Chinese exile to discuss life, research

A woman who was born in China and later exiled in the 1960s for her father’s supposed treason is speaking on campus today.Qui Jin, an associate professor and director of the Institute of Asian Studies at Old Dominion University, will speak about her research and personal life during the communist reign in China.

Qui grew up in China close to the Communist Party of China’s Chairman, Mao Zedong, and experienced the Cultural Revolution on a personal basis, said Peter Worthing, associate professor of history and a friend of Qui.

Mao was the Communist leader of China for many years and inspired the Cultural Revolution, Worthing said.

Carrie Liu Currier, director of Asian Studies, said she thought Qui would be an appropriate speaker for students interested in Asian studies because of her personal experience with a critical time in China’s history.

Worthing said there are not enough students in the Asian studies minor and the director of Asian studies is looking for ways to attract students.

“The Asian studies minor has decided to start bringing in speakers hoping to raise interest in the minor,” Worthing said.

Qui said in an e-mail, “I would like to share with the colleagues at TCU my experiences as the director of the Institute of Asian Studies at Old Dominion University. I hope to learn something from my colleagues there about the development of Asian studies programs.”

Qui said she believes using her personal experiences will help students become more interested in Asian studies.

Currier said Qui will talk about her experiences during the Cultural Revolution and her book on the Lin Biao incident.

Worthing said the Lin Biao incident is significant because it led to the persecution of thousands of people by the youth of China during the Cultural Revolution.

“The Cultural Revolution was launched in 1966 to cleanse the Communist Party of the bad elements, or capitalism,” Worthing said.

Lin Biao, a general in Mao’s army and his chosen successor, was accused of treason and during his flight to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to flee persecution his plane crashed, Worthing said.

After Biao’s death, Mao began arresting military generals, accusing them of a plot to overthrow him, Worthing said. Qui’s father was one of the generals, Worthing said.

Qui said her mother and older brother were put under house arrest while she was banished to a farm to do hard labor because of her father.

“Personally, I never believed the official charges against him and the official explanation of the Lin Biao Incident,” Qui said. “That’s why I came to the United States to study Chinese history.”

Worthing said this is a rare opportunity for TCU and Texans in general to learn something they would not normally hear about first hand.

“While discussing the Lin Biao incident and the Cultural Revolution, I will also tell about my own experiences and other stories of the victims of the Lin Biao incident,” Qui said. “I hope the students can gain more understanding of the nature of the Chinese politics under Mao.