Renowned for his outspokenness: Renowned Chinese biographer Xin Ziling dies after a long illness

Xin Ziling (real name Song Ke), a famous Chinese biographer, died in Beijing on June 20 at the age of 86 after a long illness.

Xin Ziling was the author of The Complete Biography of Mao Zedong, The Fall of the Red Sun – The Thousand Years of Mao Zedong, The True Biography of Lin Biao and The Code for Opening the Black Box of the Cultural Revolution.

According to French media reports, he is known for his outspokenness, calling for political reform and demanding that Chinese citizens be given the constitutional freedom of speech, publication, assembly, association and procession, etc. Despite his claim to be a party defender, he has not escaped repression by the authorities and has been under prolonged house arrest.

According to Wikipedia, Xin Ziling was born in 1935 in Anxin County, Hebei Province, China. He joined the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in 1950 and the Communist Party in 1959, and served as deputy director of the Political Research Office of China Military University, head of the publishing house of the Military Academy, and director of the editorial office of Contemporary China at the National Defense University. Before his retirement, he held the rank of major at the full division level.

On October 11, 2010, three days after the Nobel Committee announced that Liu Xiaobo, who was in prison, had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Xin Ziling and Li Rui, former secretary of Mao Zedong, and 23 other elderly Communist Party members jointly published an open letter to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, demanding that the freedom of speech, publication, assembly, association, procession and demonstration guaranteed by the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China be honored.

On February 11, 2011, Xin Ziling was invited by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology to deliver a speech entitled “Situation and Future” in support of Wen Jiabao’s political system reform. Since then, he has been placed under isolation and surveillance.

In that speech, Xin Ziling said that according to expert statistics, in the 2129 years before the Chinese Communist Party came to power in 1949, there were 203 major climate disasters with more than 10,000 deaths, with a total of more than 2.92 million deaths. The total number of starvation deaths during Mao’s 3-year Great Leap Forward was 37,558,000, which is 7.64 million more than the entire population of China who died from natural disasters in more than 2,000 years. He also said that Mao “put the communist ideal into practice on a large scale in a China of 600 million people, and as a result, 37,558,000 people died of starvation”.

Xin Ziling quoted a U.S. official who had lived in China for many years as saying: “The problem in China is very simple: it is the problem of about 500 privileged families. These 500 families, together with their children, grandchildren, relatives, friends and close staff, constitute a core system of about 5,000 people. There is also a widespread intermarriage alliance among them. They monopolize power, form interest groups, try to maintain the status quo, and create the lie that “once democracy is achieved, there will be chaos in the world.

He said, “The fact that there are 2,932 billionaires among the sons and daughters of top cadres, each with an average fortune of 670 million yuan, cannot but affect the nature of our regime. Can such concealment and deception last long when the families of the Communist Party leaders have taken the place of the four major families (of the Kuomintang) in terms of economic status and far surpassed them in terms of the amount of wealth they have taken by trickery, and still insist that the people are in charge?”