Monday March 30, 2020

How Yu Luoke’s execution in 1970 can be linked to Political ‘Guilt’ in Family Bloodlines in Today’s China? Read Here!

Public calls for Yu Luoke's posthumous rehabilitation resurfaced during the Democracy Wall movement of 1978-1979

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Emperor palace Beijing city china

September 29, 2016: At the start of China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in 1966, a young man wrote a self-published political tract criticizing the prevalent view that class characteristics ran in families.

This idea, based on a throwaway political slogan, had already led to the automatic persecution of immediate relatives of those judged by late supreme leader Mao Zedong’s Red Guards to be “class enemies.”

In an era of factional violence and social chaos, Yu Luoke’s “On Family Origin” was alone voice speaking out against the relative senselessness of the endless political purges of the time.

But in March 1970, Yu Luoke was executed because of his book, and the idea of political “guilt” affecting the way that members of dissidents’ families are treated by the authorities is still mainstream in Chinese politics to this day.

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Yu Luoke (top, right), who was executed in March 1970 for his book "On Family Origin" that criticized China's senseless political purges, in 1963 family photo.---BBG
Yu Luoke (top, right), who was executed in March 1970 for his book “On Family Origin” that criticized China’s senseless political purges, in 1963 family photo. RFA

His brother Yu Luowen told RFA in a recent interview that his brother’s “crime” has dogged the family’s fortunes ever since the Mao era.

“Great harm came to our family … because of what my brother wrote during the Cultural Revolution,” Yu said.

“But this is a result of the [ruling Chinese] Communist Party’s policies towards class divisions today, not just during the Cultural Revolution,” he said.

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“Yu Luoke was opposing the idea that people can be divided into different social categories and ranks, turning some people into criminals for the rest of their lives,” Yu said.

“He was against all of that.”

Posthumous rehabilitation

He said public calls for his brother’s posthumous rehabilitation resurfaced during the Democracy Wall movement of 1978-1979.

“People felt that Yu Luoke had put his finger on the worst harm done by the Communist Party,” Yu said. “This was about equality and human rights.”

He said an official party newspaper, the Guangming Daily, had even written an article in support of overturning Yu Luoke’s conviction. But the article was never printed.

“The debate over inherited class identity was really a big thing in the Cultural Revolution,” he said.

Later, the article appeared in a Beijing-backed newspaper in Hong Kong, leaving party elders with no choice but to run the article in the Guangming Daily as well.

“But after a while they still thought it wasn’t in their interest [for the topic to be publicly debated], and so people weren’t allowed to mention it again,” Yu said.

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He said the overturning of mass miscarriages of justice that followed the end of the Cultural Revolution was more of a bureaucratic exercise than a fundamental shift in party ideology, however.

“They repudiated the Cultural Revolution but they never broke with Mao Zedong, nor with his methods,” Yu said. “This was very muddled logic, and so it was unsurprising that some people who asked to be rehabilitated at this time of chaos, were.” (BBG Direct)

 

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2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo to be Postponed Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus Forces Delay of 2020 Olympics

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Tokyo olympics
A man wearing protective face mask, following the outbreak of the coronavirus, looks at his mobile phone next to The Olympic rings in front of the Japan Olympics Museum in Tokyo, Japan. VOA

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will be postponed until next year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Tuesday.

Although the International Olympic Committee had said it would spend up to a month debating the matter, the decision to postpone became inevitable after several countries said they would not send athletes if the Games were held this summer.

“The IOC president and the prime minister of Japan have concluded that the Games must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020, but not later that summer 2021 to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games, and the international community,” the IOC and the Japanese organizing committee said in a joint statement Tuesday.

Tokyo olympics
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talks to the journalists in front of the prime minister’s residence in Tokyo. VOA

Both committees say they made their decision after consulting with the World Health Organization. Abe and the IOC had said that canceling the Games had always been out of the question.

“The Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present,” the IOC said.

Abe told reporters in Tokyo that when the Games finally gets under way, it will prove that “humanity had beat the coronavirus.”

The Summer Games were to have opened July 24.

Team USA, which represents triathlon and duathlon Olympic contenders, tweeted its thanks to the Tokyo organizers for what it says is “all you have done for a great Olympic and Paralympic Games. We wish you all the best as you keep your communities safe and offer our cooperation and support as you prepare to host the world.”

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A man takes pictures of the Olympic Flame during a ceremony in Fukushima City, Japan. VOA

The Olympics have been canceled three times since the modern Games began in 1896. They were scrapped in 1916 during World War I and in 1940 and 1944 during World War II.

The Games have been boycotted, propagandized by Nazi Germany, and attacked by terrorists, but have never before been postponed.

Japanese organizers said Tuesday they are also postponing the Olympic torch relay that was supposed to start Thursday.

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The flame arrived in Japan from its traditional lighting in Greece on March 12. It was supposed to have traveled around Japan, to be used to light the flame at the opening ceremonies in Tokyo.

The torch will remain in Fukushima until the Games are firmly rescheduled. (VOA)