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Jiang Ping: To Shout Is My Duty
2023-12-29 from:CISLS preview:

To Shout Is My Duty

© Jiang Ping/Dictation   © Chen Jie/Writing

The first thing I did when I sat down was to peek at Jiang Ping's legs. He was sitting very peacefully, and it was impossible to tell that he had only one leg. He once rode a bicycle to a meeting of the National People's Congress (NPC), and the doorman couldn't tell that this fat old man was a member of the NPC Standing Committee, so he wouldn't let him in. My "can't see" and the guard's "can't see", perhaps were not all because of poor eyesight?

Jiang Ping should be a very honorable person. The piano in the living room with some small ornaments, look closely to see that there are words on it. A small gold trophy obtained for a certain honor, and his 70, 75 birthday gifts: a crystal seat, a porcelain plate with his picture, a few photographs, things are not expensive, but there is respect and love in it. Small things stood, all proud and upright, all because it is "Jiang Ping's prize". Jiang Ping sat in front of the shelf full of life prizes, detailing the three ups and two downs of his life, every time he issued a thick and magnetic laugh.

The house is decorated in a Western style, and the owner's manner is also Westernized: he let me pour my own water, apologized before answering the phone, and asked for an article as long as I didn’t think it infringed on his right to reputation. But at the end of the interview, he got up with great difficulty and went to his bedroom to change his clothes, just to have his picture taken. Among the people I have interviewed, only the most old-fashioned gentlemen have this kind of strict etiquette.

A professor at the China University of Political Science and Law privately and unkindly commented that Jiang Ping's historical value is greater than his factual value. When I told Jiang Ping this, he laughed out loud and said, "That's right," and added that the historical value was just fine. The collection of his speeches at the Law Press is called "To Shout Is My Duty". His autobiography, which is in the process of being "slowly written". He said, in fact, there is nothing to say, just a few words: The process of democracy and the rule of law in China is irreversible, and he can shout a few times to speed up the process, but he can't do anything else.

Jiang Ping in his own words

1. A fall, go to the country with worries

I was born in Dalian, grew up in Beijing, and Ningbo is only my hometown. In the past, when I talked about my family's origin and composition, I put "senior staff". Because my father was a bank clerk, in the Northeast, equivalent to the Bank of China accounting office director or something.

In 1937, the whole family went to Beijing, and I studied at Chongde Middle School, a Church of England school. At that time, there were eight Christian church schools in Beijing, all of which were relatively free-thinking, and they were closely related to Yenching University, so they could guarantee admission. So, after graduating from secondary school, I went to Yenching University and studied journalism. I wanted to be a journalist, interviewing and asking questions just like you (laughs).

There were many student clubs at Yenching University, political, literary, academic, and social, and the social clubs were what we call volunteers nowadays, doing volunteer and social service work. I participated in all kinds of clubs and joined the Democratic Youth League, which was a peripheral organization of the party. I was also a member of the Democratic Youth League, which was a peripheral organization of the Party. Also engaged in artistic performances.

In fact, after only half a year of college, China was liberated. Schools were closed and we were busy doing propaganda work, so I count March 1949 as the year I joined the organization. At that time, I couldn't say I knew much about communism or what the Communist Party stood for. But judging from the corruption of the Kuomintang, a considerable number of our classmates were still inclined towards the Communist Party.

Initially, I signed up for the Fourth Field Army's southward working group. All the formalities were completed, even the luggage was packed. But the night before I was to leave, an order came down to leave me behind to work on the municipal committee of the regiment. At that time, Beijing organised a youth training class and set up the Beiping Preparatory Committee for the New Democratic Youth League. I was in charge of the Cultural and Labour Troupe in the Youth League Municipal Committee, and I also worked for some time in the Ministry of Military Physical Education and Sports in the field of physical education and sports.

The first turning point in my life was in 1951, when my country sent me abroad to study for the first time after the liberation. At that time, there was no such thing as self-funded study, it was a public programme, and very few people went there. The North China Bureau came to select people to send, and there was only one place in the whole of Beijing, and I was chosen. I was a "young revolutionary intellectual" and now a Party cadre, I had studied English at Chongde and had also studied at the university, so I was considered to be educated, and I fulfilled all the conditions. It was a rare opportunity and a great honour.