Li Xing: Personal recollections

Updated: 2011-08-18 08:17

(China Daily)

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Li Xing and I were quite close. To me she was always Xiao (Young) Li since we first met in the main editorial office of China Daily in the 1980s.

There weren't many foreigners from English-speaking countries working in Chinese government units in Beijing in those days. Li Xing and I clicked immediately. I was an American who had joined in China's revolutionary struggles, became a Chinese citizen, and spoke the language like an old Beijinger. Xiao Li had lived in the United States for several years, went to schools there, and admired what she found in the best of America's culture and its people. She spoke a pure relaxed American colloquial.

In later years she proved to be a major force in increasing mutual assistance and improving understanding between America and China.

We had much in common. What tied us most closely together was our identical fury at the "Wall Street" gentry with their insatiable lust for money and power, their cold exploitation of the ordinary "Main Street" Americans. They even had the gall to try to befuddle the Chinese authorities into letting them intervene in the societal and financial concern of the "Main Street" Chinese masses. They had little success.

Xiao Li and I stood firmly with "Main Street" in the United States and unequivocally in China.

She was of enormous help to me when I translated Deng Rong's book: Deng Xiaoping and the Cultural Revolution - A Daughter Recalls the Critical Years.

Xiao Li corrected the errors in my translation and shouldered responsibility for the overall editing. Needless to say, she did a wonderful job. I couldn't have coped without her.

I love Li Xing as a friend and admire her as a revolutionary warrior. She was a sweet, kind, decent person, with a quirky "American" sense of humor. Very dedicated, a first-rate professional journalist. Tireless - until she worked herself to death at the age of only 54. Her death is a loss to China, to America, and to world peace.

Sidney Shapiro (Sha Boli), via e-mail

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(China Daily 08/18/2011 page9)