The woman who sparked years of death and terror – Jane Macartney

From Times Online (link):

NIE YUANZI is a frail, slightly stooped 85-year-old woman who lives with her two Persian cats in a tiny borrowed Beijing bedsit.

It is hard to imagine that this was the person who sparked the Cultural Revolution, which cost tens of thousands of lives and destroyed the livelihoods of millions. But she did. And while China's leaders are suppressing any commemoration of the revolution's 40th anniversary this month, Ms Nie has used her first interview with a Western journalist to argue that China must learn the lessons of that disaster to ensure that it never happens again.

"The was a disaster so huge that we can understand it only if we study it," she told The Times.

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