TV program dramatizes love letter from Mao’s wife, sparks online debate

By Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2018/4/10 23:33:40

A love letter written by Chairman Mao Zedong's wife has sparked online discussions, with some claiming that publicizing the private letter "damages the great leader's image."

The letter, written 60 year ago by Mao's wife Yang Kaihui, was dramatically interpreted by a popular Chinese actress on Xinzhongguo, a TV program on China Central Television on Thursday.

In the letter, Yang expressed her deep feelings and attachment to Mao. "I want to kiss your eyes, your cheeks, your mouth, your forehead and your head a hundred times, you are mine and you belong to me." My death is nothing, I hope Runzhi (Mao) can achieve success with his revolution," reads the letter.

However, some netizens were not touched by the letter. They think it was a "smear" to the former leader's image, Beijing Youth Weekly said on Weibo.

The letter shows Yang's true feelings for her husband, and her reflections on life, which gives us another aspect of Yang, and brings her closer to us, Zhang Ding, head of the family letter research center of Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The program, which began on March 9, invites celebrities to read the family letters of more than 100 national heroes or heroines from 1921, when the Communist Party of China (CPC) was founded. Zhu Jun, a well-known Chinese anchorman and producer of the program, told the Beijing Evening News that these personal letters reflected CPC members' humanitarian side, which makes them such great CPC members.

Zhang said the letters did not damage their reputation and such programs give us another way to honor our national heroes or heroines, because the letters give us more vivid details of them and make their image more real and amiable.

Calls for the legislative protection of the reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs have grown in China.

In December 2017, the draft law on the protection of the reputation and honor of China's heroes and martyrs was released online.

The draft states the responsibilities of departments and internet operators to deal with any disrespect to heroes and martyrs. It also bans the appropriation of land and facilities near memorials.

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