The PRC is founded and Premier/ForeignMinister Zhou Enlai has his work cut out for him. In this episode the focus is on the Korean War and the Geneva Conference. Zhou already enjoyed some degree of international respect from those he had come to know during his Shanghai and Chongqing years. By 1954 he had established himself as a respected tour de force on the world stage and earned begrudging admiration from those who refused to recognize the country for which he was head of state.
In this Part 4 episode of the CHP Zhou Enlai series Laszlo re-tells the always amusing story of when the Americans came around Yan’an to kick the tires of the CCP and see what they were all about. Many of these events from today’s episode were covered in previous podcasts (Kang Sheng, Deng Xiaoping, John Service and Civil War). This time Zhou again proves his loyalty and devotion to Mao and as always to China. He gets a real workout as far as developing his role as the Communists (and later China’s) chief diplomat.
In this Part 3 episode the story of Zhou Enlai is taken all the way up to the 1943 Yan’an Rectification Campaign. We’ll look at the Zunyi Conference, the Long March, the Xian Incident and finally the ill-fated Second United Front. At every historic moment, Zhou Enlai was there, playing a lead role.
In this second part of what’s shaping up to be a long series, Laszlo picks up at the Zhongshan Gunboat Incident and follows the life of Zhou Enlai through the challenging years of 1926-1934.
In today’s Part 1 episode Laszlo explores the early life of Zhou Enlai, growing up in a traditional scholar-official’s family that had seen better days. Zhou gets passed from relative to relative. But each step of the way there were mentors and breaks that he was able to make the most of. We can see through his early years and into his teens how Zhou was perfectly trained and tested for the larger job that lay ahead.