It’s not often we get a window into the past and a glimmer of a person’s inner thoughts, but an article on a regretful leader of the Mao’s Cultural Revolution (International NY Times) allowed us just that insight. Indeed, a public apology to his fellow citizens for past wrongs, in a culture that reveres face and maintaining a public profile of dignity and honor, is a powerful admission.
Chen Xiaolu, a onetime student leader during the Revolution is one of several who have made such a public confession in an effort to move beyond this past blight. It is a remarkable act in his culture; an action taken because many feel the imperative to de-romanticize the past.
Do you think that his confession will create a more realistic view of this time in history? Do you think it says anything significant about face and saving face in China?