Huang Mulan: 'Encyclopedia of CPC'

July 1, 2016  Editor: Eileen Cheng

Huang Mulan in her early life [China News Service]

Huang Mulan, 109, a former secret agent for the Communist Party of China (CPC), is a living witness to the Party's former struggles with the Kuomintang (KMT) and the founding of the new China – events in which she herself took part.

Huang was born in Liuyang, central China's Hunan Province. At 12, she was sent to a local women's school, which turned out many outstanding females including the famous writer Ding Ling; and Yang Kaihui, who later became wife of Chairman Mao Zedong. Here at the institution, she obtained both the knowledge and ambition to fight against injustice for her country.

In 1925, Huang fled from a disastrous arranged marriage with an opium addict. She later traveled to Hankou in neighboring Hubei Province, and joined women's campaigns led by historical female activists including Soong Ching Ling and He Xiangning.

Before long, the attractive 19-year-old, with resolution and remarkable communication skills, was elected president of the city's women's department.

In 1927, the KMT-CPC United Front fell apart and the KMT Marshal Chiang Kai-shek started purging Communists from the Front. Huang and her newly-wed husband Wan Xiyan hence joined the underground as instructed.

Wan was assigned to revolutionary activities in east China's Jiangxi Province merely three days after his son was born in 1928, and lost his life there four months later. Despite the hard blow, Huang sent her baby to her in-laws and began taking up tasks again.

In 1930, the vigilant agent managed to quickly alert the Communist leadership to the betrayal of the Party's General Secretary Xiang Zhongfa. Thanks to her alarm, relevant activists withdrew in a timely way and avoided heavy losses.

With her sound performance in this action, Huang was entrusted with the task of rescuing revolutionaries from prison in 1931 and she fully met the Party's expectation during the following years.

Despite her notable contributions during the war years, however, the sharp-minded revolutionary was twice imprisoned and spent 17 years behind bars in the country's turbulent years from the 50s to the 70s.

When she was finally released in 1975, the unyielding fighter kept filing lawsuits to clear her name. While even superiors who had directly assigned her tasks were prevented from helping, she forged ahead with her struggles. It was not until 1980 that her previous achievements were confirmed by the Party's central committee.

Her life experiences have been written about by multiple Chinese literary masters such as Guo Moruo and Mao Dun.

General Chen Geng once commented that "the life of Mulan is a reflection of the vicissitudes of the Chinese revolution."

Premier Zhou Enlai also thought highly of Huang, saying she is an "encyclopedia of the CPC."

The lady is set to celebrate her 110th birthday on July 9.

In her biography, she wrote "I'm never pessimistic, always sticking to inspiring ideas even in the face of adversity. This is one of my strengths, and the only secret of my health and keeping fit."

Huang Mulan shows her autobiography in her later years. [baike.baidu.com]

(Source: China News Service/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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