Israel Epstein

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Israel Epstein in 1936/37

Israel Epstein (20 April 191526 May 2005) was a Polish-born Chinese journalist and author. He was one of the few foreign-born Chinese citizens of non-Chinese origin to become a member of the Communist Party of China.


  • Already before my teens, amidst the country's surrounding internecine wars and famines, I saw gaunt, ragged refugees flooding into Tianjin. Some begging tearfully for food, some offering to sell their children ... On a forever unforgotten winter morning, ... I came upon a boy of twelve or so, ... crouching stiff and dead in a doorway where he had tried vainly to seek shelter from the freezing night wind.
  • Looking back, and forward, many Hans and Tibetans today do not measure theirrelations by just when, in what ancient dynasty, their unity began or was formalized. Rather, they see as the common meaning of their overall and particular histories, all China's nationalities contributing, from the earliest times to the formation andstability of the historically formed multinational entity.
  • Different indeed from any colonial or semi-colonial path is the road of Tibet within socialist China. As we have seen from facts and figures, Tibet is massively assisted and in no way exploited by the majority nationality. Economic errors were made, involving waste of labor and funds, which was true in other areas of China as well, but nothing was taken away from the Region and its people for the material benefit of anywhere else.
  • After we joined other work groups in transplanting rice, harvesting wheat, afforesting bare hills or digging a canal. All this made us, as nothing else could, forever a part of this land, shaped, tilled, and watered by the soil of so many generations, and now in a state of active rebirth. Whenever we saw new watercourses, roads, or tree-belts, we felt that we,too, had helped create them. Such a feeling is hard to describe by any who have not worked truly mutually, not formonetary wealth, but for a common aim.

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