TA TA, TAN TAN by Valentin Chu


Email this review


The title, in Chinese, means ""fight fight, talk talk..."" It is one of Mao Tse-tung's favorite political formulae. The subtitle is more explanatory, ambitious, and prosaic; The Inside Story of Communist China. At first glance one is inclined to shrug off as opinionated an assertion that ""Red China...is the offspring of an ideological rape... an impossible mixture of Marxist materialsim and Taoist transcendentalism -- a world of semi-truths, pseudo-science and prefabricated emotions."" Then come facts and figures, too few documented for scholastic or political comfort, but so profuse and tellingly organized that they cannot help but make a strong impression. According to Mr. Chu (a journalist in Shanghai before the revolution and since a writer for Time magazine), Mao's regime is beyond repair, the threat of a Chinese nuclear force is a myth, and overthrow by the Nationalists or disaffected Party factions is merely a matter of time. He asserts that the free world's secret weapon against Communist China is the Chinese people, that the China situation, ""if manipulated with shrewdness and courage, could well be the Archimedean lever that moves the world back from the brink."" In the face of our vast ignorance over the actual state of things in China, Mr. Chu's case appears tenable and will be welcome to most American readers. One only hopes he knows whereof he speaks so knowingly.

Pub Date: May 22nd, 1963
Publisher: Norton