Tales of Anna Shen, one of most notorious communist sleeper agents who penetrated deeply into the military command structure of Chiang Kai-shek's Republic of China Army and government.
How did she—the femme fatale of modern Chinese history—pull off such an intelligence coup? /1 ImageImage
1) What motivated Anna Shen to dedicate her life to radical social change?
Roots could be found in early tensions between her and her family. She was born into a well-to-do family in 1915, in Jiangsu Province of southern China. While she was allowed school education, her /2
(1 cont'd) family was otherwise very traditional, insisting on arranged marriage for her, which she had no interest in and tradition of which she despised. She also sided with her older sister when latter was physically abused by rest of family for being unable to conceive. /3
2) Accepted
She and her older sister fled their abusive family in 1932, and hitchhiked to Shanghai with modest savings. She was determined to further her education, and wanted to enroll at Shanghai Nanyang Commercial High School. When she approached the headmaster, she was /4
(2 cont’d) rebuffed, as it was too late to take Entrance Exam.
Anna Shen didn’t budge. The headmaster, exasperated, challenged Anna Shen to write Application Essay on the spot. She poured her heart out, about her family abuse and passion for social reform.
She was accepted. /5
(3) How did Anna Shen secure government position as stenographer?
She had superhuman skills.
Main selection criteria for that position was speed. She managed 400 Chinese characters (in shorthand) per minute, which placed her way above and beyond other candidates.
Accepted. /6

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More from @simonbchen

23 Feb
Xi Jinping’s father was veteran of Northwest Field Army in Civil War, which of the 4 numbered Field Armies of the communists, had to contend with most adverse conditions and most trying challenges, including the Nationalist Army’s seizure of communist capital Yan’an in 1947 /1
and consequent flight of Mao Zedong as bait to lure Nationalist Army into ambush and diversion. Xi Jinping’s family, decades later in Cultural Revolution, went through chaos, disruption, and violence. There is absolutely no question that, more than any other world leader in /2
21st century, even including recent predecessors in Red Party, his worldview was and continues to be indelibly shaped by history. Yet, the conclusions that he appears to have drawn, evidently differ from those of many others with overlapping backgrounds. Addressing historical /3
Read 4 tweets
23 Feb
For almost a century leading up to 1949, the US economic, social, and religious establishment made tremendous investments of personnel and funds in China, believing that it holds a vast untapped market of virtually boundless potential, whose materialization was predicated upon /1
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21 Feb
Some forgotten details of Sino-Soviet border conflict over Damansky Island in 1969 deserve comment. Soviet Union leadership was split into 2 camps on how to respond to Mao Zedong’s provocations in the area. The 1st camp, led by Marshal Andrei Grechko, Soviet Defense Minister, /1
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24 Jan
The first few paragraphs about communist troops entering Shanghai in 1949 are important and deserve some comment. Yes, communist troops entering Shanghai in 1949 were generally well-disciplined. From earliest days of Chinese Red Army, the communist /1 economist.com/china/2021/01/…
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12 Jan
Business and history.
After suffering colossal destruction and disruption from two decades of upheaval, the most notorious apex of which was the Cultural Revolution, many ambitious and educated people in China realized one (or both) of two things: 1) They were tired of living /1
lies, and they realized that the only way out of their predicament, and not suffer a repeat of the past 20 years again, was to be truthful and look back at what had happened with a seriously honest perspective; and 2) Politics and ideology can be extremely destructive and /2
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By and large, the populations who pursued (1) and (2) were non-overlapping.
Many Party and military historians (although they are /3
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19 Sep 20
“Are these peasants seriously going to eat all the sweet potatoes?”
A distinctive feature of communist operations in Chinese Civil War by 1948 was that novel, large-scale conventional-scale military operations were combined with mass mobilization and conscription of civilians /1
for logistic support—the latter referred to as “People’s War” in Mao Zedong’s parlance.
Before the outbreak of the Huaihai Campaign, Captain Guo, a company commander in 100th Army, 7th Corps, Republic of China Army, was conducting an inspection of civilian houses in a village. /2
In one dwelling, pulling back a cloth curtain, he stumbled upon a room chock-full of sweet potatoes, covering the entire floor.
He promptly reported the suspicious finding to his superior officers.
They scratched their heads. “These peasants in Shandong province, they all eat /3
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