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陈凯一语： Kai Chen's Words:
The left-leaning Los Angeles Times, in publishing this biography about me, chose to "balance the views" by using a communist government-fearing former professor of mine, and a crony "Chinese Student Association leader" (giving him the last words in this article) to attack my positions. But I am still grateful for their attention on this issue of Chinese communist "Soft Cold War" waged against the US. I don't have much expectation on this LA Times's article about me. Confusing people's mind is what the communist apologists do. That is a sickness no one can cure.
By the way, not like what Ni Qingqing wrote, I have never had one single day of "good life" in China --- Kai Chen
左倾的洛杉矶时报在登载这篇关于我的生平的文章时，引用了我的一位恐惧中共的前教授（UCLA政治科学系）-- （注：恐共是美国中国问题专家们的通病。 中共拒发签证会断绝他们的职业生涯。）与一个中共赡养的“宦奴娼”粪青的话去平衡攻击我的观点立场。 但我仍旧感谢洛杉矶时报的报道，因为中共对美国的“软冷战”是被提到美国公众的意识里来的时候了。 我并不对洛杉矶时报的一贯左倾亲共抱有任何幻想。 混淆视听是美国左派的一贯技俩。 左倾亲共的病不是我可以医治的。
注：不像洛杉矶时报对我的报道，我在中国没有一天不是在精神与肉体的煎熬中度过。 --- 陈凯
A revolution in thinking for Chinese athlete
LA Times' Article Link:
Basketball opened Kai Chen's eyes to civil liberties. Now a U.S. citizen, he focuses on anti-communist protest.
Kai Chen, a U.S. citizen and former professional basketball player in China, stages a protest calling for the removal of a statue of Mao Tse-tung from a place of honor at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda. (Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times / October 1, 2009)
"The past haunts Richard Nixon's library" link
By Ching-Ching Ni
October 5, 2009
For years Kai Chen enjoyed the good life of a professional basketball player in China, playing on the national team and traveling around the world.
But he was never happy representing a government that he said tore his family apart and was responsible for millions of deaths in his country. So after Chen married U.S. foreign exchange student Susan Gruenegerg in 1981, the couple moved to the United States to start a new life together.
Chen eventually earned a degree in political science from UCLA and has since become a passionate anticommunist crusader. His main target: the legacy of Mao Tse-tung, leader of the People's Republic of China from 1949 until his death in 1976.
Last week, Chen led a group of demonstrators at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda in calling for the removal of a bronze statue of Mao, part of a permanent World Leaders exhibit featuring 10 former heads of state and government.
"I'm grateful to Nixon. Without Nixon opening China, how could I have met my wife?" said Chen, 56, who has written a book about his life under communist rule that details how his family were victims of purges. "But Mao has nothing to do with freedom and people's happiness and everything to do with tyranny, power and atrocity."
As part of his campaign, Chen has called for the removal of Mao posters at restaurants and other establishments around Los Angeles and has set up a website to promote his cause. He also ran a 10-city marathon to protest the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
But some of Chen's friends are concerned that he has taken his crusade too far. They say his views of China are stuck in the past and do not reflect recent changes there and how the country continues to transform itself into a 21st century global power.
"As an old friend and teacher, I think he has gone a little out on a limb," said Richard Baum, director of the UCLA Center for Chinese Studies. "I don't feel comfortable endorsing these rather extreme ideas and gimmicks."
But fellow activists said they found Chen's outspokenness refreshing.
"Most people who support human rights and democracy see him as great," said Ann Lau, chairwoman of the Los Angeles Visual Artist Guild, a nonprofit group supporting free speech. "We certainly need more people like him."
Saved by the ball
When he was 7, Chen's parents were branded counter-revolutionaries and exiled to Tonghua, a small town in northern China. He stayed behind in Beijing with two older brothers and an ailing grandmother.
By the time Chen was 16 he had reached his full height of 6 feet 7. But he saw no future beyond joining his parents in exile, which he eventually did.
Basketball saved him.
The tallest of three brothers, Chen was recruited by a local grain depot wanting to start its own team. Soon the three were the talk of the town.
They didn't know it at the time, but the success of Ping-Pong diplomacy in introducing China to the outside world in the early 1970s had inspired the government to do the same with basketball. Recruiters were scouring the country looking for potential players for the national team.
Chen was the only one of his brothers chosen and was sent to a training camp in Beijing.
But officials determined that he could not be trusted to represent the country abroad because of his family's history, and he was ordered back to Liuhe. Chen ran away but was caught and placed in solitary confinement.
Once he returned home, Chen enlisted in the army in Shenyang, near North Korea, because he knew it had its own basketball team. In the military, he dug ditches and built dams in freezing weather while enduring near-starvation.
A serious illness and the death of a friend convinced Chen that basketball was his best hope for a better life. "My goal was to get back on the national team," Chen said. "This goal was not for basketball. It was for freedom" to choose his own fate.
He approached his training with new determination and soon became one of his team's best players.
During an exhibition match in Shenyang, the elite August First national military team saw the talented young forward in action. "They saw me and said, 'We've got to get this guy,' " Chen said.
It was 1973. Nixon had made his historic trip to China. Mao was near death.
With the August First team, Chen traveled outside the country for the first time. During a trip to Mexico City, Chen met members of a U.S. team.
"I immediately felt a kinship with the Americans," he said. "They were free. They didn't have fear in their eyes. They just spoke their minds. That was tremendously attractive to me."
In 1978, Chen joined the Chinese national team and traveled to the U.S. on a five-city tour that included Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., where team members visited the White House. After that, Chen was ready to quit.
"I no longer wanted to be a tool," he said.
Back to school
Back in China, his next goal was to get an education, so he enrolled in school. That's how he met Gruenegerg, who spoke Chinese and played on the Beijing University basketball team. Soon they were married and moved to the U.S.
Chen's mother and father eventually immigrated to the this country too. The last time Chen went back to China was to visit his brother in 1989.
During that trip, thousands of protesters gathered in Tiananmen Square in Beijing to call for democratic reforms. The demonstration ended in a deadly crackdown.
The experience cemented Chen's views of his country. "I am not going back to China again until the communist government is gone," he said.
Soon afterward he applied for U.S. citizenship. "I am happy here," he said. "In China, I was dying on the inside."
Asked about the economic and social changes China has undergone in recent years, Chen said the country had no choice. "China had to open the door to the outside world for the regime to survive," he said. "They did not do this for the people."
But Philip Young, 48, former president of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance, said that although he agrees that Mao is a controversial figure, China cannot remain a prisoner of its past.
"China just celebrated the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic, and it just so happens this is the 30th anniversary of my arrival in America," he said. "I was able to look back and compare the changes between now and then. Ideologies put aside, China is completely different now. Whether you call it communism, capitalism, market economy, these are political terms. The fact of the matter is, China has changed and for the better."