Posté par ITgium le 27 octobre 2013
Is General de Gaulle a Chinese hero ?
From jùn mǎ (俊 马) Francois de la chevalerie
A couple of month before his death that occurred the 9 of November 1969, General de Gaulle expressed his intention to visit China.
Because France was the first western country to establish diplomatic ties with China in 1964, the leaders of this country warmly welcomed the idea of his visit. They remembered his quote: “China is a big country inhabited by many Chinese”.
In preparing himself for that trip, de Gaulle consulted thoroughly a lot of book since the « Man’s Fate », written by Malraux, his former Minister for Cultural Affairs, an in-depth description of the revolution that took place in Asia at the beginning of the twentieth century; « A Barbarian in Asia » from the Belgium novelist Henri Michaux and tales from Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit priest often called Lì Mǎdòu in China.
Unfortunately, de Gaulle died abruptly from a seizure just before his trip.
What remains from him in today China?
There is no General de Gaulle in China but a man commonly named Dài Gāo lè (戴高乐), “the very tall”.
That certainly is fairly troubling but it is a tradition here, there is a distinct name given to each foreign personality. Who once decided? Some said that at the request of Zhōu Ēnlái an obscure civil servant has selected this Chinese name.
Besides Dài Gāo lè is widely known in China as far I learned during my trip in the depths of the country. The approach is always the same. When people asked me about my nationality, I gave them the answer by always adding what they know about my old fashioned country.
- Dài Gāo lè! they often replied gently.
- What do you know about him?
- A great man!
Generally the conversation stops at that point. That’s all in the mind of the average Chinese man. However, this knowledge is sharing by most of the French young people who don’t much more about the General.
Once, an educated woman from the University of Changsha told me.
- Dài Gāo lè embodies an ascetic and magnificent ideal, the so-called French pride. He epitomizes the adage of « act locally for global impact ».
A writer from the city of Guangzhou made that significant statement:
- Beyond the sovereignty of each country as a primary objective, his thoughts depict an ideal world, the one we share. Dài Gāo lè is our spiritual connection to France. At the very end, Dài Gāo lè is a Chinese hero, brave and courageous, as we dreamed.