During the Cultural Revolution
A sad homecoming
We know that the cause of the Cultural Revolution was the conflict between the chairman of the Communist Party, Mao Tse Tong, and the vice chairman of the Communist Party - Liu Sao Qi, who was also the chairman of the government of the People's Republic of China.
In 1958 Mao Tse Tong was leading the political movement that promoted the idea of the whole country being organised as a group of communes. This created severe economic problems and large numbers of people died from famine. Vice chairman Liu Sao Qi saw this political disaster as a good opportunity for himself, and organised executives to overthrow Mao. Mao went to rest in Hanzhou, but in fact, had lost his power. However, he was preparing the Revolution that would regain it.
In 1966, with the economy improved, Mao started the Cultural Revolution. Most of the various levels of directors, including the military, followed Liu Sao Qi. Therefore Mao used young students
to overthrow the power of the old system and to push Liu Sao Qi and all his leadership out of position. He gave power to Lin Piao (a major in China's army) and promoted him to vice-chairman of the Communist Party and vice-director of the headquarters of China.
'The tiger of the eastern mountain likes to eat human flesh. The tiger of the western mountain also likes to eat human flesh.' Mao, thinking that the Revolution would only need six months to a year, did not worry about the amount of power Lin Piao held. However. within a few years Lin Piao was plotting to overthrow Mao. The opportunity arose for him to send the army to the government offices and factories, thus becoming the leading force of the whole country. Later he planned to murder Mao.
When I arrived home, Dr. Xia Ting Yu was happy. She asked how I had got back, and I told her the story. She had been very worried that I might have encountered political problems. She also had important news to tell me. The previous night, an old TCM doctor called Liu from our hospital and his wife were murdered in their home. It was the talk of the town.
Liu was 68 years old when he died. In 1922 he had walked from Henan province to Xinjiang, carrying all his belongings on a yoke. He then made his home in our area. In fact, this 'doctor' only knew 10 herbal formulae. Owing to the shortage of medical doctors, he and his 10 herbal formulae had saved the lives of many, and people looked up to him as if he was a Buddha. Until his death he was still seeing a lot of patients every day and was living happily with his wife. He was more popular than other doctors who had studied western medicine or TCM at university.
Before the commune movement, he rode his horse through eight different towns daily, with bags of herbs either side of the horse's back. Following behind him there were always a dozen or more relatives of patients, asking for help. People called him Grandfather Liu - even people who were 10 or more years his senior. Everyone knew that he was very rich and people talked about the fact that he did not take off his trousers when going to sleep, so as to safeguard his money in his trouser-legs. We were friends and often talked with each other because I wanted to understand more about the herbal knowledge of Xinjiang. Once, he told me that Xinjiang was actually a rich area and that most people had a lot of silver. Even people who said that they were poor still had one silver pot in the corner behind the door. Therefore it was clear, especially since he was an old doctor, that he, necessarily, was rich. He told me that he worried about being murdered, advising me of the safest way in which to sleep in order to protect oneself from being murdered. But he still died in this terrible way. I felt very sad that a man who had helped people throughout his entire life had to meet his end so horribly.
Usually a murder case had to be investigated by the police. However, at that time soldiers controlled the police and even the head of police was a military man. During the investigation, this man allowed people freely onto the scène of the crime. To this day, the murderer has never been found. The soldiers always claimed that the grandson of Liu committed the crime but I think that this policeman is the prime suspect, because he destroyed all the evidence.