ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
-A A +A

Chou En-lai

Chou En-lai GPD CHOU En-lai is dead An era has ended or is about to end. The Chinese revolution is the most gigantic revolution the world has ever seen. Its glory was not over in 1949. It has been a continuing revolution, and Chou En-lai was one of its makers. He saw a vision of China, a vision of a new socialist China. Chou En-lai, contrary to what everybody outside China seems to believe, was not just an administrator or an efficient, practical man. He was the first Chinese, for example, to have- asked the Chinese to give up Han chauvinism. He was also the first Chinese to have told the overseas Chines in Burma in 1955 how impor- tant it was for them to identify themselves with the local population. These ideas were alien to the Chinese. Chou En-lai was the first Chinese to have talked boldly about them. Chou En-lai was also the first Chinese to have introduced ideas of equality in China's foreign relations. The communists introduced these and many other revolutionary ideas in China's relations with the outside world. This was new in the Middle Kingdom. Chou En-lai was the man who brought these changes about. He taught the modern Chinese the new language of the egalitarian international order. He, more than anybody else, taught the Han People that all nations, big and small, arc equal. One has to be familiar with the ethos of the Middle Kingdom to reckon what a revolutionary change this has been, man who changed China's language international politics is dead, Chou En-lai and his foreign policy did not change only China's language. Chou En-lai and Mao changed the international language too, If Asians and Africans can now stand up to the West, it is in no small measure due to the tough determination of Mao's and Chou's China. Both these men, like their counterparts in Asia and Africa, inherited poverty, destitution, dehumanisation and large peasant masses. But they also had an ideology, the party and the army. With these tools the six hundred odd million people called every imperialist bluff. They faced isolation. They faced encirclement. They still do. Twentyfive years later they have finally put Peking on the world map.

Subscribers please login to access full text of the article.

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

826for India

$50for overseas users

Get instant access to the complete EPW archives

Subscribe now

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top