In his first officially published private interview, Chinese Communist Party Chairman Hua Guofeng disclosed that he is concerned about the possibility of spreading Western influences and the emergence of an intellectual elite in China.
China's official New China News Agency released today the text of Hua's Sept. 11 interview with British writer Felix Greene. The release was more than a month late but coincided with Perking's sudden move to put on trail political dissidents who symbolize new interest in Western democracy here and who have drawn the support of some Chinese intellectuals.
The emergence of political dissent here comes as a result of changes in China's domestic and foreign policies. Hua's predecessor, Mao Tsetung, launched the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s to remove from power what he saw as an emerging intellectual and bureaucratic elite.
Mao's successors have reversed some Mao policies in education and have sought greater contacts with Western countries to modernize China's economy. Hua is currently touring Western Europe and plans to visit the United States next year.
In the interview, Hua defended the changes but also cautioned against "elitism."
"As to the emergence of any intellecutal elite, this is something to watch out for," Hua said. He said he thought programs like part-time schools for workers would help spread learning to the masses and prevent the emergence of an elite.
When Greene asked Hua if China's modernization, Hua replied, "This is something to watch of for."
He said, "Our accepting foreign investments and increasing economic and cultural exchanges with other countries may, of course, be accompanied by the spread of some Western influences," he said. He said he believed the Chinese "will resist and overcome bad influences."
Hua maintained his silence about his wife and children but revealed some aspects of his personal life. "My father died when I was 6 years old, and I lived with my mother and elder brother," he said. "We were rather poor.
"After graduating from primary school when I was 13, I stayed home for a year because I couldn't afford to attend middle school. When I was 14, I enrolled in a newly opened vocational school and stayed there until July 7, 1937, when the Japanese started their war against China."
Hua said he "joined the revolution" and the Communist Party in 1938, and served in many capacities in the guerrilla war against the Japanese in his mountainous home county iof Jiaocheng, Shanxi.