Some forty years ago (was it really that long ago?), I started writing a novel to be titled The Chou Manuscript. I never completed it, of course, but achieved almost three quarters before turning to family matters that came up at that time.
My proposed scenario was that of a young educated Chinese girl (an important personal assistant to the ailing premier Chou), in other words, a surrogate daughter that he loved and trusted as a father. (He and his wife were childless in fact; this may have been a personal decision not to raise a child in the communist system). This young girl’s name was to be Mai Lai, and she was entrusted to deliver to the west a secret handwritten manuscript from the dying Chou inside communist China. It was to contain his thoughts and secrets of the country and of its government, and of the Christian underground church that he had aided and supported covertly for so many years, and at a cost.
The plot was for her to arrive to Europe with the state secret police of Mao on her trail, principally to retrieve this explosive document and naturally silence her forever before it could be revealed to the world. She was then to be aided along the way with an assortment of characters from the world of journalism (the diplomatic corps and naturally the Chinatown triads), as well as a defrocked priest.
I have always had a personal interest in Chou and the persona he emanated to so many people, Chinese and non-Chinese. After all, he had been active in frontline politics since the inception of the communist party in China in 1949 and survived many coups initiated against him and his friends. He would later die in 1976 of liver cancer.
Concerning the man (not the usual verbosity of the revolutionary of his day), it seems that Chou was a brilliant, yet determined and quiet diplomat born into a middle-class family. When he died, there seemed to be a genuine outpouring of sorrow and grief at his death by so many in his country. Of course, many never knew him or had ever met him, but knew him only by reputation and word of mouth.
For over forty years, Chou somehow survived assassination attempts and other life-threatening attacks, and primarily from Mao’s murderous fanatical secret police, as well as his numerous enemies nestling in that evil politburo snake pit.
In my past research on the personality of the man for The Chou Manuscript I noticed that he possessed an inner tranquilly, and I suggest that he had not learned it from the class-war hatred of Marx and Engel or that syphilitic liar Vladimir Lenin that corrupted and destroyed so many innocent people in Russia and China during the 20th century, but rather I suggest from the Holy Bible and the saving grace of its pages.
I propose that in Paris during 1922-1924 the young Chou – always, it seems, a seeking scholar – somehow witnessed the spiritual influence of a Christian believer. Perhaps he was offered a Bible tract among the atmospheric lanes around and in Montmartre itself, and curiously accepted it. Maybe he visited a small friendly house church and never left. I believe God had another agenda for this young man, and it was not to build a communist bastion of brutality brick by brick but to point the way to Christians in China towards the supreme and eternal coming Kingdom of God.
But of course these men like Mao and his henchmen were never God’s (though I’m sure they thought they were), but rather bullies, sadists, and liars who terrorised children, the infirm, and always the weak.
Mao, that terrible mass murderer, perhaps the worst of all time, would assault his country and move it from its feudal past into the 20th-century kicking and screaming, literally. Yet somehow Chou survived whilst the rest of China was almost brought to its knees in sadism and submission.
Mao’s maelstrom of murder would deeply injure China financially as well as orchestrate the great famine of the 1950s that he presided over, and he seems to have had no lasting regrets or to have understood the terrible plight it meant for his own people. (It is claimed that 20 to 30 million perished in this disaster, known today as “The Great Leap Forward,” a stupid title). Terrible times brought on by a terrible man. Chou somehow survived it all. Remember Chairman Mao’s famous throwaway line that: “political power grows out of the barrel”? Who can forget those lyrics, with even the late John Lennon slipping a mention of the chairman into his 1968 pop song Revolution.
So, what manner of man was he, this survivor of the Stalin/Mao era of betrayal that slaughtered millions of Chinese in the name of communism?
The insidious rape of China and its defenceless citizens by Mao and his willing cadres was nothing more than genocide. But what of Chou in all of this programmed genocide and power struggle?
In his book Mao’s Great Famine the author presents a picture of Chou that, “Chou Enlai, whose suave soft-spoken slightly effeminate manners made him the ideal choice as China’s foreign emissary.” Well, I’m not sure about the effeminate tag he drapes around Chou’s thin neck. Maybe, just maybe, he had an inner peace when he spoke or listened that had nothing at all to do with the popular male-female gender equilibrium. Yet something always sustained him in the times of turbulence and trouble, it seems, that came near to him, yet he always survived.
As already stated, Chou survived assassination attempts, and arguably one-way trips in chains to the numerous gulags then splashed across Mao’s bloodied China, planned and plotted naturally by Mao agents and other shadowy plotters in that den of thieves that inhabits the back dives of old Peking, then and now.
The Chinese secret police were rather like creepy cockroaches, in other words; all over the place, remarked one grateful woman who had escaped their clutches, sadly leaving her family behind.
Before the existence of the Chinese state in 1949, there had been numerous Christian churches existing and flourishing in that vast country. Of course, as Mao’s demonic grip tightened on the country in the 1950s and beyond, so did the assaults and attacks on the welfare of churches increase, none more so than against the true Church of born-again Bible believers.
As the planned purges against all opponents of the Mao regime was initiated, and of course during the great terrible famine years as well, so began the miraculous flowering of the true underground Christian house church that still survives and flourishes today in post-Mao China. Praise the Lord, I say! Sadly, the post-communist government of Mao have still retained their almost iron grip on the country, and probably will do so until the Great Tribulation.
The Daily Telegraph of 14/5/14 states: “China is on course to become the world’s most Christian nation within 15 years,” so wrote their religious correspondent. Let’s hope this is correct.
This must not be confused, however, with the corrupt state church and organised religion in general in China that operates today.
For the Christian church previously to survive and exist and produce spiritual fruit in the wicked years of the Mao regime, it had to have a patron or defender in China in those years of pain and persecution, and I suggest that benefactor was none other than Premier Chou En-lai. And incidentally, no less a controversial politician than Henry Kissinger remarked that Chou “was one of the two or three most impressive men I have ever met.” Although I have little respect for Kissinger or his methods of diplomacy, I do believe his judgment on Chou is worth considering. Another quote I found concerning Chou was from a famous fashion designer who seems to have known him as she recalls that, “I loved him. He was so mild. He tried to protect everybody but he compromised so much.” Ah, this sounds like so many people, doesn’t it, that we know or have read about.
Interestingly, a letter typed in beautiful English and despatched from Mao’s headquarters dated 1937 is to be auctioned at Sotheby’s this week (30/11/15) with an estimated value of £150,000. It is addressed to Major Clement Atlee and seeks assistance from the then Labour party in China’s struggle with Japan. I suggest it was composed by none other than Chou En-lai. It certainly wasn’t from Mao, but an interesting curio of its time all the same. But I’m not sure it’s worth this amount of money.
It should be stated that Mao was very jealous of Chou for enjoying a good education, which allowed him to speak English and French fluently. Stalin would also find himself being jealous over some of his more educated generals and diplomats.
The false gods praised and promoted by Mao included Marx and Engel (the terrible two), and he would later create his own poisonous cocktail known as “Maoism.” He would also dictate the infamous “Little Red Book,” and to its then-deluded disciples, it would be sacred and almost mystical to them in its pages of anger and alarm. Strangely enough, yesterday (25/11/15) Mao’s well-worn little red book was brandished in the House of Common’s of all places by the Labour Party’s Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer like a prize in his hand. He even gleefully quoted Mao (can you believe?) to an astonished and crowded chamber of Parliament. The dictator’s ghost sadly lingers on, it seems, and it’s a pity the shadow chancellor didn’t quote Mao, who also recorded in his little book that, “Revolution is not a dinner party.” Mao should know because 60 million Chinese people of all classes and wealth and standing were punished under his evil regime, and maybe more. Sadly, we will never know.
I also fit into this hutch of horrors the likes of Stalin, Hitler, Herod, the pharaohs, the popes, and many others.
Today God is still sovereign and will remain so. They have gone, He remains eternal and triumphant.
When Mao angrily launched his revolution in 1967, I suspect this was the birth of the true church that would flourish long after Mao’s painful death in 1976. This is a dialectic, to me, that the blooming Christian church was to arise from the ashes of communism. (No, not like that Illuminati-burning Phoenix bird from which chaos gave birth to order. The new world order now, it seems, is happily operating).
In a way, Chou was the godfather and guardian of those fragile and vibrant, yet struggling, churches, unsung of course, and unknown then. But did Mao know about them or their existence? Or did suspect his prime minister’s concealed faith and secret? We will never know, of course. Perhaps that secret went with Mao to his grave.
Towards the end of his life, Chou would suffer greatly at the cruel hands of Mao.
This is what James Palmer observed of the man in his declining years, “For ten years before his death Chou had feared his own end was near. Mao sadistically subjected him to a series of petty ordeals, such as swapping out his chair at diplomatic meetings and forcing him to sit racked with pain on a hard backless seat. And after Chou was diagnosed with cancer, he suddenly found it hard to get pain medication and reliable doctors.” More of Mao’s cruel gestures of pain and punishment to a man he had long known but not possibly trusted, it seems.
In a speech made in Peking in 1957, Mao said, “Letting a hundred flowers blossom,” which may well have been appropriate to the birth of a hundred or more underground churches, yet they survived.
The question is: how did these fragile churches prosper and expand in one of the world’s most guarded corrupt police states? So, who was the man who helped and in certain ways inspired them to grow in grace and fortitude?
Again, I suggest the premier himself was no less than Chou En-lai (
As head of the military police, Chou was able to warn and protect underground Christians and their church. Chou’s military police would be trusted with all border security related to everyone who entered or left the country (a crucial instrument in smuggling a pastor with forged visa documents, passports, and other letters of interest) and, of course not to be forgotten, Holy Bibles to be smuggled into China as well. God’s man in the right place at the right time.
If Mao knew about this dangerous information concerning his premier, then it stands to reason that Chou also had crucial information about Mao and his tainted past. Another crisis that Chou was aware of could have arrived from Mao’s dangerous wife, Jing Qing, who at times could not be contained even by Mao himself in her Satanic determination to destroy all opposition to Mao’s madness. She was likewise a wicked instigator of the “cultural revolution” that nearly brought the country to ruin. Hers was a future “red world” fuelled by hateful violence and sickening bullying, with no pity and few principles to offer. In other words, welcome, if you care, to the wicked world of Madam Mao, the last so-called “Empress of China.” She apparently would later die in 1991 by an apparent suicide or murder in prison. Mao would die in 1976. Both, I suspect, were unsaved and far from the mercy of God.
One day, if it is God’s intention, that hideous portrait of Mao that still dominates and stares down from the controversial blood-stained stones of Tiananmen Square (remember the bloody massacre in 1989?) will be torn down and replaced with a portrait of Chou En-lai. Well, that’s my personal suggestion for starters. (I’m not sure he would want it, however.)
God, it seems, may still have a required mission for China in the very near future, I suggest that if areas or regions of China are destroyed in the future, as predicted from Revelation 8 (either through a colliding comet or a nuclear missile exploding over the Pacific Rim), then the shock waves will almost certainly destroy most of China, Japan, and Korea, and the islands beyond, to be followed by poisoned contaminated waters that will witness millions of people dying slowly of madness and thirst; “For our God is a consuming fire.” And unbelievers should not underestimate this crucial statement from Paul in Hebrews 12:29: “But heed its terrible warning always and at all times.”
Somehow, the underground Chinese church will, I suggest, emerge safe and secure with its saved sanctified believers willing to travel and witness wherever possible to a doomed fallen world after the rapture. The true Bible-believing church will have been raptured up to Heaven before the terrible Tribulation arrives to claim millions of lost souls left behind in pain and pity.
We at this ministry strongly support and promote a pre-tribulation instant rapture. So in conclusion, if you are not born again, then quickly flee from the wrath that is to come. Time is brief, and suffering in Hell is forever.
“It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:26).
I have also long suspected and written previously that some of the Nazi leaders who were executed at Nuremberg in 1946, and later at Landsberg, and those other prominent Japanese war criminals in 1948 did sincerely repent before their own executions, and that we will see them in Heaven one day.
But remember that old saying: “I will be surprised who is in heaven. I will be surprised who is not in heaven. And I will be thankful that I am in heaven.”
Maybe I too will encounter Premier Chou En-lai in the promised kingdom; I do hope so, and if I do encounter him, well, what a story he will have to relate to me.
Mao’s Great Famine, Frank Dikotter
The Death of Mao, James Palmer
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