Commentary 4: On How the Communist Party Opposes the Universe
Chinese people value greatly the Tao, or the Way. In ancient times, a brutal emperor would be called “a decadent ruler who lacks the Tao.” Any behavior not conforming to the standard of morality, which in Chinese is denoted by the two characters “Dao” and “de,” meaning “Tao” and “virtue,” respectively, was said “not to follow the principle of Tao.”
Even farmers in revolt put out banners proclaiming “Achieve the Way on behalf of heaven.” Lao Tzu  said: “There is something mysterious and whole, which existed before heaven and earth, silent, formless, complete, and never changing. Living eternally everywhere in perfection, it is the mother of all things. I do not know its name; I call it the Way.” This suggests that the world is formed from Tao.
In the last hundred years, the sudden invasion by the communist specter has created a force against nature and humanity, causing limitless agony and tragedy. It has also pushed civilization to the brink of destruction. Having committed all sorts of atrocities that violate the Tao and oppose heaven and the earth, it has become an extremely malevolent force against the universe.
“Man follows the earth, the earth follows heaven, heaven follows the Tao, and the Tao follows what is natural.”  In ancient China, people believed in complying with, harmonizing, and co-existing with heaven. Humankind integrates with heaven and earth and exists in mutual dependence with them.
The Tao of the universe does not change, and the universe runs according to the Tao, in an orderly manner. The earth follows the changes of heaven and therefore has four distinct seasons. By respecting heaven and the earth, humankind enjoys a harmonious life of gratitude and blessings. This is reflected in the expression “heaven’s favorable timing, earth’s advantageous terrain, and harmony among the people.”  According to Chinese thought, astronomy, geography, the calendar system, medicine, literature, and even social structures all follow this understanding.
But the Communist Party promotes humans over nature and a philosophy of struggle in defiance of heaven, the earth, and nature. Mao Zedong said, “Battling with heaven is endless joy, fighting with the earth is endless joy, and struggling with humanity is endless joy.” Perhaps the Communist Party did acquire real joy from these struggles, but the people have paid a tremendously painful price.
I. Struggling With People and Exterminating Human Nature
Confounding Good and Evil and Eliminating Humanity
A human being is first a natural being and then a social being. “Men at their birth are naturally good”  and “The heart of compassion is possessed by all people alike”  are among the many guidelines that human beings bring with them at birth, guidelines that enable them to distinguish right from wrong and good from evil. However, for the CCP, human beings are animals or even machines. According to the CCP, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat are just material forces.
The CCP’s purpose is to control people and gradually change them into rebellious, revolutionary ruffians. Karl Marx said, “Material forces can only be overthrown by material force,” and, “Theory also becomes a material force as soon as it has gripped the masses.”  He believed that all of human history was nothing more than the continuous evolution of human nature, and that human nature is in fact class nature. He posited that there is nothing inherent and inborn — everything is produced by its environment. Marx argued that a human being is a social man, disagreeing with the concept of the “natural man” postulated by German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach.
Vladimir Lenin believed that Marxism cannot be generated naturally among the proletariat, but must be infused from the outside. Lenin tried his best but still could not cause workers to shift from the economic struggle to the political battle for power. So he pinned his hopes on the conditioned reflex theory of behavior put forth by Nobel Prize winner Ivan Petrovich Pavlov. Lenin said this theory “has significant meaning for the proletariat all around the world.”
Leon Trotsky  even vainly hoped that the conditioned reflex could not only be used to psychologically change a person, but also physically change the person. In the same way that a dog drools once it hears the lunch bell ringing, soldiers would be expected to rush ahead bravely upon hearing gunshots, thus devoting their lives to the Communist Party.
Since ancient times, people have believed that effort and labor lead to rewards. Through hard work, one was thought to gain a prosperous life. People had contempt for indolence and considered reaping benefits without laboring as immoral. After the Communist Party spread to China like a plague, however, it encouraged social scum and idlers to divide land, rob private property, and tyrannize men and women — all done publicly under the color of law.
Everyone knows that it is good to respect one’s elders and care for the young, and bad to disregard elders and teachers. Ancient Confucian education had two parts: “Xiao Xue” (Small Learning) and “Da Xue” (Great Learning). Xiao Xue education, received by children below the age of fifteen, mainly focused on manners regarding cleanliness, social interactions, and etiquette (education on hygiene, social behavior, speech, and so on). Da Xue education emphasized virtue and acquiring the Tao.  An ancient saying goes, “One day as my teacher, and I should respect him as my father for my entire life.”
During the CCP’s campaigns to criticize Lin Biao and Confucius and to denounce respect for teachers, the Party erased all moral standards from the minds of the younger generation. On August 5, 1966, Bian Zhongyun, a teacher of the Affiliated Girls High School of Beijing Normal University, was paraded by her female students on the street while dressed in a tall dunce hat and clothes stained with black ink, and carrying an insulting blackboard over her neck, as the students drummed on dustbins all around her. She was forced to her knees on the ground, beaten with a wooden stick spiked with nails, and burned with boiling water. She was tortured to death.
The female principal of the Affiliated High School of Peking University was forced by students to knock on a broken washbasin and yell, “I am a bad element.” Her hair was cut messily to humiliate her. Her head was beaten until it gushed blood as she was forced to crawl on the ground.
Everyone thinks to be clean is good and to be dirty is bad. But the CCP promotes “getting mud all over the body and covering your hands with calluses” and praises as good that your “hands are dirty and feet smeared with cow-dung.”  People like this were considered to be the most revolutionary and could attend universities, join the Party, be promoted, and eventually become Party leaders.
Humankind has progressed because of the accumulation of knowledge, but, under the CCP, gaining knowledge was considered bad. Intellectuals were classified as the stinky ninth category — the worst on a scale of one to nine. Intellectuals were told to learn from illiterates, and to be reeducated by poor peasants in order to be reformed and start new lives.
In the reeducation of intellectuals, professors from Tsinghua University were banished to Carp Island in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province. Schistosomiasis  was a common disease in this area, and even a labor camp originally located there had to move. Upon touching the river water, these professors were immediately infected and developed cirrhosis, thus losing their ability to work and live.
At the instigation of former Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, the Cambodian Communist Party (Khmer Rouge) carried out the cruelest persecution of intellectuals. Those who had independent thoughts were subjected to reform and extermination, both spiritually and physically. From 1975 to 1978, one-quarter of the Cambodian population was killed; some met their deaths simply on account of the marks left on their faces from wearing glasses. After the Cambodian communists’ victory in 1975, Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot prematurely started to establish socialism — a supposed “heaven in human society” with no class differences, no divides between urban and rural, and no currency or commercial trade. In the end, families were torn apart and replaced with male and female labor teams. They were all forced to work and eat together, wearing the same black revolutionary or military uniform. Husbands and wives could only meet each other once a week with approval.
The Communist Party claims to fear nothing in heaven or earth, and it has attempted with arrogance to reform heaven and earth. This is in complete disregard of all the righteous elements and forces in the universe.
Mao wrote while he was a student in Hunan Province:
In all centuries, nations have conducted great revolutions. The old is washed away and things are imbued with the new; great changes have occurred, involving life and death, success and ruin. It is the same with the destruction of the universe. This destruction is definitely not the final destruction, and there is no doubt that destruction here will be birth over there. We all anticipate such destruction, because in destroying the old universe, we bring about the new universe. Isn’t that better than the old universe? 
Affection is a natural human emotion. Affection among husbands and wives, children, parents, friends, and in society generally is normal. Through incessant political campaigns, the CCP has changed humans to wolves, or even an animal that is fiercer and crueler than the wolf. Even the fiercest tigers would not eat their own young. But under the rule of the CCP, it has been common for parents and children to report on each other, or husbands and wives to expose each other; familial relations were frequently renounced.
In the mid-1960s, a female teacher in an elementary school in Beijing accidentally put together the Chinese characters for “socialism” and “fall down” when she was drilling her students on language. Students reported her. After that, she was criticized every day and slapped by male students. Her daughter severed their relationship. Whenever the revolutionary struggle in her school became more intense, her daughter would criticize her mother’s “new movement in class struggles” during political sessions. For several years following the mishap, the teacher’s only work was cleaning the school, including its toilets.
People who went through the Cultural Revolution will never forget the dissident Zhang Zhixin, who was sent to jail because she criticized Mao for his failure in the Great Leap Forward. Many times, prison guards stripped off her clothes, handcuffed her hands behind her back, and threw her into male prison cells, letting male inmates gang rape her. She eventually went insane. When she was being executed, prison guards feared she would shout slogans in protest. They pressed her head on a brick and sliced a hole in her trachea without any anesthesia, ensuring that she could breathe but not speak.
In the persecution of Falun Gong in recent decades, the CCP continues to use the same old methods of inciting hatred and instigating violence.
The Communist Party suppresses human beings’ virtuous nature and promotes, encourages, and uses the evil side of humanity to strengthen its rule. In one campaign after another, people with a conscience are forced into silence for fear of violence. The Party has systematically destroyed universal moral standards in an attempt to completely demolish the concepts of good and evil and of honor and shame that have been maintained by humankind for thousands of years.
The Evil That Overrides the Law of Mutual Generation and Mutual Inhibition
Lao Tzu said:
Under heaven, all can see beauty as beauty only because there is ugliness. All can know good as good only because there is evil. Therefore, having and not having arise together; Difficult and easy complement each other; Long and short contrast each other; High and low rest upon each other; Voice and sound harmonize each other; Front and back follow one another. 
Simply put, the law of mutual generation and mutual inhibition exists in the human world. Not only are humans divided into good and bad individuals, but also good and evil coexist within a single person. Dao Zhi, an icon for bandits in ancient China, told his followers, “Bandits should follow the Way as well.” He said that in being a bandit, one should also be “honorable, courageous, righteous, wise, and benevolent.” That is to say, even a bandit cannot do whatever pleases him, but has to follow certain rules.
The history of the CCP can be said to be full of trickery and betrayal without constraint. For example, what bandits honor the most is “righteousness.” Even their place to share the booty is called “the hall of righteousness for dividing the spoils.” But whenever a crisis arises among comrades within the CCP, they expose and accuse one another and even fabricate false charges to frame one another, adding insult to injury.
Take General Peng Dehuai, for example. Mao, coming from a peasant background, of course knew that it was impossible to produce 130,000 jin of grain per mu  and that what Peng said was all true.  He also knew that Peng had no intention of taking his power, let alone the fact that Peng had saved his life several times when Peng fought Hu Zongnan’s 200,000 troops with only 20,000 troops of his own during the CCP–Kuomintang war. Nevertheless, as soon as Peng expressed his disagreement with Mao, Mao immediately burst into a rage and threw into a garbage can the poem he wrote in praise of Peng: “Who dares to ride ahead on horseback with sword drawn — only our General Peng!” Mao was determined to put Peng to death despite the nobility of Peng’s life-saving comradeship.
The CCP kills brutally rather than governs with benevolence. It persecutes its own members in contempt of comradeship and personal loyalty. It barters away China’s territory, acting cowardly. It makes itself an enemy of righteous belief, lacking wisdom. It launches mass movements, violating the sage’s way to govern the nation. All in all, the CCP has gone so far as to abandon the minimal moral standard that “even bandits should follow the Way as well.” Its evilness has reached well beyond the law of mutual generation and mutual inhibition in the universe.
The CCP completely opposes nature and humanity for the purpose of confounding the criteria for good and evil and overturning the law of the universe. Its unrestrained arrogance has reached its zenith, and it is doomed to collapse completely.
II. Fighting With the Earth, Bringing Endless Disaster
Extend Class Struggle to Nature
Jin Xunhua was a 1968 high school graduate from the Wusong No. 2 Middle School of Shanghai and a member of the Standing Committee of the Middle School Red Guards in Shanghai. He was sent to the countryside in Heilongjiang Province in March 1969. On August 15, 1969, fierce floods rushed down from a mountain range and soon inundated the areas surrounding the Shuang River. Jin jumped into the swift currents to retrieve two drifting electrical poles for his production team — and drowned.
The following are two of Jin’s diary entries  before he died:
July 4. I am beginning to feel the severity and intensity of the class struggle in the countryside. As a red guard of Chairman Mao, I stand fully prepared to fight head on against the reactionary forces with the invincible Mao Zedong Thought as my weapon. I’m willing to do that even if it means I have to sacrifice my life. I will fight, fight, and fight to the best of my ability to consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat.
July 19. The class enemies in that production brigade are still arrogant. Educated youth came to the countryside precisely to participate in the three major revolutionary movements in the countryside: first and foremost, the class struggle. We should rely on the class of the poor- and lower-middle peasants, mobilize the masses, and suppress the arrogance of the enemies. We educated youth should always uphold the great banners of Mao Zedong Thought, never forget the class struggle, and never forget the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Jin went to the countryside with the thought of fighting heaven and earth and reforming humanity. His diaries reveal that his mind was full of fighting. He extended the idea of struggling with humans to fighting with heaven and earth, and eventually lost his life for it. Jin was a typical believer of the philosophy of struggle, and he undoubtedly became its victim.
Engels once said that freedom is the recognition of inevitability. Mao added, “And the reformation of the world.” This final touch fully brought to light the CCP’s view of nature — namely, as something to be changed. The “inevitability” as understood by the communists is a matter outside the range of their view and a pattern whose origin is beyond their exposition. They believe that nature and humanity can be conquered by mobilizing subjective human consciousness to understand objective laws. The communists have made a mess of both Russia and China, their two pilot fields, in their efforts to change nature.
The folk songs during the Great Leap Forward show the arrogance and stupidity of the CCP:
“Let the mountains bow and let the rivers step aside.”
“There’s no Jade Emperor in the heaven, and there’s no Dragon King on the earth. I am the Jade Emperor, and I am the Dragon King. I order the three mountains and five gorges to step aside — here I come!” 
The Communist Party has come! So with it comes the destruction of balance in nature and the originally harmonious world.
Disrupting Nature Causes the CCP to Reap What It Has Sown
Under its agricultural policy of keeping grain as “the key link,” the CCP, at will, converted large areas of mountain slopes and grasslands that were unsuitable for farming to farmland, and filled rivers and lakes in China to make cropland. What was the result? The CCP claimed that grain production in 1952 exceeded that of the nationalist period, but what the CCP did not reveal was that it was not until 1972 that the total grain production in China exceeded that of the peaceful reign of Emperor Qianlong (1735–1796) of the Qing Dynasty. Even up to this day, China’s per capita grain production is far below that of the Qing Dynasty and is a mere one-third of that of the Song Dynasty, when agriculture was at its peak in Chinese history.
The indiscriminate cutting of forests, leveling of rivers, and filling of lakes have resulted in drastic ecological deterioration in China. Today, China’s ecosystem is on the brink of collapse. The drying-up of the Hai and Yellow rivers and the pollution of the Huai and Yangtze rivers are severing the lifelines on which the Chinese nation has depended for its survival. With the disappearance of grasslands in Gansu, Qinghai, Inner Mongolia, and Xinjiang, sandstorms have made their way into the central plains.
In the 1950s, under the guidance of Soviet experts, the CCP built the Sanmenxia hydraulic power station on the Yellow River. To this day, this power station only gives a generating capacity at the level of a medium-sized river, despite the fact that the Yellow River is the second-largest river in China. To make matters worse, this project has caused an accumulation of mud and sand at the river’s upper reaches and raised the height of the riverbed. Because of this, even a moderate flood brings enormous losses of life and property to people on both sides of the riverbank. In the 2003 flood of the Wei River, the peak water flux was 3,700 cubic meters per second, a level that usually occurs every three to five years. Yet that flood caused a disaster unprecedented in the previous fifty years.
There have been a multitude of large-scale reservoirs built in the city of Zhumadian in Henan Province. In 1975, the dams of these reservoirs collapsed one after another. Within only two hours, sixty thousand people drowned. The total death toll reached as high as two hundred thousand. The CCP continues its wanton acts of destruction of the land of China. Projects like the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River and the South-to-North Water Transfer Project are all attempts by the CCP to change the natural ecosystem with investments amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars, not to mention those small and medium-size projects to “fight with the earth.” It was once even suggested within the CCP that an atomic bomb be used to blast open a passage on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau to change the natural environment in western China. Although the CCP’s arrogance and contempt for the land have shocked the world, they are not unexpected.
In the hexagrams (“ba gua”) of The Book of Changes, China’s ancestors regarded heaven as “Qian” or the creative and revered it as the heavenly Tao. They considered the earth as “Kun” or the receptive and respected receptive virtues.
Kun, the hexagram following Qian, is explained in The Book of Changes as such: “Being in the hexagram of Kun, earth’s nature is to extend and respond. In correspondence with this, superior persons handle and sustain all things with bountiful virtues.”
The Confucian commentary on The Book of Changes says, “Perfect is Kun’s greatness; it brings birth to all beings.”
Commenting further on the nature of Kun, Confucius said: “Kun is the most soft, yet in motion, it is firm. It is most still, yet in nature, square. Through following, she obtains her lord, yet still maintains her nature and thus endures. She contains all things, and is brilliant in transforming. This is the way of Kun — how docile it is, bearing heaven and moving with time.”
Clearly, only through the earth mother’s receptive virtues of softness, stillness, and endurance in following heaven can all things sustain and flourish on earth. The Book of Changes teaches us the proper attitude toward the heavenly Tao and earthly virtues: to follow heaven, abide by the earth, and respect nature.
The CCP, however, in violation of Qian and Kun, promotes “battling with heaven and fighting with the earth.” It has plundered the earth’s resources at will. In the end, it will inevitably be punished by heaven, the earth, and the law of nature.
III. Battling With Heaven
How Can a Limited Life Understand Limitless Space-Time?
Albert Einstein’s son Eduard once asked him why he was so famous. Einstein said: “When a blind beetle crawls over the surface of a curved branch, it doesn’t notice that the track it has covered is indeed curved. I was lucky enough to notice what the beetle didn’t notice.” Einstein’s answer truly has deep implications. A Chinese saying conveys a similar meaning: “You do not know the true face of Mount Lu precisely because you are in the mountain.” To understand a system, one must step out of that system to observe it. However, using limited notions to observe the limitless space-time of the universe, mankind will never be able to understand the complete makeup of the universe, and thus the universe will remain forever a mystery to humankind.
The realm that science cannot traverse belongs to spirituality or metaphysics, which falls naturally in the realm of faith.
Faith — a mental activity that involves experience and an understanding of life, space-time, and the universe — lies beyond what can be managed by a political party. “Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”  However, based on a pitiful and absurd understanding of the universe and life, the Communist Party calls everything outside of its own theories “superstition,” and it subjects believers of God to brainwashing and conversion. Those unwilling to abandon their faith have been insulted, humiliated, or even killed.
Real scientists hold a very broad outlook of the universe; they will not deny the unlimited unknown using an individual’s limited notions. The renowned scientist Isaac Newton, in his seminal book Principia Mathematica, published in 1678, explained in detail the principles of mechanics, tidal formation, and planetary movement and calculated the movements of the solar system. Newton, who was so eminently accomplished, said repeatedly that his book offered a mere description of surface phenomena and that he absolutely did not dare to speak about the real meaning of the ultimate God in creating the universe. In the second edition of Principia Mathematica, in expressing his faith, Newton wrote: “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being. … As a blind man has no idea of colors, so we have no idea of the manner by which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things.”
Let us put aside the questions of whether there are heavenly kingdoms that transcend this space-time and whether those seeking the Way can return to their divine origins and true selves. One thing we can all agree on: Followers of a righteous faith all believe in the causal relationship that goodness begets goodness, and evil will be punished. Righteous faiths play a very important role in maintaining human morality at a certain level. From Aristotle to Einstein, many believed in the existence of a prevailing law in the universe. Humanity has never stopped probing for the truth of the universe through various means. Why cannot religion, faith, and cultivation, in addition to scientific exploration, be accepted as approaches through which to uncover universal truths?
Destroying Humanity’s Righteous Faith
All nations have historically believed in God. Precisely because of their belief in God and the karmic causality of good and evil, humans would restrain themselves and maintain the moral standard of society. The orthodox religions in the West, and Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism in the East, have all taught people that true happiness comes from having faith in the divine, worshipping heaven, being compassionate, cherishing what one has, being grateful for one’s blessings, and paying back others’ kindness.
A guiding premise of communism has been atheism — the belief that there is no Buddha, no Tao, no past lives, no afterlife, and no causal retribution. Therefore, communists in different countries have all told the poor and the lumpenproletariat that they do not need to believe in God, that they do not need to pay for what they do, and that they do not need to abide by laws and behave themselves. On the contrary, they tell them they should use trickery and violence to acquire wealth.
In ancient China, emperors, who were considered to be of supreme nobility, still placed themselves below heaven, calling themselves “sons of heaven.” Controlled and restrained by “heaven’s will,” they would, from time to time, issue imperial edicts to blame themselves and repent to heaven. The communists, however, take it upon themselves to represent the will of heaven. Unrestricted by laws or heaven, they are free to do anything they want. As a result, they have created one hell after another on earth.
Marx, the patriarch of communism, believed that religion is the spiritual opium of the people. He was afraid that people would believe in divinity and God and refuse to accept his communism. The very first chapter of Friedrich Engels’s Dialectics of Nature contains a criticism of Dmitri Mendeleyev and his group’s study of mysticism. Engels stated that everything during or before the Middle Ages had to justify its existence before the bar of human rationality. As he made this remark, he regarded himself and Marx to be judges at such a trial. Mikhail Bakunin, an anarchist and friend of Marx, described Marx this way: “He appeared to be God to people. He cannot tolerate anyone else as God except himself. He wanted people to worship him as they would God and pay homage to him as their idol. Otherwise, he would subject them to verbal attack or persecution.”
Traditional, orthodox faiths constitute a natural obstacle to communist arrogance.
The CCP has lost all composure in its frantic persecution of religion. During the Cultural Revolution, numerous temples and mosques were torn down, and monks were paraded in humiliation through the streets. In Tibet, 90 percent of the temples were damaged or destroyed. Even today, the CCP continues to persecute religions, jailing tens of thousands of house church Christians. Gong Pinmei, a Catholic priest in Shanghai, was imprisoned for more than thirty years by the CCP. He came to the United States in the 1980s. Before he died at age ninety-eight, he wrote a will that said, “Move my grave back to Shanghai when the CCP no longer rules China.” During the more than thirty years of solitary confinement inflicted on him because of his belief, the CCP pressured him many times to renounce his faith and to accept the leadership of the CCP’s Three-Self Patriotic Committee  in exchange for his release.
In recent years, the CCP’s brutal campaign against Falun Gong practitioners, who stand for the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, has been an extension of its doctrine of “battling with heaven,” as well as an inevitable outcome of its drive to force people against their will.
The atheist communists attempt to channel and control people’s belief in God; they derive joy from battling with heaven. Their absurdity cannot be described in words; descriptions such as arrogance or hubris cannot even begin to depict a fraction of it.
In practice, communism has completely failed across the globe. Jiang Zemin, a former leader of the last major communist regime in the world, said to a correspondent of The Washington Post in March 2001, “When I was young, I thought communism would come very quickly, but now I don’t feel like this.”  At present those who truly believe in communism are few and far between.
The communist movement is destined to fail, since it violates the law of the universe and runs counter to heaven. Such opposition to the universe will surely be punished by the will of heaven and the divine.
Though the CCP has survived crises by frequently changing its appearance and clinging to its last desperate contrivances, its inevitable doom is clear to the whole world. Shedding its beguiling masks one by one, the CCP is revealing its true nature of greed, brutality, shamelessness, wickedness, and opposition to the universe. But it continues to control people’s minds, twisting human ethics and thus ravaging human morality, peace, and progress.
The vast universe carries with it the irrefutable will of heaven, which can also be called the will of the divine, or the law and force of nature. Humanity will have a future only if it respects heaven’s will, follows the course of nature, observes the law of the universe, and loves all beings under heaven.
 “Tao-Te Ching,” Chapter 25.
 From the teachings of Mencius, a Chinese philosopher who lived in the 4th century B.C.
 “San Zi Jing (Rhymes of Three), a traditional Chinese text for elementary education.
 Karl Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s ‘Philosophy of Right’ (1844).
 Leon Trotsky (1879–1940) was a Russian communist theorist, historian, and military leader who founded the Russian Red Army. He was murdered in Mexico City by agents of Joseph Stalin.
 According to Zhu Xi (1130–1200), also known as Chu Hsi, a neo-Confucian scholar from the Song Dynasty, “Small Learning” deals with proper behavior, while “Great Learning” expounds on the underlying principles behind those behaviors.
 Mao Zedong. Talks at the Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art (1942).
 Schistosomiasis is a disease caused by parasitic worms. Infection occurs upon contact with contaminated fresh water. Common symptoms include fever, chills, cough, and muscle aches. In more serious cases, the disease can cause liver, intestine, lung, and bladder damage, and, in rare cases, seizures, paralysis, and spinal cord inflammation.
 From Mao Zedong, Chapter 3, published by Chinese Archive Publishing House. Originally published in English in The People’s Emperor, Mao: A Biography of Mao Tse-Tung (1980) by D. Wilson.
 From Tao-Te Ching, Chapter 2.
 “Jin” is a Chinese unit for measuring weight. 1 jin = 0.5 kilograms. “Mu” is a Chinese unit for measuring land area. 1 mu = 0.165 acres.
 General Peng Dehuai criticized Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward movement, which is widely seen both within and outside China as a major economic disaster. As a consequence, he was removed from all posts and placed under constant supervision and house arrest. His humiliation and disgrace at the hands of the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution continued until he died in 1974 due to a liver disorder.
 Translated by the editors.
 The Jade Emperor and the Dragon King are Chinese mythological figures. The Jade Emperor, known formally as the August Personage of Jade and called informally by children and commoners as Grandpa Heaven, is the ruler of heaven and among the most important gods of the Chinese Daoist pantheon. Dragon kings are the divine rulers of the four seas. Each sea, corresponding to one of the cardinal directions, is ruled by one dragon king. The dragon kings live in crystal palaces, guarded by shrimp soldiers and crab generals. Besides ruling over aquatic life, the dragon kings also manipulate clouds and rain. The Dragon King of the Eastern Sea is said to have the largest territory.
 Matthew 22:21.
 The Three-Self Patriotic Committee (or Three-Self Patriotic Church, TSPC) is a creation of the CCP. “Three-self” refers to “self-governing, self-supporting, and self-propagating.” The committee requires Chinese Christians to sever ties with Christians outside of China. The TSPC controls all official churches in China. Churches that do not join the TSPC are forced to close. Leaders and followers of independent house churches are persecuted and often sentenced to prison terms.
 John Pomfret. “Jiang Has Caution For U.S.; China’s Leader Says Taiwan Arms Deal Would Spur Buildup.” The Washington Post, March 24, 2001.