“Mao’s Children in the New China”: Answering 5 Questions about “Chai Beihua”

1. The person interviewed is named Chai Beihua. During the Cultural Revolution he got interested in the contemporary Chinese literature and researched extensively to compile a bibliographical history of the contemporary Chinese writers and intellectuals. At present he works as a manager of a printing press owned by Joint Stock Limited Liability Company on a profit sharing basis. Chai Beihua is an astute businessman with a good grip over the prevailing business and political realities. He is not only earning a good profit from the printing press he runs, but is actually very happy with his job.

2. Chai Beihua had been involved in the printing business for more than 15 years. He quit his job to join as a manager of a printing press going to be set by an organization named Educational Scientific and Humanistic Organization (ESHO). ESHO successfully managed to construct a building complex to start a printing press. However, because of the inappropriate and dishonest investments made by some members of ESHO, the organization had to enter into a deal with a Joint Stock Limited Liability Company to pay the fine imposed on it by the government. The new owners offered Chai Beihua the proposal of running the printing press acquired by them from ESHO on a profit sharing basis. Currently Chai Beihua earns his living by running that printing press on a profit sharing basis.

3 & 4. Chai Beihua belongs to a business family with a sound academic background. Before the Cultural Revolution, Chai Beihua worked in the printing trade for more than 15 years. During the Cultural Revolution Chai Beihua was immensely interested in intellectual and literary pursuits. In fact he intended to compile a bibliographic history of the contemporary Chinese writers and intellectuals. However, while pursuing this goal, Chai got interested in a job proposal extended by a research organization named ESHO. Sadly, the printing venture to be started by ESHO got jeopardized and the new owners of the printing press offered Chai to run the press on a profit sharing basis. Though not being a Communist Party member, Chai evolved into an astute businessman in the post-revolution era. Chai has some strong views regarding the poor management of the state enterprises and the plight of the workers in private factories. Chai aspired to start a beginning to end printing venture, however, his plan got stalled by the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

5. In the post revolution era, Chai evolved into a shrewd businessman, who well managed a printing press and succeeded in earning impressive profits. Chai refused to register as a member with the Communist Party however had a firm grip over the political and economic realities of his country. Though initially averse to the changes ushered in by reforms, Chai believes that the worst is over. Chai does not favor any more revolutions in China and believes that what the system needs is reforms. Chai also holds that the economic development will eventually lead to democracy in China and is very optimistic about the future.