

                        •  When is getting the truth equated to attacking? (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          xgz, hqc, hailanzhiguang

                          My point, if I had one, was to find out exactly what could be possibly true in Fu's story. The gang rape story was not that credible to begin with, but it's hard to prove fake. I wasn't trying to look at this aspect at all, until you brought up Ling's book as corroboration of Fu's experience. So I took an interest in Ling's book. If the book is indeed corroborated and fact-checked and regarded as factual by academics, by prominent scholars, it of course adds to my understanding of the period. But I'm not just going to take your words for it. That's why I'm asking some questions. If I'm attacking someone, please take it as me attacking your credibility.

                          At this moment, I'm not sure what your point exactly is. Defending Ping Fu just for the sake of it? What exactly that she said has actually checked out? Ending of the famine doesn't actually prove that Fu's family were indeed having 13-course dinners everyday, mind you. For example, how do you rationalize her claiming that one of her classmates blog post corroborate instead of contradict her story? If you don't read Chinese, fire up a google translation page.

                        •  Back to Ling's book (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          xgz, hqc, hailanzhiguang

                          Copying word by word from the Preface:

                          THIS BOOK was developed from more than 500,000 Chinese characters submitted by Ken Ling and more than 300 hours of formal interviewing by the core members of a research team...
                          Where did it say he had 500,000 words BEFORE they met? Or that these were from his diaries?

                          Toward the end of the book, he wrote

                          Then, piling up all my diaries of the last eight years, I set them afire.
                          And, if one read Ivan London's article which I linked to, one would know these are from London's assignment of 'projective writing' to Ling.

                          The footnotes throughout the book were of the type to aid readers, mostly explaining words and phrases or adding details. None that are corroborations or fact-checking.

                          The end of the book contains a section 'Notes' of about 5 pages, mostly listing historical events and reconciling their apparent conflicts with the book.  Some were not reconciled, for example, in note 5, regarding the date of Wang Guangmei's capture.

                          Not much in his book is very surprising, except for the part about him personally involved in Ye Fei and Wang Guangmei, and the gang rape scene (over a hundred girls being gang raped in a fight). The gang rape scenes were in Chap 25-27. Chapter 25 had 3 footnotes, one adding details about the size of the factions, one says a saying was used by Mao, one explains what's a starved ghost. Chap 26 has one, explaining a wedding custom about candies. Chap 27 has none.

                          You claim that the book is based on his diaries. You claim that it's 'considered among academics as factual' by 'prominent scholars'.  I naturally wanted to know how they are corroborated and fact-checked, as you claimed. But they all turn out to be distortions and misinformation by you.

                •  Let's assume all you said is correct and (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  xgz, hailanzhiguang, Buhui, hqc

                  all others, experts or not, are wrong. I will just ask you one simple question. Assuming we all live in the States. If you have two kits, will you ask (or kidnap) a stranger to babysit them when you are away at work? Since you are such a knowledgeable person, you should have an easy answer. I am all ears.

                  •  He wasn't a good Dad, I suppose (0+ / 0-)

                    My ex-mother in law had a similar experience arriving at Kennedy Airport in the 1970s from Greneda. She didn't know anyone, a Grenedan woman offered to help her, and that woman confiscated her passport and kept her virtual prisoner for a year.

                    Because of the stories she told me, I didn't find that particular part of Fu's story unbelievable.

                    There are plenty of scams carried out against newly arrived confused immigrants mostly by their own countrymen.

                    •  Wait, now it's really interesting (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      xgz, hqc, hailanzhiguang

                      Your ex inlaw was kidnapped at JFK by a Grenadian in the 1970s? Are you just making shit up as you go?

                    •  Hey, Editor, wait a minute! (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      xgz, hqc

                      You did not answer my question.  My question was, if you have two small kits, will you invite (or kidnap, for that matter) a stranger to babysit them while you are away at work the whole day? Was your ex-mother kidnapped to babysit someone's small kits when there was nobody else at home to take care of them? Kidnapping happens here and there all the time. It is not uncommon, but to kidnap a stranger to sit one's babies really challenges the common sense. Were we not taught " Don't speak to strangers" by our parents when we were young? I don't think you, as a parent, will ever ask a stranger to babysit your kits unless you are mentally retarded!!

                  •  And I'm not saying other experts are wrong (0+ / 0-)

                    In fact, I'm not aware of any experts slamming Ms. Fu's book, just a swarm of bloggers.

                    I'm not saying I'm right, and they're wrong. It's just that the criticism of Ms. Fu, on it's face, doesn't make sense. Her book is condemned because she says she was in a labor camp; except she never wrote that she was in a labor camp. Her book is condemned because she couldn't have had an X-ray; but she never said she had an X-ray.

                    It's just weird that this army of angry critics is reacting to what other bloggers have said about the book, and not to the book.

                    •  Perry Link is pretty much a China expert, (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      hailanzhiguang, hqc, xgz

                      an expert not welcomed by Beijing at that. He personally possess a copy of the "This Generation" publication (there was only one issue), and it didn't contain anything remotely related to Ping Fu or her college. And she says she has an article in there. Or the few professors named in the recent Guardian article, they are not just bloggers.

                      I do see some criticism that are not based on her book or what she said. But there are numerous others that are. You choose to ignore all those and canvas critics of Fu as an angry army.

                      On this particular issue of gang rape, I also think it's not the best place to poke holes in. But I don't think xgz's points are totally invalid. I don't think rape on the NAAU campus is anywhere close to rape in front of 1600 Penn. Numerous rapes happened in the CR no doubt. And there were consequences for rape and especially gang rape. Heck many people were put in prison for rape they never committed. It's a serious and powerful charge at that time. Ken Ling's book described gang rapes of over a hundred girls and in more than one occassion. This is shocking and at least I haven't read about that elsewhere. I would put more weight into it if it was indeed based on diaries. That would have been exactly ONE account corroborating unpunished gang rape in the CR. If "rape was common among rival factions of the Red Guard", as you claim, I'd be interested to know about the other stories. But for now I don't know if there's any point to that, when you've placed your credibility very close to the level of Ping Fu's.

        •  I nearly fall off my chair (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xgz, hqc

          when you say "Actually between 61 and 66, China had recovered. The famine ended in 1961...". My grand mother died of malnutrition in 1963. Hey, we were up middle class in Shanghai.
          I am almost willing to forgive Ping Fu on the lie of food. Remember the story of the little match girl seeing and smelling a goose...

        •  I checked the link Masterpork gave about Ken Ling (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Book. It says the book is a novel.

          This is the wikipedia's website on  Cultural Revolution and a few book lists, books  including the two we have recommended:  Nien Cheng, Life and Death in Shanghai; Ji-li Jiang, Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution (New York: HarperCollins, 1997). You should read these books.

          •  No, it's not a novel. It's a memoir. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            absdoggy, Sharon Wraight

            Two prominent American scholars, one Chinese American and still alive in Connecticut, helped him take a long manuscript in Chinese and translate it into English. It is hinted in the book that it was his diary, which he managed to wrap in plastic and take with him when he swam to Taiwanese territory. It was published first in English and was excerpted in the New York Times Magazine (and therefore extensively fact checked). I can't speak for Chinese language versions of which there are several and which seem to be bootlegs.

            •  You're so funny (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Let me quote a review by J. M. Kalley,  "The Making of a Terrorist", Modern Age, Spring 1972, page 201:

              No doubt it owes much of its interest to the collaborators who helped to organize the story, but the characterization of the boy terrorist--his arrogance and ignorance, his guile and naivete, his ineffable vanity and affection for family--is surely Ling's own unconscious contribution.
              It's a rather indirect way of admitting that it's a fiction. It was even not written by Ling himself, but by a bunch of writers who composed the story based on what Ling told them.

              Ling's own contribution was "unconscious".

              •  Your misinterpreting that paragraph (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                elfling, Sharon Wraight, absdoggy

                and the story of how this NY Times fact checked memoir came into being.

                Ling presented them with an already completed manuscript, his diary, which he constantly refers to in the book. They helped him organize it and translate it.

                It's extremely well written and full of naive observations by a teenager as recalled by someone in his 20s.

                Ling's "unconscious" contributions referred to are that the 20 year old Ling is often lampooning the 16 year old Ling's "arrogance and ignorance, his guile and naivete, his ineffable vanity and affection for family." It's pretty clear that unconscious is the wrong word because throughout the book Ling is harshly critical of his 16 year old self for precisely these characteristics.

                Anyway, you are depending into semantics to defend the bizarre idea that Ping Fu's memoir can't be correct because there wasn't food in Shanghai because the famine was still ongoing. But there was food in the cities and the famine ended in 61:


                ...was the period in the People's Republic of China between the years 1958 and 1961 characterized by widespread famine

                Not sure what to make of all your misdirection for your factual errors in trying to create factual errors in Fu's story.

                •  HamdenRice, I respect your knowldege in (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  xgz, Buhui, hqc

                  Chinese history and, esp. in CR. However, all your historical, philosophical, political stuff is really mind-boggling and beyond me. I am kind of low brow and like simplicity. I have a simple question that begs for answer. I have asked you once and I will ask you again: if you have two small kits, will you invite (or kidnap) a stranger (who knows only three English words) to babysit them when you are away at work the whole day? I am all ears here.

            •  The book was likely made up as "anti-communist" (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              xgz, Buhui, hqc, dddc

              propaganda. The story was supposed to be told by a former Red Guard Leader, a criminal himself,  who had beaten people to death.  If those things such as beating people to death, gang rape really happened as the book said, those criminals, including the author, need to be brought to justice, not glorified as some anti-communist heroes.

            •  Ivan London called it an autobiographical novel (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              xgz, hailanzhiguang, fromohio, Buhui, hqc

              I'm a bit lost with how he described the way in which the book was developed. He went to great length in assuring us of the reliability of his method, and how he cross-interviews different people, but couldn't help but speak of it as a 'projected story, a function of his perceptual world', in turn a function of his psychological makeup and experiences, despite the claim that it 'goes beyond the reconstitution of one living person moving about within his perceived reality'. The form of the story was 'probable', and some of the methods were 'of only auxiliary value in attempts at live reification.'

              Perhaps it's the psychology jargons that threw me off, but it
              really sounded like he was saying "this book is very true, but don't hold us to it".

              He didn't mention anything about fact checking the book, which you seem to be very sure of. Can I ask you how the book was "extensively fact checked"?


          •  OMG, our friend HamdenRice (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hqc, hailanzhiguang

            is telling us that our memory of the Cultural Revolution is wrong, our criticism of Ping Fu is not factual, because he read about the Cultural Revolution in a novel?

            He is basing his judgment whether something is factual or not, on fiction. This is too rich.

    •  They're also trying to make hay (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharon Wraight, absdoggy, terrybuck

      of a kid confusing infanticide with abortion.

      Anything from CCP and its apologists to lessen attention to the Cultural Revolution.

      Their nightmare is that someone makes a movie from "Bend, Not Break."

      "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

      by bontemps2012 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 01:46:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gee, that's funny (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beaky, Sharon Wraight, terrybuck

    Last week you said that the Guardian was a

    despicable display of ignorance, prejudice, journalistic irresponsibility, and deep-rooted racism.

    Now today, you quote an article written by the same authors and extoll the Guardian's virtues. Yet:

    -  this article, as did the last, ends with 2 paragraphs defending her, both of which are statements from her publisher: you said this was

    - this article, as did the last, presents evidence of errors in her book, from both Chinese and non-Chinese sources

    - this article, as did the last, includes quotes by Ping Fu, and in fact has a quote in which she claims that somebody is behind the criticism of her book

    Which is it?

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:50:07 AM PST

    •  Last week's article did not do any investigation (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Haoshen, hailanzhiguang, hqc, Oh Mary Oh

      but simply repeated the PR lines given by Ping Fu. It only interviewed Ping Fu and her supporters for the report, but did not interview anyone in the critics camp. By directly using the word "smear campaign" in the second title without providing any evidence in the article, it clearly showed a prejudice and dereliction of journalist duty. You may argue whether such bias was due to racism. I interpreted it as racism. Some other commenters in my diary didn't.

      This article went to the experts. Although it still failed to interview any critics, it certain went a significant step further than the last one.

      So, it is both. Last weeks report sucked and didn't do their job. This weeks report did. What's wrong with that?

    •  I was thinking the same thing. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharon Wraight, terrybuck
    •  Last week's article was written from a (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Haoshen, Buhui, hqc

      totally different angle than this week's.

      Last week's article was basically a rehash of Ping Fu's own response. It only mentioned the inconsistencies that she responded to, and neglected other inconsistencies others had raised but Fu was unable to address. It was a blatant PR piece.

      This week's article did real investigation, and discovered new inconsistencies not mentioned by other critics.

      Thus the different reaction.

      I don't know why you are so harsh on me. I am not a celebrity. You need to hold Ping Fu to this standard.

  •  When you're done debunking this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xgz, terrybuck

    person's biography, here's another one that some say contains a few errors . . ..

    Have fun with it!

    •  Too bad I didn't live in Arizona (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh

      And did not have information about how Cindy's dad made his millions on moonshine. And what was the name of that reporter who got killed?

      How many houses did he say he owns?

      •  my recent amazon post (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xgz, Buhui, hqc

        The above link points to the article by John Kennedy. The comments section is interesting.

        Ping Fu now claims that Fu Cixiang is her great grandfather. People naturally question the truthfulness of that claim. Below is a comment from a person with the ID "ping fu." I don't know whether this "ping fu" is the real one but it seem likely.

        Here are the links to my Great Grandpa, I wonder why experts say he does not exist.

        All these links lead to websites documenting the life story of Fu Cixiang. NOBODY has ever questioned the existence of Fu Cixiang. What we question is the claimed relation between Ping Fu and Fu Cixiang. This person does not seem to get it.

  •  If millions of Chinese (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hqc, xgz, yjbc

    have memory different than Ping Fu, don't you need to question her before defend her? What gives you guys who never lived in China such a confidence? This is very sad.

    •  What millions of Chinese? (0+ / 0-)

      Her account is consistent with the accounts published by most Chinese writers and researchers in the US.

      Everytime I read some accusation that something Fu wrote can't be right or goes against the memory of others, it seems to fall apart -- like the claim that she couldn't have been in a labor camp, when in fact she never claimed to be in a labor camp. Or that she couldn't have had an X-ray, when she never claimed to have had an X-ray. Or that her family couldn't have had food because there was a famine, even though she says right off she was a member of a rich merchant family, and even though the data and consensus historical record shows that the famine was over. Or that she can't be right that RG sexually abused anyone, when there are all these accounts by Chinese witness of RG sexual abuse. I guess I'm just waiting for some criticism of what she actually said, rather than of what some bloggers accused her of saying.

      What exactly is it that she said that goes against the memories of millions of Chinese people?

      •  What most Chinese writers and researchers in US? (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xgz, hailanzhiguang, hqc, yjbc, Buhui

        UN sanction? Newspaper articles in Wenhuipao and People's Daily? Quartering execution by horses? Deportation to the US? These are the kind of bullshit anyone would've smelled a mile away with any kind of experience in the 70s and 80s.

        "up to the mountains or down to the countryside" in 1966? Red guards sending people home through residence registry? What Chinese writers and researchers in US have corroborated that?

      •  Let's take a look at the deport story then. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xgz, hqc, yjbc, hailanzhiguang, Buhui

        Ms Fu was taken by the police, detained for 3 days because of her anti government research, then released and was asked to leave the country quietly.   To talk about this story, I would like to start with story of the blind activist Chen GuangCheng.  Chen has gained sustained international attention since 2005. So lets see how the Chinese government treated Mr Chen with all those internal pressure.
        1) He was placed under house arrest in Sept 2005
        2) Formally detained in June 2006 despite the Time report
        3) Sentenced to 4 years and 3 months in August 2006
        4) Placed under house arrest after 2010 release
        5) Chen escaped house arrest in 2012 and was given refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
        6) The Chinese government let him go after US-China negotiations.
        There are countless other activists who are either in jail or under house arrest.

        Now, lets flash back to 30 years ago in China. There was no internet then Ordinary families had no phone. The only way of communication is by mail which is closely monitored if they were internal correspondence. As Ms Fu mentioned that her research was never published, so it would be a logical conclusion that there is no international recognition of her work. Obviously the Chinese government was aware of her anti government research, thus the arrest. Now here is the incredible part of the story. The Chinese government/Police, which was known to send dissidents to labour camp or jail or under house arrest, took a 180 degree turn under no international pressure (not that international pressure had deterred much in the past) and released Ms Fu.  Not only is the government kind enough to just let her go, it awarded her a chance to leave to country and go to which ever country her heart desires.  To be able to leave the country and study abroad was the Chinese dream of every college student. If people knew that anti government activities could land you a chance to leave China and go abroad, I knew quite a few who would jump on the anti government bandwagon.

        •  Correction (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xgz, hqc, Buhui

          International correspondence was closely monitored, not internal correspondence.

        •  9 years (0+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          Hidden by:

          You've been a member of DK since 2004. You've posted zero diaries. You've posted 4 comments. This comment is cut and paste talking points. You only follow and are followed by xzg and hailanzhiguang and you expect me NOT to assume you are a sock puppet or on commission?

          Try again.

          •  Hi Editor in Chief, (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xgz, hqc, yjbc, Buhui

            You did not answer my question.  My question was, if you have two small kids, will you invite (or kidnap, for that matter) a stranger to babysit them while you are away at work the whole day? Was your ex-mother in law kidnapped to babysit someone's small kids when there was nobody else at home to take care of them? Kidnapping happens here and there all the time. It is not uncommon. But to kidnap a stranger to sit one's babies really challenges the common sense. Were we not taught  "Don't speak to strangers" by our parents when we were young? I don't think you, as a parent, will ever ask a stranger to babysit your kids and put them in harm's way unless you are mentally retarded!!

            •  Join date: Feb 9, 2013 (0+ / 0-)

              Zero diaries. 10 comments, all about Ping Fu and all comments in diaries by xgz.

              Yes you and your related sock puppets are entitled to post whatever you want, and I'm entitled to ignore you as time wasters with no logical arguments whatsoever.

              •  For the sake of argument (6+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                xgz, hailanzhiguang, hqc, yjbc, Buhui, dddc

                Let's say that all your suspicions are true. That they are someone's sock puppets and I got paid by the Chinese government.

                But why would you lie? Why?

                However ridiculous the "kidnapped at JFK for one year" story sounds, that isn't something one can easily check. But Ken Ling's book isn't that rare. All your claims, that the book is based on his diaries, that it's 'extensively fact checked', with 'everything corroborated', by 'prominent scholars'? None of that is true. Preface, footnotes, whatever, none of it is true.

                It's possible that you misinterpreted the preface. It isn't really possible to misunderstand the footnotes as extensive fact checking. I'd be open to change my mind if you have other sources that did the fact checking and corroborating. But the footnotes didn't do that.

                I doubt you can come up with anything though. Because at this point your only resort is to character assassinate fellow posters. Sure I'm new to DK and I didn't post as much. At least I didn't lie. That should weigh more than seniority at a website, even at DK, no?

              •  Editor, by reading just ONE novel, (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                hailanzhiguang, xgz, hqc, yjbc, Buhui

                you think you already know all about China and CR? A smattering of knowledge is a dangerous thing, son! You are running the risk of making a fool of yourself and becoming a laughing stock. Concede and retreat while you still can. Don't make things worse by labeling others "sock puppets" or "paid trolls".

                •  It's not just that he's relying so much on a book, (6+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  hailanzhiguang, xgz, dddc, hqc, yjbc, Buhui

                  an autobiographical novel notwithstanding, he's actually making multiple erroneous claims about the book in favor of his argument, which can be easily checked. It isn't such a rare book to get one's hand on. I've already provided a link to the Chinese version. The English version is also widely available in university and city libraries.

                  What is he betting on, that nobody would check?

                  I have the same question when Ping Fu linked to a photo that shows her wearing red guard armband that she claimed shows she doesn't wear one. And she would link to a blog post (in Chinese) of her classmate that disputed her claims, but she would say that it supports her story.

                  I think they are betting on people just being lazy.

              •  By writing "I' am entitled to ingore you (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                hailanzhiguang, xgz, hqc, yjbc

                as time wasters", you already contradicted yourself. If you want to ignore me and others "as time wasters with no logical arguments whatsoever", you are supposed to write nothing in response.  Logically sound, huh?

          •  As I said before, (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xgz, hailanzhiguang, hqc, yjbc, Buhui

            You are entitled to your own assumption. This is what civil discourse is all about. You have every right to assume anything you want.  On the other hand, I have every right to join the DK when I want,  to post or not to post, to comment or not to comment and I don't need to justify my activities on DK to anyone.  You had a very good discussion yesterday, quoting from books you read. I  respected that and would like to see more. Frankly I thought you are above throwing those sock puppet accusations. But again, that is your prerogative. DK admin was here before to settle the sock puppet accusations. He might be willing to do it again.

          •  unwarranted accusation (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xgz, hqc, Buhui
          •  Enough: If you have any evidence of (7+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fromohio, dddc, xgz, hqc, hailanzhiguang, yjbc, Buhui

            shilling or sockpuppetry you should present it to the help desk, option five: Community and Moderation Issues rather than in comment threads.

            •  The DailyBeast (0+ / 0-)

              I'm sorry if I'm not being a good citizen, but do I really have time to waste on this nonsense? The PRC government for whatever reason hates this book. Suddenly, THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS of online comments appear trashing the book. A half dozen new DK members appear to trash the book. I'll leave it to you to do whatever DK membership does.

              Here are a few starting places:


              The Persecution of Ping Fu

              Serious reviewers have acclaimed the book ("she tells her story with intelligence, verve and a candor that is often heart-rending," wrote Melanie Kirkpatrick in the Wall Street Journal). Yet rejection of the values Rosenthal identified in the book is the central feature of a vituperative campaign against Ping Fu led by an army of Chinese bloggers.
              The cyberwarriors attacking her are not interested in any of that. They are consumed by bitter resentment of her portrayal of China during Mao’s Cultural Revolution. She lied, they assert, about being gang-raped at 10: “the Red Guard were ‘revolutionists, not street thugs or rapists.’” The countryside infanticide due to the one-child policy she wrote about in an essay, which led to her arrest and solitary confinement, couldn’t have happened when she said it did if at all, they assert; nor was her subsequent departure due to an order for deportation.

              I say “army” of assailants, but how many there are and where they are is one of the tantalizing unknowns in Internet warfare conducted anonymously. Two user names—20, a hundred—may conceal a single identity. The Wizard of Oz syndrome has been powerfully amplified, in this case, by the openness, some would say naiveté, of Amazon. It’s a brilliant company, but its book review site is not designed to repel boarders. Anyone with multiple email addresses and user names can click that many times on the invitations to write a customer review or say which other reviews they found helpful. Some 500 have clicked on the low one-star rating for Bend, Not Break, and 100 on the five-star—but this, too, is deceptive, since some five-star reviews are bogus, infiltrating more poison than praise. Second, the hostile ratings can be boosted by a tongue-in-cheek click: “I found this [nasty] review helpful.”
              Lin has led the customer review section with a five-star but hostile review of January 22 that was pages long. Amazon justified this, it seems, by the statement that “1,301 of 1,379 found the following review helpful.” Lin was still leading the reviews on February 9.
              We don’t know how much of the hate campaign is organized by Chinese-Americans, proud of their country of origin, or by bloggers in China, acting on their own or encouraged by party and government.

              and here:
              Ping Fu Defends ‘Bend, Not Break’ Memoir Against Online Chinese Attack
              Feb 4, 2013 9:55 PM EST
              Furious at the airing of China’s dirty laundry in Ping Fu’s new memoir, Chinese commenters have kicked off an online assault. The tech entrepreneur tells Katie Baker the vitriol feels like the public shame sessions of her youth.
              “It’s like I’m living the book title,” says Ping Fu, author of the new memoir Bend, Not Break. Over the past week, the Geomagic CEO and her book have become the targets of a virulent attack by China’s Internet vigilantes, who have slammed her account of the country’s Mao-era troubles and lampooned the book on Amazon with a flood of one-star reviews. But to her critics and bullies, Ping has a simple reply: “I will stay strong, and I will not break.”
              Life is too short to deal with these bots.

              I know this is one of your areas of interest so I'm done and I'll let you do with it what you will.

              •  That's what you call 'evidence'? (6+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                xgz, fromohio, hailanzhiguang, hqc, yjbc, Buhui

                What you said is being questioned and challenged for evidence. Your answer is 'someone else said it too!' ??
                Was there any evidence in the

                My guess is you chose to ignore the Guardian piece
                referred to in the title, and linked to in the first sentence.

                Just when you thought Ping Fu wouldn't bend any more, she bends.

                Fu said she had been wrong to call the criticism a smear campaign, adding she had realised the people she thought were attacking her were telling their own stories of the cultural revolution.

                "I hope that this will turn into a more civil discussion about what happened and if any good can come from it I don't mind that people have turned their anger towards me so long as we can heal together," she said.

                Here she also backpedaled on her claim to have watched
                "hundreds of baby girls being killed in front of my eyes", saying that she instead meant "my research was based on hundreds of cases, and I saw baby girls killed right in front of my eyes". Yes, the same research that prompted articles being published in WenhuiPao and People's Daily, articles that nobody can find in the archive. The same research that resulted in international outcry that nobody knows of and UN sanctions on China that historically didn't exist.

                Sure, people doubting Ping Fu have to paid by the Chinese government. Who is paying those that are defending these outright lies? Who's on Ping Fu's payroll?

              •  Dear Rice, we are here to save your time (6+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                xgz, fromohio, hqc, dddc, yjbc, Buhui

                from a liar. If you are still confused, you should listen to the expert in this field. Professor Perry Link is huge in this field and a friend to many Chinese political dissidents. And he is hated by Chinese government. "In 1996, Chinese government blacklisted him, and he has been denied entrance ever since. "

          •  Please bring all sockpuppet accusations to (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xgz, aoeu

            helpdesk, rather than putting them in public comments.

            I won't comment on any particular users, but in general, be aware that I have been alerted to the appearance of sockpuppetry on these diaries and have investigated. Those that are still here have passed my tests for now.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 02:03:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  The accusations were of her own making (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dddc, hailanzhiguang, fromohio, hqc, yjbc, Buhui

        She had multiple versions of the same story that contradicted each other. Just because you only believe the latest version doesn't mean she didn't lie in the previous versions.

        Take for example the "labor camp" claim. She never objected to the use of this phrase in her multiple interview. She had at least three conflicting versions, all in her own words:

        Fast forward 10 years, Cultural Revolution ended the year I was supposed to graduate from high school. I actually never went to school during the 10 years. I went to countryside planting rice fields.
        First two months were just chaos, with those bitter meals, struggle sessions, those screaming at nobody. And I think it was about a year later, I was assigned to work in a factory. Some of the older kids gets to send to the countryside. But I was too young to do that. So I went to the factory to build radios and speedometers.
        After 1972, school resumed (p. 128). We had few formal classes at my school at the edge of Nanjing in an industrial area. I studied nonstop (pp. 229-231) and was known by my family as "the girl who never turns off her lights." (p. 231).
        has the full videos of these interviews.
  •  The sun yat sen one made me laugh (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    No seriously, this guy is the founding father of Republic of China...

    same guys who fled to Taiwan.

    Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

    by Future Gazer on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 09:52:05 PM PST

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