|2006-03-12 12:33:28 CRIENGLISH.com|
As the country's top advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference，or CPPCC, is a pool of outstanding individuals from all walks of life. They are experienced political figures, social celebrities, experts and scholars specializing in various fields. They contribute their talents to state policy-making that considers the interests of the Chinese people. Apart from their impressive professional background, many of the CPPCC members also have remarkable personalities and fascinating stories. In today's program we're going to meet one such person, Tang Wensheng, once the interpreter for the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai. Here is our reporter Wu Jia.
(CPPCC member, Tang Wengsheng, left, with CRI reporter Liu Lu at the Beijing Friendship Hotel on Monday, March 6, 2006, Photo: CRIENGLISH.com)
"In the early 1950s, my family moved back to China. The reason is that it was a time when New China has just been established. And it was also the first time in a long history that there was actually peace in the land, and there was much to be done. Many Chinese, including overseas Chinese, were very excited about this. They wanted to come back to China and help build up the country with their own hands. That's why many renowned scientists, such as Mr. Qian Xuesen and Mr. Hua Luogeng came back to China, where they were to become some of the most outstanding scientists of our country."
"I have the good fortune to have witnessed and taken part as an interpreter at the re-opening of relations between China and the United States. And to have done interpretation for Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai, and at that time vice Premier Deng Xiaoping, as well as other leaders such as vice Premier Li Xiannian. I was part of that process which was very significant for the history of our country and foreign relations, and still has great impact on what we are doing today."
"At that time we were just interpreters, and there were many things we didn't know much about. But they encouraged us to study, not to just settle for being a basic interpreter. They encouraged us to learn more about the people we translated for, the issues they were discussing, and the background and culture of the foreign guests. I think it was through being at these discussions -- and they also made us feel we were a part of it. I think it was great these leaders treated us young people in that way. That was actually how we grew up, how we later came to understand life and our responsibilities, how we should work through life -- we learned to do as they had done."
"Something that remains very clear in my memory is the character of the leaders of that time, the Chairman and the Premier. They not only had a sweeping perceptiveness, able to see both the long view and broad view, and to analyze the situation very perceptively -- They were also people of great vitality. At that time they were both in their 70s -- When you look at elderly people in their 70s nowadays, they are all mostly at home, just taking it easy. But these men were shouldering the fate of the nation at that time. When the Chairman met with President Nixon, at that time as well he had not fully recovered from a grave illness that had almost taken his life -- but still he held the meeting with President Nixon, for I believe about two hours. They covered a broad range of issues, and his mind was very sharp. You didn't sense it all that he was still recovering from a very serious illness. I think it is only someone who holds such strong interest in his nation and his people, who can stand up to such health challenges while orchestrating an event of that significance."
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