Red China: The Self-Bound Gulliver

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factories nearly wrecked the nation. Today, China's aging Red leadership (average age: 63) knows that it will never see the promised land, and that China must labor on for at least a quarter century—perhaps much longer —before accomplishing the second goal.

What manner of country and what sort of people must the Communists deal with in trying to accomplish their mission? China, of course, is enormous —14 times the size of Texas. It ex tends 2,400 miles from the banks of the Amur River in topmost Manchuria to the tropical jungle border with Viet Nam, and 2,500 miles across from the indented coast on the China Sea to the Kunlun Mountains deep in Central Asia. Inside this vast domain lies just about every variety of flora and fauna imaginable, from rollicking pandas to prowling tigers, from the invigorating ginseng root to groves of thin nanmu trees.

To its people, China simply means "Here." Since the days of prehistory, China has traditionally been a world in itself, separated from outside barbarians by the most perfect of physical barriers. On the east and south is the Pacific, the largest of oceans. To the west rises the highest plateau on earth. In the north stretch thousands of miles of desert; and here, to prevent repeated incursions of hard-riding nomads, Chinese emperors built the 1,500-mile Great Wall.

Rebellion's Home. Though united by an ancient culture, China has never been as monolithic as it looks. An east-west line drawn across the country between the valleys of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers divides North from South China. North of the line, summers are short and hot, winters long and bitterly cold, and the principal crops are wheat and millet. The men of North China are often as tall as Americans, relatively placid, ceremonial and—say the southerners—slow-thinking. South of the line, the climate is hot and humid, and the principal crop is rice. Broken up into valleys and small plains by innumerable mountain ranges, the South is the home of individualism, anarchy and mystical introspection. The short-statured southerners speak a multitude of dialects, are commercially enterprising and perennially rebellious—almost every Chinese revolution has originated in the South. Practically all Chinese citizens of the U.S. came originally from a small South China area near Canton called Toishan, which is today, curiously enough, known in China as "the home of volleyball."

Nation's Birthplace. China's 22 provinces baffle foreigners because so many of them sound alike (Honan, Hunan; Kiangsu, Kiangsi; Shansi, Shensi). Most typical of the northern provinces is perhaps Hopeh, which contains the capital city of Peking. From its rugged border with Manchuria, the province runs down in a shelving plain to the shallow Gulf of Chihli. Very few eminent Communists come from Hopeh or its neighboring province of Shansi, which is noted for sacred mountains and such spectacular cave temples as Yun Kang, where a mile-long cliff face has been chiseled into thousands of Buddhist images. Shensi is reverenced as the birthplace of the Chinese nation, and when the country was first unified by the Ch'in dynasty in 221 B.C., its capital was near present-day Sian.

South China is a much larger and more varied region than the north. The people of Kiangsi are the Scots of China and are said to be

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