veritas and virtue=道德经


“道德经” the oldest philosophical book in China.

老子的”道” = Roman’s Veritas

老子的”德” = 孔子的”礼” = virtue

All old-version, translated into “the way”, only covered partial meaning. It is sad to know it, but not knowing well.

two great history books


中国沧桑千年事历历在目, 罗马动荡世纪史闻所未闻.

“资治通鉴” v.s. “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”

interesting life story about Alexander Severus


There is some interesting moment about Alexander by in Edward Gibbon’s book, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, in public domain, at books dot google dot com slash books?id=YrJGPLuSHmoC&printsec=toc&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#

page 165

“Alexander rose early; the first moments of the day were consecrated to private devotion, and his domestic chapel was filled with the images of those heroes who, by improving or reforming human life, had deserved the grateful reverence of posterity. But, as he deemed the service of mankind the most acceptable worship of the gods, the greatest part of his morning hours was employed in his council, where he discussed public affairs, and determined private causes, with a patience and discretion above his years.

“The dryness of business was relieved by the charms of literature; and a portion of time was always set aprt for his favourite studies of poetry, history, and philosophy the works of Virgil and Horace, the republics of Plato and Cicero, formed his taste, enlarged his understanding, and gave him the noblest ideas of man and government.

“The exercises of the body succeeded to those of the mind; and Alexander, who was tall, active, and robust, surpassed most of his equals in the gymnastic arts.

“His table was served with the most frugal simplicity; and, whenever he was at liberty to consult his own inclination, the company consisted of a few select friends, men of learning and virtue, amongst whom Ulpaian was constantly invited.

“The dress of Alexander was plain and modest, his demeanour courteous and affable.”

His failure was due to his too dependence to his mother and his lack of his power in “his” court.

丁是丁,卯是卯=nuts and bolts


Two phrases emphasize details, even though there is subtle difference. One means detail, whereas the other means essence.

One reminder by Mencius






The second line can be translated by quoting Friedrich Nietzsche, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” however, it can’t cover some connotation in which only Chinese version can illustrate.

Thus, my version will cover most, but not all what Mencius says. It goes like this:

One who is destined to lead
has to endure one’s heart out and to work one’s butt off
regardless of starvation, destitution, or even jumble,
so that one can be nurtured from mind to heart
to become resilient and persistent
to the extent in which one otherwise cannot.

Interesting facts about Xiaoping Deng.


Evan, Richard, Deng Xiaoping and The Making of Modern China, New York: Penguin Group, 1993.

“Because the political condition of the country was so bad, and also because jobs were hard to come by for the first generation of modern middle-school graduates, a large number of young Chinese were attracted by Li’s Programme. Between March 1919 and December 1920, almost 1600 worker-students . . . . A few, like Deng Xiaoping, were under twenty. . . . Some were university graduates, but the great majority had not gone beyond a secondary education. They came from the middle of society, and the sons and daughters of poorer landowners, merchants or scholars. Most of their families could ill afford the price of a steamship ticket to France, even at the concessionary rate of a hundred silver dollars which was on offer.”

“Deng’s departure from Bayeux ended his only period of modest comfort and security during the whole of his five years in France. For the rest of the time, he lived in factory dormitories or cheap hotels and did work that was often temporary and never skilled.”

P 13
“It was against this background of indigence and insecurity that Deng was drawn into politics.”

“The office of the youth league was Zhou Enlai’s bedroom in cheap residential hotel…. Only three people at that time could squeeze into the room, even for conversation, so that meetings of the league’s executive committee, four or five strong, and larger gatherings, had to be held in local restaurants. In these, Zhou and the rest could normally afford no more than a single vegetable dish and a few bread rolls, and sometimes only rolls and hot water.”

“How did Deng’s years in France affect him otherwise? They certainly inoculated him against the sinocentrism which was so marked a feature in the outlook of Mao Zedong – and of all the other Chinese communist leaders, like Lin Biao, who never lived abroad. Throughout his political career, and especially during his years as China’s national leader, he took a great deal of interest in foreigners and in their perceptions of China. He showed, too, grasp of two truths: that China could not ignore the world, if only because the world would not ignore China; and that China could not hope to develop quickly without being willing to learn from the world. . . . France as such may have influenced him less strongly than the experience of living abroad. . . . there is no evidence that he took an interest in French art or literature, or even as a practical man, in French engineering and architecture. Nor is there anything in the record – the archives of French government departments, factories and schools, and the memoirs of other worker-students – to indicate that he had French friends.”
“Deng’s character would have developed wherever he had been between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one. But it is hard to believe that he would have become quite so tough or self-reliant, at any rate so young, unless he had gone through the hard school of living by his wits in a world where there was little sympathy, and even less support, for a young Chinese who was down on his luck.”

“Deng Xiaoping spent eleven months in Moscow. To begin with, he was a student at the Communist University for the toilers of the East. . . . During the 1920s, hundreds of Chinese communists – including two, Liu Shaoqi and Ren Bishi, who were to rise very high in the party – were among its students.”

“Luo Fu was five or six years older than Wang and Bo and knew rather more about the world. The son of a scholar who had become a successful businessman, he was something of a scholar himself. He had spent two years in California, attending at least some university classes and working on a magazine for the Chinese community in San Francisco, and he spoke good English.”

“Deng had two classmates of this kind: Chiang Kaisheck’s son Chiang Chingkuo (only seventeen in 1925) and Feng Funeng, a daughter of the warlord Feng Yuxiang…In Deng’s time, the academic load was heavy. Seven subjects were taught: foreign languages, history, philosophy, political economy, economic geography, Leninism and military science.”

Interesting stories about Enlai Zhou


Barnouin, Barbara & Yu Changgen, Zhou Enlai: A Political Life, Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 2006.

“The Chinese classics, such as Analects, great learning, Doctrine of the Mean, and Book of Poetry, aka. The Four Classics, have a big impact on Zhou’s virtue. “Loyalty to the king was another essential element of Confucian teaching, one that Zhou employed in his relations with the moern Chinese emperor, Mao Zedong, to whom he was the very picture of devotion.””

“He also read the essays of Zou Rong, who, in his pamphlet revolutionary Army, denounced the Manchu regime, called on patriots to join the army of revolution, and advocated reforms, such as the introduction of a republican form of government modeled after that of the United States.”

“Zhou’s interest in political history prompted him to read the works of progressive writers of the Qing dynasty such as Gu Yanwu (1613-1682) and Wang Fuzhi (1619-1692). . . . Because Western cultural influence was particularly pronounced in Tianjin, many works of Western literature were available to the students in translation.

“Continuing his education in Japan seemed an obvious choice for Zhou. . . . The country was admired for its reforms and industrial modernization and for its teaching of  modern sciences. It was widely believed that Japanese methods of developing national prosperity would offer models and concepts for the development and modernization of China. Zhou clearly wished to find in Japan a path for China’s salvation.”

“Zhou has arrived in Tokyo at a time when Japanese chauvinism was at its peak and its behavior toward China had become insolent and disdainful. Even more important was that Zhou did not find the Japanese model relevant to China. After nineteen months in the country, he concluded that it was far from an ideal society and that Japanese policies were characterized by external expansion and internal suppression.

“Although Xin Qingnian had been available at Nankai, Zhou—as he later explained—did not read it carefully at that time. In Tokyo, he rediscovered it anew, reading incessantly the issues at his disposal and absorbing concepts and ideas, which undoubtedly helped him clarify his thinking.”

Zhou’s purpose of stay in Europe was “to discover the social conditions in foreign countries and their methods of solving social problems, in the hope of applying these methods to china on his return. However, he had yet to adopt a specific ideology.”

“In 1924, the revolutionary movement, lead by Sun Yat-sen in cooperation with the CCP, began to develop and to attract more and more recruits, which it needed badly.”

“Unlike other Chinese students, who divided their time between work and study, Zhou devoted all his energies to writing and to revolutionary activities during his three years and eight months in Europe. For over a year, he wrote weekly dispatches on diplomatic events and international relations. . . . During his stay in Europe, zhoud began to work with many Chinese activists who later became important leaders of the party and the state. When he left Europe in the summer of 1924, Zhou thus had established an important network of relationships, upon which he would draw for the rest of his life.”


Fang, Percy Jucheng & Lucy Guinong J. Fang, Zhou Enlai-a Profile, Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1986.

“Two choices faced Zhou Enlai upon his graduation from Nankai: to look for a job or to go to college. He decided on the latter. . . . he thought it best to continue his studies in Japan, and with the help of some friends, the nineteen-year-old Nankai graduate scraped up enough money to make the journey eastwards in September 1917. He had entertained hopes of finding answers to the questions uppermost in his mind in Japan, to learn how to save and rebuild China, and to acquire the kind of new knowledge that would be needed on his return home.”

“After the October Revolution in Russia, Zhou “tried to understand what the dictatorship of the proletariat meant. He scanned the press, read all he could find about developments in the first socialist country in the world, and began to make a serious study of the doctrine underlying this world-shaking event. . . . they held rallies, staged demonstrations and launched a sustained anti-Japanese movement in Tokyo. . . . His attention thus divided, he had little time to prepare for the college entrance examination and failed to matriculate. Meanwhile, events in Beijing gave cause for alarm. . . Zhou decided that there was much more he could do in china. In April 1919 he was homeward bound after a nineteen-month stay abroad.”

“the journal edited by Zhou became an immediate success and soon progressed to a daily with a circulation of over twenty thousand – not bad at all for those days. It was popular with women readers, too, because it espoused their call for equality between the sexes and an end to the feudalistic conventions that shackled them.”

“Zhou Enlai reached France in December 1920, a politically mature twenty-two year old who had been through the revolutionary baptism of the May 4th Movement. . . . Zhou Knew exactly what he wanted out of his stay in Europe, and would not allow anything to deflect him from the goal he had set himself. He came to France with two specific aims in mind: To press on with the study of Marxism first begun in Japan and continued in his Tianjin Prison days, and second to find a cure for China’s ills. . . . Zhou was far form being the ivory-tower type. He did not confine himself to the classroom, studying for study’s sake, in isolation from reality. He spent his time looking at life around him to see how the French worked and lived and what problem they faced. He took jobs sporadically at French factories, where at close quarters he could get to understand better and carry on among workers of Chinese origin and work-study trainees like himself the kind of propaganda that would keep them on a patriotic, if not at the same time socialist, course.”

“Frugal, thrifty, careful with every penny, these virtues cultivated early on became life habits which were not abandoned when twenty-eight years later, as Premier of China, he could well afford creature comforts but distained them.”

“As leader of the European branch, Zhou had to shuttle between Paris and Berlin every now and then and often stayed long periods in Germany. During one extended visit to Berlin he made the acquaintance of Zhu De, twelve years his senior.” Zhou became Zhu De’s reference to join the Communist party.”

“After four years of work and study in Europe, Zhou Enlai, now twenty-six, had come of age politically and intellectually, ready to take on the tasks which lay before him. Upon his return to the city which Dr. Sun Yst-sen had made the headquaters to direct the national revolution, Zhou Enlai was appointed to the post of Political Director of the Whampoa Military Academy.”

Interesting earlier life about Zedong Mao.


The following was the expert from the reporter and journalist Edgar Snow’s memoir.

Snow, Edgar, Red Star Over China, New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1968.

“I had never before seen so many children together. Most of them were sons of landlords, wearing expensive clothes; very few peasants could afford to send their children to such a school. I was more poorly dressed than the others. I owned only one decent coat-and-trousers suit . . . . Many of the richer students despised me because usually I was wearing my ragged coat and trousers. However, among them I had friends, and two especially were my good comrades.”

“Feeling expansive and the need for a few intimate companions, I one day inserted an advertisement in a Changsha paper inviting young men interested in patriotic work to make a contact with me. I specified youths who were hardened and determined, and ready to make sacrifices for their country. To this advertisement I received three and one half replies. One was from Lu Shiang-lung, who later was to join the Communist Party and afterwards to betray it. Two others were from young men who later were to become ultrareactionaries. The ‘half’ reply came from a non-committal youth named Li Li-san. Li listened to all I had to say, and then went way without making any definite proposals himself, and our friendship never developed.”

“But gradually I did build up a group of students around myself, and the nucleus was formed of what later was to become a society that was to have a widespread influence on the affairs and destiny of China. It was a serious-minded little group of men and they had no time to discuss trivialities. Everything they did or said must have a purpose. They had no time for live or ‘romance’ and considered the times too critical and the need for knowledge too urgent to discuss women or personal matters. . . . I built up a wide correspondence with many students and friends in other towns and cities. Gradually I began to realize the necessity for a more closely knit organization. In 1917, with some other friends, I helped to found the Hsin-min Hsueh-hui. It had from seventy to eighty members, and of these many were later become famous names in Chinese communism and in the history of Chinese Revolution.”

“Most of these societies were organized more or less under the influences of Hsin Ch’ing-nien [New Youth], the famous magazine of the literary renaissance, edited by Ch’en Tu-hsiu.

“I did not want to go to Europe. I felt that I did not know enough about my own country, and that my time could be more profitably spent in China. . . . My office was so low that people avoided me. One of my tasks was to register the names of people who came to read newspapers, but to most of them I did not exist as a human being. Among those who came to read I recognized the names of famous leaders of the renaissance movement . . . in whom I was intensely interested. I tried to begin conversations with them on political and cultural subjects, but they were very busy men. They has no time to listen to an assistant librarian speaking southern dialect. . . . But I was not discouraged. I joined the Society of Philosophy, and the Journalism Society, in order to be able to attend classes in the university.”

“While I was working in the library I also met . . . now vice-chairman . . .; vice-Minister of Education in Naking. . .
“My own living conditions in Peking were quite miserable, and in contrast the beauty of the old capital was a vivid and living compensation.  . . . When we were all packed fast on the k’ang there was scarcely room enough for any of us to breathe. I used to have to warn people on each of me when I wanted to turn over.”

Log in