I was born in a persecuted family in mainland China.
My grandfather, Kang Peng, the President of Jiaotong Univ., (Founding president of Xi’an Jiaotong Univ.), was persecuted to death in Great Cultural Revolution, in the campus he founded. My grandmother turned to be a vegetable person, lying in the bed for 20 years. Every time, I went to hospital to see her with my sister, watching her eating with a pipe in her nose, grasping a gourd in each of her hands, I felt horrified. My grandmother’s eyes followed me closely each time, with tears most times, wordlessly.
My great uncle, Shiju Chen, a five star general. After Great Cultural Revolution, due to political fight between Deng Xiaoping and him, my family suffered another political persecution. In 1978, my pregnant mother produced my younger sister in jail, my sister suffered in-born heart disease accordingly.
Before 2 or 3 years old, I lived in the home of my grand uncle. Then, due to the second political persecution, hidden under the seat in train, I was transferred to my maternal grandfather’s home in Nanjing. My maternal grandfather educated me very strictly that I was always punished to stand still long hours on my feet almost without any arc. From him, I got to know Harvard, USA, studying English hard, etc. though he never stepped out of mainland and couldn’t speak any foreign language.