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"The Cultural Revolution did not cause me any great personal losses."

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  • The Cultural Revolution—this whole time [I] was working in Wenzhou [Zhejiang province].
  • [My] understanding of the Cultural Revolution—[I] felt it was a disaster.
  • But there are two sides to any situation. “Old Mao” was 70 percent right, 30 percent wrong.
  • [Within the "wrong," launching the Cultural Revolution] made up the greatest portion.
  • What’s most important is that the destruction of Chinese culture was too great; I felt this.
  • In the Cultural Revolution, at first, “Old Mao” said he and Mr. Lu Xun’s hearts [were] alike,...
  • ...that he was just about the same as Lu Xun, and wanted to start a great cultural revolution.
  • That’s how Mao said it. [His] original idea was that he wanted to resolve an issue of political succession.
  • He brought down Liu [Shaoqi].
  • Another thing he wanted to resolve was that China’s feudal consciousness was too strong.
  • A lot of things were due to China having a very long experience of a feudal era.
  • [Mao] wanted to thoroughly address this issue.
  • For example, from Mr. Lu Xun’s pen, the “Ah-Q Spirit” [of turning defeat into] victory—[Mao] wanted to resolve these deep-rooted problems.
  • Back then, hadn’t Mr. Lu Xun gone from studying medicine to writing literature?
  • The important [reason] was that [he] wanted to reform China.
  • Do you still remember? One time Lu Xun saw a film [of] Japan and Russia battling in Northeast China.
  • Later on [in the film], the Japanese—or the Russians—I can’t remember—beheaded Chinese people.
  • Some Chinese people looked on impassively.
  • These things—Mao wanted to change China’s deep-rooted feudal consciousness, wanted to engage in this Cultural Revolution.
  • I think the Cultural Revolution’s impact on me wasn’t that large.
  • A lot of families experienced devastating attacks; these kinds of situations indeed existed—too many.
  • Personally speaking, during the Cultural Revolution, I had some…how can I put it?
  • In fact, contrary to what might be expected, [it] benefited the development of my work.
  • Because after I got out of school, some people in my work unit saw that I liked reading books--“feudalism, capitalism, revisionism” things.
  • Some people, including some leaders, put me in the category of [those] failing to progress.
  • [In] the chaos of the Cultural Revolution, [there were] two factions.
  • My work unit was a provincial-level work unit; the allocated cadres’ ranks were rather high, as high as the Wenzhou prefectural-level secretary leader.
  • The Cultural Revolution was carried out fiercely in the Wenzhou chemical factory.
  • The two factions generally controlled the situation in Wenzhou.
  • As for me, I didn’t join any faction. Later, there was a slogan “Grasp revolution, promote production”.
  • I went to engage in production.
  • By chance, one time I went to Beijing on a business trip, and came across the master of the second place where I’d interned back then—Beijing Shijingshan electric power station.
  • At the time, I just learned from him...
  • He happened to be the leader of the rebel faction, head of Shijingshan electric power station, [and] director of [its] revolutionary committee.
  • The two of us had had a good relationship back then. [When we met in Beijing that day], we talked, and [he] asked my situation.
  • I said, [in Wenzhou] we’re lacking a thermoelectric power station.
  • At the time, the Shijingshan power station was the capital's power station, a big plant.
  • The 8341 regiment had established a presence in [it].
  • They were up-to-date in following Chairman Mao’s latest directives.
  • They said, Chairman Mao has stated a directive: "Electric power stations must not only generate electricity, but also must manufacture equipment for generating electricity."
  • [The head of Shijingshan electric power station] said to me, "How about this? We'll put together a power station for you all, which will also be carrying out Chairman Mao's directive."
  • I said, "Great!"
  • As soon as I got back [to Wenzhou], I reported this [to the leader], who said it couldn't be better.
  • Even the province didn't have a plan for a thermoelectric power station.
  • From there began [construction] of the thermoelectric power station.
  • That was how today's Wenzhou Thermoelectric Power Station was set up.
  • So, at that period of time I was mainly working on this, working on production.
  • For me, this could be counted as something I've done [well] in my lifetime.
  • This was my personal experience. As for the Cultural Revolution, I didn't directly experience it.
  • I merely have an impression of it. It seems Mao made the movement larger, overdid it, [and] the losses were huge...
  • That's just about it; [I] didn't really touch on the original question, right?
  • So, personally speaking, the Cultural Revolution didn't [cause me] any great personal losses.