ICAS Publications Series Monographs

The Thought Remolding Campaign of the Chinese Communist Party-state

Hu Ping

Author: Hu Ping
Translated by Philip F. Williams and Yenna Wu

In its comprehensive analysis of a wide range of primary and secondary sources in both Chinese and Western languages, this authoritative work stands as the definitive study of the theory, implementation and legacy of the Chinese Communist Party’s thought-remolding campaign. This decades-long campaign involved the extraction of confessions from millions of Chinese citizens suspected of heterodoxy or disobedience to party dictates, along with their subjection to various forms of “re-education” and indoctrination. Hu Ping’s carefully structured overview provides a valuable insider’s perspective, and supersedes the previous landmark study on this vastly interesting topic.

Hu Ping is chief editor of the New York-based monthly journal Beijing Spring, and is on the Board of Directors of the NGO Human Rights in China. He has authored over ten books, including Chine, à quand la démocratie? –les illusions de modernization (2004; translated by Marie Holzman).

Philip F. Williams is visiting professor of Asian history at Montana State University and professor emeritus of Chinese, Arizona State University.

Yenna Wu is distinguished teaching professor of Chinese at the University of California, Riverside.

"Why does a totalitarian regime make such extreme efforts to control not just its people’s actions and words, but their private thoughts? Even more disturbing, why do so many people comply? One of the leading Chinese intellectuals living in exile, Hu Ping has wrestled with these questions for decades in his own life and through his engagements with fellow Chinese. In this important work previously available only in Chinese and French, he provides -- with a rare combination of psychological insight and philosophical rigor -- an astute analysis of unfreedom lived and freedom sought. He takes us on an empathetic and sometimes wry journey along the twisting pathways of compliance and resistance, ending with a clarion call to resist the overwhelming power of the state and continue the struggle for individual autonomy."
Andrew J. Nathan, Professor of Political Science, Columbia University.
|"An incisive critique of the intellectual chicanery, psychological manipulation, and physical coercion that form the core of Chinese communism. In the tradition of Arthur Koestler, George Orwell, and Vaclav Havel, Hu Ping, a distinguished Chinese liberal, makes a significant contribution to the literature on totalitarianism."
Professor Steven I. Levine
Visiting Scholar, Carolina Asia Center
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In the late 1970s Hu Ping’s trenchant essay “On Free Speech,” published in an unofficial student-run magazine, startled readers with its radical re-conception of the phrase “liberation of thought.”
Now, more than three decades later,/The Thought Remolding Campaign of the Chinese Communist Party-state/ provides us with Hu’s mature and panoramic analysis of the relation between words and thought in both the totalitarian and post-totalitarian phases of China’s recent history.
--Perry Link, prefssor emeritus, East Asian studies, at Princeton University