Foreign Commentaries on China

Celebrating the Constitution of the People's Republic of China

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Foreign Commentaries on China

Various commentaries from outside the country by people who have lived in China or studied Chinese society, stretching across different topics and historical periods – some are more friendly to the revolutionary cause than others.

The Battle For Asia, Edgar Snow, Random House, New York, 1941, 431 pages.

The Birth of New China, a sketch of one hundred years 1842-1942, Arthur Clegg, Lawrence and Wishart, London, 1943, 144 pages.

What we saw in China, by 15 Americans, who participated in the Peace Conference of the Asian and Pacific Regions in October 1952, Weekly Guardian Associates, NY, 1952, 68 pages.

Through People’s China in a Friendship Train, by Fernand Leriche, World Federation of Trade Unions, England, 1953, 68 pages. Report of a WFTU delegation from 21 countries visiting China by train.

The People have Strength, Rewi Alley, Peking, 1954, 281 pages. Sequel to ‘Yo Banfa’.

The Great Road – the Life and Times of Chu Teh, Agnes Smedley, Monthly review Press, New York, 1956, 461 pages.

The Atlantic, a Special Issue on Red China – The first ten years, December 1959, 192 pages.

What’s really happening in China?, by Felix Greene, City Lights Books, San Francisco, 1959, 68 pages.

The world belongs to all, by Liao Hung-ying and Derek Bryan, privately printed, n.d. (but from 1959 or shortly after), 32 pages. The impressions of a husband and wife who re-visited China in 1959.

Mao and the Chinese Revolution, Jerome Ch’en, Oxford University Press, London, 1965, 419 pages. With 37 poems by Mao Tse-tung.

Mao Tse-tung in opposition 1927-1935, John E Rue, Published for the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, Stanford University Press, California, 1966, 387 pages.

The Taiping Rebellion, history and documents, Volume 1: History, Franz H Michael, University of Washington Press, 1966, 244 pages.

Window on Shanghai, Letters from China, Sophia Knight, Andre Deutsch, London, 1967, 256 pages.

This is Communist China, by the staff of Yomiuri Shimbun, Tokyo, edited by Robert Trumbull, Van Rees Press, New York, 1968, 274 pages.

A curtain of ignorance, Felix Greene, Jonathan Cape, London, 1968, 340 pages.

The Great Power Struggle in China, Asia Research Centre, Hong Kong, 1969, 503 pages.

China and Ourselves – Explorations and revisions by a new generation, edited by Bruce Douglass and Ross Terrill, Beacon Press, Boston, 1969, 249 pages.

Modern Drama from Communist China, edited by Walter and Meserve, New York University Press, New York, 1970, 368 pages.

The Chinese Cultural Revolution and Foreign Policy, Daniel Tretiak, ASG Monograph No. 2, Westinghouse Electric Corporation Advanced Studies Group, Waltham, Massachusetts, 1970, 36 pages.

The Organization and Support of Scientific Research and Development in Mainland China, Yuan-li Wu and Robert B Sheeks, Praeger, New York, 1970, 592 pages.

A divorce trial in China, by Felix Greene, New England Free Press, 1970, 16 pages. Originally published as a chapter in Greene’s book Awakened China: The country Americans don’t know (1961)

The Miracles of Chairman Mao – A compendium of devotional literature 1966-1970, edited by George Urban, Tom Stacey, London, 1971, 182 pages. (Introduction missing.)

The Morning Deluge – Mao Tse-tung and the Chinese Revolution 1983-1954, Han Suyin, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1972, 571 pages.

Mao Tse-tung’s Cultural Revolution, Tai Sung An, Pegasus, 1972, 211 pages.

Experiment without precedent: some Quaker observations on China today, report of an American Friends Service Committee Delegation’s visit to China, May 1972, 64 pages.

China: revolution and health, by Mark Selden, Health/PAC Bulletin, No. 47, December 1972, published by the Health Policy Advisory Center, New York, 20 pages.

People’s China in 1973: A Group Report, by Scott Nearing, Helen K. Nearing, Dr. Jerome Davis, Howard Frazier, Hugh B. Hester and Bess Horowitz, Promoting Enduring Peace, Inc., Woodmont, Conn.,1973, 28 pages.

The Chinese Economy, by Jan Deleyne, (1973, orig. French version 1971), 216 pages. Talks about the Chinese economy before, during, and after the initial phase (late 1960s) of the Cultural Revolution.

Chiang Ch’ing – The emergence of a revolutionary political leader, Dwan L Tai, Exposition Press, New York, 1974, 222 pages.

Unite the many, defeat the few: China’s revolutionary line in foreign affairs, by Jack A. Smith, Guardian newspaper (U.S.) pamphlet, 1974, 40 pages. Originally a series of articles in the Guardian in late 1972 and early 1973.

Education in the People’s Republic of China, by Fred L. Pincus, Research Group One Report No. 20, July 1974, 32 pages.

Party, Army and Masses in China, A Marxist interpretation of the Cultural Revolution and its aftermath, Livio Maitan, NLB, London, 1976, 373 pages.

Wind in the tower, Mao Tse-tung and the Chinese Revolution – 1949-1965, Han Suyin, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1976, 404 pages.

The People of Taihang – An Anthology of Family Histories, edited by Sidney Greenblatt, International Arts and Science Press, White Plains, New York, 1976, 305 pages.

Economic planning in China, by Geoff Mason, New Zealand-China Society, 1976, 60 pages.

China and the Nuclear Question, by Joan Donley, New Zealand-China Society, 2nd revised ed. 1976, 20 pages.

Why is China not at the Olympiques? [sic] / Pourquoi la Chine n’est pas aux Olympiques?, by the Canada-China Society and the Amitiés Québec-Chine, 1976, 16 pages. In both English and French.

China’s Foreign Policy – an outline, compiled by Clark Kissinger, August 1976, 60 pages.

Women’s Liberation in China, Claudie Broyelle, Humanities Press, New Jersey, 1977, 174 pages.

Workers and Workplaces in Revolutionary China, the China book project, edited by Stephen Andors, ME Sharpe, White Plains, New York, 1977, 403 pages.

Comrade Chiang Ch’ing, Roxanne Witke, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1977, 549 pages.

Revolutionary Diplomacy, Chinese Foreign Policy and the United Front Doctrine, JD Armstrong, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1977, 251 pages.

The Politics of Revolutionary China, British and Irish Communist Organisation, Belfast, 1977?, 44 pages.

China since Mao, Neil J Burton and Charles Bettleheim, Monthly review Press, New York, 1978, 130 pages.

Mao Tsetung’s immortal contributions, Bob Avakian, RCP Publications, Chicago, 1979, 342 pages.

Chairman Mao – Education of the Proletariat, Don Chean Chu, Philosophical Library, New York, 1980, 478 pages.

Edgar Snow’s China, a personal account of the Chinese Revolution compiled from the writings of Edgar Snow, Lois Wheeler Snow, Random House, New York, 1981, 284 pages.

Science in Contemporary China, edited by Leo A Orleans, Stanford University Press, California, 1980, 599 pages.

Science and Socialist Construction in China, Xu Liangying and Fan Dainian, The China book project, ME Sharpe, New York, 1982, 225 pages.

Marxism, Maoism, and Utopianism, Eight Essays, Maurice Meisner, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 1982, 255 pages.

Shenfan, the continuing revolution in a Chinese village, William Hinton, Random House, New York, 1983, 785 pages.

Red and Expert – A case study of Chinese science in the Cultural revolution, David Wade Chambers, Deakin University Press, Victoria, Australia, 1984, 153 pages.

Ninth Heaven to Ninth Hell – The History of a Noble Chinese Experiment, Qin Huailu, Barricade Books, New York, 1995, 665 pages.

Documents on the Rape of Nanking, edited by Timothy Brook, Ann Arbor Paperbacks, 1999, 301 pages.

Mao – a Life, Phillip Short, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1999, 782 pages.

The Nanjing Massacre, a Japanese Journalist Confronts Japan’s National Shame, Honda Katsuichi, ME Sharpe, New York, 1999, 367 pages.

The Nanjing Massacre in History and Historiography, edited by Joshua A Fogel, University of California Press, Berkeley, 2000, 248 pages.

Nanking 1937 – Memory and Healing, edited by Fei Fei Li, Robert Sabella and David Liu, ME Sharpe, New York, 2002, 278 pages.

Marxist Philosophy in China – From Qu Qiubai to Mao Zedong, 1923–1945, Nick Knight, Springer, The Netherlands, 2005, 245 pages.

Revolution in the Highlands – China’s Jinggangshan Base Area, Stephen C Averill, Rowman and Littlefield, New York, 2006, 451 pages.

Corruption and Realism in Late Socialist China – The Return of the Political Novel, Jeffrey Kinkley, Stanford University Press, 2007, 305 pages.

Mao Zedong, a political and intellectual portrait, Maurice Meisner, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2007, 222 pages.

Rise of the Red Engineers – The Cultural Revolution and the Origins of China’s New Class, Joel Andreas, Stanford University Press, California, 2009, 344 pages.

Was Mao really a monster? The academic response to Chang and Halliday’s ‘Mao – the unknown story’, edited by Gregor Benton and Lin Chun, Routledge, Abingdon, 2010, 199 pages.

The Wounds, Norman Bethune, speeches given in Canada in the 1930s, Anvil press, Ontario, ND, 35 pages.

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The early years of revolutionary struggle – Part 2 – The War of Resistance Against Japan – 1937-1946

Norman Bethune - Shihchiachuang City, Hopei

Norman Bethune – Shihchiachuang City, Hopei

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The early years of revolutionary struggle – Part 2 – The War of Resistance Against Japan – 1937-1946

China Can Win! The New Stage in the Aggression of Japanese Imperialism and the New Period in the Struggle of the Chinese People, by Wang Ming, (NY: Workers Library Publishers, 1937), 52 pages.

Four Months of War, a pen and picture record of the war between Japan and China in and around Shanghai from August 9 until December 20, 1937, by the North China Daily News, (Shanghai: 1937), 151 pages. This rare item represents the views of the British and other foreign Europeans and Americans resident in Shanghai at the outbreak of the war, and is surprisingly almost neutral (!) with regard to the war between Japan and China.

Heroic China – Fifteen Years of the Communist Party of China, by Pavel Miff, (NY: Workers Library Publishers, 1937), 98 pages. [Missing pages 92-93, and a few pages clipped along the edge during scanning.]

China’s Fight for National Liberation, by Chen Lin [Zhen Lin], (NY: Workers Library Publishers, 1938), 64 pages plus cover.

China’s New Crisis – with other authentic documents, Anna Louise Strong, Fore Publications, London, n.d., 1941?, 62 pages.

China resists, Edgar Snow, Modern Publishers, Calcutta, 1944, 178 pages. Abridged from Edgar Snow’s ‘Scorched Earth’.

Norman Bethune in China, a wonderful, inspiring work featuring fine ink drawings on every page. The adaptation is by Chung Chih-cheng, and the illustrations are by Hsu Jung-chu, Hsu Yung, Ku Lien-tang and Wang Yi-sheng. (Peking: FLP, 1975), 124 pages.

China’s New Democracy, by Mao Tse-tung. Introduction by Earl Browder[!]. (Toronto: Progress Books, 1944), 72 pages. [This major essay by Mao was written in January 1940, and appears in the different (authorized) translation under the title On New Democracy in the Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Vol. II, p. 339.]

In Guerrilla China, Report of the China Defence League chaired by Mme. Sun Yat-sen (Soong Ching Ling), (Chungking, China: 1943), 76 pages.

The Chinese Communists, by Stuart Gelder, (London: Victor Gollancz, 1946), 340 pages.

The Historical Experience of the War Against Fascism, by the Editorial Department of Renmin Ribao [People’s Daily], 1965, 27 pages.

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Medicine and health care in Socialist China

Barefoot Doctor

Barefoot Doctor

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Medicine and health care in Socialist China

Medicine for the people was one of the many achievements during the Chinese construction of Socialism in the years 1949-1976. This was all part of the policy of the ‘iron rice bowel’ – where the Chinese citizens were guaranteed the basics of life which included; employment, housing, education, health social welfare and dignity in retirement. 

The advances in health care came from a joining of traditional Chinese methods with the advances in science and technology. This meant a radical re-think in how these services would be provided in the most populous country on the planet and where the majority of people lived in the countryside. Training you men and women to be ‘barefoot doctors’ was one of the revolutionary innovations in this battle to bring decent health care to the peasants working in the collective farms and Communes.

This structure which provided health care to all Chinese as of right was quickly dismantled throughout the country when Deng Xiaoping promoted – and had accepted by a large part of the population – the philosophy of ‘To get rich is glorious’. 

At the same time, in the late 1970s, much health care was privatised, standards of care fell and the differences between the town and the country diverged rapidly. Now, in present day China, the state (realising that this was one area where discontent could breed opposition) has started to institute a system of health insurance. This is far from the system that existed during the revolutionary period and when faced with health problems many ‘self-medicate’ – visit a pharmacy and buy expensive drugs which might be cheaper than paying for proper care – which only goes to benefit international drug companies.

The publications below give an idea of what existed in the country pre-1978.

The Scalpel and the Sword, The story of Norman Bethune, Ted Allan and Sydney Gordon, Panther Press, Leipzig, 1952, 395 pages. More historical than about the treatment of health after the Declaration of the People’s Republic of China in October 1949. This is a biography of the Canadian surgeon Norman Bethune who went to China to support the people during the wars of liberation and who dies of blood-poisoning in the front line in 1939. His actions were seen as the height of international revolutionary solidarity.

Medical workers serving the people wholeheartedly, FLP, Peking, 1971, 114 pages.

Acupuncture Anaesthesia, FLP, Peking, 1972, 26 pages. Acupuncture used traditional skills and had the advantage of being relatively cheap to administer and avoided over prescription of modern drugs.

Exploring the secrets of treating deaf-mutes, FLP, Peking, 1972, 35 pages. Acupuncture was also used in the treatment of deafness.

Scaling peaks in medical science, FLP, Peking, 1972, 68 pages.

An Outline of Chinese Acupuncture, The Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, FLP, Peking, 1975, 305 pages. A major publication providing accurate information on the many hundreds of points on the body and how stimulation of those areas through acupuncture could have positive effects in the fight against certain illnesses.

Two diagrams showing the major acupuncture points.

The Frequently-used Points of the Frontal Aspect of the Human Body

The Frequently-used Points of the Frontal Aspect of the Human Body

The Frequently-used Points of the Dorsal Aspect of the Human Body

The Frequently-used Points of the Dorsal Aspect of the Human Body











The story of Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Fu Wei-kang, FLP, Peking, 1975, 40 pages. A short history of the traditional Chinese methods of dealing with certain illnesses.

Creating a New Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology, FLP, Peking, 1977, 82 pages. The blending of the traditional and modern science and technology in the treatment of the people.

Medical care for China’s millions, Supplement to Chine Reconstructs, No 10, October, 1978, FLP, Peking, 1978, 76 pages.

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