In an interview with NTD’s Chinese language program Focus Talk, Li Nanyang, the daughter of Mao Zedong’s personal secretary, shared how she changed her view on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The change came through painful life experiences and reflection.
Li’s father, Li Rui, was one of the Communist Party’s most senior members. But all that changed—when he criticized Mao for his responsibility in the catastrophic Great Leap Forward. The political movement caused a widespread famine that killed more than 35 million Chinese people.
Li’s critique got him expelled from the Party and thrown in prison. He spent eight years in solitary confinement.
After Mao’s death, Li went back to the Party’s central power circle. But he was again suppressed after he urgently called on the CCP not to use military force against the unarmed Tiananmen Square student-protesters in 1989—the same incident that, for the first time, made his daughter question her belief in the CCP.