Song Renqiong, a former member of the Red Guard revolutionary youth brigades and the daughter of a former senior Chinese official, has apologized for the part she played in a notorious murder during the Cultural Revolution in Beijing. The apology is getting attention in the Chinese news media, which is significant because the Cultural Revolution is politically taboo in China. Chris Buckley has a great story about it in the Sinoshpere blog.
“Please allow me to express my everlasting solicitude and apologies to Principal Bian,” she said, according to The Beijing News. “I failed to properly protect the school leaders, and this has been a lifelong source of anguish and remorse.”
Not everyone was impressed with Song’s expression of remorse, including the victim’s 93 year-old widower, Wang Jingyao.
“She is a bad person, because of what she did,” he said. “She and the others were supported by Mao Zedong. Mao was the source of all evil. He did so much that was bad. And it’s not just an individual problem” of someone like Ms. Song, he added. “The entire Communist Party and Mao Zedong are also responsible.”
Here’s our recent story on Red Guards apologizing for their actions during the Cultural Revolution, with comments from another revolutionary youth leader (also with a famous father) I interviewed in Beijing.
UPDATE: I’m working on a radio story about documentary filmmaker, Hu Jie. He did a film about this very case of the Beijing administrator who was beaten to death by Red Guards, it’s a moving story called “Though I am Gone.” And here’s the trailer.