Mao ZeDong on Sun Quan

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Mao ZeDong on Sun Quan

Unread postby Lu Kang » Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:17 pm

I wanted to practice translating some stuff so I found this article on Mao ZeDong and his referrences of Sun Quan. I thought it was a little interesting.

The following is from: This website

While not very much compared to Liu Bei and Cao Cao, Mao ZeDong’s commentary on Sun Quan is shows that he thought he was a heroic man.

When writing about talents and heroes, he grouped Cao Cao, Sun Quan, and Zhuge Liang above all the rest.

Mao ZeDong was particularly fond of the Southern Song poet, Xin Qiji, especially Nan Xiang Zi:

From where can I see the heartland?
On Beigu Pavilion there is a scenic view.
The rise and fall of kingdoms--too numerous to count!
So far, so long,
As the endless River rolls on and on.

Though a youth he was, ten thousand men he led,
Ruling the Southeast, tirelessly fighting.
Of the heroes in the realm, who was of his match?
None but Cao and Liu.
Should one have a son, let him be like Sun Zhongmou*


On March 20, 1954, Mao ZeDong was flying from Nanjing to Shanghai. While in mid flight he looked down upon the city of Zhen Jiang. He knew of Xin Qiji’s work and explained the literary reference.

From 1953 to 1958, Mao ZeDong repeatedly would reference the example of Sun Quan entrusting Zhou Yu with great responsibility. He explained that to select the best cadre, one could not go by just seniority but rather the ability and level of achievement of the candidate and be bold enough to use the new person. This was a reference to Sun Quan using talented people to their fullest.

Mao ZeDong frequently mentioned Sun Quan’s ability at a certain age. In January of 1965, he said in a conversation, he was discussing ability of youths. When discussing the beginnings of heroes there are many 20-30 year old men. Zhuge Liang was only 27 years old. Sun Ce was not even 20 years old. Sun Quan was even younger. Sun Quan was born in the 5th year of guang wu, and he succeeded Sun Quan when he was only 18 years old.

Mao ZeDong would say that when Sun Quan he accomplished great things that were worthy of praise. The people said that Chi Bi was won because of Zhuge Liang’s “Borrowing the east wind.” Mao ZeDong thought that there was much exaggeration of facts in that period. Cao Cao claimed to have 830,000 infantry and cavalry, but really only had 230,000. Also he was defeated by Sun Quan’s subordinates, not Kongming’s “borrowing the east wind.”

In may of 1975, Mao ZeDong convened a politburo workshop in Beijing. After the meeting ended, he said, “I always say, ‘Only drink Changsha water.’ It is clear and not sandy like well water. ‘Wu Chang fish’ are not from present day Wu Chang, they are from ancient times Wu Chang. It was located between [present day] Wu Chang and Da Ye, at a place I forget. As I was saying, ‘Only drink Changsha water and eat Wu Chang fish.’ When Sun Quan moved [his capital] to Nanjing he transported the wood from Wu Chang to Nanjing. Sun Quan was a competent person. He is mentioned in Xin Qiji’s “Nanxiang” of which a few words, “Of the heroes in the realm, who was of his match? Cao and Liu. It is a pity that today there is no Sun Zhongmou.” He improvised and altered the last line.

In April 1970, at the in the Central Political Bureau conference for a third time it was proposed for Mao ZeDong to become chairman. He stated he did not want to be chairman and used an example from the Three Kingdoms: “Sun Quan urged Cao Cao to become Emperor, and Cao Cao said, ‘Sun Quan is trying to roast me on a furnace!’ I urge you to not to be Sun Quan and make me Cao Cao!

In September 1972, the Japanese Prime Minister, Kakuei Tanaka, visited China. Mao ZeDong reviewed 2,000 years of Chinese-Japanese relations with him. When he got to the Three Kingdoms period he said, Sun Quan wished to find you. He sent a navy of 30,000 men.

*Translated by Lady Wu
无口为天,有口为吴,君临万邦,天子之都
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Unread postby Sun Gongli » Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:42 am

I'm not a fan of some of Mao Zedong's policies (or rather, some of his methods), so it figures that I would draw parallels with him and Sun Quan. Sun Quan definitely knew how to use talents when Zhou Yu and Lu Meng were around - but what of his inability to select an heir and his alienation of Zhang Zhao, Lu Xun, and Yu Fan? Such capable, trustworthy men should have had precedence over the likes of Sun Jun, who was having an affair with Sun Quan's daughter.
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Unread postby Shi Tong » Thu Jan 03, 2008 10:07 am

I agree, I absolutely hate Mao Ze Dong, and wish that he had never existed TBH.

It's interesting that he thought Sun Quan was a good leader, but what is this discussion supposed to be about?? :D
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Unread postby Shadowlink » Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:48 pm

Mao was a smart man, but I dont think Sun Quan would do Mao's approach.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:10 pm

I think Mao's take on both Cao Cao and Sun Quan is valuable because Mao was able to think outside the box, and, by doing so, was able to appreciate history and historical figures for what they were instead of quibbling over legitimacy or "rightness", unlike many previous historians.

Mao identifies with Cao Cao (revolutionary leader, able statesman, poet, amateur historian, etc.). Whatever fascination he had for Sun Quan was probably similar to Cao Cao's.

I wonder if the speech in 1965 should be taken in the context of the Cultural Revolution (1966). The line in the original article "毛泽东几次提到孙权自己年纪轻轻就当家了。1965年1月,他在一次谈话中说:看起来还是青年行。" is more appropriately interpreted as "On several occasions, Mao Zedong mentioned Sun Quan's becoming the head of the family [and his state] at a young age. In a speech in January 1965, he said, 'It seems that the young people are more capable.'" (Or: "It seems that we have to leave it up to the youth.") The Red Guard was set up in 1966.

His modified version of Xin Qiji's famous line in 1975 (Mao dies in 1976) was probably a lament of the lack of a Sun Quan-like figure to succeed him.

---

Btw: According to the Chinese article, Mao wasn't saying that Kongming's wind had no part in Chibi, as your paraphrasing suggests. A closer translation would be, "He lost to Sun Quan not only due to Kongming's 'borrowing the wind'."
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Unread postby huaxiong » Thu Jan 03, 2008 10:40 pm

Shi Tong wrote:I agree, I absolutely hate Mao Ze Dong, and wish that he had never existed TBH.

It's interesting that he thought Sun Quan was a good leader, but what is this discussion supposed to be about?? :D


The relationship. Wu=Red. Mao=Communism=Red. :D

Interesting observation about the chi bi thing, Lady Wu. I wonder why he would say that if he only admired Wu.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Fri Jan 04, 2008 1:29 am

huaxiong wrote:Interesting observation about the chi bi thing, Lady Wu. I wonder why he would say that if he only admired Wu.

It's really isn't about admiring Wu or Sun Quan in particular, even. Part of it was probably him trying to put some balance back in history (the traditional view was still all about Zhuge Liang literally turning the tides), and part of it just a honest appreciation of Sun Quan.
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Unread postby Shi Tong » Fri Jan 04, 2008 12:57 pm

Sounds about right to me Lady Wu. :D

Wu=Red. Mao=Communism=Red


I thought Wu was represented in history by Yellow? :wink:
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Unread postby huaxiong » Sat Jan 05, 2008 12:53 pm

Shi Tong wrote:Sounds about right to me Lady Wu. :D

Wu=Red. Mao=Communism=Red


I thought Wu was represented in history by Yellow? :wink:


Was it? Hmm. Guess I play too much ROTK and dynasty warriors.
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Unread postby Sun Gongli » Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:41 am

Shi Tong wrote:Sounds about right to me Lady Wu. :D

Wu=Red. Mao=Communism=Red


I thought Wu was represented in history by Yellow? :wink:


Wu is actually represented as green in most non-KOEI representations.
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