Forged in Purgatory is the memoir of Mr. Wang Zhongfang. He held senior positions in China's Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Justice, Chinese Communist Party and the Qinghai Provincial Government. He joined Chairman Mao's communists in Yanan in 1937 at age 16 and rose to become the political secretary to Mr. Luo Ruiqin, new China's first Minister of Public Security who later headed the Peoples Liberation Army, General Staff Department. Wang helped Luo build the public security system in China. He worked in close proximity to chairman Mao until the purges of the Cultural Revolution when he fell victim to the power struggles of the Gang of Four. After his imprisonment in Qinghai's Nantan maximum security prison (which ironically he had supervised constructing), he was later rehabilitated and dedicated his life to building legal systems and institutions to promote the rule of law. Wang was instrumental to re-establish the lawyer's profession as president of the China Law Society. Together with Mr. Tang Houzhi, China's father of arbitration/mediation, he pushed to establish arbitration and mediation as institutionalized methods of dispute resolution over raw power and rule of men. Forged in Purgatory joins a limited number of published works on the Cultural Revolution period. It is the first ever written and published by a high ranking political insider in English. This book provides an insider's view of the political struggles of Chinese society and among its leadership during that chaotic time. It provides a rare look inside China's political, legal and penal systems at a time of extreme stress. Wang provides the reader, with a long-term rational perspective on the troubled Cultural Revolution period. He shares important insights, hindsight and foresight which he hopes can help future generations. Mr. Wang's sense of justice, fairness and commitment to right over wrong reflects the fundamental principles and founding spirit of the Chinese Communist Party. This book provides guidance as China faces the challenges of corruption, personal self-interest over the collective good and local protectionism and unauthorized centers of power. Mr. Wang's old-fashioned moral compass anchors a down-to-earth humanity that has never been diluted or diverted by anyone in power or in the name of any political slogan or justification. There are many lessons that can be applied to today's China as she navigates towards the future. Wang seems to ask whether China's people will build a future society where the livelihood and dignity of a common person is protected by rule of law and a vibrant institutionalized legal system. The Epilogue by Wang's wife Shi Luoming sings from the heart to law-abiding people everywhere who live their lives in radiant sunshine and breathe freedom. Forged in Purgatory will touch you, teach you and deepen an appreciation about what is really important in living one's life. All proceeds from this book will be dedicated to promoting legal education and building rule of law in China.
Born January 1, 1921 in Wuhu, city, Anhui province China. Joined the Chinese revolution in 1937 and the Chinese Communist Party in 1938. Attended the Chinese People's Anti-Japanese Military and Political University and the Mao Zedong Academy for Young Cadres. Held positions as teacher in the Yanan Nationalities Institute and as Chief of the Social Division of the Northern China Bureau. After Liberation in 1949, he served in the Ministry of Public Security as Political Secretary for the first minister Luo Ruiqing, who later became Head of the People's Liberation Army General Staff Department. This last position was the primary reason Wang experienced the events depicted in Forged in Purgatory. Wang was rehabilitated after the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) and declined offers to rejoin the leadership of the Ministry of Public Security. He later served as Party Representative in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Vice-Secretary and Director of the Institute of Legal Research, Director of the Central Propaganda Office, Vice-Director of the National Committee for Foreign Languages, President of the Chinese Committee for the Study of Law, representative to the Thirteenth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, Member of the Seventh and Eight Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Vice-Director of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and Member of the Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Public Security and president of the China Law Society. His work focused on teaching, helping young people, building a better future, promoting rule of law, institution building and nation-building.